Last updated:  2003.01.27

 ©  Text and Photo: Frode H. Haaland




Lær Discovery å kjenne

Om Discoverys historie etc.

Service schedule   

When to change what


Conversion tables for part# to different brands of filters 

Alternative part #  

Find substitutes for expensive or difficult to obtain LR-parts.


200tdi drivebelt specs



Which ones to keep onboard


Which ones to keep onboard


Which tyres are applicable?

Oil & Fluids

Capacities and specs

Workshop Manual 

Which one should I choose?

Off-road Specs 

The angles of Your Disco

How long will it last?

Everything wears, but at different rates. Get an idea of what to expect.


What does that VIN-coding really mean?

. .

All specs are for LHD 200tdi. For other specs (height, width, capacities for V8 etc.): check manual.


Lær Discovery å kjenne (norwegian only articles)

Klikk her for å lære mer om Discovery - historie, modellutvikling, og hva du bør være oppmerksom på hvis du skal kjøpe en Discovery.


The Discovery engine bay

For layout of Discovery engine bay, check this Internet Landroverclub link.


Filters: Conversion Tavle

  Purolator  Fleetguard Mann Coopers Donaldson Fram Champion*
Fuel filter 200/300 tdi AEU2147L F57721 FF5135 (stratapore version: FS19599) WK842/2 AZF 090 P550588 P-4183 L111 *
Oil filter 200/300 tdi ERR3340 L30257 LF3451 W920/17 Z 1159   PH-5443 C105 *
Air Filter 200tdi  NTC1435** - AF4992 C14179/2 AZA 308   CA4333 W709 *

* Champion filter data supplied in Haynes manual, and might be erroneous. These part# were not confirmed by Fleetguards conversion table, nor by Purolator. 

200 and 300tdi engines share same oilfilter and fuelfilter. Airfilters differ, and there's two partnumbers for 200tdi airfilters, so make sure you get the correct one, using the OEM partnumbers in the far left column.

** Airfilters differ over the years/type. Find the correct part# for your own vehicle, and keep it!

Good advice 1: Remember to drain water from fuel filter - especially when winter is due: might save you from missing a startup.

Good advice 2: Also remember to drain sedimenter bowl behind chassis, in front of RH rear wheel (on  LHD-Discos). This one is supposed to help fuelfilter by sedimenting larger droplets and particles.



Alternator drivebelt 200 tdi 10x600 (mm)
PAS/Waterpump drivebelt 200tdi 13x1025  (mm)
Good advice: Don't throw away that old drivebelt!!! When renewing, put the old one behind rear quarter-panel for an emergency situation, and you'll never again get stuck with a broken belt (which of course should not occur if they're renewed at specified intervals). A length of rope (or a dogs leash) makes a good makeshift drivebelt; run it three times around to obtain enough friction.

Symptom of problem 1: Whining sound, especially at startup indicates worn drivebelt. Renew!

Symptom of problem 2: Flickering warning lights when water is splashing engine bay, sometimes steering will feel stiff as well: drivebelt slipping because it's worn. Renew!


Alternative part numbers

Also check Discoweb parts reference listing, and alternative filter# above

Use LR part# Make and # Also fits Comment
Front brake pads STC9187 Mintex MLB85AF   Vented discs use other pads
Rear brake pads STC9189/STC8570 Mintex MLB105AF 90R-01018/352 Range Rover, late 80s early 90s Covers all Disco 1 models
Wheel bearings RTC3429 Timken #37 

My Timken set had these # on the box:

LM 603049 20024
LM 603011      33

Also proven: Koyo HCLM603049/11

  2 sets per wheel, i.e. you'll need 8 pcs to do all 4 wheels
Prop.shaft UJ RTC4587 Volvo VO 3520997 Volvo 240, Volvo 760 2 pcs needed each propshaft 



Alternator output: 65Ah
Regulated voltage: 14,2 volt

If possible, do not start engine with ultra-low battery voltage. I have seen claimed that 80% of new alternators fitted fail if connected to a fully drained battery. i.e.: charge battery before starting engine if voltage is low.



The Disco has the following bulbs, which should be carried onboard at any time:

Headlight: H4 -   Stop/tail light: 21/5W  -  Rear Fog 21W - Direction indicator: 21W - Reversing light: 21W  -

Furthermore, there are some bulbs which you do not need to carry onboard but maybe in your garage :

- Sidelight: 5W glass-socket - Direction indicator side repeater: 5W - Number plate lights: 5W  Instrument panel: 1,2W glass-socket  - Ignition warning light: 2W glass-socket -

To obtain more light, check here.



The Disco has the following fuses, which should be carried onboard at any time (fusebox allows lots of spare fuses in it):

5A, 10A, 15A, 20A, 30A

Good advice 1: The Disco is supplied with a complex electrical system, which will often allow you to drive with partial lights - for instance headlamp RH side only... Study the electrical setup to get an idea of the setup during summertime (which fuses can be "borrowed" formore important purposes? Where are the relays?) - might save you catching a cold in a winter breakdown. 

Good advice 2: Use a permanent marker on relays etc to help next time your at something: what does this one do? where does the wires come from and where does it go? and what the heck is its job?



Lugnuts/wheel nuts use socket 1 1/16" or 27mm.

Stock Discovery size: 205/16 (also labelled 205/80-16).

Stock Discovery size in many other countries: 235/70-16. Same height as 205/16, but wider.

Anything larger than 225/75R16  (slightly taller than stock) in diameter will affect gearing. A size up to 30 and maybe 31' should not cause too much trouble.

A tyre size like 215/85-16 will give you a bigger wheel (i.e. better ground clearance), that is not too wide (good for snow, gravel etc.), and not too big to force change in T-box or diff gearing. Not all manufacturers make this size (not available in BFG A/T for instance). 

For information on different options on tyresizes, with or without trimming and lift, check Discowebs Tech-pages.

Different brands/tyres wear out at different rates. The LROI test winner General Grabber are reported to wear out at 40.000km, while Michelin XPC are reported to last as long as 80.000km (and even more if driven carefully).


Oil & Fluids: Capacity & Specs:

(LHD 200tdi)

Capacity (liter): Quality Spec: LR-recommended renewal interval
Engine Sump 6,00 Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE5W/30 to 25W/50 to RES.22.OL.PD-2, or CCMC PD-2 or better... API CD (or CE, CF or CH-4) 10.000km  (go for shorter intervals, for instance 7000km)

...oil filter

Manual Gearbox 2,67 ATF-oil to M2C33 20.000km
Transfer Gearbox 2,30 Hypoid gear oil, viscosity SAE 80EP or SAE 90EP to API GL4, MIL-L-2105, or better 40.000km
Front Axle 1,70 40.000km
Rear Axle 1,70 40.000km
Swivel Pin Housing

0,35 each side (or one shot everlasting special Land Rover Grease (STC3435) )

Steering box incl. Reservoir 2,90 (LHD) Dexron IID type ATF oil No interval given. Check for particles in oil.
Brake fluid reservoir . Hydraulic fluid to FMVSS 116 DOT 4 Every 18months or 30.000km
Clutch fluid reservoir . Hydraulic fluid to FMVSS 116 DOT 4  
Washer Fluid 7,00 .  
Fuel tank 81,80 .  
Cooling System 11,50 Ethylene glycol based anti freeze Drain & flush every 2. year

For Land Rover technical bulletin on specs for oil/fluids, go here.

Oil sump nut is 29mm - get the correct socket right away, they're cheap and will not ruin the nut as can easily happen with other spanners (the 29mm is also used on  suspension bolts: forward A-frame bolts).

The oil sump copper seal has internal diameter ca.21mm, and are supposed to be renewed together with the oil. This will set you back about $1 or £0,5 or NOK 7,50 so there are no economic arguments for keeping an oilleak on sumpnut. Keep a spare one at hand when renewing engine oil, or you will have to give the old one a higher torque!

Following specified intervals no problem should occur with the fluids itself... However:

Symptom of problem 1: Oil getting white indicates water entering system. Oil should feel smooth, not "grinding" between your fingers.

Symptom of problem 2: If something does not leak or stops leaking, check if there's any fluid left. This is a common problem!!!!


Workshop Manual - Which one???

If you intend to do maintenance or repairs, you will soon need a proper manual to get the procedures, torques etc. There are two workshop manuals available: Haynes and Factory. And there are servicemanuals and parts catalogue...

Haynes  Manual

It is common within the Community to hate the Haynes-manual, which is not well deserved. It is well-written (some text "stolen" from factorymanual), has a proper index, is well organized, has crossindexing within text itself. Photographs in B/W are not always too helpful due to bad photos and/or bad printing. Does not cover gearbox-repairs. No good on bigger bodywork repairs. Every job is labeled for its complexity - helpful if you're experience is limited! All repairs are based on using plain ordinary tools, advice on how to makedo when special tools are required.

Covers: Diesel (200 & 300 series) and Petrol V8 1998-1999 (all series I Discovery). Price: £15 = Cheap. ISBN 1 85960 708 X

Choice for: Novice or someone not going to extremes in their own repairs. Useful for anyone due to their description of makedo tools.

Factory Manual

Recognized as best choice in Community, but is expensive, thick, not to well organized, no indexing. But covers anything and everything for all series I Discoverys. Far better than Haynes in its coverage, especially on these themes: Gearboxes, bodywork, electrics. Though: Every chapter lists 1 or 2 pages of special tools needed for repairs in that chapter... Lots of drawings is very helpful - shows better than pictures how things appear. Very good indeed - but big and complex, difficult to find your way through. Not too handy for keeping inside the cabin of a Discovery for forthcoming events.

Choice for: Competent DIY-mechanics or in restoration projects.

Parts Catalogue

Shows exploded view of every bolt and nut and their assembly in vehicle. Very useful to see how jobs are to be done. The part# listed and the concepts and names put on it is helpful both when discussing issues and when ordering parts. Extremely expensive.

Choice for: To add to workshop manual for experts or the ones very enthusiastic about their vehicles and its repairs - or with some extra £ to spare...

Service manual

The Porter servicemanual covers Range Rovers and Discovery in same book. Shows all the usual servicejobs and their intervals. Tips and hints are useful, but advice is generally scarce if this is to be of any help for novices - we do probably need more on diagnostics than this or any other manual covers. Shows no repairs, only services. For instance: does not advice on bleeding brakes, which is a job you have to do at least every two years. Constantly and annoying advicing you to consult dealer or proper workshop. 

Choice for: Those who do not want to do their repairs, only the servicing. Will probably soon opt for Haynes and/or Factory manual...

Haynes restoration manual

Were scheduled for january 2002, but no specific date is now given for it. It is not known whether this implies a pure delay, or if project is shelved.

What we're missing:   1) Diagnosis and 2) The easy way

There are at least two common problems for anyone approaching a vehicle as a DIY-mechanic: 1) What is wrong 2) What to do about it. 

The manuals cover second issue, and only touches upon first issue.

Correctly diagnosing the issue and problem at hand is generally more difficult than resolving and repairing it. Diagnostics requires knowledge in shape of a repertoire of examples, where similar symptoms were at hand, and which were validated during either ones own or others repairing it. Several problems can have same symptoms (for instance steering vibrations), and subtle symptoms - or a thorough procedure can reveal which problem is at hand. All this points to the fact that diagnosis is both important and difficult - and a book can at least do part of that job, but definetly not all of it.

Different Forums are set up to help on both issues, and  careful reading of he postings reveal the diagnostic part of the process is the most crucial. The procedure for repairs can generally be checked out in the manuals, and lots of things are selfevident when trying to dismantle. Sites like the Internet Landrover Club (and others)  have diagnostic sections, some also with helpful pictures, which might prove extremely valuable maintaining and repairing a Discovery. 

Diagnosis is only touched upon in the manuals, and the MOT-discussing sections are the valuable parts for this. Different LR-magazines cover this issue, both in the form of questions, and/or shorter articles. 

Why are they not coming up with a book covering diagnosis?

Next problem is the way repairs are approached. The repair manuals are written under the assumption that what you need doing, is pulling something apart, and then reassembling and refitting it. 

This is not very useful, as most of the jobs intend to solve a minor problem (for instance stopping a leak), and your intention is to make the job as easy and cheap as possible. 

This is the secondmost important function of the tech-forums: How to do the job the easy way. Postings say for instance: You are warned: "take heed when doing x or it will be difficult to Y", or advice is given: "try shaking the axle a bit, it use to help", or they say that "try this, it worked for me, if it helps you will save a couple of hours work"

The manuals are neutral and technical, where lots of DIY will need a more personal "touch" in the form of helpful comments beyond the exact procedures. Some of the articles on this site shows this kind of advice. 

An example: there is oil leaking from diff-nose. What do you do? The manual tells you how to pull a diff, change gears, reshimming it, etc. Not the easy way:  Dismantling driveshaft, removing flange, pulling oilseal, putting a new one back on. Of course you can find this procedure yourself in the manual if you've got fair competence and has an overview and understanding of the lenghty descriptions in the manual. Many DIY mechanic will not have this competence (like me), and will thus not find what in a technical sense is covered in the manual.

None of the manuals are very helpful on finding the easy way, though Haynes for instance tells you how to do a particular job without a lot of  LR-specific-tools. It furthermore helps by classifying the jobs as to its difficulty. All the LR-magazines are helpful showing and/or explaining easy way of doing the jobs. 

We want to buy it!!!

There must be a market for books rectifying the two concerns: diagnosis and easy way, as indicated by postings to Forums, letters in LR-magazines, and articles in the magazines. 

A book has its advantage in being organized, in its thoroughness, indexing etc.: You can work your way through it at your own pace, watch or test the vehicle, go back to the book. As opposed to working your way through tech-sections from the last xx-years of a magazine, browsing the net or searching the Forums. And still have concerns that you have not properly understood what's involved or whether the initial diagnosis is correct.


Off-Road Specs: Angles, Clearance & Depth:

Don't forget: All specs are for 200tdi (some angles better than V8...and one worse...), and EEC kerb weight:

Approach angle 42,45°
Ramp break over angle 30,79°
Departure angle w/towbar ("ground anchor") 19,75°

...without towbar

Max gradient 45°
Max wading depth 500 mm
Min.ground clearance (w/ 205/16) 250 mm (diff. housing)


How long will it last?

Different components wear out at uneven intervals - leaving you in a situation where there is always something to renew - if you have the money available. The following list is compiled from different sources (the Porter Service Manual was important source), and gives an indication of what to expect from your vehicle. It will also indicate important points for inspection when buying a used vehicle.

Regular service, good oil, only road use, living in a garage and a good climate and so on will increase life - while offroading, rough driving style, poor maintenance, etc. will reduce the components working life.

If you have comments, knowledge to share etc. - PLEASE e-mail to:



Front pads 25-30.000 km Don't trust wear indicator. It is on inner pad RH, and the wear on inside/outside differs between vehicles. Check thickness when removing a wheel.
Rear pads 60-70.000 km Don't trust wear indicator. It is on inner pad RH, and the wear on inside/outside differs between vehicles. Check thickness when removing a wheel.
Front discs . Check thickness when renewing pads. Look for bad scoring.
Rear discs . Check thickness when renewing pads. Look for bad scoring.
Calipers  . Corrosion on pistons are common. Check carefully when renewing brake pads (cannot be pushed into bore). Dripping of fluid: worn piston-seals - renew.
Brake system seals . Supposed to be renewed at 60.000km or every 6th year.
Coilsprings . Heavy towing and offroad (ab)use increase wear dramatically.
Front Shock absorbers 70.000 km Heavy towing and offroad (ab)use increase wear dramatically.  Oil-filled shockers: stains of oil indicates worn out shock. Push each corner of vehicle heavy downwards. It should stop bouncing fast.
Rear Shock absorbers 100.000 km Heavy towing and offroad (ab)use increase wear dramatically. Oil-filled shockers: stains of oil indicates worn out shock. Push each corner of vehicle heavy downwards. It should stop bouncing fast.
Bushes . Rubber bushes degrades when contaminated with oil or fuel. Polybushes have better resistance. Clonks, vibrations, bad steering, etc. indicate worn bushes. Check for play in trailing arms etc.
Steering damper . When worn it gives steering vibrations. Release it, and check for even resistance all the way and in both directions.
Power steering pump . Steering "grunt" is relatively common: kind of "dzzzz-dzzz"-sound when turning steering wheel at slow speed. No remedies supposedly needed - pump reported to stay alive for years on with that sound. Check here though for different opinion or suspicion.
PAS box . Leaks and failure of these are quite common.
200tdi engine . Engine is very sensitive to high temperatures (warping), i.e. cooling system is important. Tdi-engines need good oil and frequent changes (7000km for synthetic, 5000km for mineral oil is generally advised, though factory recommends changing at 10.000km). Headgasket failures reported beyond 180.000km.

For statistics on tdi longevity, check this site.

Exhaust 4 years Exhaust rubber hangers can last a year short of that one if vehicle is driven much offroad, in salty conditions etc. Listen and look for exhaust leaks. Check rubber hangers and renew if they show signs of getting hard.
Turbocharger 240.000 km Seal failure leads to engine oil being consumed. Don't forget to let the engine idle for 10 sec or more after heavy working. Engine smokes through exhaust when turbo operates.
Diesel Glow plugs 100.000 km Engine reluctant to start from cold even with good battery. Smokes.
Diesel Injectors 120.000 km Excessive smoke. Engine misfires.
. . .
Clutch release lever Fails without warning Gets penetrated by pushrod from slave cylinder due to poor construction. Pedal bottoms and nothing happens to the plates, i.e. driveline engaged continually. Always renew when clutch is renewed.
Clutch plates Up to 120.000 km Check for slipping when pulling away or when hill climbing
Clutch damper . Weak point on diesel Discoveries
Clutch slave cylinder . Weak point on all LR. Same symptom as clutch release lever, but with fluid leaking from slave cylinder.
Transfer box Design problem. Fails without warning, but backlash evident for prolonged period.  

Mainshaft splines wear due to poor construction. Before it fails: Renew with cross-drilled shaft, or use Steve Parkers splash-feed disc and problem is solved. When it has failed: Full gearbox restoration needed; maybe T-box as well.

Main gearbox
Alternator 120.000km Fails without warning .
Battery 4-7 years Goes flat even when disconnected or can't be charged with a battery charger.
Starter Motor 230.000 km Turns engine slowly or fails to engage when battery and connections are in good condition.
. . .
Radiator Slow degradation Too long renewal intervals of coolant (or too much water w/ too little coolant) builds up dirt in radiator, clogs channels and give poor cooling. Renew at specified intervals, flush it thoroughly if buildup is suspected.
Waterpump . Noisy pump means it's on it's way out... Leak in drain hole under pump nose
Thermostat . .
Swivel ball oil seal . Hypoid oil dripping on inside of front wheel, or heavy oilstain. Low oil level in swivel housing. Use Special LR Grease instead of hypoid oil after renewing seal.
Diff bearings . .
Hub/wheel bearings . Check for play by rocking wheel, holding top/bottom of each wheel when jacked.
Pinion oil seal (differential nose oil seal) Slow deterioration The pinion oil seals are prone to leaking, visible as oildrop on diff-nose, or as small pond of hypoid on the ground directly below diff nose. On early vehicles these are relatively easy to replace.
Waterleaks Manufacture/design problem Discovery is particularly prone to waterleaks: front windscreen, alpine windows, rear windows, rear door.
Bumpers Slow deterioration Corrosion
Doors Slow deterioration Doorskin "bubbles", due to galvanic processes between aluminium skin and steel frame.
Front wings (older vehicles) Slow deterioration The plastic inner wheel arch "eats" itself through wing.  Design weakness.
Rear "wings" (older vehicles) Slow deterioration. Rear big bodypanel works loose behind rear wheel, where it meets rear mudflap; rattles. Attach it via bracket using bolt/nut.




See calVIN for a VIN-calculator to decode your VIN-number. Below are reproduced a VIN-table for Discovery. Inconsistencies were found in the modelyear coding in James Taylor: Land Rover Discovery 1989 - 1998, MRP autoguide, 1999, and the Rimmer Bros. catalogue proved to be more correct.

You will find the VIN code it stamped into the chassis at front RH side wheelarch, slightly ahead of the coilspring. There's also a aluminium plate in the front of radiator, but often there's nothing stamped into it...  

Otto has this VIN: SALLJGBF8GA419922. The VIN can be deducted this way:

1 SA World Manufacturer code for Rover Group  
2 L Manufacturer sub-division for Land Rover  
3 LJ Model code for Discovery  
4 G First type code D = Honda Crossroad

G = Standard 100 inch

5 B Second type code B = 3 door body

M = 5 door body

6 F Engine Type code F = Tdi intercooled turbodiesel

L = 3,5 litre injected petrol V8

M = 3,9 litre injected petrol V8

V = 3.5 litre carburettor V8

Y = 2-litre injected petrol four cylinder

7 8 Steering and transmission code 3 = RHD automatic

4 = LHD automatic

7 = RHD 5 speed manual

8 = LHD 5-speed manual

8 G Model-year or variant code G = 1990 model year (Oct 1989 to Sept 1990)

H = 1991 model year (Oct 1990 to Sept 1991)

J = 1992 model year (Oct 1991 to Sept 1992)

K = 1993 model year (Oct 1992 to Sept 1993)

L = 1994 model year (Oct 1993 to Sept 1994) (R in US)

M = 1995 model year (Oct 1994 to Sept 1995) (S in US)

T = 1996 model year (Oct 1995 to Sept 1996)

V = 1997 model year (Oct 1996 to Sept 1997)

W = 1998 model year

X = 1999 model year

Y = 2000 model year

1 = 2001 modell year

2 = 2002 model year

3 = 2003 model year

9 A Assembly Location A = Solihull
10 419922 Serial number  

When ordering parts, your supplier will always take interest in the numbers from digit 8 onwards, i.e. for instance GA419922. These two letters and six numbers tells which model year and exact vehicle within that model year. THe parts catalogue also splits the model year before and after a certain serial number when there has been changes within a model year. 

VIN# MAxxxxxx onwards means 300-series/Romulus discos.  

Go to calVIN for deduction of Disco2 VIN#.