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  #1  
Old March 5th, 2013, 12:26 PM
clthonraltam
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Matt Murphy
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Location: Tampa, FL
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2003 Discovery

So I have a Jetta that I am selling to buy a Disco. I've always liked the 2003-2004 model for some reason. Anyway, I found one near me with ~70k miles. The guy selling it is a wholeseller and doesn't have service history. My question is, what sort of things should I be on the look out for? I have done some minor research, 3 amigos, and would like to get some first hand experience about this year. I am buying it as a commuter, 3 miles to work, and a beach truck.

http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/ctd/3660138453.html
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  #2  
Old March 5th, 2013, 01:28 PM
rmuller
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Ryan
1966 S2a 88" | 2006 LR3
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Some of the 2003s had an issue with their oil pumps, basically failing and taking out the whole engine with it. The VIN's end in 3A771801 - 3A808362... It's kinda accepted though if they were going to fail due to that, it would have been earlier in their life. Also the 2003 does not have CDL as opposed to the 2004, you would have to replace the transfer case or add the bits to make it lockable. In general, 2004s are better than 2003s, and most people tend to avoid 2003s if possible.

Oh, also to add, just in general, Discovery IIs generally need their headgaskets done around that mileage... make sure to always look at the coolant tank when checking out Disco2's, if its low at all, it's a good indication that it'll need work...
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-------------
Current:
1966 Series IIa "Olive"
2001 Discovery II
2006 LR3 HSE7


Past: 1994 Defender 90 #416, 2001 Discovery II
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  #3  
Old March 5th, 2013, 02:43 PM
psykokid
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Jake
1997 Disco
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If you are in a position to wait and look around for a little bit i'd echo the above comments on holding out for an 04 since they are outside the oil pump failure vin range and they come with a CDL out of the box without going through the hassle and cost of having to swap another transfer case in and then buy the necessary linkage for it. Just the labour and cost of parts could easily add a couple of grand to the price you pay for an 03 to have the CDL added.
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  #4  
Old March 5th, 2013, 06:58 PM
clthonraltam
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Matt Murphy
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Great advice guys. I appreciate it. What about a 99-02? Will I face similar problems?
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  #5  
Old March 5th, 2013, 07:27 PM
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rovertek
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chris
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check the rear frame rails.......make sure all the fluids were serviced...
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  #6  
Old March 5th, 2013, 08:35 PM
giftshopduane
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Chris luciano
72 Series 3 88"
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Here's my .02$

CDL not such a big deal, your in super flat Florida don't get hung up on whether it has it or not
Pre-03' especially, check the rear frame rails as noted.
04's are just as susceptible to oil pump failure as 03's, its more of a crap DII 4.6 thing
The VIN range oil pump failures were very specific and usually failed in relatively short time, the rest will wear out eventually.
Let it get up to temp let it idle and wait for the ticking to start, if it doesn't then it's a decent motor
Oil pumps fail, you can still have a good runner with no oil light noises etc. and still have a cracked pump
If you find one get a pre purchase and have a shop hook up an oil pressure gauge confirm operating pressures, google is your friend for the specs.
Fan blades can fail, it will either: Take out your hood, take out your radiator or take out your arm and face if your revving the motor by the cable, stand to the side.
Expect to replace a window regulator at some time
Wiper function can fail (particularly low speed or intermittent) its usually just the wiper motor, lately its been the stalk.
Avoid ACE.. the theory and practice are nice, but that effing pump drives me crazy
Watch out for the black plastic hoses for the coolant system, they get brittle, especially the one by the air filter housing, replace them with rubber.
Expect the throttle housing plate to start leaking coolant
Expect head gaskets at some point
Keep and eye on valve cover gaskets
Expect to replace a leaking power steering pump
Windshields leak in the upper corners
The caulking in the drip edges crack and the roof leaks
Sunroof drains clog and leak
Sunroof drains snap off and leak
All of which share the same symptoms (a wet headliner at the visors)
If the battery is dead and you need to move the truck, pop off the shifter surround and push the solenoid in at the shifter interlock, then shift into neutral
Move the passenger seat forward BEFORE you put down the right rear seat or else the snap for the rear cover will rip your seat
Lower shock bushings wear out and the truck clunks over bumps
Use a heavier oil than 30wt.. I have switched to 20/50 Rotella T.. and use a premium oil filter (K&nMAhle, MANN, Bosch OE....never NEVER Fram)
Ditch the K&N air filters, or run them dry unoiled.
There is no way to get better gas mileage unless you buy another car.
Buy an extended warranty or aftermarket warranty, you will need it at some point or at least be glad you have it.
Don't mix Dex cool with green antifreeze (just run Dex..)
Read and re-read the proper way to fill and bleed the coolant system, the gurgling under the dash will run you nutty.

I think that's it for now. We really like ours, I keep after everything, it fits the whole family (5 kids..) relatively indestructible and looks great. I have been living with a low oil light and engine tick while hot for 20k miles now, at stops we just raise the idle a little and the light goes out. Until the motor fails and I can rebuild it this is the way it will be.

Keep on top of maintenance, be very diligent with oil changes and checking your fluids, I can tell the difference right away with how one has been maintained.

Pay up front for a good one, do your homework and make sure you are friendly with a COMPETENT shop that is well versed in Disco's and have the diagnostic capacity.
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  #7  
Old March 5th, 2013, 09:16 PM
RoversNorth
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RN
2012 Land Rover Defender
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Westford
Posts: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by giftshopduane View Post
Here's my .02$

CDL not such a big deal, your in super flat Florida don't get hung up on whether it has it or not
Pre-03' especially, check the rear frame rails as noted.
04's are just as susceptible to oil pump failure as 03's, its more of a crap DII 4.6 thing
The VIN range oil pump failures were very specific and usually failed in relatively short time, the rest will wear out eventually.
Let it get up to temp let it idle and wait for the ticking to start, if it doesn't then it's a decent motor
Oil pumps fail, you can still have a good runner with no oil light noises etc. and still have a cracked pump
If you find one get a pre purchase and have a shop hook up an oil pressure gauge confirm operating pressures, google is your friend for the specs.
Fan blades can fail, it will either: Take out your hood, take out your radiator or take out your arm and face if your revving the motor by the cable, stand to the side.
Expect to replace a window regulator at some time
Wiper function can fail (particularly low speed or intermittent) its usually just the wiper motor, lately its been the stalk.
Avoid ACE.. the theory and practice are nice, but that effing pump drives me crazy
Watch out for the black plastic hoses for the coolant system, they get brittle, especially the one by the air filter housing, replace them with rubber.
Expect the throttle housing plate to start leaking coolant
Expect head gaskets at some point
Keep and eye on valve cover gaskets
Expect to replace a leaking power steering pump
Windshields leak in the upper corners
The caulking in the drip edges crack and the roof leaks
Sunroof drains clog and leak
Sunroof drains snap off and leak
All of which share the same symptoms (a wet headliner at the visors)
If the battery is dead and you need to move the truck, pop off the shifter surround and push the solenoid in at the shifter interlock, then shift into neutral
Move the passenger seat forward BEFORE you put down the right rear seat or else the snap for the rear cover will rip your seat
Lower shock bushings wear out and the truck clunks over bumps
Use a heavier oil than 30wt.. I have switched to 20/50 Rotella T.. and use a premium oil filter (K&nMAhle, MANN, Bosch OE....never NEVER Fram)
Ditch the K&N air filters, or run them dry unoiled.
There is no way to get better gas mileage unless you buy another car.
Buy an extended warranty or aftermarket warranty, you will need it at some point or at least be glad you have it.
Don't mix Dex cool with green antifreeze (just run Dex..)
Read and re-read the proper way to fill and bleed the coolant system, the gurgling under the dash will run you nutty.

I think that's it for now. We really like ours, I keep after everything, it fits the whole family (5 kids..) relatively indestructible and looks great. I have been living with a low oil light and engine tick while hot for 20k miles now, at stops we just raise the idle a little and the light goes out. Until the motor fails and I can rebuild it this is the way it will be.

Keep on top of maintenance, be very diligent with oil changes and checking your fluids, I can tell the difference right away with how one has been maintained.

Pay up front for a good one, do your homework and make sure you are friendly with a COMPETENT shop that is well versed in Disco's and have the diagnostic capacity.
More than half of the things you noted, I've gone through with mine.

Don't get sunroofs.

Don't get features, bare. bones. rover.
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  #8  
Old March 5th, 2013, 09:18 PM
rmuller
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Ryan
1966 S2a 88" | 2006 LR3
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Caldwell, NJ
Posts: 1,056
I will have to disagree with CDL not being a big deal -- That is what actually turns your truck into 4WD versus AWD... if you're going to offroad anything past a dirt road, CDL is a requirement.

On that note -- 99/00/01[to.mid.year] have the CDL transfer case in them, you need to put a lever or swap out the CDL handle from a D1 or 2004
02/03 does not have CDL transfer case, you need to swap case or the bits
__________________
Ryan
-------------
Current:
1966 Series IIa "Olive"
2001 Discovery II
2006 LR3 HSE7


Past: 1994 Defender 90 #416, 2001 Discovery II
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  #9  
Old March 5th, 2013, 10:33 PM
giftshopduane
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Chris luciano
72 Series 3 88"
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Shirley MA
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmuller View Post
I will have to disagree with CDL not being a big deal -- That is what actually turns your truck into 4WD versus AWD... if you're going to offroad anything past a dirt road, CDL is a requirement.

On that note -- 99/00/01[to.mid.year] have the CDL transfer case in them, you need to put a lever or swap out the CDL handle from a D1 or 2004
02/03 does not have CDL transfer case, you need to swap case or the bits
I will disagree on the CDL. Bear in mind... " I am buying it as a commuter, 3 miles to work, and a beach truck" we are talking Tampa here, and I will argue the CDL is a "requirement" helpful yes, nice to have yes, will save your ass yes, requirement, no. My P38 and 03' D2 are certainly capable off road in areas worse than a dirt road (but that is not why I own them), CDL is a bonus.. our D1 is great, Sandy snowed me up to the doors, plow guys over the rear bumper.. got in and drove off.. our D2 and P38 took a little rocking but they too pulled right out. In the right hands a non CDL Land Rover is plenty. It certainly shouldn't be a deal breaker given his requirements. We are talking a DISCOVERY 2 here..99% have never and will never be at a disadvantage without CDL (18" rims Michelin LTX's!!)

By the way that is a clean truck, well presented.. the price is good, worth looking into.
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  #10  
Old March 6th, 2013, 06:46 PM
clthonraltam
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Matt Murphy
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Posts: 14
Wow, thanks for the tips guys! Yea, the CDL really isn't anything I will need. AWD is fine. Literally I will probably put 3k miles on it in 6 months. I really just want something that can get me to work and back. But I think I am going to take a look at the one I posted. It thought it was really clean. Might consider an aftermarket warranty. I have until Friday to make a decision.
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