1991 Landrover Discovery problems?

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 19:34
ThreadID: 7134 Views:13647 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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I'm looking to buy a 4wd in the near future, when I get rid of my current car. I have seen an ad in the local newspaper (Perth) for a 1991 Landrover Discovery v8 5spd for $9999...

Can anyone tell me any problems with these cars? Surely for that price there must be something wrong with these cars...? Are they unreliable? not very capable offroad?

Any help would be much appreciated! As you can probably tell I know nothing about Landrovers!

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Reply By: Member - Eric- Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 19:52

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 19:52
Now I know some one will but my head off ,bull il give you my 2 bob's worth anyway . Everytime we go away on hard tracks , the best excuses are made by our mate with a disco . You dug the tack up , thats why I couldnt make it up , I got stuck because , My car is leaking oil because , the list goes on and on . At least the disco wont rust , from the amount of oil they leak. Most parts are very expensive .

I wil say this though , if you are mechanicly minded & are willing to roll the sleaves up and do some work on it yourself , and are willing to sourse parts from other landrover enthusiests , you can build them up to be a good truck , they have a strong V8 with plenty of grunt . If you dont know a spaner from a screw driver , My advice would be stay away .

as for a 1991 for 10 k , sounds a little steep for Melbourne anyway , i see a lot of 95 96 for around 13 k here Craigs hut 2003
AnswerID: 30608

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Monday, Sep 15, 2003 at 13:53

Monday, Sep 15, 2003 at 13:53
eric - I would have to agree with GreyDemons comments below. I would suggest that your friends inability to keep up with others has less to do with the vehicles capability than his own. I would happily put my Disco up against a Cruiser or Patrol on any terrain - let's face it, they're all dual live axle, coil spring with similar approach/departure/rampover angles...and my Disco will hose a 100 series off road.
FollowupID: 22050

Follow Up By: Member - Eric- Monday, Sep 15, 2003 at 15:33

Monday, Sep 15, 2003 at 15:33
The only comment I can make is , that my mate is a fair offroader, I am unsure of what terrain you 4x4 on , but the black ranges seams to be unkind to the Disco . I have been off road with many vehicles and agree that most are equal in off road abilaty . Its on Big hill climbs with very deep ruts that the disco seems to cop out . Might have something to do with suspention travel , to light , who knows , I can only comment on what I have seen. Through mud and no so extreme tracks , I will agree that most vehicle are equal , incluiding a friends challanger .Craigs hut 2003
FollowupID: 22062

Reply By: Blackie - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 21:55

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 21:55
damianf ask the question here............

AnswerID: 30625

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 22:29

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 22:29
I agree with "some" of Erics comments, oil leaks, (if it hasn't got an oil leak it isn't a genuine Rover drive train, oil resistant mudflaps are the go), the price of parts etc are all correct, I have a Rangie which is similar in a lot of ways, anything more than a puddle you will need a tin of WD40, I have a tin of WD 40 mounted on the inner wing for convenience. I find the Range Rover an awsome off road tool, this offsets some of the other issues mentioned, the ride is good, good driving position, I have more electrics related issues than I would like, "I roll my sleeves up" so I save a lot here, if you're not mechanically orientated then a $9999 Land Rover may not be your best option you might be buying someone elses problems. If you get a warranty it may well be worth considering, running costs are Ok, fuel consumption from hell, the later models with the 3.9 etc are better. Depreciation is poor, resale is low as you are finding out, an 85 model Rangie is worth about $7000 in good nick. I assume Land Rovers will be similar.
I hope it's a good one, good luck if it is Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 30630

Reply By: Martin - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 23:07

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 23:07
My experience with Landrovers owned by others would back up all that's been said about unreliability, oil leaks and getting bogged. "The Toyotas dug the track up" has been heard a few times! One that hasn't been mentioned is range bettween fills. Friend who had V8 often complained that he couldn't go far. I think his tank was about 80 litres?? which gave him a range of around 400km. Another friend has a diesel and he seems to be able to go longer between fills. The diesel is as renowned for economy as the petrol is for guzzling I think.
AnswerID: 30636

Reply By: GUPatrol - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 11:08

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 11:08
On a recent trip to north QLD, one of the vehicles in our convoy was a range rover V8 (same running gear as the Discovery).
Problems with that vehicle on that trip alone were:
Blown head gaskets (fixed along the way by doing both heads)
Power steering failure (fixed along the way on another town)
Other miscelaneous electrical problems
Started to jump out of low range....
Continued to jump out of low range
Continued to have electrical problems
On the way back, it started to jump out of high range
Continued to jump out of both low and high range making it impossible to drive.
Vehicle had to be put on a car trailer and towed back home behind a GQ patrol.

On the same trip a Land Rover Discovery TD5 had a blown transmition seal which required the g/box to come out.

I am not biased, just exactly what happened.
AnswerID: 30664

Reply By: greydemon - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 16:36

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 16:36
Hi Damianf, I suppose that you are genuine and not just stirring the pot here. Do a search of the forum and have a look at the bull that flies around every time Land Rovers are mentioned - usually from people who know people who know people who have Landrovers.

I am also from the Perth area and think that you could actually find a better deal. If you are looking for a vehicle around that price I assume that you don't have a lot of money to throw around - in which case don't buy a V8 Disco, they do not exactly run on the smell of an oily rag. The TDI diesel on the other hand is an excellent vehicle and very economical. Unfortunately for this reason they tend to hold their prices better than the V8.

I have a 96 Disco Tdi, prior to this I had a 90 Pajero petrol/gas. Both were excellent vehicles, both took me on long off road trips (Gunbarrel for the Pajero, Gibb River, Mitchell falls and Bungles with the Disco) and neither of them gave me any major problem. Strangely enough both developed irritating minor faults with the rear door locks. The Disco, being diesel and newer, was much better at towing the off road trailer I drag around, I really wasn't aware that it was there for nearly 9000ks.

At Drysdale Station there is a display showing how one traveller got out of trouble by fixing a tree trunk to his vehicle like a skid so that he could be towed back to civilisation. he wasn't driving a Landrover but either a Landcrusher or a Patrol, I can't remember which. My point is that from what I have seen on my travels it seems to make little difference which vehicle you buy, the difference is how you drive and maintain it, and even more .... how lucky (or otherwise) you are.

Because of the comfort and on-road drivability of the Disco I agree that many of them are driven by people who do not know how to use them to the peak of their ability. I have taken mine off road locally and it has never failed to get me where I want to go, even if the track has been cut up by the other vehicles I politely allow to go first. It is extremely capable but the most important off road 'accessory' lies between your ears, if you don't know what you are doing you will get stuck no matter what you are driving.

I would certainly buy a Landrover again, but I would also look around to find out what else is available at the time to suit my needs. When I bought the Disco I needed an economical vehicle with three decent seats in the rear - no transmission tunnel, no split or hump in the middle seat. I was originally looking for another gas Pajero but there was no way I would make a child travel a long way on the more modern Pajero's middle seat.

My advice is to work out exactly what you want to do with the vehicle and keep an open mind on make.

Have fun


AnswerID: 30679

Follow Up By: Alan H - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 17:30

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 17:30
Damian, my experience with my '96 300 Tdi Disco was much the same as Greydemons. I had very few probs.except for a leaking heater core which was expensive to replace. The only oil leak of any real annoyance was from the rocker cover gasket.
It went from Esperance to Broome and Cape Leveque,Exmouth, Albany,dirt, sand or rocks with out any trouble. Got bogged a couple of times on the sand between Wedge and Lancelin, due more to my inexperience than anything ........... should have let the tyres down earlier!
Sometimes carried 3 adults and 2 kids with no probs. and a full roof rack.
Comfortable vehicle which did all I wanted and was economical as well, if you've got deep pockets for fuel, buy the V8.
Buy whatever catches your eye at the time, if it's been well maintained and you keep it maintained, you should have no trouble.
FollowupID: 21711

Reply By: Peter H - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 17:59

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 17:59
I owned a 1993 v8 Disco for five years. I thought it was great - fun to drive - good off road comfortable - BUT I reckon I paid for it twice over. Had problems with:

Gearbox (Selector disconnected on low tide beach on Fraser)
Two major electrical failures (including something approaching an onboard fire which required a specialist to remove the dash to fix)
Wheel bearings
Brakes master cylinder
fuel pump
door catches
water pump

Everytime I spent money I thought "this is it - the car should be petty good now" - never was.

I drive a Toyota now which I find reliable but soulless - at least the Disco had some character and I nearly miss it


AnswerID: 30693

Reply By: spanky - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 18:42

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 18:42
Yes get one of you have a beard. Put a couple of Hiclones in as they will get heaps better milage. Take them up to the snow to go cross country skiing with your bag of scroggin. Also take lots of pictures of animals through the oversized windows. Oh yeah get one for the resale value. Land Rovers hold really well. Also buy a roof rack or a trailer or both cause the rear storage space is only big enough to fit a small esky. Oh yeah they are full time 4WD and you will need this in the city. Just remeber to replace all of your drive line every 50,000 as it will wear. Dont worry about rust as it has built in lubricating rust inhibitor (aka. oil leaks) and by the way you cannot see anything out of the rear window cause the spare tyre is so big and sticks up like the proverbial. By the way they are known for electrical faults too. Do a search in this forum under land rover discoveries and learn THE TRUTH about this fantastic british import that has been designed so well for our conditions. You will learn something. Glad I could help. Cheers Spanky
AnswerID: 30698

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Monday, Sep 15, 2003 at 13:49

Monday, Sep 15, 2003 at 13:49
spanky, I think you need to change a couple of letters of your username to make it more applicable... People (should) partake in this forum with something factual to say to provide genuine assistance to other likeminded people. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and have no personal experience with the product...so perhaps keep your fingers to yourself until you do...
FollowupID: 22049

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