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Discovery I Discuss here about the first version of Land Rover Discovery (Disco I) in this section.

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Old 06-24-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
Ian in Tahoe
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Default buying a 98 discovery questions

So I find myself in an interesting position. For the past 4 months I have been looking for a truck to use strictly as a towing and camping vehicle. Every time I think I find one that fits my needs my mechanic gives it a look over and shoots me down. The other day he came to me with an idea, a friend of his buys cars at auction and came across 98 Discovery LE with the 4.0 and 169k on it. He tells me it will pull as much as any 3/4 ton truck I had been looking at and will be better suited for our thick snow and my growing family.

I have taken quite a shine to the idea of it, but, I am admittedly quite a bit intimidated by the reputation these things have for reliability problems. To aid in my intimidation I have owned two Subarus since 1995. To quote my mechanic, "the Subaru is so reliable its as boring as its interior."

So......what should I know before embarking upon the purchase of the Discovery?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum...

First the 98 Disco will only pull 5500lbs on the highway and that is with trailer brakes.

Not sure what you plan to tow, but I will say that it will be a joy to drive in the snow as long as it has good tires. A 98 Disco with that mileage at the auction should be around $1000 - $1500 tops... Doesn't matter what it looks like.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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Are you looking at this one? http://reno.craigslist.org/cto/3308016780.html
It looks clean from the pictures but can't tell... It does have a lot of miles.

Forget towing anything but a small utility trailer or a pop-up tent trailer. The brakes barely work well enough for the SUV itself, and the engine and AT combination just doesn't have the grunt to pull itself up the hills much less anything else. I don't know if it's the torque converter stall speed, the gear ratios or the power-band, but I can tell you that the Discovery 1 doesn't go up hills very well at highway speeds. And there's not much you can do about it. You can put D90 brakes on it but you're pretty much stuck with the transmission as is. You can change ring and pinions but with stock size tires it won't make much difference. If you go oversize then you'll have to change them just to make up. The motors can be tuned up but it's very expensive to get anything meaningful. Still, with nearly 200k, you'd probably get a worn cam and lifters to start with.

Fact is I registered just now to get some advice on what I can do about mine pulling it's ass up a little better.

Ha ha... not surprising your mechanic recommends a Land Rover.
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