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Need Winterizing tips from the Pro's

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Hossbaby50, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    At the end of the month i will be moving to Colorado from Arizona. So 60+ degrees to 40 and below degrees. Questions:

    1. What Oil? (currently 20W50, thinking 10w30)
    2. What antifreeze mix?
    3. Battery maintence tips?
    4. winter tire pressure? (welded rear, locked front, BFG AT's)
    5. any other tips on winterizing

    I am planning on undercoating my truck heavily before I go up there to help prevent rust. any tips on this? Thanks for any help you can give on maintence, rust preventing, etc.

    Harley
     
  2. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    Well it doesn't get REAL cold around here, but to answer your questions:

    Definately ditch the 20W50, 10W30 would be good synthetic would be better (less acid build up in cold weather, flows better at low temp, and extended change interval -who wants to lay in the snow to change it?)

    Anti-freeze 50/50 CHECK IT!

    Is your battery big enough (700 CCA minimum)? How old is it? Have it load tested. Make sure your connections are clean -no corrosion crawling up your cable.

    Tire pressure will vary with what kind of tires. But watch for low temp tire pressure drop.

    Other: Good windshield wipers and washer fluid is VITAL. Along with a good windshield scraper. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  3. fortcollinsram

    fortcollinsram 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    What Diesel Dan said...I would also add a block heater if you flush you coolant....I run 10w-30, a 50/50 coolant mix, and two 800cca batteries...works for me like a charm...

    If you need a place to wrench when you get up here let me know...I have a garage and a driveway now (even though my blazer doesn't fit in the garage...

    Chris
     
  4. blk87K5

    blk87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    Hell, you guys aren't too far from me... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Need to get together some time.
     
  5. Highlander

    Highlander 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    Hey there Harley

    For the oil Synthetic all the way from front to back. But thats me.
    I would go 50/50 on the mix
    for the the Battery as long as it's in good shape you should be ok, Now if it got down to 40 below a lot I would say get a Battery warmer.
    As for tire pressure I would say run what you all ready do, I've got 30lbs in mine and I mite even go lower, We run the same tire The BFG AT is a great tire for the ice and hard packed snow.
    Where you mite have problems is your welded rearend on the icy road you mite have fun when you go to take a right or left hand turn. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
    I've heard of some guys spraying Pam on their rockers and such I guess it helps with the ice build up
    The next thing is if your running Aluminum wheels the Mag Chloride will Eat or I should say Pit the hell out them

    Eric
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    Thanks for all the tips everyone. As for a block warmer, how much and how hard are they to install?

    Also, would it possibly be a wise thing to install as set of unwelded spider gears for the winter? That way the rear is open? Just wondering. I don't know if it will snow enough to warrant that though. any thought?

    As for the turning with the welded, I have driven it in the rain here and I haven't had a problem, but I am not sure about the ice.
     
  7. fortcollinsram

    fortcollinsram 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    Harley, I have a set of un-wleded spider from a 14bff if you want them...I took them out when I went with a Detroit...I will hang on to them in case you want them...

    Chris
     
  8. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    I am picking up a set here in Phoenix before I leave to Colorado. That way if something happens and the spiders go on my trip to Colorado I can swap them. I am picking up alot of parts before I leave. I might take you set off your hands when I get up there though. Thanks for the offer.

    Harley
     
  9. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    The typical block heater I've seen replaces one of the freeze plugs. But then they're kinda rare on the So. CA coast.....
     
  10. fortcollinsram

    fortcollinsram 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    Yeah Harley, the block heater just replaces a freeze plug...We sell them at Napa...easy to install, but much less mess if you do it when there is no coolant in the engine...

    Chris
     
  11. ChevBlazin

    ChevBlazin 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    Undercoating is a very good idea, get it covered good. I live in MN and will be driving the blazer for the first time this winter (been garaged the last three). I also put a coating of WD-40 on the inside and outside of my rims (chrome) to keep the salt from getting at them. Another good idea is mud flaps. I think they look dumb, but I will use them in the sinter to minimize the salt and crap that gets kicked up on the truck
     
  12. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    "The typical block heater I've seen replaces one of the freeze plugs. But then they're kinda rare on the So. CA coast....."

    /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Years ago when I was training down at Ft Jackson South Carolina I bought an Isuzu Pup Diesel. I was heading to my next assignment in Maine, so I knew the truck had to be ready. First I ditched the brand new 600 CCA battery (wouldn't have lasted a cold week) for the biggest I could get from Wally-mart. Then I headed down NAPA for a block heater. "Yall wanna B-L-O-C-K H-E-A-T-E-R?? What the heeell issa blo-lock heeda?" The other parts man very senior to the first pipes-up "Thats wonna them thangs they use up Noth. Aint got nuthin like arund heya." /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  13. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    When I lived in Alberta I ran 10W40 in the summer and 5W30 for the winter. Coolant mix was 50/50. It's a good idea to get a battery hydrometer and check the specific gravity in your batter if it's old (and not sealed). Regardless, it's not a bad idea to make sure it's charged up, and if it's not sealed to make sure all the cells are full.

    I've had vehicles with and without battery warmers - even the same truck +/- the warmer. They really do make a differnce when the temperature drops. The same truck would always start, but you could hear and feel the difference when the battery was warm. That said, they're not strictly necessary and I didn't have one on my K5 with the red top for the last two winters - no problems.

    Block heaters are simple to install if you get the right kind. the hardest thing is to get the freeze plug out without knocking it into the water jacket. If you have the space, a small slide hammer works the best to pull it out. I've seen two types of block heaters - press in ones (just like a freeze plug) and ones with a screw in the middle which expands an O-ring to seal it. You'll probably get an O-ring style replacement - they're a snap to install. If you're really gung-ho (and don't mind paying the electric bill) you can install one on each side of the block, but again, not necessary.

    There are also "block heaters" (though that's a misnomer since they don't go in the block) which you can install by cutting one of the rad hoses or heater core hoses and install inline - they look like a double male connector with a heater box off the side. My brother had one, it seemed ot be OK, but the real trick ones are the circulating heaters - they also install in the coolant line, but they have a small pump as well as a heater so they circulate the coolant through the engine (as opposed to the other two styles which just warm the coolant locally and let the heat diffuse throughout the system). The really nice thing about the circulating heaters is that the warm the whole cooling system, so when you go to start your truck, voila - all the coolant is warm, including that in the heater core and you have instant heat in the cab (or if it's really cold, it takes that much less time until the heater starts blowing warm air). Of course the tradeoff is price, block heaters are $5-10, good circulating ones can cost $50 and up.

    Tire pressure check it when it gets cold - it'll drop. I usually ran the same cold pressure summer and winter, though it is a different amount of air. In the winter your tires won't heat up as much, so maintaining the same cold pressure doesn't hurt anything. I tried to see what the difference in 'hot' temperature summer and winter, but never got it figured out since I could never remember what it was the previous season /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    In car warmers are nice and keep you from scraping the windshield /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif ; Winter tires make one hell of a difference; get a bottle of lock de-icer - way better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it - but if you find your locks frozen, you can repeatedly heat your key with a lighter and insert it until you can get the lock mechanism to turn. Turn the hubs every once in a while to make sure they're not frozen and run around the block to keep the fronts lubrucated - if water gets in there it can ice up and be a huge PITA. Often if it's bad out I just left the fronts locked so I could slip it into 4-high to get going from a stop at an icy intersection and then pop it back out again.

    I think that's it, but I'll happily answer any other questions

    I think that's about it. I've never had a welded rear, but limited slips are great to have on ice.
     
  14. Highlander

    Highlander 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    The other type of block heater goes on your heater hose. Speaking of parts did you ever get my letter? Let me know I hope the wife Mailed it like she said.

    Eric
     
  15. greatwhitenorth

    greatwhitenorth 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    For what it's worth, buy a recirculatory block heater over a freeze plug heater. I had a 1200W unit (at least I think it was 1200W) that I bought from cambodian tire for 50 bucks, so I would think you should be able to get one for much cheaper down there (try mail order if a block heater isn't a locally used item). You'll be glad you did when you go out to your truck when its -40F and it fires right up and gives you *relatively* warm air out of the heater.

    Check your tire pressure regularily, I lost a tire last winter due to my laziness and it almost cost me a couple fingers - and I'm not joking.

    I also ran a battery heater, and for the 10 bucks it costed I'm glad I bought it.

    Good point about the windshield washer pump, and fluid - this is a major safety concern and do not try and get by without it. If there's sand and whatnot on the road every rig that blows by you will cover your windshield in crap.

    Carry a little winter survival kit with you in the truck, and keep in mind that at extremely cold temperatures things become brittle. i.e. cheapo extension cord droped on the ground will crack, plastic parts under your hood might crack if your rough with them.

    Another good idea is to put plugs on the end of your extension cord that light up so you can see for sure that your block heater is getting juice.
     
  16. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need Winterizing tips from the Pro\'s

    The electric company must love you. I still remember the audible hum when I had everything plugged in on the truck ... and the bill!
     

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