Disco - decisions advice please
I will try and stay coherent.... a bit long, sorry, but no-one else to talk
to (how sad is that!).
I have a 1995 3.9 V8 ES Auto which I bought with 12000 on the clock in 1996.
Since then I have worked it pretty hard (tow 2 tons all over the place) and
it now has done 145,000 miles.
Do I throw money at it and give it a real good sort out, or do I get rid of
it and buy another one. I do want a V8 ES Auto, it does what I need it to
For around £6000 I could possibly buy a similar aged Disco with fewer miles
It would cost me nearer £20,000 for a significantly later model and that is
To spend, say, £2000 "doing stuff" to my existing Disco is very affordable
(it deserves it) but do I risk throwing that money into a bottomless pit.
For the first few years it was serviced by Land Rover main dealer (very
expensive!) but for the past few years by my local garage and probably not
It has not been that well looked after but despite my lack of attention is
in pretty good condition.
Now decision time...
It needs a "thorough" service, a real good going over. The engine sounds
sweet but has a habit of stalling. I reckon it is an engine management
thing, dodgy sensor somewhere, intermittent, ok some days, big problem
The suspension needs replacing, I had rear shocks renewed at 75000 but new
springs and shocks all round sounds sensible now (145000 miles remember).
Exhaust needs replacing, not sure about the cats, they are still original.
I have toyed with the idea of lpg conversion but at £2000 plus, I am not
convinced. There are Discos that come up for sale that have already had
that done, maybe that would be a better route to take. 75 pounds to fill up
my tank and do 270 miles is getting scary.
The transfer box whines, a bit like a jet engine, it all works ok, sounds a
bit as though filling it up with thick oil would shut it up (I wonder if
there is much oil in it? hmmmm.) I don't really use the car off road in the
mad mudlark sense but I do use the high and low and diff lock regularly as I
tow my trailer in some odd places so it all works. A bit of clunking from
under the engine as lumps of metal bonk into place when I reverse sounds a
bit worrying sometimes but I am used to it!
Frankly I don't mind throwing a bit of money at the car to have it properly
sorted as long as I end up with something that is going to be reliable and
give me a few more years (5+) solid use, typically 7000 miles per year now.
I have been going through the necessary mental adjustment and might be
turning into a bit of a Landy Man. With most cars you run them into the
ground, throw them away and buy another one. With my Disco a different
thought process would be to mend or replace the broken bits and keep it
going (forever?), Landy thought process not Ford thought process, is that
right? or am I deluding myself, is 200,000+ miles normal for the V8? would a
rebuild be sensible, how much, when? etc etc.
I am in South Cambridgeshire, can anyone suggest a decent independent Land
Rover garage with the necessary electronic analysis kit to do a bit of
diagnosis and tweaking without charging the excessive LR dealer rates. I
don't mind travelling a few miles for someone honest and fair dealing. The
stalling issue needs sorting. Gut reaction is that it is something simple
and silly, but boy could I be wrong.
The only rust of concern is the front off-side wheel arch. Wing is ok but
the arch as badly rotted under the plastic stone guard. A bit awkward to get
at, I am tempted to slap on a blanket of fibre glass but that would be
cheating. Is this something to give a body shop to sort out? Silly money?
I have just replaced the fan belt (one great big long one) and the brake
pads all round. I am no mechanic but it was dead easy. The bad thing was
that one front pad was down to metal (feeling guilty about that one). The
really bad thing was that the rear pads (fitted by a "proper" garage in
2002... bastards) were the wrong ones. I could not work out why the new
pads were slightly different and a bit hard to slide in and it turned out
that the new ones were ok but the old ones were for a Range Rover and had a
tiny bit notched out. They had slid too far in and gouged the drum (over a
couple of years!). If I can find the original receipt I shall take the
matter up with them even though it was a few years ago. Its amazing how
something built like a truck tolerates that, and I hadn't noticed any
braking issues, you just get used to it, shows how much better it can be to
do the work yourself (just need the ability).
Sorry, I am wandering.....
Back to the need for advice..... Do I throw money at the car that I have
had for the last 10 years or look for another one.
If I keep my existing car where is a decent mechanic in North Herts / South
Cambs who can be relied upon to do a good job for a fair price.
and so on and so on, you know what I am getting at.
Thank for listening