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-   -   Land Rover Discovery II's (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=785131)

guido 12-14-2010 5:53 PM

Land Rover Discovery II's
Anybody got any experience with them? We had two original Discoveries when I was younger. The trans died on one and the dash caught fire on the other, but I hear the II's are much better. Specifically I was looking at '03-.

I'm bored, my Diesel Ford is much too reliable and practical, so I want to make my life more interesting (read... frustrating, ha).

For those that don't know me: I'm German automotive tech. Master Certified... blah, blah. I can definitely work on it myself. I know I should buy something German that I can get parts for, but just can't fall in love with anything short of a Unimog. The next choice would be a 163 chassis ML500. I've always thought you could build something really cool with one.

I love the off road capability of the Rover. It'd spend a ton of time in the snow and some time off road on jeep trails in the Sierra's. Other than that it'd haul the wife and dog to/from the mountains and launch the boat occasionally. No real towing needed.

So, what do you think? Am I crazy? Should I just keep my F250?

jeff359 12-14-2010 6:26 PM

I'm a production manager for a body shop, and we do all the work for Land Rover in the area. I've seen these things stripped down after big hits. So I gotta a little info. Can't speak from a mechanical since, but the things are weird. Even the new ones. They do things design wise that are just strange. They aren't hard to work on, but parts can be expensive. And the way they are put together, the lightest or rear end hits become BIG repairs. From where I sit, as long as your insured well.

If your buying a Discovery 2, they are older, and fairly cheap. You got the skills, and the tools, it'd be a cool ride. I wouldn't buy it for my tow rig, but for what these ubber luxury rigs go for after a couple years get on them, heck why not.

guido 12-14-2010 7:11 PM

I'm finding the '03's with sub 80k for $10-12k. They're definitely cheap, and I'm sure there's a reason. The 4.6 motor is only rated at 218hp!! Ha. I've gotta drive one to see if it's even a reasonable alternative.

innov8 12-15-2010 10:09 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Unimog's are swaeet!!


This site has some nice ones like the pic I posted, but they get pricey.

They have a 1985 Mercedes 300GD, 617A 5-cylinder diesel on the site, that looks like a cool rig for 18,500, located in Portland OR.

epic1 12-15-2010 10:19 AM

there is a shop near my house that only does unimogs. They have tenish of them for sale. They sure are ugly, but they look like they never get stuck/break.

guido 12-15-2010 10:25 AM

That second picture is exactly what I'd like to have, but I'm not sure the wife would approve that purchase for our to/from mountains rig.

I've expanded my search to LR3's also. Maybe a bit more of a practical replacement for my current truck. More power and options. Lower mileage and a warranty (probably the most important part of Land Rover ownership, ha, ha).

innov8 12-15-2010 10:45 AM

What about like a 2005 Volkswagen Touareg with the v8 all wheel drive, you can find good deals on them as well.

guido 12-15-2010 12:29 PM

Man, I can't believe I've never seen that Unimog site before. I'm saving that to my favorites.

I don't know.... The German SUV's would make a lot of sense for me. I think I spend too much time working on them. I just kinda want something different. I don't feel like the Touareg, Q7, Cayenne, X5 are quite "truck" enough for what I'm looking for. I should probably get another Tahoe, but I've been there, done that.

innov8 12-15-2010 1:10 PM

Yeah that is a sick site, I would love to get a unimog and completely go through it and make it sooo bad a$$.

Yeah I hear you WGT the Touareg not being truck enough.

Good luck with whatever you decide to get.

jtnz 12-15-2010 5:53 PM


They sure are ugly, but they look like they never get stuck/break.
Never seen one break, apart from when our army guys drive them off cliffs...

I have seen them get stuck though, in soft sand they don't do too well. Went out on a beach clean up with the airforce (RNZAF) when I was at school, they ended up getting one stuck, another came to pull it out and got stuck too. Had to get a third mog in to pull the other 2 out.

The 4.6 in the rover is a v8 isn't it? My uncle has one in his Range Rover, doesn't seem to be lacking power. The old 3.5 was a grunter too but drinks gas like nothing I've ever seen, apart from maybe a loaded wakeboat.

juniorhawk 12-16-2010 8:07 AM

I've had 2 Discovery Series II's and a Defender.

2001, and 2002, for the Disco's, my D90 was a 1995. The D90 community loves the Unimog - I never got the appeal. I daydream about the D90 constantly. God that was a fun vehicle.

The Discoveries were so awesome too. And reliable as hell actually. I miss them so much, particularly the charcoal 2001 that I had. I had the big expedition rack for both Discoveries - and that was so handy - the 2002 had a set of lights up there too. Super cool. The ride was so nice, it had a high, commanding view of the road. In terms of comfort & visibility, the Disco was by far the best 4x4 I've ever driven.

Out of curiosity, would you consider a G-Wagon? Someone at my new work has the 2 door version of it (rare) that and it's so cool. I wish they made a non-military drop top version of the 4 door. Someday I might look into a GWagon but they are expensive as hell here still. Anything that's basically a military, junker kind of truck that has a civilian version for 4x the price, hurts my brain. That's the case for Humvees. Defenders, Gelandewagens, and I think Unimogs. I know there are a couple of boutique places that make gussied up Unimogs but aren't they all very basic military spec trucks even to this day?

All of that being said, the Discos and Defenders aren't good for towing big boats like we have. Kind of short wheelbases, all-wheel-drive, a little bit stiff in terms of suspension - just made for a real PITA when it came to towing. Also the wiring kit you need to enable trailer lighting was 200 dollars from Rovers North, if I recall. And then it blew fuses all the time with that thing exposed to rain. Land Rover makes neato vehicles, but their electronic problems make Jeeps from the 1990's seem like marvels of engineering by comparison.

The 2004 Discovery would be the one I'd look for, if any. I think that was the first year they put the new big fancy Range Rover engine in it, and it's also the last year before they totally duffed it and moved to the LR3 which I drove for a few days and hated. That thing feels like a low-slung, underpowered version of the original - bummer. And I like the updated Range Rover, but NOT the late 90's ones - that 2nd generation RR is so bad.

I'd love a 2004 Discovery if it was more well-rounded. It's so boring but the Tahoe I have currently is going to be replaced with another Tahoe because it just gets the job done in every way possible. Apart from some little things, it's been such a better vehicle for my family and my needs. I wonder if you'd feel the same way about losing that utilitarianism in your F250. Someone in the UK looks at a truck like that and drooooooools, while a Defender 90 over there is like a Jeep Cherokee. Boring. Basic. Cheap. They'd think we're crazy for going from a F250 to a Land Rover product of any kind. Grass is greener on the other side of the pond I suppose. I'd take a Defender 110 County Wagon, TDi engine, and then turn it into a convertible (easy to do - I made some noise in the Rover community a few years back when I took a North American Spec D90 Station Wagon and converted it into a NAS soft-top, then reversed the process, being the first to do it in the world, apparently. I still get a few emails a day about it. It was even mentioned in a book about Defenders a few years ago) over just about anything in the world, no matter what any reviewer says.


Hubba Hubba.

guido 12-16-2010 12:36 PM

Thanks for the info, Eric. I was looking at the Disco II's again this morning. I think they're soo cool. I'm a little turned off by the electrical problems, but they sound decent mechanically. The '03 and '04 both got the new 4.6 motor, but I've heard it has it's own issues. It's got better power (still only 220hp-ish), but it's got an issue with oil pump failures that lead to engine failure. '03 and '04 also got the new style headlights that I really like the look of. Much more modern looking. Similar to the front of a LR3.

I've heard a lot of praise for the LR3, but it's basically because of what you mention... It's a very toned down version. More power, more refinement, but it loses a lot of the quirkiness and basic bomb proof technology of the Disco's. I'm going to go drive a couple this weekend. I've found some low mileage disco II's and LR3's that caught my interest. I've seen people haul some big boats with the LR3, so I find that promising. The new one makes 300+ hp and weights close to 6k pounds (apparently 300 heavier than a escalade). We'll see how it drives.

I can't fault you on the Tahoe. Mine got me to 100k with no problems whatsoever. I'd consider another, but I'd really like to do something different. My F250 has gotten me to 65k and never went back to the dealer once. I'm not sure a Rover will treat me the same way. I might want to consider a back up vehicle. Ha, ha, ha.

12-16-2010 2:26 PM

Dood, it has to be a pre-75 for you to join the club. no special exemptions here. haha

billthom 12-16-2010 3:29 PM

I had a 04 Disco, and loved it. I went from a f150 to the disco, so similar change you are looking at. I never had anything wrong with mine…well actually I did have to get a new radiator covered under warrantee though. I only got rid of it because of the size. They really are small inside, so I went to a new Yukon. The engine is rated low HP, but the torque is great, and I never had trouble towing my boat from a power perspective. The biggest problem towing was the wheelbase as the boat would seem to throw the discovery around on turns. Just be aware it’s a quirky British truck.

dohboy 12-16-2010 4:39 PM

We bought a LR3 in 2005 when they first came out for my wife. She has just over 100K miles on it and has had no problems with it until about a month ago when the tranny starting going into a fault. We just had it replaced. We tow our X2 to Pedro regularly through the summer with no problems. Its even towed to Bullards a few times compitantly. The first time the fault showed up was towing back over the Altamont. The dealer told us not to tow in drive, use the manual shift mode, as it will shift into 6th gear and load up the tranny. So I probably sent the tranny to an early grave.
Aside from that though it has been a flawless car that has taken us to the mountains for skiing with no problems. It has the weight of a Tahoe but fits into parking spots better. Thats why my wife wanted it over a Tahoe.
All that being said when we were picking up the car from the dealer the wife was climbing through the LR4 there. I would get another one.

HSE 12-16-2010 4:55 PM

Does it say HSE on the back? If so, how can you go wrong!!

guido 12-17-2010 12:18 PM

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Well..... I couldn't help myself. Dealer made it too easy. I had my truck with me, went in to look at/drive the LR3 and they were glad to take my truck off my hands for what I had it listed for on Craigslist for. Once my wife saw it the decision was made. She's already laid claim to it.

Scotty... I'm pretty sure this'll permanently get me thrown out of the club. I was thinking I'd try to track down one of those Uni-mogs and try to redeem myself. We'll see how it goes.

innov8 12-17-2010 1:58 PM

That is a nice looking ride Evan, congrats!!

HSE 12-17-2010 4:01 PM

Nice Evan, is it an HSE?

jon4pres 12-18-2010 7:31 AM

Looks nice. I really wanted one of those but got scared of the idea of what it would cost to fix it if it broke. I still wish that I would have looked more into getting one yours looks great.

brit_rider 12-18-2010 7:36 AM

Very cool looking vehicle!

guido 12-19-2010 8:44 AM

Jon, I'm hearing great things about the LR3's from the Ford ownership era. We'll see. It's got 22k on it and the only recorded carfax report was a ride height sensor failure. Plus it's got free maintanence for 4 years and 50k miles. Warranty is the same. I figure I've got 2 years and 30k to shake it down before I have to pay for anything. If it's a lemon it'll be gone before that happens. So far, though, I love it. I think the wife loves it more. It's looking more and more like I'll be driving her Audi (not that I'm complaining).

Jim, it's a SE. All of the HSE's had nav, which I didn't want. You lose a lot of the dash storage with the nav installed and the only other thing the HSE came with is different wheels (didn't really care) and seat memory (which I would have liked). This ones got everything else: Heated front/rear seats, rain sensing wipers, homelink, bluetooth, Harmon Kardon stereo.... blah, blah.

hatepain 12-19-2010 9:07 AM

Good looking ride Guido. I've always loved Rovers but have always been scared off by depreciation and reliability. Being a mechanic as You are though I wouldn't be overly worried and you're right the newer LR3 is less problematic than in the past. Enjoy.

jon4pres 12-19-2010 9:08 AM

From my little research the ride sensor was a problem on a lot of them. I would have jumped all over it had my budget been where I could get one with that was still in warranty but unfortunately the ones that fit my budgets were the ones with 60k miles.

I am sure you will love it and I am sure you are much more mechanical than me and can fix the stuff that I couldn't.

chilidog 12-19-2010 8:16 PM

NIce ride man,

I heard the beginning of this story the other day now I see the end, I knew where it was going!! .......are they air suspension? Solid front axle and 4x4 or AWD? It will be way nicer rolling in that thing to Tahoe, and it will get you out of driving for the dirtbike camping trips! I love driving our GL alot better than my truck, then again it is the wife's car so only when she lets me....Congrats

westsiderippa 12-19-2010 9:02 PM

"and it will get you out of driving for the dirtbike camping trips"

HA, so he thinks, were strapping 3 bikes to the hood of that thing and mashin it in to old mill. when its your turn to drive its your turn...........

chilidog 12-20-2010 11:12 AM

Tru dat, I'd rather have an SUV with an enclosed dirtbike trailer over my pickup any day if I had room to store the trailer....It's about to be my turn to drive on the annual Mojave-Vegas riding tour in January, my truck only has 16K right now, should start to break her in hopefully, my mpg blows still....

guido 12-20-2010 12:24 PM

Hate.... It's actually really funny... I got out of the F250, and into the Rover and instantly noticed they both had the same mirror adjustment switch. It's a weird blend of parts left over from the BMW era and the current (when the truck was built) Ford era. The rain light sensor on the windshield is straight out of a BMW 5 series. I'm going to put it up on the lift today and have a look around underneath.

Scott, it's a full time 4wd. I wouldn't really call it AWD because it's got a 2 speed transfer case and 50/50 torque split. Independent air suspension front and rear. The stability system replaced the locking diffs on the older discoveries. It's got a torque splitting system like the new Tacoma. It can send 100% torque to whichever wheel needs it. By monitoring slip/grip it can lock up brakes on the slipping wheels. I've heard they're amazing in mud/snow. We'll see what she's got the next time we're in tahoe. It's definitely a bit more refined than my F250, but no doubt I'll miss that truck. That thing was bada$$ and the HP was amazing going up the hill. I'd like to have had them both, but the F250 was a bit much truck to have sitting around in the side yard.

The GL's are sweet. Pretty similar, really (air susp, full time 4wd, 3 rows of seats, etc) I probably should have gone that route since I work on them, but I wanted something a bit smaller. Besides, my boss' wife drives one. He drives a twin F250 to my last one. I'm tired of driving the same cars as him.

Not looking to get out of any dirt bike trip driving duties. I'm already shopping trailers. I'll get a bike hauler for when I'm flying solo. I already made sure I could sleep in the back of this thing, so I'm pumped on that. I missed being able to sleep in the back of my Tahoe on camping trips. I'm also looking for older trucks, too. I've found a bunch of F150 4wd's for under $5k. I wouldn't mind letting one of those sit around until I need to haul bikes, etc.

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