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Land Rover Discovery and Discovery II



  • I'm interested in purchasing a used Discovery, is there any year I should stay away from? I would love to get a brand new one, but they are a bit too pricey for me at this time. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    You might actually prefer a Series I over a newer one! If so, try to get a '97 or newer, '96 was prone to gummed up valve stems. If you DO get a '96 make SURE the valves have been done, or thoroughly inspected. It is EXPENSIVE to do it out of pocket.

    My '96 is in for an auto trans RE-service (boy did I dodge a bullet on that problem!!!) and they gave me a spanking new Series II to drive in the interim. And, call me a heretic but I truly prefer the Series I. Better steering feel, better power, better brakes, I can see out of the thing, doors open wider, more usable room inside, and it just drives better. Partial??? Not me!!

    (grin) Best regards, -Bob
  • I am looking at a 2001 Discovery SD. Without any options the dealer is offering me a lease based on 31,985 (including dest)which is about $1700 over invoice. LR is no longer including the maintenance plan which bums me out considering come of the things I've read on here.

    Curious what kid of numbers other people are seeing.

    [email protected]
  • I need to find a site or phone#/address for detailed info on location of specific parts on my land rover disco. My dealership is not very receptive to my needs and I need to pinpoint the specific location of problematic parts in order to guarantee proper service. This will allow me to utilize my warranty coverage. If I had my own garage I would perform the work myself with assistance as needed, but that is not possible right now. The more I know about my disco, the better I can take care of her and that is my objective. So, I'd appreciate any help! Thank you all. P. S. : Is anyone located in upstate NE New York?? :)
  • I considering buying a 1997 discovery. The vehicle had one owner and has 25K miles....the dealer let me see the maint. history and i'm concerned about repairs in 8/00 with 23K miles. On that visit it mentioned that oil leaks at rear of engine. the dealership repaired the seal rear main bearing; cup plug cylinder block; oil seal crankshaft; and gasket exhaust manifold...if you were in my shoes, would you buy the vehicle?
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Josh - The 4.0 Disco engine is a pushrod design with two valves per cylinder. It is oriented toward low end torque, so it doesn't need the 4 valve heads and dual overhead cams to control the valve train at high RPMs. For what it's worth mine is happy as a clam at high tide at 5k RPMs and has a very nice power peak at around 70mph on the highway.

    Oceandweller - You might have to buy the factory service manual to do this and to perform your own maintenance. It's spendy, about $100. There are actually several, the other most mentioned one is the electrical manual and it's another big chunk. But they quickly pay for themselves.

    Uconn - What is the remaining warranty on the truck? I would be grateful the rear main seal was done... many of them leak. Rovers are hand built trucks and if poor attention is given at assembly then these problems are solved under warranty. Pay extra attention to "sticking valves" with the '97, the problem first appeared in '96 and it is a serious expense. Have the dealer explain THOROUGHLY what it is, and see if they can convince you it is not going to be a problem with the '97... it may in fact be a late '96. Not all trucks do it, but make sure before you buy. Also look at swivel seals, hub seals, springs (is it sagging on the off side?) and look for play in the swivel pins. Ask the dealer to change ALL fluids before you buy, I do so with mine every year. If that's all there is on the service history, it's a keeper.

    Best regards and I hope this helps, -Bob
  • Hey everyone. I have recently become a DISCO fan! I have like serious Disco fever. I am planning to sell my 97 camry and get a 97 disco SE. i can afford it as long as maintenance doesn't cost too much. can anyone tell me of any major problems, or how much parts generally cost. are they expensive? i test drove a 96 disco and fell completely in love! augh.... i want a 97 SE so bad. so if anyone could give me some input... thanks!!! -anyone wanna sell their 97 disco to me? =0)
  • Hey "polarbearie", you're getting that LR Disco feeling, soon you'll be addicted. For maintenance costs, see me post # 171 above. Yes, LR parts are expensive, so is labor. If you can, buy a '97 or later model, and if possible, get an extended full warranty. I love my DII, but I'll never keep it past the warranty period. Looking around my dealership work area, I see engines, t-cases, transmissions, etc. replaced routinely. How does $9,000 sound for a new engine? (The [non-permissible content removed] whose engine blew up had not changed the oil in 37,400 miles!).

    Find what you like, look it over good, take it to a LR tech if you can find a good one, and if it's all OK, go for it!

    PS: Stay away from 95, 96, and 99 DII models as they seem to be more prone to problems. But then I've had problematic BMW's, Toyotas', and Benzes as well!
  • Hi folks,

    I have a 2000 Discovery II with 5700 miles which had a major problem on a cold day last month. The electronic control module in the transmission failed (started with the mode lights blinking) and the engine basically shut down. Fortunatly It was in the driveway at home. I had to have it towed (110 miles) to the dealer in Maine. They were great and replaced the part. Its been running fine since, a major change in shift patterns and smoothness. However at 7 above the Mode lights started blinking again yesterday. I let it run to warm up and re-started the engine and everything seems fine. Has anyone had this problem in the cold ?
  • FYI - Buckle Up!!!

    Two weeks ago I was driving my 2000 LR Disco (only three loan payments made) in dry, clear open highway. I was cutoff and swerved to keep from hitting the guy. Next thing I know, I was sailing across the highway on the roof. I am only alive because I had my seat bealt on. I also believe that the steal frame kept the Disco from caving in more than it did. When I saw the car the following day (I walked away from the accident!), the side frame had bent in 8-10 inches inward and the roof was about 10 inches from the steering wheel. As I said, I think the Discovery and my seat belt saved my life. HOWEVER. I also firmly believe that we tipped over way too easily. I know that I would not have tipped over in a car, and I am not sure if SUVs that are not as high would have tipped as easily. Bottom line - sedans from this point forward. But if you really want the SUV - Buckle UP!
  • I'm thinking of purchasing a used Discovery with a 5-speed. I would have purchased new but it is no longer offered. What is the last year the 5-speed manual transmission was offered? Any years with a 5-speed that I should avoid? And, would appreciate opinions of the manual vs automatic. One reason I'm considering the 5-speed is because the Series II automatic I test drove seemed rather sluggish. I love the vehicle but want a bit more get up and go (have had two V-8 Grand Cherokees, which go like stink).
  • neo5neo5 Posts: 12
    OK guys, you guys are really scaring me.

    When my wife, looking for SUV after getting her lexus sedan stuck in our driveway for the third time this winter, pulled out a brochure for the 2001 DiscoII - I so overcame with joy that I openly wept!!
    Of course the reason she picked out DiscoII (along with Montero) was not for the USUAL Land Rover virtues, but because she wanted the third row seat!!!
    Nonetheless, I was ecstatic to test-drive 2001 DiscoII (and Montero), and is getting ready to purchase/lease.

    However, reading some HORRIBLE tales on this Town Hall postings, now I am not so sure!!!
    It is very apparent that the Land Rover will be more like my Saab (quirky and totally unpredictable in regards to reliability) then my wife's Lexus (so $#%& BORINGLY reliable).

    Way I look at it is that even if I spend half of time in the dealership, I would look darn good going to/from there!!

    Would I be smart to lease this thing rather than to purchase?? Or should I just stick with the reliable Japanese-made (Montero)???

    HELP!!!!!!! (by the way, unfortunately I am what you would call a TOTAL MECHANICAL MORON).

    Tim in Michigan (Go Blue)
  • Hey "neo5", go for it - the Disco that is! Like I've said, I've had Toyota, Mercedes, and BMW vehicles that were total Lemons - much worse than my '00 DII (no problems yet, at 12600 miles incl. two 3000 mile trips!).

    Leasing sounds like a good idea if it provides you a tax break, otherwise I would buy. Just remember, an SUV is not a car so don't drive it like one unless you get the ACE option.

    Montero is nice, but they are too complicated for what you need - everything is high tech and that is just asking for it.

    I've not had or heard of cold day start problems, steering problems, or any other unusual stuff. Guess I've been lucky.

    Happy Rovers!
  • kemmonskemmons Posts: 29
    I have seen people from MI post messages; I hope you're still out there. Can any of you tell me how good the 2 local SE Michigan LR dealers rate? I have heard mixed reviews about the one in Birmingham, and although the news from the Farmington Hills dealer is more positive, I haven't found many people that have dealt with them.

    My husband and I have been researching Disco's for a year now trying to be as educated as possible, but I still have one unanswered concern. When dealers obtain older Disco's (97 & 98) they detail them and degrease the engine. That's all fine and well, but it has made it difficult to check for oil leaks. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    We thought we found a good one at a NIssan Dealer, but ended up not buying it. To make a long story short, I believe the dealer engaged in some unethical practices. I know, what's new, but how can you determine unethical from illegal? (It was that bad.)

    Any help offered would be greatly appreciated. We're still looking for a 97-98 Disco if anyone out there in Detroit area has one they're parting with. [email protected]
  • Here's some second hand info: My mechanic has a 1995 Discovery with manual transmission and has had some difficulty locating transmission parts when needed. According to his wife they had to go to Quebec in search of a part and were still unable to do so(they live in Albany, NY area). Land Rover Discovery stopped selling manual trans. in the US in 1996. I miss having a manual, but I love my Disco(1996)enough to let it go. If you're in the market for a pre-owned Defender(pricey, but lovely)that too is an option, but the Defender's a whole other story(parts, expense, and no air bags)!! Good luck with your search!
  • lgraylgray Posts: 5
    I am considering buying a 2001 Disco very soon. I am a little uneasy about the no-negotiating pricing at Land Rover. Is it really the case that everyone pays MSRP? I'm just having a hard time believing it. Anyone out there with advice?
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    There's an old saying about Rovers: "If it's not leaking, it's empty". Ahem.

    Rover gasket quality control is spotty at best, but if you have an assembled piece that hasn't been messed with chances are it's not going to give you trouble. Case in point: I had zero leaks from my auto trans ('96 Disco) until I decided to bite the bullet and pay to have the 30k service done. Kent is a *great* mechanic but the gasket he got was flawed and a month later it failed, blowing ATF everywhere. It was replaced under warranty, but it seems that once it's messed with it takes awhile for parts to get happied up again to the "trustworthy" stage.

    Additional note: '97 is a good starting year. There were sticking valve problems that started in '96. Pay extra attention to that when you consider buying. If someone tells you to pour through lots of upper end cleaner/carbon removing/valve cleaning goo to fix it, and they're a mechanic, DO NOT buy from them. The sticking affects the exhaust valves and that goo doesn't work. Another example: I had my valves done under warranty and it took EIGHT gasket sets before Kent found one he'd consider putting into an engine (crimped head gaskets).

    Buying a Disco WILL BE a love/hate thing. Trust me on this. If you're mechanically inclined and have lots of tools then you'll love messing with it, and it will reward you with good feelings. This will be a truck you "name". People don't name their appliances, but they do name things with which they have relationships. Is this a good or a bad thing? It depends entirely on you.

    There are tons of good posts in the archives here, read read read! And best luck if you do decide to take the Muddy Oval plunge!

    Best regards, -Bob
  • neo5neo5 Posts: 12
    THANKS rkoesler!!! Yes, I am getting that Disco Fever!!

    I think I was just fooling myself that I will even consider Montero over Disco. Montero is NICE but can you really LOVE it like you would love a LR?????????? (I THINK NOT).

    I mean here are my VISCERAL responses as I see a SUV drive by:
    LR Disco: 'SWEET!!! I MUST HAVE YOU NOW!!!!'
    Mitsu: 'What the ...?'
    Navigator:'WHY???? O lord, WHY???'
    MDX: 'Hmm, a nice looking minivan...'
    4Runner: 'More CHROME please..'

    So wish me luck, as we start to negotiate. (and as you can see I enter this with unshakable grip on reason, guided by undistractable rationality!)

    By the way, Ms. Kemmons, I have dealt with Birmingham (MI) Lavery people in two different occasions (shopping for Infinity some years ago and now shopping for LR) - and BOTH times, I ended up going elsewhere for better deals. So far my experience at the LR dealership in Farm Hill has been very pleasant (once again, wish me luck!!!). I will let you know how I felt AFTER the negotiation is done.

    And Igray, it is absolutely BS, when they tell you to pay MSRP!!!!!!!!!
    Through the infamous X-plan (special deals for the "friends" of Ford employees) currently we are working on DiscoII SD7 (darn kids!) with cold weather package (MSRP total 36225 / invoice 32305) around 34760, or est. 1500 above invoice. WALK AWAY and look for another dealer.

    (Almost) Happy Rovers!!
  • That was good, "neo5"! And I hope everyone here listens to "nanuq", he knows his stuff.

    You can go to any board and find horror stories about any vehicle, not just LR. They (LR's) however grow on you, and become part family - if they get sick, you want to heal them asap. My dealer replaces all leaking gaskets (still made from cork) with "space-age" goo (form-a-gasket) with good luck.

    Prices of LR have dropped dramatically since I bought my two. Where I paid $44,000, people now are paying around $38,000 for the same. Some RR's are discounted from $ 59,900 down to $ 51,000. Bad for trade-in or resale, but good for buyers.

    On my '00 Disco, I didn't even try to negotiate. I made my deal and then stated my conditions: I will buy it if you include:_ _ _ etc. That way I got the little things I wanted for free (?), or at least it seemed so, and it made me feel good.

    I added free wheel locks, brush & light guards, rubber mats, cargo nets, LR skid plates (which cost me an amazing $ 1800), and tire cover.

    I much prefer driving my "Rovie" over my 4x4 Toy truck or my Mercedes sedan, and I never miss a dirt trail when I see it. I'm a federal agent that investigates environmental crimes, so many of my "scenes" are fields, creeks, and other places that my official "police interceptor" model Crown Victoria could never go - others have to walk in, I DRIVE. Of course I catch hell about being "overpaid" since I have a Land Rover.

    Happy Rovering!
  • lgraylgray Posts: 5
    Thanks for the warning not to pay MSRP! I can't believe I almost fell for that line! I'd like to hear how your negotiations turn out. So, you're in the Detroit area? I'm from Motown! I went to Cass Tech H. S. and the University of Michigan! Married a Buckeye!
  • vs4vs4 Posts: 70
    I am in the market for Discovery II SE model and wondering if anybody has any information on the changes for 2002 Discovery model.

    As with any car/SUV buyer, no body likes to buy a car/SUV that will have major changes in there next year model, in this case only 6 months from now.
  • After much debate, I bought a '99 DII last year
    w/12,000 from a LR dealer. While I want to love this vehicle, I cannot forget that at 22,000mi the trans. failed. Oddly enough, it happened the day after the LR dealer "serviced" it! Three days later, I had my DII back w/new trans and it began emitting the same "klunk" sounds as the orig. trans. :-( Oh, and premature tire "cupping"? Don't worry, even after rotating tire every 3500mi "they all do that". I want my Toyota FJ-60 w/250,000mi back.
  • kemmonskemmons Posts: 29
    Thanks you guys for the helpful info. I am moderately mechanically inclined. I have a Turbo Coupe that's my baby. I do everything from the tune up to the brakes on her. Admittedly, I'm a bit nervous at the idea of tinkering with a Disco. Hanes manuals read like Greek to me. Are the Disco manuals any better? I understand they're more expensive, but it would be worth it, and AFTER I become a disco owner, I would love nothing more than to learn the ins and outs of how she purrrs.

    Anybody in the SE Michigan area ever deal with Majestic Motors in Bay City? They are a "High Line" dealer and are attending a large auction in Pennsylvania in Feb. that sells BMW's, Mercedes, Land Rovers, etc that were former lease vehicles now up for sale. They supposedly come with an inspection on the spot, a Carfax check, and another inspection upon arrival to the dealer if given a green light at the auction. All of which is documented. . . of course. I'm not sure what to make of this, and was wondering if anyone knows about this kind of thing. It's also my understanding that the dealer owner attending this sale inspects the vehicles himself the day before the sale to check for leaks, clunks or any other problems when he drives them. If the auction gives the vehicle a yellow or red light (meaning they won't back the vehicle up after the sale) the dealer won't buy it. Regardless of how good it looks.

    Input anyone?? I know how most auctions work> Could this be different?
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    If you're reasonably mechanical, then you'll do fine with the factory manuals. Yes they are expensive but wow are they full of information.

    The biggest headaches will be electrical, and often the simplest problem will manifest in truly bizarre ways. Once you get past that down to the hard parts, you're going to fall in love with this truck. You'll need big wrenches for chassis and suspension work, and some odd sizes. Other tricks abound, such as the oil pan drain bolt being 1-1/8" (just the same as the lug nuts).

    There's another very active discussion board, full of very knowledgeable people from all over the world. If you approach them sincerely they'll bend over backward to help:

    About the auction, it's pretty important to run down the vehicle history by VIN at a Rover dealership to see how the truck has been maintained. You want to make sure she's had plenty of regular fluid changes, and as much documentation as possible. An ideal truck will have a fully complete Passport To Service. Fluid change neglect will show up in an all-alloy engine as premature (EXPENSIVE) wear. The auto trans is pretty much bullet-proof, as is the xfer case. If it has aftermarket lockers in the diffs then see if the owner put in upgraded axles. If not, walk away. If it's lifted, did the prior owner upgrade radius/trailing arms and drive shafts? Is it sagging on the offside aft corner? Also look for corrosion at the bottom aft corners of the rear seat door openings, there will be "a little" there, but better not be very much. Look at the big bolts underneath... has the long-term accumulated crud been cracked away from wrenches? If so, what was replaced?

    I can't think of anything else, other than... if you've done a brake job on your Turbo Coupe, you're going to LOVE doing it on a Disco. It's like heaven with wrenches.

    Get used to loving the truck early on, because when (not 'if') the nagging problems appear it's the affection alone that will keep her in the driveway. I had a thought this morning on my commute: owning an early Series Rover is like living with a child for years... they complain but they're easily dealt with using simple remedies. Owning a Disco is more like living with an adolescent for years... they have complaints which are more sophisticated and will take more effort to address... and will make you nuts dealing with them. Once dealt with, the good stuff comes pouring back again.

    Good luck, -Bob

  • waskowasko Posts: 103

    Land Rover Farmington Hills in my main dealer. For the most part, they remain the most pleasant automotive dealer experience I've ever had. That has been tested on numerous occasions over the past couple of years, but they still remain a good group of folks.

    I actually hear quite a few negative comments about the Fred Lavery dealership. Never been there (no reason to) so I can't comment directly.

    Also, haven't heard of the Bay City outfit, but keep in mind that if you get a vehicle there, you won't be entitled to loaner vehicles and the other things you get from buying your vehicle at LR Farmington or Fred Lavery.

    Thanks, wasko
  • ngliebengliebe Posts: 11
    Anyone put children in the back of their DII?
    I have three kids, two of them in car seats.
    I cannot bear a mini-van. You don't have to sell me on any aspect of the truck other than family travel. I already have done a ton of research, driven them, and LOVE THEM. Can someone with kids let me know how the DII has been working out? The alternative would be an Expedition or Durango, but we really don't want to look so redneck. Advice appreciated.
  • great info... just one question: what do you mean by "Is it sagging on the offside aft corner?" ???

    thank you

  • Sometimes I think I love my disco too much and that is why I was willing to overlook some of the problems she had...but she's worth every mechanic bill and time spent not being able to drive her...just sitting behind her wheel reassures me.

    Positive disco experience really depends on the TLC the former/future owner gave/gives the disco in order for it to be an enjoyable and loving's not for's not like other vehicles...

    O-ptimism P-erserverance E-exceptance diN-ero

    happy rovering to all!
  • tvargstvargs Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if dealers are still getting $3500 incentive on new '00 Disco sales? I saw it posted on Edmunds incentives/rebates list last month, but is now gone.

    Looking at Disco s. '01 Montero Lmtd. Any comments? Is premium fuel required in Disco?
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