Possible Jeep to Disco convert...need some input from the experts!

ADK_XJ

Observer
Hey all, I've been lurking the EP forum for about a year and posted here and there. Obviously the one thing you take away here is that Expedition-type vehicles and their related pursuits are not for the faint of heart or light of wallet. In that light, I'd been building up my 2000 Jeep Cherokee (my second XJ, but first Expo build) for the last two years with quite a few modifications from suspension to bumpers to shocks to tires totaling around $6,500 invested with labor costs when needed. At the same time, I got hooked up by chance with a local crew of Land Rover enthusiasts and did a trial ride with them...their rigs blew me away for their (sometimes stock) performance and capability.

Long story short, one of the guys is looking to sell his totally kitted out 2004 Discovery SE for what seems like a very fair price - $8500 with 150k on it. Lot of mileage, even compared to my 120,000 Jeep, but he seems like an honest dude and said he's put about $15,000 into it since his purchase in upgrades, maintenance and preventative care. Has had the ABS done, new transmission, alternator, valve cover and head gasket, new Woods' driveshaft, new center diff and has factory front bumper with grille guarde, Baja roof rack, etc

I guess what I'm looking for is a sense of what I'd be getting myself into. When I look at my Jeep, it's a very utilitarian but trustworthy vehicle that rides like a dumptruck but also has never, ever, ever let me down. I also assume I'm heading into some serious maintenance territory, though, since the A/C recently blew, I have a definite coolant leak from a temp or water-pump connection and some of the electronics have recently gotten funky.

However, could be the same or more from the LR so would just love some insight from the experienced Disco owners out there on what I should be projecting for in terms of future maintenance and costs. Also open to your arguments, opinions, heart-on-your-sleeve love affair for the Land Rover Discovery and why it'd be worth the additional investment now and in the future. I'd be taking a serious hit in gas mileage and pumping Premium makes me cringe just to think about, but it's also not far off when I'll be trying to fit more than just my dog in the back seats and the Disco is like a warehouse inside compared to my cozy Jeep interior.

If this post should be somewhere else, please let me know. Also, if I were to join their Disco-owning ranks, I would open myself up to help from that crew of LR owners that I wheel with to assist with repairs and general troubleshooting and my auto-inclined neighbor owns an old Range Rover that he works on himself.

Here's my Jeep and also the Disco in question:

photo (23)-1.jpg

2004DiscoSE.jpg
 
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ZMagic97

Explorer
Personally I would keep the XJ. You did the work yourself, trust it, lower miles, and know it's really reliable. I have little Land Rover knowledge so I cannot comment on them; however I can tell you my last XJ was at 200,000 miles and never let me down. There's a reason the license plate on it was "NVR DIES."
 

roverrocks

Expedition Leader
Personally I would keep the XJ. You did the work yourself, trust it, lower miles, and know it's really reliable. I have little Land Rover knowledge so I cannot comment on them; however I can tell you my last XJ was at 200,000 miles and never let me down. There's a reason the license plate on it was "NVR DIES."
Excellent advice. I agree.
 

jh.

ambitiose sed ineptum
I am a former XJ, TJ, and ZJ owner (in that order) and currently own an '04 Disco.

While the TJ was my favorite Jeep, and I've had a hole in my lineup until I bought the Disco, had I never traded in the XJ I would be in better financial shape today.

Long story short, they are different vehicles with different quirks. From a money sense, keep the XJ. If money is no object, I really do like my disco more than any of the three Jeeps.

(Yes I've modded all 4 myself)
 

fishEH

Explorer
^This. Any truck will require maintenance, period. If you're not a Do It Yourselfer it will cost a lot because brand new dealer parts and labor cost a lot. If you're handy with a wrench and join some of the more techy Rover forums for advice you'll be fine.
 

ADK_XJ

Observer
Long story short, they are different vehicles with different quirks. From a money sense, keep the XJ. If money is no object, I really do like my disco more than any of the three Jeeps.

(Yes I've modded all 4 myself)
So, this is a good point - certainly money is an object up to a certain point. I'm not quite 30 and not making mega millions but I am more financially stable than I've ever been so I don't mind buying something nice and keeping it that way. I guess my follow-up question to you would be, what types of major (either cost or general headache) maintenance or component-failure issues did you run into?
 

ADK_XJ

Observer
^This. Any truck will require maintenance, period. If you're not a Do It Yourselfer it will cost a lot because brand new dealer parts and labor cost a lot. If you're handy with a wrench and join some of the more techy Rover forums for advice you'll be fine.
I am learning on the Jeep with the help of my neighbor but, yes, I've spent a pretty penny on install alone of the suspension lift and front bumper/winch setup. I'm a quick study but my hope would be that the Rover group could help me bridge the gap...I'm far from self-sufficient at this point, though.
 

Some Dude

Adventurer
Go for it. They're pretty easy to work on and, honestly, they're not that expensive to maintain. My 03 has not let me down in 5 years and has been very reliable. The secondary air system (emissions) is garbage but I've used mostly scrap yard parts to address that POS system as every bit of it seems to fail.

Be warned: you buy one Rover - you'll buy another.
 

jh.

ambitiose sed ineptum
So, this is a good point - certainly money is an object up to a certain point. I'm not quite 30 and not making mega millions but I am more financially stable than I've ever been so I don't mind buying something nice and keeping it that way. I guess my follow-up question to you would be, what types of major (either cost or general headache) maintenance or component-failure issues did you run into?
So far, other than the routine 100k+ mile maintenance that a fella named Mike on some LR boards recommend, I've replaced the suspension (stock suspension was quite saggy after 100k miles), have worked on a cheap (~$3) SAI fix (as mentioned in the previous post - they're crap) and will start working on the bypass needed to end my Shuttle Valve issue (three amigos) as well as replace the brake lines.

I can't remember the issues I had with my XJ as that was sadly about 10 years ago now. I traded it in in '06. I was still learning how to tinker myself back then so I did pay for some work...and probably ended up spending more on it than I have so far on the Disco due to labor fees. I did lift the XJ and that was fun. The 4.0 is probably the best inline 6 ever made (my opinion) and that transmission was bullet proof.

Just expect leaks with a Rover. It's a bit disconcerting after never having a leaky Jeep...but it comes with the territory. And yes they are addictive. Even my gf is tossing around the idea of trading in her NSX for a Disco or Range. I keep telling her she can have mine....if I could get a Defender....
 

jh.

ambitiose sed ineptum
Sounds like the Disco you're looking at already has had the ABS work and I forgot about replacing the driveshaft...which is also done for you. Make sure you keep greasing that thing if you buy it.

And if you want to sell me that Baja Rack...you'd be making a GREAT decision!

Good luck.
 

Ronct110

Adventurer
Looks like the seller took care of the major issues: head gaskets done (ask for all the maint record and receipts), and annoying issues like the ABS done (maybe related to the three amigos which you will soon learn more), and preventive maint like replacing the front drive shaft w/after market with grease points, etc.... Even has a Baja Rack.

$8500 is a good price with all that work done.

Questions for you? Does the rear have air suspension, and front have ACE? I don't think SEs have them. If it doesn't, two less problems to deal with as such air bags can leak, and sensors can go bad & fluids can leak on the ACE system.

Have you test driven it? Go for a test drive. Coming from a former XJ owner, you may like the stadium seating better. Much more comfortable ride on long drives especially on washboards vs XJs front coils/rear leaf springs.

What kind of tires are on it now. If street tires, next expense should a set of good off-road tires eg BFG KM2s.

Easier to replace brake pads on DIIs, check out this video and other maint videos like these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ArbIDcKEhg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Other issues that might come up: Mass Air Flow Sensor, window roller guides and door locking actuators - check LR forum for DIY fixes.

Good luck w/your decision.

Edit: as I was typing this, didn't realize jh and others already covered some of my points.
 
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Some Dude

Adventurer
SEs didn't have rear air suspension unless they were seven seaters, in which case it would be called SE7. Most SEs didn't have ACE. even if it does, ACE is really nice on and offroad because the handling is better on the pavement and there is more articulation offroad than non-ACE trucks. Also, the ACE system is one that rarely, if ever, has problems on the D2. I wish mine had it.

my gf is tossing around the idea of trading in her NSX for a Disco or Range..
An NSX? Your GF wants to dump an NSX for a Disco? I have an excellent D2 with tons of parts and work done. PM me. Unless you meant RSX...
 

ADK_XJ

Observer
Good luck w/your decision.

Edit: as I was typing this, didn't realize jh and others already covered some of my points.
Came looking for good advice and EP came through. Thanks for all the input so far, you're confirming my understanding that this is a big upgrade (both literally and figuratively) from the XJ in many ways but just needs consistent maintenance like anything else.

Yes, thanks to JH and others for your input. I am going to arrange a test drive the next time we're hitting the trails and see if I can squeeze in the switch before my wedding later this year. If you buy a car before your hitched it doesn't count...or something like that. :smiley_drive:
 
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