The DiscoDavis Discovery 3 Build Thread

#1




Welcome to a long read.

Maintenance tips for a Discovery 3/LR3, look HERE

If you came for photos, scroll through this part for the eye candy down below. This thread is a repository for the history of the vehicle and documentation of the various hare-brained things I (or we) ended up doing to it. Very little here is what I came up with myself, I benefitted greatly from postings by others here and on various forums, and I hope this helps somebody with theirs and passes along ideas for cool stuff that I have collected here and elsewhere. If you need something just ask me, thread reply or PM.

Thanks to: BByer, TomR, houm_wa, Unseenone, cmb6s, Bodsy from D3UK, Patrick from GAP, Volkov, Zelatore, RayG and many others.


At work, California


Near Patterson, California


Reddish Knob, Virginia/W.Virginia Border


Somewhere in the hills west of Charlottesville, Virginia

I lived in Switzerland for a short time, and during my downtime outside of university, I would beg friends back in the US to send me things to watch since everything in CH was dubbed and Netflix had not arrived in that area yet. Buddy of mine decided to forward me some links to old Camel Trophy footage online, so naturally I fell in love with Land Rover. Details aren't super important to the rest of the story but I started hunting for my own vehicle when I returned stateside. Started with a search for a Discovery I SE7 SD, manual. I could not find a good D1 with a 5-speed that was not rusted out or on its last legs near me (found one in TN-broken, and one in NY-unknown/rusty). I like D2's but needed something way more reliable for day-to-day use, and I was running out of time before I needed to travel more and more. I read a few articles on expo before about used overlanders, and an earlier iteration mentioned the LR3 (was something like number 7… but hey that counts, right?). Okay was probably going to have to settle for one of these over a D1.
Long story short, late 2014, I found a used but loved example near me, a 2006 Discovery 3 SE. Number one thing to do with Land Rovers is to have them inspected BY a Land Rover Dealer. I had two inspected and got lucky on the second one. I got one for a great used price for the mileage. She remains my daily driver.

This is what I brought home:






The Good:
>1-owner
>73k on the clock (the odo above was of course after joyriding around the first week ;))
>100% near-perfect records, serviced at one dealer nearby its whole life (a very good dealer).
>Dude absolutely loved his truck, he actually acted like I was his teenage son about to inherit the family car when I came to test drive it, easy on the gas, here's how everything works, be careful with this thing, etc. Asked me to take very good care of it when he finally gave me the keys and title. Says something to me about how he treated it for the last 8 years.
>Was almost-fully optioned-out for being an SE, which means it had the nice stuff that a lot of the early models didn't have standard, the Xenon headlamps, front/rear fogs (some 05's did not have fogs) rain sensing wipers, dimming rear view mirror, had the two rear jump seats, heated seats/mirrors (could be wrong, they might have all come with the heated seats), NAV, the pricey rubber floormats, etc. Stuff I appreciate for day-to-day use. It sadly was not an HD package model.
>Very little wear and tear on the vehicle and interior. It wasn't showroom, but very nice.

The Bad: (several of these are known issues for MY-05-09)
>When I bought it the parking brake was inop.
>Front differential was noted as bad during inspection
>Front lower control arms were shot
>Small oil leak at the oil cooler (it turned out to be the filter)
>One corner of the suspension was leaking air so it sagged overnight
>More than one red Kool-Aid stain on the TAN carpets (from PO's kids)
>Sunroof drains were (I swear) a day or so from being totally clogged
>Windshield cowl was badly warping away from the glass
>It spent its life in a state that salts its roads… it was rusty. Not as bad as I have seen on older jeeps in the family, but it was a shock for me having been from California where all used cars are magically corrosion-free.
>It had not gotten its 75k service yet (Diffs, T-case, lube hubs, etc.)
>Missing battery/fusebox cover
>It did not have the updated front diff breather... more on that later.
 
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#2
I am aware that the photos will not size correctly because they are not hosted here but externally. I cannot figure out how to attach photos, the system always tells me it failed to upload. :coffee:

How do I get attachments to work? (edit: looks like there is a size limit)
 
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#4
I've struggled with the size issue in my thread; I've found that you can post up to 10 pics per reply and that if each picture starts at 1-1.5mb or so in size you are good to go. An alternative might be to use photobucket or something and bring them over. What I've never figured out is if I post from my ipad or iphone the pics are larger than if I upload & post from my mac.

Oh, great first couple of pics BTW!
r-
Ray
 
#6
I am aware that the photos will not size correctly because they are not hosted here but externally. I cannot figure out how to attach photos, the system always tells me it failed to upload. :coffee:

How do I get attachments to work? (edit: looks like there is a size limit)
Use imgur.com to host your pictures. Accounts are free, its very easy to upload, and they will automatically generate thumbnail images that will link to the original size picture.
 
#7
This was the other truck I looked at. Really wanted the white but it had been flogged pretty badly. Still my favorite color :)





 
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#8
So you're going to bring that thing to the Rubicon with us this summer right? If I can do it anybody can! :)
Short answer is yes... Long answer is how much belly armor can I throw on her first. ;)

I've struggled with the size issue in my thread; I've found that you can post up to 10 pics per reply and that if each picture starts at 1-1.5mb or so in size you are good to go. An alternative might be to use photobucket or something and bring them over. What I've never figured out is if I post from my ipad or iphone the pics are larger than if I upload & post from my mac.

Oh, great first couple of pics BTW!
r-
Ray
Thanks for the heads up. Changed hosting site, so now I've reduced sizes a bit to help with that. Always enjoyed your build too :)

Second hand cars are rarely in perfect condition. Anyways, it's still a beautiful vehicle. Good luck!
Yeah don't I know it... thanks!

Use imgur.com to host your pictures. Accounts are free, its very easy to upload, and they will automatically generate thumbnail images that will link to the original size picture.
Yeah changing the hosting site helped heaps, and thanks for the suggestion. Ended up going with flikr.
 
#9
A few maintenance items needed to be addressed from the bad list above. I promise I'll get to the cool stuff soon ;)

First thing I did: clean out the sunroof drains. Mine were 8 years old and pretty clogged/disgusting. I took photos because I never found a good explanation on how to do them without ripping the headliners out.


I used:
>water bottle and water
>$6 HF fluid pump thing
>screwdriver
>a cup

Basic idea is get the sunroof open, pull that wind shield thing off, then get access to the ends of the drain tubes below








Drain tube end (Drivers side)







Look for the rubber tube above the drivers foot rest behind some wiring



Once you have it, clip the tube ending so it is more open. Leave the tube ending inside the cup so You can see what comes through the tube while pumping it, or fit it back through the body panel.

Passenger side (inside air intake vent)









Blast water and air through the tubes several times, clean what you can out of the tube endings. Make sure the sunroof drains out okay before you put everything back.
 
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#10
Oil changed, both air filters changed, leaky filter gone, and front brake pads done.







Water ingress is an issue for overlanding, and it was raining every other day when I did this. Windshield cowling needed to go.











Dropped, sanded, repainted the nasty spare rover donut provided. Some coca cola did the trick on the rust. It was way worse before this picture.

 
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#11
I do like a build thread.

I've got one of my own car on another forum, could always make one myself as there is a fair bit on it.

Shall watch this with interest on how you get on with it.
 
#13
PCV, T-Bleeder, Diff/T-case time.


This was my buddy's basement wall. Want to do a shop wall like this. Feels right.


PCV (old one). Was advised by a tech to swap it out for good measure.


The crispy old T-shaped bleeder valve that explodes every once in a while. Actually disintegrated when I started pulling it off.


Tasty gear oil. (not tasty)


T-case fluid


Fill plug open (front)


Draining (front)


Old vs new plugs. That's 9 years worth of metal shavings, not the worst.


condition of oil in the front diff.
>brown
>100% opaque
>milky

Top tip for the front diff: this has been discussed at length on several forums but a lot of people ask about how much fluid to add since LR advises something like ~0.61L, while others insist on going to the fill plug level. IMO just go to the fill plug level. It appears the LR number stems from trying to be eco-friendly and calculating the minimum amount of oil they can put in the diff. Every american dealer or tech I asked said go to the plug hole, much easier than measuring anyway. :ylsmoke:

T case went fine
Rear diff fluid was greenish but more transparent, worlds apart from the front.

Used new plugs for everything.

Story time: When I pulled the fill plug off the front diff, it sort of shot off with a whooshing noise. I realized later this mean the diff wasn't able to equalize pressure on its own... So when I changed the fluid I did not check the breather and an hour into driving home from where I was I heard what sounded like a .22 going off in the wheel well. That was the breather blowing off of the diff. Went to the dealer next day to get the breather fitted on and checked, and got the updated cap which replaced the clogged old style one. Not forgetting that experience. Front end smelled horrible from all the misted gear oil....
 
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#14
The diff oil is interesting.

I did mine at 120k, the service book showed no record of it being changed, but the brake fluid and coolant had been. At a main dealer so I can only imagine the cost of that...

My oil from both doffs came out golden and smelling fresh, I could have poured it back in it was that clean. Got changed anyway.

My mates car who we also did at the same time, the oil from his came out looking like Coca Cola.. We changed it 3 months later again and it still looks like cola.
 
#15
My feelings about the front diff are that once the old style (very small) breather gets blocked up, it can't heat any moisture out of the oil and so whatever gets in the diff stays there.... for 8 years. I am of the opinion the diff oil should be changed way sooner, and breathers checked.... I did fluid again for the front maybe 15k after pictured and while the oil was a little bit more brown than golden, you could see through it, and no moisture.

Guess you got lucky then :rolleyes:
 
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