Above the 60th Parallel and fearing it.

Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
226
Hey there all you winter crazed cruiser drivers...

I'm wondering if there are any cruiser drivers out there who dare to drive their cruisers in minus 40 degress Celsius? If so, how does the beast function? I live in the North West Territories (Canada) and will be using my cruiser as a DD.

Any thoughts, concerns, advice? Personally i think i should get da heck outa this crazed place!

thanks!
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2004
Messages
597
Location
The Rockies or the Andes
IIRC 40 below C and 40 below F are the same temp. I drove several vehicles at lower temps (60 below F) in Northern Michigan. Store indoors and use a block heater for better starts in the moring, a battery with very high cold cranking amps and make sure your antifreeze/water mix is correct. Also make sure you get the 50 below washer fluid. You'll be fine. You will actually be better off in an old cruiser with no plastic parts inside as they break easily at those temps.

At those temps we used to go to the bar and just leave all our vehicles running in the parking lot. :eek:
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Messages
1,578
 
 
 
another thing to consider is the t-case. It has to spin two other gears before it hits the output so its probably a good Idea to spin the case with the tranny in first - t-case in neutral to let it warm up a little .I have seen t-case seals blow in extreme cold conditions.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
1,502
Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
 
 
 
I have driven the FJ40 I had at close to those temps, same with my FJ60. They function just fine as long as the truck has been well maintained. The only issues I have ever had is a hard shifting tranny when the temps are that low. I know at say, -28 my FJ60 doesnt like to shift for a good couple of miles.
 

PabloCruise

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
19,590
Location
Northern Colorado
 
 
 
Search for posts by Mark W, he is up north of Anchorage.

I thought I heard of people using battery blankets, and a heater on the carb as well? Maybe a dipstick heater or some other heater on the oil pan to get the oil somewhat warm...
 

PabloCruise

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
19,590
Location
Northern Colorado
 
 
 
stinkyfj60 said:
I have driven the FJ40 I had at close to those temps, same with my FJ60. They function just fine as long as the truck has been well maintained. The only issues I have ever had is a hard shifting tranny when the temps are that low. I know at say, -28 my FJ60 doesnt like to shift for a good couple of miles.
Do you ever warm up that gear oil by putting t-case in N and spinning the tranny and t-case?
 

Colorado Boy-74-FJ40

I may grow older but I refuse to grow up!
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
1,462
Location
Windsor Colorado
 
I used to drive my 1985 Toyota 4X4 Truck in Fairbanks at extremely cold temps. Be sure to use ALL synthetic gear lubes. T-case, Steering Box Diffs...Everything. Get a peculating block heater . Not a block plug. This will circulate the fluid through the block and heater core. You can also get a oil pan heater. It is a silicone heater mat that you RTV to the bottom of the oil pan. It keeps the oil warm as the heat radiates up. You also want to get a heated battery blanket it uses the same heating principle as the oil pan heater. You can use a heavy-duty three way adapter and hook them all up to one cold-temp extension cord and plug it it every night. It will run about 800 watts. This and running the gears through the pattern every morning with the t-case in neutral will really help. Be careful to let the tires "warm up" as you get rolling every morning. They get flat spots from the rubber being very hard from the cold. It will beat the s*** out of you until they become pliable. Don't turn really sharp before they warm up either, I had a bead separate from the rim at -55ºF once. The rim was shrunk slightly from the cold temps and the tire came off the rim. You might not want to run aluminum rims at those temps as they are more brittle than steel. I drove for 4 year in Fairbanks and those are the tips that I can share.....Good luck.
 

pbgbottle

Forum Lifer
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
4,948
Location
Cloverdale B.C. Canada
 
 
 
i lived in whistler b.c. for 4 years it hit minus 30 celcius for a couple of weeks . ran soft top for the 4 years .anyways my truck was not plugged in froze solid for two weeks battery wouldn't crank it over at all . .keep that thing pluged in . tranny was always stiff at first .at -15 or so . never thought of running throught the gears with t-case in nuetral .truck was never plugged in or any kind of heaters .and always started and ran fine .alittle cold with the drafts from the softtop though .always around -10 to -25 C on average during the winter .never had any other issues
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
1,502
Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
 
 
 
PabloCruise said:
Do you ever warm up that gear oil by putting t-case in N and spinning the tranny and t-case?
Actually, no I have never done that. I make sure to leave it in N overnight. Then start it and let it idle for a bit, seems like the exhaust running by the tranny helps a little. Then I drive it really slow and try and stay in 1st and 2nd. Its kind of funny cause it feels like the engine is just struggling to move, then all of a sudden it like surges forward and then you can shift fine.

This winter I will have to change my habits I THINK cause of the Lockright in the rear and the possiblity of one in the front ;)
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Messages
1,407
 
 
 
Colorado Boy-74-FJ40 said:
I used to drive my 1985 Toyota 4X4 Truck in Fairbanks at extremely cold temps. Be sure to use ALL synthetic gear lubes. T-case, Steering Box Diffs...Everything.

x2, Synthetic lubes make a huge difference. We usualy don't get that cold, but at -20 the synthetics make a big difference, and I'm sure the colder it gets the more difference you will notice. My Mini truck always fired right up though, I'm sure a well tuned LC would be the same. Also a high output battery is a good idea because you may have to crank for a while and cold batterys are much weaker than they are warm. I believe at 32F they are already only 50% of what they are at 72F so I'd immagine at -40C they will be somewhere around 15-20%. Maybe a dual battery setup is a good idea and a batterywarmer.

My wife grew up north of fairbanks and she said there is a heater called a "little buddy", I have never personaly seen one, but its a heater that goes in under the dash and heats the interior while the car is plugged in. I guess they are pretty nice to have.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Messages
2,827
Location
Emporia, KS
 
 
 
I don't drive my 40 much in the winter, but even around 20F the non-synth gear lube is noticeably thick until warmed up. Can't imagine the temps you all are driving in!
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
636
Location
Northern Vermont
 
 
 
I agree with the synthetic gear oil. Qwik disconnects for the battery and bring it in the house on the coldest nights. If not a blockheater and battery warmer. I was born near fairbanks, and I always remember my old man bringing the batteries inside in winter.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
1,502
Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
 
 
 
VTFJ40 said:
I agree with the synthetic gear oil. Qwik disconnects for the battery and bring it in the house on the coldest nights. If not a blockheater and battery warmer. I was born near fairbanks, and I always remember my old man bringing the batteries inside in winter.
I remember my dad doing that with a 1969 Bronco he had when I was growing up. We had a winter where we had a few -40s in a row. His was the only vehicle that would start in the moring, and it was a beat to hell truck too. The bearings in the heater would SCREAM when he would turn the defrost on. Funny.
 

Advent

GOLD Star
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
617
Location
Juneau, AK
 
 
 
I'm at school in Fairbanks, the coldest I've driven my '40 is about 65 below.

If you let it warm up for 20 minutes, then drive wherever you're going, the engine and interior will warm up to 'cold' by the time you get there.

Power steering is pretty much a must. The grease will solidify and make manual steering a real pain. It's possible, but it sucks.

Battery blankets aren't as good as a battery pad. The pad goes under the battery and warms upward (heat rises). A blanket goes around it and only warms up the outside edges of the battery. Another option is a small trickle charger. The constant charging will keep it warm.

You might look into seeing if a local upholstry shop can make you a cover for the grille. Something with snaps to go on the bezel to block the cold air through the radiator. Cardboard works, but it's ghetto.

Keep your tires properly inflated. That will minimize flat spots.

Kiss your stereo's LCD goodbye. If you have one with a removable face plate, bring it inside whenever the vehicle is off.

If you can get a remote starter, do so. They're not that great at starting a carbureted rig, but they have a function where you push the button while it's running, turn the key, remove it, and it will keep the rig running for 20 minutes or so. That's an invaluable feature when a parking lot doesn't have a plug in.

Make sure your extension cords are arctic rated. Regular cords snap.

If you can, back into parking spaces. If your battery dies, you can get a jump much easier that way.

Find a good pair of thing but insulative gloves. That way you don't have to take them off to use the knobs and switches while you're driving.

Your heater isn't strong enough. If you can lose the rear space, find a bus heater. That *might* be enough.
 

gladly

User title
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
1,013
 
 
 
I live in whitehorse, we usually have a few weeks of -40 and lower, the oil pan heater is essential, in addition to the battery and block heaters, the arctic rated extension cord helps, but they still break, what i do is run a long cord out to the driveway, ziptie it to the fencepost or whatever is convenient, then just use a short cheaper cord to the vehicle, and replace as necessary, it sucks to pay 25 bucks for a good cord and trip over it and half the insulation cracks off. but beware the really cheap cords, because the rubber on the receptacle end will not flex and you can't plug in.
the best way to save a lot of wear and tear is to buy a disposable car to run in the worst of it, I had a $400 civic that probably saved me a lot more than that in maintenance and repairs
to keep warm I have a small bus heater in the back, only about a foot square but pumps the heat, the PO ran it for two winters with the soft top on and says it was toasty
only other problem I had was the clutch master leaked when it was really cold on the first couple of pushes, i suppose the seal wasn't soft enough to seal or something, it likely needed replacing anyway, but floormats might be a good idea, I lost a good bit of paint from the fluid
above all, drive really slow at first, (the flatsided tires pretty much make sure that you do, though)
-stefan
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2002
Messages
400
Location
North Bend, WA
 
 
 
I work for a fire dept that has a small electric interior heater inside their PU trucks. They got it from NAPA. I'll try to get a pic and part #. (No, Seattle doesnt get -40c, but they don't want to scrape ice befor responding to calls)
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
226
Hey,
the pic and part number for that heater would be of great help - thanks!
I'll definitly do most, if not all, of those suggestions ...

Should be a wickid winter!
thanks!
 

PabloCruise

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
19,590
Location
Northern Colorado
 
 
 
Yoda said:
I work for a fire dept that has a small electric interior heater inside their PU trucks. They got it from NAPA. I'll try to get a pic and part #. (No, Seattle doesnt get -40c, but they don't want to scrape ice befor responding to calls)
How much power does this pull?

What do people think of running a block heater, but no oil pan heater?

It doesn't really get cold where I am - MAYBE hit 0 degrees F once or twice. Mostly it will sit in the teens overnight in Feb.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2002
Messages
400
Location
North Bend, WA
 
 
 
Hmmm, the pic is 1/2 meg. I can email it to anyone, PM me your addy

It is a 900 watt heater. Has circulating fan. NAPA #745-1143

This pic is from NAPA online, put it is a little different looking. About 6 inches X 9 inches X 3 1/2 inches.
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom