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Unread 06-18-2007, 08:14 PM   #1
ewkinder
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Extreme Cold Weather

I'm looking into buying a used TJ. I will be living in Houghton, MI this winter, where it gets extremely cold, around -40 for days at a time.

I am wondering if there are any problems that would come about this. It has to be stored outside at night, and I've heard that soft tops will crack, so I am looking into a hard top, but I'm still wondering if it's necessary.

I'm hoping to get a Wrangler because it's very good to have 4x4 up there, and I don't want to be driving a huge SUV like an explorer or something.

Any help from my frosty brothers would be appreciated!

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Unread 06-18-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
Divinitous
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I'd imagine you'd be ok with a soft top. Just be sure to never take an ice scraper to those windows.

But, I haven't had to use my soft top durring the winter. I was lucky enough to get the jeep with a hard top. If you can get your hands on a good hardtop for a decent price then I'd definately advise to get one.
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Unread 06-18-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
ieatchickens
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It gets a tad colder here in North Dakota than in Michigan and the only problems I have are below:

1) Tough seeing out the rear window when dirty when they sand the roads
2) Can't scrap the ice of the windows without scratching them
3) Short wheel base can be a little squirrely on icy roads

My top has seen -40 F and no cracking. The soft top is fine keeping the inside warm but it will cool down faster so if you leave the Jeep sit for 30 minutes or so you will come back to a cold Jeep interior. Extreme cold only happens a couple of times a year and even 40 below only happens every few years. Most cold snaps see temps around -10 to -20 f.

Having a hard top would elimate the first problems and getting the right tires will help the 3rd problem somewhat. A block heater is always a good idea if you are keeping vehicals outside so I would recommend you get one installed when you get there.

In closing I would say the fun factor of having a Jeep far outways any inconveinences of having slightly colder vehical. You will complain more about the lack of cargo space than you will the comforts of a real top.
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Unread 06-18-2007, 08:48 PM   #4
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If you want to buy the MOPAR engine block heater, let me know. I bought one and haven't put it in as it's not that cold in Montgomery, AL.
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Unread 06-18-2007, 08:52 PM   #5
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When it gets THAT cold, it's also time for 0W-30 engine oil during those months. A good fresh battery with a high CCA rating and engine block heater is also strongly recommended.
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Unread 06-19-2007, 03:40 AM   #6
FuzzyDolly
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I'm in Buffalo NY and haven't had a problem running the soft top year round. You have to remember NOT to scrape the plastic windows. Also, it does get difficult seeing out the back when the road salt builds up. Other than that, the heater works GREAT! So good in fact , that I usually end up running the fan on the lowest setting. One thing I do want to point out is that I have the full doors. Don't know about the 1/2 doors in the winter. Guess you could always get the aftermarket sliders to replace the tops.
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Unread 06-19-2007, 05:00 AM   #7
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Go for the hardtop. You'll be glad you did. Easy access to the tub to get your sawdust and scraper- and yes- easy to clean windows. You'll get a comfier feel too. We live on hard-pack/plow roads-and I've yet to have worries about icy conditions(not any more than anyone else) 4wd is 4wd-just drive sensibly-like you would in any other vehicle.
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Unread 06-19-2007, 05:29 AM   #8
M2LJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ieatchickens
It gets a tad colder here in North Dakota than in Michigan and the only problems I have are below:

1) Tough seeing out the rear window when dirty when they sand the roads
2) Can't scrap the ice of the windows without scratching them
3) Short wheel base can be a little squirrely on icy roads

My top has seen -40 F and no cracking. The soft top is fine keeping the inside warm but it will cool down faster so if you leave the Jeep sit for 30 minutes or so you will come back to a cold Jeep interior. Extreme cold only happens a couple of times a year and even 40 below only happens every few years. Most cold snaps see temps around -10 to -20 f.

Having a hard top would elimate the first problems and getting the right tires will help the 3rd problem somewhat. A block heater is always a good idea if you are keeping vehicals outside so I would recommend you get one installed when you get there.

In closing I would say the fun factor of having a Jeep far outways any inconveinences of having slightly colder vehical. You will complain more about the lack of cargo space than you will the comforts of a real top.
Not if you get an Unlimited!

Cheers! M2
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Unread 06-19-2007, 06:42 AM   #9
Elwood
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Not to hijack the thread, but I have snowmobiled up there. Beautiful country!!
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Unread 06-19-2007, 07:40 AM   #10
Combatsylvania
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Well I am in Central Ontario and it gets COLD up here... I have a hardtop jsut becuase its nice to have defrost and not worry about snow accumulating on the roof at night.. I run 5w30 year round in it with no issues. I do use the block heater when it dips below -20C. Tho, on days when i forgot too, there is no issue..

Hardtop and Full doors make life easy in the winter.. and when I switch to softop and soft doors in the summer its like having a whole new car.

The short wheel base isn't awesome on ice and snow, but its bearable.. Just get used to shifting nice and easy, and be in 4hi BEFORE you need it. The stock GSA's found on the SE and Sport are CRAP in snow, invest in some AT's or something.

The TJ blower and heater is great, and it kicks out a lot of heat, so your good on that aspect.
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Unread 06-19-2007, 08:02 AM   #11
GroundAssault
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Goin to Michigan Tech eh? I went to Northern Mich.......although I didn't have my Heep up there I have it down-state and I love it during the winter.......a few of my buddies ran the soft top up there in YJs and they froze their a** off. We had close to 300 inches of snow that year and they had no problems getting around they just had bad heaters........The TJ heater is awesome. I have the soft top and we only get a week of -10 here and the TJ did fine. I had no complaints. You should be fine.......but I would go for the hard top just because of all the wind whipping of Lake Superior. BTW.....let everyone know the dates for ice fest.
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Unread 06-19-2007, 08:43 AM   #12
GW
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Definately a hard top which comes with a rear window wiper and defroster. Jeep heaters are good, but the soft top will make things colder. One thing about Jeeps though. The short wheelbase makes them more jittery in the snow. Watch your tire selection carefully for the UP winters especially in Houghton.
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Unread 06-19-2007, 01:10 PM   #13
ewkinder
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Thanks for your quick replies. I'm definitely getting a hard top, and hopefully a soft top along with it. The engine heater sounds like a good idea.

A second unrelated topic is how well would a TJ like a power inverter hooked directly up to the battery? I'm thinking of putting one in, as someone at my Mom's work had an $80 one that they gave to us, and I would love to be able to charge my computer, as it will also be my GPS device.
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Unread 06-19-2007, 01:37 PM   #14
LarrySchwegman
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If you buy a jeep with just a hard top you can pick up a soft top brand new for about $500. Make sure you get full hard doors too.

The inverter sould not be a problem, just make sure it is fused very close to the battery, and If I were you I would put it on a switch and a relay.

Off topic. If it ever hit -40 here in Indiana, my TJ would be the last of my concerns. I have seen -30 wind chill in W. Lafayette (Purdue). I put a, sealed, hot cup of coffe inside of my coat, and by the time I walked the ten minutes to class it was ice cold. My *** would not be leaving the house at -40
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Unread 06-19-2007, 01:45 PM   #15
RMeak
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I find my soft top works just fine in the winter months. Yes the rear window gets dirty/icy but I have two other mirrors to see rearward with.
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