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How to dismantle a 1997 V8 Disco


Phill S
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I hope you're not all going to hate me, but I've bought a 1997 Mk1 insurance write-off for the engine and transfer box. Really only light damage, but considered uneconomic to repair. It's a transplant job into a 1987 110 2.5 NA diesel. You will at least understand the motive!

I need to get the Disco delivered, dismantled and unwanted parts gone asap. I know zilch about the Disco and how it's put together, so the question is, what's the quickest way to get the interior out, body off down to chassis to make it the easiest possible job to get the engine and boxes out, and the chassis engine mounts chopped out. And anything else I can use that haven't thought of. It's only done 61k miles so the interior is very good and I don't want to damage that - hoping to sell that sort of thing off to subsidise the project.

Thanks and have a great Christmas!

Phill

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Interior needs to kept indoors, or left in situ until buyer is found.

I suggest you buy a Haynes manual, this will tell you most of what you need to know, and it will come in handy anyway for the engine etc.

Mechanically its pretty much the same as a Defender. Doors wings and tailgate are all saleable, as are the axles (Vulcan Bomber on here is looking for a rear axle)

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You might want to come up with a list of things you will want/need from the Disco for your 110. For example, these are low mileage, newer axles with rear brake discs and 24 spline shafts - these would be considered an upgrade by most people - however - you might be aiming to keep originality (and DVLA points) so shouldn't swap. Even though they are different vehicles, there is a lot of commonality in the mechanicals.

Just one of the things to consider as you'll regret parting it out only to need some of the parts later. Discos are much more civilised vehicles so the seats and other parts are far superior to Defender stuff.

That said, it's very easy to end up with two ruined cars by trying to make a Defscovery.

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ThreePointFive has a valid point !

Indeed, you could consider putting the 110 body on the Disco chassis and making a 100 inch hybrid, or even keeping the Disco, much nicer to drive ? Mind you, they do go rusty !

Plus your 110 will soon be tax exmept, will it not ?

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If you have the means to lift it and a place to store it, the easiest and fastest way would be to take the body off the chassis, complete with interior etc. That gives you easy access to the mechanlcals you need and keeps the other, saleable parts dry without the need for a serious amount of racking to store everything.

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Hurrah! She Who Must Be Obeyed, aka SWMBO, has gone Boxing Day swimming with her crazy friends, and I have a couple of hours for Land Rover research...

First thing maybe to say is that I've started a build thread on my 1987 110 here:

Where I have started to compile a list of all the bits I'll want to keep. Please weigh in with any thoughts here or there

Now...

On 12/24/2021 at 5:24 PM, David Sparkes said:

Are you doing the dismantling outside or inside?

Inside - same for parts removed. I'll post a pic of my workshop maybe tomorrow. I think it just helps for you guys to see the constraints of what I'm doing

On 12/24/2021 at 5:37 PM, smallfry said:

Interior needs to kept indoors, or left in situ until buyer is found.

I suggest you buy a Haynes manual

Yes plan to keep inside, it's actually in really good condition and it would be a crime to let that deteriorate. However. I don't have a lot of space and it will need to be gone asap. Problem is we're talking Lands End Airport area so I don't have that big a catchment area. Somebody's going to get a bargain. I'm assuming I'll sell the entire seats, door cards, headling, dash etc in one shot for somebody who is doing a complete makeover.

Haynes manual arrived Christmas eve. Only had a chance to leaf through it so far. Seem now to have more questions than answers. I will also get one for the 1987 110 V8 with the aim of making the end result as close to standard as I can.

On 12/24/2021 at 5:37 PM, smallfry said:

Mechanically its pretty much the same as a Defender. Doors wings and tailgate are all saleable, as are the axles (Vulcan Bomber on here is looking for a rear axle)

Drivers door is damaged, I'll start posting pictures when it gets here. Again though, I'll be needing to dispose asap because of space limits.

Are you saying the axles would fit the 110? What about prop shafts?

On 12/24/2021 at 5:50 PM, ThreePointFive said:

You might want to come up with a list of things you will want/need from the Disco for your 110. For example, these are low mileage, newer axles with rear brake discs and 24 spline shafts - these would be considered an upgrade by most people - however - you might be aiming to keep originality (and DVLA points) so shouldn't swap. Even though they are different vehicles, there is a lot of commonality in the mechanicals.

Just one of the things to consider as you'll regret parting it out only to need some of the parts later. Discos are much more civilised vehicles so the seats and other parts are far superior to Defender stuff.

That said, it's very easy to end up with two ruined cars by trying to make a Defscovery.

Ok - my parts list will be taking shape on my build thread above, but any recommendations here gratefully received. I like sound of uprated brakes, so if axles fit with minimum of hassle I'll weigh that in the balance - I'll go searching on here for what's involved in that upgrade before asking questions. They've probably all been asked before. I'd be sad to part with my original axles though, they've only done 3,500 miles. Ex-army radio vehicle...

Yeah, I'd like to look after my DVLA points and preserve the upcoming Historic Vehicle status. Think I'm ok on the engine as it was a contemporary option (sort of) but would newer axles and better brakes affect that? Will look into it.

Certainly want to avoid ruining my 110...

On 12/24/2021 at 6:09 PM, smallfry said:

you could consider putting the 110 body on the Disco chassis and making a 100 inch hybrid

Nah that would be too silly, even for me. Reason I bought this particular 110 is the chassis. Spent its life in Singapore and the chassis and general bodywork are outstanding

On 12/24/2021 at 9:30 PM, Escape said:

If you have the means to lift it and a place to store it, the easiest and fastest way would be to take the body off the chassis, complete with interior etc. That gives you easy access to the mechanlcals you need and keeps the other, saleable parts dry without the need for a serious amount of racking to store everything.

Sadly I don't have that option, so it will have to come apart piecemeal. I read somewhere the front wings bolt on? That will help a little. Drivers side probably beyond repair, but there are smart people out there. Bonnet has a couple of dinks but not tooo bad. I assume the rest of the bodyshell is spot welded and I'll need to take an angle grinder to it. Unless sombody wants to come and help me get it off and take it away as a freebie. would save me a trip to the scrappy. Anyway, assuming me on my tod and spot welded I don't have oxy - unless I can rent it?

I have serious racking, but will need serious rationalisation to dispose of prized Riley RM parts. This is going to be tough...

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So here is my working area:

498902599_20211227_1019001.thumb.jpg.60380dff08de4afeea4630785229b3aa.jpg

Been having a serious rationalise today, and the cull continues tomorrow. Poor old Riley has to find a new temporary home while the Disco is in residence. 

Anyway, gives you an idea of my Disco dismantling challenge...

 

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Change of engine will be points lost, but axles are coiler to coiler so just like for like replacement parts. Brakes are not points and are a safety upgrade so are points exempt for the axle change anyway.

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Front axle is a swap, back axle not because 110 has a higher weight rating.

If you're doing a V8 swap I'd want the whole powertrain - engine, boxes, mounts, linkages, wiring harness, plumbing, exhaust at least as far as the back of the transfer box, fuel system... it's all far cheaper to remove from the disco than buy new bits later even if some parts don't transfer.

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Looks like my axle swap comments were bad advice then, definetly don't do that..

That said, I'm happy to be corrected about the axle swap and DVLA points. I've stared at the DVLA website and it states that there must be two major components retained from the original vehicle besides original (or new replacement) chassis, calling out suspension separately from axles:

You must also have 2 other major components from the original vehicle from the following lists.

For cars or light vans:

  • suspension (front and back)
  • steering assembly
  • axles (both)
  • transmission
  • engine

What it doesn't say is that these must be the original axles for the original vehicle.... Anyway, I don't want to push this off topic, it's just something to be aware of.

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12 hours ago, missingsid said:

Change of engine will be points lost

I thought if you were putting in the type of engine that was available as an option at the time of manufacture your points were preserved? Or is it 3.9 that's the problem? Maybe I'm just out of date. I'll check the DVLA site

11 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Front axle is a swap, back axle not because 110 has a higher weight rating.

I've been advised elsewhere my current 110 axles are stronger? Here:

On 12/26/2021 at 3:48 PM, Jon W said:

Yours will have early 110 10 spline axles with the larger stronger cvs. Disco axles will be no stronger. The rear axles is a Salisbury axle to plenty strong enough

 

11 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

If you're doing a V8 swap I'd want the whole powertrain - engine, boxes, mounts, linkages, wiring harness, plumbing, exhaust at least as far as the back of the transfer box, fuel system... it's all far cheaper to remove from the disco than buy new bits later even if some parts don't transfer.

Yes, yes and yes/ Except I'll be disposing of the auto box and using an R380 with the short bell housing. And indeed the reason I've gone for the option of buying the complete Disco for breaking, Not really looking forward to that - don't even know how to get the roof off yet!

 

10 hours ago, ThreePointFive said:

Anyway, I don't want to push this off topic, it's just something to be aware of.

All comments welcome and thank you! Perhaps worth underlining that I have a build page here:

And that this thread is intended to be about how to take a Disco apart, which bits to keep, which bits useful to the Disco guys, and which bits to junk. And all got to be done in quick time. Vehicle will be here in a week or so, all of this is massively helpful in getting my ideas straight. And hopefully helpful to others in the future who will be treading the same path. Although I don't want to turn Disco's into an endangered species!

Now. How do I get the roof off?

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Ok! So my dismantle process so far is:

  1. Bonnet doors and front wings/bodywork off
  2. Interior out - seats, headling, carpets, main dash area (is the heater behind the dash?) seat belts etc
  3. Windscreen out
  4. Roof off

Where do I go next to get to the stage of getting the whole of the remainder of the body off?

If anybody needs parts I don't need get yourself down to Lands End Airfield area and pick them up at a bargain price. I need to get the vehicle in, stripped, and all the bits I won't need gone within a month. Should be arriving at my place on or around the 7th Jan. I'll get pictures up of parts for disposal as the job progresses, but so far I would hope to find homes for:

  1. Bonnet - has a couple of dinks but useable
  2. Front nearside wing. Drivers side is badly bent
  3. Rear seats - I'll be using the front ones in my 110
  4. Windscreen
  5. Rear wings - dunno how they come off
  6. Floor pan
  7. Fuel tank
  8. Auto box
  9. Front and rear axles (probably)
  10. Wheels and tyres

I'll keep a running tally of both lists as I go along, but holler if there's anything you're looking for - I'll compile a list of what I'm keeping this evening. For anybody who hasn't read the story so far its an insurance write off 1997 Mk1 3.9 V8 with damage to the front drivers side wing and door, and roof. 

 

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Just querying what you are gaining by getting the body off?

If it is just to remove the engine and gearbox easily, then you just take a hackzall to the front slam panel/radiator support panels and slide it straight out as one unit with barely a lift. The V8 is lighter than any of the diesel options, so much easier on the hoist.

Removing the body is not an easy job really unless you have a forklift/telehandler, and takes up double the space of the vehicle in one piece.

 

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5 hours ago, Phill S said:

I thought if you were putting in the type of engine that was available as an option at the time of manufacture your points were preserved? Or is it 3.9 that's the problem? Maybe I'm just out of date. I'll check the DVLA site

Honestly I've been through this with my 109 and historic status, no-one at DVLA, VOSA, etc. knows any actual answers and the wording is sufficiently vague that I would just run with it - the 3.9 got fitted to NAS 90's and is very much of type / of the era (there were Defenders with Rover V8's, there were Defenders with the 3.9 or 4.0 with EFI, there were Defenders with R380's, etc.) and you're not gaining anything they care about (you're not avoiding road tax or anything).

Why are you trying to remove the roof of the Disco? If you aren't having much from the body just pull the engine & box out plus any wiring etc. you want and then maybe just shift the rest on eBay as a rolling parts pile, it's far easier and more compact than trying to dismantle the truck and sell parts...

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8 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

Just querying what you are gaining by getting the body off

A number of reasons:

Yes, to make it easier to remove the engine and boxes

Secondly, several have said there will be all sorts of bits and pieces that will be useful, if not just plain required, and I may not find that out until it's too late

Thirdly, I plan to cut the engine mounts out of the chassis. I'd then be worried that the thing could fold up on the back of somebodies trailer?

Finally, it's a much smaller catchment area down here in West Cornwall and finding somebody who wants the "rolling parts pile" is much harder. I have a fairly regular trip up to Cambridge and Kent and I've sold stuff before with some success at a "miles of of my way" delivery charge and had thought to do that.

Maybe I'll put a for sale ad on here for the parts pile if you folks think it might actually sell? And if there's interest perhaps go that way. 

6 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Honestly I've been through this with my 109 and historic status, no-one at DVLA, VOSA, etc. knows any actual answers and the wording is sufficiently vague that I would just run with it

Good plan, I'll do that then

 

 

Edited by Phill S
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Cutting the engine mounts off won't weaken it enough to matter once the engine etc. are out unless you take a huge chunk of chassis away with them.

I've taken a few cars apart over the years (even put a couple back together again :ph34r:) and I've learned that the more "assembled" you can keep it the easier everything is - it takes about 5 cars space to store all the parts of a car.

Also before you hack the body about, consider that the owner of a rusty Discovery or Range Rover might just consider a complete body a more attractive item than hacked up bits of a body, even if their goal is to hack it up for the sections they need - sills, pillars/bottoms, arches, floor, etc.

3 hours ago, Phill S said:

it's a much smaller catchment area down here in West Cornwall

Calling @honitonhobbit... anyone local want most of a Discovery? :lol:

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Ok - I'm listening to the voice of reason and going to proceed to move in the keep it whole direction, doing the dismantling inside, then I can push the remainder outside and put under a tarpaulin ready for a quick sale.

I'll put a vague ad on here in this evening in the for sale section and await the feeding frenzy.

I found this which looks useful...

  

On 12/30/2008 at 7:53 PM, filthy said:

Disco 300TDi gearbox removal from under neath as follows - done 4.

before you raise the front of vehicle, remove the bolts behind cyl head & start the two either side,

Drop exhaust at manifold flange.

Disconnect battery.

Remove starter motor

Remove fan top cover, fan itself.

remove turbo air box air hose

Disconnect lower hose outlet from turbo for more hand room

Disconnect one end of top intercooler to inlet manifold pipe

Disconnect one end of top water hose (maybe) to allow engine to rock backwards a little.

Unhook gearbox breather pipes from nearside engine bay bulkhead

Remove clutch slave cylinder from gearbox & push rod, hang out of way with bit of old coat hanger.

Now clean hands thoroughly. . . . .

get in vehicle with a notepad, short & long mdium philips screw driver & a small pair of pliers + battery drill & 7mm bit + small punch + small hammer, 13mm socket on ratchet spanner.

to

remove centre console.

Ping gear stick base plate off, lift & undo 13mm bolt to unsecure main gear stick.

Unscrew High/Low knob after pinging base-plate.

Remove both stick ends & don't lose bolt.

Remove black c'console rubber sheet.

Empty cubby box

Big phillips screw-driver to undo 2 x screws in cubby box + 2 x screws at front of console.

Ping handbrake gaitor out of console.

Remove clip & pin from handbrake.

Ping elec window facia off + remove 4 screws of button mtg plate.

Unhook wiring connectors from switches.

Make sketch & mark colour positions for reconnection to switches.

Lift h'brake vertically & lift out console & remember to unhook ciggy lighter power before tearing wiring from loom.

Remove sound insulation

Remove 4 screws from around main g'stick & the two round flat washers from stick base.

CAREFULLY drill rivett heads from rubber seal & remove seal.

Gear-box revealed.

Punch out remains of rivets.

From under vehicle - after it is on stands & PROPERLY & SAFELY supported.

Remove front & rear props.

* * * * *Loosen crossmember

* * * * *Loosen gearbox mounts.

don not remove completel yet.

Push an engine crane into passenger door aperture & securely strop the gearbox allowing for the lowering to the ground.

Take the weight of the g'box gently, taking the weight off the mounts, & so it does not drop an inch & bend the input shaft.

With the gear box supported, undo the remaining engine/g'box bolts.

Undo the bolts of the cross member & remove. . . . . It's v' heavy - beware.

lower the gear box 1/2 inch.

Now wiggle the g'box off the engine & lower a few more inches only.

Disconnect the reversing light wiring & the speed sensor for dash clocks.

Lower the box the rest of the way to the ground GENTLY ensuring that the breather pipes are not ripped off. There is a breather for the transfer box & main box.

When refitting, change oil also.

Transfer box has EP85/90

Main box has MTF 94 . . . . cheapo atf fluid will destroy the box rapidly - don't use it.

Refit is the reverse of above.

The whole removal & refit will likely take a day & best done with 2 people - safer & easier.

Hope this says what you need.

Regards

Filthy.

 

in conjunction with:

22 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

just take a hackzall to the front slam panel/radiator support panels and slide it straight out as one unit with barely a lift. The V8 is lighter than any of the diesel options, so much easier on the hoist

 

What could go wrong...

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23 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

Just querying what you are gaining by getting the body off?

If it is just to remove the engine and gearbox easily, then you just take a hackzall to the front slam panel/radiator support panels and slide it straight out as one unit with barely a lift. The V8 is lighter than any of the diesel options, so much easier on the hoist.

Removing the body is not an easy job really unless you have a forklift/telehandler, and takes up double the space of the vehicle in one piece.

 

I’d second this, a friend wanted the engine and drivetrain out of a donor range rover classic I had, and after cutting slam panel, it was relatively easy to pull out as a single unit with an engine crane…

25E20B58-2913-473D-BA72-E6A02FD4CD60.thumb.jpeg.407929c45907c98020dcf204b0a44713.jpeg

 

11477301-35FB-452B-8584-164E1DEE2E31.thumb.jpeg.b7e000141572232fb52fb0fbfb56c836.jpeg

A2246C83-08DD-496F-A067-B986FD012029.thumb.jpeg.5dfa6f2396c5fba473e9fdf81beb699f.jpeg 

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Isn't there a Land Rover breakers yard down your way ? I'm sure Ralph has mentioned it .

The only thing I'd pull off the rolling truck once engine/box/wiring/ecu/fuel pump(?) are off is the PAS box - does it have the later arm with standard TRE ? If so all the better , a worthwhile upgrade 

Oh and the front springs too 

Steve

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5 hours ago, steve b said:

Isn't there a Land Rover breakers yard down your way ?

Sounds like Cornish Wreckers up St Austell? I'm hoping to get some cash back on the rest of the vehicle. There will be quite a lot remaining for the guy that needs all that. And has the space

Steering box - I can see a very familiar looking unit in your pic. I'm havin that. Are the front brake calipers any use to me? Tell me about the front springs - will they be the same/harder/softer? What'll happen to the front of the vehicle if I take them off? I assume it it'll drop down onto the rubber stops?  Rear ones no use?

And do I remember from somewhere I might want the handbrake lever?

Is there a parts book online anwhere? So's I can cross-reference with the 110 one. 

There's a lot I won't know until it gets delivered. Hopefully 7th Jan...

 

Edited by Phill S
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Front springs will be rated for V8 . Your Diesel springs will be a higher rate so with the lighter V8 the ride height will go up . You can check various rates for different LR applications on here I think in the tech archive ? If not certainly on line .

Pulling the front springs will indeed rest chassis/body down on bump stops which is fine. Rear springs are smaller dia. than 110 rears and lighter rate too. 

Defender/110 front calipers and pads are bigger than Disco . 

Handbrake cable will need replacing for a 300Tdi defender year cable and you'll also need the 300 Defender handbrake for originality. The disco cable and lever could be used but does not fit like the Defender 

Wiring could be removed , stripped and reworked to fit the 110 but starting with a civvy main loom , 90 or 110 , would be easier 

Hope that's of use 

Steve

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