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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am looking to buy a land rover this summer and I was wondering what type of issues are common that I should keep an eye out for. I want to try and keep it to an 04 discoII since they have a CDL. I will be looking for something low milage. My fiancé said that we could buy a used LR4 but I would rather have something that won't cost as much and I like to work on cars, so I thought it would be a fun car to fulfill my desire to work on something since I sold my last toy. This will be my daily driver and a weekend warrior for camping trips etc. I almost pulled the trigger on one about a month ago but decided to hold off until my masters degree is finished, which will be this may. So I am wondering what to keep an eye out for. I know about the front driveshaft not being sealed from the factory (something I will fix first thing) I have heard that the oil pumps tend to go out, should I just replace it as preventative maintenance? I have read the sticky on the maintenance but is there anything that is a common mechanical problem that I should be aware of?
 

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'03 Disco SE
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Before you make a purchase, spend a bit of money to get any car looked at by an independent LR shop. A pre-purchase inspection will save you countless headaches down the road.

1. '04 models didn't have as many problems with the oil pump so you should be ok. That said if you notice any oil pressure issues (oil light flickering, lifter noise, etc.) it's always good practice to get the pump checked out to make sure it's putting out enough pressure. Extend engine life by using quality oil (Rotella or Mobil 1) and a quality filter (Bosch, Mobil 1). Walmart has good prices.

2. Replace the front driveshaft with a greasable unit. LR intended them to be "maintenance free" but due to their proximity to the heat of the exhaust, the factory-installed grease dries out, causing premature failure of the shaft.

3. Ensure the cooling system is in peak operating shape. This means flushing out the DexCool and replacing it with green coolant followed by installing a low-temp thermostat. Get yourself an UltraGauge so you can monitor engine temp and performance.

4. Whatever you buy will likely have the "Three Amigos" (HDC, TC, ABS lights on). This can be caused by any number of things but the most likely cause is internal leakage of the ABS Modulator. It is fortunately a quick, easy, and affordable fix, but you will need an ABS scanner to clear the codes. Check the stickies.

5. Electrical failures are fairly common. This includes door locks, window regulators and sunroof motors. Most components are easily found used and the replacement procedure is fairly straightforward. Download the RAVE as it's an excellent resource.

6. Get ready for some heartache. LRs aren't renowned for "Honda" levels of reliability so be prepared to run into some issues here and there. Parts can be expensive, but they're easy to come by, and most of the labor is easy to do, owing to the classic V8 layout. The web is a great resource, so before throwing money at the car, ask us, as it's more than likely that someone has had the same problem before.
 

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Most if nearly all dealers will do a Pre-purchase inspection and they will usually charge at least 1 hour labor, just don't use them for any repairs or you will go broke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh I wouldn't use them for repairs but I would want them to do a inspection of the car first. I would even be willing to pay extra to have more in depth diagnostics done, such as a leak down test, checking the oil pressure with a gauge etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One thing that keeps me from buying is I keep hearing of catastrophic issues like the cylinder liners cracking or slipping. is this really that common? Any warning signs to look for or does it just suddenly happen? The one I am looking at is an 03 with about 115k on it.
 

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Its common when a land rover over heats, make sure the coolant system is always at 100% and you should be fine. It can be fixed if it slips also, the most solid block is the 4.0 to my knowledge, but that's a pre-facelift Discovery.
 

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You can, you install a flanged liner, roughly 600$ for the liners plus the cost of the machine work, you keep oem pistons with it. Its a nice set up and its virtually bullet proof after that.
 
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