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Unread 11-23-2012, 06:22 PM   #136
armyRN
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One of the most important things to get ready if you're going to do an Alaska/Canada adventure trip is make sure your vehicle is prepared (as has been mentioned before). Towns are few and far between, and finding parts outside of the major cities is iffy at best. So since I'm planning on taking my Dodge truck (1996 1500 SWB 4x4 5.2 V8/auto with almost 200,000 miles on the odometer) I need to make sure I heed my own advice. The front suspension on my truck is the same design as a TJ's (only bigger); the rear is a convential leaf-spring design.

Within the last year I've replaced the coolant hoses, thermostat, and new coolant. The radiator was replaced back in 2007(ish). The brake rotors were warped recently, so last month I replaced them with a set of drilled and slotted rotors (from Summit Racing) - no more pulsating when stopping! The brake shoes are all good (replaced within the last few years), and earlier this year I replaced the plugs, wires, cap & rotor, and coil, along with new shocks and a steering stabilizer (Rough Country). Also within the last couple of years it received 2" taller front coils (SkyJacker) and a 2" lift rear long-leaf add-a-leaf (Trailmaster #R1530 if I remember correctly). The long add-a-leaf was a PIA to install (I did it in my garage), but I think they perform better and ride better than a short add-a-leaf. The front track-bar was replaced years ago.

I've got a tuner ordered from Hemifever (I think it got the "deathflash" when the dealer replaced the plenum gasket years ago) so we'll see if a tuner makes a difference. It runs "ok" now; I just want to see if I can make it better. I poured a bunch of Seafoam in the gas tank and it seems to be smoothing out the idle, although I'm sure a good injector cleaning would do it some good.

Hopefully next year I'll get five new rims and tires (Dick Cepek 16x8 Torque rims with Dick Cepek FC II tires in a 285/75/16" size - same tire and size I'm running on my TJ). These are the largest tires that fit under the bed where the factory spare goes (I don't want to take up space in my truck's bed for a spare). You already have to jump up a little bit to get in the truck with the half-way worn 265/75/16" tires, and 285's will make it a little higher. I'll also be changing the gear ratio from 3.55 to 4.10 (and putting a True-Trac up front to match the rear). While they've got the axles slid out changing the gears I'll have them put new U-joints in the axles (still factory originals).

I also want to change out all the U-joints in the driveshafts (they're all 1996 original equipment), put in a new battery (the biggest Sears Die-Hard Platinum that will fit), and change out the bushings in the factory control arms (again, still the 1996 original bushings). And I'll probably go to Auto Zone and buy a new starter, water-pump (and gaskets, etc.), throttle body parts, timing belt, etc. and just have them with me. I'll make sure the tie-rod ends are all tight, and the front unit-bearing hubs are good (probably wouldn't hurt to carry a spare one of those too). Mental note - make sure I get the right size socket in case I have to change out the unit-bearing hubs.

I'll probably get a posi-lock thing for my two-piece front axle to keep it locked in place (I fear the vacuum mechanism would go bad at the worse possible time) and will install it when I get the front axle's gears changed. Will also put in a new shift fork while I have it out; for both parts it's around $115.00. If you're running a Jeep (or Dodge truck) with the two-piece front axle, I'd recommend this modification.

http://www.4x4posi-lok.com/
http://www.4x4posi-lok.com/app_dodge.html
http://www.4x4posi-lok.com/PDFs/inst_1100.pdf

I need to bolt down the aluminum truck tool box that's in the back of the truck, and figure out a mount for my CO2 tank (might go inside the toolbox), and figure out some way to securely mount some 5-gallon gasoline jugs/cans (two at the most).

Can anyone else think of anything mechanical I should be doing/checking to prep my Truck for our next adventure? I'm sure a lot of this is similar to getting your Jeeps (or whatever you're planning to take on your adventures) ready.

Picture of the posi-lock:

posi-lock.png

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Unread 11-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #137
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Transmission service, new clutch if standard...
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Unread 11-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by CoRubicon View Post
Transmission service, new clutch if standard...
Good point; I've got the auto tranny, so yes, get it serviced/fluids changed. It was rebuilt back in 2004 (every vehicle has its weak-points, and with these Gen2 Dodge Rams it tends to be the auto tranny [and intake plenum gasket]).
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Unread 12-02-2012, 10:17 PM   #139
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Just read this about guns, bear spray and bears in Alaska
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...ttack?page=0,0
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Unread 12-03-2012, 12:29 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by coops2k View Post
Just read this about guns, bear spray and bears in Alaska
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...ttack?page=0,0
Very interesting read. Not many people are on the fence on this subject. Thanks for the link.

I did my research on bear spray, and bought two cans of bear spray (one for each of us) when we went to Alaska. It was easy to carry on our hips (they came with a cloth hoster-thingy). From what I read, spray is extremely effective. Only problem is, the furthest they're effective is around 30 feet. So you better hope it works!

I remember reading this article, and getting the bear spray they recommended:

http://www.yellowstone-bearman.com/b_spray.html

Check out this website (cool video at the beginning); this is the bear spray I bought:

http://counterassault.com/html/beardeterrent.html

Whatever you do, don't buy any "econo-bear spray". I think the above was around $50.00 a can. If and when you might have to use it, you won't be thinking about how you saved $15.00 by buying the cheaper brand of bear spray.

We would have brought our 45 ACP 1911's if we could have (Canada and their silly gun laws...) but I doubt they would be very effective on bears (plus at the distance I could reasonably hit with them I might as well use spray). We also brought a 12 gauge pump shotgun with an 18.5" barrel and specially loaded 3" slugs. It might have made us feel better having it loaded beside us when we were camping. But last thing I ever want to do is do anything to provoke a bear or "test it out". I want to stay as far away from them as possible. The only bears we saw were while we were driving, or from a distance. We didn't really do much hiking (and when we did it was moose we came across), and never had any issues while at camp with bears.

I am planning on getting a Marlin lever action 45-70 "GBL" for our next Alaska trip. Why?... because I want one. So we'll have that, a 12 gauge shotgun, and bear spray; and pray we never have to use any of them.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 09:13 AM   #141
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my thoughts also

I am looking at Henry Rifles and shotguns. I will have my Glock 32 along also, getting a Canada barrel for it.


Thanks for the links, added it to my read list for my friends
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Unread 12-03-2012, 06:55 PM   #142
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or you could go with the .500 snub nose alaskan!
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Unread 12-03-2012, 07:36 PM   #143
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Just remember you can't bring handguns through Canada. Period. They're not messing around in Canada when it comes to handguns; get caught and you'll be busted. At a minimum they'll take away your handgun permanently. Worst case you'll be detained for a while. It's not worth it - bring long guns if you want to bring firearms.

For bears, this seems to be a popular rifle in Alaska - a lever action 45-70:

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firear...re/1895GBL.asp

Figure around $575 - $600 price range for a Marlin lever action 45-70.

A good 12 gauge pump with an 18.5" barrel can be had for sometimes under $200 (like the H&R Pardner Protector model that we brought with us).

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...ctor-12-gauge/
marlin-1895-45-70-gbl.jpg   h-r-pardner-pump_protector.jpg  
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Unread 12-03-2012, 07:51 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
Just remember you can't bring handguns through Canada. Period. They're not messing around in Canada when it comes to handguns; get caught and you'll be busted. At a minimum they'll take away your handgun permanently. Worst case you'll be detained for a while. It's not worth it - bring long guns.

For bears, this seems to be a popular rifle in Alaska:

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firear...re/1895GBL.asp

Figure around $575 - $600 price range for a Marlin lever action 45-70. A good 12 gauge pump with an 18.5" barrel can be had for sometimes under $200 (like the H&R Pardner model).

Oh sorry. I saw you guys talking about that earlier. I was just thinking alaska and bears and completely forgot.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 11:22 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
Just remember you can't bring handguns through Canada. Period. They're not messing around in Canada when it comes to handguns; get caught and you'll be busted. At a minimum they'll take away your handgun permanently. Worst case you'll be detained for a while. It's not worth it - bring long guns if you want to bring firearms.

For bears, this seems to be a popular rifle in Alaska - a lever action 45-70:

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firear...re/1895GBL.asp

Figure around $575 - $600 price range for a Marlin lever action 45-70.

A good 12 gauge pump with an 18.5" barrel can be had for sometimes under $200 (like the H&R Pardner Protector model that we brought with us).

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...ctor-12-gauge/

I think that you can transport, not carry a handgun into Canada, but there are more rules for it.
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/f...visite-eng.htm
1) a longer barrel http://www.storm-lake.com/products/barrel#top sells a Canada barrel
2) lock storage & I think a lock on the gun?

I will check with the RMCP before I go
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Unread 12-04-2012, 07:26 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coops2k View Post
I think that you can transport, not carry a handgun into Canada, but there are more rules for it.
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/f...visite-eng.htm
1) a longer barrel http://www.storm-lake.com/products/barrel#top sells a Canada barrel
2) lock storage & I think a lock on the gun?

I will check with the RMCP before I go
Definitely check and double-check.

What is a "Canada barrel" - that's a new term for me.

Seems like when I checked before we took our trip, we decided it either was not legal, or just wasn't worth it. I just don't want anything bad to happen for folks heading up there related to bringing in handguns.

If I remember right (I'm stretching my brain here) if we were bringing handguns up there for a formal recognized/sanctioned shooting meet we could bring handguns in, but otherwise it was a no-go. If we were never to be going through Canada and would just be in Alaska, we would have brought them partly just for the macho effect (we all like to wear them - come-on; admit it). But we never really felt like we were missing something not having them while up there. We did have the shotgun loaded with 3" slugs.

When you get final clarification, please let us know (provide references and links with highlights).
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Unread 12-07-2012, 08:51 PM   #147
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When we were in Alaska and Canada, one of the things we didn't get to do as often as we would have liked was to take a shower.

In my latest issue of 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine (February 2013) there is an article "Dirt Bath How-To". It's about a shower system that uses a heat exchanger connected to your vehicle's engine and a small electric pump to allow you to take a hot shower. It's sold through Synergy Suspension http://synergysuspension.com/Synergy...t-p-30485.html

It's $300 for the whole kit. A bit pricy, but if you're going to be away from the comforts of home for a few weeks it might be worth it. Especially if you're with a group.

Anyways, I found it interesting - when I came across it while reading my magazine I thought "That would have been just the ticket when we were up in Alaska".
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Unread 12-08-2012, 08:34 PM   #148
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We took a shotgun with us on our trip also, did paperwork before hand so it was easier but it depends on where you cross as to how much hassle you get. We crossed the border the first time at Victoria, had to take it in and all but everyone was polite and took about 20 minutes. Up north, no big deal as I think they see a lot of them. When we landed at Prince Rupert they pulled us aside and searched the car. Nothing drastic, just annoying. Pump shotguns and non semi-auto long guns no big deal, handguns not so much.
I can see the need for the shower thing and with a group it would be more efficient. I have one of these and it works for showers and also kitchen duty. http://www.coleman.com/product/hot-w...tCategory=2200 It has its own pump and doesn't have to be dedicated to any one vehicle.
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Unread 12-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #149
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We took a shotgun with us on our trip also, did paperwork before hand so it was easier but it depends on where you cross as to how much hassle you get. We crossed the border the first time at Victoria, had to take it in and all but everyone was polite and took about 20 minutes. Up north, no big deal as I think they see a lot of them. When we landed at Prince Rupert they pulled us aside and searched the car. Nothing drastic, just annoying. Pump shotguns and non semi-auto long guns no big deal, handguns not so much.
I can see the need for the shower thing and with a group it would be more efficient. I have one of these and it works for showers and also kitchen duty. http://www.coleman.com/product/hot-w...tCategory=2200 It has its own pump and doesn't have to be dedicated to any one vehicle.
Great - now I'm googling camping showers. My wife just said "you've been on the computer for a while now". I guess it's more fun than doing what I'm supposed to be doing. It sure would have been nice to have some way to take a shower when in Alaska and Canada.

Anyways, thanks for the link for the Coleman shower unit. I like the idea of it not having to be dedicated to a specific vehicle. It got me thinking about other propane heated camping showers. I found this one for around $169.00:

http://www.zodi.com/Consumer/zodihot...velshower.html

But the pump runs on four D-cell batteries. I sent them a question asking if there is an option to run off a car's 12-volt cig-lighter.

Their reply: "Unfortunately the 6 Volt pump can only run off of batteries".

There's even a website called "Camping Shower World" http://www.campingshowerworld.com/ that has a ton of camping shower options. I think I see showers in my future for my next Alaska/Canada adventure. Thanks Richard338 for steering me towards the propane shower option! Looks like we've got quite a few options here. Too cool.
propane-shower.png  
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Unread 12-09-2012, 06:23 PM   #150
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My GF's parents have this one, and we usually camp with them or on their land several times a year and use it. Instead of an electric pump, you pressurize the cylinder with a hand pump on top. Takes the electricity out of the equation.

http://www.campingshowerworld.com/zo...ot-shower.html
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