The Land Rover Discovery is just as much at home on a suburban driveway as it is in the middle field up to its door handles in muck. It’s the ultimate in go anywhere but without the compromise of modern losing modern niceties.
Launched in the late-1980s, the Discovery is still going strong today, and thanks to being built in huge numbers, it’s a car that’s accessible to all of us, no matter what our budget may be. And of course, being a Land Rover it’s a doddle to work on, as we learned when we dismantled one in order to create our Haynes Manual. And while we were doing that, we picked up some insider tips for you, too.
01 Oil Filter
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the Discovery of this era only has the one oil filter. There’s also a centrifugal oil filter. If you’re doing a big service, you need to change the rotor of this filter at the same time as the conventional filter.
If you’re doing a lot of off-road stuff, you’re going to need to keep the front prop-shaft sliding join lubricated. You can do this by unscrewing the blanking plate and screwing in a ¼ UNF grease nipple. Now stop laughing at the word nipple.
If you need to lock the crank don’t think you need a special tool from Land Rover. Instead, you can lock the crankshaft in TDC position by using a hydraulic pipe union with a 14 x 1.5mm thread, if drilled out to accept a 5/16 drill bit or metal rod.
04 Injector Rockers
Two different types of injector rocker shafts may be fitted. On engines with a serial No prefix 10P to 14P, type A rocker shaft is fitted, and on engine serial No prefix 15P to 19P, type B rocker shaft is fitted. Note that it is possible to substitute type A shafts with type B, but not the other way around.
One common trap people fall into is fitting the clutch the wrong way around. The side with the larger amount of hub protection is the side that must face the flywheel. They do mark the disc up as such, but the marking can be worn off in transit.
06 Rear Suspension
If the mounting bolt of the rear suspension radius arm ceases, as they often do, there is a trick to getting it out. If you use a power tool to cut the bolt between the radius arm and the chassis, it should come free.
07 Air Suspension
Don’t be like the others and make the mistake of jacking the Discovery up on the box or bracket on the outside of the left-hand chassis rail. It might look sturdy, but in reality, it’s just the housing for the air compressor. Jack up on this and you’ll crush it, which is bad news for your suspension.