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  #1  
Old May 28th, 2013, 09:39 PM
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Mike
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03/04 Disco

My wife and I are looking at some used 03/04 Discos. Anything particular we should be looking for? Anyone care to share ownership experiences as a family hauler?

Cheers...
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  #2  
Old May 28th, 2013, 10:54 PM
JehovahNissi77
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Ceyon Woods
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Had an 04 for about 4 years. Reluctantly sold, thought I was moving to the city post active duty.
Front drive shaft likes to go out due to non greaseable ujoints and centering ball. Ask if has been replaced.
-most '03's did not have the diff lock. If that's important look at' 04's they all do.
-not much diff btw HSE7 and SE7 besides programmable seats and bad navigation.
-All disco's pre wired for front heated seats if SE or HSE7 don't let lack of buttons throw you. Cheap upgrade.
-I never saw more than 16 mpg normal was 14 mpg and 13 mpg while towing 12' uhaul trailer from GA to NC.
-great family hauler. Kids loved all the windows but cargo space can get tight quick if you have the optional 7 seats. Dog guard can help stretch cargo to the roof.
-turns well less body roll than most people expect in a corner but no it's mini cooper
-got me through a blizzard on I-95 no snow plows just the disco and an H1.
-can be had with rear air bags and active cornering enhancement(ACE). I didn't have them.
- back seats not too good for rear facing car seat if you're tall. Center is ok but expect it to be tight btw driver and passenger. Forward facing no prob.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
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  #3  
Old May 28th, 2013, 11:15 PM
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Mike
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Thank you. Good to know. What about the drive train? I have been looking at Discos with around 100k miles. Do these 4.6s have issues with high mileage?
I don't need 7 seats, navigation etc...
I think we would have enough cargo room.

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  #4  
Old May 29th, 2013, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JehovahNissi77 View Post
-most '03's did not have the diff lock. If that's important look at' 04's they all do.
Great response, as I am considering the same two years. Thought it might be a great third car for daughter in HS.

Follow up question: based on interior photos of both years, the 'smaller engaging shifter' appear the same in both years. I heard the same you stated regarding the center diff lock on '04; what does the '03 shifter do if it not locking the diff?

Again, thank you.
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  #5  
Old May 29th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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It just goes between high and low range on the transfer case, whereas on the cars with CDL it locks the center diff as well
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  #6  
Old May 29th, 2013, 07:45 AM
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Chris luciano
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99% of all Disco owners won't ever use or need CDL, it is nice to have but don't get hung up on it. Check the rear section of frame, they are starting to rot there. Avoid D2's with ACE (active cornering) they only offered it for one year for a reason. Engines can suffer from low oil pressure and what sounds like lifter tick once warmed up, sometimes an oil pump will cure the light issue, but it won't cure the tick. I am leaning towards cam bearings, the cam is either walking or they lose enough pressure to leak down one hydraulic lifter and it starts rapping, it will eventually take out the cam. Ours (03)has been doing it since 96k it now has 118k along with an oil light.. I am just waiting. I have seen a half a dozen or so come through the shop lately all with identical issues. I think Disco's fell victim to poor maintenance schedules, most of the issues can be rectified if your somewhat mechanical. There are tons of posts on Disco issues and how to fix them. LRO or Disco web are full of "experts". Do your due diligence. A well maintained D2 is a great truck, expect to spend a ton on gas.. there is nothing you can do about it.

low oil pressure in some
upper end engine tick
run 20/50 dino oil (castrol, rotella T) the engines respond well to it
use OE or KN, Mann, wix oil filters never no name or Fram
front wheel bearings go $4 bills + for the hub
propshafts (low speed vibration, particularly on load.)
throttle plate heaters leak coolant
fans blades explode (it will take out your radiator, hood, shroud and your face if your standing next to it.
plastic radiator overflow and return lines are brittle
knocking up front over rough road, typically lower shock bushings
Wiper motors fail, as do column switches, same for sunroof motors
Tie rod ends
Water pump

none of the issues are deal breakers for me (but fixing them is what I do) other than oil lights and ticking, unless the price was right. Use your best judgement, auction cars have no history, private sale is best. See if the seller has bought another Land Rover to replace it or has others in the household (it could show they had a good experience with the brand and are loyal to it) Look for old invoices and someone who has maintained a good relationship with their mechanic. Cleanliness is key also, shows they cared for the truck, not just a fresh detail. Let it warm up but good when you look at it, wait for engine noises to present themselves. A good Disco 2 is worth owning IMHO, we have 2 Discoveries a D2 and a D1 and a Range Rover (p38) and I like them equally, despite inherent issues they all display.
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  #7  
Old May 29th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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I would stay away from the 03/04 with the 4.6. They seem to have the most motor failures. I really thought about getting one but at the end of my research I determined it was just not worth it.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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All good points. What years offered ACE?
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  #9  
Old May 29th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
I would stay away from the 03/04 with the 4.6. They seem to have the most motor failures. I really thought about getting one but at the end of my research I determined it was just not worth it.
This is true, however I recently had great success dropping in the more reliable 4.0 block from a 99-02 (also retrofitted the timing cover and engine oil cooler, etc) into my 2003. You could also use a 99-02 P38 Range Rover 4.6L engine but you really dont notice the extra .6L displacement. The stock 4.6 in 2003 and 2005 should not be expected to last much more than 150K if that long. I have been through 5 of these 03/04 trucks in 5 months and all but one the engines were bad. In fact, I just got in a Vienna Green 03 that I will be putting an engine in soon, probably another 4.0L conversion.
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  #10  
Old May 29th, 2013, 08:47 AM
JehovahNissi77
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Ceyon Woods
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03/04 only came with the 4.6 unless in UK where they had TD5. I had my 04 from 15k to 121k changed oil religiously mostly using K&N filters and shell rototella 15 or 5W40. My engine was also repaired for a tapping that would not go away. I'll have to check discoweb or LRO to see what the cause was. I did get the extended warranty until 100k. Engine overhauled around 92k saved big bucks total repairs were quoted around 7k at dealer who did the work. Only about $1200 out of pocket for machining heads and some labor.
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  #11  
Old May 29th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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Ceyon Woods
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I think you could get ACE with any DII but I personally have never come acoss any. DIIs don't really have much body roll so it's a little redundant. I always thought the rear air bag suspension woul be more useful but could never load the disco enough to justify it. As for owning another Rover... I'm here trying to snag a sweet 110 everyone misses the Rover.
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  #12  
Old May 29th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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If you came across a D2 that you really wanted, removing the ACE system would not be difficult.
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