Outono 98 Discovery

outono

Member
Sep 26, 2020
24
4
Orange, CA
So last month, I became the lucky owner of this fine Disco 1. Thanks to @lunchbox for connecting me to his friend and for the work done to the truck before I got my grubby hands on it.

First order of business, take stock of what I just bought.

Day 1 parked.JPEG

It really is super clean. For one, that Safety Devices rack is just beautiful, the paint is mostly in tact, and the rust is, well, mostly non-existent...

Rusty.JPEG

For a vehicle that spent, what?, one winter in St. Louis...this isn't so bad. But for someone used to California vehicles, this is a lot more rust than I was hoping for. Either way, it's all surface and won't be too painful to clean up.

Leaking front main.JPEG

The engine looked really good, but the front main seal wasn't happy. Nor was the IACV. More on that later...

Leaking hub.JPEG
Oddly, despite the hubs just being done by Lunchbox, this one is leaking profusely. Turns out that this was the fine work of GLB Motor Works in Richmond Heights, MO. For those of you that live nearby, avoid that place at all cost. They:
  • "Serviced" the IACV by resetting the ECU, but forgot to plug the damn thing back in
  • "Serviced" the rear diff, but left the fill plug loose so it leaked constantly
  • "Serviced" the already serviced hubs and made a mess of things
When I got the vehicle, the previous owner had already warned me the idle would be rough at start up, but would smooth out over time since GLB "fixed" the issue. Unfortunately, things only degraded and the vehicle would stall regularly if you took off too quickly.

So after having found that the IACV wasn't even plugged in, I connected it to the harness and reset the ECU with the GEMS Utility app.

GEMS Util.JPEG
Those values don't look right. Good thing we're going back to square 1.

Of course, in the great state of California, you can't pass the "functional" Smog test without your readiness flags set. So im still waiting for those tests to complete. I have the procedure, just haven't had the time to knock it out fully.

Corroded fusible links.JPEG

I should probably swap those fusible links out eventually. They're looking a bit corroded.
 
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outono

Member
Sep 26, 2020
24
4
Orange, CA
Now that i've got the idle back to normal and the truck running relatively well, it's time to start throwing money at it.

I tackled the front main seal and cut the rear arches to make room for these sexy Toyo Open Country MTs.

Toyo tire.JPEG

But what good are sick tires without a suspension upgrade? The vehicle came with a, ugh, interesting set of suspension haha. Terrafirma up front, stock in back + spacers. It worked, but I think the bling I threw on it suits the vehicle much better.

Suspension up close.JPEG
After what felt like an eternity researching suspension for this truck, I settled on a set of KONI Raid shocks and imported a set of King tapered progressive springs out of Australia. The hardware is all galvanized stuff from Gwyn Lewis and the turrets are made by Ratel-X. I only bought the turrets because they look cool, i'll admit.

For those of you that give a shit, I started adding to Red90's brilliant collection of coil spring stats for old Rovers. You can find that database here. And if you want info on shocks, take a look at this.

Information like this is one thing that drives me nuts about the Discovery community; all of it is either lost to time or scattered across 15+ forums. Coming from Landcruisers, I was surprised that there isn't something quite like IH8MUD. Maybe DiscoWeb was that back before the server crash...

Suspension far.JPEG

Those arms, by the way, have the wrong caster correction. The previous owner put 6 degree correction on a 2" lift so it drives pretty wildly. We'll be fixing that in a couple weeks. And what's up with the cut brake line mounts? Why?

rear sway.JPEG
Looking good from behind. Also replaced the ball joints and bushings on the rear sway bar since I had the parts laying around. Not sure if I plan on keeping it connected longer term, but its fine for now.

Those rear suspension cups were a real bitch. So much so that I had to get a shop to help me out with their removal. No matter what I did, including drilling them, they just didn't want to come off. These late models must have had more than just 4 spot welds...

Sound.JPEG
Did I mention this was an overkill build? Went with the 4" Focals due to the seamless fit into the stock speaker locations. That Sony head unit is laughably large, but it's perfect for Apple CarPlay and GAIA Maps when needed. Just need to figure out the sub situation, but im not in a rush for that.

Last side view.JPEG
Coming together nicely.
 
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terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
780
131
Very nice! I moved out of St. Louis exactly 1 year ago. That is a rare find there. I lived a mile from GLB. I’m curious, did you buy from someone in Maplewood? It looks familiar.
 

outono

Member
Sep 26, 2020
24
4
Orange, CA
Very nice! I moved out of St. Louis exactly 1 year ago. That is a rare find there. I lived a mile from GLB. I’m curious, did you buy from someone in Maplewood? It looks familiar.
Very close to Maplewood. Around University City / Clayton.
 

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
780
131
Not the one I was thinking of. It is also a white one, with CA plates. Well, CA plates were on it a year ago. It is also a really nice one. I walked my dog past it every day and thought many times about leaving a note on it asking if they wanted to sell it. But… I didn’t need to move another one over 1000 miles to my new home.

i moved 3 Triumphs and 3 Land Rovers here and there were already 2 Land Rovers here.

Stu, if you see this, go ahead and make fun of me, I deserve it.
 
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outono

Member
Sep 26, 2020
24
4
Orange, CA
Quick update before a much needed vacation.

Finally got the truck's brakes and bits situated. New wheel bearings all around, as well as pads, calipers, rotors, and brake shoes. Fixed the leaky swivel hub too. The pedal still doesn't feel right despite lots of bleeding so im guessing the master cylinder or booster has a bent rod. Whatever, it stops just fine.

Also repaired an exhaust leak and located that intense fuel smell. Turns out, the previous owner forgot to put a seal on top of the pump. Easy fix.

But the big task this week was to get the vehicle registered. A month ago, it failed smog due to the readiness flags not being set. To date, I have still not been able to clear all of the tests. My guess is that it has something to do with this pending P0451 code that seems to come and go, but I decided to roll the dice and try to test again. Afterall, you get a pass if you have 1 incomplete.

IMG_1529.JPEG

After 20 minutes of nail-biting, it got a Pass. Just one day before the temporary operating permit expired. Whew!

IMG_1530.JPEG

Off to France for a week then back at it. I've got some new radius and trailing arms to throw on, as well as some Tactical Sliders and stainless track rods. Looking forward to it.
 

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
780
131
“The pedal still doesn't feel right despite lots of bleeding”


I replaced calipers, rotors, pads, brake hoses, and the master cylinder on mine right after I got it. For preload on the wheel bearings I followed the instructions exactly as written and even watched a video of Britannica on youtub. If you haven’t tapped that resource you should. The guy is a brilliant Rover mechanic and entertaining as well.

After I did the work and a couple thousand miles the brake pedal would randomly go to the floor. I reached out here and everyone said to check the wheel bearings. Sure enough, there was a little play on one side. I repeated the preload process (bearings looked fine) and the problem was gone. Well, 8,000 miles later and it is back. So, I checked the bearings again, this time the other side had some play, very little and hard to say absolutely. So, I did the preload process again.. However, the problem has returned very quickly. I’m not sure it actually changed at all as the problem was intermittent and only presents after a lot of driving, This D1 only has 75,000 miles on it. It is hard for me to believe the bearings are bad but I expect replacing them is my next step.

On the bleeding, in my experience, they are very hard to bleed the traditional way. I tried and the pedal never felt completely right. I purchased a $25 harbor freight vacuum bleeder and the pedal was perfect after 20 minutes effort.
 

outono

Member
Sep 26, 2020
24
4
Orange, CA
“The pedal still doesn't feel right despite lots of bleeding”


I replaced calipers, rotors, pads, brake hoses, and the master cylinder on mine right after I got it. For preload on the wheel bearings I followed the instructions exactly as written and even watched a video of Britannica on youtub. If you haven’t tapped that resource you should. The guy is a brilliant Rover mechanic and entertaining as well.

After I did the work and a couple thousand miles the brake pedal would randomly go to the floor. I reached out here and everyone said to check the wheel bearings. Sure enough, there was a little play on one side. I repeated the preload process (bearings looked fine) and the problem was gone. Well, 8,000 miles later and it is back. So, I checked the bearings again, this time the other side had some play, very little and hard to say absolutely. So, I did the preload process again.. However, the problem has returned very quickly. I’m not sure it actually changed at all as the problem was intermittent and only presents after a lot of driving, This D1 only has 75,000 miles on it. It is hard for me to believe the bearings are bad but I expect replacing them is my next step.

On the bleeding, in my experience, they are very hard to bleed the traditional way. I tried and the pedal never felt completely right. I purchased a $25 harbor freight vacuum bleeder and the pedal was perfect after 20 minutes effort.
Interesting. Well, I have new wheel bearings all the way around and the preload is definitely right. Im still keen to see if the rod is bent on the booster, but its not critical at the moment.

I do have a vacuum bleeder, but i've bled my other D1 the traditional way and it worked a charm. I didn't find it too annoying. 99.9% sure it isn't a bleed issue, but man that would be great if thats all it is.
 

discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
6,874
682
Northern Illinois
Interesting. Well, I have new wheel bearings all the way around and the preload is definitely right. Im still keen to see if the rod is bent on the booster, but its not critical at the moment.

I do have a vacuum bleeder, but i've bled my other D1 the traditional way and it worked a charm. I didn't find it too annoying. 99.9% sure it isn't a bleed issue, but man that would be great if thats all it is.
I find a lot of times that the caliper pistons are corroded and binding in the caliper bores. Sometimes I can’t even get them out of the bore. I rebuild them with new pistons and seals. I think you could do that for around $100 an axle.
When these trucks were new they didn’t get a lot of poor braking complaints, old ones can kind of suck. I personally believe that after you exhaust all other possibles like you have, you gotta make sure those pistons can move freely in the caliper.
 
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