Expeditions West: Land Rover Discovery II CDL | Catalog-cars

Expeditions West: Land Rover Discovery II CDL

22 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Expeditions West: Land Rover Discovery II CDL

Update Note: 2004 Discovery has CDL as factory option.

In the factories effort to eliminate driver decision making, the Discovery II is imported to the US without a center differential lock (CDL).

The Land Rover Discovery is the only vehicle in its class that does not include a CDL. The CDL is standard on the Land Cruiser, G wagon, Trooper, H2, Grand Cherokee and Montero.

The omission of a CDL is a serious flaw, and contributes to poor off-highway performance and unnecessarily damages the trail. The vehicle uses a 4 channel traction control system to distribute power to the drive wheels, which works well in ice, sand and mud, but creates a major liability when the vehicle is used in rough, rocky, uneven terrain. The systems design does not distribute power to the tire with traction until after the low-traction tire begins spinning.

This method of 4wd is rough on the vehicle (tires, brakes, etc.) and VERY damaging to the trail, which is a direct conflict to tread-lightly principles. In addition, this system is dangerous. I have experienced three major issues with this system when driving in extreme terrain:

1. When driving downhill, or backing down a hill using engine compression braking, the vehicle will freewheel when ANY tire leaves the ground, as there is not a physical connection between the front and rear axles (CDL).

2. When Backing Down a hill, the lack of a CDL allows the front wheels to lock-up (because of the weight transfer related to the angle of decent). In extreme situations this can cause the vehicle’s front end to slide sideways, in its attempt to follow gravity (remember, the front wheels are locked. A skidding tire has little traction) The vehicle turning sideways on a hill can result in a roll-over.

3. The vehicle will rock when a tire (or tires) are off the ground, as the traction control system attempts to send power to the stationary tires. This can unsettle the vehicle, and cause a loss of control.


1999-Mid. 2001 Discovery’s have the CDL, but no linkage fitted to engage it. There is a 10mm stud on the top of the front driveshaft output. There are several companies that can provide a solution, including:

Land Rover North America can provide you with the parts to use the 2004 linkage.

Late 2001-2003: These Discoveries have no 10mm stud to use for engaging the CDL and require a complete replacement of the front output section of the transfercase. This job has been done by: Bill’s European in Santa Fe, NM

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