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Wounded Knee Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1
Who should or shouldn't be buying a used Land Rover? This is an extension of a previous discussion http://www.landroversonly.com/forums/738034-post21.html
I think you're missing my point.

If someone wants to come to this or any other forum where I participate and ask questions, I'm more than happy to help- and regularly do. What I hope to prevent is someone that's got $4k in his pocket and is looking at a Rover instead of a Toyota or Explorer to get him to his job and can't afford to make a mistake. I'm all for someone taking on a Rover or any other enthusiast project. I'll help any way I can. But I think the best help you can give to someone unprepared or incapable is to look elsewhere.

This is a unique niche. You don't see many guys buying an older 911 (or Defender) for basic transportation. If a guy make a $5k or $10K mistake on one of these, oh well. But a kid that needs to get to his community college classes after his shift at Taco Bell should probably be dissuaded. A guy that needs it to get to work every day should be as well. If someone is shopping for a $5,000 SUV, that pretty much says they are looking in the wrong place.

The best service you can be to someone is to tell them the facts. These are vehicles with engineering and manufacturing shortcomings. Are there others out there? Sure. But most of the others have dirt cheap parts available from a multitude of sources and an infrastructure of shops that are willing, but much more importantly, capable of servicing them. If a person doesn't have a moderately strong mechanical background, a fairly complete assortment of tools, a place to work, another vehicle to drive and the willingness to work on these things, I think they should know that finding someone to repair their truck is going to be difficult and expensive.

A Land Rover is a hobby neatly disguised as transportation. If you are interested as a hobbyist and grasp what you're taking on, then welcome to the club. If you need to depend on it for your daily life, please excuse me while I try to convince you to buy a 4Runner. (or whatever)
 

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Drives like an old man
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Who can argue with CT090? I do drive my DII daily but I have other means to get around if (when) it's needed. These things aren't designed well, not built well and will let you down. On that you may rely. If you're a hobbyist, you're in the right place. If you need it for basic transportation, Toyota/Jeep/anyone else is light years ahead in reliability.
 

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Wounded Knee Moderator
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Discussion Starter #3

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Wounded Knee Moderator
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Discussion Starter #4
Both of you own just DII's is that correct?
 

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LOL This is funny...If someone told me the problem with the First Range Rover LWB that I bought I would have never got suckered into the $3500 that I paid for it. But oh my goodness it looked awesome and was one hell of a run around in the snow in North Eastern PA. Until something happened and I could not figure it out and sold it. Did not know about this forum then. The last 4 have been Disco's and I have put lots and lots of money into them to end up selling them for one reason or another but they were in much better shape when they left than when they were bought and that was all thanks to this forum and all the enthusiast that put time on here.
My recent one was an easy purchase with the experience and deeper pockets that I have now but that is also at the whims of the Admiral. Not much in these that I cant work on and if I have issues I have numbers for plenty of guys here that will quickly step up and help even if it is just on the phone. I have quite a ways to go to get the new one I am calling Green Envy because its green and when it is done will be the envy of everyone around Va Beach and Chesapeake Va.
As for my daughter this will be her 2nd that she is buying and this time around I am local with the tools but she has to fork out the funds for parts...Admirals orders....Anyway appreciate all that everyone does here to keep these things running..
JOe
 

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The context of the discussion was on the D2.

I suppose it could be extended to the third gen Range Rover. My local Craigslist typically has a handful of these listed as "not running- small problem that's cheap and easy to fix".
 

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Wounded Knee Moderator
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Discussion Starter #7
Cheap and easy don't go together with Range and Rover. I'm seriously looking at an 02 P38 and I have no way to talk to the BeCM at the moment but who cares. A guy on LRF snagged a $500 Westminster DII on the 11th with a pushed in cargo door (tire created nice depression). Replaced the cargo door and replacing bumpers with aftermarket and still ahead of the game.
 

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Wounded Knee Moderator
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Discussion Starter #8
The context of the discussion was on the D2.

I suppose it could be extended to the third gen Range Rover. My local Craigslist typically has a handful of these listed as "not running- small problem that's cheap and easy to fix".
I do not assume anything until proven guilty. Is that the only model Rover you've owned?
 

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I do not assume anything until proven guilty. Is that the only model Rover you've owned?
A new Defender in the mid-nineties that spent more time at the dealer than it did in my driveway and an '02 RR that I took in on a partial trade. It got use as an occasional driver for a year or so. Zero issues with that one.
 

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Drives like an old man
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Yes, the DII is my only LR. Land Rover's reputation is far and wide. I love mine but won't consider another. Not when every other manufacturer makes a more reliable vehicle. Mine hasn't given me any trouble other than the 3 Amigos. I just don't like the idea of buying a vehicle marketed as super tough but have to baby it and worry about the front driveshaft falling off and piercing the transmission. Really. That's just unforgivable.
 

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and worry about the front driveshaft falling off and piercing the transmission. Really. That's just unforgivable.
The Discovery does have issues. But that one's not unique to the truck. That issue is a result of nothing other than poor maintenance. Could Rover have put a greasable joint in there? Sure. But even if they did, the guy at Lubestop or WalMart wasn't going to grease it anyway. And that's where the "average" owner is getting their maintenance done. Pay $23.95 for your maintenance and you're going to get $23.95 worth of materials and professional services.


Now, let's talk about what they use to rustproof those frames...
 

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Drives like an old man
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LOL...right! Of course, I would think most LR owners would eschew Lubestop or Walmart for regular maintenance, but there's always one exception that proves the rule. I don't worry too much about rust here but I'm sure it's a concern. Probably ought to crawl under and make sure there's nothing to worry about.
 

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Wounded Knee Moderator
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Discussion Starter #13
Waxoyl. The problem with the DII's front shaft isn't just that it's not serviceable (without zerks) but the fact that it gets baked by the catalytic converter - boiling the grease out.
 

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Drives like an old man
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Yes, plus the a/c condensate drips right on it. I'm going to buy a new front drive shaft next weekend. Enough worrying!
 

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LOL...right! Of course, I would think most LR owners would eschew Lubestop or Walmart for regular maintenance, but there's always one exception that proves the rule. I don't worry too much about rust here but I'm sure it's a concern. Probably ought to crawl under and make sure there's nothing to worry about.
I think 99% of drivers of these trucks that are aged a to ten tears or so probably have no clue they're any different than a Toyota. Obviously a few are in the hands of enthusiast who find their way here.
 

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Yes, plus the a/c condensate drips right on it. I'm going to buy a new front drive shaft next weekend. Enough worrying!
TVB000110 - Discovery 2 Front Drive Shaft - Land Rover Forums - Land Rover Enthusiast Forum

Best price I have seen for a DII front shaft greasable at all points just be sure to grease it before you install.

All vehicles have issues or bad designs. I have a 99 Expedition with a 5.4, that I oddly love. Common failure is the timing chain tensioner blowing apart and killing the motor. Now lets talk about rust, I had to build radiator supports from treated lumber because the steel had dissovled. Rockers? You mean the painted cheese graters located by the door bottoms? How about thoses doors while we are down there rotted to. Blend door motors fail that require a level of work almost as bad as replacing a RRC heater core.


There is no such thing as a car that doesn't have issues. It just like the hot chick ratio. How hot she is compared to how crazy she is. Rover is pretty damn hot and is sure as hell crazy.

https://youtu.be/hKWmFWRVLlU

and for good measure (explicit lyrics)

https://youtu.be/UJ6pLKlU-8Q
 

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Wounded Knee Moderator
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Discussion Starter #17
For a moment I'd like to go back to the beginning of this discussion. I'm going to boil it down just for conversations sake. CT090 mentioned he'd turn away a prospective buyer if they didn't qualify by his terms. I didn't comment on it because I became busy (replacing a busted a front drive wheel stud on the Plastic Fantastic (replaced all four)) but I'd like to. Most folks that land on any forum are already committed, they own the keys to their Rover and now need help. The ratio of those that ask about a Rover prior to buying versus already own the title are about 1:1000 in my experience (here might be a little lower because site seems like it attracts those flies). So what do you do once they come aboard and are now having a problem? Do you tell them to buy a Toyota? Also most kids that are in school (high and college) and have a job still live with their parents, or have several roommates or pals, alternate transportation available so that's out. Let say early thirties, living in an apartment, wife and one kid and they've bit the bullet and now there's a problem where it overheats but not leaking. They have no other recourse but to fix it and are desperate for help. Let's also say they didn't do their homework, know nothing about Rovers at all and have limited tools. Do you tell them to buy an Equinox and drop em? That's what started this whole topic. When I saw that I thought it was elitist. Mine works, yours don't and you're a idiot. If I have it wrong correct me.
 

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I thank comments like these. They keep the prices of land rovers right down. I have had Land Rovers for over 20 years and would rate them more reliable than similar aged Toyotas and definitely more reliable than Jeeps.

The problem with forums like this is that most people that join have an issue that they are looking for an answer on. All the many thousands more that have no issue with their vehicles tend to never come near a forum, as they have no need to. So it is a bit of a biased crowd here.

Based on the many land rovers I have owned, from series vehicles, range rovers and discoveries, I find them a generally reliable vehicle as long as the schedule maintenance is done.

I often recommend Land Rovers to people that want a 4WD. Because of discussions like this one, they are awesome value for what you get.
 

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Having owned four LR's for the last 15 years, I would say that they are generally pretty unreliable - at least compared to my Lexus and Mercedes vehicles. I do not think the build quality is particularly good and they chose an unbelievably heat sensitive V8 for the Discos. For example I have had to replace head gaskets on every Disco that I have owned and the three amigos issue is always a problem. The CD players never work. The headliners sag. The plastic bound interior lights slip out of the openings. The roof drains leak. The windshield hood sprayers pop out of the hood for no known reason. The cowling over the speedometer gauges is cheap plastic and the screws bust through the holes. The gas mileage is bad.

That said, however, I think the value (used at least) for the options and operability of the LR is fantastic. With no other vehicle for the money can you get the ability to drive on and off road - basically anyplace you want to go in any weather - in comfort and even luxury and in style. And in my view they are terribly underpriced on the resale market. Moreover I predict that the body style of the 1999-early 2000's DII is destined to be a classic; something to be looked back upon like us old guys view the '57 Chevy. My view anyway.

But you have to be willing to do some personal wrenching to make it work out. Otherwise owing one of these can be a very costly proposition.

As long as you own it, it will always be a love/hate relationship. Today is Thursday and I love my LR; however, I have not been out to start it yet today.
 

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Not elitist. Far from it. Call it empathetic.

An analogy: An experienced outdoorsman sees two college kids in shorts and sneakers heading up a rugged mountain path an hour before dusk. He knows there's a storm coming and it's just the other side of the mountain. Does he say "Enjoy your hike. It's a great trail" or does he try to share his knowledge?

I've never turned anyone away in need of advice or information. And if you spend much time in the D2 section you'll see that I regularly try to help those that bought a problem they're trying to extricate themselves from.

The majority of these vehicles are going to be purchased by non-enthusiasts. The majority of these people will purchase blindly, without doing any advance research and many will end up with a vehicle with a problem. And then some end up here. Sometimes the best advice that can be given is to "quit while you're behind". I'll explore that more in a bit.

As a moderator, I'm sure you recognize that many read these forums without ever posting. I often visit forums doing research on something I'm unsure about and never register there. I would much rather tell a guy who was about to spend his last $4k on a used truck what to look for than tell a guy that already spent his last $4k on a truck with a problem that it's not worth fixing.

IH- you hit the nail on the head in your most recent post. As you wrote "prospective buyer", which is certainly correct, absolutely describes my intent.

As stated, all vehicles, especially 15-year-old, 100K+ mile ones, can be problematic. But like it or not, the Discovery has way more potential problem areas than many other vehicles. First and foremost, they have cooling systems that have proven to be an issue and in need of proper maintenance. maintenance that, on a vehicle of this age has been neglected. They also have head gasket problems and to a lesser degree, internal engine issues. They also have significant frame rot issues. Compounding this, parts are not in ready supply, even from the dealer. And the vast majority of shops refuse to work on them- which is good since many lack the necessary experience. Is it wrong to not let these prospective buyers know this?

Circling back to "quit while you're behind", what do you tell a guy that needed transportation and just spent his last few spare dollars on a Discovery that is losing coolant or has a blinking oil light? This guy lives in an apartment and owns enough tools to carry in his glovebox. I don't know that it's in his best interests to do a $3000 head gasket job on a tired short block, or a $6000 reman engine into a truck he just spent his last $4000 on- even if he could.

My point is this- if you get the message out to those potential buyers before they pull the trigger, maybe we save someone from a life-altering mistake.

As far as being "qualified" to buy one of these trucks, I'd say that my recommendation would be that at a bare minimum you had some somewhat advanced mechanical skills, a well-equipped toolbox and a place to work. If you don't, that leaves you paying someone else a hundred bucks an hour and retail on parts to solve your problems.
 
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