Land Rover and Range Rover Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. :wave: I'm new to LR as an adult, although I remember my parents driving LRII in the 70's back home in South America. I'm looking to buy a 96' Disco (will be used sometimes for towing a boat and some 'light' off roading), but mostly for everyday driving. What are the main issues I need to be on the look-out for when buying. I've found a bunch of them here in Ill. for around $6K, about 80Kmiles. I find these forums to be excellent help and I'm actually learning to do research BEFORE I buy, which is a new concept for me. Help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rover X, that goes without saying. I was hoping for insight from personal experience and years of dealing with these beasts...:)))
Your opinions mean a lot to me because of the time and effort that has gone into building them
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
apparently, the 96's with 3.9 liter engines are much more reliable than the 4 liters. check out my 96 4.0 liter thread... just dont try to buy the one im tryin to buy ;) . theres something about the valves collecting carbon, but if the one you buy has already had the problem fixed, it won't need it again. if possible and convenient, i would just avoid the 4 liter situation altogether. you only gain something like 3 horse power and 2 lb ft of torque, and could end up payin for the valve job. not sure about how it compares to the valve fix, but a borla exhaust would give you a lil more hp and be a whole lot satisfying...it sounds great on a disco, and would be a cool mod instead of an expensive fix. which begs the question, why are there two engine options when they are so similar? hardly seems cost effective to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
i never said it was a bad engine, i was just under the impression that the 3.9 is a better choice. i dono. all i know is my dad's 95 3.9 is still goin strong after 250k+ miles. am i just kidding when i say that there were 96's with 3.9s?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,321 Posts
While it's likely there are many owners of '96 Discos out there that will argue that they have had no problems with their trucks, keep in mind that the '96 model year was the first year Land Rover offered their 'new' sagem (GEMS) engine management system, and the fact remains there were lots of initial problems with it, Though probably attended to by the dealers when the cars were relatively young. The principal difference, while still using essentially the same block, was they did away with the cam driven distributor, and replaced it with a coil pack (One small high tension coil for each cylinder) 1995 and earlier V8 Discoverys used a single, high energy coil, triggered by a hall effect pointless module in the distributor. The distributor allows for manual timing setting, which would have originally been specified at 8 degrees BTDC, and while hydrocarbon emmissions go up somewhat, some performance is experienced by advancing the timing to 9-10 degrees BTDC.
The original valve guide and valve stem design allowed carbon to build up on the valve stems, causing them to eventually stick, or not fully close, causing a loss of compression. As it worsened, the lower compression prevented complete combustion and the build up rapidly worsened. This was pretty much eliminated in 97 and most '96s were dealer serviced to change the valve guides.
Unless it was owned by an enthusiast who attended to all the details that these trucks exhibited, a '96 is likely to be pretty tired and showing signs of rust in the wheel arches (open the rear doors and check for any rust, or rust staining. This comes from a body panel seam at this point, where road dirt, salt, and water collected underneath. This was completely changed in the newer Disco II.
Six grand isn't an especially great price for a 96 unless it's a particularly good example, and you might be better served looking at '97s and newer. One thing to look at, in any car, but especially older discos is oil leaks around the valve covers, front and rear seals and transfer case output bearings. Also inspect, as best you can, any signs of leakage at the head/block joint, either water or oil, especially at the back of the heads.
When you test drive any old Land Rover with an auto box, see that it shifts up through the gears smoothly, not hanging in first too long, and down shifting to third when decellerating. Check the service records for transmission filter service. Lots more, but that will get you going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
WOW! lots to digest. I appreciate immensely your insights. The more I learn the more I need to know...Should I concentrate on finding a 97 then, and solve all old quirks? Also, some sites rate the LR @ 5500 towing, while other ones have it @ 7700 lbs. What gives???
thank you again all...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
PD2179 there were/are plenty of other problems we've encountered with our 96 5spd other than carbon buildup on the exhaust valves - BTW the local LR mechanic warned me that even the newer design valves and guides carbon up (also occurs on the Jags of the same vintage). Make sure the delaminating dashboard problem has been attended to; Expect the lousy electric window actuators and power locks to fail soon (Why the factory forced buyers to go the electric window route is beyond me). The alarm system is aweful and caused a friend of mine to sell his 96. The German made viscous engine fan is a piece of junk and will need replacing unless you like driving a truck that sounds like a B17!(we went the Flex-a-lite electric fan route. As was mentioned above by others, check the vehicle very carefully for rust and also inspect the foam underlayment in the rear area to see if it is holding a few gallons of water. These problems are, of course, on top of the outrageously bad fitting body panels and doors. Oh yes, one more thing, be prepared to really enjoy the vehicle anyway - they are still one of the best looking and performing offroaders around. One final point, I'll bet in the near future there will be more and more options to custom repower these beauties - maybe with hybrid units. Just get a great price and make sure it hasn't been seriously pranged.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top