LR Disco 97 TDi review pls

Submitted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:18
ThreadID: 102492 Views:2226 Replies:7 FollowUps:7
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Am looking at a 1997 manual turbo diesel discovery with abt 230k kms on the clock and need some advice from previous/current owners.

I was recommended by someone on this forum to take a look at the TDi 97-99 models as they were the way to go.

What do you all think?

Please no LR bashing for the fun of it, have read a few forums of people telling horror stories about "there mate/neighbour/colleague/dog..."etc who heard from a bloke on the way to work that Discos were the satan spawn. Fair enough if you have a legitimate story but I really just need some honest, but more importantly informed advise!

Thanks a lot.

Please take a look at the car, the link is below and let me know what you think!

ps: the reason I'm posting this is he needs a sale asap, this is the best deal for this model disco i have seen so far. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to drive it (trying to organise for friday).

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Reply By: 08crd - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:04

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:04
I owned one for 14 years, great vehicle, the only issues that model had were
1. the panhard rod, where it connected to the diff, would flog out over time. Easy fix.
2. If they blew a hose and lost coolant they cooked real quick and usualy required new head. People used rig up an alarm on the coolant tank by installing a Range Rover cap which had a float switch.
3. Check that the timing belt was changed at 200.000k's(every 100,000k). It cost about $1k to have it done.

Apart from the above, they are a great touring 4X4, which gets consistantly 10l/100k's.
Very comfortable to sit in and drive.
As a tow vehicle they are fairly underpowered and struggle with a 16' Jayco pop top. That was the reason I sold it and bought a 3l Jeep.
AnswerID: 512149

Follow Up By: 08crd - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:07

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:07
Forgot to mention, do not go near the 5 cylinder diesel LR.
FollowupID: 790465

Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:24

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:24
The TD5 is a superior engine but in a later model - there is nothing wrong with that engine as long as it is serviced and looked after.

FollowupID: 790466

Reply By: Axle - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:08

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:08
G/Day mate,.. Sounds like a good thing , but a lot of care and research needs to be done before you buy, I've had a Tdi 300 1996 tray back landy for 13yrs ,Engine wise they are as good as anything else internally, some of the bolt on components are a bit ordinary,...water pump, brake vacumm pump, liftpump sometimes, but if replaced around the 100,000km then theres no worry. Because theres so many importers of landy parts these days prices and availability is better than a lot of jap stuff believe me !, So don't worry about remote travelling with a landy of that era they are easy to work on , but its a good idea to really get to know the vehicle and make sure some of the so called vunerable areas are right before you do any long distance trips, could go on for hrs about it all, but those particular models in the disco one where very good.

Would prefer the auto to manual, as they where pretty well bullet proof in those models., Good Luck

Cheers Axle
AnswerID: 512150

Reply By: garrycol - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:21

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:21
There are no real issues so I would be looking for evidence on how well it has been looked after and serviced. At the Kms it has on it you will be for maintenance costs in the future but that due to the Kms and not any basic issue.

However what you are looking at is the poverty pack version and while the Kms are average for age I think the seller is seeking top dollar and it is probably over priced by a couple of grand. Looks OK but not at that price.

AnswerID: 512151

Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 17:21

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 17:21
Would tend to agree that it looks priced over the odds for the vehicle. Regardless of kilometres I would be thinking $4,000 - $4,500 and that would be absolute top...
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 14:26

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 14:26
Keith, My comments are as follows:

1. Visually the car looks very clean
2. The buy price is good
3. I would drive the car and have it independently tested
4. With 230k on the clock and like any European cars you can expect the running costs to be on the higher side, things start to fail if they already haven't.
5. Remember the buy price is only part one, it's the on-going running costs that are the real buy price when you buy a car with 230k on the clock.

Good Luck.
AnswerID: 512160

Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 14:37

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 14:37
The TDi 300 is a good engine and as others have said just ensure you are aware of some of the issues, such as timing belt etc.

You haven’t mentioned what you intend this vehicle to do for you. Is it going to do remote work, down the beach, local? The more you are going to expect of it, the more you will probably need to spend on it to ensure it is “up to spec” for your use.

The advice I would offer, and it is the same for any vehicle of this age, be prepared to spend some money on it as it is 16 years old, and regardless of how it might present itself today.

Good luck...
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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 15:14

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 15:14
Thanks mate,

I'll be taking it up to University with me in QLD and will use it to drive up and down between Melbourne on occasions, but also take it out camping etc and for other road trips along the coast with friends on the weekend / holidays, it'll be parked in a garage and not too close to the beach but of course I'd expect to take it to the beach when I go!

Thanks for the advise,

FollowupID: 790474

Reply By: mountainman - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 16:41

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 16:41
definatly take it to a landrover specialist.
and get a check over on it.

the landrover never ever for the life of the vehicle get a premium on the better models.
they were dear new, and by far the cheapest offroad, brilliant supple suspension.
their depreciation rate is by far the worst of all vehicles, but good for a used buyer..
and the diesels are fugal on the fuel.
the engines can be tweaked to get decent power upgrades, mind you not as easy as a toyota, lots of businesses can to upgrades.
but the landrover stuff your better of sticking with a specialist aftermarket company.
as they know their stuff, get it right the first time, and cheaper in the long run.
AnswerID: 512167

Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 18:53

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 18:53
Thanks the advise.

Fugal on fuel? What do you mean exactly? I've heard these models doing abt 11l/100km on the bitch - thought this is pretty good for a 4x4, no?

not needing too much power as won't be towing - at least for 3-4 years

more concerned abt fuel eco..

i have a drover specialist across the road frm me so i'll be able to use them mostly, and can even push the bloody thing there if itcomes to it...

FollowupID: 790488

Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 19:23

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 19:23
Fugal - means doesn't use much. You will probably do a little better than 11l/100 in most easy circumstances and will get about 11l/100 around town.

They are a basic engine, no electronics - just make sure the cooling system is well maintained - as was suggested I would get a low water alarm fitted - Watchdog TM4 combo comes to mind - will save your engine if you have an issue - cheap insurance.

FollowupID: 790489

Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, May 31, 2013 at 08:24

Friday, May 31, 2013 at 08:24
When I had the TDi300 in my Defender 130 it was getting around 12L/100 and it weights in around the 3,100kg mark.

Just recently put in the International 2.8 litre engine...

My other Defender, a 110, TDi200 gets around 9-10L/100

FollowupID: 790503

Reply By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Friday, May 31, 2013 at 18:09

Friday, May 31, 2013 at 18:09
Hi Keith

Check the moon roof windows these models with the glass held in with a rubber mould rust around the window glass, the later models are mounted differently,to cure the problem , look at the later models and you will see what i mean.
I came close to buying one ten years ago until i spotted the rust bubbling around the window, even if repaired you will still be chasing it down the track, if you check out the early 2 door models your bound to see one, rusted for sure.


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and that's when I thought I was wrong!

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