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Disco 300TDi Resto


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Newbie here :P

I've just bought a Discovery 1 from a family friend that needed a 'bit' of welding.

It failed its MOT on sills and seat belt anchor points.

Im no stranger to welding and repairing (some of you may have seen our restored 110 defender with Iveco 2.8 conversion at various shows) so I thought 'no problem, lets get stuck in'.

I was after a cheap 4x4 for the winter and gradually work my way through to building another 110 but converting to a crew cab pickup with some weird engine in it!

Anyway, the bit of welding has turned into a full on restoration (nearly). I wouldnt have bothered with it, but mechanically its 100%, its had an engine rebuild at some point in its life so the engine is totally smoke free. Its had new shocks and springs on all 4 corners as well, and it really drives like new.

The plan is to get it all sorted, respray it, update it somewhat with some of the disco 2 facelift bumpers, lights, arch trims etc then tweak it a bit (ride height, performance etc). I usually keep most vehicles for 6months to a year then move them on, I seem to have a very short attention span an something else always takes my fancy!

Anyway, I've taken a load of pictures as Ive progressed with it, so far I am still a the stripping it down stage, the next week or so I will attack it with the plasma cutter and mig welder!

Let me know what you guys think!

Heres a selection of the photos, the rest are in my photobucket album if you want to browse, its set as public (http://s85.photobucket.com/albums/k74/the_mighty_one/SMS%20-%20Land%20Rover%20Discovery%201%20-%20300TDi/):












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Lol...yep been there - got the badge !

As long as chassis is good which looking at the pics would worry me a bit....its do-able...

A good plan and setting time scales helped me...

If your doing it for fun and a hobby - great...

If your doing it cause you have to and 'need it on the road' soon....it will be tedious...

I suspect yer an angle grinder freak like me :) and can't wait to get stuck in?


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To be honest, it probably is a scrapper, but as I've started it I may as well finish it.

I honestly dont know how it passed its previous MOT's either, it only failed this one on the sills, seat belt anchors and the inner wing at the front.

I usually buy things to fix and sell on, but after I've used them for a while!

It shouldnt take me more than a few weeks to get the welding sorted and then its just a case of a quick respray and upgrade.

I dont know how much a fully restored (bodywise) Disco 300TDi is worth but hopefully more than I bought it for!

On a seperate note, what parts are interchangable from the Disco 2's. Im hoping to fit the wheel arch trims, colour coded bumpers and the pre-facelift lights??

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Knowing what LRs are like for rusting far further than you are aware I'm thinking about what TACR2MAN said about it being in a crash. DOne properly of course it will be at least as good as any other Disco that age if not newer but I would say that if in doubt cut it out, cut back well into the solid metal and make sure any box sections are very thoroughly welded even if that means more work in the long run.

I also planned my welding so that I could protect the insides of any closed sections before I finished them, always finish a box by putting the top on and try to avoid runs of weld in areas where moisture can puddle.

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Yeah, I do car restorations, engine conversions, fabrication etc for a living so Im gonna make sure thats its done properly.

Seriously though, this Disco cant rust any further than I can see as I have now got it totally stripped down and the shell trussed up and about ready to lift from the chassis for cutting sills, mounts etc.

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Yeah, I do car restorations, engine conversions, fabrication etc for a living so Im gonna make sure thats its done properly.

Seriously though, this Disco cant rust any further than I can see as I have now got it totally stripped down and the shell trussed up and about ready to lift from the chassis for cutting sills, mounts etc.

Look forward to more pics/updates when they happen.I need to put a floor in the back of mine when I find the time.Watching with interest.. ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello again.

Been ages since I lasted posted.

I basically managed to find time to strip the Disco down as seen in the pictures above, but then had to get on with customers cars.

Ive managed to reorganise my time to work on a long term customer project which has left me with a few free days this week.

Here we begin with the actual proper work!

Managed to get most of the inner wing cut out ready for new panels to be fabricated (pics below).

Grabbed a sheet of 1.2mm steel and am gonna make a start fabbing up the new panels this week coming.






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Done a bit more work today.

Got most of the passenger inner wing, footwell and windscreen scuttle area cut away in prep for welding.

After spending a couple of minutes with a chisel I have come to realise that LR made a total cock up building these Discos'

The inner wing, scuttle panel, bulkhead and A-posts do not actually meet each other completely, instead of welding/brazing it together at the gap they simply bodged it with putty!!

Hence why mine is rotten as the putty has become old hard and cracked!


(This hole is not rot, but is the genuine way its held together after the putty is removed!!)


Then cutting out the rest of the rot:


New piece to stitch into the Disco:


New piece tacked into place:


Update over!

Think I can get the rest of tomorrow morning on the Disco, then its probably going to have to come out the shop again as weve got more customers vehicles to get on with :(

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Managed to get the inner wing welded in today.


Sourced a pair of new battery trays from our local land rover agent. Bizarely, they are identical, but handed, the passenger side is £5 but the drivers was £45?? Never mind as I needed both it work out at £25 each so wont grumble!



Hoping to get the side section of the inner wing sorted and then everything back together, then its on to the sills!

I think I'm going to go down the box section route as a number of people do, I'm going to fabricate a steel winch bumper for it too.

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  • 1 month later...


Long time no post.

Managed to get a fair bit more work done yesterday and today.

Got the passenger side sill and floor cut away to nice clean non rotten metal.

Ive decided to replace the sills with box section, gives it a bit more strength and works out so much cheaper.

A pair of inner and outers LR design works out at over £240.

The box section was £80 for a 7m length, I only need 1.4m per sill so it works out at £32 for the pair!

The next step in the plan is to repair the bottoms of the A and B posts, tack the new box section to them and then fabricate some new outriggers and then get the floor and door seal lips sorted.

Ive had to buy a new boot floor and a pair of rear wheel arches, so I think I have everything I need now to finish it!

Ok, pictures below:


(I cut a bit more metal out after this photo as I wasnt happy with it, prefer to take it back a bit further and be sure theres no rot in anything anywhere!!)










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:o Just watched these pictures in disbelief!!! Oh my God. You got to admire your skill, confidence and determination to get this thing back to resembling a car again! Seriously impressive. Think most people would have run away screaming and not even bothered. Did you weigh the car before? Would have been fun to know how much metal the rust worm managed to consume. Keep it up - you've come this far! :)
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Managed a bit more work.

We got all the bottoms of the A & B posts remanufactured, the outriggers, seat braces and end panels are ready to go on.

Heres a few more photos of the 'so far' work.

Hoping to get the sill on tomorrow and then we can get the floor and inner wing finished!








Keep watching!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello All!

Been ages since I've been on here, yet again!

Finally managed to grab a couple of days work on the Disco after weeks of it being tucked away!

Got the front inner wing all welded back together and looking right. The sill is ready to go on, but I decided to repair the rear wheel arch first so it goes where its meant to be!

Pulled the rear quarter panel off and found a whole lot more rot and grot behind it. At least after I'm done I will no there is no rust on it anywhere!!










Hopefully next week I can get the rear arch done and then the sill on!

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Managed to have today on the Disco as well.

Slight change of plan! After spending the morning with the Plasma cutter taking away the rot, I wasnt left with much metal!






I figured that whilst I was doing the rear arch I might as well cut out the boot floor and the other arch, but....



after removing both rear quarter panels (exterior) I realised that if I was to cut it all out there isnt anything actually holding the roof in place, so instead of cutting away more metal I measured all the critical measurements to ensure the sill is in the right place and promptly tacked (very large tacks) in place.

So, my plan is to sort the front quarter out on the drivers side, only thing is theres a lot more to do than the passenger side:




Found a few more genuine Land Rover bodges too:




It seems instead of making sure that each panel is joined to the other, they get the close enough and then fill the gaps with putty, same as my earlier post about the windscreens! It also amazes me with the floors, they are made from 3 different panels overlapped on each side. I guess because the floorpan was original Range Rover they cut away the bits they didnt want and then just spot welded the new bits over the top!

Oh, and there is only primer on the insides of the inner arches at the back, no closure panels etc and they just happily rust away hidden from view.

How any manufacturer can deem this acceptable I dont know. Was chatting to a mate of mine who owns a windscreen replacement company and he has commented the Disco 3 is manufactured the same way too!

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