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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,

So i'm still in the middle of my T4 2.5 TDI 2003 conversion for a trip to the north of Norway. Hoping to tick the northern lights off my bucket list. It could drop to -6 at night (maybe lower!)

Its got the best insulation i could find, however, i'm worried about the low temperatures affecting the engine/gelling the diesel.

1) Firstly, is it a bad idea to have my diesel heater running from an external tank under the van? Should i tap it into the main tank?

2) Does my engine need a pre-heater?

2) Any advice from experience on how to prepare your engine for the cold? Ive done a lot of research, but wanted to see if anyone could teach me any tricks i hadn't read. Im going to get my glow plugs changed, and use all the appropriate winter fluids. Can my T4 even handle the cold?

Really appreciate your time!

Chris
 

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There are a couple of Nordic peeps on here that'll offer you loads of advice I'm sure! I had my T4 in the alps for a winter, and other than using diesel from the local pumps (which has additives for the cold) my van ran just fine! Just don't leave the handbrake on, and keep your wipers off the windscreen when you're not using them :D
 

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Best to use the separate tank as you can fill with tax free diesel there. My car is parked outside all year and it starts every time without preheating. Coldest start I have had was at -42 after parking the car overnight. I filled up when I arrived.
It is very important to fill your tank in the area you are in. -6 is a cold summer here.
If you fill the tank in Oslo and drive to Trondheim, your car might freeze on the mountains. When I drive that route, I fill up in Dombås where they have artic diesel. In Oslo it might be +10 and -22 in Dombås.
I have a 100A battery in the car.
 

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Depending on how long you're going to be there for, you might want to get yourself a set of snow tyres.
I have a car in the French Alps and swap wheels to the set with snow tyres whenever I'm there for the winter.
It's good to have some snow chains, but they're only to get you out of a bad situation ... not for driving any reasonable distances at reasonable speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Best to use the separate tank as you can fill with tax free diesel there. My car is parked outside all year and it starts every time without preheating. Coldest start I have had was at -42 after parking the car overnight. I filled up when I arrived.
It is very important to fill your tank in the area you are in. -6 is a cold summer here.
If you fill the tank in Oslo and drive to Trondheim, your car might freeze on the mountains. When I drive that route, I fill up in Dombås where they have artic diesel. In Oslo it might be +10 and -22 in Dombås.
I have a 100A battery in the car.

I didn't think of that (seems so obvious now haha)! Ill be sure to plan my fill ups based on this. Another great point with the battery, ill have a look on the internet now for a more suitable one for the cold. Probably planning to go up to Bodo and maybe further depending on conditions!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Depending on how long you're going to be there for, you might want to get yourself a set of snow tyres.
I have a car in the French Alps and swap wheels to the set with snow tyres whenever I'm there for the winter.
It's good to have some snow chains, but they're only to get you out of a bad situation ... not for driving any reasonable distances at reasonable speeds.
Im going from 15/10 to 15/11. Im still deciding on snow tyres, because i've heard they can be very slippery in the wet?
 

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Just researching batterys now for winter, any suggestions?
You can buy the battery here, about £150 for a very good battery for the Nordic climate. What alternator do you have in the car? You might not have to change the battery as you will be here early winter. It gets seriously cold around December. 15/11 is on the borderline so it might be best to drive all the way on snow tyres.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can buy the battery here, about £150 for a very good battery for the Nordic climate. What alternator do you have in the car? You might not have to change the battery as you will be here early winter. It gets seriously cold around December. 15/11 is on the borderline so it might be best to drive all the way on snow tyres.
Alternator is 90A. Yeah thats a good shout to be honest buying one over there! (i'm already planning on buying a bunch of winter clothes when i get there!)

Yeah i figured best do it on snow tyres to be honest. Ill be back in the south by the 5/11/18 to be fair :)

Really appreciate your time to offer some advice!

Chris
 

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It's actually illegal to drive on summer tyres that time of year!
Most people "northish" use studded tyres....problem is they're not legal in other countries.
They are NOT slippery in the wet, just the opposite in fact. (WINTER tyres, not what UK used to call Mud and Snow...different beasts all together.)

I'm on the west coast (nr Aalesund) and -20 is not uncommon,...never had a problem with starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's actually illegal to drive on summer tyres that time of year!
Most people "northish" use studded tyres....problem is they're not legal in other countries.
They are NOT slippery in the wet, just the opposite in fact. (WINTER tyres, not what UK used to call Mud and Snow...different beasts all together.)

I'm on the west coast (nr Aalesund) and -20 is not uncommon,...never had a problem with starting.
Cheers for the advice, ill definitely invest in some snow tyres for the trip then :)

Getting pretty excited about this adventure now!
 

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Proper winter tyres for the Nordic winters have a three-peak mountain snowflake symbol. Not a requirement but a recommendation. When I was in Germany last winter, people slowed down so much it was comical while I have the left lane to myself.
You don't need these tyres for such a short stay. Just take along a pair of chains.
The winter can be hard but I use only T-shirts, a thin cotton jacket and track shoes all year.
 

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If you have space in the car, there are tons of T4s at the scrapyards here and parts are cheap compared to Germany. You take out the parts yourself or have them do it for a fee.
We have a local VW meet here on the third week of September and the entrance fee is human, £5,00 and you get a meal and stickers included for that price.
Where did you mount the external fuel tank for your heater?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you have space in the car, there are tons of T4s at the scrapyards here and parts are cheap compared to Germany. You take out the parts yourself or have them do it for a fee.
We have a local VW meet here on the third week of September and the entrance fee is human, £5,00 and you get a meal and stickers included for that price.
Where did you mount the external fuel tank for your heater?
Thats awesome, if i was around that area in September i would definitely make an appearance! I might still keep an eye out for them scrapyards though!

I toyed with the idea of an underslung external diesel tank just for the heater, but i think it will be easier to tap straight into the main tank!


I'm trying to decide whether i can make it from Manchester UK to the Lofoten islands and back in 1 month? Think its a bit too much of a push? I would love to see them in winter! (google maps says 42 hours driving?)
 

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You can take the ferry from Fredrikshavn or Kiel to Oslo. That way you sleep well on board. There is even a ferry from haewich to the Hook of Holland.
You need to count on a week to do the trip to Lofoten safely.
 

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Would absolutely recommend a proper set of winter tires, especially if you are going north that late in the year. Winding up in proper winter weather with summer tires on is a pest, to say the least. Studless is of course the sensible option, as they can be driven through all of Europe. Also, might be that you could rent from a fellow T4-owner here in Norway (try www.vwbus.no/forum, google translate will have your back) or buy a set of winter wheels when you get here. I am sure there are plenty available on finn.no (norwegian classifieds site), or of course the scrappers (as winter tires are mandatory, most cars that are scrapped will also be turned in with two sets of wheels, and very often these tires are in decent condition, at least plenty good for a month of driving.

Btw, I live approx one hours driving north of Oslo, not to far off the E6, so if you need, I am sure we can arrange so that you can stop by here and change wheels if you go for that option. I have jack and tools, and I am sure I have room for your summer wheels for the duration, (no cost). Just remind me a few weeks before you set of!
 

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Great discussion you got here, i have read the thread, is from Norway myself. Support all of the advices to get winter tires - with studs, get local diesel, have good battery (bring a charger?). Maybe a bit off topic but, dont relay on standard camping gaz for cooking. Get the four season mix. Standard evaporates very slow in low temp condition. 4S have a higher mix of propane rather than butane, i think. (sell in standard sport gear shops Intersport/G-sport/xxl.no) Also make sure your webasto/eberspacher fires easily. Bring a good (-20 approved) sleepingbag (buy same plases as gass) or buy a norwegian douvet (duck feathers or syntetic) (cheap and expensive models found at jysk.no) Realize this sounds as a commercial for norwegian shops now, sorry about that. But dont relay on blankets/or quilted blankets, they are simply too cold. Have a nice trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great discussion you got here, i have read the thread, is from Norway myself. Support all of the advices to get winter tires - with studs, get local diesel, have good battery (bring a charger?). Maybe a bit off topic but, dont relay on standard camping gaz for cooking. Get the four season mix. Standard evaporates very slow in low temp condition. 4S have a higher mix of propane rather than butane, i think. (sell in standard sport gear shops Intersport/G-sport/xxl.no) Also make sure your webasto/eberspacher fires easily. Bring a good (-20 approved) sleepingbag (buy same plases as gass) or buy a norwegian douvet (duck feathers or syntetic) (cheap and expensive models found at jysk.no) Realize this sounds as a commercial for norwegian shops now, sorry about that. But dont relay on blankets/or quilted blankets, they are simply too cold. Have a nice trip.
Thank you so much, you summed up some great info there!

I completely agree with spending money in Norway, after all thats the stuff Norwegians use! I think ill bring a -20 sleeping bag from the UK, but once i arrive ill look for a duvet! (some of them duvets are so expensive!! :D)

As for the stove, ill be using a coleman petrol stove, so hopefully that will be fine in all conditions :)

Are there any recommendations for a good battery? My alternator runs at 90 amps?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Would absolutely recommend a proper set of winter tires, especially if you are going north that late in the year. Winding up in proper winter weather with summer tires on is a pest, to say the least. Studless is of course the sensible option, as they can be driven through all of Europe. Also, might be that you could rent from a fellow T4-owner here in Norway (try www.vwbus.no/forum, google translate will have your back) or buy a set of winter wheels when you get here. I am sure there are plenty available on finn.no (norwegian classifieds site), or of course the scrappers (as winter tires are mandatory, most cars that are scrapped will also be turned in with two sets of wheels, and very often these tires are in decent condition, at least plenty good for a month of driving.

Btw, I live approx one hours driving north of Oslo, not to far off the E6, so if you need, I am sure we can arrange so that you can stop by here and change wheels if you go for that option. I have jack and tools, and I am sure I have room for your summer wheels for the duration, (no cost). Just remind me a few weeks before you set of!
Thats very kind of you buddy! Ill give you a shout nearer the time! Ill of course buy you a drink for your trouble :D
 
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