5W-30 OK for Alaska in 2.8L GM Duramax?

Messages
516
Location
Alaska and Wisconsin
Originally Posted by Danno
For additional insurance, I recommend a stick on oil pan heater if 100 to 150 watts. Wolverine is a good brand. Block heaters only warm the coolant with minimal to no impact on oil temps.
When I worked on fiber-optic data transport network controlling the trans-Alaska pipeline north of the Arctic Circle (Alaska's North Slope), our trucks were specially outfitted for the Cold and the gravel roads. Block heaters, oil pan heaters and battery warmers were standard. At -30 below zero F and colder, we left our diesel vehicles (my pickup) running continuously, filling them up every 12 hours, until it warmed up. Sometimes that was days. We left them running and plugged into the bull-rails... All fluids and greases were synthetic, all brake lines were covered sheet metal (gravel roads). All trucks operated with specially siped Bridgestone HD radials... All of us driving in the remote areas of the state carried about $1000 worth of arctic gear, food and water. All of our trucks has a CB radio and an Alyeska programmed, Motorola Maxtrac VHF band radio. I have 25,000 miles driving in the Arctic and have run into wind and blizzard storms that few in this world have ever seen. The stories I can tell... 25,000 miles driving back and forth along the Haul Road or Dalton Hwy along the northern 1/3 of the Pipeline -- from Prudhoe Bay to just south of the Yukon River. One storm should have killed me, but by the grace of God I'm still here. My experience far exceeds any Ice Road Trucker. No joke. Godspeed!
 
Messages
6
Location
Alberta
Winter front, block heater, coolant strength good for -50°C, maybe a bottle of Antigel, and 0W oil in your choice. Seen -50° lots of times working in the " Patch ". I don't shut my diesels off when it get below -25° on location. Also I believe travelling thru BC it's law to have winter rated tires.
 
Messages
516
Location
Alaska and Wisconsin
BTW, the coldest areas along the Al-Can Hwy are the Destruction Bay area (Yukon), then west across the tundra to the Alaska border. The roads are gravel and continually damaged with frost heaves. Cold unforgiving interior lowlands!
 
Messages
6,710
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Originally Posted by 67ZL1
Winter front, block heater, coolant strength good for -50°C, maybe a bottle of Antigel, and 0W oil in your choice. Seen -50° lots of times working in the " Patch ". I don't shut my diesels off when it get below -25° on location. Also I believe travelling thru BC it's law to have winter rated tires.
Since the OP needs to pay attention to this, the law says M&S are OK. The Mountain Snowflake design is better but you guys are only going for 10 days so I wouldn't think you would purchase them. Chains will get you through but to be honest, only the big rigs use them and only if they're dealing with larger grades. Your biggest problem will be bringing any hand guns across the border. A lot of Americans think the Alaska highway is in Alaska only. Nope. A lot if it is through Canada. Hand guns are a no no in Canada. Long guns are fine. I hope I didn't hijack your thread. Let's leave that issue alone. Politics.
 
Messages
1,065
Location
Roseville, CA
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
If you want to look like heroes, pick up a lithium ion jump start pack. That way the old boys at the coffee shop won't have a chance to laugh if those " California fellows" can't start their truck. laugh
The pack should be brought in the hotel room at night.
 
Messages
3,202
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
When I was up-fitting our fleet of Ford diesel Transit dual rear wheel box trucks, I landed on the following as my best chance of these starting in the winter: Factory OE block heater, Wolverine 150 watt oil pan stick on pad Battery Tender jr connected to the battery All routed to one shore plug at the driver's door (truck box corner). As long as the trucks were plugged in, and had fuel, they started. Adding fuel conditioner was a requirement every second fill-up. Oil spec was CJ-4, 10W-30. The other benefit was that 2 of these Ford trucks could be plugged into 1 - 15 amp receptacle as the total wattage for this setup was around 600 watts. No overloaded tripped breaker in the morning and a truck no start. The 5-ton box trucks with the DT466 diesel needed their own dedicated receptacles - 20 amp was preferred.
 
Messages
2,611
Location
San Rafael, CA
Thread starter
Thank you ALL for ALL your input, oil related or not. To the poster who offered me a coffee, that's super sweet, I'll check what our route is and PM you smile Thankfully the friend I'm going with lived in Alaska for several years so at least one of us understands cold temps and snow. I bought a bunch of cold weather suitable clothing because I don't think my California certified gym shorts and t shirt are going to be compatible with the cold temps haha. We have onboard a jump starter, four tire chains (the tires have the M+S logo), CB radio, ham radio (or whatever the professional term for that is), between the two of us we have AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, then we have a satellite phone and messaging system. Also have a bunch of food, water, a water heater thing so we can have tea/hot chocolate/coffee, etc. We also drained the coolant tank and put in almost a gallon of 100% coolant. I'm not good at math but that should protect our engine from freezing. Stick-on plug-in oil pan heater is on the way! To the person who mentioned being unable to carry a handgun, hah, we live in California unfortunately, so I'm used to that. I better leave it at that before I start on the politics and get this thread locked. I see someone mentioned fuel treatment, my friend is under the impression that fuel treatment is unnecessary since they have winter blend diesel. Or do we still need additive (for example Power Service Winterizer/Antigel)?
 
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Messages
802
Location
AR
Good luck on your trip - ought to be a fun adventure for you. Additionally I would recommend: - definitely use winterizer/anti-gel like the Power Service you mention - in all fuel you use. Its not expensive and works well preventatively. - oil pan heater wont cut it. Just get a freeze-plug coolant block heater, that will make the difference. - I would have studded, or at least dedicated winter tires....M+S is next to worthless in real winter conditions
 
Messages
1,861
Location
Somewhere in time
I think OP is asking a lot of good questions but they are also very fundamental questions. Maybe a trek up to AK isn't such a good idea when temps are way down, danger is high and experience is thin. Do you have loved ones at home? Next week's forecast lows in Watson Lake, YT are multiple days of -40° and less. You make a mistake and you die. Why not give it a try in the spring and make alternate plans for the trip scheduled for next week??? Whether it be postponing the imminent trip or exploring alternate ways to get there... Good luck!!! cheers
 
Messages
1,411
Location
Western Canada
Originally Posted by Imp4
... Next week's forecast lows in Watson Lake, YT are multiple days of -40° and less. You make a mistake and you die.
Amen. Sometimes Mother Nature says I DARE YOU ... ... Cause of death : EXPOSURE.
 
Messages
446
Location
California
If I was going on a long road trip in extreme conditions, I would want the Titan XXL fuel tank. If your friend has a CCLB Canyonrado 2.8 it is one of the best basic upgrades for these trucks, almost doubles stock fuel capacity to 36+ gallons. Gotta be a CCLB though for it to fit. http://titanfueltanks.com/products/xxl-replacement-tanks/7012316 Also, no one has mentioned it but I'd be worried about your DEF freezing in these conditions. You may consider adding additional insulation to the DEF tank and/or supplemental heating
 
Messages
516
Location
Alaska and Wisconsin
Originally Posted by geeman789
Originally Posted by Imp4
... Next week's forecast lows in Watson Lake, YT are multiple days of -40° and less. You make a mistake and you die.
Amen. Sometimes Mother Nature says I DARE YOU ... ... Cause of death : EXPOSURE.
Guys, If it's going to be THAT cold, I would forego traveling the road for now. Negative 40 degs F is not to be trifled with, especially if the drivers/passengers are inexperienced with that cold and how to operate in it. As well, driving a relatively new truck that hasn't experienced such conditions introduces serious risks. You just don't know how it is going to react. I would wait two weeks at least... until that giant bear of a high pressure system, currently sitting over Alaska and the Yukon slips east and south into the upper Midwest. Temps should warm a minimum of 20 degrees. Negative 20 to 25 degs F can be coped with. BTW, vehicle engines and metal part properties start acting strangely at those -40 degree F temps and colder. Moreover vehicle heaters won't provide enough heat (always cold engine) in those extreme temps. Windscreen defrosters won't defrost well, if at all. You get the picture... Wait and go when it warms up some. This experienced person wouldn't do this and would postpone. The risks are too great. ............ I do like several suggestions mentioned. The larger fuel tank, the winter grill cover, and the second and perhaps third mention of anti-gel fluid like PowerService or the like. My 5.3L gasser Silverado will easily do -25 or -30, but I wouldn't push it much below that. There's just no reason for taking such chances. It's best to stay inside and put another log on the fire... spring comes soon enough. smile
 
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Messages
516
Location
Alaska and Wisconsin
Nix that... What was I saying! Wait and go when it warms up some. This experienced person WOULD do this and would postpone. I would wait for warmer winter weather. The risks are too great. That's what I wanted to say...
 
Messages
1,415
Location
Alaska
Postpone your trip till late March. It will be much more enjoyable and you will be able to see the beautiful countryside for many more hours per day. Temperature will still be subzero but below-30F is unlikely. Doing it in January is asking for trouble and won't be fun. Be sure to go to Liard Hot Spring and heed the above advice. I have lived in Alaska for 42 years.
 
Messages
2,611
Location
San Rafael, CA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
Adventure awaits, Robert Peary, Go for the Gusto! We're awaiting Day # 1. To alleviate any family concerns, head for the hotel by 5:00 PM. shocked2 shocked2 Snag
Thanks! We're still going, I'm glad it's warming up a little for us smile
 
Messages
218
Location
Chicago
I would put in 0W40 Rotella T6 ; rarely seen good numbers with Euro L oil when it was spec'd for the Ecodiesel. Also be careful with a block heater, mine zapped me with 120 last week, wasn't bad gave me a jolt, the plug on the bumper had a trace of condensation on it. Would recommend not plugging in a live extension cord to your block heater, make the wall connection last. Bring a 30' 5-15 plug outdoor extension cord for your block heater.
 
Messages
9
Location
northern B.C.
-47C(-52.6F) in Watson Lake when I checked this morning. -39C in Dease Lake, although we only had -30C here in Telegraph Creek this morning, but supposed to get colder as the week progresses.
 
Messages
516
Location
Alaska and Wisconsin
Originally Posted by shakescreek
-47C(-52.6F) in Watson Lake when I checked this morning. -39C in Dease Lake, although we only had -30C here in Telegraph Creek this morning, but supposed to get colder as the week progresses.
Dangerous cold. These Californians better not make any mistakes whatsoever if heading into this extreme cold. God give them sense. smile
 
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