Discovery 1 300tdi

1997 Discovery TDI Auto Semi restored and reconfigured as a work/off road truck :- )


1990's (1996)

over 100,000 (198000)

Prefer not to say


RHD (Right Hand Drive)


2.5L - 2.9L (2.5L)



4 x 4





I acquired this Disco with 147k miles back in 2012, at the time it was a totally standard 7 seat XS model in need of some TLC.

It is now getting on for 200k and has been repaired and improved to suit my requirements. Hopefully the photos below will give some inspiration to other owners considering upgrades and improvements.

List of modifications and upgrade include:

  • Winch and winch bumper
  • Raised air intake (Snorkel) 
  • Raised transmission breathers (fixed to top of raised air intake)
  • Full length roof rack complete with front spot lamps
  • Raptor paint 
  • Rock Sliders - with tree sliders too :- )
  • 'Dodo' sound proofing
  • Silicone Coolant and Turbo boost pipes
  • Range Rover Classic Seats
  • Rear Ladder
  • Range Rover Classic front and rear mud flaps
  • Discovery 2 wide wheel arches
  • Upgraded sound system with USB input, Amp and small sub
  • Extended stainless flexible brake lines
  • Diff and fuel tank guards
  • Chequer plate to:
    • Bonnet
    • Lower body
    • Inner trim on taligate door as standard door trim was beyond repair - they're only fabric covered hardboard

As many Discovery owners will be familiar with, it has had extensive welding to the following areas: 

  • Boot floor
  • Rear wheel arches
  • Outer sills
  • Front inner wings
  • Bulkhead

I have fitted 'Dodo' soundproof matting to the floor from front to back which has made a significant improvement to both road and drivetrain noise - I would highly recommend taking the time to do this, especially when your truck is stripped down for welding anyway. It also has late model Range Rover Classic front and rear seats which were a direct bolt in replacement for the ageing discovery seats - the drivers seat had a failed diaphragm so I needed to do something and these are much more comfortable as both the front and rear seats have built in arm rests. These have also been finished off with a full set of custom seat covers which I sourced from Britpart . They even have individual small covers for the arm rests! - I highly recommend them :- )

Again, discovery 1 owners will be familiar with leaking sunroofs. I attempted to seal these up and failed, as a result I have gone for a full length roof rack with front mounted spot lamps and I removed the rear sunroof. I have an amp mounted on the underside of this now (Picture to follow).

To finish off the body I decided to go for a heavy duty finish that would be resistant to scratches and scrapes that it would be likely to receive during greenlaning. I went for 'Raptor' paint, it gives a rough finish which I actually quite like. It is certainly better than the ageing and tired original paint - especially as there were large areas which had succumbed to the dreaded 'lacquer peal'.

I have replaced the head gasket and checked the head for flatness. The cylinder bores were in great condition and still showed the cross hatching! The head too was fine and when measured was well within the flatness specification given by Land Rover so did not need to be skimmed. At the same time I also upgraded all of the ageing old standard coolant hoses to silicone and took the opportunity to replace with all new jubilee clips. On a recent long journey with a heavy trailer on a long hill the temperature gauge did go slightly above halfway. It was a very hot day but clearly this shouldn't happen, I think that the winch is reducing air flow to the radiator and I need to consider some upgrades and or modifications to overcome this. (Watch this space!) My current thoughts are to replace what is probable the original 20+ year old radiator with a larger capacity/deeper rad and look at electric fan options in place of the standard viscous unit... 

Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions etc

Update... The passenger side footwell was getting wet and it wasn't the heater matrix... So, big job required. Dashboard out, and a full investigation.

Rust had developed around the wiring harness grommet area:

Rust cut out and new metal mig welded in :- )

Primed and painted ready for wiring to go back in followed by the dashboard

While repairing the corrosion to the bulkhead / foot-well it was clear that the inner wing required some attention too...

Repaired, primed, painted and treated to a coat of underseal should keep this Disco going for years to come

Boot floor (after extensive welding) being treated to full 'Dodo' sound deadening.

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