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Rogue Leader
01-25-2010, 11:38 AM
Funny how plans change. I thought I'd be in Fairbanks going to school right now, but family problems called me home. Figured I'd have some fun while home,fix my car for my brother to drive around and then fly home. I thought I would drive back to Seattle when I learned I could get a ferry ticket for under $500. Went to go book said ferry ticket and it was over $1300. So now I'm driving the whole way. Here is the tentative itinerary:

Leave Denver 5th of March towards Las Vegas
AMGA SPI course Mar 13-18
Climb Whitney
Meet up with my dad and climb Shasta 26-28 march
Drive to Seattle and climb Rainier 1-3 April
Hang in seattle for a week, visit family and friends,
Drive to Fairbanks on the Alcan Second week in April

The Truck Good:
The truck has been road worthy for the last week. Rebuilt the motor, transmission, xfer case, new radiator, new battery. I'm comfortable fixing almost anything on the truck.

The Truck Bad:
Hole in the fuel tank, need to rebuild the heater and carb, rear sill, quarter panels, and wheel wells are rusted through to the point I don't let anybody ride back there.

The Plan:
Money is tight. Between fixing the car, taking online classes, and doing jobs around the house I don't have time for a real job. Parents are helpful in that they do have jobs around the house that pay. First priority is the fuel tanks and rust. I need to find a new/used tank w/o a hole and find a auxiliary tank to increase my drivable mileage to over 150 a tank. I've read Jeff Zepp's website on a cheap rear sill and plan to go that route over buying one. I have a MIG welder and can somewhat weld so I'm going to scab plate the quarter panels. I have no idea how to fix the wheel wells as the rust is under the support brackets for the roll cage.

The Wish List
These ideas are the "oh I have the extra cash for a _______" ideas. Roof rack. I have yakima towers and bars for bikes and skis but it sure would be nice to have storage on the roof for extra fuel and my junk. Drawer or simple shelf system. Since the quarters and sill are kaput, the rear tire holder was taken off. I'd like to store the tire on the wheel well attached to the roll cage. Driving lights, simple piaa of such for night driving. Radio, the old one was fried by a rust hole in the firewall. A simple inverter to charge the tele or computer. bigger alternator to power the electronic goodies.

The Disclaimer
The writer of this post will take all given info with a grain of salt. He also understands that this is an insane, and dangerous idea but would be one hell of a memory.

The quote of the day is: "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." Robert Burns "To a Mouse"

Thanks
Sean

corsair23
01-25-2010, 12:17 PM
:eek:

That said, sounds like a great trip...It all comes down to how dependable the 40 is in the long run...

Sounds like you have a TON of work to get ready for such a trip...My first question is how much more will it cost to drive the entire way vs. taking the ferry from Seattle? That is a LONG way and a LOT of gas...For my 40, the extra $800 the ferry will cost compared to what you thought it was going to cost would only net me ~267 gals at $3/gal (and I bet gas will average more than that) which would be 2670 miles in my 40. Google maps says it is ~2300 miles from Seattle to Fairbanks. By my calculations that means driving will save you ~$111 over the ferry (assuming 10mpg and $3/gal gas) not including the $500 you were originally planning to spend of course.

6+ days driving to save $100 vs. taking the ferry? Trip of a lifetime or not, I think I'd be getting on the ferry :D

Keep us up to date on how the planning and preparations are going...Some of use might have something you could "borrow" that would help you make the trip :thumb: - In fact I've got a set of NIB ProComp offroad lights I'd donate to the trip...I bought them off Zepp for a case or two of :beer: but I've decided to go a different route. The only negative is Jeff told me they are power hogs drawing like 10amps...Might be too power hungry for the 40

Rogue Leader
01-25-2010, 12:30 PM
My Gas and MPG estimations

2300 Miles
cruiser got 14mpg before I rebuilt it, I assumed the same for the engine now
190 gallons of gas w/ 15% safety margin
Gas was only 3.30 in fairbanks when i left and was less in anchorage so I chose 3.00 per gallon
$570 in gas

Time
2300 miles
50 mph at 10 hrs a day
4.6 days, say 5

Ferry
$1,247 one way w/o a cabin, sleep in car
4 days travel, one day in Juneau

I plan to sleep in my mountaineering tent, -10F is nothing at night. My diet probably wont change, Ramen, PB, tortillas, Cheese, and sausage.

rover67
01-25-2010, 12:51 PM
Get a Milepost for this year if you haven't already. It'll be a blast. I'd drive the 40 even if it cost more.. as long as you have the time

You'll love it. sounds like you have a great trip planned.

60wag
01-25-2010, 01:00 PM
Noise cancelling headphones. :)

MDH33
01-25-2010, 01:13 PM
Noise cancelling headphones. :)

Or new weatherstripping and road friendly tire treads at a minimum. :)

Sounds like a great plan. If you have the time, go for it. :thumb:

Bikeman
01-25-2010, 01:27 PM
Sean, at least you will have you bike if you break down.

Rogue Leader
01-25-2010, 01:31 PM
Bikes already in AK, without a rear derailur or chain. I think if i put the blower motor back it'll quiet the engine noise down. I still have an insane tranny whine. CTS rebuilt it but it is still louder than my engine. Would putting a synthetic oil like lucas or royal purple in quiet it down?

Sean

corsair23
01-25-2010, 01:45 PM
My Gas and MPG estimations
$570 in gas

Ferry
$1,247 one way w/o a cabin, sleep in car



I can see why you originally looked into the ferry since it would have been less...

I'll probably be the only naysayer out of this adventurous bunch and I must be a wuss because I'd still be eyeing that ferry :hill:

If I were travelling with a couple other rigs, and driving my LX, then I'd be all for driving just for the memories and the fun. I guess that many miles in my 40 just doesn't sound fun at all :o - Breaking down out there...well don't :D

Will they let you set up your tent on the ferry deck? :D - A RTT on top of the 40 would be the schizz :thumb:

farnhamstj
01-25-2010, 02:39 PM
You are insane to drive something that uncomfortable and unreliable that far. Get some earplugs. Rub some soap in the gas tank holes. You can't hear the radio in a 40 anyway. Bring lots of ducktape. Skip the power inverter. set up a 12v plug and get the cords to charge phone and computer directly from 12v. take lots of pictures.
I'm awaiting the trip report. Jealous that I can't go too.

theboomboom
01-25-2010, 03:11 PM
I picked up a milepost for kicks a while back, you're welcome to borrow it for your trip if you decide to drive it. I'm very jealous also, wish you the best of luck!

RockRunner
01-25-2010, 03:28 PM
Sounds like a great adventure, having said that did you include all your things you plan to take with you in your fuel consumption data? If you add an extra fuel tank you will loose some MPG. Also with putting stuff on your roof, major loss think 2-3 MPG. If you build your drawers make them light, anything added to the vehicle will add to the end result, lost MPG.

As for taking the long way, I think it would be awesome to do. If I had the time and gumption it would be a trip that I would love to take.

Good luck and let us know if you need help. I don't know much about 40's but the others do and one way or another somebody can and will help you.

Mendocino
01-25-2010, 03:58 PM
Sounds like a great trip. It reminds me of my early 20s when I would just take off in my old Ford truck with some gas and not enough money to get back. I'd find some odd job or other legal method of getting food and fuel.

I'd second the ear plugs and duct tape. Driving my 40 from Denver to Moab is a very physical experience.

coax
01-25-2010, 04:24 PM
Yep does sound like an awesome trip. Here's a few random thoughts fwiw.

Not having done the drive to alaska, whats the weather like in April going through BC? Any chance of delay's (if that matters). Does the ferry company have an equivalent to standby flying? If you're already going to be in Seattle is it worth checking out?

No affililation, but check out http://denver.craigslist.org/pts/1568617106.html he says he has a gas tank from a 78 with no leaks. Or maybe possible to just get a few jerrycans if they'll fit in the back? Or maybe see if there are any yakima roof boxes for cheap on CL? Then toss the light stuff in there and gas in the back...

I dont have any cruiser parts that would help but I'm sure I got tons of old derailleurs and chains in my black hole of bike parts.

Of the three climbs you mentioned I've only done Whitney, your adventure makes me wanna "postpone" the job and load up the cruiser and go adventuring. :cheers:

SteveH
01-25-2010, 04:51 PM
I drove my stock '78 FJ40 from Colo Springs to Michigan in 1990 - along I-80, then up through upper Michigan and down thru Wisconsin and back on I-90. About 4K miles. Very tiring. Headwinds hurt gas mileage. Had to readjust timing due to spark knock (lower elevation) in Nebraska. Brought gobs of spare parts, but needed none. Had an exhaust donut gasket installed in Michigan. It was June, so it was 106 degrees F. in Omaha, and about 120 in the cab of my truck. It made me very sleepy. Memorable event: getting a warning from a Nebraska trooper for going 59 mph in a 55 zone. What a putz - but a speeding ticket in a '40 is always a trip. Had a blast - saw a few other FJ40s (all in Michigan, oddly - including an FJ45). I drove exactly 60 the entire way - on 235-75-15 tires - didn't want to push past 3000 rpm. I used lead additive along the way, since it was all hard, highway miles. Enjoy the ride!

Steve

Steve

baileyfj40
01-25-2010, 07:14 PM
just a note, I did the ferry from Haines, AK to Bellingham, Wa few years back, on the ferry one CANNOT sleep in the car. So get commfy in the ship in another place. Drive is well worth the money and time. Get the fuel tank fixed and carry a couple of jerry cans.

Have fun!!
Later;

Rogue Leader
01-25-2010, 08:54 PM
Got the rear lift gate put back together. Nice to have a handle that works. Started a blog for the trip. It can be found at http://viajedemuerte.blogspot.com/

leiniesred
01-26-2010, 10:48 AM
Go for it! I think it sounds like a great trip!

My "Great West Tour" in 1997 out of college utilized a very rusty $1500 1980 Ford Bronco with 170,000 miles on it. I bought from a sheep farmer in Decatur, Illinois. (I think he hauled sheep IN the truck.)

My trip lasted 3 months and 18,000 miles.
ONE breakdown. Fixed during an ice storm with a Swiss Army knife in the Dakota Badlands.

Recommendations:

Take the time to do the truck repairs and maintenance now. It'll be cheaper, faster, and easier than doing it on the side of the road. If I can go 18,000 miles in a FORD and only have a fan shroud fall off, a TOYOTA should be able to cover 5,000 trouble free miles no sweat.

Get that fuel tank fixed up first. It is the thing preventing you from going and probably the most expensive problem. Put in a leak-free, rust free tank. Save you from a lot of fuel system problems on the road.

It sounds like there is a lot of metal missing on the body. You not going to hurt the value of the truck by slapping some functional, hand-made repairs in place of the missing stock steel. Use angle iron and plate to reinforce stuff where you need structure (fenders?). Then just get a sheet of steel you can cut with tin snips to cut and fit patches over the non structural rust holes.

Don't underestimate the strength and speed of repair you can affect with fiberglass mat and gel. Maybe replace the missing structural parts with steel and your welder, then cover up the sheet metal holes with fiberglass mat.

Indoor/outdoor carpeting is a cheap way to cover up your patchwork and the smaller holes you didn’t get around to patching. Makes your interior look nice and clean again, and helps a TON with road / transmission noise. New wal-mart seat covers to match the new home depot carpet, a little spray paint work here and there and man, you’ll look downright GOOD while on your adventure!

I didn't use my radio much on my trip, I used my harmonica. Learn a new instrument while you enjoy the scenery.

Yeah. Earplugs and a kidney belt would help too.

FJBRADY
01-26-2010, 10:56 AM
Sounds like a great trip!!!!!

Hey Rudy, you have the best stories I feel like I was standing next to you while reading this.

Best line was the Harmonica....:lmao:


Go for it! I think it sounds like a great trip!

My "Great West Tour" in 1997 out of college utilized a very rusty $1500 1980 Ford Bronco with 170,000 miles on it. I bought from a sheep farmer in Decatur, Illinois. (I think he hauled sheep IN the truck.)

My trip lasted 3 months and 18,000 miles.
ONE breakdown. Fixed during an ice storm with a Swiss Army knife in the Dakota Badlands.

Recommendations:

Take the time to do the truck repairs and maintenance now. It'll be cheaper, faster, and easier than doing it on the side of the road. If I can go 18,000 miles in a FORD and only have a fan shroud fall off, a TOYOTA should be able to cover 5,000 trouble free miles no sweat.

Get that fuel tank fixed up first. It is the thing preventing you from going and probably the most expensive problem. Put in a leak-free, rust free tank. Save you from a lot of fuel system problems on the road.

It sounds like there is a lot of metal missing on the body. You not going to hurt the value of the truck by slapping some functional, hand-made repairs in place of the missing stock steel. Use angle iron and plate to reinforce stuff where you need structure (fenders?). Then just get a sheet of steel you can cut with tin snips to cut and fit patches over the non structural rust holes.

Don't underestimate the strength and speed of repair you can affect with fiberglass mat and gel. Maybe replace the missing structural parts with steel and your welder, then cover up the sheet metal holes with fiberglass mat.

Indoor/outdoor carpeting is a cheap way to cover up your patchwork and the smaller holes you didnít get around to patching. Makes your interior look nice and clean again, and helps a TON with road / transmission noise. New wal-mart seat covers to match the new home depot carpet, a little spray paint work here and there and man, youíll look downright GOOD while on your adventure!

I didn't use my radio much on my trip, I used my harmonica. Learn a new instrument while you enjoy the scenery.

Yeah. Earplugs and a kidney belt would help too.

Rogue Leader
01-26-2010, 03:07 PM
Took pictures to show the rust. Previous owner claimed no bondo, should have looked closer, but the entire back end is covered in it. Making a plan tonight and heading to the metal shop in the morning to get metal. Plan is to media blast and cut out the bad and weld in patches. http://picasaweb.google.com/Sjones1029/CruiserRustBefore?feat=directlink

CBone
01-26-2010, 05:52 PM
Sounds like one awesome adventure.

Last year a guy with a 60 went from CA up to AK and back down through MT,WY, UT.

Check out his blog:
http://alaska-summer-2009.blogspot.com/

Rogue Leader
01-31-2010, 12:20 AM
Got the rear sil finished today. It really is nice to weld MIG with gas instead of just flux cored wire, they turn out nice and pretty and make me feel good. :weld: :cheers:

leiniesred
01-31-2010, 10:45 AM
Wow that new sill looks great and the fatal rust you are worried about is about 1/10th the rust my Bronco had!

I had holes over my rear wheel arches that were so huge you could store loaves of french bread in them. It took an entire can of spray foam to fill them in!

I think that tub is in fine shape for a trip anywhere. I'd sit in the back seat without any fear at all.

I just talked to a friend of mine who has made your proposed trip once. The next time, he put his truck on the car ferry.

Jacket
02-01-2010, 11:22 AM
Is that a homemade replacement sill? Looks very nice.

Rogue Leader
02-01-2010, 03:59 PM
Yep all metal work is/will be homegrown. Up next is quarters and wheel wells. I have a week and a half to get those done before Avy II in estes park.