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 Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.

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David_Cooper
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PostSubject: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:40 pm

Hi all,
thought Id share my Land Rover that certainly would have been scrapped if I hadn't stepped in.

Bought on ebay last year for £not a lot, this 1993 Discovery had sat for 8 years after the elderly owner died. Apparently, the grieving wife couldn't bare to dispose of it and hence it sat on her driveway totally untouched, in all weathers until she passed away.
The son of the previous owner then had the unenviable task of clearing everything from the house and garages and put the Disco' on ebay, very much as spares or repairs.

It was about 10 miles from me, so I took a look. Under all the grime, scratches and odd dent was actually a very reasonable example. Very little rust to speak of, only 73k and long-term ownership. These early 200tdi Discos are relatively rare now, most have succumbed to the dreaded rot and had their TDi engines harvested for use in (much more valuable..) Defenders. I hated these cars when they were new- thought they looked awful! But now, for some reason I am warming to the early examples. The Discovery saved Land Rover and it's clear that the car was designed very much on a budget.
For example, we have Maestro Van rear lights, Montego/ Metro instruments and stalks and everything underneath is pure Range Rover Classic- shameful really! Very Happy

Anyway, pictures-

As it laid.
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Very neglected.
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After a month's hard work.
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more to follow...
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David_Cooper
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PostSubject: Re: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:56 pm

It took a lot of hard graft to get it back in the black.

First off, the entire braking system and tyres were renewed. This is most important for a car that has sat for so long.

Then the body was addressed.
Mainly, cleaning was required but the front end required plenty of replacement parts. Both headlamps, grille, indicators, bumper, end caps and valance were renewed to get it looking straight.

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I found a fair set of correct-period alloys and fitted wider 235/70/16 tyres to them.

Then engine surgery was required.
These 200tdi's are very solid lumps with one exception- the head gasket can blow between a pushrod tube and the cylinder.

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This causes an alarming leak of combustion gasses out of the oil filler and dipstick tube, making you think you have a major ring/ piston problem. However, repair is simple.

I cleaned and painted the head, fully re-conditioning it at the same time.

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After a full service, including ALL fluids in and under the vehicle, cambelt kit, it was good to go! An MoT was gained without too much trouble and finally the car could be pressed into (careful..) service!

First big journey was a 500-mile round trip around Somerset. The old girl performed well.
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I've skipped LOADS but in essence, this is not bad for budget motoring! The car, including purchase, parts, transportation, tax etc etc has come in at under £1k. About right for a clean-ish 3-door Discovery.
It averages 29/30mpg with my everyday driving. I make it cheaper by running 100% on biodiesel which the farmer behind my place of work sells for £1.00 a litre. I can't do the maths, but I reckon that makes it the equivalent of around 40mpg. Not bad for a 2ton+ beast! Parts are cheap, REALLY cheap and normally up to the job.

It's done 5k miles now and is proving to be reliable. The rust is a constant battle, you really need to look after an old Landy, but overal, I'm happy Thumb

Just seeing the very dated bright blue interior is enough to keep me interested in it!

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LacyK
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PostSubject: Re: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:26 pm

Wonderful. Although, as you say, designed on a budget, this was a 'breakthrough' model and that Conrad designed interior was pure genius. Much nicer and more pure than the rather bland interiors of the later 300tdi's. I used to have a V8 GWAC in stunning condition that I sold on only for it be written off a fortnight later by the new owner on a dual carriageway...gutted...

Best of luck with your Discovery, as you know, mechanically they are as tough as old boots especially the Tdi but you have to keep the corrosion at bay...looks like you have found a nice one though!
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LacyK
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PostSubject: Re: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:27 pm

Sorry, should be 'Conran' not 'Conrad'!
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David_Cooper
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PostSubject: Re: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:46 pm

Hi LacyK, yes the interior does seem quite unusual now compared to the modern black/ grey dashboards. Must say, it's a bugger to keep clean though, hence the Asda seat covers Embarassed It's not in the pics but I also have the original 'cubby bag' that clips into the centre console between the front seats, it's quite useful.
Very jealous that you owned a G-WAC, must be the holy grail of Discoverys! It's sad that these cars are not appreciated by many- probably because of their ugly duckling looks and the fact they're overshadowed by the Range Rover. I waxoiled the death out of this one during the recommissioning work.. but I shall do more this summer. Just wish it wasn't such a wishy-washy colour Sad

edit almost forgot- Morris Marina door handles! LRM

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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:31 pm

I never realised these were a raider of the lost parts bin, that somehow makes it all the more wonderful that you've saved it. I cannot recall when I last saw one of these in the wild, I'd almost completely forgotten about them.
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David_Cooper
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PostSubject: Re: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:32 am

Yup, Discovery (or project 'Jay') cost only £45 million from start to finish- amazingly cheap for a new worldwide volume seller. When the Land Rover Commercial Director introduced the new vehicle, he actually added another £100 million to the real figure during a press conference because he thought no-one would take him seriously !! Like you say, the parts-bin specials kept the cost down. Headlamps are from an LDV/ Freight Rover (now extinct) Very Happy

Early, pre-facelift Discoverys are quite a rare sight nowadays; like you say Vulgalour, most people have forgotten them. The facelift models from 1994 (or '300' series) are a more common sight but they're dying quickly too.
200-series cars are still relatively numerous in actual fact, but the majority are now purely off-road toys, some are heavily modified, some are too rotten to ever get another MoT again No
That's why I'm trying to keep this one up to road going standard. It makes a great everyday car, comfortable, reliable and a fair bit smaller than the current vast SUV/4x4 monsters with their stupid plastic bumpers etc! Pain
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LacyK
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PostSubject: Re: Land Rover Discovery, lucky escape.   Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

Those Morris marina door handles found themselves on lots of cars.....Lotus Elite, for example!
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