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Alaska-izing my Tacoma

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016-2023)' started by Midwest86, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Nov 1, 2017 at 6:09 PM
    #1
    Midwest86

    Midwest86 [OP] Member

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    OME 888 coils and shocks with 1/4 spacer up front, OME medium leafs with bilstein 5100 extended length shocks and extended brake lines in rear. 285/75r16 Terra Grapplers
    I am getting relocated to the Anchorage area for work and am trying to get all my bases covered with my Tacoma and my Wife's 4Runner, so I have several questions (both are 2017 SR5):

    What weight oil should we run?

    Windshield wiper fluid...any preferred brands or specific product?

    Coolant, what ratio should we aim for and is it something that I can just drain some and add straight coolant to get the desired coolant/water ratio?

    Engine block heater, anybody have to part number for the Tacoma (3.4) or 4Runner (4.0)?

    Remote start, is it necessary and if so, best option, preferable plug-n-play?

    Is there anything that I am missing to prepare both for the weather? I have Nitto Terra Grapplers on my truck and have driven plenty on snow and ice. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

    I have the Dakar medium leafs with the AAL installed. We will be driving the Tacoma and shipping the 4Runner. I am guessing that we will have around 400lbs in the bed for the duration of the trip. We are driving to Washington and then taking the ferry. If anybody has made the drive, I would love any tips or suggestions to make it easier.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Nov 1, 2017 at 6:13 PM
    #2
    prohunter4

    prohunter4 Well-Known Member

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    Block heater, they make wiper fluid rated to -40, remote start would be wonderful. Ran 20 weight in our vehicles in Montana,which is standard I believe.
     
  3. Nov 1, 2017 at 6:20 PM
    #3
    kite_325

    kite_325 A simple human, being

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  4. Nov 1, 2017 at 6:52 PM
    #4
    AKLA98

    AKLA98 Well-Known Member

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    I have lived in Anchorage for the majority of my life. You will need autostart. Unless you are in the interior (Fairbanks) you can skip the engine block heater, but may prove useful on the drive up. All terrains will not cut it if you plan to commute or drive a lot, anchorage, in particular, gets a lot of black ice that can prove to be extremely dangerous. I recommend studs (Nokian Hakka 8's) and Anchorage Tire Factory off of Old Seward Hwy.

    If you care about your paint, get paint protection film and be religious about waxing, the silt content in the air can wreak havoc on your clear coat. I would opt for extended insurance that covers windshield replacement, will probably need it once a year as we do not salt and spread gravel instead.

    Toss some survival gear behind your seats, never know when you may need it up in AK. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  5. Nov 1, 2017 at 7:09 PM
    #5
    Sagebrush

    Sagebrush Well-Known Member

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    Stock plus a topper
    Anchorage isn't noted for extreme cold. Cook Inlet moderates it.

    Aftermarket seat heaters is a good idea. The recommended stock 0W-20 oil will be fine. You'd be foolish to run anything outside the recommended oil. And yes, a block heater. You can dump a bottle of alcohol in your wiper fluid to mimic the extreme cold stuff. Your stock antifreeze is good down to -31. That's probably fine but you may want to get that changed to drop it down with a 55-45% mix so it'll handle -45. But sheeeeesh....

    I've driven that road from the interior to Haines several times. I always did it south, when my wallet was fat.

    When are doing this trip? Assuming you will be rolling this winter, the temperature between Haines Junction and south of Tok could be brutal cold. Motels will have plugins but you'll need to take your own cord. Get a copy of the Alaska Milepost guide. it'll help you plan out the 800-mile drive.

    SB
     
  6. Nov 1, 2017 at 7:16 PM
    #6
    Midwest86

    Midwest86 [OP] Member

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    OME 888 coils and shocks with 1/4 spacer up front, OME medium leafs with bilstein 5100 extended length shocks and extended brake lines in rear. 285/75r16 Terra Grapplers
    I will be making the drive from Haines to Anchorage the first or second week of December. I was advised to stay the night in Haines and then again in Tok. I do appreciate the info.
     
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  7. Nov 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM
    #7
    Sagebrush

    Sagebrush Well-Known Member

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    That'll work. Tok is frequently the coldest place in Alaska. If it clears off, and the northern lights are dancing, it could be a memorable night.

    SB
     
  8. Nov 1, 2017 at 7:35 PM
    #8
    Q-town Ranger

    Q-town Ranger Active Member

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    Further to the other advice above, strongly recommend studded winter tires for the icy conditions.
     
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  9. Nov 1, 2017 at 7:40 PM
    #9
    TeecoTaco

    TeecoTaco Liberty Biberty

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    sounds like an interesting journey. sub'd for the progress!
     
  10. Nov 1, 2017 at 7:56 PM
    #10
    gaprider0

    gaprider0 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds very interesting
     
  11. Nov 1, 2017 at 8:26 PM
    #11
    9th

    9th Not a Civil Engineer

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    Mud and snow chains...Bag with extra gloves socks...etc... you get my drift.
     
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  12. Nov 1, 2017 at 11:29 PM
    #12
    Hartford

    Hartford Well-Known Member

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    maybe look look into getting a heater for the oil pan too. I've even read some people get them for the transmission. remember if it's forty below all the oils and lube fluids will be forty below even with a block heater. coldest I've ever seen was forty four below. things didn't like to move until they warmed up. all kinds of noises I never heard before.
     
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  13. Nov 2, 2017 at 12:29 AM
    #13
    Jorgy1

    Jorgy1 Well-Known Member

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    RainX de-icer washer fluid works awesome. Get a magnet mount heater for your pan (tempo) https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B007...net+heater&dpPl=1&dpID=31DqMxoGFJL&ref=plSrchif you want to heat that (easily removed/moved around). We had heated wipers installed on our patrol cars at work.....Worst prices of junk ever invented. If you are in and out of a heated garage often, gas line antifreeze is a must (just pour a bottle in fuel tank each fill up). Best to keep fuel tank full as often as you can as it reduces condensation in the tank which freezes/contaminates the fuel. Oh, and a battery heater/blanket (Temro again) https://www.amazon.com/Zerostart-Temro-2800071-Battery-Blanket/dp/B0049NJ80Mworks awesome (get a multi plug or wire in with the block heater so all are plugged in at the same time. These are a few tips from my Canadian perspective (and we know winter!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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  14. Nov 2, 2017 at 12:34 AM
    #14
    Catfish21

    Catfish21 Well-Known Member

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    block heater, trickle charger, a shovel just in case, studded tires, extra fuel cans are always a good idea.
     
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  15. Nov 2, 2017 at 12:45 AM
    #15
    Ox Demon x0

    Ox Demon x0 Well-Known Member

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    I lived in Anchorage for years and never needed a block heater. I would say some good tires and some sandbags (weight)for the bed. They sell a fuel additive almost everywhere up there that you will want to use. If your truck isn’t 4x4, I would strongly consider trading for a 4x4. I know people will say you don’t need it but it’s very nice to have.
     
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  16. Nov 2, 2017 at 12:51 AM
    #16
    Jorgy1

    Jorgy1 Well-Known Member

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    My view on a block heater is different than some. I feel it increases the longevity of the engine, allows for faster warm ups (less idling), and heat in the cab faster than a dead cold start. Ya a tacoma will pretty much start at any temp we get on this planet, but there is other benefits to a block heater
     
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  17. Nov 2, 2017 at 6:59 AM
    #17
    NoDak

    NoDak Well-Known Member

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    if you do run a block heater and use an extension cord, make sure you get one rated for -30F or better. once those cheap ones get cold they get super stiff like a 2x4. you will pay more per foot on a extreme rated cord but its nice they are still really flexible when it get below 0F.

    I think mine is rated for -32F and harsh liquids, but was free since I had some electrical friends back when I was in civil engineering in the USAF

    edit : forgot to add, make sure you get a light end plug if using a block heater. this will tell you if the outlet you are plugging into has power.

    on base at work we have "headbolt" poles that have outlets to plug vehicles for block heaters. some work some done, hence the lighted end plug.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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  18. Nov 14, 2017 at 10:24 PM
    #18
    Kremtok

    Kremtok Well-Known Member

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    Run stock oil or equivalent weight in your preferred brand.

    Yes get a block heater. Below 20F your catalytic converters doesn’t work efficiently and there can be smog problems in the Anchorage bowl. Plus it’ll heat up faster and be more comfortable. It’s a Canadian part and the dealership in Anchorage can get it for sure. You might be able to find it elsewhere but even getting the part number is a pain.

    You really dont need a battery heater or oil pan heater unless you’re spending lots of time farther up north near Fairbanks.

    I dont run studs but most people do. I’m a big fan for the Bridgestone Blizzaks. I’ve run them in Valdez, Anchorage, and now Homer.

    Remote start is nice - I have one - but its pretty far from necessary. Just make sure to pull up your wipers when you park or you could break them if you leave them on.

    Stock coolant is fine.

    Oh and get good 1-piece wiper blades.
     
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