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Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery Published: 30th Jan 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery
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Worn rear suspension surprised us, Rimmers to the rescue

h5>Owner: Alan Anderson Car: Land Rover Discovery Year: 2000

Don’t speak too soon, and why won’t some people (like me) learn? After gloating over landing a decidedly delightful Discovery TD5 that’s apparently been well cared for – it promptly failed its (short) MoT!

To be fair, it was nothing major, as they can be with Land Rovers, but getting the correct parts proved frustrating and stands as a warning if you buy any form of modified classic.

The rear suspension was the culprit, care of worn bushes and – very annoyingly – shot shock absorbers. Ironically, these were the easiest replacements of the repair job sheet but as they were supposedly installed fairly recently before purchase, it doesn’t say much for the longevity of certain aftermarket parts.

Thankfully, obtaining quality Land Rover spares couldn’t be easier but we automatically elected to go with Rimmer Bros and were mighty glad we did for it was mainly due to the company’s knowledge and patience that we finally got the right parts.

First hurdle were the dampers as our Discovery, like many others, was now running on conventional springing after ditching the troublesome expensive to- fix air suspension. But you can’t simply order up new dampers willy-nilly without the specialist knowing what kit was fitted, what type and length of coil springs are used and, on later Discos, whether its ACE rear stability system was installed or deactivated. As we said, the patience of Rimmer Bros was severely tested!

We opted for Terra-Firma replacements while replaced some tired compliance bushes that were flagged up on the MoT with the harder ‘poly’ types as they last longer plus tighten up the chassis without affecting the ride unduly. Swapping the dampers was as easy as replacing those tired old bushes was awkward – so let’s leave it at that!

Somewhat easier, once we fathomed out what was actually required, was the kaput bush that holds the Watt’s linkage in check to the axle – see pic. Once again, Rimmers was a diamond, helping us out here and saving £100 just by replacing the one worn component instead of the complete joint – and it wasn’t preferential treatment either before you ask…

To say that the changes in how our Disco now dances is dramatic is an understatement – as we thought it drove well enough beforehand. There’s a newfound tautness and sharpness to the stern which is also a fair bit quieter on the move yet, despite the more resilient poly-type bushes, the ride doesn’t seem to have suffered, although the new dampers must play their part in this?

In our monthly buying guides, we advise readers to try a few examples of the vehicle they are thinking of purchasing so to set a reliable datum and our experience proves the point; we’d have still bought our Discovery as it’s so good elsewhere (we hope…) but it would have been a useful bargaining tool. Also the benefit of using a known specialist of that marque is worth its weight in gold when you need help but even so the repair all told came to some £200 in parts with the dampers a reasonable £72. Luckily, we fitted them ourselves otherwise it could have mounted to the thick end of £500 with labour and VAT – that’s a quarter what we paid for the thing.

We’ve certainly been putting the overhauled rear suspension to the test of late as our Land Rover has had to work for its keep hauling a variety of classics with our dependable ‘dolly’(a decent alternative to a trailer that’s much easier to store-ed). It’s a shame that sound old diesels such as trusty 4x4s are effectively being outlawed by the establishment as derv-drinking workhorses are worthwhile additions to anybody’s fleet.


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