Need Advice - Motor drank some water via air intake box

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Feb 26, 2002
So in my memorial day weekend adventure, I came upon a fairly deep puddle/pond (water over the hood for about 5 feet - No snorkel) (stupid attempt on my part to even try it) - I just about made it through and was on a slight hill coming out and the rig died (almost like someone turned the key off) and rolled backwards down the hill and back into the water and would not restart (another dummy move to try and crank it over). Rig sat in the water for about 15 minutes before it got winched out.

So I got a tow back to camp, pulled the air filter (soaked, with water in the air box/tuna can). Pulled all the spark plugs and cranked it over (some water shot out of some of the cylinders) - Checked oil. Looked fine no milk. Let it sit for a while and put plugs in and fired it up. Ran semi well, no knocks or odd noises, but ran like ignition was missing and sounded like crap. Air intake tube didn't look like it got water in it, but it must of.

After sitting overnight, I ended up changing the oil as it looked like crap after sitting (water in it on dipstick). The rough running/sounding like crap ended up being disti cap, and after I cleaned that up it runs good with no issues or check engine lights... I let it get up to temp and changed the oil/filter one more time last night and the motor sounds like it did before the incident.

Tranny fluid looks good - rear diff fluid I had to drain/replace as that looked like a milk shake

I put the dehumidifier in the back hatch and pulled about a gallon of water out over the last couple of days.

Anyone else do something this stupid and have the motor survive without issues down the road? I guess I am shocked its not rattling and knocking as its only got 310K on it and I'm sure this little stunt didn't help to prolong its life any....

Anything else that I should change or look into?
Change your Center Diff Gear Oil, it also wouldn't hurt to do a drain and fill on the transmission.

Other than that you can do a leak down / compression test if you want to know but really if it's running fine now I'd just keep trucking. You're lucky less beefy engines usually don't survive something like this.
Glad the truck is back in action, where are the photos?
The smartest thing you did was pull the spark plugs to blow out the water.

It should survive, particularly if you do all your fluid changes.
Could the front and rear axle bearings be contaminated with water?
Sounds like you are good. Check dif fluid after any run that has significant water crossing time. It is tougher to keep water out than it seems like it should be. Knuckles and wheel bearings are probably fine so long as your seals are not bad. does not hurt to check. Check the T/C, but it is probably fine. These are all standard maintenance concerns after any run with lots of water time.If your tranny got water in it you would probably already know, but check the fluid anyway. Immersion happens, not the end of the world.

I will check tcase and front axle, its on the list for this weekend. Probably change the gear lube out in both of them since they are due for it anyways.

No pics at the moment, but I am pretty sure someone took some. I'll post them up when I get them.

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