Replacing a timing belt on a Land Rover Discovery

I have a 1996 Land Rover Discovery, Tdi diesel, with over 150,000 miles on it. I’ve had it since 2006. A local mechanic and several car savvy friends have recommended that I get its timing belt replaced due to its mileage. As this is an expensive job (about £400 according to one estimate), I was looking to get a few more opinions from the experts as to whether or not I should seriously consider getting this done.


From some quick research on google this engine’s timing belt should be replaced every 72,000 miles or 6 years (whichever comes first). So if you have no record of timing belt replacement then you’re well overdue. If you like this vehicle it would be in your best interest to have the belt replaced immediately.

To be honest that price is TOO LOW methinks…You need the COMPLETE T-Belt Service…DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES just have someone Slap a T-belt on this engine…That would be a Horrendous mistake…

You positively MUST get this done. Look on Ebay for timing belt kits…IF your T-belt drives your Water Pump…(which is rather common) but not always… you will also need one of those…ALSO need a front main seal, as these usually do not come in the kits…

In a typical T-belt Job I would expect these parts:

Balance shaft belt (if equipped)
ALL Idler Bearings that the T-belt rides on (Usually 2 in total)
T-Belt Tensioner…with bearing
Water Pump
Front Main Seal

Above parts list is a COMPLETE T-Belt Service…and the one that you need…There are ,any high quality kits available on Ebay…if you find one that is complete except for one part or so…email the seller…and ask for the missing part…they will comply…and usually you get free ship…I mention Ebay because you save HUGE money on the parts bought at once in a kit…if you bought them separately…you will easily spend 3X

*****BEWARE BEWARE DO NOT BUY CHINESEIUM PARTS!!! I cannot stress this enough… Look for name brand parts in the kits…Like (Conti-tech, Gates or Dayco for belts…and GMB for bearings…quality pumps etc) they are widely avail…the issue is that the Cheapo-Nightmare parts are equally available and all lumped in with each other…so beware…

OH WHOOPS…400 Pound Sterling = 613.780288 US Dollars …That’s a BIT better but still a bit low…(maybe its an easy job) PLEASE make sure you are talking about getting the PROPER job done…its VASTLY important for your engine…and that engine is just getting broken in at that mileage…


Honda Blackbird,

If you were talking about my VW with a timing belt, I would think that you are a service writer pushing unneeded parts and work. The only part other than the timing belt needing replacement for my old VW would be the single idler pulley for the integral ball bearing which I have done several times. If a Honda needs all of that you stated, OK but does that translate to a Land Rover? Do you know for sure that a Land Rover needs a new balance shaft seal and a new main bearing seal and I have to ask, Why?

I dont know what exactly the land rover has under the T-belt cover…and it doesn’t matter…The POINT I was OBVIOUSLY trying to make is Address what IS there and replace all seals and bearings you come across during the Job…IT isnt EXTRA work AT ALL…

IF it has those parts present…do whats right…and what will be in the kit… You mean to tell me that after 150K you are going to tear into the timing components and SKIP the 8 dollar main seal? The 6 dollar cam seals…and IF it had a bal shaft…you going to skip that one too…LOL… Are you joking?

You will be staring at ALL of the components under the timing cover square in the face after they’ve been in constant service for what 16 YEARS…and you THINK they are going to survive till the next time you do a belt? LOL… I AM having a good laugh over here believe me…

AND WHY on EARTH are we discussing an OLD VW? AM I missing something?

OH YEAH…I Forgot…I would ALSO replace the CAMSHAFT SEAL/S as well…WHY? Are you kidding me why?

If it were my vehicle…I’d buy the kit and use the parts…THEY ARE IN THE KIT…THAT’S WHY THEY SELL A KIT… If you are thinking its some sort of EXTRA work you obviously don’t know your way round an engine…it will all be right there staring you in the face…You would have to ignore the parts to get thru the job WITHOUT replacing what you come across…and thus would be doing you or the OP a HUGE disservice…

What a SILLY SILLY Question…


Doesn’t your owner’s manual cover this? If so, tell us what it says, please.

Replacing a timing belt on a Land Rover is far far far easier then replacing a timing belt on a fwd transfers mounted engine. I replaced the belt on my wifes Accords twice…I let a mechanic to the belt the other times. There was so little room to work. Not an easy job. I replaced the belt on both my pathfinders several times. It was so much easier on a forward facing engine. A lot more room to work. The hardest part was removing the radiator. So cost wise…it doesn’t seem out of line…but I’m not a land rover expert.

Mike I hear you about the Xverse engine T-belt jobs…I do them in my sleep now…lol…and no they are NOT easy…but that’s the job brother man… They actually HURT sometimes, my threshold for physical pain is thru the roof at this point LOL…or Boo Hoo…not sure which…lol

Lion…NO the owners manual would NOT cover this…the Land Rover Mechanics Factory Service manual certainly would…regular folk don’t usually buy such an expensive and sizeable volume for light reading however…

Makes me think of the worst job I have done for some reason…a Cylinder Head job on an 88 Toyota Supra…My God…drop a tool it aint coming out the bottom I can assure you…Had to to the cyl head gasket…and test all 24 Valves…had to replace several valves…then get it all back together…WHAT A JOB…UGH…I don’t think I’d do it again to be honest…not with the engine in the car, not in my grandfathers garage…with no lift…and no cherry picker…Oh God…nitemares…I must’ve been 18 at the time…LOL

I hope the Land Rover Job is easy…It is possible that the water pump is external to the T-belt… But its Must at least have one tensioner…and one idler…it also by default…would require a Main Seal…and since its a T belt spinning a Camshaft…then its got a Cam seal also…

Point being…PLEASE make sure you replace the Replaceables under the T-belt cover to ensure the longevity of the new belt…You don’t want the new belt suddenly swimming in oil when one of those seals goes 5K after you did the new belt…

Why are we splitting hairs about what exactly is in the land Rover parts list…I never said I was a Land Rover Specialist… THE POINT again…is…replace what is replaceable… Any REAL mechanic would know what I am talking about…and if you showed him my post he’d just say…hmm…doesn’t have that part…skip it…hmmm has THAT part…replace it… Etc… C’mon


The problem I had with doing the timing belt on my wifes Accords…was there were places I couldn’t get my arm in. My wife or son had to get their skinnier arms in those tight places. I have the same problem with my wifes Lexus. My son had to remove the radiator plug for me…My forearm won’t fit between the radiator and the exhaust manifold. His skinny arm barely fits.

Mr. Honda Blackbird apparently is buying kits with unneeded parts.

Let me be the first to tell you sir, just because someone supplied you with parts in a kit does not mean that all of the old ones are doomed to fail.

Extra, unneeded parts in a timing belt kit may make a good excuse to extract more money from your customer. It takes the heat off of the service writer and the mechanic. New concept here for the charlatans and vehicle owners to note.

MY LORD…WHAT I MEAN…is that IF you buy the proper kit for your car…it will usually have exactly what you need…they don’t do “extras” in T-belt kits…Haven’t any of you bought one of these? I’m on my 150th kit.

NEVER are T-belt kits OVERSTOCKED WITH NOT NEEDED PARTS…actually they sometimes need to be supplemented with something…NEVER is it overstocked…like on old carburetor rebuild kits with a MILLION extra gaskets.

WHY am I having such feedback and difficulty in telling the OP to replace WHATEVER is relevant under the T-belt cover??? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE? Why am I being villanized for telling the guy to make sure his mechanic covers all the bases when he does the job…so that he doesn’t experience a small part failure that ruins his whole job.

AND WHY…are you getting STUCK on the GENERIC EXAMPLE of the contents of a particular T-belt kit that I listed…to EMPHASIZE that I want him to renew what is under that cover during this once in a 16YEAR or 150 THOUSAND mile interval?

THE entire point was to say…And PAY ATTENTION…HERE IT COMES…“PLEASE replace every seal and bearing and part that is RELEVANT to the T-belt on your vehicle Sir”

I have come to the conclusion that there is NO WAY that I am speaking to an EXPERIENCED MECHANIC HERE…no question at all… WELL I AM THAT EXPERIENCED MECHANIC…and I am passing on very good advice, fight it all you want…Ignore it at your vehicles PERIL… Its THAT simple

WOW…and I mean WOW…

RemcoW…Tell this guys whats up… Sorry I had to write a BOOK to get a simple concept across.

Have you been chugging the little “5 hour energy” bottles?

Honda Blackbird, I just had to comment on the Supra head job you did. I sympathize. I replaced a 1987 Supra head gasket this past fall. It’s the second time I’ve done one of these. I totally agree that it was a ton of work. I didn’t have to replace the valves but I replaced all the valve stem seals and gaskets in the kit as well as the water pump, timing belt, tensioner, crank and cam seals, a boatload of hoses, etc. Also, from experience I replaced the starter as a precaution because it was so difficult to get to once the intake manifold is assembled. I don’t want to do any of that again any time soon. :slight_smile:

Aw brother…Tell me about it Alan… LOL

Yeah…I think I did chug a few the other day…Does Red Bull and Vodka have that affect? LOL…methinks so…