A Mostly British Obsession

Category: ’98 Disco

Was my “daily” driver.

Disco Sold!

I’ve decided to “streamline” and just use the ’68 F250 and ’63 MGB as my transportation, along with the Triumph. If winter rolls around and I think fooling around in the F250 is beyond the pale, I might consider something else–perhaps a decent MGB GT. I’m not really anxious to venture back into the world of black boxes…I prefer stuff I know how to fix with chewing gum and baling wire. That said, apart from the recent fuel pump failure, the Disco was a nice car, and very capable. I will not miss its fuel economy, however. 16 MPG is pretty tough when filling the tank costs $75.

Fail to Proceed

The Discovery had to be towed to the dealer today–I was at Costco, refilling our larder, and drove from the main store to their gas pumps to fill the tank. And that was that!

1998 Land Rover Discovery

I imagine it’s a fuel pump issue…but I think it’s time for the Disco experiment to come to an end. I like the car, actually, but this solid state stuff is hard for me to deal with. My F250 or my MGB are easy to understand and can usually be fixed with bailing wire and some gum. Hard to do that with sealed black boxes and the like.

We’ll see what the dealer has to say tomorrow. Sure hope it’s not hugely expensive…yeah, right.

Update: Fuel pump. $1,330 at the dealer. I could have fixed it here for less than half that. Bah.

Useful Capacity


Twice in the last week the Land Rover has been pressed into heavy hauling duty. Last week it was a Costco Wholesale run (and when we go to Costco twice a year, we really go). Almost 600 pounds of stuff, swallowed up very neatly. Tonight I retrieved an old Delta Unisaw (circa 1948, pictured), which is 300 pounds of cast iron and stamped steel, and again the mission was successful. All in all, it’s a useful car, and has been a good buy thus far (knock on wood). Just turned 113,000 miles, too.

Fan Fixed, New Bumper


The new viscous clutch for the engine fan arrived, and it has made the car reasonably quiet again. And, as you can see, the rear bumper has been replaced with a “new” used item that’s actually straight. I was probably the only person who noticed the dent and bend in the old one, but it drove me nuts every time I saw it. Unfortunately, the chrome bumper is a 1998 LSE-only thing, so they’re hard to come by and over $1200 new; this was a fraction of that and is as nice as anything else on the car.

“Viscous” Problem

Disco is awaiting some parts for repair…the fan clutch has siezed. The fan now spins all of the time, which makes the car sound like a turbine. More to the point, the fan isn’t designed to spin at high speeds, which is what the clutch normally prevents. I’ve got the parts on order from Atlantic British and hopefully Disco will be back in action within a week or so.

Land Rover Mileage Piling Up


I’ve been putting quite a few miles on the Land Rover, and it is a pretty comfortable and interesting machine to drive. It could use a bit more power, but it’s not an absolute slug. Here it is on the ferry on the way over to Chuck’s house. That is a Triumph Daytona 600 parked next to it, nice to see more British machinery around and about.



This is my “new” Discovery…it has 107,000 miles, but all in the hands of the original owners, who seemed to take care of their machine. More or less.

It has a slight ding to the rear bumper. The LSE used a chrome version of the regular bumper. $1250 to replace. The normal black item is $250. I’ll probably be living with it for awhile.

The only glitch so far was dicovering that the plastic fill plug for the radiator (cost: $1.50) was broken off by the last shop to work on the car, and just sort of left in place. Because of that, I was more than a quart low on coolant, and the heater had zero fluid in it. I replaced the plug with a 69 cent fitting from the local hardware store, and it seems fine now.


LandyDespite some advice to the contrary, I think I’m going to see exactly how painful owning a Land Rover as my “winter car” will be. The one I’m considering is a 1998 Discovery LSE in British Racing Green. It has just over 100,000 miles on it and was covered under warranty through 100K. It’s one owner and appears to be in good condition.

There are lots of these machines around with 150K miles on them, and it would take me years to get there. We’ll see. It will be handy for hauling dogs and junk around, and especially good for those occasional trips into Seattle and outlying regions.


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