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  #1  
Old 1 Oct 2010
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Extreme winter car preparation

I will be seeing temps of down to -45c, does anyone have any resources for preparing a defender 110 for the job or general car prep?

ie Block heater, fuel heater, inline coolant heater, insulated fuel tanks, double windscreen, electric windscreen heater, new door seals all round, radiator block off (piece of cardboard) etc
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  #2  
Old 1 Oct 2010
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Not Land Rover specific advice ,but we see those temps every winter up here .
You will need synthetic oil in everything .
Inline heater is much better than block heater .
Your cab heater should be in first class working order .
Electric battery blanket .
You shouldn't need a fuel heater if you are running on winter diesel .
You can use a tarp over the radiator grill and run it below the front of the vehicle to partially enshroud the engine ,prevents wind blast .
Winter tyres , some ordinary tyres are hard and lethal at low temps.
Snow chains and a shovel.

If you are going anywhere remote ,have a full cyliinder of propane ,a "Tiger" torch and a length of stove pipe ,so that you can thaw out the vehicle if electricity is not available .This is a lifesaver .
Warm sleeping bag in the vehicle ,candle [provides enough heat to keep you alive without asphyxiating yourself].Chocolate and emergency rations etc .

Otherwise it's no big deal .
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  #3  
Old 1 Oct 2010
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As stated eberspacher or similar diesel burning heater which can provide direct hot air, and heat the engine via the cooling system . Tape over the dash vents if you have them as they quite often allow drafts. Door seals if they are flattened or perished . Engine coolant replace and run at maximum concentration. Syntetic oil in all drivetrain and power unit with grade emphasis on low viscosity rating. radiator blind. Make sure all hoses and drive belts in good condition , and same with cam belt, as low temps accentuate any tendency to brittleness . De icer fluid , for things you cant use blowtorch on . Local suppliers will have the required items if you have problems where you are starting from . Heated mirror elements can be fitted to the defender without too much effort . The worst case scnario is where you get a temp range that goes above freezing then back down again. eg door locks sieze up . The landrovers lack of sophistication is a positive as high tech can be a pain eg abs central locking . You are probably aware of personal protection . HTSH
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  #4  
Old 2 Oct 2010
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Try to rig up a system such that you can have the vehicle running and safely locked up while you are not in it. There will be times where you have to stop the engine for a few hours (with no access to electricity for block heater), and the engine will certainly not start afterwards. In the far North many people leave their vehicles running 24 hours a day. You won't need to have it running 24 hours a day, but just having the ability to have it running, unoccupied, and secured is a big help.

An electric interior heater is very useful for when you first start up. At -45C all the plastics in the vehicle will be so brittle that they can easily break with just a touch, so an electric interior warmer that you have running all night along with the block heater will be very helpful.

An excellent ice scraper/snow brush is essential.

Key lock de-icer is very helpful.

fuel line de-icer /anti-freeze is very helpful

New glowplugs

Diesel engine starter fluid. very very helpful

The electric blanket for the battery is essential..your battery will be near dead with the cold.

For the Defender, make sure you have the 82C thermostat installed, or even better the 88C model.
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  #5  
Old 2 Oct 2010
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There is some good advice there from gunt and tacr .

Some more thoughts ;

When starting your engine use glow plugs OR ether .

If you use glowplugs in conjunction with ether you will blow it up .
If you use ether to start the engine ,use it sparingly ,too much will blow the head gasket and possibly warp the head [ seen it done ].[The engine in question had the frost plugs blown out of it by the pressure of the detonation of the ether]

It's OK to leave the engine running - BUT - at high idle .At low idle you will not have sufficient oil pressure and the engine will not be warm enough and engine wear will be rapidly increased.

Winter fuel additive helps a great deal.
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  #6  
Old 5 Oct 2010
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I agree with tacr2man: Eberspacher/Webasto cab heaters are very effective. A heater in the coolant system is good for the engine provided it has it's own independant circulation pump, but to heat the cab requires the ignition to be on for the fans to blow. (Is there now a system that does both?)
Heated windscreens are available for Defenders at reasonable cost and are not hard to fit...
Spiral wound gel batteries (such as Optima/Exxide/Odysey) are more resistant to low operating temps than lead acid, and more powerful generally.
Fluffy steering wheel cover anyone?
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  #7  
Old 7 Oct 2010
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I agree with much of what has been previously posted with a few additional points:
Synthetic oil for the engine - find 0W40 if possible, it makes a huge difference when starting the vehicle;
Inline block heater must be a circulating type. A Webasto, Esparcher, etc. is better because it works anywhere;
Even at very cold temperatures the vehicle can be shut off for a time, park with the rear of the vehicle out of the wind but don't leave it too long;
Avoid ether unless you are desperate. It is too easy to ruin an engine;
Use fuel conditioner/antigel in conjunction with winter fuel only. Be sure that the tank is not full of summer fuel if you are shipping it somewhere;
Be careful with the interior heaters, they have been known to cause fires if not installed correctly;
An auxiliary/rear heater may help keep the cabin a bit warmer but it is a Defender so you know the drill.

It has been my experience, after living in Canada for most of my life and spending 14 years working in the Arctic, that -40C is sort of a magic number, things start to break down much easier after that so be gentle and take it easy on things until they are warm. Get the engine warmed up and then drive slow for a while to get the gearbox and diffs moving etc. My 200tdi starts exceptionally well in cold conditions, you just have to be nice to it.
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  #8  
Old 8 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossproof View Post
I agree with tacr2man: Eberspacher/Webasto cab heaters are very effective. A heater in the coolant system is good for the engine provided it has it's own independant circulation pump, but to heat the cab requires the ignition to be on for the fans to blow. (Is there now a system that does both?)
Heated windscreens are available for Defenders at reasonable cost and are not hard to fit...
Spiral wound gel batteries (such as Optima/Exxide/Odysey) are more resistant to low operating temps than lead acid, and more powerful generally.
Fluffy steering wheel cover anyone?
The (factory fitted) 9kw Webasto on my Unimog is wired to run the heater fan even with the ignition off but of course it draws significant current, I have 3 size 31 Odysseys. It gets the cab toasty warm and clears the windshield in 45min at -30C.
Do you plan to camp in -45C? Do you have experience camping in those temps? Even if you don't plan to camp you MUST plan to and be equipped to do so since at -45C anything can happen with fuel gelling, parts breaking etc.
Dodger says you don't need a fuel heater if running winter fuel. BTW Jet A gels at -46C., Jet A-50 at -50C. A Racor type primary fuel filter/water separator can easily be ordered with an automatically controlled electric heater; I highly recommend it. And carry some bottles of products like "9-1-1" which is a diesel de-gel product.
Power Service Products, diesel fuel additives, prevent gelling, clean injectors, disperse water, boost cetane, reduce emissions, improve fuel economyPower Service Products, diesel fuel additives, prevent gelling, clean injectors, disperse water, boos
My current solution to living in Alaska and having a very well equipped U500/Unicat is to ship it Australia and then drive RTW; doing China-Mongolia-Russia April-Sept. I have no interest visiting northern Asia during the winter (been there, done that in Alaska). I think a few nights of tent camping at -45 might cure a person of the desire to do so.

Charlie
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  #9  
Old 27 Dec 2011
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I live (next to the barets sea, 400km above artic circle) where we see constantly -35 to 45C

to do it cheap:

-fully synthetic (includind trans) 5-40W oils must, dont waste your money 0w oils...dont really make any difference.
-electrical block heater that is NOT located at the radiator hose. (defa is good)
-cover the radiator partially with cardboard (for the first rides follow the thermometer reading, dont let it overheat)
-good tyres michelin, nokia gislaved...many cheaper brands can not handle exreme colds this includes also some expensive brands pirelli ect., you will be driving an square tyres for the first kilometres...
-ice scraper for the windows
-isolating the battery from the wind (sealed foam matress)
-isolating the diesel filter from the wind (same matress)
-protecting the engine breather hose from the cold, isolate with water pipe wrap around isolation, if you dont do this when the breather hose insize freezes, you cars engine oil will fly out otf the engine where it can with in few seconds!!!
-changing the diesel flter before the cold
-off course artic diesel with freece point to -40C


the most important thing, your battery will flaten out very easily (1-2 starts), get defa 10A loader that connects to the block heater cable or drive at least 10-20km before shutting down

when drivong in the extreme cold, drop speed to 80Km/h and remember to leave car running during the breaks...no reason to shut it off, same aplies when starting the car let it idle for some 10-15minutes before going

absolute donts
-engine starting spray, too many broken engines
-minaral summer oils
-trying to start with almost empty battery (empty batteries freeze from inside=ruined battery)
-not taking enough clothes, something to eat and dring along with celphone+charger and wery good sleeping bag...(if you car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and you can not run the engine, you will not survive till the next morning...
-driving alone, without noticing someone where are you going and when should arrive...
-the gun for the polar bears, nosy Fuc...rs!

been there, done that...trust me...

ps. diesel heaters are nice for the engine, get also hot air heater for the inside of the car...but remember these suck up car batteries empty fast.
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  #10  
Old 28 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ez64 View Post
...radiator block off (piece of cardboard)...
Be careful - by that I mean be very judicious - about blocking off the airflow at the front of the car.

Although blocking the airflow into the engine compartment will preserve heat, it might easily preserve too much heat - by this I mean you might get localized overheating within the engine compartment caused by too little airflow.

I doubt if you need to worry about blocking off the 'radiator' per se, because your vehicle will have a thermostat in the coolant system that prevents the coolant from flowing through the radiator until it reaches the design operating temperature. Only then does the thermostat open and let the coolant circulate.

You might want to investigate and see if the manufacturer of your vehicle specifies a thermostat with a higher opening temperature for use in extremely cold environments. If the engine is 'conventional' (by that I mean not too many electronics in it), you can probably increase passenger cabin comfort (the amount of heat available from the cabin heating system) by installing a thermostat that opens at a higher temperature.

In Western Canada, where temperatures sometimes hit -40 in the winter, it is common for vehicles to be fitted with a quilted pad called a 'winterfront'. The winterfront fits over the grille and reduces (but does not completely obstruct) the amount of air entering the engine area. The primary benefit of the winterfront is a more rapid engine warm-up if you start the vehicle and then begin driving before the engine warms up to operating temperature. They are of minimal benefit once the engine has reached operating temperature, and may actually cause damage (this due to localized hot spots within the engine compartment) if they are used at anything less than highway speeds.

So... investigate this, but like I said, be judicious. Don't just block everything off.
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