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monark192 HalfDork
1/24/12 7:10 p.m.

Why should I stay away from them?? Recent Craigslist browsing has thoughts of driving thru the local deserts in my mind.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
1/24/12 7:16 p.m.

They're very good at driving out into the desert, but not necessarily at coming back out?

Basically they've got British electrics, the frames and the trunk floor rust, they can suffer from contact corrosion where the aluminium outer panels meet the steel structure, the engine isn't exactly powerful but makes up for it with a bad drinking habit, the twin sunroofs if so equipped better stay shut permanently, the build quality is a little shoddy to say the least, they leak various fluids very well but aren't very good at holding them in, parts over here are a little on the expensive side and overall they do require effort to keep them running.

I want one badly, but I'd probably go for a late Disco II.

pinchvalve SuperDork
1/24/12 7:18 p.m.

I like them, but the fact is that there are literally phonebook-sized catalogs dedicated to parts for Jeeps, but the Disco is hard to keep running outside the UK. With a Jeep, you drop in a V8, swap the body for fiberglass, and weld up the frame as needed.

monark192 HalfDork
1/24/12 7:22 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: I want one badly, but I'd probably go for a late Disco II.

When did they start getting better??

BoxheadTim SuperDork
1/24/12 7:26 p.m.

I'm not sure they're better than a Disco I - I think they have a lot of the same problems - but you can only get the slightly more powerful and slightly more thirsty 4.6L in the late Disco IIs. They are also a little bigger and generally a little nicer appointed. I was looking at a couple of 2003s, but I think the Disco II started a little earlier than that - 2001-ish?

Sultan Reader
1/24/12 7:30 p.m.

I have a friend who had a Disco 1 and was awesome while it was parked. That said it wrote really nice on a flatbed:-)

There is a reason why they are so cheap.

Sonic Dork
1/24/12 7:41 p.m.

We have talked about these and Range Rovers in the past and it will give you a good overview.

I've had a 99 Disco II for 6 years and 50k miles. In that time, I've done a few minor repairs (rear air spring replacement, height sensor replacement, U joints), one large repair (head gaskets), and maintenance. I tow with it, drive it in the winter, and use it for off road TSD rally. It is rarely driven easily or in nice conditions. It has always gotten me home.

I'd pick a DII over a D1 any day, and among those, the 04 is the best of the bunch, followed by the 99-00, and then the 01-03. The quality was (amazingly) improved in the DII over the D1, especially the 96-98 D1s, they were the worst of all. The 99 D1 (they made both the D1 and DII in 99) is the best of the bunch, the bugs are worked out.

Like so many other european cars, pick the best condition, newest one you can. They aren't as awful as some say (or at least mine isn't), and it is more fun to drive than most other similar SUVs.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
1/24/12 8:22 p.m.

Just curious (shoot me now), but... What about the Defender? Are they as bad as the Discos?

BoxheadTim SuperDork
1/24/12 8:47 p.m.

<click> <boom>

The Defenders rust at least as well and are a lot more agricultural. A bit like a Wrangler vs Grand Cherokee. Like Wranglers, they're also a lot more expensive than their less rugged looking brethren. I'd have a Disco or a Range Rover over a Defender any time.

corytate HalfDork
1/24/12 9:50 p.m.

According to Top Gear, the only reason you buy a Disco is because you can't afford a Range. I partially agree with that, because I would rather have a Range than a disco, an LR3, a Freelander, or a Defender. And they aren't even expensive anymore really. But, then again, DII's are super (relatively) cheap now, so it might be worth it to take the hit in coolness, niceness, and rumored prowess

Sonic Dork
1/24/12 10:08 p.m.

I looked at P38 Ranges when I bought mine, and found two reasons aside from price to like the DiscoII. 1. Way fewer electronic gizmos and computer controlled stuff. The Disco has enough as it is, the RR had WAY more to go wrong. 2. The Disco can be had with a 3rd row of seats, which I have used a number of times, they come in handy.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
1/24/12 10:22 p.m.

RR Classic or Defender for me, thanks.

irish44j Dork
1/24/12 10:39 p.m.

Having helped a neighbor/friend with his Disco I, doing a few minor projects like brakes, a couple electrical fixes, etc.....it is a vehicle I have no care to ever own. Every aspect of every job we did was a pain in the ass......and every part he had to buy cost a fortune.

I'm sure in the right hands they can live a good long life. But those will be some calloused hands for sure....

EricM SuperDork
1/25/12 7:53 a.m.

Read this thread linked below. Super knowledgeable people with a ton of experience.


I was thinking the same thing as you when I saw so many on craigslist. I ended up with a Jeep Cherokee though.

DrBoost SuperDork
1/25/12 9:37 a.m.

Way back I considered a Disco instead of aGrand Cherokee. I went to 2 different LR forums and when I stated I planned on towing and wanted it to be reliable they said the Jeep would be better because it would tow better, do basically as well off-road and be more reliable.
Coming from an enthusiast group, I took that to heart.
I'd still like a Defender though.....

PS122 Reader
1/25/12 9:56 a.m.

I owned a '95 Disco a few years back and while parts aren't cheap, I found that when purchased from Rovers North or Atlantic British, they weren't that bad. One big plus is that the cult following means a ton of support on online forums.

That being said, I'd never want one as a daily driver again but I still find myself wanting another one as a toy. Just not enough garage space and disposable income at the moment...

jeffp New Reader
1/25/12 10:21 a.m.

We currently have a p38 Range Rover. We've had a classic, loved it...not as refined. The old 3.9 had more issues with head gaskets, cracked blocks, things like that. The p38 is a better truck and is more reliable. As said before the forums and cult status are very helpful on tracking down problems. While it is a daily driver for my wife, taking the boys to school...it isn't the easy answer for reliable transportation. Terrible mileage, questionable engineering....but we love the beast. It is the opposite of my Miata in almost every way.

monark192 HalfDork
1/25/12 10:40 a.m.
EricM wrote: Read this thread linked below. Super knowledgeable people with a ton of experience. http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/20219-The-ExPo-Guide-to-Land-Rovers I was thinking the same thing as you when I saw so many on craigslist. I ended up with a Jeep Cherokee though.

I think if i do go with a 4wd drive, it might be a Cherokee,

audifan Reader
1/25/12 12:14 p.m.

At my old shop, we used to work on rovers of all kinds. People would offer them to me for free they would get so fed up with dumping cash into them on a such a consistent basis. So instead of taking a free Land rover, I went out and BOUGHT a 1997 Toyota Landcruiser comparatively speaking the equipment on the Cruiser makes the stuff on the Land rover look like toy car level equipment. That being said if your gonna rock crawl a Rover is gonna be tough to beat as they can be made to flex/articulate their axles into some very extreme angles.
So if getting to the location and then getting home is your priority I advise the toyota landcruiser. If you need to have the suspension flexibility to go rock crawling etc then the Rover may be your answer. Cruisers can get pretty flexy as well just takes some serious redesigning of the suspension system.

if you do the Rover you will become pretty handy with british electrics and mechanicals LOL

Good luck

a good land cruiser site to explore is www.ih8mud.com I have a 80-series cruiser specifically a fzj80

93EXCivic SuperDork
1/25/12 12:26 p.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: Just curious (shoot me now), but... What about the Defender? Are they as bad as the Discos?

Defenders are really freaking expensive for what they are in the US...

The good thing about them is that all the electric bits that like to break on a Disco aren't on the Defender.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard SonDork
1/25/12 12:34 p.m.

If you want a reliable Discovery, buy an Isuzu Trooper.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
1/25/12 7:34 p.m.

Forgot to mention - a friend of mine in the UK who helped Rover set up the production lines for the Disco suggested that if you want a mostly reliable one, you buy a manual everything one with the turbodiesel. Both of which aren't an option in the US...

MG Bryan
MG Bryan HalfDork
1/25/12 7:51 p.m.

If you're willing to hunt for it, you can get a manual transmission in a Disco in the US. It's the only way I'd have one.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid SuperDork
4/17/12 12:27 a.m.

Land Rover Canoe

JoeyM SuperDork
4/17/12 5:54 a.m.

Thanks. They've been sunk.

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