problems after mudding

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Oct 15, 2002
i buried my 71 fj40 in a 3 foot deep mud puddle. sunk it. since then i've had brake problems, cooling problems and clutch problems. my two big questions are:
i sprayed the radiator off, but when do you know it's clean, should you be able to see light through it?
the clutch, it shifts, but not like it used to. the clutch doesn't respond until the pedal is almost to the floor. could there be mud causing trouble where the clutch fork goes into the trans?
and now it won't start. it turns over real slow, would mud damage the starter? or restrict the flywheel movement? it's a 71 fj40 with a 327 and stock 3 spd.
any help would be greatly appreciated. it's my daily driver, and now weekend mudrunner.
Its happened to me a few times ...... the mud will find its way between the pressure plate and the clutch. Really messes with the friction there. Clean it out and inspect it for any damage. Brakes got gunked too. Take the drums off and make sure you dont have a "film" on them. Check the fluids to make sure there is no water in there too. Take your cap off on the distirbutor and clean the whole assembly with electrical cleaner. Double check your HEI for any water damage too.
Played this game before. Disassemble and clean affected parts. Brakes will be the easiest. Take off wheel & drum and hose away. Radiator is a little togher. Do not pressure wash. Pressure can lay down the fins and stop air flow. I sunk mine in Kansas clay. GOOOEEY!! I had to remove rad and soak it in a tub laying horizontal and gently hose out the muck. As for clutch I'm not sure. Mine was auto. Do you have an inspection cover that can be removed?
Next time try driving through a deep creek or river a few times after you go "mudding".
[quote author=atoyot link=board=1;threadid=4301;start=0#msg31933 date=1060762252]
Next time try driving through a deep creek or river a few times after you go "mudding".

ya this is exactly what you should do :'(

If you enjoy the enviroment, fishing, being allowed to 4x4, I would not advise the deep water cleanings.
[quote author=Big_Blue link=board=1;threadid=4301;start=0#msg31963 date=1060784210]
ya this is exactly what you should do :'(

If you enjoy the enviroment, fishing, being allowed to 4x4, I would not advise the deep water cleanings.
One of the places I frequently wheel, the forest service "road" fords a river in several places. These places are meant to be forded and have smooth rocky bottoms. You have virtually no impact on the river or the aquatic life by fording. I would assume that there are other places where this is the case and it would be ok to use these crossings to clean out your brakes/clutch after some wheelin.
Just use some common sense
Also beware of deep water crossing because some fan designs can propeller forward into radiator. Learned this one the hard way. Expensive oops.
"the mud will find its way between the pressure plate and the clutch... Clean it out and inspect it for any damage"
good advice, thank you, but how do i clean it? isnt the clutch an enclosed device? the brakes i've cleaned and had adjusted by a brake shop and still aren't right. but i've read a lot on this website about brake adjustments, so i'll try those next. but back to the clutch... what do i have to remove to get to it? i don't have to drop the trans do i?
I just take my trans. and tcase down all at once. Its really obnoxiously hard :p but if its your daily and you limped it home its worth it 8). Like the guys said finding a deep water forge is a better to do it, WHEN YOURE ON THE TRAIL. Back on topic though. Just hose it all out when its down.
I have the AA SBC kit and I was able to change my clutch faster this time by pulling the engine instead. The chev is so easy to remove that I think you'd have to be a professional tranny man to do it faster from underneath.
Mine has an inspection cover too but if the mud is inside the clutch between the plates it still may need disassembled and cleaned.
my clutch problem has worsened. now when the clutch pedal is out, there is a bad metal-on-metal sound coming from the transmission. before all of this, i was losing the synchronizing gear for 3rd, i don't know if that's connected or not. now would be the perfect time to switch to an automatic. any idea what would be causing the metal-on-metal sound with the clutch out? even when in nuetral...
Sounds to me like the throw-out bearing is ready to retire. Often this happens when you drown it in mud. Those bearings are not well sealed, the mud & water get in. Could have seezed the bearing, now the pressure plate is turning on the bearing surface, hence the possible metal-on-metal noise :'(
but seriously it does sound like throw out bearing is spent, but give it all a good dusching out before ya pull it apart, don't mess round with cooling,pull the rad submerge in tank and swish it aoruond. i have done this with good results, rinse it out and badda bing cooling once again. hot is bad, toast a engine and you will be bummed alot worse than having to pull yer clutch.
It sounds to me that you have now found out why Woody named this website IH8MUD.
update: the only cover i can remove is the flywheel cover. there's a little mud at the bottom but nothing built up or causing a problem in there. i started it up and when idling, every few seconds it will make this hard hitting metal sound and the rear drive shaft will twitch, like it's trying to get engaged. that's just how i was before the wedding. does that confirm the transfer gear theory?

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