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Land Rover Discovery 3

Discussion in 'My 4WD' started by shanegtr, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    I've had this Discovery since around August 2014 as I needed to replace my previous 80 series Landcruiser as it got written off and was destined to be crushed into a cube. I started looking for a replacement 80, however I come across a few issues, 1) there wasnt much out there in the condition I wanted for the price I wanted and 2) as our family grew to 4 kids we ended up in the situation where we needed to use the 3rd row seating all the time - the 3rd row in the 80 isnt much chop for older kids so only really suuitable to the little ones, and because our kids are still using booster/child seats the youngest needed to be in the 2nd row so that made access to the 3rd row even harder.
    So we had a look at newer landcruisers and really the 3rd row is in the same boat as the 80 was, just not really practical for long term ownership. Started looking around at other 4WD's and found that the 3rd row in the disco was about the best around - for starters Im 182cm tall and the 3rd row is comfortable for me to sit in so more than suitable for the kids as they grow. They are also very comfortable to drive, very quiet inside and the factory sound system is awesome (best I've ever had from a factory setup - and mines only the base system!). There was no shortage of Discos around in good condition and most had never been off the road. In the end I settled for one that had been used for touring and had a few extras that I was planning on anyway. The big ticket items where:
    Kaymar rear bar and wheel carrier
    100L aux fuel tank
    Dual batteries
    Trailer brake controler
    UHF (although I later found out it didnt work)
    Winch (no front bar however as it was mounted on a cradle behind the factory front bumper)
    Raised air intake

    I've since fitted to the disco:
    ARB front bar
    Platform Rhino roofrack
    Awning
    17" factory rims (those who know Disco's - 18" rims and bigger are common). It did have 17's on when I brought it but they where aftermarket and the missus didnt like the look
    ICOM UHF
    LLAMS (for a bit more control of the air suspension
    Driving lights (left over from my old 80 series)
    Mitch Hitch (high mount tow bar as the previous one fitted was very heavy and ground clearance was not its strong point)
    Child seat anchors for the 3rd row
    Compressor guard
    If you can call it a mod I've also removed the centre seat in the 2nd row - allows easy access to the 3rd row with child seats installed in the 2nd row. I've had a bit of a play around with which seat is removed and this is the current setup. Plus it allows enough room to fit a frigde in and gives generally some form of storage inside (like most theres no space behind the 3rd row once its up)

    Future mods planned:
    Not much now, I do want to redo the dual battery and electrics to my liking as its a bit all over the place so its mainly just neating things up and a new isolator rather than the current DC/DC charger setup it has (I'll reuse the charger for my solar panels so it wont be wasted). I would also like to change out the driving lights - currently narva 225 HID, whilst they are good they do vibrate around a bit and tend to need refocusing when you need them. I wouldnt mind relplacing the factory head unit for something a bit better and more multi functional. Some form of sliders would be nice, just depends on overall weight as I reckon I'd be close or over GVM.

    Done plenty of maintence to it and had a few things go wrong, worthwhile mentions:
    Replaced various suspension bushes
    Wheel bearings all round
    Auto Trans failure and rebuild (big $$ failure due to lack of maintenance in the past IMHO)
    Instrument Cluster Can-Bus module failure (fun fault that was intermittant and would prevent the disco from starting at times)
    CV boot

    Anyway apart from a couple of above points its been great and its a pleasure to drive. Took up across the gunbarrel and across to Alice Springs earlier this year (photo with camper). Traveled up the Tanami (and used 40L less diesel than the BIL's 200 series towing the same camper as us) on the way home from Alice Springs
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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    Pubski, abw, discomatt and 3 others like this.
  2. dirvine

    dirvine Active Member

    Hi Shanegtr, welcome to the forum!. Great car and some good mods. Your best friend would be to join the AULRO forum and see what mods work. As you have noted the DC to DC charger is NOT a good fit in a LR D3. You need a TRAXIDE system. Look them up on the WWW. There are a number of configurations and you will find one that best suits your needs. Not sure what you mean by the factory head unit. (You say you like the sound system). If you mean the Nav system, there are aftermarket solutions, which allow updates. The transmission failure is probably because LR say that it is sealed for life! Most replace the oil every 50,000kms and if your keeping the unit for a long time, the plastic sump on the tranny. (This is for 6 speed which I presume yours is). Mine is a D4 which is not a lot different mechanically, and they are a dream for towing and cruising on outback roads, My jury is still out about how good they are in the bush, but I am getting better at understanding the electronics.
     
  3. mikehzz

    mikehzz Well-Known Member

    Nice. How many kms were on it when you got it, and how many have you done since? I ask because I'm looking myself.
     
  4. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    Already on AULRO, been on there since I got it;). And yep a traxide unit is what I'll be looking at. No Nav system in my D3 as the audio system is just the base unit, mainly looking at a new head unit for some of the modern things like bluetooth music streaming/phone connection, reverse camera and possibly navigation. I agree with you about the trans oil, I did a change not long after I first got it and the oil itself was in ok condition but there was plenty of contamination (oil analysis). Steel sump was already fitted so it had been changed in the past, just not often enough. I keep an eye on the oil with oil analysis so it will be changed when it needs it rather than relying on a fixed km distance - as you'd know the oil isnt the cheapest stuff around
     
  5. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    Brought it with 166386 on the clock, its now nudging 260,000 so I've racked up nearly 93,000km on it
     
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  6. Spooner

    Spooner Well-Known Member

    Nice unit mate, glad you are enjoying it :)
    Cheers Rick
     
  7. rob_macca67

    rob_macca67 Well-Known Member

    I assume its the Diesel version and not the petrol version??
     
  8. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    Yep diesel
     
  9. discomatt

    discomatt Well-Known Member

    Nice car with some great mods but I suggest you put it over a weigh bridge before adding much more, I weighed my D4 last week with front bar, winch, spot lights, auxiliary fuel tank, kmar rear bar and 2 spares and it came in at 2900kg with no fuel in the auxiliary tank, not a lot of load capacity without hitting GVM.
    I have had mine for a few months now and have done about 8000km in it and love it, by far the best car I have ever owned and better than the other cars I test drove before buying it
     
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  10. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    The local tip is putting in a weigh bridge so I plan on getting her weighed to find out (providing our shire allows that sort of thing), otherwise I'll do it next time I'm in Perth and have some spare time
     
  11. rob_macca67

    rob_macca67 Well-Known Member

    Guys....
    Just wondering what sort of kms u have on your Disco's? Like most cars as they gain age and "kms" (> 200,000+kms) on them they become more costly due to wear and tear.....so I was curious as to how the Disco 3/4's goes when they get over 2>300k on them? Would they at this sort of "kms" still be suitable as touring vehicles or does the maint cost factor get to the point where it becomes too costly ???

    Just curious that's all, as we don't know really which direction we will go in the future vehicle wise.....
     
  12. dirvine

    dirvine Active Member

    Rob,
    Main issues seem to be the lower control arm bushes on the suspension and a gearbox that has been "serviced" (read not serviced) according to LR service schedules. Some people also do not like the LR 26K service intervals and do 13K oil and filter changes. Not sure if it is necessary but I guess its cheap insurance. The big cost of these is the body off chassis to do the timing belt replacement. Some elect not to take body off but it takes a lot longer to do. If doing it yourself, I guess the labour is "free". Most of the things to do (ie preventative maintenance) are usually done at that time, as access is easy and the cost of the parts are cheap. (ie water junction connector). Earlier models (D3 and early D4) have trouble with cracked manifolds or something like that. (cannot remember what they are called). A lot of the problems you hear about these vehicles, is because people skimp on doing a proper service and either try to do it themselves or take them to a non LR qualified mechanic. Given their new cost +$100K, people seem to think servicing is expensive and look for other alternatives. I look at it this way. My Mazda 3 cost $34K and a services costs about $600 or 1.76% of cost. LR average service cost is about $1200 or 1.2% of cost. When put into this perspective, I dont think a LR is expensive to own. In my opinion you should only buy what you can afford and maintain.
     
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  13. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    I do my own maintenance where I can so I generally dont have to worry about the cost of someone elses labour. Theres a few items that are common issues:
    1)Auto trans. It needs to have regular oil changes. Like many new cars with autos the factory change intervals are piss poor and will often end up in a "sealed for life" point. LR do actually have a trans service, but at something like 270,000km mark. Far too long. Change interval somewhere between 50-80,000km depending on what you do with it is more on the money. Unfortantly at this stage its only ZF oil that I'd recommend using in them, no one else really has a 100% suitable replacment. Can be had at Repco for around $36/L which is about the cheapest anywhere.
    2)Suspension Bushes. In particular the front lower wishbone rear bush. That comfortable ride is partly down to the soft bushes used that depending on use can chew out quicker than you'd like. There are more durable options out there, but from most reports they negativly affect the NHV levels. Full replacement arms are available and most mechnics elect to simply change them over as it works out cheaper than paying for the labour to remove and replace bushes in the old arms. I've done most of my bushes now - I purchased new arms and kept the old with the intention of rebushing them for swapout next time.
    3) Suspension compressor. They have a built in air dryer and the desicant falls to bits after a while - I've just recently changed mine as the desicant dust was starting to get into the valve blocks and throwing a few errors up. The compressor can also wear out after a while and needs either a rebuild or replacment. The D4 had a change to the compresor to a diffrent manufacurer and a lower target tank pressure so they seem a bit longer lasting. The new compressor can be fitted to vehicles that didnt have it originally - just needs a software change to run it.
    4)Front diff. They can fail, but I belive this is partially due to having a small oil capacity, so if its changed often enough then it shouldnt pose any issues.
    5)Transfer Case. These are generaly reliable, however I have heard of a few that have had bearings fail. The centre diff in them is a variable clutch pack lock up controlled by the transfer ECU (good thing low range in bitumen presents no windup issues at all and with its design you can shift high-low and back again in the move). Again due to the clutch pack design theres limited oil options. I use a Royal Purple oil in the transfer as its listed as meeting the specs, however apart from that Im only aware of the LR branded stuff which I think is over $100/L.
    6)Wheel bearings. My fronts needed replacing when I brought it and I had the rears required replacing later on. Fronts are dead easy to replace as they are a bolt on unit - rears are a press in jobbie.
    7)Engine coolant outlet (diesels). The coolant outlet has been known to fail with age as its a plastic part. Its around $100 so not all that expensive and I plan to change it out regually. Just going to line it up with the timing belt interval as your removing most of the parts to access it at the same time anyway. I have seen a steel/alloy replacment avaialbe but its in the $600 range. While on the timing belt theres two that require replacing - the one at the front that drives the cams and a rear one that drives the high pressure fuel pump. For some reason the later 3L disels the rear belt is timed and due to the limited acess many mechanics lift the body from the chassis to do it (sounds like a big job but its been designed to do it). the 2.7L diesel in the D3 and some early D4's the pump is not timed so it can be done with the body on, but access is shit so its not a fun job

    I reckon that covers most of the major stuff, theres a freew other minor issues but IMHO thats all the big $$$ stuff above. Good land rover specific DIY diagnositc gear is availble too, I've got an IID tool which is excellent.
     
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  14. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    Forgot to add about the factory rear diff lock option. If you dont have it a good diff oil is all you need, if that option has been ticked then the specific oil is harder to come by. Like the centre diff in the transfer its a variable clutch pack design so if you do use the wrong spec oil theres a chance the lockup wont work as intended so it would be worth paying the extra to get the oil from LR
     
  15. rob_macca67

    rob_macca67 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that :)

    WOW...I didn't realise that they had 26k service intervals, for some people that's nearly 1 service every 2yrs !! That's something that I'd be doing on a bit more of a regular basis.....
    With myself having 2 older LR's (D1 & Defender) - servicing is something that is done by myself and therefore is fairly cheap whereas the missus's Prado 150 that we have bought from new and always pay to get serviced - has been the most expensive car we have owned to date.... and this is what concerns me with the more modern vehicles as in paying for the servicing..... Doing something wrong with these new modern Diesels when it comes to servicing is one of my big fears.....

    rob
     
  16. dirvine

    dirvine Active Member

    I dont think I can shift to low range on the move. I have to be in Neutral and the foot brake on, or else it wont change down. Car Manual also says not moving. Going up is OK to do on the move. Personally I wouldn't want to try it anyway. Might work out an expensive "test" to see if you can.
     
  17. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    You need to be in neutral with the D3 as well. Theres no requirement for the brake to be on in mine and it shifts into low no problem when moving, but normally I find when shifting into low ive stopped anyway due outside factors. Must have been a software change somewhere then. There are syncro rings inside the transfer case:
    http://www.fullfatrr.com/forum/topic12404-15.html

    The service interval on the D3's is 12,000km. It got doubled on the D4 I belive. Previoulsy mines been changed at 15,000 and the oil has hardly started to breakdown so theres plenty of life left in it and Im sure it would go easily the 26k intevals
     
  18. dirvine

    dirvine Active Member

    Mine was in the last shipment to Australia (Build date April 2016). Service interval as per the information screen and booklet is nominally 26,00kms. It starts to reduce if you do 4WDing, driving in extreme weather conditions, or you do some towing. My 1st service was at 18,000kms when the warning came up. Since then I did my own at 31,000kms. The info panel is showing it needs to be done at 42,500, as I have done a little towing and 4wding since the dealer service when the computers were updated. As its under warranty, I dont tell them that I am doing the in between service. But I use a genuine filter so they probably would not know. I have the GAP tool, and have changed the tyre size, ltrs per 100kms, and trip computer and speedo to be more accurate.
     
  19. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    the gap tool is awesome. I use mine when towing and when on the highway to keep an eye on all the temps.
     
  20. shanegtr

    shanegtr Active Member

    dodged a bullet of a cooked engine - anyone with a modern rig will be familar with the amount of plastic parts in the cooling systems. I've been chasing a coolant leak for a little while, I could smell the coolant but couldnt find where it was coming from until recently. Looked to be coming from the join between a hose and a plastic elbow. Ordered a new hose set, which lucky for me come with the plastic elbow as when I removed the hose the elbow broke with very little force. So seems I found the source of the leak, but I dont think it was far from complete failure
    image.jpg
     
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