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Prepping Tacoma for Cold (really cold)

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Dizo, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM
    #1
    Dizo

    Dizo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North of 62°, Canada
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    2005 DCLB TRD Sport
    Aux Audio-input, 5100's @ 1.75", 2" Wheeler's AAL, LED Underhood Lighting, Anytime ABS-Off Switch,
    Well it looks like i'll be working up north this fall, way up north! I'll be living in Yellowknife and flying into work just south of the arctic circle.

    It's not uncommon to see -40C (-40F) in Yellowknife, and the snow usually starts in late August or September. The snow will stick the whole time i'm there, and i'm driving back 'south' in December, so i'll be travelling 2500km in the dead of the winter. As usual, i'll be exploring and doing light wheeling during the fall, so that means wheeling in potentially -40 with snow going sideways :). I'll be dealing with 5 hours of daylight/day in December as well, so i've been thinking about lighting.

    How should I be prepping my truck for this? Has anyone put their truck through a winter like this, and if so, what did you do to make it through comfortably?

    Currently Have:
    - Block Heater (400W)
    - ABS-Off Switch
    - Nearly-new Battery

    Looking Into (Before Leaving):
    - Good Snow Tires (leaning towards Treadwright Wardens with Kedge)
    - Engine Oil Change (Switch to Synth)
    - Trans. Fluid Change
    - Diff Oil Change
    + Battery Blanket (heated kind)
    + Snow/Sand Anchor
    + Check Coolant Quality
    + Rubbermaid with survival stuff in the backseat
    + Tinfoil-coverd Cardboard Rad Cover
    + Don't Use the E-Brake

    What else would you guys recommend?
    Last spring I was working in the Kootenays and saw -25C with my SUV and didn't have too much trouble, but I did get stuck a few times wheeling and ended up having to dig myself out. Little worried that situation wouldn't be so nice in -40C up in the arctic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  2. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:37 AM
    #2
    CASTRATE

    CASTRATE Well-Known Member

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    SW of Tulsa, OK
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    Bumper, winch, tire chains, shovel, an anchor of some sort in case you're nowhere near something to attach winch line too. Oxy-Acetylene torch with rosebud
     
  3. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:38 AM
    #3
    OZ-T

    OZ-T You chose ... wisely

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    The guys in the Alaska regional section would probably have some good tips
     
  4. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:44 AM
    #4
    Dizo

    Dizo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North of 62°, Canada
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    Aux Audio-input, 5100's @ 1.75", 2" Wheeler's AAL, LED Underhood Lighting, Anytime ABS-Off Switch,
    I'd rather not add a plate bumper to my truck at this point. I usually carry a recovery strap and block with fixings, but I didn't think about the lack of anchor points. I'll look for a sand anchor to toss in the bed - should work in the snow, and a come-along to I guess.

    Good point OZ-T, i'll ask in the Alaska section in a day or two if they don't find their way over here on their own.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM
    #5
    jeffjcalweb

    jeffjcalweb Member

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    i have nothing to offer but am curious, what do you do (job)? if you don't mind me asking, i love reading about different occupations that get people into extreme/remote areas, yours certainly qualifies!
     
  6. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM
    #6
    ink junky

    ink junky I love tacos too!!!

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    Me either, nothing to add. But I'm wondering too! : P

    Also, wouldn't gasoline in the gas tank freeze at those temperatures? :confused: I honestly don't know, which is why I'm asking.
     
  7. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM
    #7
    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    Always tell someone (who won't be with you) where you are going and when you plan to return.

    Pack survival gear in the truck - extra clothing, supplies to light a fire and some firewood, granola bars and other non-perishable food (no cans, they'll freeze), maybe a propane heater...

    A winter front for the grille (or cardboard to partially cover your rad), so you can keep the engine up to temperature. Removing the cold air intake pipe to the fender might be a good plan too.

    You'll find that traction gets better as the temps drop too, -30 and below and snow isn't very slippery anymore. Still gotta watch the ice though, but its still better traction than just below freezing.
     
  8. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM
    #8
    Dizo

    Dizo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North of 62°, Canada
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    Aux Audio-input, 5100's @ 1.75", 2" Wheeler's AAL, LED Underhood Lighting, Anytime ABS-Off Switch,
    I'm a Mechanical Engineering student. Sure, there's lots of jobs in the big city or closer to home, but I've always tried to get out of my comfort zone and do something different. In the last year i've worked on the coast managing mooring projects for large marine-based structures, at a softwood lumber sawmill in the Kootenays, and this job is at a diamond mine.

    I've learned that pretty much whatever you do, you can live somewhere cool while doing it. At least while you're young :p
     
  9. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM
    #9
    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    Nope, gasoline won't freeze at those temps, but summer diesel will certainly gell up. Damn, I just used the "D" word on TW.:eek::eek:
     
  10. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:57 AM
    #10
    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    Make sure your coolant is up to snuff and not diluted, if it's the Canadian version of Toyota ultra life pink premixed, it should be fine.
     
  11. Aug 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM
    #11
    Dizo

    Dizo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North of 62°, Canada
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    Aux Audio-input, 5100's @ 1.75", 2" Wheeler's AAL, LED Underhood Lighting, Anytime ABS-Off Switch,
    Good points. I'll pick up a few big rubbermaid containers and fill up my backseat with sleeping bag and such. I didn't think blocking the rad would be necessary on the truck? I've had to do this for motorbikes riding in the snow before, but I figured my truck would be hot enough, thanks!
    I've heard that about really cold making it sticky, but I still find it strange. I've grown up on the coast and when it dumps snow here, it's only -5 and super slippery.
     
  12. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM
    #12
    NYNURSE

    NYNURSE Well-Known Member

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    Holy Crap ! Talk about a hostile environment.
    I would be thinking more survival gear and repair kits.
     
  13. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:04 PM
    #13
    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    It might not be necessary, but I find mine warms up quicker even in -20ish temps, and lots of other vehicles I've run it was almost a necessity if you want heat and an efficient engine.

    Yup, when the snow is cold enough, it won't really pack down, and its the thin film of water on the surface of ice and compact snow that kill traction as it creates hydroplaning on a miniature scale. When its all frozen and crystalized, traction improves, your tires squeaking when you turn will convince you.:cool:
     
  14. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:23 PM
    #14
    jw1983

    jw1983 Well-Known Member

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    Oh man! What an amazing experience to say the least. You're going to need a lot more things than what people in the south of Canada would need.

    Things that should help.

    Lower temp anti freeze....also have an extra jug or two.
    Lower temp washer fluid. Putting some vodka in your washer tank wouldn't be a bad idea....extra washer fluid
    Recovery gear
    Hitch shackels
    First Aid kit
    Long extension cord for plugging in
    Small compressor
    Compustar or Viper Alarm and starter.
    Emergency kit like candles, reflective vest, reflective triangle
    Extra bulbs for headlights, tail lights, signal lights
    Tools like socket set, screw drivers.
    Emergency blanket and sleeping bag(checkout mec.ca).
    A book with maps of where you're going
    Extra battery for your cell phone
    Shovel, light sticks, hand and feet warmers, water and windproof matches
    Extra clothing like socks, shirts, pants. You want to find clothing that takes the water away from your body and keep the heat in.
    Tire repair kit
    Jumper Cables
    Toilet paper

    I'm going to update this as I go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  15. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM
    #15
    robm7

    robm7 Well-Known Member

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    Lived in Fairbanks for 3 1/2 years now live in Anchorage.

    Get Auto start before the winter rush.
     
  16. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM
    #16
    ANT2013taco

    ANT2013taco Well-Known Member

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    Make sure your tank is topped off and you put a fuel additive for low temps. Also, battery minder, emergency road kit, and a real woman for the colder than hell nights!

    I've seen both extreme temps, from -40 to 125 they both suck but I will keep the heat!
     
  17. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM
    #17
    AK Taco

    AK Taco Your opinion? Fuck it.

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    Not sure if it's been mentioned but and auto start would be a great investment. Especially one that allows you to to leave the car running 20+ minutes. In -40 weather it's gonna take a longggg time to warm things up.

    Also be prepared to leave your car idling wherever you run errands. Up in Fairbanks, Ak there's a good majority of people who will just leave their car idling when they run into the grocery store real quick or other short errands.
     
  18. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM
    #18
    Btnewman

    Btnewman Benjamin Newman

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    Uh. It's beat to he//. But it's only 1 owner.
    Custom body work/damage ARB rear locker Bumpers Shocks Other parts Tires and Rims Air tank fully plumbed into truck "Golf ball mod"
    Be ready to be able to jump start your truck, especially if you do a lot of short distance turn on and off driving. Carry cables and possibly a jump box. A charged battery won't freeze. The winter my truck spent in north dakota the big thing I noticed was that idling would help, but it really wouldn't heat up the rest of the way until I started driving.

    Be kind and drive as smooth as you can when you initially start driving after having it off for a while. The colder fliuds need a few minutes to warm up and start moving and lubricating like they should.

    Lifting your wiper blades up when your not driving will help keep them from freezing to the windshield. And like it has been pointed out, a block heater is worth its weight in gold.

    Synthetic oil with help with really cold weather starts.

    Carry a good heavy duty ice scraper, but not one that uses a brass scraping edge.

    Good luck up there!
     
  19. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM
    #19
    AK Taco

    AK Taco Your opinion? Fuck it.

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    Also you mentioned lighting.. If you plan on doing night driving some extra light definitely will come in handy during the winters.

    Up here in Ak without a doubt the most popular offroad lights are going to be lightforces. They throw light waaaay the hell down the road, but they are a bit pricey.
     
  20. Aug 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM
    #20
    Btnewman

    Btnewman Benjamin Newman

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    Uh. It's beat to he//. But it's only 1 owner.
    Custom body work/damage ARB rear locker Bumpers Shocks Other parts Tires and Rims Air tank fully plumbed into truck "Golf ball mod"
    Also, try to keep your gas tank at least over half full, empty tanks can collect condensation. As well if you get caught in a long term power outage or caught out in the road when a storm hits you will have a good source of heat. Spare fuel cans full with a little fuel stabilizer are a good idea fo carry.
    That one I learned the hard way... :(
     

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