Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Landrover, Range Rover, Jeep or whatever - off-road or not, this is the one.

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Richard Moss
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Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Tue May 27, 2014 10:00 pm

Purchased just yesterday, this is the closest that I am likely to get to a Rover out here - a 2003 Land Rover Discovery 2 V8 auto. Just under 200,000 km and (supposedly) a full dealer service history. Proper Rover V8, permanent 4WD, hi/low range transfer box, ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement), hill decent control, traction control, coil springs (not self-levelling airbags), 7 seats, climate control, decent stereo (Harmon Kardon I think) and black leather interior (ouch in summer!). It does, of course, come with a few "issues":

ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement) actuator leaking (£55 plus postage from UK)
Interior light and cruise control not working(switch problems, I think)
New tyres needed soon - at least 2, probably 4
One rear door central locking actuator broken
Slightly damaged front bumper
Rear lower quarter panel trims damaged
front scuttle damaged
One external A pillar trim missing

Typical Land Rover, then - broken electrics, broken plastic trim, oil leak. Other than that it seems OK. Being a later model it doesn't have the "Marina Flap" door handles, which is a bit of a shame.

I'll try to get some better pictures in daylight but one thing that made me smile is that when I registered it the Traffic Office gave me a new plate which was in fact, the same number as my old Alfa 166 (which must have been de-registered sometime since I sold it - probably scrapped). Who says that they don't do re-cycling out here? :)

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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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rovercoup
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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by rovercoup » Tue May 27, 2014 10:14 pm

Sunday morning before breakfast jobs to do then. :lol: and I bet Lewis Hamilton would be happy with those rear tyres :shock:

but with the lack of water and ice out there tread is not necessary is it.
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BennyVitesse
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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by BennyVitesse » Tue May 27, 2014 10:46 pm

Very nice, just make sure the air con pump is in good working order. I know someone whose Disco nearly went up in smoke because the pump failed.
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Richard Moss
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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Wed May 28, 2014 3:05 am

BennyVitesse wrote:Very nice, just make sure the air con pump is in good working order. I know someone whose Disco nearly went up in smoke because the pump failed.
No smoke so far - just cool air
rovercoup wrote:Sunday morning before breakfast jobs to do then. :lol: and I bet Lewis Hamilton would be happy with those rear tyres :shock:
but with the lack of water and ice out there tread is not necessary is it.
Not too clever, are they? I've used Cooper tyres for a couple of years on my Jeeps and have been impressed with price, durability and performance offroad and on tarmac.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by aryan57 » Wed May 28, 2014 12:20 pm

Well done Richard, that should fill up your spare time nicely.
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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Wed May 28, 2014 4:15 pm

aryan57 wrote:Well done Richard, that should fill up your spare time nicely.
Spare time? What's that?
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:54 am

Update time: Must get some decent photos.

Jobs done:

New ACE actuator - ACE system bled and working beautifully and now NOT leaking oil everywhere. This thing handles REALLY well on road
All brake pads replaced. Every single pad was down to less than 1mm of friction material and the brakes were potentially lethal.
Transfer box oil seal replaced - oil now NOT coming out all the time
Axle oil replaced - the stuff that came out looked like black treacle with metal shavings in it and could well have been in there since "The Tank" was built.
Steering track bar and balljoints replaced
Missing A-pillar trim replaced
Broken C- pillar trim repaired
Mangled rear bumper and reversing lights repaired - properly :)
Broken breather hose repaired - properly (rather than the previous bodge).
Coolant replaced
Cooling fan clutch replaced
New tyres (bigger than standard at 265/65x18)
Rubber coil spring inserts to firm up the suspension
Front scuttle trim panel replaced (lower windscreen trim)
Proper cupholders fitted to the centre console
Plus lots of those little jobs that you can never remember doing when writing up a post like this

Additionally, I've got a trusted garage to replace the leaking power steering pump, do an engine/transmission oil change, fit a new engine accessories drive belt and tensioners and fit replacement rear dampers.

Initial impressions of OFF-road performance are good - plenty of power, better AC than the Jeeps but you can really feel the extra weight and bulk working against you. The permanent 4WD seems to work well but I think that it would benefit from a locking centre differential (autumn project, I think). Once I've got the hang of, it it should do the job nicely. ON-road it is much more civilised than the Jeeps but the seating position feels like I'm sitting on it, rather than in it.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:54 pm

December 2014:
I decided to tackle the "chuffing" exhaust manifolds and found that each manifold to downpipe flange had a missing/broken stud and on one side there was no gasket, either. A simple fix and whilst at it I did an ugly but sound repair to the cracked downpipe flange on the left hand side. All quiet on the Eastern front now

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Whilst under there I found that both engine mounts were broken so genuine Landrover ones were fitted. I have to say that both the exhaust and mount jobs were much easier than expected, the benefit of having plenty of space, I guess. Old engine mount on the left, new on the right

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A rear door ladder has been added - to aid access to the (yet to be fitted) roof bar extensions

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A small suspension lift was added by fitting spacers under the spring seats - this was to restore the ground clearance lost when I fitted the side steps. The steps were genuine Landrover ones that I was given - over £500 worth at new prices.

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Britpart steering guard. Huge, strong and rather heavy. This has now been partly removed to allow the winch to be fitted.
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Another job was fitting a front winch. I didn't want to fit a heavy (and expensive) metal "winch" bumper, so went for a winch plate under the bumper. It's a "rugged Ridge 8,500lb winch which I picked up at an attractive price from Icon 4x in Dubai. Fitting was fairly straightforward: the mounting plate needed a little "adjustment" with an angle grinder in order to get it to fit around the steering guard brackets but it fits nicely below the main bumper bar and in front of the radiator and aircon condensor. A little bumper trimming was required, not a problem as the bottom of the bumper was already broken, and it now looks neater anyway. The steering guard plate has been removed because it clashes with the winch mount - it will need to be trimmed to fit.

the control box is mounted on a bracket in front of the aircon cooling fan - but the box is mostly in front of the fan motor body and should not significantly reduce the airflow. The remote control plugs in on the front of the box and the plug is accessed through the slats in the grille.

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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:54 pm

This is one of the driest places on earth, but Landrovers still rust - and Discoverys are infamous for rusting around the sunroofs and this one is no exception. Rust had been (badly) "repaired" with filler stuck into the rust and every time it got wet the water poured in through both roofs. So I bit the bullet and tackled it.

Step one: remove the headliner. Sounds easy but a LOT of other interior trim has to come out and you have to be very careful as a lot of the plastic is very brittle. luckily, the only parts that bit the dust were the sunvisor clips which are easily replaced at AED25 each.
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That revealed this damage: Basically, the whole rear edge of the front roof was gone and the rear roof had rotted through in one corner.
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The rot was cut out and fresh sheet metal let in then rust treated, filled and sprayed with aerosol silver. Sounds simple when you say it like that ......but it took a couple of days to do.
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Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:59 pm

PS: I've decided that I'm going to fit the winch on the Grand Cherokee, so it has been removed from the Discovery and is awaiting a suitable mounting plate.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by CHR15E » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:12 pm

That's crazy, how bad are they over here?
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Re: Almost a Rover - 2003 Discovery

Post by Richard Moss » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:17 am

Discovery 1s tend to rust most in the boot floor and rear part of the chassis.

On the Discovery 2, sunroof apertures and chassis are the biggest problem in the UK. I suspect that it's down to the design of the sunroof seal which allows water to sit just under the lip of the sunroof frame, trapped against the roof panel - I've hopefully eliminated that problem by putting a load of silicon sealant in there. The joke is that the chassis is made from recycled D1 boot floor panels (the real problem is poor paint protection).
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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