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How deep is too deep - found out the hard way

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by 87tlc, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. 87tlc

    87tlc

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    It was a perfect day for 4 wheeling this past Saturday. My wife’s uncle and cousin were in town from Wisconsin and my wife’s brother came down from Phoenix. I decided to take our out of state family and my brother-in-law into the Santa Rita’s southeast of Tucson.

    The roads were pretty fair despite all of the summer rains we have had. The rains have made the desert more green than it has been in years. We drove from the west to Helvetia, up Lopez Pass, back down the east side, back up to Gunsight Pass, and over to Narragansett Mine to check things out and enjoy the view. Then back down on the east side to rediscover some old ATV hills and turns, which was a lot of fun.

    But then there was this water hole near by that at first looked uninteresting. There was another party that we had seen earlier that day that had just caught up with us again. The dad, Terry, of the party called out to me, you can make it, it’s not that deep! Yah right. I said under my breath. He said he was trying to talk his son into crossing it. So I decided to take a stab at it, fairly close to the left side. It was maybe 18 inches deep on the deep side. Kind of fun, but not much of a challenge

    So I turned the land cruiser around and took another stab at it. My brother-in-law, who had the camera jumped out to catch it on video. He knows me well. This time I took a line a little closer to the center. The water was around 2 and a half feet deep. Okay, maybe a little deeper. Part of the wake washed up on the hood and then rolled off. The cruiser was pulling strong, and was had excellent traction.

    About two thirds the way through, though then engine started to loose power and then it died. We came to a stop pretty quickly. I tried to restart the engine, but it barely turned over.

    I looked out the window at the water then down at my feet, I did this a few times and then realized that we were going to get wet. Then I noticed the water trickling in under my door.

    I had the back seat passenger pull everything off of the floor onto the back seat, and then we all went top side. The two remaining passengers were able to make the leap from the front right corner of the hood to dry ground. I stayed on board.

    The party watching graciously agreed to pull the land cruiser out, with the vehicle that they had pulled all of their toys out with. They had to ride out a little ways to retrieve their truck, but were back in around 10 minutes.

    Mean time, I crawled back in to grab the tow strap. The water was about 3 inches deep inside on the left side, all the way back, but the right side was dry all the way back. I also popped the hood and was able to climb onto the bumper, which was just out of the water on the high side.

    I dropped the strap over the tow hook and tossed the other end to shore. Then raised the hood. The engine compartment was almost completely dry, except for the oil pan and below. The battery area, and ignition components all dry as a bone. The engine stall was quite puzzling to me at the time, as I had been many times with my dad in his 72 FJ55 through similar water with no problems. That was decades ago.

    The other party pulled up in a late model GM double cab duramax. Our two straps tied together made 45 feet. They were able to pull the land cruiser out without turning over a single piece of gravel. I opened the drivers side doors midway through the pull out. Spawned some deep belly laughter from, some observers, as gallons of murky water splashed to the ground.

    So once fully pulled out, we pulled the air cleaner cover and discovered water there. The air cleaner was soaked. Sigh.

    I discovered that the Toyota tool kit contained a spark plug wrench. I pulled all of the plugs and cranked the starter. All cylinders misted a little water out, but #6 supplied quite a shower. Sorry Josh.

    Some of the plugs clogged with wet black gook, so we blew them out with compressed air. We put everything back together and tried to start it. The fuel air mix was all wrong, and nothing happened until full choking, a few pumps of the gas and then holding the petal to the floor.

    A gallon or two of water pumped out the exhaust, and then she sounded pretty normal.

    We put everything else back together, loaded up and headed for home, cautiously.

    This whole ordeal only set us back an hour.

    The cruiser is at home now, parked. The carpets have all been removed and washed. I will be changing the oil from the engine, axles and tranny/transfer case tomorrow.

    I can think of plenty of things that could be damaged, piston, head, head gasket, rod, rod bearings.

    After you are all done railing on me, which is quite deserved, I’d like to hear if any of you have had similar experiences and what if any damage occurred.
    IMG_9345.jpg
     
  2. cwb

    cwb

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    You just did what most of us would have done. Sure hope nothing is damaged too badly, though. Hang in there!
     
  3. Mace

    Mace rock scientist.. Staff Member s-Moderator

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    That's not deep ;)

    There is a reason I don't like the funnel style intakes for the air cleaner
     
  4. mbsilvia

    mbsilvia

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    been there

    I drown my fj55 a while back, just make sure to change your oil before you drive it, well, if it looks milky. You usually will suck up some water through your front main seal. Other than that, you shouldn't have any other worries. BUT, if you sucked up water through your intake, then you might have bigger issues, possibly hydrolocked,(bent rods), but your ride would be running really crappy, and if it is, I would pull the pan and check out you bottom end for bent rods. Just some input from past experiences.
     
  5. FJ40Jim

    FJ40Jim The Cruiser Whisperer

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    It would also be a good idea to go around and crack open each brake bleeder and flush out the old, waterlogged brake fluid.

    Do the clutch slave also, just to be safe.
     
  6. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    That's not too bad. You did everything right by not trying too hard to turn it over, and then you also blew out the water. You'll probably be fine.

    If you want to get really cautious, look into changing the tranny, t-case and diff fluids. Water might have seeped into there as well, you never know.
     
  7. bigbrown

    bigbrown

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    so even though it's a gas engine would a "poser" snorkel have prevented the stall?

    is there any other mods to the funnel type intake to make it less likely to take on water? i mean other than adding a snorkel.

    i hope your rig is ok. cool pic too:)
     
  8. import silvia

    import silvia

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    I sucked a little water on wilmot road (middle of Tucson AZ)this mornin, those storms today were a bitch. I never actually stalled but the engine did start to bog really bad and I was blowin steam for a 1/2 mile. Got in it at lunch and it ran great so I'm just gonna assume I steam cleaned everything.... All of the fluids are slated to be changed this weekend after some water crossings on my most recent offroad adventure anyways.

    Though it does look like a snorkle may be in order despite my desert locale.
    wilmot flood.jpg
     
  9. Dynosoar

    Dynosoar Slightly Disturbed SILVER Star

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    Just take off the factory water delivery system (cool air intake) or at least re-route it away from the grill.

    Dynosoar
     
  10. mrsvle

    mrsvle

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    The placement of the air intake has always concerned me. It just looks too easy for water to get in there. If I were going into any kind of water I would disconnect the hose from the air cleaner horn. Even so, you don't look too deep in. I wonder how water reached up that high to be able to get into the air cleaner hose. I guess the water will rise as your vehicle pushes in. An oil change is definitely in order. I would also change the front and rear differential oil and the transmission fluid as well. Let us know if there are any long term consequences. Good to know.

    Been waiting for months to get my ******* engine back from the machine shop. Supposed to be ready this week but I'll be damned surprised if it's actually done. Can't wait to get her put back together and running again.

    Matt
     
  11. Texx

    Texx

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    I guess that Jeep's backed up on the curb to avoid voiding his warranty when the massive bow wave from that econobox hits him! :)
     
  12. pvidrummer

    pvidrummer

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    Yesterday it was raining like crazy and in some areas the water was even deeper than in this pic. Nobody could cross the street and all those that tried to pass sucked in water:doh:. I was one of the lucky few that managed to pass:grinpimp:.

    The water was this deep, and in some areas deeper.

    [​IMG]

    Hey 87tlc, I think you could have made it across. Next time don't go fast.
     
  13. 87tlc

    87tlc

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    Thanks for all the advice everyone. Yes, it would have been fine if the air intake was routed to a drier place, even it that first section was removed. And that is what I’m going to do for now. It also would have been fine if I took it slow. I was not sure of how deep the mud was and wanted enough momentum.

    bigbrown, I don’t think it matters if it is a diesel or gaser, as long as the gaser’s ignition components remain dry. A snorkel would have saved the day.

    I posted the video up on my work account. Knowing that the factory air intake components are in place, it is easy to see why this happened.

    http://www.u.arizona.edu/~bradtke/images/MVI_9344.avi
     
  14. soggy60

    soggy60

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    Brad,

    Next time, before hitting the water, disconnect air 'hose' from rubber fitting behind headlight, lay hose over carb cooling fan 'snout' and wheel well side of brake booster.
    Closing hood will hold it there without crushing.
    That will keep the 'bow wake' from being sucked into air cleaner - engine.

    Ignition system (mainly dissy) is water-resistant enough to take a good hosing & still keep zapping....but: dizzy cap breather hole must have good hoses or be plugged & plug wire insulation must be good (hose 'em w/ WD40 before getting wet).

    Dat's whet us 60ers in wet Florida do . . .
     
  15. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Snorkel...

    Run your axle lines up, Run your TC/Tranny vents up, run your Dizzy vent up, weld up the AC housing. Play all you want in the water :cool:
     
  16. sandcruiser

    sandcruiser

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    I'd say you were a victim of speed.
    As slow as possible, as fast as necessary. Good motto.

    Now, before you think I'm raggin on you- I managed to water down my dizzy one time in southern mexico with the wife and parents in the rig... hitting one too many huge puddles (no deeper than 12" inches, but 1/4 mile long). I kept going faster and faster until the spray informed me that I would go no further.

    A spritz of wd40 on the dizzy cap...
    and we were on our way again, a little slower, a little wiser.
     
  17. 94landcruiser

    94landcruiser

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    Where does the intake breathe from? In my 80 it is inside the passenger side fender, I'd like to think I could enter that amount of water without inhaling water.

    Sorry that happened, hopefully there is no major damage.
     
  18. Tapage

    Tapage Club 4X4 Panamá SILVER Star

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  19. beaufort-fj60

    beaufort-fj60

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    you got a pic of a welded ac housing?
     
  20. mrsvle

    mrsvle

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    Just watched the video. NOW I see how you got water sucked up into the air cleaner. A whole wave sloshing over the hood. You need some momentum, but not that much momentum. Looks like fun. Hope there's no permanent damage.

    Matt
     
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