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Old 03-15-2008, 03:29 AM
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Default Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Hey guys,

This is my first post so hello and I'm so glad I found this forum! Ok on to my million questions. I just bought a 95 Disco with 136k miles and instantly fell in love with it, but it's got its problems unfortunately and hopefully I can find some answers here. I don't know a great deal about engines so please forgive me if I ask stupid questions I'm still learning.

1. When I start the rover it sounds sick, It takes about 3 seconds of turning the key in the ignition and it "winding out" before it actually starts. Sometimes it won't even start and when I turn the key again it does nothing, so I turn the key all the way back as if I were going to remove it from the ignition and then turn it again and itll struggle then turn over. Could this be a bad starter? Spark plugs, or cillenoid(sp)? Any advice would be appreciated.

2. One of the most important problems I see with the disco is the fact that no matter how many times I switch from park to neutral the 4WD shifter seems to be stuck in the position it is in. Problems I believe may be in relation to this are:
- When I drive the engine makes a whiring or whining sound which seems directly linked to the RPMS, as I increase speed the whiring sound becomes more high pitched and as I slow it slows and becomes lower pitch.
- There is a light in my console that shows all four wheels and its yellow. It stays on permanently.

Am I stuck in 4wd low or something? Should the yellow "4 wheel axleicon" be lit up? What does it mean? are there any buttons on the console I press to use the 4WD shifter?

3. When I'm driving, almost non-stop I hear water rushing on the passenger side of the vehicle. It does not over-heat, has plenty of coolant, and the vacuum seems fine. Any ideas if this is normal or not?

4. I can't find a user manual for the car anywhere, not even for sale. I think I would understand all of the buttons and lights a lot better if I could track one down. Does anyone know where I can download or order one?

5. When I shift down to R, The disco has a very profound jerk like theres a lot of slack in the drive line, and also does this to a lesser degree when I go down to drive. Is this normal slack or something that needs to be looked into?

6. My check engine light came on tonight, and I've read elsewhere that unless it flashes (which it doesnt) it could just be an emissions reminder, any ideas? (another thing the manual would be useful for)

7. Sometimes when I'm taking the key out of the ignition, when I push in to release it the windshield wipers go off, is this a repairable issue or just bad wiring that will be way too much of apain to fix?

8. And finally, I'm in Mesa Arizona and I think with the problems I have I could really use a good mechanic, does anyone know of a shop or individual that does good LR work, or knows their stuff about them?

Thanks so much for any and all answers you can give, as time goes on I plan to rectify all these problems and completely fix and re-paint the disco, so every little bit of helpcounts!

Jake
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:14 AM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Your starter mybe going out. Give it a tune up, these guys recommend Bocsh spark plugs and Magnacor plug wires, I use Denso Iridium plugs and Duralast plug wires. I think that I will go with the Magnacor wires next time but I swear by the Iridium plugs.
Bad plugs and wires will also set off your check engine light.
www.discoweb.org and www.atlanticbritish.com both have tech sections that have a wealth of info.
You have a air bubble in your cooling system and that is causing the gurgling sound. Park the trk with the nose up-hill, remove the fill plug on the top of the radiator and the radiator cap, start the trk and turn the defroster to HOT and let the trk idle for 30 min so that the air can escape, replace the radiator plug and then the radiator cap, make sure that you keep it full while it is running and cap it back up while it is running.
Your center differential lock is LOCKED, that is why the light is on on the dash. Drive forward slowley, stop and shift into neutral and then move the CDL lever to the far right closest to the passenger seat.
You have four positions with the CDL, high, high locked, low and low locked. High and low are on the right and the locked are on the left. The trk is FULL TIME FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, not AWD, not part time four wheel drive.
If you drive in town with the CDL locked you can tear up the transfercase.
http://home.twcny.rr.com/eeibooks/ro...codifflock.htmThis will give you some insite on how to fix it.
So when you are removing the key the wipers come on? Or they turn off if you have them on when you remove the key?
These trks are very easy to work on, you can do most repairs yourself.
You MUST use premium gas, if you dont you will get bad MPG and risk carboning up your engine so bad that the valves will stick and then you will need a valave job.
If you use full synthetic oils in the crank case, differentials and transfer case that will also help your MPG.
This should get you started.
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Thanks so much spike, valuable info there. I'm about to go see what I can do about getting it out of diff lock. I'll check the spark plugs and do that coolant trick while I'm at it too.

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:50 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Stop driving it right now.

Make sure your shifter for the transfer case is back and to the right. That is unlocked and high. This is what you need to be in for in town driving. If you drive with it locked on dry pavement, you are winding up you drivetrain and it is very hard on it.

With the truck cold and the front end on an incline, take out the little screw on the passenger top of the radiator. That is the bleed screw. Start the truck with the heater on high. Let it warm up, and once you see coolant flowing through and the truck is up to temp, fill the radiator to the top and insert the screw (plug). The top off your reservoir. That is causing your sloshing sound.

After you get the t-case unlocked, drive to your local auto parts store and have your battery tested and your codes read. Get back on here with the codes and we can tell you where to start.

These are listed in order of importance. I can't stress getting the t-case right before driving enough...
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:46 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Well for starters, today I did the incline trick and was able to fix the sloshing noise, so there's one problem taken care of. I called my dad and had him come over and help me with the stuck 4wd. When he got under the truck he noticed that the front shaft from the transfer case to the front differential has been REMOVED!!! We tried and tried to get the shifter *** to move and managed to get it center left, but it just wont budge anywhere else. Later in the day I had the cardead at autozone and wouldnt turn over just sounded like it was draining the batteryso I had the battery and alternator tested and it turned out to be a bad alternator and the battery (which I couldnt afford after the 292.00 alternator) was holding a 12.4 volt charge and the guy said it should be around 12.6. I guess I'll replace the battery soon. The check engine light went off though at least.

So about the front shaft being removed, from what my dad told me it meant it was in 2WD and the winding noise was the T-case thinking it was in 4 low. he said it shouldnt hurt it until we can get a new front shaft, but Im not so sure what do you guys think? It seems to run good and unencumbered, but still whines which kinda sets me on edge.

How do I get them to read my codes at auto zone or checker? Does it cost anything? I thought the LR's had to be hooked up to expensive machinery like a computer with test book or something to read codes?
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:38 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Woahh... Hey, L/R Disco's are maintenance intensive vehicles in their old age. Given your lack of mechanical skills and seemingly resources, I think you're going to need a lot of enthusiasm and Land Rover Loveto keep you going. I personally think you'd be a lot better off in a Jeep Cherokee about 5 yrs old with a lot fewer Mi. It'll be a lot cheaper for you in the long run. But anyway,welcome to the forum. Get the Rave CD (do a forum Search) and some tools and a cheap Harbor Freight multi-meter so you can learn some mechanical skills. You're going to need it. Also, start setting aside some money for parts/repairs.

Now onto your issues. Keep monitoring your coolant levels. When I hear that sloshing sound, first thing I think of is Head gaskets. For some reason the water level went low. It could be that the previous owner didn't properly bleed out the cooling system as you did ...or that is't using (loosing) coolant due to a leaking head gasket. You want to keep an eye on the coolant level daily for about a month or two. The enigne is aluminum and cannot tolerate any overheating of any kind. If it starts using water (sloshing) more, you need to look into the head gaskets, which is really common with these land rovers (and a lot of aluminum engines in general).

"Drive Shaft Superstore" in Phoenix is a good place to get a new one made up. I've bought from them. Great work/price/service. Chances are good that you might be digging into your transfer case ...there is likely a reason the driveshaft was removed. But, you never know. As for the codes, Autozone will read them. You probably have a high temp code since the coolant was low and a low current code due to the alternator. They can clear.

As for the alternator, here's your first repair for ya. Take the alternator off and remove the black back cover (screws). Check the brushes. That's thelittlegrey graphitespring-loaded piecesthat contacts the shaft. Given the miles, I bet they're just worn out. Mine were. The shaft needs to be in decent shape too. If so, you can buy a new set from an alternator rebuild shop for about $25 and usually that's all you need to do to get it working again. Easy to install. Get the alternator tested again (at a parts store before you reinstall) to verify operation. Also be very sure the alternator belt isn'tGLAZED and is ROUTED PROPERLY. Mine wasn't routed right when I bought it and it simulated a bad alternator. Took me a LONG time to figure that out. The belt contact around the alt pulley should be more than 90 degrees. Good luck
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:06 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

I can tell you that the whine is your rear diff going out. A little whine is normal, but if it gets any louder, get ready. You need to put synthetic in your rear diff right now if you plan on driving it around with the front shaft off. With the shaft removed,the transfer casehas to be locked, or the output to the front shaft will just spin.

To shift from low to high (front and back), you have to be in neutral. To shift from locked to unlocked, you can be in whatever gear you want. If the shifter will not move from right to left, you may have to remove the shifter boot and the center console to get at the linkage to lube it. The link Spike gave you should help.

You can google the Rave CD and download it for free. It has any manual you should need.

Autozone can read any code that is setting off the CEL. Even if the light is off, the code is stored. Ask them, it is free...

You can get a used front shaft on e-bay pretty cheap and then have new u-joints put in and balanced. Without the front shaft, kinda defeats the purpose of the truck.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:38 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Thank you so much guys, you have no idea how much help you've been already. My pops has a garage full of good tools so I'm all set there, and he's not too bad with vehicles either, so I have a good start. I love my land rover and honestly I will put the work and effort into making it bad@ss again! It's just gotta be reliable enough to get back and forth to college for the time being.

As you said discoguy not having that front shaft defeats the purpose for sure, so I will leave it in lock until I get that started. When I'm putting synthetic in my rear diff where do I need to look? (here's the naivety coming out) is there a cap or something? Do I need to remove the diff first? And by synthetic do you mean synthetic motor oil? haha

I'll get right on that RAVE cd and alsostart looking for that drive shaft.

Does anyone have email addy's they'd give to me so I can ask questions? I can keep posting here too, but just figured it'd be easier than bumping this thread every day

Thanks so much,
Jake
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:15 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Hold off on the rear end lube. I think the whining (whirring) sound you described might be the engine fan clutch. It's part of the motor fan. You did say it was RPM related, right? They commonly freeze up when they getto about the age of your rig. Quick way to check is to turn vehicle off, reach in front of the motor andspin the fan. There are a couple clips on top of the fan shroud right above the fan that you can remove and lift the top portion of the fan shroud right off (just look at it a little and you'll see what I mean). You don't have to remove the top of the shroud if you don't want, but it makes diagnosing the fan clutch easier. Anyway, the fan should spin with a little resistance, but the motion should feel smooth and fluid. Also wiggle the fan, it should not wiggle front to back hardly at all. If it doesn't rotate, moves with rough or 'catching' action or wiggles, replace it ASAP before it breaks and causes a lot of $$ damage. If it passes this test, start the vehicle up and then look at the fan (leave the shroud on for this one. Look at the fan and have someone give it a little more RPM. The fan should not spin as much as the engine. The theory is that when the vehicle is cold or under normal driving, except in really hot weather, the fan clutch lets the fan run free so as to save fuel. It's also a lot easier on your water pump bearing. If it spins when it's cold or fails any of the other tests, Autozone sells them for about $125 if I remember right. They also will rent ya the special thin wrench you need to change it.

If that turns out to be the problem, you might as well do the alternator repairat the same time and put a new serpentine belt on it if yours isn't in good shape. Check the idler pulleys too. When I did mine I went aheadand replaced the thermostat with a new one. It was shot. Seems like those things fail at high mileage. Autozone also sells them.

As far as the driveshaft goes, unless you can buy a used one really cheap, like $50 to your door, I'd call that Drive Shaft Superstore (do a google search) and price out a new one. I think I paid $160 for the one for our Jeep, which should be similar. The L/R driveshafts tend to have U-joint failures, which can be catastrophic and take out a tranny, so you definitely want to put on new U-joints. By the time you buy U-joints and pay shipping on a used shaft (ebay) ...and then you still have a "used" or worn driveshaft that will likely have some wear or play (driveshafts do wear out) andcould vibrateas you drive. Also, from what I gather,your skill level isn't up to replacing U-joints. It can be tricky and is a good deal of work and pounding even under the best case. Give all this, strongly consider just buying a new one you can just bolt on and bedone ...and have new.

I think you would truely gain a lot buy buying and reading a Haynes manual on Discos, read it front to back. You really need to increase your mechanical knowledge or you're going to have a tough time with this vehicle and get burned out. You would learn a lot and it would prepare you for future repairs/projects. You'll gain a lot more satisfaction when you make repairs/upgrades. I mean, if you don't even know what kind of fluid to add to a rear differential, or how to put it in, that tells me your skills are a 1 or 2 out of 10. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I'm glad you are working on a L/R, but taking a few evenings to read the owners manual and a repair manual (like a Haynes manual available at your local book store) will take you to a 4-5 really quick. Just my opinion, but trying to help.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:02 PM
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Default RE: Just bought 95 Disco V8i 3.9 and I'm lost help please!!

Thanks alot mark, I will check that fan today. We already replaced the alternator yesterday and it starts a whole lot easier now. Serp belt is in great shape, check engine light is off now, so I need to find that whining noise and get that drive shaft and I think we'll be in shape. You guys are awesome!
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