RUSTY HEAPS

A Mostly British Obsession

Disco is Hip Again

And the replacement for the Mini, which was a practical and fun car to drive, is…a Land Rover Discovery–which is not really any of those things. And wait, we’ve been here before!

This car is a bit later than the last one I owned, being a 2003 instead of a 1998. The changes are vast few, as far as I can see, but it has been awhile since I was in the ’98. This Disco is powered by a 4.6 V8, and I guess the ’98 would have still had the 4.0. Power cannot be a lot different, the 4.6 is listed at 220 and I think the 4.0 was 200…I cannot really feel a difference.

I’m the third owner, and the Disco has pretty low miles for this year, at 75,000. Everything seems to work, though there is a fair list of things which I should probably attend to:

  • The “three amigos” light up on the dash, but not every journey. (The “amigos” are the ABS, traction control, and hill descent warning lights.) Forum chatter suggests starting at the hub sensors, which all three systems share. They may be dirty, they may be faulty, or a hub bearing may be worn.
  • There are some paint issues, see below, nothing dramatic or that I’m concerned about.
  • The headliner is starting to droop. I’ll take a look online on how involved this is; I did the XJ6, and wouldn’t have any fear of doing this one, but if it’s two weeks labor, probably not.
  • Fix the door handle on the driver’s door. A new part which is the apparent source of the problem was included with the car.
  • Polish the headlight covers. I have a kit to do so but have never tried it.
  • Various pieces of plastic are loose, broken, or sun-beaten. I’ll poke around eBay and see if any are cheap and if so, replace them.
  • Watch the car for water leaks and make sure all the drain tubes are clear.
  • The key fob exploded and so I cannot activate the alarm, which I never use, in any case, but I’ve ordered a “rebuild kit” for the key, we’ll see if that works.

That all said, the A/C works, the various power things work, it runs pretty well, has newer tires, decent condition wheels, sits ok on the road and generally seems to drive like you’d hope a heavy, short-wheel-base, somewhat under-powered SUV would.

This car is painted Oslo Blue. You can see a big oops on the roof…there is no actual panel damage (i.e., no dents), so maybe something was dribbled on the car? There is a lot of weird white goop (insert joke here) in places around the machine, which might have been toxic to the paint, but who knows. The edges of the roof are also losing their paint, and my impression is that the paint job (it is the original) is just not all that good.

I will clay bar and polish the car, and have ordered some touch up in spray cans to at least keep the bare metal clothed in some paint. Aside from the roof blurp, I bet the paint will polish up well–the car is straight, I’ve only found one door ding.

I paid $2,500 for this, as you see it in the photos, all I’ve done here is wash it and run over it with the shop vac. Considering some of the other machines I looked at for a fair amount more money, it wasn’t a hard decision to make an offer on this car. We’ll see how maddening (or not) it is to live with!

3 Comments

  1. I meant to mention, for the three people reading this, that the options this car did NOT come with:
    * Heated seats
    * Heated front screen
    * The oddball nav system which would have been in place of the stereo
    * Self-leveling suspension
    I would have liked the heated seats but the other options are not things I want in any case.

  2. We’re back here again, eh? At least it helps supports Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. A mutual friend also bought another Jaguar which will likely help the Earth slip off it’s axis.

  3. I forgot to add. That’s a hell of a lot of car for $2500.

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