Getting old 60 series Tojo ready for the snow..

Submitted: Monday, May 30, 2005 at 21:47
ThreadID: 23435 Views:2143 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Howdy Folks, hows things?

I'll be lucky enough to be one of the many ski bunnies working at the snow this season & I'm going to have my faithfull old 60 series dual fuel parked up there in the thick of it. I've driven through the snow/ worked there for years (... great stuff) & am fairly clued in with snow driving & basic care for the vehicle in such a harsh cold environment. Eg, New battery (dual batt), anti-freeze, BFG mud&snow tyres. It normally starts better on gas but I'd imagine that gas would b more stubborn at these temperatures. Is there any way to 'cover' or 'blanket' the old girl's engine bay to help reduce the cold effect while its idol? What about the electrics? Do those 'RAINX' (metho?) wipes work for reducing fog/mist? Any advice on better maintaining the old bus would be much appreciated.

Cheers in advance - Rowen

P.S - When i next change the oil, should i go for a colder range SAE of oil?
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Reply By: Willb - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 22:10

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 22:10
Hi Rowen, in regards to starting the old girl, start it on petrol.
Petrol will fire easier than gas in cold temperatures, then when warm change over to gas.
Enjoy the season.
Always planning the next trip. VKS-737 mobile 1619

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AnswerID: 113648

Reply By: floyd - Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 18:48

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 18:48
Hi Rowen,

after over 20 years living in the snow in Australia, North America and Europe I may be able to offer these suggestions. Firstly gas ( Propane in the states) does not like starting in temps below zero if it has not been driven for a few days. The biggest problem is moisture in the gas system in the cold. LPG systems can freeze up really well here in Victoria with the only way to get them going is to be towed to a warme climate and let them thaw out for a day or 2. The part that freezes is the piping and feeder to the inlet into the head. LPG does carry a bit of moisture and the internals freeze up quite easily. To avoid this just switch the fuel over to petrol 5 or more km's before stopping. I towed 2 LPG vehicles off the mountain last season when the fuel systems froze up.

Petrol cars in general do not like being left in the snow for more than a few days before the electrical systems start to play up. Moisture gets into coils, leads and many other parts that make starting difficult. I would reccommend actually leaving your car down well below the freezing point of the mountain. A blanket or cover will do nothing to keep the engine warm as eventually the blanket and all engine parts will get down to the ambient air temperature anyway. The only reason that blankets work on humans is that the human is a source of heat. Once we stop producing heat the blanket cannot keep us warm. It is the same with cars once the engine cools down so will the blanket.

The reason why all work vehicles in the snow are diesels is that they are less likely (not completely failsafe) to break down due to the fact that there are little in the way of electrical parts that may fail in the extreme cold. Buller has a fleet of 35 diesel troopies and they have no starting problems that I am aware off.

You have done all of the correct things with preparation one more thing would be to change your oil to one that is suited to the cold like a 15/40 or lower. this will provide better protection for the engine at cold start up and run at a better viscosity in cold climates.

To clear the windows from the inside just put on your air conditioning once the heater has warmed up. It will take the moisture out of the interior air in about 20 seconds. I have never needed anything for the outside of the window. Dont lock the car if it is in the snow for a long time. The locks freeze up and people bust their keys. The best thing is the push button key systems if you have one fitted. Also do not open the doors too fast if they have been frozen shut. I have seen brand new cars opened too fast and rip off all of the door seals. Also do not put boiling water on the screen as it can crack it. Use cold water.

I had a 60 series in the resorts for years it handled the snow well. They are a great vehicle. Where are you working? I consult at all major resorts in Vic and NSW. I may see you around.
AnswerID: 113771

Follow Up By: Rowen - Saturday, Jun 04, 2005 at 20:19

Saturday, Jun 04, 2005 at 20:19
G'day Floyd!

Cheers for your response. Much appreciated. Sorry that I'm slow to reply.

I suspected a blanket would do didley squat. I sorta hoped that there may be a simple way to protect the electricals from moisture.I just changed the oil to a 15/40, so that should hopefully better suit.

Is it possible to insulate the gas inlet feeder? Just incase I leave it on gas or it stubbornly (as it sometimes is) doesn't start on petrol.

I'm working @ hotham (managing a lodge) after working Buller from 1997-2001. I know that keeping a car at that altitude doesnt do it any favours but I was maybe thinking that if I did the right things etc, that I could utilise the staff season car park ( @whiskey flat towards Dinner Plain) & have the convenience of a vehicle nearby. I plan to get off the mountain on occassions (albury etc), go white water paddling & even drive to a few random events where the car would be handy. Do you think it would cause more harm than good? Especially as I plan to have it for many years to come to travel more around aussy? I could just leave it at harrietville maybe (be nice if there was some spare garages @ hotham floating around!)

If you do get to hotham, feel free to drop in & say g'day. u ski/ board or cross country?


FollowupID: 370311

Follow Up By: floyd - Monday, Jun 06, 2005 at 11:42

Monday, Jun 06, 2005 at 11:42
Hi Rowen,

The oil will make a difference. I do not know a way to insulate the LPG system. The moisture on the inside freezes because the temp outside eventually gets down to freezing so whatever you do will just end up like the blanket theory. It will all eventually be at the same temp as outside so any insulation will be useless. The only solution would be to get LPG that has no moisture in the system (which would be impossible).

When taking petrol vehicles to the snow I used to disconnect the battery so as it would not slowly drain when keeping things like clocks and radio memories going. This will stop the battery slowly discharging. If the batteries are new then they should not loose charge too badly. I would suggest that you give the vehicle a start once a week and run it for a while. From my 25 years experience living in alpine areas here and OS most petrol engine components like carburettors and gas systems are prone to freezing if left for a few days or more. The way that the Canadians (and many other cold countrys) get around it is to have "block heaters" installed. This means that when they get to work and home they simply plug the car into an extension lead. This keeps the engine block and oil heated so starting is easy. These things are not available in Australia.

From my experience start the car up on warm dry sunny days. The batteries seem to be able to crank the motor better and they start with a lower risk of flooding. Just dont park it on gas.

If I am over at Hotham this year I will give you a hoy. Have a great season.
FollowupID: 370430

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