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Old 07-03-2002, 09:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking to buy a Disco I - any input?

I have always loved Land Rovers and am currently considering selling my Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4x4 to buy one. I'd love to get and olders Series vehicle but since it will also be a commuter I need to stay more practical. I have a couple questions I am hoping you all can help me with. Specifically I am looking at a Discovery and would like to spend under $19K.

If you have a recommendation of a site with buyers info. it would be greatly appreciated.

Are there any years that should be avoided (I was looking at '97-'98ish)?

Anything I should watch out for when buying a Discovery?

My friends always warn me about repair bills with Range Rover. How is the reliability? Are they really that much more to repair?

What is towing like with a Disco? I'd like to be able to pull a tent trailer and my track car when needed ('68 BMW 2002 - around 2000lbs).

What should I expect to pay for a low milease '97-98? Would I be better off buying an earlier Disco and having money left for necessary repair/maint. or should I purchase a later model in hopes of having a more reliable vehicle?

Don't get me wrong. I understand maintenance is required with both options.

I am looking locally (Seattle) and the earlier Disco seems to sell for $11-13K (with 80-100K) where as the later Disco is selling for $17-21K (with 30-50K). Is it really worth the extra money to buy the newer model?

Any recommendations for other models I should look at?

What changes were made to the Disco over the years? It seems that if I bought an earlier Disco I would have money in the bank for mods/maint./repairs. Would a higher mile vehicle be a problem? I seem to remember someone telling me once to not buy anything older than a '97 but don't remember why. The thought of having money for mods after purchase is certainly appealing.

Sorry for the random questions. Land Rovers are new to me, I've always been a Jeep guy in the past:
EX
1987 Wrangler - lots of $$$ in mods
1993 Wrangler
1997 Grand Cherokee - POS
1986 Cherokee - POS
and my favorite and most missed...

1953 M38A1 Military Jeep - 19K original miles

Thanks,
Todd

Don't clown me to much for wanting a Disco.
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Looking to buy a Disco I - any input?

Quote:
Originally posted by Sanderskog


Don't clown me to much for wanting a Disco.
Come awn It's just a LWB poormans D90!
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Todd, my personal opinion would be to try and squeeze a few more grand out and get a DSII. More cargo room, wider track, nicer interior, and overall better ride and driveabiltiy. Has a few more electronics, but for moderate 'wheeling, the ETC does pretty well. Plus, as long as you avoid late '01's and '02's altogether (these models had the CDL nut ommitted from the x-fer case casting), you can make a simple linkage kit to enabe the center locking diff (standard on DSI's).
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Based on years of observation from working (tinkering) in a shop that has literally dozens of Disco's and RR's coming in and out weekly...Don't do it.

I've never been impressed with the electronics, build quality (can you say "nice dash"?) and overall performance (stock). If you want to build it, fine. If you want a quality stock rig in the 19K price range, IMO, look into Toy LC's...

I realize this is blasphemous on this board, but I call it as I see it...And I'm not just bashing Discos'...Post 91' RR's are the same too IMO...Just a little fancier and harder to fix.

If you really want a LR buy a D90...94's are in the sub-18k range all over the place now...

--D
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Todd, how much daily A to B driving will you be doing? Keep that in mind when shopping. I spend ALOT of time in traffic in my rig since I drive it to work everyday. If it will be a dedicated trail rig, yes a D-90 would be better. But if you plan on getting intimate with your rig on a daily basis, you better consider the comfort level as well. You CAN have your cake and eat it too.
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I kinda agree with Rockrover on this one. If you're looking for something to wheel I'd look at a 94 or 95 with the 3.9, they're a litle more straightforward. I wouldn't do a SII if you want to wheel.

If your Dodge is not a Cummins diesel then I could see selling it and getting something else.
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Fear, just curious. Why wouldn't you wheel in a DSII?
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Todd,
If you are a Land Rover nut you will buy one no matter what people tell you. If you are not then you will purchase something other than a Land Rover.

That said, I am a Land Rover nut. I have 2 of them. One is a stock '95 LWB which I love for around town. The other is a '90 RRC that is pretty decked out for serious off-road. These trucks require constant attention. If you are fairly mechanical and have time to tinker they are great trucks. If you are the type that neads the Dealer to do everything, then you had better have deep pockets.

I do agree about the SII being more comfortable, roomier, and more power. They too have their trade-offs. For one I think they still have problems with valves like the later ('96-99, I think) D1's. I also agre that the earlier Discos ('94-'95) with the 3.9 and a distributor are probably easier to maintain.

Just some thoughts for you.

Larry
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Come on Greg, did you buy your DII thinking "I can't wait to modify and wheel this thing like crazy". Or did you buy your DII thinking "discos are cool, I want one" and then happen to get into wheeling with it.

That is what I did with my DI. Bought brand new in 97, turned into a wheeler after I got into the sport and decided not to buy a trail-rig to tow. Instead, I guess I ended up buying a tow rig. LOL.

If I were to do it all over again, there is no way I would start with a higher priced base vehicle.

DII's can definately get it done, but I would push somebody towards a DI simply for cost reasons if they are more into wheeling with it than using it as primary transportation.

Tom

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Old 07-03-2002, 11:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Tom, believe it or not, I had all intentions of modifying the DSII before I even wrote the check. Even warned my wife about it.

Did I buy it for true "hard core" wheelin? Nope. I knew going into it that it would have to transport me everywhere, every day. It just seems that the general consensus is if you want to wheel, avoid DSII's. With some mods they can go nearly anywhere the other Rovers can. The main hinderence is the big ass (or arse-depending on your continent).

D-90's are great, and I'd love to have one in my driveway. But it's not something I'd want to have to drive everyday.

I just don't want people scaring Todd away from DSII's because they "can't be wheeled in". That's not an accurate statement at all.
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Old 07-03-2002, 12:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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RockRover - find me one of these
Quote:
94's are in the sub-18k range all over the place now...
and I'll be there. I would MUCH rather have a D90 but I can't touch one within a days drive for less than $28K . I love those damn things.

A DII is out. Nothing against those that own them. I am just not willing to put out that kind of cash right now. I'd rather have the $$$ for mods and my other toy (track rat).

Daily driving is minimal. I have a 15 minute commute each way. Main concern is good heat/AC and comfortable seat.

Doesn't sound like the Disco I is thought to highly of. If this is the case I don't know what I'll look for.

As for the Toyota, you be something RockRover No offense, I appreciate the input but I've never really like the Toyota (with the exception of the early Land Cruisers).

Hmm... any additional input? Do I look for something else?

Todd

And yea, the Ram is a 5.9L. Not the Diesel.
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Old 07-03-2002, 12:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What about a Series? You can get them fairly cheap and then mod the hell out of it with the $$ left over. Very similar to a 90, but alot less cash. Whatever you decide, just make sure it's a Rover. I'm outta here. Everyone have a great 4th!
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Old 07-03-2002, 06:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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yeah earlier discos aren't too bad they are like most land rovers need maintainence but you can do most of it yourself and if you get an OBI or II reader you can damn near figure everything out with your truck pretty easily. Parts are another consideration. But honestly I love the way built discos look so go for it man there will always be naysayers but if that's what you want get it. Like someone said before later models had problems with valves but if you do the work yourself a valve job isn't all that expensive (600ish dollars in parts from the dealer) so just go for it man you'll love the truck and have a good time in it. I wouldn't build one personally for serious wheeling but if you are going to use it everyday and you like the way it looks get it you'll end up in a love hate relationship like the rest of us.

-ben
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Old 07-03-2002, 08:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The BEST discos from a reliability standpoint are 1999 Disco I. And the best part is you can get one from a dealer for pretty low money with some factory waranty (4year 50k) left. For example a 99 disco I with 40k is 18,900 here. Roofs (which suck) would add about a grand. You can probably do slightly better on the non dealer market but I would avoid anything out of waranty if I were looking at a newer one or I would have someone who really knows them look it over.

Now personally I like 94-95s, but with something that old you are going to need to put some serious time/money into it on a regular basis and if you are not prepared for that (ie have another mode of transport) then I would not do it (I have four rovers and I STILL keep my honda around).

A 94 D90 under 20k sounds like a good idea but you will have as many or more problems than a comparable disco which costs 1/3 as much and it is a bit of a pain to daily drive something like that.

High miles figure a tranny if its a 5 speed, 96-99s have valve issues (gets better as the get newer, 96s are terrible, 97 better, 98s not bad, 99 DI do pretty good if you run injector clearner through them every 7-10k which helps all of them)

A disco is not a good start for anything extreme but a locker disco on 32-33s can do quite well and makes for a really nice family wheeler/ expedition trip type set up.

Ron
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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yeah, the thing is, people tend to recommend what they have, or what they drive.. that's just the way it is, i suppose.

hell, i'm no different ( I have a 96 Discovery ) and i think a disco is a great mid-way starting point that will let you take it a little or a lot to the hard-core side of wheeling if that's how you want to go - just depends on how much cash and how fast you want to get there as to how much it will cost you.

from what i've seen, a d-90 in a similar price range to what you are looking for in a disco would probably be either a hell of a deal or a hell of a headache. and you can get some pretty good deals on some medium mileage discos - most often they haven't been wheeled much if at all - and just a little cash for some lockers and tires makes for a pretty capable offroad machine that is great daily driver.


if I was to start over right now, and i was looking for a disco to wheel on a budget, I would look for a 99 disco in excellent condition needing little or nothing, or look for a clean 95 disco that is a ***cheap*** deal (and expect to make up the difference in repair costs/improvements/whatever).

/mike
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davis
Fear, just curious. Why wouldn't you wheel in a DSII?
Main thing is the rear suspension is like the front so not as much movement possible as the series I suspension. Also no difflock but i guess that can be gotten around.
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Old 07-04-2002, 07:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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sanderskog,

Another imput from the peanut gallery. I have a 89 rangie, and I can tell you that the older ones can be just as much as a pain in the ass as a new one for repairs. As for the Disco debate, the older classics and the series I discos are essentially the same beast. In fact, when Rover put out the discos in 89, it was essentially a re-skinned classic.

That being said, the overall best is I believe the 99 series I. I was working for a dealer during that time, and they definitely had most of the bugs out by then. I have a Disco II in the driveway right now (borrowed from the dealer folks, because we can find out why my drivers side window keeps shattering for no apparent reason) and it's a nice ride. But quite frankly, there are a lot of electronics on that vehicle. I mean a lot! Now I personally think what Greg did is awesome, but I don't think I am in his league fab wise, or expense wise.. (a check Greg?).

Older Rangies aren't as cool looking to everyone, but they do give you more options in second hand parts. Same thing for early series I Disco's as at least around here, (Boulder/Denver) there are plenty of wrecked ones from upper crust college kids...

Bottom line: I would go with the suggestion of a low mileage 99. Some warranty, (make sure and check the "in service" date) and TONS of aftermarket support.

my .02

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Old 07-05-2002, 06:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Fear wrote "Main thing is the rear suspension is like the front so not as much movement possible as the series I suspension. Also no difflock but i guess that can be gotten around."

Good point. The DSII rear can work, but it's a pain. A helluve lot easier on a DI.

Ciocc77 wrote "Now I personally think what Greg did is awesome, but I don't think I am in his league fab wise, or expense wise.. (a check Greg?). "

J, you'd be surprised how little $$ I have tied up in Winston. I bought the rig in '00 from an auction (it had 13K miles), and have made most of the other stuff (bumpers, spacers, shock mounts) myself. So except for the lift and shocks, very little $$ has gone into it. Besides, I've sold several bumpers to offset the cost of ownership.

Based on what Todd has said, a solid DI would probably be his best choice. If he's not worried about day-to-day or carrying stuff, an 88" would be fun as well.

I wasn't trying to piss with anyone, I'm just a little sensitive when it comes to DII's.
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Old 07-05-2002, 12:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Greg,

No one pissed off here!

I am just very frickin jealous. I am driving a 2002 series II right now. It's still a gutless wonder like the rest of our trucks with stock motors....

I will try and flex it this weekend and post the picks so we can compare it to Gregs

j
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