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CarreraDan CarreraDan is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Roanoke Va
Posts: 361
What a loaded question. What do you really want out of your winter beater? What kind of owner are you? Do you have to have a perfect car with nothing wrong with it--do little issues gnaw at you at night when it comes to your vehicles?

I have owned 2 Discovery 2's, had a 2000 for a year and now have had an 03 for one year. I love the Discovery 2, it has soul and personality. It can take you places you would never dream of trying to drive yet cruises down the highway in complete comfort. Land Rover was a good 8 years ahead of the competition when it comes to traction control. The key is you must buy a well loved example and not a Craigslist whore. My 2003 was very well loved and the underside looks new as it was always garage kept. My 2000 was the opposite and it had the rust to prove it. Over the last year I have rebuilt the 03 into a weekend warrior that will easily run moderate trails yet can still be driven to work during the week. The plan is to take it out west and explore the rockies and Moab in the next few years. I have built it with reliability first and it has been a fun project. Yes, I did put a new engine in it as the original 4.6 was dead but the price was right.

You will hear about slipped cylinder liners, bad oil pumps, multiple mis fires, 3 amigo's, etc. Most of these issues are easily found with a good inspection before buying. A code reader will tell you a lot if you look in the stored codes. The 3 Amigo's can be a pain but it has been beat to death on the rover forums and if you buy the right code reader the underlying issues are not that bad to fix. I enjoy working on cars, I loved my 88 Carrera and enjoy tinkering in the garage. I have lots of tools and other cars to drive if the Rover acts up. I daily drive it most days to work (Cayman is a garage queen) and it has always gotten me home. With good tires they kick ass in the snow. The bad thing is fuel economy as I get 12-13 and yes you should run 93 octane.

I have dumped a lot of money into my Discovery, I know I could have bought a nicer Toyota or much newer Jeep but I love the Rover and would do it again in a heartbeat. The other Rover guys are a blast to wheel with and very helpful with advise. There is a very large underground of DIY Land Rover repair. Here is my 2003, next is rock sliders and diff guards, then front bumper and winch.

Forgot to add, I would buy a non SAI (secondary air injection) truck if I did it over, it adds a level of PIA to work around but was standard by 2003 in the US. The 4.6 is much stronger than the 4.0 so it is a trade off.

1988 Carrera Coupe (sold)
2012 Cayman

Last edited by CarreraDan; 08-18-2017 at 06:20 PM..
Old 08-18-2017, 06:16 PM
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