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Old 12-02-2010, 07:40 PM   #1
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Extreme Cold Questions

Hi All,

I am going to Yellowstone National Park in February, 2011. I will need to park my SMB in West Yellowstone, MT for several days. I need to prepare for -40 degrees F night time temps. I am relatively certain I can arrange for a plug in. What things do I need to do ahead of time to prepare the SMB for this.

1) I have a 2006 6.0 PSD 4x2. I have all terrain tires. I had planned on getting chains for the rear tires. Doesn't SMB buy all the E-350s pre-configured with limited slip rear??

2) I have the flat plate heat exchanger which can be used to heat the block...can't it? Although I don't think that does me much good since I need to leave the vehicle for several days. How easy is it to add an AC engine block heater??

3) My batteries are not easy to get to because of my under vehicle wheelchair lift so it won't be easy to do anything for them. Should I just plan on needing a jump start when I return to my SMB?

4) Are there any additives I should add to the fuel tank? When do I need to work about fuel gelling.

5) Should I get an oil change to a lighter weight oil before the trip? I will be driving from California to Montana.

What other things am I not aware of that I need to plan for, vehicle wise.

I am very familiar with the area and the park. I have visited the park numerous times but never in the winter. We'll be spending several days at Old Faithful doing snowcoach and snowmobile tours throughout the grand loop of the park. It should be a blast....although could be really cold.

Thanks,

Linda
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:50 PM   #2
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

Has anyone ever run their block heater off a Honda 2000 generator? Wonder what would happen.

Z
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

I think all 6.0L come with engine block heaters. On the passenger side near the tie rod, there should be a female outlet to plug into. It may be zip-tied out of the way.

At those temps (brrrrr...) I do think you need a fuel additive (something like Stanadyne Performance formula) that specifically has anti-gelling properties.

Other than that, I live in SoCal and don't have any experience with temps that low.

[EDIT: as for the Honda generator, I don't know if it has the run time to keep things warm that long]


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Old 12-02-2010, 08:38 PM   #4
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

FWIW, I have also seen stick-on (adhesive or magnetic - not sure) heaters for oil pans. Of course you still need an AC power source.

[EDIT: you need "Bones" up in Alaska to give some advice!]


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Old 12-02-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

I was thinking of using the generator to just warm the engine for starting. Maybe four hours or so. Maybe 4 hrs would do nothing at -40.

I found online (so it must be true) the block heater for a 6.0 draws 1000w BTW.

Z
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:32 PM   #6
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

I had to pick up a company vehicle in Lethbridge, Alberta that had been left on the north side of a building over Christmas Holidays. It was cold, like -30F. Well it wouldn't start. Cranked just fine but no go. I wasn't familiar with super cold weather, so I asked a local what can I do?

"Ohhh, once the cold gets in to 'em, there's not much you CAN do, eh."

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmsewell
Hi All,

I am going to Yellowstone National Park in February, 2011. I will need to park my SMB in West Yellowstone, MT for several days. I need to prepare for -40 degrees F night time temps. I am relatively certain I can arrange for a plug in. What things do I need to do ahead of time to prepare the SMB for this.

1) I have a 2006 6.0 PSD 4x2. I have all terrain tires. I had planned on getting chains for the rear tires. Doesn't SMB buy all the E-350s pre-configured with limited slip rear??

2) I have the flat plate heat exchanger which can be used to heat the block...can't it? Although I don't think that does me much good since I need to leave the vehicle for several days. How easy is it to add an AC engine block heater??

3) My batteries are not easy to get to because of my under vehicle wheelchair lift so it won't be easy to do anything for them. Should I just plan on needing a jump start when I return to my SMB?

4) Are there any additives I should add to the fuel tank? When do I need to work about fuel gelling.

5) Should I get an oil change to a lighter weight oil before the trip? I will be driving from California to Montana.

What other things am I not aware of that I need to plan for, vehicle wise.

I am very familiar with the area and the park. I have visited the park numerous times but never in the winter. We'll be spending several days at Old Faithful doing snowcoach and snowmobile tours throughout the grand loop of the park. It should be a blast....although could be really cold.

Thanks,

Linda
The availability of shore power is a very big deal. With shore power, you can plug in the block heater and keep the starter/house batteries charged. Both will greatly help with starting the van when you return. Without shore power, I don't know what to suggest for such cold temps. I have started my van after overnight temps of 0deg to neg 10deg without using the block heater, but never after sitting for a few days.

If you don't have shore power, then try and get a portable generator like the eu2000. It works great to warm up the motor thru the block heater. Just plug the block heater into the generator and let it run for at least a few hours.

Good luck and enjoy the trip.
R
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:06 AM   #8
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

Might get some ideas from here: http://www.streetfire.net/video/the-ful ... 174761.htm

If I recall, they used jet fuel in the Hilux. It's bad if jet fuel gels I guess.
http://www.arctictrucks.com/pages/4699

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Old 12-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

All in all, it might be easier and cheaper to pay for heated storage, even heated to 30 degrees would take care off all the issues.

Or, maybe leave the SMB somewhere warmer and rent a car to drive up there.

Mike
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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Re: Extreme Cold Questions

Thanks for the suggestions to date. Looking forward to more. I have to take the SMB due to all the handicapped adaptations it has. I am looking into heated storage, but I do have a Cruiser top so clearance is limiting some options. Figuring out how to do this is part of the adventure. I also might hit a mild stretch of weather where temps don't get that cold.

Linda
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