WHAT TO LOOK FOR
IS THE ENGINE HEALTHY?
Depending on how the 200Tdi has been treated, engines can be on their last legs with very little warning. Any telltale signs of impending disaster can be found upon start-up. Look for white smoke or loss of coolant, and check all pipes are intact with appropriate pressure build up. If the pipes are hard then you could be walking into a world of woe.
GEARBOX IN TOW
Check that gear-changes are free from sluggishness and that the correct gearbox oil is being used – for LT77 manuals before 1993, it should be auto transmission fluid. Listen out for whining which could be due to heavy towing. A key indicator that the transmission has been worked hard is crunching between second and third gear. If there is a slight banging or feeling of hesitation coming off the power, you could have severe mainshaft wear.
KEEPING YOU IN SUSPENSE
If the car has been used off-road or lugged frequent heavy loads, the suspension may have taken a bashing. Worn bushes will result in clunking from the underside of the car over uneven ground, or if operating on full lock. Rear radius arm bushes can suffer badly.
TAKING YOU ROUND THE BEND
If cornering is sloppy or the steering wheel wobbles, the suspension could be seriously worn, or the power steering box is on its way out. Worn components can mean vague communication through the steering wheel, with culprits ranging from front swivels to leaking power-steering mechanisms. A worn-out Discovery will generally handle poorly, but can be improved easily by replacing two or three minor components.
WATCH FOR BATTLE SCARS
Many a Discovery has been used for weekend fun or heavy work. Check for off-road damage on the underside, brake disc wear and injury to the exhaust system. Brake flexipipe can deteriorate if chafing against the chassis while paintwork and body structure points can be impaired from hefty use off the beaten track, aggravating rusting issues.
THE INSIDE MATTERS
In typical Land Rover fashion, leaks are very common. Sunroof rubbers can perish, while the top of the back door can weep. Interior wear can also be heavy depending on what the vehicle has been used for. Because of various rust and water traps, front inner wings can perish spectacularly, rotting from the A-post right through to the headlights. Rear floors and wheelarches also rust, while hinges and seatbelt mounts can rot badly. If used off-road or damaged, rust can run rampant.
Land Rover made much of the Discovery’s practicality over the more expensive Range Rover – and it’s now one of the cheapest seven-seater classics out there.
The dieselengined 200Tdi
and 300Tdi were the biggest
sellers in the UK – whichever
you go for, make sure it’s been serviced
The interior plastics are hard-wearing, but check for a leaky sunroof or that muck from off-road outings hasn’t ruined the trim.
Check the panels carefully for damage encountered off road and for uneven panel gaps, which suggest