Adapting vehicle to my hatred of winter

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by oil pan 4, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Most of this was leared the hard way one way or another and added on to my diesel.
    To fight off cold battery effects I use a gear reduction starter, when cold the batteries could barely crank over the engine with a straight drive starter. So I upgraded to a gear reduction starter. When I got my suburban the 4 gauge starter wire was burned up so I replaced it with 2 gauge cable with sealed ends.
    In 2006 i got my first vehicle with a block heater, a 600w block heater. I figured 1 was good so 2 should be twice as nice. So I put a block heater on each side of the block when I rebuilt the engine in my living room in 2009.
    Then I figured those two 600 watt block heaters were nice so I should try to put the most powerful heater I could find in, the coolant stream so I went with a 240v 5,500w 17,000btu/hr coolant heater. The difference between a block heater and coolant heater is block heaters are in the block and heat passively, coolant heaters are not on in the block and require pumped coolant .
    I saw how cummins diesel uses an intake heater to make the engine smoke less and run smoother upon starting so i installed two 12 volt 500w intake heaters in the intake manifold.

    To instantly deice a driving port hole on the windshield I installed a ford super duty windshield washer fluid warmer option package.
    About that time i started adding Propylene glycol added to washer fluid, an old truckers trick to keep the squirter tips from icing up and it really helps melt away the ice on its own.
    Then installed a heavily modified frost fighter 4 row deicing grid to the front windshield, normally used on commercial heavy duty vehicles, not passage vehicles.
    These 3 mods came about from may years ago in the 1980s while on a road trip we encountered a blizzard in the mountains of PA. The snow and ice built up so bad on the wipers and base of the wind shield that the wipers broke on my mom's toyota.

    I fixed the rear window deicing grid because it's nice to have.
    Around the same time I took the leftovers from the frost fighter windshield grid and put them on the rear passenger side glass so I could see what's beside my blind spot.

    Upgraded the alternator battery charge wire to 6 gauge after the factory one burned off the alternator. Back around 2006.

    A few years ago I put LED head lights on, then last year during an ice storm at night, just my short drive home from work the LEDs started to ice over. Didn't notice it while I was driving, but I was wondering the whole 15 minute drive if the cool running LEDs were allowing ice to build up on them selves and they were, almost 1mm of ice in 15 minutes, what if I had a 1 or 2 hour drive.
    So this year I installed 100w each auxiliary lights. Those should deice them selves quite well.

    Last year I built a portable 4000lb warn winch with snatch blocks and extra cable that can be mounted front or rear, after a NM blizzard last year and I got stuck in some snow.
    Problem with a normal fixed winch is they sit out in the elements on the front bumper until you need it and that's when you find out it doesn't work. Then if it does work it will only pull you forward, when you might need to go backwards.

    I took snowmobile hand grip heaters and used them to make heated mirrors.

    Other things I have not installed yet:
    An artic fox diesel fuel heater warmed by coolant, after the 2013-2014 artic vortex thingy caused a day of 10°F high temperatures one day when I was on a road trip, on I-40 in OK and northern TX, my fuel filters iced up, I had 2 spare ones of course but they iced up too when I put them on.

    An in sump oil 120v heater, could run any where from 200 to 600 watts made from a 1500w water heater element is going on my 489ci big block Chevy build and I will put one in my diesel too next time I pull the engine.
    When my 489 was a 454 I made an thermostatic air intake heater for it using exhaust manifold heat. The old 454 did not like cold starts. It's not currently installed, but it really worked great last year.
    Maybe one or 2 other things.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Don't know about the new stuff, but 40 years ago when it got down to -15 or so, block heater and heating battery seemed to help the most, but with a diesel it would seem heating the intake air would make a big difference. In the test chamber at Eglin AFB at -65, we had to bring in warm heaters to heat the heaters before they would start in order to warm the airplanes.
    sec_monkey, Ganado, Sgt Nambu and 3 others like this.
  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Sounds pretty about a couple battery heaters for the diesel?

    :) Looks like duane beat me to it!
    sec_monkey, Sgt Nambu and chelloveck like this.
  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I wouldn't call my all mechanical injected 6.5L Chevy diesel new.
    But as far as i know no one ever came out with air intake heaters, and they were not stock. I have only ever used the intake heaters to cold start at -10°F and it started right up like on a mild spring day.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  5. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Oh about the battery heaters, I use a 60 amp hour LiFePO4 battery now. It's on an Anderson QD, it comes in at night.
    sec_monkey and duane like this.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    HA, Sounds like a bunch of the mods I did when I completely rebuilt the entire Tucker Sno-Cat from the ground up! Tuckers are very well made machines, but are VERY lacking in even basics that to most of us would think common. SO starting with the drive train, I swapped out the old 318 Dodge V-8 and 4 speed, swapped in a "Built" Isuzu diesel with 6 speed auto trans, I added Oil pan Heater, Block heater, and a coolant circulation pump to keep the coolant moving through the entire system while it's plugged in. I then insulated the entire engine bay and hood to keep engine heat up, and I modified a Mack truck automatic winter front loover system that lets just enough air in to keep the temps just right. I then built an insulated battery box for the 3 deep cycle cranking batteries and installed battery blanket heaters to keep the batteries from cold discharging. I had a new fuel tank made out of aluminum and it has a oil pan blanket wrapped around it to keep the fuel from gelling, and I run Jet-A fuel at 30 to 50% mix to built extra heat in the engine when the temps drop below -20 deg. and I will also let it sit idle all night at high idle to keep it warm and ready should I need it. I insulated the entire body with heavy duty insulation and paneling and installed aux heater cores in the cab and passenger area with fan controls to keep the heat just right when in use. I have Chelsey Winches both front and rear, and I have found heavy rubberized fabric tarps made to cover the winch spools keeps them ready to use when needed, and I keep a weed burner on board for emergency heating and thawing if things ice up bad enough! The hydros have a heater in the tank and I have a bypass valve that allows the pump to run with out powering any thing and that keeps the fluid warm when I need the plow or any of the accessories! My Big fire truck is pretty much set up with the same winter heating equipment just in case!
  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Now that takes winter bug out vehicles to a whole new level!!
    Ura-Ki and sec_monkey like this.
  8. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Be one heckuva lot cheaper to move to a warmer climate.
  9. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Many years ago I live at Big Bear Lake California. and worked at the local ski slope making snow LOL.
    Then I drove a 1958 3/4 ton cheve truck with a very tired 283 V8 engine using lots of oil so 40 w was all I used .
    Oe thing I learned is that the wind blows away the heat from every thing so you have to stop that .
    I had worked at a marina that uses boat shrink wrap for winter storage and the stuff is very tough.
    I took scrap and made a cover for the whole cab of the truck, and merely put a drop light with a rough service bulb mounted next to the wheel well next to the engine and covered the cab closing the fabric in the for jambs so it wouldn't blow away. the fabric must reach the ground.
    In the morning I unplug the lamp and shake the snow from the door area covered and of course the lock is bone dry and easy to unlock . I open the door and free the fabric and shake it so the snow clears and step in the cab and start the engine and it starts just like it does in the summer ;right off. then unlock the passenger door and walk around the front and give the tarp a shake and then open he passenger door and free the tarp.
    then walk to the hood and pull the tarp off the truck ,shake the snow off and fold it up and put behind the seat and drive to work in a warm truck . in zero degree weather.
    When I get to work I put the tarp back on the truck and it's ready for me at the end of the day no frost on the windshield and I'm leaving before an one else because they are still scrapping off their windshields.
    Another benefit is that the board skiers snooping through the parking lot find it too much trouble to look in my truck the tarp is locked in the door jamb.
    Ura-Ki and Ganado like this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I thought I was when I moved to new Mexico.

    The double block heaters, 5500w coolant heater, 2ga battery cable and gear reduction starter were developed when I was trying to move to Wyoming, Montana area.

    Have to be prepared to meet the next artic vortex of death when possibly away from home up north.
    The article vortex of 2013-2014 winter was so cold big rigs were broke down on the side of the road due to brake line and fuel filter ice up.
    Ganado and Altoidfishfins like this.
  11. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    That depends on where in NM. Northern part of the state along with with elevation gets pretty chilly
  12. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I had to run my AC in the truck yesterday?
    Yard Dart, Ganado and RightHand like this.
  13. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Yep. Rolled my windows down today while on the freeway. It was 84 degrees. Cold front coming in though. Tomorrow it will only be 76.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Frost on the wind shield in the morning and A/C in the afternoon is normal here.
    A 50°F difference between night and day is normal.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    May the bird of paradise fly up your nose.[raspberry]
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    May an elephant caress you with his toes. [beat]
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