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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Im Cattiva73,

FYI: I just love Discovery models...I dont have one yet but
Im planning to buy one soon maybe with a lift on it and bigger tires...nothing major just cool looking.

The reason I signed up in advance is because, before I start my search I would like to know:
- What is the best year for the Discovery models?
-Diesel or Gas?
-What and where should I look for before I buy and what is a fear price for a good Disco?
ps: I like 2003 and 2004 years but
Im open to suggestions from experts like you guys.
I'd like to narrow it down to the best good reliable year model.;)

So...Show me what you got and let the suggestions begin :p

ps: sorry if I posted twice!! Im a newby :()
 

· '03 Disco SE
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573 Posts
Long story short, the Discos haven't aged well, and reliability has suffered. Yes, there are still some low-mileage, well-maintained examples out there, but the majority of '03-'04 models are getting up there in mileage and are experiencing an accelerated state of wear.

Unless you have the means and motivation to work on them yourself, I would caution you to stay away. Nothing personal, I'm just trying to save you a whole lot of money and heartache. Yes, they're cool and capable but if you're looking for dependability look elsewhere. These cars require much higher levels of care than most passenger vehicles and problems need to be corrected as soon as they pop up or they WILL lead to catastrophic failures. Take a look around the forum. Research "head gasket failure", "oil pump failure", "liner failure", etc. - you'll see what I'm talking about.

If you still insist and want to learn, we're happy to help, but judging by your post I don't think an LR would be the right decision.
 

· Registered
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380 Posts
Well, the 2004 comes with the CDL (center diff lock) that's the year that you'd want over all when it comes to look AND performance. The 1999-2001 era all have CDL transfer cases but you need to install the shifter. EVERY CAR HAS ITS PROBLEMS... The Land Rover Discovery II as Bosnian mentioned haven't aged well. In my opinion, because people are idiots, don't change oil, no regular maintenance, no nothing, they think the car will run forever because its a "luxury car," now they do have factory defects such as oil pump failures in the 03's but just avoid buying one in that VIN range. If you end up buying one you will love it, its an amazing car, you will have to work on it from time to time, but in all honesty, if your buying a car ANY CAR with 80k+ mileage on it, prepare to do some work, its just the used car game, nothing runs forever. That being said, there more work to be done on a Discovery than your average car, my truck has 130k on it now, 2001 se7, and Ive put roughly +/-1500$ into it after I bought it for 4k @ 118k miles, I did all the work myself also, if you plan to do the work yourself you'll be fine. It runs fine now, very reliable and performs very well. I have no regrets buying the truck, my entire family told me to not get one because they'll "unreliable," don't get great MPG, and all that, but now that I have one, my father bought one and my brother bought one. I love getting in it in the morning, I love taking it on camping trips, I love everything about this truck, even working on it when its broken.
 

· '03 Disco SE
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573 Posts
While some of the unreliability can certainly be attributed to neglectful owners, I feel that LR is more to blame here. The inherent problems are widespread - misaligned timing cover dowels, non-flanged liners, soft steel camshafts, non-greasable driveshafts, comically failure-prone ABS modulators, head gaskets at are far too thin at the front and rear, the list goes on. The truth is that these cars were built on a budget and it shows.

My '03 has been babied it's whole life. No towing, no overheating, FL car so no rust, I have the entire dealer service history from the PO up to 77K miles and from 77k-110K I have been diligent about doing timely repairs and not cutting corners. Still - the thing is falling apart at the seams. I just recently did a full front end rebuild, and I'm staring down a head gasket and cam job in a couple of months. It's nothing I did wrong - head gaskets just tend to go after ~110K miles. Meanwhile I've had 2 Hondas with 200K+ miles each that weren't nearly as well treated, and I'd only add gas and change the oil every so often and they would work perfectly.

Dane and I are enthusiasts. We have the tools and the skills and the motivation to do our own work and when something goes "POP" on the car we use it as an excuse to hang out in the garage, drink some beers, and turn some wrenches. As a hobbyist it is enjoyable, but an average driver doesn't have this luxury.
 

· '03 Disco SE
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573 Posts
With all that said I absolutely love my truck and have no intention of getting rid of it, regardless of the little niggles I mentioned. The date code from the frame indicates we share a birthday so I'm stuck with it. Cars have been a serious hobby (and occasional job) of mine since before high school and I love wrenching on them. I'm just pointing out that I could not in good conscience recommend this type of vehicle to a person that didn't have the funds or the means to fix it.
 

· Registered
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380 Posts
I agree 100%, it is a hobby to work on these trucks, and I do agree with Bosnian, if you have no means of fixing it yourself, then Id make another truck look cooler :) I have the 4.0 engine in my truck, I have no problems with the internal engine components, no head gasket seepage or any leaks of that matter, just all the sensors... all of them... I'm sure its soon to come, I just hope I can make it into an expedition rig before it does. haha!
 

· Mr. t
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561 Posts
Bosnian, you hit the nail on the head. I've had tons of friends and random folk compliment my truck and even show interest in buying one of their own. I almost verbatim tell them what you've said. I'm an enthusiast too and have had my 99 for 12 years with 226k on the clock at current, original motor.

If you don't have tools and the will to wrench when needed then don't bother. You'll have a real sad face on when you get that first head gasket estimate.



Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

· disco biscuit
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1,062 Posts
I think if someone is unable to work on vehicles and get an estimate on anything...they probably will have to redo a lot of work. My 04 has160k
On it now, I bought it with 113 or 119. I still haven't done mine. I break out tools as soon as I notice something wrong, or try to anyway. Pay a lot of attention to it and make sure everything is done right as possible. Again its hard to afford to pay that much attention to it if your paying someone else to do it. And if you have to trust them you can't be sure anything is done right. Including changing the oil and transfer case/tranny fluid. Given those restrictions no one with little mechanical experience should really justify having one. For someone like that It would be cheaper to keep paying notes on a new 4x4 and try to trade out all the time.

Having said all that I think the 04 is the best year of the d2 and the d1 might be a better option if your only gonna use it off road dedicated or in rice field somewhere.

Edit: I should also mention my head gasket is weeping every so slightly off the back of the head...and it could use a new cam....I'm determined to buy a lift first.
 

· Mr. t
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561 Posts
That FIRST head gasket estimate? have you ever changed it more than once in the 12 years of ownership?
yeah, first head gasket was at 100k 2,600$ then another at 130k...1,800$ that was my breaking point. i bought the service manual, and a set of sockets and literally learned to work on cars from this forum.

prior to learning to wrench on my rover it was just a mode of transportation to me, but once i started learning to work on it i become an enthusiast and hope to never get rid of it.
 

· Registered
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770 Posts
My D2 is 99 and has 215,000 on it. Hands down the best vehicle I have ever owned(have had-Toyota truck, 2 Audis, VW, Subaru, Ford, Chevy)have two friends that have bought one as they really liked mine. After taking my dad hunting/off roading he would like one as a second vehicle.
I noticed my 99 has an oil cooler where my friends 03 does not. Also the having the CDL(with the D1 linkage)obviously is a bonus over the 03 and my other buddies 02.
 

· Registered
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380 Posts
I've only done accessory parts as of now, as its normal for a truck w/ 130k on it to have accessories fail. I have the 4.0 2001, it must have less issues than the 4.6, I also have the benefit of the CDL w/ the 2004 Linkage. I also learned almost everything I know about cars from this forum, my discovery was my first truck! :buttrock:
 

· disco biscuit
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1,062 Posts
I also claim my 04 as the best vehicle I've ever owned. It is a beast in the woods and rides like a German vehicle on the highway. Especially when all the front end stuff was still kinda fresh. Kinda sloppy now, but again, I justify a lift.

I wouldn't trade the 4x4 capability for anything and plan to keep mine for life as of now.....
 

· Registered
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29 Posts
I've owned a 99 range rover before getting my 04 discovery. I got the disco in a trade and was just going to sell it. I'm also a licenced mechanic which helps in owning any used vehicle these days.

So it started driving this, found a few clunks, noises, etc. So in my spare time over the week or so I replaced all 3 u-joints in the front shaft, all diff fluids, t-case fluid, tires, brakes, dash bulbs and a full tune up of plugs, wires, fuel filter, air filter. I was getting it ready for sale. After driving it for a few days, it's not for sale, I'm keeping it!! It floats along like a car, handles great and you sit up so high you can see over everything!

So if anyone is looking at buying one of these, doing your own work correctly, and taking the time to get it done right you'll have a great reliable vehicle. Just think you can pick up one of these or say a 98 gmc jimmy for the same price, the land rover will always be the better choice. A lot of people think I'm wrong but you'll constantly be working on the jimmy with front end dollar store parts, transmission, headgasets, and the list goes on.
 
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