Not this Disco, funny enough. This one is a 2001 that I got some cup holders out of.
Not this Disco, funny enough. This one is a 2001 that I got some cup holders out of.

Way back in the year 2018, when we were allowed to go outside, I splurged on the purchase of a center diff lock kit for my 2001 Land Rover Discovery 2. For those unfamiliar, Discos produced between 1998 and 2001.5 had the hardware in the transfer case to lock the center differential, but the linkage was not present. There are a lot of stories as to why they did this, ranging from them wanting to highlight the traction control system to “Ford did it to save money”. In either case and for whatever reason, for the 2004 Discovery they added the linkage back in.

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There are a lot of ways to actuate the CDL or add a linkage on a compatible Disco. You can crawl under the car with a 13mm wrench. You can make your own using sockets, u-joints, and a drill. You can adapt the linkage from a Discovery 1.

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By far the cleanest way of doing it, however, is to steal the linkage off a junked 2004.

As such, these things are like manna from heaven, frequently going for more than the transfer case itself, usually selling for between $250 and $500. I am ashamed to say I paid somewhere in the realm of $300 for mine.

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But the seller didn’t ship the fucking bracket.

I, of course, didn’t discover this until I had my car torn apart, ready to install everything. Contacting the seller proved mostly fruitless and I ended up with a partial refund of my purchase price and made the damn bracket.

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Illustration for article titled Junk yard arbitrage

Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for a real bracket so I can (A) make mechanical drawings of the damn thing since I had to just eyeball mine and (B) have a real bracket. In the last two years I’ve only seen two 2004 Discos at my local LKQ. One I got to the day after it arrived and someone had already stripped the transfer case.

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The other I saw today. This poor Disco had been in the yard over a month and had seen some shit in that time. It looks like someone took the front sunroof out with a backhoe and tried to get the center console out with hammers and shouting.

In addition to the seats and carpets being wet and the center console being full of water, the PO was a smoker and put his/her butts... pretty much everywhere.

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So. Soggy seats. Soggy cigarette butts. Sagging roof. Hard pass... right?

Illustration for article titled Junk yard arbitrage
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But the CDL linkage was there.

Shit.

Getting to these is not an easy task. You have to pull the transfer case shifter, the auto box shifter, remove the center console and associated electrics (already mostly done), remove some air ducts, drill out 12 pop-rivets, and then you have access to start unbolting the linkage and brackets.

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It is a horrible job and I’ve done it like three times before.

Four now.

In this fucking car.

Illustration for article titled Junk yard arbitrage
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Illustration for article titled Junk yard arbitrage
Illustration for article titled Junk yard arbitrage
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Illustration for article titled Junk yard arbitrage

But I got it. I ended up having to leave the range selecting cable behind as it was secured in a way I was unwilling/unable to detach it, but that shouldn’t be needed and I have a spare anyway.

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The whole trip took over two hours and it was horrible.

BUT I GOT IT.

Illustration for article titled Junk yard arbitrage
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I also got two non-broken cup holders, which was a win. I had to make my own removal tools, which is always fun. The Jag I’d actually come there to see didn’t have the part I needed, which was a bummer.

So for $30 I now have a complete CDL linkage, shifter, and bracket.

Now the question becomes: Do I squirrel it away in my parts bin or do I make mechanical drawings of the pieces I’m lacking and sell it on? I feel guilty for pulling a part for the sake of just reselling it, but I really did need (ok want) a real bracket in case my home made one fails.

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Actually this isn’t a question. I am 100% making a drawing (and sharing said drawing) in case my home made bracket fails and selling this bastard.

I earned this.

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