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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, a real beginner here. I've had my eye on a Disco II for a while now and I finally found one I wanted to test drive. I'm aware of the main issues with this car (rickety drive shaft, overheating, lots of preventative maintenance) and I'm planning to execute DiscoMike's recommended high-mileage maintenance. I'm looking forward to learning to repair stuff as I go, but obviously I want to avoid anything catastrophic. This particular vehicle is a 2004 with 96k miles on it, selling for around $5,000. It looks to have been reasonably well-maintained, with the usual electrical/window/gasket replacements having been done. It has a cigarette smell to it (which my wife hates), but the interior is otherwise good. If the indy inspection doesn't turn up anything major, I'm willing to go for it.

It drove well with no rumble in the steering column. No engine tapping or knocking. No drips. No sign of oil splattering under the hood. My wife thought there was a faint burning smell coming from it, but it didn't seem that out of the ordinary to me.

The only problem I encountered was difficulty with the transfer box. I managed to get it stuck with the CDL on. I'm assuming it's stuck from not getting much use. I maaay have tried to lock the diff while stopped with my foot on the brake but still in Drive. I then remembered to put it in Neutral. Would this have harmed it? The dealership (Toyota) couldn't get the CDL off, either.

My question is, how serious is this CDL problem, how expensive to fix, and should it scare me away from this car if the inspection doesn't turn up anything else?
 

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Find yourself an owners manual before you break something.
CDL only engages with the tranny in neutral or park and never on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I read the manual cover-to-cover well beforehand. A momentary brain fart in the parking lot. The diff lock engaged when I did it properly but would not disengage. This cannot have been caused by a single attempt to engage it while in D, right? Again, how big a problem is this?
 

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Sometimes when not used, the cdl and or light will not go out untill after a short drive.
 

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Right, thanks. From all the other threads on this I thought it was usually a much more annoying fix. Another drive is in order then. If it unsticks, maybe she'll be mine. If not, I think I'll keep looking!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I went for a second drive yesterday. The CDL was unstuck by this time, so I drove it from the dealer to a LR specialist (Authorized Imported Cars, LLC in Flemington, NJ), about 12 miles away. On the way there, the engine was really quiet and the thermostat stayed dead center on the gauge. The steering was tight and everything seemed to be working, although I heard some suspicious wind noise coming from the rear driver-side door, almost as though a window were open. When I pulled into the specialist's lot I was reassured to see nothing but Land Rovers (including 4 other Discos) and Jaguars.

The mechanic, George, had agreed to inspect the truck. Immediately he noticed that the left side had been painted (possibly from a collision that had messed up the door?) and that the engine was running hotter than it should (the electric fan was on). After popping the hood, he noted that it was a Coscast replacement engine, not the original, which had somehow escaped my notice--and that it was losing coolant. At this point, you can imagine I was not thrilled at the prospect of owning this truck. He brought out his code reader as a peculiar dread crept over me. Thank God this was not my vehicle. The computer identified misfires in three of the interior cylinders but George told me someone had mysteriously wiped the codes before I drove it, so he could only tell so much from that. The engine temperature was now 115 degrees, not 90 degrees, hinting at a darker secret.

Determined to get some answers, George told me to hop in and hold on tight. He was going to push the engine into revealing its true nature. We screamed out of the lot with the windows down, revving well beyond 4k RPM. We made a 4 mile circuit and pulled back into the shop, and now the engine was ticking away. I was both relieved and annoyed by the sound because I knew it meant I couldn't buy the car. George was pretty sure it was a slipped liner. He was also pretty sure that he couldn't do an engine for less than $10 grand. We talked for another 15 minutes with the '04 Disco ticking happily as it idled in the background, sometimes louder sometimes softer.

I think there are several lessons here. First, one test drive is not enough with these trucks. Second, having it inspected by a reputable LR specialist is invaluable: you need someone who knows their--ahem--unusual characteristics and how to expose their problems. The last lesson I learned yesterday was that there are enough Discos out there running great. You just have to find them.

Today I'm driving an hour to Pennsylvania to drive a 2004 G4 edition with 114k miles on it. It's got a tear in the driver's seat, rear locks that don't work, and a headliner that's sagging in a few places, but if it passes an inspection like the one George did, I have confidence it will be a fantastic truck. And it's freaking orange!
 

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I just had a new LT230 fitted however the new lever has not arrived yet.

When locking the CDL with a 10mm spanner, which direction should the spiggot be turned to engage it?

The reason I ask is that I am on my way to Fraser Island now and when I tested it the CDL does not light up so I have no idea...

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

for free cdl practice questions visit http://cdl4sure.com/
 

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Turn it all the way clock wise, maybe 45 degrees. If it has not been used lately, it may take the light a few minutes to activate.
Remember, do not drive it on the road while engaged.
Also, have you already rebuilt/replaced your front drive shaft, if not do it before you do much wheeling.
 
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