Making it 6 hours across the hot desert

ArizonaBasc

Member
Jun 21, 2020
23
3
Phoenix, Arizona
Hello, everyone-the time is finally upon me. In a couple of weeks I will be taking my new-to-me 2003 Disco 6 hours across the hot Arizona desert to university. I have spent the whole summer building it up for this drive and the subsequent semester in CA. What would you recommend I check before I go and what spare parts/unique tools should I bring in the trunk with me? I have been trolling these forums for months so I have all the popular mods such as the inline thermostat (car runs at 181 consistently on the freeway with AC), inline PCV, etc., etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated (even if it is only good luck, I will need that too)!
 

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p m

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 19, 2004
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La Jolla, CA
www.3rj.org
Consider a tow truck straight to the coast :)

Seriously, though, there's nothing particularly hard in that desert crossing. Watch the temperature gauge, ease off on gas pedal on hillclimbs and on A/C if things get warm.
 
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uglysteve

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2006
94
8
Arizona
I have been driving my Discovery in the hot Arizona desert for 16 years, and it never had a problem with the heat. If your truck has over 100k miles on it I would put a new water pump on it, mine failed at about 125k miles. Make sure your hoses are good. At least it's a cool August this year.
 
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sdtim

Active member
Feb 21, 2021
27
10
Oceanside, CA
Several gallons of drinking water. If you don’t already have an UltraGauge it’s a great $80 investment, regardless of your trip. It will allow you to keep tabs on your temps. It’s too late when the D2 temp gauge lets you know it’s hot.

Also, make sure you either fuel up frequently or have fuel stops mapped out. I was driving with the family from SD to Scottsdale and was caught off guard with a low fuel gauge after climbing through the hills (And this was in a Rav4). Fortunately, we made it to a gas station, but it was a tense and HOT (with the AC off) section of the trip. My wife was super understanding of the oversight (lol…not really).
 

pdogg

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2005
1,205
24
Phoenix, AZ
welcome to Arizona! Been driving my Rover here since 2005.. nothing it can't handle unless it's a 115day and you're trying to climb long hills.. get an ultra gauge as mentioned! and also look into AZLRO , one of the best Rover clubs in the country..
 
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ArizonaBasc

Member
Jun 21, 2020
23
3
Phoenix, Arizona
Update from the side of the road:
Unfortunately she did not make the trip! Going about 65 down the 10 and it feels like it’s drops into neutral, then I hear and feel a couple substantial bumps. Pull over and see the front differential pouring fluid and smoking. It seems like it has just decided to implode on itself. Thank you to everyone for the advice-lesson learned, you can have a rover running at 180* all day long with a whole summer of work and it can still find a way to break. Still love the car though! Looks like the trusty Miata NB will be driving me to school this year!8CB16E96-8465-4680-8879-57F8F7078BD2.jpeg
 
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Swedjen2

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2018
552
111
California
welcome to Arizona! Been driving my Rover here since 2005.. nothing it can't handle unless it's a 115day and you're trying to climb long hills.. get an ultra gauge as mentioned! and also look into AZLRO , one of the best Rover clubs in the country..
I keep looking at the AZLRO club website - real nice website, but doesn't look very active. What am I missing?
 

Swedjen2

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2018
552
111
California
Update from the side of the road:
Unfortunately she did not make the trip! Going about 65 down the 10 and it feels like it’s drops into neutral, then I hear and feel a couple substantial bumps. Pull over and see the front differential pouring fluid and smoking. It seems like it has just decided to implode on itself. Thank you to everyone for the advice-lesson learned, you can have a rover running at 180* all day long with a whole summer of work and it can still find a way to break. Still love the car though! Looks like the trusty Miata NB will be driving me to school this year!
Did you ever check the oil level in the diff and the rest of the truck? That's usually the reason diffs blow up if your mostly driving on the street.
You're missing a lot of trim on that truck. Indicates the P.O. didn't take care of it like it should have been. Wheel and tire combo looks good though.
 
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donniefitz2

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2020
106
42
Scottsdale, AZ
fitzventure.com
I keep looking at the AZLRO club website - real nice website, but doesn't look very active. What am I missing?
The club is pretty active, just not so much in the summer months. Too hot for outings. In the fall and winter, there's a good amount of day trips. Also, most of the activity is on the FB group rather than the website. I wish they would do more on the website instead of FB.
 

ArizonaBasc

Member
Jun 21, 2020
23
3
Phoenix, Arizona
Yup in all the hours under this car it hadn’t run through my mind that the diff would be my weak link. Icannap, I’m definitely not going to sell it-this thing is my dream car. Hopefully it will just be placing the diff, looks like it will be around $200 to source a good used one. Should be able to fix it when I’m back for Thanksgiving, maybe even try the trip again!
 

pdogg

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2005
1,205
24
Phoenix, AZ
The club is pretty active, just not so much in the summer months. Too hot for outings. In the fall and winter, there's a good amount of day trips. Also, most of the activity is on the FB group rather than the website. I wish they would do more on the website instead of FB.
yeah it's been an interesting journey the past many years. Our Forum on the old site eventually become stale and nobody was using it. Facebook became the sole place for chit chat.. So our new site doesn't even have a forum. :) Note on the new site that's about 2 weeks old now.. all brand new content, historical trips gone. One a side note we haven't thought about moving our old pictures over..
 

Icannap1

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2015
115
18
OC, CA
If you have stock gearing you should be able to source one from a wrecking yard or someone near you. Make sure to clean the area well, check for broken chunks of metal, and any metal shavings.