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post #1 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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New to Discovery & in trouble

Hi all, i am very new to discovery world and was so exited and bought a 2003 discovery. Now the car has been in local workshop for 3 weeks. I live in Dubai and specially bought this to drive in the desert. did not do any research before buying but now i have read so much in this forum have some idea abt this car. However, now i have a new radiator, water pump, gaskets, air-oil filter, transfer box seals, new dif oils front and rear, new transmission oil & filter, new spark plugs etc to name a few. now i would ask you experts out there do i keep this car or be honest to the seller and sell the car. i have read 2003 is a trouble some model and iam very worried now that i will have to keep spending on this. i know basic not a guy whocan remove a head and replace gasket. pls advice if i can live with this car or better to sell and go for 2004 with diff lock. The car is almost ready and machanic say now there is a humm noice from the transfer case which was not there before. i know im going to pay more than $2000 for parts and labour for all works done. just confused and dont want to hate this car for my fault not checking before buying. read loads good stuff abt discovery hence some advice will help if i should continue using the 2003 after doing all the repairs...
Many thanks
Nihad
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post #2 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 11:14 AM
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Hi all, i am very new to discovery world and was so exited and bought a 2003 discovery. Now the car has been in local workshop for 3 weeks. I live in Dubai and specially bought this to drive in the desert. did not do any research before buying but now i have read so much in this forum have some idea abt this car. However, now i have a new radiator, water pump, gaskets, air-oil filter, transfer box seals, new dif oils front and rear, new transmission oil & filter, new spark plugs etc to name a few. now i would ask you experts out there do i keep this car or be honest to the seller and sell the car. i have read 2003 is a trouble some model and iam very worried now that i will have to keep spending on this. i know basic not a guy whocan remove a head and replace gasket. pls advice if i can live with this car or better to sell and go for 2004 with diff lock. The car is almost ready and machanic say now there is a humm noice from the transfer case which was not there before. i know im going to pay more than $2000 for parts and labour for all works done. just confused and dont want to hate this car for my fault not checking before buying. read loads good stuff abt discovery hence some advice will help if i should continue using the 2003 after doing all the repairs...
Many thanks
Nihad
I have owned a 2003 Discovery for almost 2 years and I have been working on it, buying parts, since about 2-weeks after I bought it. If the cylinder head gaskets have not been replaced on that truck yet, they will surely begin leaking at some point between 80K and 110K miles. That will set you back $2500-$3K USD. The steering rods, ball joints, and driveshafts will all wear out and need replacing. the oil pump and timing chain, front crankshaft seal will need replacing. the pulleys and drivebelt will need replacing. About that time it will need tires and battery again. After that a steering box or power steering pump. CV joints will go out after that. In my opinion the parts are all undersized and weak for such a big, heavy brick of a truck. Some people have problems with differentials, especially if the fluid isn't changed out and the axle seals leak fluid. The transmission can leak at the rear output seal so have the transmission fluid level checked at least twice a year just in case; change the filter on it 1/yr. These trucks are high-maintenance. If you can flip it and just get back what you paid for it then you're good. The $2K you just spent at the garage, chalk that up as a loss but I don't expect you to get that back unless bought it for CHEAP
---a 2004 is exactly the same, no difference but a diff lock transfer case. not only, that these trucks are known for terrible engines. Go with a Toyota
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post #3 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Chubbs878- Thanks for your heads up..OMG scary. I bought this truck for $4000 with 160K miles on it. Yes, previous owner has raped it without any care and i am now fixing all obvious issues to get this back on track. My negligence for not doing any research has come to me at a very high cost. my bad. I hope once i get these initial stuff done it will at least give me one year without any trouble or i will have to flip it with a loss. tomorrow im getting the car and will know how much the work shop going to charge me. I have read discovery is very good at off road, this is the main reason i bought one. actually i will be using this only on weekends for off road fun drives only. but if this going to be continues stress and money then i need to look at a jeep wrangler or something..i dont know yet. at the same time the one week i used the discovery just loved its performance on off road. however, if i have to go through everything you have mentioned omg i cant imagine i have not been through this in my life with any vehicles i have used so far...is this truck so fragile? and keep giving trouble...but when you drive you can feel its a strong machine...
thnaks
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post #4 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 07:00 AM
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The truck can certainly be made to be reliable by replacing all the parts that have been neglected. At 160K with poor maintenance, I'd expect you'll be in about $8-12K deep in repairs to get there.
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post #5 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 12:25 PM
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The truck can certainly be made to be reliable by replacing all the parts that have been neglected. At 160K with poor maintenance, I'd expect you'll be in about $8-12K deep in repairs to get there.
Yeah he is pretty much correct. What you just had completed at the shop isn't scratching the surface of other, more important maintenance items that will need attention such as the spark plugs, the wires, possibly coil packs & whatever else is responsible for driving the engine. The underhood temp' is so high on these models that the plug wires fracture at the boot & pack connection ends then come the misfires, skipping, hesitation with the engine. The coolant hose Tees & Wyes will crack, the hoses themselves balloon, plastic vacuum lines & coolant pipes snap or crack then the dashboard lights up. Everything on the truck has to be replaced after 100K so yours may have more maintenance performed on it than you think. Dig around for records or even ask the previous owner what they have for paperwork. The cylinder head gasket is the biggie which needs replacing @ +\- 100K so If that & other things I mentioned were replaced at the same time you may not be in real bad shape. Buy & install an alternate means of coolant temp monitoring for the time being. Coolant temp is the single most important thing which you want under 200 deg F at all times. If temp goes above that check the engine clutch fan and thermostat as the radiator was just replaced. I hope that repair garage doesn't attempt to get over on you. Get a solid breakdown of the bill & ask to be shown the replacement parts & the takeoffs if possible. Be very skeptical as everyone just assumes it's a Rover & expense is justified.
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post #6 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 03:54 PM
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Don't let these two guys put you off. 99.9% of D2 owners have very little issue with their vehicles as long as they are serviced correctly.
It is just that forums like this attract the 0.1% of owners that are having issues with them. Therefore the opinion expressed is often very biased.
It sounds like you have already gone over the vehicle very thoroughly. Just be careful with mechanics wanting to line their pockets with you money.
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post #7 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for all for your expert advises. This really helping me to sort out things here. Actually the garage owner is known to me for years now but still of course he will make some out of this as nothings comes for free. today i brought the car home and he charged me a total of AED 9500 (approx $2600).. for parts and labor. Now you guys in USA or UK may say thats very cheap but AED 9500 here in Dubai is very very expensive for a maintenance. really high.I am sharing some pics of the removed gasket and the engine when removed with one of my invoices also. Still the engine light is on. he says some sensor i cant remember the name. (i will ask him tom). Drive is smooth but still got that humm noise, he says thats from the transfer box. any idea what this can be? Also i can feel shake on idle, like chubbs says i may need to change the spark plug wires. (all plugs are changed). like many says i made him to grease the drive shafts, all the nipples were broken or could not grease it but some how we managed to grease all nipples. (i guess 04 in total- i was there when he did this). The other major issue is when driving 120KMP the wind noise can be heard inside. he removed the windshield and re-fixed it with silicon. the noise level inside had reduced but not completely. now i can hear it from the driver and passenger doors beading's. Any easy fix for this? I have never done repairs at home but with this i am going to try working small repairs at home as i can save some $ and can see here lovely people advising and discovery lovers trying to help each other..hope afte this will give me little peace of mind for sometime or do i need to look at any other important items that need replacing to be safe? thanks for all your lovely advice. cheers
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post #8 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah he is pretty much correct. What you just had completed at the shop isn't scratching the surface of other, more important maintenance items that will need attention such as the spark plugs, the wires, possibly coil packs & whatever else is responsible for driving the engine. The underhood temp' is so high on these models that the plug wires fracture at the boot & pack connection ends then come the misfires, skipping, hesitation with the engine. The coolant hose Tees & Wyes will crack, the hoses themselves balloon, plastic vacuum lines & coolant pipes snap or crack then the dashboard lights up. Everything on the truck has to be replaced after 100K so yours may have more maintenance performed on it than you think. Dig around for records or even ask the previous owner what they have for paperwork. The cylinder head gasket is the biggie which needs replacing @ +\- 100K so If that & other things I mentioned were replaced at the same time you may not be in real bad shape. Buy & install an alternate means of coolant temp monitoring for the time being. Coolant temp is the single most important thing which you want under 200 deg F at all times. If temp goes above that check the engine clutch fan and thermostat as the radiator was just replaced. I hope that repair garage doesn't attempt to get over on you. Get a solid breakdown of the bill & ask to be shown the replacement parts & the takeoffs if possible. Be very skeptical as everyone just assumes it's a Rover & expense is justified.
I have bought temp gauge but my guy is tying to find how this can be connected to the radiator hose? this is not done this part of the world but not sure if all other Discovery users do this here. However, can i buy a connector or the gadget from Amazon or eBay? some help how to make this connected will greatly help pls..i am keeping an eye on all your points but not in a position to do all this right away...will try to do one by one by my self at least..i got some tools now need to get under the truck and get used to do my small repairs by self...thanks.
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post #9 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 02:57 PM
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I have bought temp gauge but my guy is tying to find how this can be connected to the radiator hose? this is not done this part of the world but not sure if all other Discovery users do this here. However, can i buy a connector or the gadget from Amazon or eBay? some help how to make this connected will greatly help pls..i am keeping an eye on all your points but not in a position to do all this right away...will try to do one by one by my self at least..i got some tools now need to get under the truck and get used to do my small repairs by self...thanks.
Coolant only goes through the radiator hose when the thermostat is open, you are better off putting the temp sensor in the heater hose. Requires a lot smaller fitting for the smaller hose size and has coolant circulating through it all the time. Just make sure that you run a earth to the fitting as well as the sensor wire. Picture of the one I had below. It is just a brass "T" piece with two outlets having the size fittings for the heater hoses and the 3rd outlet having the temp sensor fitted to it.
From the picture and your bill, it appears that most of you issues were from someone not running coolant or not changing the coolant on a regular basis. This caused the issues with you head gasket and water pump. Living were you are, I would not be running a Anti-freeze type coolant (glycol). I would run a non-glycol coolant.
Your bill states that he put 0W-40 oil in it. that is too thin for any Rover V8, even more so for a hot part of the world. I would be either running a 10W-50 or a 15W-60 oil in it. They will give a lot better protection in warmer weather.
The door seals are easy to replace. Just order some new ones and the old ones slip off and the new ones slip on.
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post #10 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 05:54 PM
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You can buy a temp gauge that plugs into your OBDII outlet. I have one - it is a head up display which shows a number of things including the temp. As I remember it was about $25-40 USD and I bought it on the Internet.
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post #11 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Coolant only goes through the radiator hose when the thermostat is open, you are better off putting the temp sensor in the heater hose. Requires a lot smaller fitting for the smaller hose size and has coolant circulating through it all the time. Just make sure that you run a earth to the fitting as well as the sensor wire. Picture of the one I had below. It is just a brass "T" piece with two outlets having the size fittings for the heater hoses and the 3rd outlet having the temp sensor fitted to it.
From the picture and your bill, it appears that most of you issues were from someone not running coolant or not changing the coolant on a regular basis. This caused the issues with you head gasket and water pump. Living were you are, I would not be running a Anti-freeze type coolant (glycol). I would run a non-glycol coolant.
Your bill states that he put 0W-40 oil in it. that is too thin for any Rover V8, even more so for a hot part of the world. I would be either running a 10W-50 or a 15W-60 oil in it. They will give a lot better protection in warmer weather.
The door seals are easy to replace. Just order some new ones and the old ones slip off and the new ones slip on.
Thanks Ian, I will share the image and your explanation how to fix the "T" brass. gonna checck in the market for non glycol coolant and will change ASAP. with regards to the engine oil would you recommend if i switch to your proposal on my next service, that is after 10K KM?

Today i gave her a nice steam bath so that i can figure out any more oil leaks..also noted that the coolant is somewhat boiling inside the coolant tank. same with thee power steering oil- boiling inside while on start.. is this normal or abnormal? what can be the issue...sorry for being so dumb ...thanks
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post #12 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 05:35 AM
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Thanks Ian, I will share the image and your explanation how to fix the "T" brass. gonna checck in the market for non glycol coolant and will change ASAP. with regards to the engine oil would you recommend if i switch to your proposal on my next service, that is after 10K KM?

Today i gave her a nice steam bath so that i can figure out any more oil leaks..also noted that the coolant is somewhat boiling inside the coolant tank. same with thee power steering oil- boiling inside while on start.. is this normal or abnormal? what can be the issue...sorry for being so dumb ...thanks
From what I understand you live in a very hot place. If you are not going to work the motor too hard, the oil should be OK. If you are going to go out into the dunes, I would be putting the thicker oil in it.
As you have just had all the fluids changed, are you sure it is not just air getting out of the systems rather than it boiling. I cannot see how the power steering build could boil unless you were forcing the steering onto full lock for an extended period of time.
When you first start the car in the morning, let it run for a couple of minutes and then remove the coolant tank cap and see if it releases pressure when you undo it. If it has pressure after only a couple of minutes, I would be looking at the head gasket.
I would also check what thermostat was put in it. You should change it to a later D2 one that is 182F if it still has the one specified for the earlier models that was around 194F.
You live in a hot area, so you need to do everything you can to set up the car for the heat.

I am not sure what brands you get there, but this is the oil I run and we only get between 35C and 42C in summer http://www.penrite.com.au/products.p...&id_products=3
This is the coolant I run http://www.penrite.com.au/products.p...id_products=98
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post #13 of 135 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:11 AM
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Thanks Ian, I will share the image and your explanation how to fix the "T" brass. gonna checck in the market for non glycol coolant and will change ASAP. with regards to the engine oil would you recommend if i switch to your proposal on my next service, that is after 10K KM?

Today i gave her a nice steam bath so that i can figure out any more oil leaks..also noted that the coolant is somewhat boiling inside the coolant tank. same with thee power steering oil- boiling inside while on start.. is this normal or abnormal? what can be the issue...sorry for being so dumb ...thanks
the fluids are not "boiling." If you look closely, you will see those are both return lines (coolant and power steering, respectively) at the bottom of each tank and its respective fluid recirculating. You would have problems if those liquids were not roiling over.

you are getting a thousand suggestions and opinions thrown at you, don't get overwhelmed. Just pick something you want to concentrate on and search on that subject for a couple of days. There are about 3,4,5 different online forums, each with its own wealth of information. Each has a search bar and tons of hits on any topic you can think of. If not, try altering your search query to a different term but I can assure you between this site, LandRoverForums.com and Discoweb.com you can find all info on LR Discovery2 you never wanted to know, LoL

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The power steering oil constantly recirculates. If it has aerated fluid, you either have a leak in the pump seal or in the return line from the bottom of the reservoir. If the steering groans, it's aerating. Otherwise you're OK.

Be careful with heavy oils. They place additional load on the already fragile oil pump and they cause the pressure bypass to open, which causes additional oil heating. I personally wouldn't go over a 15W-40. Rotella T is often suggested as it is a very durable oil and while identified as a diesel oil, it is rated for use in gasoline engines. If you need more than this, I would recommend an auxiliary oil cooler. I would also recommend the Purolator filter. Much larger with a higher bypass. The number is L40316. It's made by Mann and resold in the US by Purolator so you may have to back-track that number to find it there via Mann. It fits some Volvo diesels and if I recall, the Pinzgauer.

Do some reading on her about lubricants. The transfer case can be a bit noisy. It is most likely that yours was not well-maintained (few are) and probably has some wear. You can use a high-quality synthetic in a higher weight (140 RedLine) and that will help keep it alive and mute some of that noise. Do the differentials too. You can stick to std weight here unless you plan on hard use.
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Be careful with heavy oils. I personally wouldn't go over a 15W-40. Rotella T is often suggested as it is a very durable oil and while identified as a diesel oil, it is rated for use in gasoline engines.
That is why I suggested a 10W or 15W oil.
The upper number is what oil is will act like when hot. So a 15W-60 will never be thicker than a 15W-40 when cooler. It is just as the oil heats up a 60 oil will get less thin than a 40 oil. So if your oil gets hot, a 15W-60 is going to offer a lot better protection than a 10W-40. A 10W-40 is just a very old tech oil, they can do a lot better these days with better protection in hot conditions. Even the cheap oils still offer 15W-50 protection, Rotella is just an old school oil used for farm tractors, etc where they need so much oil to fill them that they want something cheap.
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