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Old 12-09-2013, 10:31 PM   #1
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Anchorage Alaska

Hello everyone!

I am a long time lurker, I think this is my first post...

I just had a couple questions about what I should expect in Alaska. I am currently stationed at Hickam AFB Hawaii, I have been here over three years and I got an assignment to Elmendorf AFB Alaska. I have a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited which I have had for about a year and a half. I heard people recommending engine block heaters and oil pan heaters and thinner oil. I was wondering if this is really necessary on my jeep? Any input would be much appreciated!

Also, I have a soft top and I was wondering if I should invest in a hard top or not. I am going to Anchorage Alaska so I know it will be cold but I dont think it should be anything crazy. However, I have never been there...

Thanks for everyone's time and I appreciate any feedback on what I should do to prepare my Jeep for the cold weather.

-Thomas

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Old 12-09-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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Block heater definitely, dual batteries and better headlights. Not sure the hard top will be that much warmer without some insulation added. A good parka and a toque might be better. A good heavy duty extension cord so you can plug it in.

I use a cheap electric heater placed inside my Jeep on a timer that heats up the inside before I start it every day.

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Old 12-09-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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Agreed. A good quality battery (ie diehard platinum, odyssey 1500, etc), jumper cables, a jumper pack inside your home charging constantly, a block heater, better headlights, some good aux lights, some good AT tires like the duratrac, hardtop and remote start would be a good start.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:22 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input!

I have jumper cables but investing in a jumper pack/battery booster sounds like great advice. You think the Wrangler ATs that come stock on the jeep are decent enough? I only have about 7,000 miles on my jeep.

So speaking from a budget standpoint, you think headlights upgrade and the block heater would be a good start at least before I get to Alaska?

Thanks again.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:49 AM   #5
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Block heater is almost mandatory before you get there... At least if you're going around this time of year. If you have a garage you MIGHT be able to get away with running a few electric heaters in there to warm the entire Jeep before starting (probably have to start at least an hour before departing though... Engine block heater is a better economical solution.

A Sears Diehard Platinum would be my suggestion. Optima has kinda gone downhill since it gained it's fame. Moved its manufacturing plant somewhere else and quality dropped. That Sears batt will give you 800 CCA instead of the stock 650 (at least those are the numbers for my TJ). And the dual batteries will give you plenty of juice to run your block heater and start, no problem. Plus if one fails, there's the other. But carrying that charger will be just as good, if not more convenient. As long as you make sure it's charged and dont leave it at home.

And lastly, lighting. I would get a couple externals first... Rigid Dually's on window brackets being the cheapest (if you have a stock front bumper). If you have light mounts on your bumper, I'd throw them on there. The Dually's are LED, super bright, tough, and highly recommended. But quality does come with a price, of course. Def a one time buy. The LEDs also consume less amps from the battery than regular lights (KCs for example).

Make sure you take pics of your Jeep up there !
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:37 AM   #6
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Sweet, I am glad I posted for advice.

I have been reading that the block heater would be a good idea to get installed at the dealer. But the other things give me a great excuse to give the wife to work on the jeep!

What everyone has been saying is what I was pretty much thinking of going with, which is good. If there is more input feel free to add and I will keep reading.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:40 AM   #7
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I live here in AK and I will have to go against everyone and tell you unless you just want it a block heater isn't needed. I ton't have one and neither foes my wife's van and we both Park outside. It's not a bad thing but not a must have, the hardtop on the other hand is a must. A lot of snow piled ontop of a soft top can equal a bad day. Do I would get the hardtop instead of a block heater.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcookuscg View Post
I live here in AK and I will have to go against everyone and tell you unless you just want it a block heater isn't needed. I ton't have one and neither foes my wife's van and we both Park outside. It's not a bad thing but not a must have, the hardtop on the other hand is a must. A lot of snow piled ontop of a soft top can equal a bad day. Do I would get the hardtop instead of a block heater.
Shouldn't really be an either or type scenario. A block heater isn't exactly expensive.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:58 PM   #9
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Hawaii to Alaska? Who did you piss off?
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:17 PM   #10
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Ha! Thanks Panthermark! Can you believe Alaska was actually on my dream sheet to go there! But seriously, I am pretty excited, I have only heard great things about Anchorage and Alaska from people that have been there.

Interesting kcookuscg, I think that investing in the engine block heater would be a good idea even if it was just to make it easier for the jeep to turn over. I want a hardtop but they are pricey so I think I will just have to keep an eye out for one on craigslist. Thanks for your advice though! That makes me a little less stressed out about having to get everything for the jeep.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcookuscg View Post
I live here in AK and I will have to go against everyone and tell you unless you just want it a block heater isn't needed. I ton't have one and neither foes my wife's van and we both Park outside. It's not a bad thing but not a must have, the hardtop on the other hand is a must. A lot of snow piled ontop of a soft top can equal a bad day. Do I would get the hardtop instead of a block heater.
I was stationed at Elmendorf for 3 years, from 93-96, & neither my vehicle or the wife's had an engine block heater. I had 4WD Dodge Ram then & ran studded snow tires in the winter months & I never got stuck, but I pulled plenty people out of ditches.

We actually PCS'd from Iraklion AS, Crete Greece to Elmendorf...
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsgarv View Post
Ha! Thanks Panthermark! Can you believe Alaska was actually on my dream sheet to go there! But seriously, I am pretty excited, I have only heard great things about Anchorage and Alaska from people that have been there. Interesting kcookuscg, I think that investing in the engine block heater would be a good idea even if it was just to make it easier for the jeep to turn over. I want a hardtop but they are pricey so I think I will just have to keep an eye out for one on craigslist. Thanks for your advice though! That makes me a little less stressed out about having to get everything for the jeep.

I mean defiantly like mentioned above they aren't pricey so her one if you want. I was just saying don't stress on it becouse it's really not a big deal. And if you can't find a hard top you may just have to go out twice a day and brush the done off! Alaska is awesome you should love it excepcially since you have a jeep!
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:26 PM   #13
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Shouldn't you also have a bright colored Jeep in case you flip it off road so they can find you in the snow bank! Heck I'm waiting till it gets above freezing here in Kansas so I can put proper windshield fluid in.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:15 PM   #14
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I was at Elmendorf for 3 years (07-10). Neither one of our vehicles had block heaters. Would I have used it if I had it? Maybe. But not worth the time/$$ to have one put in. If you do decide to get one, just wait until you get there. Dealers in AK are a bit more proficient than those in HI. As far as tires, I ran Bridgestone Duelers on my silverado for the entire time. Never had an issue, but lots of people run studded tires in the winter.

Enjoy the assignment! If you have any questions about things, vehicle or otherwise, just shoot me a PM here!
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:08 PM   #15
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Cool, thanks a lot! I will definitely PM you if I have any questions outside the jeep. Also, having the dealer out there put one on does sound like a good idea.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:32 PM   #16
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Good battery can crank the hell outta your jeep. i live in Mongolia and we don't use electric block heater. i would put carton box in between grille and radiator to keep the windchill minimal. i insulate battery (wrap the thing in felt) and she handles great. i do not use thin oil.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:45 PM   #17
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On such a new jeep you don't need a block heater but you will want a hardtop! For the weight of snow but also it is a PITA to come out to the parking lot in the winter when your plastic windows are frozen since you can't scrape them. First thing I would look for is a used one on craigslist where your at it will be cheaper haha Extra lights are nice but you don't need to go crazy. The tires you have will work but you may find you will want something different. I drove a rear wheel drive car in AK in Feb LOL you will be fine.
edit: the first thing I would buy after the hard top is remote start!
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:15 AM   #18
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Look up bobby Dubinsky c130 sr mechanic. Brandon the NHL players older brother. Tell him brad in Seattle said hi. Tell him brad says we need to reignite the SWF. He will know.

DEF ditch the soft top. You will in a week anyways. Remote start is essential. Block heater is essential. Don't throw warm water on your icy windshield to thaw it if you are running late.

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