Building a Stock Cruiser for Alaska Trip

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by NickT916, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. NickT916

    NickT916

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    Lets say you have a stock landcruiser with 130k miles. Its mechanically good and no known problems at the moment.

    Then lets say you live in Sacramento CA and decide to plan a road trip to Alaska 3,000 miles away.

    What might you need to bring with you and what would you need to know?

    The furthest i been was Washington Spokane, and Reno NV in white out conditions, but i dont even know what to expect on a Alaska trip, or what to bring or even how far apart gas stations are?


    from the top of my head, it being a stock cruiser...

    Snow mud tires
    changing all tranny, rear end fluids
    new spark plugs
    maybe new wires
    replace Co2s
    replace cats, or even run straight pipe?
    check all hoses and belts, maybe bring extra belts
    ductape to tape cracked hoses
    Flare gun, and some flares
    Air supply
    tire repair kit
    spare tire
    bumper grill and winch
    sleeping bags
    extra food
    extra car battery
    CB radio maybe?
    GPS
    road maps

    If you guys have more advice, help me out
     
  2. UCBerzerkeley

    UCBerzerkeley

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    water? might be some long stretches without access / works in a pinch for leaking coolant
     
  3. mainemike

    mainemike

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    You should split up your post in two sections: keep this one limited to 80 mechanicals (tech) and see the expedition page for "what should I bring" on MUD as well as visit ExPo at:

    Expedition Portal Forum - Powered by vBulletin

    You'll find lots of Alaska experience at ExPo. Also check in with the Toyota Owners Assoc. Club in AK (links on MUD).

    You haven't qualified exactly what you plan on doing in Alaska: buying snow/mud tires and a winch seems excessive unless you have a serious off-road route planned. Why do new O2 sensors and cats unless you know they are bad?

    Instead of an extra car battery, just put a new one in it. If you suspect a bad belt, put a new one in. Use Toyota parts in just about every instance under the hood. If your plug wires have more than 50k on them, consider replacing them, but they may be fine. You really need to look around under the hood for things that are leaking; harness issues, cracked hoses, etc. You can ask if other cruiserheads are in your area - most people are happy to look over another 80.

    I've done a lot of 4000 to 8000 mile trips, and basically I do fluids (oil, F/R diffs) and a general check-up... but I try to keep the truck baselined so that is all it ever needs to hit the road. Transfer and tranny fluids are part of baselining, but yes you need to check them before heading north.

    Best advice is to start all mechanical stuff early - I do not like to make any major changes a week before leaving... get the truck sorted out mechanically first, then pack it up and spend some time with it on a pre-run weekend so you see how your gear selection works out.

    Things like extra food are usually not needed, at least not loaded and packed in Cali - there are plenty of supermarkets in Alaska. As you define your route you'll figure out where the more remote sections are and think about what you'll want for that day or two. No reason to carry extra food the whole trip. Most people simply carry way too much stuff.

    Lots of Alaska trip reports on ExPo to read through - enjoy!
     
  4. baumber

    baumber

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    When will you be travelling? Are you taking the Alcan (#97) or the other way from Highway #16
    I've driven the Alcan from Dawson Creek several times. Never in the cruiser. Once in a 71 Ford Econoline(2001) and other times in a 76 IH Traveler (2002)From May to November. One time in May there was a bridge that washed out about 30 min before we reached it and were forced to hold up in Liard Hot Springs for a few days. Plenty of supplies there though. With the tank range of the cruiser I would suggest fuel reserves in one fashion or another. Haven't spent much time in the Interior but the longest between gas stations seemed to be just over 200 miles. Make sure you are current with your insurance company. Alot of windshields are lost to rocks being flung by the 18 wheelers on the endless stretches of dirt/gravel roads that make up the Alcan. Came across one group from Germany that lost their windshield to a duck!
    Tools, tools, tools. Read FAQ about common maintenance and problem items to know what you need.
    HTH
    Oh, take a camera and take your time!
    :cheers:
     
  5. Blue Phoenix

    Blue Phoenix

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  6. nodaksn3

    nodaksn3

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    At LEAST 6-ply tires. New ones, don't skimp. :cheers:Ned
     
  7. FJnAK

    FJnAK

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    Get the MilePost map book. It gives all points of interest, best fuel stations, parks/ campgrounds etc. I would not drive the Alcan without it. You want to carry a spare fuel can if you haven't upgraded the stock tank and a good spare tire. VHF radio is best for communication up here but CB's are still used.
     
  8. alaskacruiser

    alaskacruiser

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    Depends on what you want to do there. If you're just doing some sightseeing / camping, a good set of tires and a good spare + maybe a fuel can. My parents drove from Fairbanks and all around Alaska to the lower 48 at least 5 times when we lived there- starting back in the 70s when the Alaska Hwy wasn't the cushy road it is now, but rather a lot of dirt road (sometimes single lane) and not in very good shape.

    My Dad did it with the following vehicles stock and with 3 kids (2 of whom were under 3 years old on some trips):
    1. '70 Chevy Impala SS w/ 25' travel trailer in the early 70's
    2. '78 Tioga 27' RV in the late 70's
    3. '90 Ford Aerostar RWD in the early 90's
    4. '92 Ford Aerostar E-4WD in the mid 90's

    and they had no problems except a few flats here and there.

    So if you're just looking to sight see up there and you're taking the Alaska Highway, that might give you some perspective. If you're looking to do some serious expedition / wheeling up there, that's another story.
     
  9. Boone

    Boone

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    I'm doing a trip from NC to the kenai river this summer passing through yellowstone and some other stuff along the way. Looking at about 5500 miles one way. I've read up a ton and mainemike was pretty much dead on. Your not going to be in the middle of no where, even though it may seem that way. Carry some extra fuel, have good tires and keep her running well. Its not a bad idea to have a radio if you do get into trouble. Depending on if you are camping or not would really depend on if you need extra food. If not just get some trail mix and doritos.

    take pics man i know i will.
    good luck
     
  10. TrickyT

    TrickyT Hate that mud... SILVER Star

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    Some may consider this extreme, but if you're going to be far off the beaten path you should consider replacing your head gasket now as a preventative maintenance step, instead of possibly having to have someone unfamiliar with 1FZE's do it in the middle of nowhere.
     
  11. motelcambodia

    motelcambodia

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    Don't pass any gas stations thinking you can make it to the next one I did that and the next one was closed.
    When most of it was gravel road some would cover most the windshield with card board and have little cut out to look out.
    I would get a good bra if your paint is any good. And maybe make some plexi glass light covers.
    I would get a new battery the best one you can find.
    Make sure you know how to change your own tires and looked to see your jack and wrench are there.

    Now days you can easly drive any car truck, classic lowered hot roads are making the trip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. jorgeez

    jorgeez

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    Thanks for the ideas, tips, and suggestions. I am also planning to go on a road trip this summer. Though my destination is Nevada and not Alaska. But still, reading this is a lot of help.

    __________________
    performance parts
     
  13. motorcoach123

    motorcoach123

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    Hey Nick

    A fellow mudder from Arizona did this trip a few summers ago and both he and his partner maintained blogs the whole trip....very interesting! Also had excellent write ups on prepping his rig, including pics.....I cant think of his mud handle at the moment, but with a search you will find it!

    EDIT....here it is....North to Alaska

    Gord
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  14. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Stop here in Idaho on your way through and I'll install an armored windshield film and 3M headlamp covers at a rippin' deal for ya!

    I think quality tires are a good investment and 6 ply is a good call. A lot depends on the time of year gear wise, but mechanically the Cruiser doesn't care so these above recs apply anytime.

    DougM
     
  15. motelcambodia

    motelcambodia

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    Is this armored film not scratch by the wipers?
    They told me about this in cambodia too and said i Should get it put on there.
    Is this somthing I can get as a doit your self kit? I would like the 3m head light covers.
    What part of Idaho you in?
     
  16. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    I'm currently testing it on both 80s before carrying it myself as a product. It is seriously impressive warding off hits. We have had 3 hits so far that definitely would have bulls eyed the w/s glass. My concern is the same as yours - wiper scratching - and that's why I'm testing it myself. It's by ClearPlex and you can google it and watch some testing they do with it. I did similar testing with a pellet gun and several windshields I bought.

    A DIY kit would drive you insane. I'm good at things like this (own a clear bra business) and found it a challenge. Let me know if you want headlight covers - they are DIY on the 80. We're in Coeur d'Alene.

    DougM
     
  17. TeeDiggs

    TeeDiggs

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    Just wanted to wish ya good luck. It's a blast of a trip, i've done it 6 times in all.... but mostly just to get from point A to point B. I was born and raised in Alaska and jumped between the lower 48 and home a few different times before settling in Oregon finally after school.

    My trip may be different because I basically stayed on the road, and 3 out of those 6 trips i was doing in a matter of 3 days so i wasn't doing any offroading in between. I did it all in my Ford Ranger 4x4 I still have, with 5 gallons of extra fuel and a truckbed full of all my belongings. I would definitely recommend the extra fuel (more than just what I brought but I get about 21mpg so 20 gallons in the tank and an extra five got me there just fine without too much exploring off the road.
    As far as parts and such specific to the cruiser, the other guys may be able to help better. When I think about it now I had very little to help if I ever got into a predicament. Bring extra oil, fuel, tire, and tools for sure. Extra food and water too... even just for snacks, we snacked like crazy going up through there! My Ranger at the time was stock as well except for a flowmaster dual exhaust setup. A stock rig is competely capable, but like many have said, your big thing is just having what you need in case something breaks. Expect a lot of bugs (and a cracked windshield from rocks), and get ready to take some great pictures of the vehicle at the end! My front end had a good 1/4" covering of pure insects.

    Just try to take it all in, and have fun. There are all kinds of great people i've met along the way too. The more prepared you are, the more carefree the trip will be. Someone mentioned the milepost and I would agree wholeheartedly! get it for sure.

    oh, and post pics up when you've returned :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  18. motelcambodia

    motelcambodia

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    wow Coure Da lane
    I would like to see the headlight suff and pick up a dvd too.
    Do you have a shop there?
    PM me a address or post it here And if possable I could just stop by a pick some up,

    Thanks
     
  19. Potbelly

    Potbelly

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    I like that you're bringing Air Supply. That's a great band. "I'm all out of love . . .. I'm so lost withOUT you . . .. ."
    Anyone under, say 36 years old probably won't get that.
     
  20. aclos3

    aclos3

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    I'm 23 and I get it!
     
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