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Advice on Discovery II

Tim Banham

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Hi all - just joined looking at buying a 2001/2 Discovery 2 TD5 if I can find one for my budget.

This is not going to be off road just yet - mainly used for Towing 1700kg caravan

Have owned one before so understand it from a driver point of view but last one was nearly new and this one will be 8-10 years old.

So some pointers/advice please

I understand the sunroofs can leak - easy way to check if they have apart from a soggy roof and damp smell

Understand the air suspension can go - Is it a safe test to raise and lower it?

FSH - A must

anything else? are there any major services that I need to be worried about ie if I buy a 60K miler and then find the next service is a massively expensive one?

Issues around power etc etc

I am sure I will have more questions



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early disco 2 will suffer rust - not as bad or in as many places as a disco 1 or rangie classis - but they still rust.

check the chassis rails either side of the fuel tank, rear body mounts, front body mounts and the outriggers. Inner wings and cills tend to be less rust prone though.

check for leaks/drips around the bellhousing, this could be oil or diesel from various orifices. Some are expensive and awkward to fix.

Check the clutch works perfectly with no juddering etc (new clutch and dual mass flywheel is not cheap)

Check for tc/abs/hdc lights on the dash (make sure they come on initially and they havent removed the bulbs to hide a fault), as the '3 amigos' usually indicates a problem with a hub bearing, these are not easily changed and require a new hub at £200 each.

Beg borrow or steal an ecu reader to check for faults with the above and also engine faults. MAF is a common one and is not cheap to replace.

Turbo wastegates tend to stick and cause funny issues

check ACE works properly by throwing it into corners and it doesnt suffer bad body roll. Also check for strange noises from the pump on the chassis rail under the driver, also check for corrosion on the pipes. Stupidly expensive to sort out.

Check the air suspension pump sounds 'good' and doesnt sound laboured or whistling. This means its worn out (possibly), probably due to leaking airbags that havent been replaced and the pump is running continuously to keep the fekker inflated. Again expensive, but the bags are cheap and easy to replace.

Check all the electrics work.

Sunroofs leak, but its a piece of cake to fix (couple of hours and patience) and is a very good bargaining point for a discount. Look for stains, smells and damp on the headlining, door cards, floor etc

Check for clonks or whines from the gearbox. R380 is a bit poor for a powerful td5 that tows alot and they never fitted a gearbox cooler to them. Stupid... so if its used to towing alot it may have suffered horribly.

but generally if it looks right and sounds right and feels right to drive - a low mileage early td5 disco is a brilliant reliable workhorse.


ps be aware of car tax changes depending on year of manufacture, good bargaining point

pps get it chipped, transforms the drive and towing ability and makes it a real pleasure to tow caravans with.

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