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Truck prep for 3000+ miler from WA to NV

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Sick Fast Slow Guys (a bunch of 35 year olds that love to ride and bench race) are heading to Nevada late August for the Vegas to Reno from Washington. My truck, a black 2004 Chevy HD2500 crew cab, 6.6L diesel, 6.5' bed is the chosen one to transport 3 of us and 1 bike plus a butt-load of gear down there.

Just recently had my 48K service done(May) and am ready for another oil change. My question to all of you in the SW or other super warm parts of USofA, what would you do to prep for this trip. The truck is being used a the chase vehicle to get to pits, etc... The driver will be a 65 yr that loves the air conditioning. Should I change the oil weight for this trip? Anything else?

I have had zero problems with this truck since I bought it last winter (knocking on wood very hard now) and would like that to continue on for this race. I plan on carrying 5 gallons of diesel as back-up as truck will be idling for long periods of time at pits.

Thanks all for your constructive input! :thumbsup:

Mike - mx813

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Fill the tank and go....

Ive done 2, 2000 mile drives, in less then 35 hours....so almost non stop and over the rockys and ive done no prep.

Oh, and my truck is 11 years old and has 109k miles.

But, you have a chevy so you may want to prep....lol jk

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We are taking our time getting there...2.5 days liesurely(sp?) Not worried about the long drive as the speed will keep temps cool...but the idling at pits w/AC on is on my small concern-o-meter as I have never experienced the Nevada temps in late summer.

mx813

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I drove my '97 Ranger with at the time had around 180,000 miles on it, from Detroit to Los Angeles...somewhere around 2500 miles. I changed oil before we left, checked/toped off all fluids, checked tires, air pressure, etc...then we just drove. The thing ran fine all the way their, and to this day I think I just hit 200,000 miles on it and it's running fine still. :thumbsup:

But your's is a Chevy...so I'm not sure if it can pull through... :ride:

Have Fun!

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tell your buddy to turn off the ac. getting use to the desert heat is fun :thumbsup:

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I have a 3500 SRW Duramax (not a dually). The fuel filter was revised about 6-9 months ago to be more efficient - this means it can plug more quickly. The normal service interval is 15k miles. But alot of guys change them every 10k miles. Did you have the fuel filter changed at the 48k mile service? How many miles have you put on since then?

You are fine going 7500 miles between oil changes on this truck. And you don't need to change oil weight - a 15W40 weight oil is recommended. I prefer chevron delo-400, shell rotella is good as well. If you expect to be idling for a long, long time staying nice and chilly in the cab - it might be good to do an oil change before the trip and then when you return.

There are a couple of service bulletins on your truck that can affect the AC. One is related to the AC compressor (two types are used and only one is affected). The other involves replacing the condenser with a larger one. I would take it in for service and tell them that you are unhappy with the AC performance now and that you will be sitting in the Nevada Desert... You might want to throw in that heat can cause you to have seizures - but your medication mostly keeps it in check. :thumbsup:

My '03 had the older AC setup - My new '05 has the new AC setup - the difference is night and day...

I would buy a good diesel fuel additive and use it on every tank. The fuel available in the u.s. doesn't provide enough lubrication for our high pressure injectors. I prefer stanadyne lubricity formula, but their performance formula is easier to find (camping world, etc.).

jeff

p.s. If you aren't doing so already, carry an extra fuel filter and a strap wrench to change it out if you need to...

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I would consider replacing coolant. There are lots of arguments against GM's Dex-cool going 100,000 miles. You're close to 50K so the coolant change would be cheap insurance. If yor are religious about 3000 mile oil changes you might want to get it done on the road, but you realistically won't need to.

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That's a good point - the coolant may be good for 100k miles, but there is a bunch of silicon (sand) in their from the casting process.

The rear differential has synthetic fluid and is supposed to be good for 100k miles too. But break-in leaves so much crud in it that it should be changed out after 5-10k miles. After that it can go for quite a while. GM calls out a special gear oil that only they sell - at $25 per quart - takes 4 quarts... Mobil-1 75W90 can be used in it's place without any issues reported.

Change out the fluid in the front diff and the transfer case if they haven't been changed before. It is very inexpensive. I use mobil-1 75W90 in the front and chevron atf in the transfer case.

jeff

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You've got some good advice so far. Here are a couple more ideas:

Tires-Check tire pressure. Because it will be HOT and you are driving a long way with a load, keep your tire pressure toward the MAX range of your tires. If they say 65 PSI MAX, fill them to 65 and check when you gas up. Low pressure lets the tires get way hot - to the point of the tread peeling off. And kills Gas mileage. Truck will weave less on the highway too=stiffer sidewalls.

AC - if they do the service right they should flush it when they refill and use DI water or at least distilled to mix with coolant, usually 50/50. ask them when you schedule it. You may have a second filter for the HVAC system, see if they will change that too. Newer vehicles have a HEPA filter inside the cab and if it's clogged after 50k, it will stifle your air flow inside the cab.

Engine-Check normal belts and hoses. Most new trucks have a serpentine belt. Carry an extra one with you. If you throw the serpentine belt, you lose everything.

Chassis-lube all joints and check for anything loose. lube door hinges, armor all or silicone oil on door seals to keep them soft. In desert, the heat will practically melt your doors shut. Change wiper baldes every year due to oxidation, sandstorm or surprise thunderstorms in the desert are murder on these.

If you have never tried synthetic oil, maybe a good time. Amzoil is great, gives better gas mileage and allows truck to run cooler (less resistance).

Emergency-cell phone or CB radio, flashlight(s), extra batteries for everything, Lots of Duct tape, Fix a flat or slime/tire inflator(make sure it can put out enough pressure to fill your truck tires), Kroil, PB Blaster or WD 40, bungee cords, 550 cord, bailing wire, 2 quarts oil, 5 g diesel fuel (carry in your trailer with your gear). Work gloves, latex gloves, sheet of cardboard to lay on under vehicle for repairs, tow strap, jumpercables/jumper box, tire patch kit, shovel, knife, hatchet, 4' - 2 x 4's, bag of misc nuts/bolts/washers, electrical tape, zip ties, velcro straps, kite string, sharpie marker, toolbox. Extra pins and keepers for Reese hitch, extra 4, 6 or 9 pin electrical connecter for trailer, light bulbs to fit everything you have, fuses to fit everyting you have.

Personal- 1 day's MRE's (Army food) for whole party, water -5 gal drinking, extra perscription meds, emergency numbers, blankets/sleeping bag, playing cards, first aid kit, Spare contact lenses, glasses, fm radio, Ziploc bags, lighter/matches, bar of soap (plugs gas leaks and gets you clean too), stuff for bored kids to do if they are along.

I used to travel 100,000 miles a year and have encountered everything imaginable. I even unlocked a Honda Civic with a flyswatter once -"McGuyver" style. My "kit" weighs about 300 lbs but I am ready for anything. I even include camping gear when travelling in remote places. In the desert, things can get desparate very quickly, don't count on a cellphone or "friendly travelers" to help you.

This stuff seems like overkill, but you can accumulate it now slowly at cheap prices, instead of paying a premium for it at a turnpike rest stop or 24 hour gas station.

You may have a lot of the tools and etc with your bikes, and in your rig a couple hundred pounds won't kill anyone. I use Rubbermaid tubs for mine and I have it separated by category.

It's kind of a joke to the guys but we used a couple of 5 gallon paint paddles I got at Home Depot and some duct tape to set a guy's broken leg so we could carry him up out of the woods on a 4 wheeler.

The peace of mind is priceless.

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FYI - The newer chevy silverados do not come with a cabin air filter. So you don't need to worry about it plugging in the dust...

In our trucks (duramax diesel) a synthetic isn't recommended unless you are in arctic temps - I have seen reports of issues with low oil pressure using synthetic oils that are not of the viscosity recommended by the manufacturer in warmer weather. 15w40 is what is recommended.

jeff

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