Famous Four

Independent Land Rover Specialists

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Buying Advice – Land Rover Discovery Td5

A potential Land Rover owner recently contacted us with a great question about buying a Discovery Td5. There are a lot of these vehicles around at low prices these days but are they worth it?

I know you guys have been around for a while and everyone I have ever known with a Land Rover swears by you guys.  Now I keep hearing that a Discovery 2 Td5 manual among all land rovers are just money pits! I really want to take the plunge and buy one but what advice would you guys give to a new buyer.

As you are thinking of taking the plunge and buying a Land Rover, here are some of our thoughts of what to look for when buying a Land Rover Discovery Td5, based on a great deal of experience with these vehicles since they launched back in 1998.

Discovery Td5 vehicles are getting a bit long in the tooth now and, whilst they are intrinsically a pretty good vehicle, age related issues are starting to rear their heads.

Look out for corrosion, especially at the back-end of the chassis, but also sills, bulkhead and other areas of the inner frame. This can be expensive to repair. We can now supply the rear quarter section of the chassis.

Cylinder head failure is now quite common, and it is very expensive to buy a new head. Repair of a head does not work in our experience. Symptoms are fuel in the oil, noticeable by checking the oil level on the oil dipstick isn’t too HIGH. This will often indicate either cylinder head internal failure, but can also be due to fuel injector sealing washers failing causing fuel to leak into engine, which is a much less expensive repair.

If buying a manual gearbox model, clutch and flywheel wear can lead to expensive bills. Automatic gearboxes can fail, especially if the engine has been re-mapped for more power, as this tends to prematurely wear the auto ‘box.

More general issues with the Discovery Td5 range are;

  • Hub(s) leaking – requires new (expensive) hub(s)
  • Sunroof leaking – often difficult to diagnose
  • Central door locking not working (new latch/es)
  • Air suspension air bags/compressor/ride height sensor failures
  • Fuel pump and/or fuel pressure regulator failure (left unchecked can lead to starter motor failure due to fuel dripping on to it from above)
  • Front swivel ball joint(s) worn
  • Engine misfires due to oil ingress in the engine wiring loom/ECU
  • ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement) system wear – corroded pipes – very expensive to rectify/remove.

Unlike the earlier 200 Tdi and 300 Tdi models, the Discovery II Td5 model is not quite a ‘DIY’ Land Rover, and some jobs are best done in a specialist workshop with the required diagnostic equipment and expertise.

Buying a vehicle with a comprehensive service history is always advisable, but be prepared for repair bills which are bigger than those for the older, less technically sophisticated Land Rover Discovery vehicles of earlier years. However, just because we’ve listed some fairly major potential failings, it doesn’t mean that all (or any) of these will befall your potential new steed!

Workshop Diary – Range Rover Sport TDV8 Turbocharger


It’s fair to say that we here at Famous Four, along with many modern era Range Rover owners, rate the TDV8 series of engines very highly with their plentiful power, huge torque and relatively(!!) frugal fuel economy for such a big power unit. Like any engine, though, sometimes things go wrong and the TDV8 is no more immune than any other powerplant fitted to Land Rover’s range.

Tight Fit!

Land Rover only fitted the TDV8 engine in the Range Rover Sport (first generation) from 2007 to 2010, leaving the range without V8 diesel option for the last three years of its life. When you undertake major engine work on a 3.6 Litre TDV8 model it’s easy to see why, the big V8 diesel engine occupies close to every square inch of space in the engine bay!

No better is this illustrated than when you change a turbocharger on one of these beasts, a task our workshop were given recently. Our intrepid technician, Luke, began the mammoth task of lifting the body off the chassis to access the engine and turbocharger. As involved as this sounds, the Discovery 3/4 and Range Rover Sport of this era were designed to facilitate this, with the electrics, ancillaries and pipework all conveniently disconnecting between the body and chassis. Upon removal of the easily located mounting bolts, the entire bodyshell lifts off with the help a workshop lift located under the jacking points. It’s a job we have done quite a few times on both models to change engines and parts that are not accessible from the engine bay or underside.

Changing the Turbocharger

As you can see from the pictures of the bodyshell engine bay area, and the engine sitting on the chassis, the engine is a mighty tight squeeze! The turbochargers, there’s one per bank of cylinders, are tucked down and away under the body on this model meaning a body-off lift is the only way to access them. The pictures of the old turbo vs. the replacement unit clearly show a major failure. Although not visible, there was a huge amount of slop in the impeller shaft, showing a total failure of the bearings, resulting in oil escaping into the inlet tract of the engine. This usually leads to contamination of the intercooler and intake hoses meaning not only a turbocharger change but also a lot of cleaning to do. Thankfully the hoses are removed anyway, and the radiator/intercooler assembly is easy to get to without the body in the way. The turbocharger itself is nestled at the back of the engine, packed very tightly into place as can be seen.

While jobs like this might appear daunting at first glance, patience and a methodical approach are the order of the day. At Famous Four our technicians are trained and qualified to carry out every job from a routine service to complex jobs such as these, as well as detailed and exacting restoration work. We pride ourselves on quality work at affordable prices and hope we can help you care for your Land Rover or Range Rover.

More information at: https://www.famousfour.co.uk/wshop

New Air Conditioning Re-gas Services

services for all Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles using HFC R134a coolant gasFamous Four have recently acquired equipment and appropriate training in our workshops to allow us to offer air conditioning gas emptying, refilling and leak testing services for all Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles using HFC R134a coolant gas. We also offer air conditioning freshener treatments to freshen and sterilise systems suffering from mould or musty smells.

Take a look at our Workshop section for details on your specific model of Land Rover or Range Rover vehicle, and prices for Air Conditioning re-gas services, as well as a wide range of servicing, repairs and restoration work on vehicles right across the range.



Identify the air conditioning gas type in your vehicle?

Look for a label similar to the following (images 2, 3 and 4) on the slam panel at the front of the engine bay to identify the air conditioning Gas type in your vehicle.

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VACANCY – Vehicle Parts Sales Person



This vacancy has been filled, thank you for your interest.

VACANCY – Fully Skilled Motor Vehicle Mechanic



This vacancy has been filled, thank you for your interest.

Parts help revive Suffix A Range Rover in Switzerland

We were interested to receive this news from a long-term customer in Switzerland;

I send you pictures of my 1972 Range Rover Suffix A which has less than 80,000 km (about 53,000 miles). I purchased it from a garage which has owned this car since 1975, so I’m the third owner from new. It was not looking good before I bought it so I had to do my first part of a long renovation process.

First of all I stripped down all the parts until I could see that there was not much rust to repair. After rust repair the whole car had a repaint. So now I have rebuilt the car as good as possible so that I could use it.  In the springtime I will carry out some service work and rebuild the interior with new parts sourced from Famous Four and to replace the heater matrix and then I hope that I can enjoy my Suffix A Range Rover again.

We wish him many more happy years of Range Rover Classic ownership!

Suffix A Range Rovers depart for the Continent

Today we dispatched two very early Suffix A Range Rover Classics to a client on the continent.

He contacted us with a request for an early vehicle for restoration, and we were able to supply him with two suitable ‘basket cases’ from our stock!

As we restore these cars in-house, we know just how much work will have to go in to his project, but we are sure the end result will be well worth the effort, as the very early examples of the Range Rover Classic are the most sought after.

Workshop Diary – Discovery 3 TDV6 Glow Plugs

A common problem with the 2.7 TDV6 engine as fitted to the Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport is poor starting on very cold mornings. There are a few things that can cause this: the most common seems to be the Glow Plugs. TDV6 Glow Plugs are situated inside the “V” of the engine and can be quite troublesome to get to.

When the time finally comes to actually changing the Glow Plugs, this is where the fun starts. If you do an internet search regarding the changing of these then you will find all kinds of horror stories regarding the Glow Plugs snapping inside the Cylinder Head. On most occasions these type of stories are untrue or exaggerated due to the fact of poor fitment etc; unfortunately on this occasion the story came true!

Our workshop staff are currently busy removing the Cylinder Heads of a 2.7 TDV6 Discovery 3 to extract the snapped glow plug. This is no easy job, with an almost complete engine top-end strip down required to remove and refit the Cylinder Heads. Once the Cylinder Heads are removed the remains of the Glow Plugs need to be drilled out and the threads inside the Cylinder Head either need to be cleaned or replaced using special inserts.

Once the Cylinder Heads have been refitted, the engine can be rebuilt with new gaskets, seals and belts, including a new timing belt. A long drawn out job to “just” change six Glow Plugs, but one our highly skilled and professional Technicians take in their stride!

Classic Range Rover Seat Coup

We are delighted to have sourced a large stock of front seats for later model year 4 door Classic Range Rovers, which we will be offering for sale to valued customers in the very near future.

All of the seats pictured are new, old stock, genuine Land Rover parts which have been unavailable for many years. They will undoubtedly be of great interest to restorers or owners of Range Rovers from the 1990s decade, to be used as replacements for worn or broken originals.

We will consider selling just the covers, or the seat electrics, so do feel free to contact us to see if we can help you with your specific requirements. Watch our website and our ebay pages for listings of individual seats.

Modern History – Freelander 2 VX56 ETY

We welcome a rather special vehicle to our fleet, one of the very earliest Freelander 2 vehicles in existence, and one of the first built, registered as VX56 ETY.

This car was originally owned by Land Rover UK, was built in July and registered on September 1st 2006, and used as a ‘press-release’ vehicle before the official launch of the Freelander 2 model in 2007.

VX56 ETY was photographed and driven by Autocar motoring magazine, pages of which are shown here.

It could possibly be the very earliest Freelander 2 in existence, with chassis number ending in 202, and is a right hand drive diesel manual HSE model.

The car had suffered from some of the common problems associated with the otherwise reliable Freelander 2 (2006-2015) model. Since buying it, we have given it a thorough inspection through our workshops. Both front and rear differentials have been replaced, along with the throttle body, and we have treated it to a full service and cambelt change.

Hopefully it will be good for another 10 years of service now, and we will put it to good use as a loan vehicle for visiting workshop clients.