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Hello Everyone!

I own a 1997 Disco that my parents were the original owners of. They did basic maintenance on it until they passed it along to me. The last time we took it to a Landie specialist in SoCal appx June 2015, the quote came out to about $3,000 to replace head gasket and some other misc. tasks. They spent about a grand on the other tasks but held off on head gasket as it wasn't imperative it was replaced immediately. Fast forward about a year and a half. Mom and dad gave me the Disco, I have moved to Denver and just got a quote after a scare when driving in the mountains. At the top of the last hill to a ski resort, the oil pressure gauge started pulsing on and off every few seconds and there was a slight tick coming from the engine. I coasted down to the next exit, shut off vehicle, checked oil (was low), and scheduled inspection appointment. Started car 15 min later and no more pulsing light or tick so I didn't tow back. Land rover shop couldn't duplicate issue. Pressure was 36 PSI (30-40 recommended) but 1.5 qt of oil low due to massive leaks. They couldn't check trans fluid as it was too low due to major leaks. The tech I spoke with after the diagnosis assured me that there was absolutely overlap in the estimate but that it would absolutely not be higher. I was quoted........

$15,404.95 :eek

This is from a shop that was recommended to me by an REI coworker that has both a 90 and 110 defender. He said this shop is a little pricey, but fair. I'm just a little shocked that I essentially said I just wanted to keep this thing limping along since it has 140k miles and I don't have that kind of cash to fully restore it. Does $6k in parts and $8k in labor seem steep? Or is it time to part ways with the beloved Land Rover. I love my Disco and would absolutely spend the money on it instead of a new car but I can't compute a way that this will possibly work out.
 

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What was the quote to do? Was it just to fix the oil leaks?
If it wasn't leaking oil, how would you stop underneath rusting. I worry more about land rovers that don't leak oil as it usually means that there is none in there.
 

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that seems a bit insane to me. You could by 6 or so Disco's for that kind of money.

Post the estimate so we can see what problems you are working with.
 

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It's gotta be the air in that city, that and the hookah joints. If somebody with a straight face quoted me that price I would've told them to f**k off and have a nice day dip s**t, your mother wasn't that good nor your sister nor her blonde friend, say hello to your grand ma though cuz she has nice hands. I didn't want the Disco bottom licked clean. $6k in parts......LOL! There isn't $600 worth of parts on it now. Obviously the shop didn't want your business. I would not give them the sock fuzz between my toes.

The oil light came on because I'd bet a thousand bucks on one of the previous repairs shops using and excessive amount of RTV somewhere on the motor (front cover, oil pan) and the excess is now sucked to the bottom of the oil pick up screen, especially if you where going up hill. That's easy, remove the oil pan, remove oil pick-up, pick off the RTV then reseal with latex caulk.

1.5 quart low is about right at the full mark..... if it wasn't witnessed on the dipstick, then I'd be concerned. Massive leak means it doesn't hold oil, yours holds oil and then donates it to the environment one drop at a time. I'd say that's miserly, not massive.

How do you feel about getting dirty? Not the other kind, the kind where it's mostly oil, grease, rust and maybe some dried blood. The front cover seal is probably leaking by now, the rear main forget about it cuz if your taking it to a shop, you're not ready for a rear main just yet. The trans hoses are cheap especially if you take them to a hydraulic shop where they make em. Same for any other hose with fittings. You can do a lot of work with an adjustable wrench (dried blood) and a flat blade screw driver (pry bar).

At 140k on the odometer I don't believe it's limping along especially since it came from California.
 

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Your original post is a bit confusing. There's no such thing as a head gasket that needs replacing, but not right away. It's good, or it failed. It would be leaking coolant, compression or both.

On your most recent issue, it sounds like your vehicle is either leaking or consuming oil. It probably doesn't have massive leaks but likely has years of goo from minor one's. If it had massive leaks it would have run out of oil completely. Give it a good cleaning and see where it's coming from- most likely the valve covers since they tend to harden and crack. It could be leaking elsewhere- you'll just have to look. It's going to be a nasty job unless you have access to a stem cleaner (not a pressure washer).

You can pull the spark plugs and see if you have carbon deposits on the insulators- a sure-fire tell if you're consuming oil. A compression test and leakdown will tell you what shape the engine is in.

If you fix the leaks (which you can probably do yourself) and can confirm it's not using oil, there's no low oil pressure indication and no unusual noises, you should be good.

I'm guessing they took the oil pressure reading with a scan tool. Doing it with a manual gauge takes some effort. If you don't have low pressure indication you're probably alright. I would suggest an oil change using Rotella T6 15W-40 and use the alternate Purolator filter listed elsewhere on the site as fittable to these engines. It's about 3 times the size and has a much higher pressure bypass.

You got a gift on this one- it sound like it probably doesn't need major work. But you can't maintain it like you would a Honda. Consider this a wake-up. This site is full of resources that will keep it alive for a long time. You should spent the many hours that it's going to take to educate yourself on what it's going to take to keep you from having to someday make the choice of either fixing or scrapping it.

And for the record, $15K would buy you an entire driveline total restoration-engine/trans/TC/Axles/shafts/hubs/brakes- in an honest shop. When someone quotes you three or four times the value of the vehicle for a repair, they're basically telling you they're not interested in working on it. They didn't put any sort of time or effort into the estimate as they know no one would ever go for it.
 
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