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Hola Amigos,

Thinking of moving from my loyal Disco 2 to an LR3 or 4. Can any current owners provide some feedback as to the pros and cons of the LR3.
What maintenance gremlins have you experienced, and what can I expect to encounter as an owner?
Any previous Disco2 owners please voice your opinion, I love my truck, and feel fortunate to have conquered both the dreaded 3 amigos, and the M & S lights.

Thanks for your input.
best,
Kevin
 

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The good news is that the LR3's demons are a lot easier to identify and fix than the 3 Amigos. The bad news is that it has a few demons. Number one, in my opinion, are the differentials. Drive any candidate LR3 and make sure there is no whining. Then, when you buy it, change the diff fluid immediately unless it's fresh oil and you have seen the invoice. The transmission sleeves can leak. Check the function of the suspension. The old Hitachi compressors get tired after about 70k miles. If it doesn't have the newer AMK, you are going to eventually have to do that. The lower control arm bushings are consumable...since they are rubber. I don't think that was the design intent but it's a reality. They last about 50k miles on average. Electrical on these vehicles is okay UNLESS it gets wet. Of course, the sunroof drains - when clogged - cause water ingress RIGHT into the area where a significant wire bundle runs through the cabin. If you're really detailed you can pull up the passenger floorboard carpet and look for corrosion. At least check that the sunroof drains are clear. Similarly look for the windshield cowling warpage. That is another area of water ingress with the same result. Let's see...the Electronic Park Brake actuators and latches for the rear tailgate were failing early on...that seems to be better now.

Oh, the pros: better handling and power. Lots more refined. Better off-road than the D2. Great lighting and visibility. Still built like a tank.
 

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+/- (I love my truck)

Another LR3 Owner Checking In.

Pros:
+ Extremely Capable Off Road
+ Great Traction Control
+ Reliable Engine
+ Mostly Reliable Transmission
+ Easy to (DIY) Service
+ EAS isn't a broken POS
+ Pleasant interior
+ Comfortable for long drives
+ Tows like and Ox
+ Looks classy - also not super dated
+ Same architecture as current model allows for facelifts/part swapping in some situations.
+ Says Land Rover on it:grin

Cons:
- Still expensive to have people do work on it.
- Still idiosynchratic (throws hissy fits)
- Not likely to be able to fit tires larger that 33" (nominally)
- After market somewhat limited
- Stupid *bong* noise alerts you to change in temperature at 39 degrees F.
- Heavy - eats tires, brakes, bushings
- Essentially requires having GAP IIDTool (or other) to deal with electrical systems an CCF.
- Says Land Rover on it:grin
 

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Pretty good list. The right tires do fine though. I put ~80,000 miles on Michelin Synchrones.
Thanks, yours is also solid.

I think the tire issue can be a multi fold issue - the truck neccesitates E Load rated tires. Anything less will not hold up for too long (tire life, it'll probably be over a year regardless). Next up is the frequency of alignment. If/When the truck gets out of alignment it's weight will "increase" the penalty for it and wear the tires unevenly quickly.

Something we both left off our list is that the alignment on these trucks can be a nuisance (especially without a GAPTool of similar).

I would also like to quietly celebrate the easiest repair I've ever made to my LR3 - I was able to free a seizing lower steering linkage by laying on the ground and spray at it from about 2/3 foot away. The ease of access was part of the issue though, I broke the protective lower plastic off roading and let a ton of crud get right up to the linkage. Anyway, the repair cost 10 minutes and a fraction of bottle of spray white lithium. Not all repairs have to be terrible.
 

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Good points. I have no idea what the load rating was on the Synchrones...I just think Michelins are really good in the tread wear department. Not the most pliant rubber in the world; those tires were bad in snow.
 

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A maintenance gremlin worth mentioning. Replace the air bleed valve with something that isn't plastic. Mine deteriorated at ~98K miles and I had coolant everywhere. Stuck on side of road with overheated engine :frown

The post: http://www.landroversonly.com/forum...e-coolant-hose-uncertain-pending-doom-119826/

I still get random "Low coolant" warnings after driving only ~10 miles, yet coolant level is fine and so is engine temp. I am still contemplating replacing that one hose, and also getting something more practical (my brass replacement is rather large and obnoxious, but it works) like this: http://www.jewellamberoil.com/sales/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65_67&products_id=278
 

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Definitely agree on the plastic air bleed valve. Left my wife stranded in a canyon with no cell reception.

Love this comment, so true! "Stupid *bong* noise alerts you to change in temperature at 39 degrees F."

The one thing that really irked me maintenance-wise, was the tranny fluid/filter service. I researched and knew that I could go to the trouble of changing out the pan with a metal one, but in order to do it by the book, you have to drop a cross-member, blah, blah, so instead I dropped the ~$1000 to have it done at the dealer. Design like that really gets to me because it should be a service that's easily DIY.

Control arms (bushing) went out pretty early but it's a heavy truck. Replaced myself, not too bad, but we'll see how long the new ones last.

Love the truck, so capable off-road and nice on long family trips, but always a little concerned about some $$ repair and being stranded (cross fingers). Lots of electronics that I think that I could live without.
 

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A maintenance gremlin worth mentioning. Replace the air bleed valve with something that isn't plastic. Mine deteriorated at ~98K miles and I had coolant everywhere. Stuck on side of road with overheated engine :frown

The post: http://www.landroversonly.com/forum...e-coolant-hose-uncertain-pending-doom-119826/

I still get random "Low coolant" warnings after driving only ~10 miles, yet coolant level is fine and so is engine temp. I am still contemplating replacing that one hose, and also getting something more practical (my brass replacement is rather large and obnoxious, but it works) like this: Upgrade for silly plastic T fitting in hose for Land Rover LR3
I was lucky enough to smell the coolant on a side gravel road - I was actually concerned enough by the smell alone that I bothered to pop the hood and pull the engine cover and discovered the broken tee... in hindsight I'm sorta surprised I bothered lol. Rigged a straight tube and clamps for a couple days and replaced it with a BRASS tee (1/8" NPT I think) and a hose end on either side. Put a 1/8" plug in middle hole of tee. Added advantage is that I can screw a funnel / hose and hose barb into the middle of the tee to help bleed the system since the contraption is a foot above the top of the engine. Worked great the only time I used it (only bothered because it was taking 30+ min doing it the regular way!!!)

The low coolant warning is caused by a faulty coolant level sensor float
which has absorbed water/coolant. Both my '06 RRS and '06 LR3 did it. Both were fine when I bought them and by 85k miles had started throwing the warning. First during acceleration / cornering and eventually it was constant.

I feel really guilty admitting this... but if you jump the two wires of the coolant level sensor, it eliminates the warning (verified by checking switch continuity before hand). :devil I got KILLED on trade-in from a super sketchy used car dealership and desperately wanted to get the LR3 (ironic I know.. coming from a RRS LUX, but I needed the space/utility back that I loved in my DII!!) so I feel way less guilty admitting this to you all. ;)

Plus a) I knew it was a false warning, and b) the only time I've had a potentially catastrophic coolant leak, I caught it by smell (bleeder tee mentioned above) with ZERO warning from the damn level sensor.. :serious


As for the OP:

I still have my Disco II and wouldn't trade it for anything - mostly because it isn't WORTH anything :wink ..but still lol

I do love it, and it's the main reason I traded the RRS for the LR3. I wanted the utility of the disco and the upgraded technology of the RRS (obviously same driveline, frame, suspension, electronics, etc). I've enjoyed the LR3 much more than the RRS in the 1.5 yrs I've had it.

I think the LR3's ability to drive like it's a new vehicle with minor maintenance is very impressive. Something about this suspension geometry and frame design is very solid (well, a unibody on a ladder frame will do that lol) - but many people have said the same thing, at 10 years old these still feel "tight" while most vehicles develop shakes, rattles, squeaks, vibrations, and ALL parts of suspension and steering become very sloppy in general. While the LR3 may squeak and develop hard-to-pinpoint driveline vibrations, the brakes/suspension/steering are almost showroom quality at 106k miles.

For a vehicle of this size/weight it's VERY impressive when you can plow down a crappy gravel road and the vehicle just "floats" and absorbs everything in stride, it's very hard to upset over difficult terrain. It also handles very well for a tank - steering inputs have perfect weight and balance, road feedback is good, ratio is always right (variable ratio / speed-sensitive ZF servotronic) brake feel/fade is great as well (60-0 is 1' better than a Ferrari 360 sypder?!) So all-in-all the performance is generally on an entirely different level than the disco.

That leads me to two things - the first is the air suspension. I think every person that's ever been in my LR3 has commented on how smooth it is, and every time I ride in something else I notice it too. It's just a superior method of dampening/weight bearing, hands down. I can also hitch up a 6500lb trailer with ~700lb tongue weight and the suspension will handle impossible tasks like the bouncing expansion joints on a long bridge at highway speeds - it won't bounce and amplify like a regular suspension, it just plows through it and stays level, I can't say enough about the suspension when it's working correctly. ;)

Second thing - the weight. The Integrated Body Frame concept automatically means an extra 500+lbs from what I can gather (based on other vehicles plus what they cut when switching to aluminum and a simplified design on new RRS/FFRR). It's strong, but in some situations like snow and ice, it's REALLY ANNOYING#$%@ The best tires, best traction control programming, and decent driving can't overcome inertia - the RRS and my LR3 (4 different sets of tires total) are consistently all over the place when braking or turning at slow speeds. The things just want to go straight - and at 6000lbs, that's understandable lol.

Even with three amigos, my DII seems totally unstoppable in the snow compared to LR3 and RRS which really bums me out, but just the thought of adding 1500lbs in cargo to my DII and asking it to stop, turn, or climb a hill in the snow with the same performance seems like such a joke, and that's basically what you get with the LR3. This is another reason why the latest generation aluminum LR's are going to be the new high-tech kings of the off-road world. Shave 800lbs off an LR3 and double the computing power of the traction systems and see what happens.

The biggest upgrade from the DII was actually the transmission - having a 6 speed w/ TC that can lock in all forward gears is a HUGE change from the disco's 4 speed. Cruising RPM's are almost 1k lower lol, and you don't have to string-out gears at high RPM to go somewhere. Throw in a modern DOHC high(ish) compression V8 aaaaaaand... your mileage goes up 1mpg! :grin:grin:grin

..so that part was a little disappointing, but I've come to the conclusion that no one should own any LR for fuel economy. Ever. Gaining a 6 speed and jumping generations ahead in engine design can't overcome 1,500lbs of additional dead weight unfortunately.

One rarely-mentioned fact about the the IBF-based LR's from 2005ish (first ground-up designs of the new non-BMW LR era) was the INCREDIBLE safety that the new IBF designs of the RRS and LR3 offered.

Of all the vehicles IIHS looked at (over 150) of 05-08 models in one huge study of deaths per vehicle with over 100,000 registered "vehicle-years" ie, they'd combine the number of vehicles x number of years to achieve the same numbers across the board.

Only 7 vehicles in total recorded ZERO DEATHS per 100,000+ years equivalent.
BOTH the LR3 and the Range Rover Sport (with their IBF-bodies) were in the list of vehicles with 0 deaths!! Same frame, same safety systems, same stability systems, same 10+ airbag systems including 3rd row curtain in LR3, etc etc.
I mean this is up against ALL Volvos, Mercedes, Audis, BMWs, Hondas, etc etc etc.. SUVs, sedans whatever. Only 5 non-Land Rovers scored 0 deaths.

Oh and at the time I think LR only MADE about 5 models total.

Sorry to get slightly off-topic, but if you have a family or something (or you're just worried about yourself :wink ) it's something to consider, you know, being in one of the safest vehicles on the planet lol.

In contrast, I think the DII received generally poor crash ratings, especially front-end in which I believe the front footwell and chest areas were severely prone to collapse and telescoping into occupants.

Anyways I've already written a novel so I apologize, but I could definitely elaborate on this subject forever. They both have strengths and weaknesses, and honestly I'd feel totally empty inside of I had to get rid of either vehicles. The disco is just a Sunday driver now that always puts a smile on my face in a way that the LR3 can't do.. I still love it.
 

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That was a fun read, thanks EstorilM. I'm curious about your snow set-up....because my LR3 is virtually unstoppable in snow.
It's great in the snow - I think the DII is just better.

There are scenarios where physics just dictate that the DII will automatically be better. Off-camber snow-covered roads where you've gotta struggle to stay on the high-side of the road, if you get stuck on the low side, ditch, or both in a turn or something, you need a winch or a tug - period. The weight just "pulls" you down into the low areas. The DII rides higher on the terrain basically, it's a little more effortless in those types of scenarios - less influenced by gravity basically. :wink

I mean compared to most vehicles out there, it's still near the top - I'm just primarily comparing it to the DII which has literally traveled around the world (pre-launch in 99 lol) so its set a high bar.

As I stated.. on-road snow/ice performance is kinda questionable due to weight also. In deeper packed snow it IS unstoppable, but in wet slushy recent snow you have to be careful, and same with ice - again I think physics just dictates that an object in motion tends to stay in motion... too much weight for tires to overcome. Then again the same goes for pretty much all vehicles - I guess my point is that it isn't "magical" but in the right hands, you'll still be blowing by almost everyone else on the road - especially considering most people can't even comprehend the most basic concepts of friction and momentum, etc.. people here drive their cars the same way on ice, dry summer days, ponding torrential downpours, black ice, whatever.

Glad you enjoyed the novel though lol.

Oh I also forgot to mention in my original post that the LR3 has the advantage of 120 extra horsepower%$#&* - and the LR4 exactly DOUBLE the 4.0 DIIs :eek:
 

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The LR3 is about 800-1000 pounds heavier than the D2; depending on how they are equipped. I'd say "yes" that much weight would matter. I have to imagine though that with the electronic systems in the LR3, particularly the ABS and 4ETC and DSC, that on-road packed snow/ice performance could contend with the D2. I have the disadvantage though of not having ever driven a D2 in snow.

One thing I marvel at in the LR3 on a snowy road is how I can smash the brake pedal and actually slow down...and in a straight line! I know that the D2 has some of these systems, but the LR3's generation of them is way more advanced.

Anyway, if the LR3 had to yield superiority to another vehicle, it may as well be another Rover!

Curious what everyone would consider the LR3's absolute strength (off-road I mean). My input would be hill climbing (and descending).
 

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I have an 08 LR3, HSE with HD (rear Locking Diff). I've taken it off-road to some pretty extreme places. Types of events where they terrain built for dedicated non-road legal rock-crawlers and mud-machines. It's amazing what the LR3 can get up / through / down. You do need to be pretty familiar what what the different terrain settings will do though - consider them a starting point, designed for the 'average' condition, within that particular setting. Quite often, especially through long stretches of deep sticky mud, I'll turn OFF the traction control, because when all the wheels start to spin, the traction control will simply cut down your revs and power, and you'll get stuck. I could not be happier the the LR3. The most reliable vehicle I have had, despite what I put it through. I do my own wrenching, which includes as much preventative care as I feel is necessary, so probably some of this 'prevention' is helping the reliability.
 

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The LR3 is about 800-1000 pounds heavier than the D2; depending on how they are equipped. I'd say "yes" that much weight would matter. I have to imagine though that with the electronic systems in the LR3, particularly the ABS and 4ETC and DSC, that on-road packed snow/ice performance could contend with the D2. I have the disadvantage though of not having ever driven a D2 in snow.

One thing I marvel at in the LR3 on a snowy road is how I can smash the brake pedal and actually slow down...and in a straight line! I know that the D2 has some of these systems, but the LR3's generation of them is way more advanced.

Anyway, if the LR3 had to yield superiority to another vehicle, it may as well be another Rover!

Curious what everyone would consider the LR3's absolute strength (off-road I mean). My input would be hill climbing (and descending).
I wish it was 800lbs, it's actually closer to 1200lbs! :eek

You've really gotta drive them both to realize just how massive the weight difference is. I'm totally obsessed and amazed with all the features and traction control programming that goes into the LR3 and new gen LR's, but it doesn't stand a chance when you're traveling at speed and attempt a turn or sudden braking action. Nope. At the end of the day, you've got a nearly identical contact patch attempting to stop an additional 1200lbs of weight/inertia/momentum. That's pure physics, and in an "object in motion tends to stay in motion" scenario, there's no setting or system that can overcome that 1200lb differential (JUST to stay equal, much less become superior).

In any other dynamic situation where you're stationary, or not dissipating momentum, the traction systems in the LR3 MAY prove superior - although again it's easier to carry a 4600lb vehicle up a rock, through the sand, etc etc.. than a 5800lb vehicle!

I think the true marvel is that they managed to control the extra weight with a package of systems and technology that makes the vehicle feel and perform as if it's much lighter than it actually is.

I'm not bashing the LR3 though - hardly. LR managed to nearly-equal the offroad performance of the DII while converting it from something that drives like a delivery van, to something that behaves more like a GT sports car on the pavement (see my above post) and that's truly impressive.

As far as it's true strength over the DII, or in general over other vehicles in the segment, I'd have to say towing - again like I mentioned above. For the price, and other other factors/advantages/comforts/safety/image/etc etc.. it's just unbeatable. Almost all other vehicles in segment are trucks, or drive like trucks. Nearly-8000lbs with self-leveling suspension, this thing tows like there isn't anything behind you. It literally behaves as if there isn't anything there. I towed a 24' boat with my (shorter wheelbase) 2006 RRS (same frame/suspension/drivetrain obviously) and you could turn it through a curve with your fingers - ZERO "wag-the-dog" trailer behavior, the vehicle was always in command. Even with my extra tall, extra wide featherlite horse trailer on the highway in high winds, the trailer may move but the LR3 stays planted like it's on rails. It just defines confidence - gotta experience it to understand, but I'm hooked for life because of it! The horses love the air suspension too. :laugh
 

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Okay okay, hold on. I was giving you some leeway on calling the DII a better snow-machine than the LR3 simply because you have experience in both and I haven't driven a DII in snow...plus the SPECIFIC scenario of wheelin' in spring snow lent credence to your less weight argument.

However, if you are now asserting that the DII is a better off-roader in general than the LR3, then I have to say "no fcukin' way" to you, my friend. The LR3 is far superior to the DII in general off-roading scenarios. Angles, ground clearance, articulation, crawl ratio, and probably power-to-weight as well (despite the weight delta, which by the way is not likely to be 1200 pounds for ALL of us. I have a 5-seater with no 3rd row climate control, for instance). That said, you then factor in the next generation of HDC and 4ETC and I'm sorry but the DII is not going to compete.

I've been off-road with many DIIs and the theoretical discourse above has proven out every time.

...maybe you're doing something wrong! :)
 
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