Disco or Prado

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008 at 23:27
ThreadID: 54288 Views:3233 Replies:9 FollowUps:20
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I currently drive a D4D Hilux and just love it, but unfortunately I need to free up some cash so the lux has to go. I'm looking at either a 1999 - 2001 TD5 Disco or a similar vintage Prado. I would like to get the TD Prado but they are holding their value quite a bit more, so I think it will be the V6. I don't want to spend any more than $25000.

The car will be mostly driven by my wife around town, but we do a lot of weekend camping/4x4ing trips with the occasional 2-3 week extended trip.

A lot of the disco's I have looked at have full dealer or land rover specialist service history, should this mean that the TD5 reliability issues will be sorted out? Is the engine wiring loom a one off change or does it need to be done again?
Thanks everyone in advance for your help.

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Reply By: Member - Jason S (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 01:11

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 01:11
Look at my pictures , don't go the Disco.

Reliability in them is not the issue.

Appologies to member Disco but the father in law owns one and we head out quite a bit.

I am assuming you are talking stock config on suspension and no electrical mods.

In the Simpson ( west to east ) he gets bogged in regularly. I have to lead so he has something to winch off. Heaven help us if I can ever talk him into east to west.

Forget the high country in the TD5.

The father in law is up to $5000 over purhase price with add ons to get half the distance I can. This puts it at owing him $25 000 where as my $6000 girl goes harder longer.

The up side is they are superb on the tar and have every mod con electrical . Economy is 10k/l but that is blown when on the tracks.

Why not settle for something else such as a 4.2 TD Patrol. It is within your price range .
AnswerID: 285905

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 17:01

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 17:01
that's hysterical, a properly driven Td5 Disco is far more capable off-road than any form of Pajero - live axles, coil springs, excellent wheel articulation and low-range gearing does that. I can only assume that your FIL isn't driving it properly, doesn't have the CDL engaged/hooked up (need to get this connected on earlier Td5s) and/or is running incorrect tyre pressures.

Contrary to what you say, performance on or offroad isn't the issue - as it's excellent. Also pretty crazy to say that economy gets blown when offroad - mine averaged 11l/100km in a weekend of highway/firetrail work in Vic high country a few weeks ago.

If anything, and once again contrary to what you say, the issue is about reliability. You need to know how to maintain Land Rovers and which things to look out for/pre-emptively fix. Fortunately in oz we have an excellent information resource to help with this: www.aulro.com . Toyotas are far more forgiving of poor maintenance, and my head would tell me to buy one of them. However, for pleasure of driving on and offroad, it's Land Rover for me - they're a bargain second hand and will sh*t on anything apart from Cruisers/Patrols (which they equal due to similar suspension configuration in older models) offroad. They are superior to Cruisers/Patrols on road in terms of handling and economy and general comfort/'ambience'.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jason S (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 07:30

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 07:30
"mine averaged 11l/100km" Yeah , they are good on the juice.

Simpson west to east. Onadatta fill up and through. I bettered the TD5 in my 2.5td ( same capacity less one cylinder ) by 15 litres.

The FIL has done HUGE off road k's with full military training on how to do so.

"You need to know how to maintain Land Rovers" All well and fine. Find a roag bit of metal out on the track that does your power steering line in and you will be waiting , waiiting for a spare to be freighted to you via Sydney.

This issue would stop most 4WDs but anything non Disco can be repaired and under way.

"it's Land Rover for me " Hey , your an enthusiast , fair enough. I am talking as a Pajero fan. I am also talking about what I see on the tracks . Disco's fail.

FollowupID: 552239

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 14:02

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 at 14:02
'Find a rogue (or 'roag' if you prefer) bit of metal...and Disco - but no other 4WD model - will be stranded...'

yep, you're right, places like William Creek stock the FULL range of spares for ALL 4WD models, but they make a point of not stocking Disco parts...

And no offence to your FIL, but regardless of his experience, if he can't beat a Pajero off-road (particularly in the High Country) in a Disco, then he needs some re-training...
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Follow Up By: Member - Jason S (SA) - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 11:43

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 11:43
Broken Hill ? Arkaroola? Onadatta? recon you would be able to find a power steering hose ? You know that one that hangs low on the motor and rather exposed ? No is the answer. Found out the hard way. Ordered the part via VKS737, disconnected the belt ( NEVER try this on a Disco!), drove it slowly into Broken Hill and sat down for 2 days waiting for delivery. I recon Broken Hill is a rather major rural center. We had a hell of a time there trying to get someone to fit the thing.

One of my Tough Dog struts finally let go there as well. Took me two calls and I was under way.

Traction control in the sand is what killed him. That and standard rims and tyres.

I offered to wire in the kit to turn it off on demand but ( and I agree with him ) he politely said "when do you realise the limit of a lemon ?".

So the original post was to get rid of his rather nice lux with a limit of $25k . I still do and will never agree that a Disco represents the same value for money as a lux no matter what year. It is a no brainer. Disco's are and will stay Toorak Tractors.

Hell if they were any good I would be in one. They are beyond cheep now. One on ebay is $3k ! My year Pajero is worth more than it now!!

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Follow Up By: pathfinder - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 12:19

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 12:19
sigh... my point was that it's ridiculous to suggest that you could find a power steering hose in remote places for every other model apart from a Disco.

I suspected traction control might have been the problem with your FIL on sand - hence he needs to have his CDL connected...with this simple mod, no probs. I've been through the Simpson in a Disco with 60 Series Cruiser, two Troopies and a 75-Series ute. My Disco and the 60 Series did things the easiest and were the only two vehicles without issues...having a correctly prepared/modded vehicle with a driver who knows what they're doing is just as important as the original vehicle choice.

I agree that our friend should keep his Hilux, and said as much below. I've owned and driven about 20 different 4WDs and I can be big enough to agree that Jap vehicles are generally more reliable and require less maintenance than European vehicles. However, you're really stretching the limits of credibility by suggesting that a Pajero is superior to a Disco in off-road ability - I haven't come across any other person or magazine that would agree with you...happy to prove this to you any time...perhaps around Mt Gibbo in the Vic High Country or on the sandstone steps of the Watagans...
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Follow Up By: Member - Jason S (SA) - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 13:31

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 13:31
Okay , my Pajero , heavily modded with every after market device minus lockers kicks the FIL's Disco. I lead , the reason why is he is over the cost of his lemon. He doesn't want to spend any more on a 4wd that is loosing thousands of resale dollars a year.

I agree that he can do the CDL and that would improve things. He has done a suspension lift which helps a little.

The credibility is not stretched when I say that my Pajero beats Disco's. I leave them for dead. I ain't as quick, I ain't as pretty but
I have a range that a disco with long range tanks cannot match. I have a setup that simply beats all TD5's that I have come across.

Vic high country , yeah , done it a few times with some cousins out of Healesville. Threw some BFG muddies on and off I went. Lockers would have helped no end but I got through. I always do.

Disco's are what they are. They cost a packet after purchase, there are a limited number of mechanics that will look at them and charge accordingly. Parts are flown into you. You pay again.

I just got my rear wheel bearings changed ( oversized rear axles ) with is a nasty job on the Pajero and it cost me $400 all up! The local wrecker's mechanic was happy to take it on! One phone call.

So what all this means is that I can and do go harder on all the tracks I go on. I do what disco's can't because mine is tough as.

While you are engaging you button to go down a hill I am up and over the next one.

"I haven't come across any other person or magazine that would agree with you" ........ Mine isn't out of any magazine. A standard Pajero of my year is a weak as dish water. Put it up to a Disco and of course even the Disco will cream it.

Mine is as far removed from original as is legal in my state and a bit more.

It is real hard to take the Disco back to what a 4wd needs to be. It will always cost more, depreciate faster and break down more than most 4wd's in it's class. It was not built for Australian conditions at all, they are just sold here.

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Follow Up By: pathfinder - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 14:10

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 14:10
a standard Disco will hose a standard Pajero offroad

a modded Disco will hose a modded Pajero offroad (trying to compare a poorly driven standard Disco with your heavily modded Pajero is pretty pointless)

I might add that a standard Series 3 Discovery is truly amazing offroad and will hose many heavily modded machines - it even hosed my modded Series 2 Discovery. Note, I am not talking reliability here as I acknowledge that earlier S3s has issues with their air suspension - I am purely talking about ability and hopefully LR have now sorted the suspension reliability issue...

end of story...hopefully...
FollowupID: 552895

Follow Up By: Member - Jason S (SA) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 11:26

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 11:26
Yeah agreed pathfinder. Good talking with you . Time for you to pay your membership.
FollowupID: 553028

Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 07:54

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 07:54
Your Father in Law needs to learn how to operate a 4x4 .

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Follow Up By: disco1942 - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 12:14

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 12:14
I'l second that.

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Follow Up By: whyallacookie - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 12:30

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 12:30
Third it, that's just wank
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Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 08:01

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 08:01
I would go for the Prado. I don' trust Disco's. They may have all of the latest electrical hardware, but in a 4wd that only means there is more to go wrong.

The Toyotas are good, strong, reliable, comfortable and the performance is good both on and off road. They are easier to get accessories for and probably cheaper to maintain too. They may not have the cafe factor of a Land Rover (looking trendy going to an upmarket cafe) but who cares?

In my eyes it isn't a contest.

AnswerID: 285915

Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 08:59

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 08:59
I realise I have a TD, but the 95 series Prado is near bullet proof for a mid size 4WD. Never had any major mechanical fault with the car. The V6 is still a capable and comfortable car.

Does all the hard stuff with our club and yet performs well as a town car and caravan tug.

After 5 years and over 140000 km I couldn't be happier.

Accessories, mods and parts are easy to get as well.

I looked at Discos of that vintage when I was buying the Prado. Couldn't find a mechanic that had a good thing to say about them.

If you can find one at the right price try for a VX or Grande or at least a GXL.

Personally I wouldn't be buying one older than 5 years.
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Follow Up By: whyallacookie - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 12:32

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 12:32
Why no older than 5 years if they are so brilliant?
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 19:31

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 19:31
Hmmmm I wonder what it was that Len Beadell was using in the remotest part of Australia....

Worth a Read

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Follow Up By: Davo_60 - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 19:54

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 19:54
I noticed in Len's DVD where he revisits the tracks there is an FJ55 in the background at a couple of the camps and it is loaded with gear. Maybe a camera crew car but would be quite rare to be travelling in one of those these days.

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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 07:40

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 07:40
"if memory serves me well"...

the/an FJ55 was the first 4wd Len actually bought. He travelled the bush with Anne and Connie Sue aboard in that vehicle. Previously he was using a constant supply of Land Rovers. I think that 55 might still be in the family.
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:08

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:08
The land rover from 50 years ago bears little resemblance to a 1999 discovery. No hiding from the disco's problems.

How were the brakes on those series 1 landies? I suppose Len Beadell didn't have to use them much.
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Reply By: time waster - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 16:55

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 16:55
Really at the end of the day will you be much better off financially considering depression on the lux now, stamp duty advertising and getting rid of a great car?
AnswerID: 285991

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 17:04

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 17:04
I would tend to agree with that. Despite my personal preference for Discos, I hired a new TD lux for the Flinders last year and they're a good thing. Transferring vehicles and rekitting/servicing them is an expensive process in itself...
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Reply By: clintro. - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 17:35

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 17:35
I have had both and there is no choice. I had a TD5 Series 2 Disco (just on 2 years old) but never used it in the bush because it was in the workshop all the time. I dumped it for a 95 series Prado which I have since sold to a mate (and bought a 120 series). It has about 145,000 on it and other than routine servicing has never seen a workshop.
Do yourself a favour, forget about the Disco!
AnswerID: 285997

Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 19:38

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2008 at 19:38
or perhaps just drive each type of vehicle you like then narrow them down with the best on offer you can afford. Never discount a vehicle type because someone on the 'net' told you too. Personally, I drive my toyota for work & my disco 2 for pleasure, neither have let me down & perform well.
FollowupID: 551028

Reply By: jeepthing - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 08:46

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 08:46

Talk to the people who own them, they are the best people to get opinions from. I'm sure there are Landrover and Toyota clubs on the net.

My neighbour has a Disco and is an experienced off road guy. he told me a little while ago the only thing he'd swap it for is my CRD V6 Jeep :)
AnswerID: 286100

Reply By: newlux - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 10:25

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 10:25
Thanks everyone for the reply's, I am starting to lean towards the Prado, it seems you get a lot more car for your money with the disco, but when travelling to out of the way places I'd rather by a car that doesn't have a reliability cloud hanging over it


AnswerID: 286125

Reply By: Ralph C - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 14:54

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 14:54
I'm with Jason. Don't go the disco unless you are (a) rich, and (b) a mechanic.
As a matter of fact avoid all pommy vehicles. Many owners like the one s below will defend their purchase to the end but then admit as one did below all the problems they have. Don't buy a Nissan Patrol GU either prior to about 2003 see thread on engine problems. I was out with a 4.7 litre petrol disco the other day and it failed to proceed due to a busted fuel pump.
I suggest a good used 80 sereis cruiser. Can be had for around $10 k upwards. Rarely go wrong.
Ralph C
AnswerID: 286149

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Friday, Feb 08, 2008 at 17:08

Friday, Feb 08, 2008 at 17:08
mmm, a '4.7 litre Disco' - now there's a new model/motor I haven't heard of...some more reliable advice from the wonderful world of the internet - it's no wonder you're with Jason who reckons that short-travel IFS is superior to long-travel live axles offroad...
FollowupID: 551493

Follow Up By: Member - Jason S (SA) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 13:47

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 13:47
Yeah , that motor is on the Jeep Cherokee Laredo Ralph.
FollowupID: 553054

Reply By: Steve - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 17:02

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 17:02
aaah, these threads are such fun. They always attract those clowns who get all emotional as soon as certain criteria arise. I'll give you a clue in one word: "Pommy". Hence posts like the Charlie who warned us about the Disco with the 4.7 litre engine. Deary me.

My two bob's worth?

If you are doing a lot of remote driving the Prado wins hands down for it's always going to be as near as you could reasonably expect to be near a Toyota dealership for service and parts if you need them. Not really an issue in town. Also, the long range fuel tank is handy on long trips. Bullet-proof reliability that beats almost anything is also a big plus. That doesn't mean the Disco TD5 is not reliable. The earlier TDi had it's problems which were eventually sorted out but the mud sticks and some just love to make sure it does. As for off-road ability, the Disco is hard to beat and a Prado isn't the one to beat it. It's also a much more pleasurable car to drive. There are no real "reliability issues" although somebody will always pop up with a story about his mate's auntie Shiela's bit on the side who never had it out of the garage. Take a few for a test drive. Head towards a 2001 Disco rather than the first '99 models off the assembly line. Oh, and I bet the wife'll prefer the Disco.

AnswerID: 287801

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