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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I've gained a significant amount of knowledge about Land Rover Discos just by reading through relevant topics of all 48 pages of the Disco I section. I've found you guys very helpful and friendly, besides knowledgeable, of course. Thank you for coming together to support each other like a community.

Still, I need some advice and opinions about my decision to get the 95 Disco I 3.9-litre V8 ES.

I've tried to see differences in the technical details of the Disco I and II. There seems to be a lot of contributions by Disco I owners stating that more problems occur in Disco I than Disco II (having read from another Land Rover forum). I can see major technological improvements in the Disco II (not to mention the completely new-generation beauty in the form of the Disco III which, from NZ$90,000 onwards:lol: is a lot for anyone to spend on) but then again I am not prepared to pay too much for a vehicle which I intend to use for towing a 2.5-tonne (5,500 lb) caravan occassionally - because I already have another vehicle for daily use, the good old trustworthy 1989 Isuzu Bighorn, which has given no trouble the entire last 7 years that I've got it and that gives me a good run of 22 to 27 mpg.

Then again, the 95 Disco I 3.9-litre V8 ES which I am eyeing now is a fine specimen (93,000km, about 58,000 miles), with regular services in the last three years by the current owner and almost in prestine condition, full-leather seats and with a few bells and whistles.

I've read enough to know that I may only get between 12 to 15 mpg from this beast, but the price is not too bad (in New Zealand) for a nice vehicle like this. The seller wants about NZ$9,000 for it (dealers tag them onwards of NZ$12,000!!!) as opposed to a 1999 Disco II which goes for about NZ$22,000 :eek:. Yes, we Kiwis are paying so much more for vehicles as compared to the likes of Americans without taking into account currency conversion but just figures alone. Mind you, the minimum wage in New Zealand for adult is NZ$9.50/hour! before taxation of 19.5%, 33% or 38% depending on total income per annum. Oops, I'm getting diverted, sorry.

For what I'm intending to use the vehicle for, given my situation, I am likely to stay with the lower initial outlay of the 1995 Disco I and keep it well maintained to last a while, than to pay more than double to get an improved version (extra NZ$12,000!!!). I have the option to take a Mechanical Warranty insurance for 36 months @ NZ$1,650 to cover for major unforeseen hiccups.

I've also read so much about the off-road prowess of Land Rovers and I may do a little of off-roading now and then but, that's it. The question is whether I should even attempt to step into the world of Land Rovers or should I find something else. I think I will enjoy the culture of tweaking a Land Rover, given the resources and support available through local clubs as well as global internet community.

Now, please...I would welcome all input from you helpful and experienced folks regarding my decision to go Disco I or none. Thank you very much.
 

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I'm not a DI owner so can give you little to no direct feedback. I would say, though generally, that the Disco is not a very good tow vehicle. Underpowered. That aside, I hope you join the Rover cult. A great vehicle that, with proper TLC, will last forever.
 

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My Disco is probably very similar to the one you're looking at, I've owned it for almost 3 years now and can say that I am one very satisfied LR junkie.

Take care, though, to take a look at some parts that will very likely need replacing in the near future (I hope for your sake that this has been done already, then you're home free!).

I've already had to replace the alternator, the power steering pump, the fuel pump, the water pump, etc. You get the picture.

Welcome to LRO - go for it!

Cheers,
 

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Very different vehicles. the D1 and D2, althought they do look similar. I looked at both D1's and D2's, pre and post GEMS etc. I ended up with a 94 which is pre GEMS. All in all, it is simpler, distributor, last century electronics :) and thus less trips to the dealership if you are inclinded to wrench a little. Also, codes thrown are read out on an LED under the passenger seat. Nice to be able to easily check codes.

The vehicle you are looking at seems like a good buy. These trucks must have had at a minimum, regular scheduled services. Don't go near one that has been neglected, but yours seems taken care of.

The culture of Disco's is great. Here, and discoweb and other resources are invaluable I have always found the advice I have needed. That said, my 94 is the least problematic vehicle I have ever owned, and most enjoyable to boot. But I religiously change fluids and jump under the truck every now and again to check things out. Stay on top of the maintenance and repair, and you will love these trucks.

They may be a tad under powered for trailering, but discos handle great with a trailer so that is a good thing to out weigh the under powered disadvantage. My 94 gets about 15+ mpg, this is driving windy, corrugated dirt roads for 10 miles everyday to town. Mine is completely stock, a lot of folks have heavy bumpers, racks, lifts etc, all which contribute to even crappier gas mileage.

I am super stoked on my disco, I love the thing, and I never cared much about cars/trucks before I bought it. If you go into disco ownership knowing you have to care for your truck, you'll be very happy. It is the people who buy a disco for the bling value, and expect it to just run forever, who are disappointed. That said, every vehicle needs care, but discos need unconditional llove :D Your truck will love you in kind, but your wife may feel neglected.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for your quick and candid responses. I feel a sense of family already just by hearing from you.

Vray, thanks also for sharing your pragmatic love affair with your 94 Disco. I like your attitude.

I went with a friend, who has had 7 Land Rovers over the past 33 years to check out this 95 Disco V8i, 93,000km. It seemed in pretty good condition and drove very well except that the Cruise Control didn't work and a few cosmetic damages within the interior. Also a few electrical faults. Otherwise, it was good. Tested the low box which was hard to engage initially due to our guess that the current owners haven't used it for the last 3 years, but it was good. We thought maybe to offer NZ$8,000. We decided to wait until I have seen a few more specimens.

On our way back in the car, my friend revealed to me that the Land Rover was the type of vehicle that needed to be used constantly and left parked up for too long. The problem, he said would be the radiator that would start to 'disintegrate' because of inactivity. I immediately felt that that would be me, as I am a frequent traveller and would definitely need to park up the Disco for months, if not longer when I travel overseas. The last time I went away, my Isuzu was parked in a garage with the battery removed for about 1 year and I came back to it like I wasn't missed at all. It behaved like I never left it unattended.

So, is this so true about the Disco or Land Rover radiators or are there other quirky characteristics? Could they actually be left unused and parked up for the long term? This may affect my decision although it seems so unlikely weird about the Land Rover quirks.

Another guy rang me just, about selling his 94 Disco V8i, 152,000km and he wanted NZ$5,000 for it. Sounded attractive enough for what he said about it. Apparaently in very good condition and all services up to date every 10,000km over the last two years. NO RUST. Work done (with receipts) so far included
power steering, brakes, new battery and cam belt(?). Is there a cam belt on the V8? Someone told me there wasn't one in the V8s!! Clarifications anyone?

Thanks. :clap:
 

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If I had to do it all over again, I would go with a 1994-1995 D1. My 1998 D1 was highly problematic, and also seemed to fail me at the worst times possible. As Vray pointed out, the 94-95 models will have a dissy cap/rotor whereas the GEMS (96-99) have the Coil Pack. When my coil pack failed it was about $500 to replace and that was a used unit. All in all, good luck with your purchase and I hope you enjoy your new Rover!
 

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I have a '93 Disco 3.5 V8, I am improving the performance and fuel econmy of mine by fitting extractors and a less restrictive exhaust system, cost about $900 Australian (sounds real sweet), next is a Snorkel and a bigger air filter box with a AC-Delco paper air filter $250 to $500 depending on Brand, then last a Unichip fitted and programmed for maximum fuel economy and better performance. You can buy specail conditioners and additives to preserve engines and radiators that are to be stored for long periods, check around. I would be very wary of Mechanical Warranties offered by brokers on behalf of Insurance companies, in Australia most are not worth the paper they're written on, before you pay your hard earned get a solicitor to check out the fine print. I know of a person that threw a con-rod in his warranty covered engine and after months of hassels the insurance company gave him a new con-rod and piston, even though the engine was stuffed, the only actual broken bits were a con-rod and piston, didn't seem to matter that the crank and block needed heaps of expensive machining, Caveat Emptor, Regards Frank.
 

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pfkb, I think the "cam" belt referred to would be the serpantine belt maybe? Seems to be many different words for the same thing, depending on country. Wouldn't it be great if we all spoke the same bastardised version of english???

With regards to cruise control not working, this is common, loss of pressure, but an easy fix, the pipes tend to wear where they connect. Just cut off an inch and reconnect seems to be the easy common fix.

I am not sure about the radiator issue, I haven't heard that one, maybe someone with more knowledge can address that. My truck does not have the original radiator, but I do not know when and why it was replaced. Do a search on discoweb.org, there has been much radiator discussions, usually as a result of overheating though, not from parking the truck for months.

One thing to check is sludge build up in the engine. See this site.
http://www.rpiv8.com/engine-4.htm#inside
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks mates, you guys are reassuring.

RoverChic, you may just be able to "remotely" do it all over again through me, so jump onto the driver's seat and tell me what you would do right from the start with what I'm about to look at next (see bottom of this post).

FrankS, you seem like having a great time improvising your toy, something which is stirring me up to want to get myself into. With the insurance thing, looks like the if I do get the 1994 Disco I which I'm going to check out this coming Sunday, it is not going to qualify for mechanical cover anyway, given its years and mileage. Check out the condition, read on.

Vray, thanks for pointing me to those two websites. The idea of such a vast support and resources available for LR enthusiasts is proving almost irresistible for me to turn the other way. And thanks also for suggesting the easy-fix on the cruise ctrl issue.

The big thing for me is that I must be able to park this LR Disco up for months or even years on end (garaged and covered, of course) and come back to play with it without any setbacks. I am a traveller at heart. Guys, this should not be a problem, I hope.

OK, the 1994 Disco I 3.9-litre V8i which I'm going to see this coming Sunday goes like this:

1. Asking price NZ$5,000 (approx. US$1,300)
2. 154,000km (> 96,000 miles)
3. Dark green, 5-door, 7-seat
4. Imported (probably from Japan in June 2003), 1 owner in New Zealand driven from 88,000km till present 154,000km.
5. ABS brakes, Aircon, alloy wheels, central locking, driver & passenger airbags, power steering & towbar.
6. Said to have regularly serviced every 10,000km (6,250 miles)
7. All receipts available for work done:
* Power steering
* brakes
* new battery
* cam belt (?) or as suggested by Vray, possibly "serpantine belt" (what's that?)
8. Said to have NO RUST problems.
9. Said to do mostlly motorway and open-road kms/miles, averaging 14mpg
10. No problem or work expected done.
11. Said to be in GOOD CONDITION
12. 4-speed AUTO transmission

How does this look guys, do I have a chance at going for this 11-yr old? According to RPi Engineering, V8 engines with this sort of mileage are requiring work on cams, tappets, etc.

Well, the UNLEADED PETROL price here is now going for NZ$1.59 per LITRE i.e. NZ$6.05 per gallon...almost 27 cents for every km driven or about 43 cents per mile!!

Shall I take the plunge into this peculiar HOT Stuff in the world of LRs?
Forget about the safety net of warranty insurance (36 months for $1,650)?

It is, afterall a $5,000 toy-utility that would tow my 5,000-lb caravan and burn lots of gas in the process as compared to my humble Isuzu 4WD Turbo Diesel. It will also keep me busy fiddling around it if problems arise but then, I have the chance to INTERACT with the rest of the world with guys like you who are ever ready to lend a helping tip if not a hand.

Hit me, guys.
 

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That seems like a nice truck.. and for $1300 US, that's cheap! Yes, rpi engineering does mention a few issue at 80,000 and above miles, but they also say that if well taken care of, these engine run forever. That is why it is very important to find one that has been regularly serviced. Personally, I would never leave an oil change on one of these trucks to over 6000 miles, but 6000 is not obscene at all and probably the best one could hope for from a previous owner. These trucks thrive on fresh fluids and oil is cheaper than metal as they say. I would suggest that if you buy a disco, change every fluid asap. When I got mine I changed the oil 4 times in 2 months to flush it out, and I swear it is running better. Also a good way to bond with your new truck and get to know it a little. You can tell a lot about the internals by checking out the old fluids.

One thing you may want to consider is a diesel disco. If they had them in the states, I'd be all over one of those. Convert to biodiesel and be done with the petrol bullshit. How cool would that be, a disco running on veggie oil :buttrock: Also, for towing, diesel would be preferable, more pulling power. Just a thought.

BTW what do you do that requires you travel so much for so long? (If you don't mind me asking of course...)

Good luck, keep us posted.
 

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Hmm I bought my 95 disco with 51k miles on it.. Problems started at 52500..
So just because it has low mileage doesnt mean it will hold up well. These truck need to be meticulously maintained in order to run well.. :bawling:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hear you Militant, yea the vray way of loving your Disco and pampering it to get the most (not problems hopefully) out of it.

Vray, US$1,300 may be cheap, if only we have income in US$, nope it is $NZ at NZ$9.50/hour, ha!!

I personally prefer diesel as I have been driving a trouble-free diesel 4WD for the last 7 years. When I started looking at LR, diesel was my natural choice. Then again, to cut the long story short, I have choices based on economics, which are as follows:

1. 1998 Disco I 2.5-litre 300TDi $14,000.
Just a little under-power for my 5,000lb caravan and not much difference to my current intercooled turbo diesel Isuzu. Quite out of the question here.

2. Next up is the TD5 2.5-litre which may be a little better in power and torque but, for a 1999, be prepared to fork out $25,000 or more. Why???

3. Power and torque that could also be found at the expense of about 12 cents per km difference between diesel (cheaper in NZ) and regular petrol (calculated based on my situation) come in cheaper options as follows:

- 1996 Disco I V8, $9,000
- 1995 " " V8, $7,000
- 1994 " " V8, $5,000

4. To bear in mind the economic difference between the two different Discos (petrol V8 and TD5) that could do the same job of towing my caravan, the price differs by up to $20,000 or more, which translates into approx. 167,000km (based on the difference of 12 cents/km between the two fuel types in New Zealand), i.e. about 104,000 miles of EXTRA travel.

Considering that I am unlikely to use more than 10,000km per year for this second vehicle, I have up to 16.7 years to make up for the price difference at my rate. Would this vehicle serve me this long?

Does it then make sense for me to pay as little as possible NOW for something that immediately does what I want, though at a higher daily expense but have a dollar buffer for several years, or do I put up front the dollars to get something (more expensive) that may do the same job, yet cost a lot more to repair? (Diesel mechanics here charge heaps more to do repairs than petrol ones.) My pragmatic and economic response pick the former option.

What would you do?

Don't get me wrong, I still like the idea of diesel, bio-diesel, vegie oil fuel and all, but I could also find things to do with the $20,000 not spent. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh vray, to answer your question about my travels. It is not what I do that requires me to travel. It is the other way around in that I am often not contented to remain at one spot for too long before I move on to another place and then I find things to do whether I do them for an income or not. Like a rolling stone that gathers no moss, aye.

I have chosen to be semi-retired in order to fulfill my purpose of a travel-and-learn lifestyle. It is easier when no kids are involved, just my wife and I, :rellye free to go anywhere and anytime with minimal restrictions.

What about you? :)
 

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I have chosen to be semi-retired in order to fulfill my purpose of a travel-and-learn lifestyle. It is easier when no kids are involved, just my wife and I, free to go anywhere and anytime with minimal restrictions.
AMEN TO THAT!! NO kids!!! :clap: :buttrock: Maybe that attitude will change as I grow older, kids can be cute when they are not yours! ;)

I would go with a Diesel! Less trouble IMO. Militarygrunt is right though, I had problems @ about 60K miles on my 1998 V8, and the problems just kept coming after the 60K mile tune up! (alternator, water pump, thermo, over-heating, VSS, ECTS, FTS, all 4 02 Sensors, Cats/Y-Pipe)
 

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pfkb72 said:
Oh vray, to answer your question about my travels. It is not what I do that requires me to travel. It is the other way around in that I am often not contented to remain at one spot for too long before I move on to another place and then I find things to do whether I do them for an income or not. Like a rolling stone that gathers no moss, aye.

I have chosen to be semi-retired in order to fulfill my purpose of a travel-and-learn lifestyle. It is easier when no kids are involved, just my wife and I, :rellye free to go anywhere and anytime with minimal restrictions.

What about you? :)
Hah, I am kinda wandering.... still.... No kids, no wife, which pretty much means no stability ;-). I don't travel too much anymore as i have developed a phobia about flying, not that I won't, i just don't like to anymore. Suprising, because in my youth i travelled non-stop. All over Europe, Japan, Australia, Costa Rica. My last big trip was a few years ago to Qatar. Born in South Africa, I now lived in the States since '83 (apartheid was too much for me, had to leave). Lived in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver (Canada) until they threw me out for overstaying my welcome ;-), Seattle, and now Idaho (Incidently, the Dali Llama speaks here tomorrow for 9/11 aniversary, the town is buzzing with the Dali Drama). Where I go from here I do not know, though probably somewhere with a beach. Saving up for a sailboat, maybe see you in NZ one day! Beautiful sailing down there I hear....

Roverchic, I am presently living with friends who have 4 kids, yikes, love em, but am glad they're not mine :D

On to Rovers. One thing to bear in mind is that Rovers of this age were pretty much hand built. Meaning some were good, some not so. There was a big discussion (kind of a joke) on edmunds boards about LandRovers built on a Monday were a little lacksidasically (sp?) put together after those damn brits had been boozing all weekend. One's on Friday the same because the weekend was near. I think the consensus was to get one built on a wednesday...lol! But, once the kinks were ironed out (hopefully under warranty) on the mon/fri rovers, they were good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Guys, I've just gone to look at the 95 Disco V8 which I thought was a 94 one. And since it was presented at a car "market", I also saw another one, a 96 Disco V8 amongst a few hundred other vehicles.

After all the research done on the Disco, I am still with the diesel machine, much like you Roverchic and Vray. Yet in some ways, something is telling me not to spent so much for a Disco TD5, not for how little I'm going to do with it, no.

At the end, I think I'm just going to sit for a while and tinker on options to boost the performance on my loyal Isuzu 2.8 Intercooled Turbo diesel machine. I've just found some folks getting together like you LR guys on forums. Not that I'm going to abandon your friendship, but on the contrary I'd like to maintain our nice little friendliness which got off on a good start. As a matter of fact, I've read in some of those Isuzu forums where a few people have got Isuzu engines and stuffs inside their Rover bodies. We can use each other, in a way, ha.

Oh, Roverchic I've heard of the maternal instinct kicking in at a later stage for some. So, don't hold your breath. My wife did that maternal-thingi on me years ago and I, initially and subsequently both of us managed to get over it, whew!

Vray, stability is an illusion. Enjoy what you do now, with or without kids and wives, and it just doesn't matter. I'd say you've had a good time and why not carry on. We do too. We'll see you at your sailboat somewhere, if not in NZ. Yes it is beautiful down here, but the grass is not necessarily greener than wherever you are. Who knows we may sail together someday. Roverchic and Militant-Grunt may want to join in as well huh.

Back to Rovers. I'll probably ever going to have only one 4wd at a time to do a little off-road adventuring as well as to lug my caravan around. So, in the meantime I'll try to boost up the Isuzu and use it for a few more years, then swop for the TD5 or better still, the Disco III TDV6 which is by far the most ideal setup of a 4wd for me. I saw the latter at one of the local showrooms and I almost handed over NZ$95,000 if it wasn't for my wife's being there. However, I've been invited to take one for a test drive and I declined it at the time. l was offered to go back and take one away for a day and a half just to see if i'd like it. I thought I knew that already, about the liking part of it. I will still take them up on the offer, just so I will bear in mind to buy one much later, when it isn't $95,000. ;) :D

1989 Isuzu Irmscher and Pathfinder-Discovery-TDV6-at-heart
 

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Keeping the Isuzu for a little longer sounds like a plan, if you have wheels already you don't need to rush into anything. DiscoIII TDV6 must be sweet, I wish we had diesels here (but then again, I don't have a hundred grand, US or NZ dollars, lol). Good luck on your travels, drop in here once in a while...
 
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