WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying Guide -

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

reg­u­larly.

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

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