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Old 06-15-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
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Flood or Stuck in a Mud Hole?

2003 Sport

I suspect that my TJ might have been in a serious flood, or it could have been stuck in a mud hole up to the headlights for some time. I canot tell. It was immersed pretty deeply for a while, though. The more I work on it the more evidence I see of this.

If everything works okay should I care? I regularly flood the inside of the tub when off road. I just pull the plugs and hose it out. But how can I tell if it was flooded? All the fluids seem to be okay, so if it was dumped in a deep mud hole or sat in a flooded out neighborhood for a week or so the PO had it cleaned up fairly well, as far as fluids go.

Again, if all the features seem to work correctly and it runs and drives well, should I care about this at all?

Finally, how do I inspect my various drivetrain vent tubes?

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Old 06-15-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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Look up under the dash and on the bottom of the seats , if you see mud or corrosion you have a vehicle that has been submerged. Fresh water isn't as bad as salt water but water doesn't get along with electrical connections inspect those too.

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Old 06-15-2014, 04:52 PM   #3
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Seats are good. Electrical is good. I have had it for over a year now. Everything works well.

Electrical connections seem to be clean and without corrosion. (But some one could have cleaned all that up in order to sell it.) I do not think it was ever immersed fully, at least not from a flood. But I am betting that it was stuck in deep mud at least a few times and had to be winched free. There is just too much dirt and gravel in places above the tire tops.

I just do not get it. This has been a very weird jeep. At least I know all but six months of my first TJ, but this one came to me a decade old. I guess I will never really know. It is like a lost cat that you take in. What was its name before it came to you? What sort of life did it lead? Has it ever been really sick? This jeep has been like that for me, with weird problems all over the place and poorly done PO installs that make me swear that the jeep is happier with me caring for it. Stupid, I know.

So, if everything seems to be working I am assuming that it was in some mud for a day or so, or maybe in a flood, but that it was cleaned up so that everything works correctly.

Is there anything wrong with that? Besides the obvious electrical headaches that it (thankfully) does not have, what else is there to worry over? This would have happened well over a year ago, so I am sure that crap in the fluids would have become a problem by now. I am assuming that the PO had the fluids fully changed out if there had been water in them.

I think, like the lost cat idea, I am just creating something to worry about when it really should just be something to wonder about and let go.

:-P

I guess what I want to know is whether you can dig up titling information to see whether the title has been laundered via a cross-state sale. It was purchased in Arkansas and lived there for like a year. It lived in New Jersey for four years. (College, I assume.) Then it came to Missouri for three years and was sold at auction to a dealer across the border in Arkansas. There was a wreck while in New Jersey. The damage was minor stuff to the tailgate and front fenders and both bumpers. The frame is very slightly tweaked but it drives well, tracks straight and wears tires very evenly. The measurements that are off are wrong by only 1/16" or so. I am leaving the frame alone. It is rust-free and straight enough for a vehicle that is more than a decade old.

Anyway, I am assuming that this is dirt from wheeling hard and often combined with lousy maintenance by the PO.

But can I check to see the status of the titles in MO and NJ as well as the original in Arkansas? How would I do this? CARFAX does not show this information. It does show the wreck and that damage was noted as "minimal"...
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:47 AM   #4
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There is a person in the Vendors section who is giving away free vehicle history reports.
Mine showed all the states its been titled in and reports things like water, flood and being totaled. Mine was never totaled or shows no flood but I found chunks of mud under the dash .
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Holton345 View Post
2003 Sport

I suspect that my TJ might have been in a serious flood, or it could have been stuck in a mud hole up to the headlights for some time. I canot tell. It was immersed pretty deeply for a while, though. The more I work on it the more evidence I see of this.

If everything works okay should I care? I regularly flood the inside of the tub when off road. I just pull the plugs and hose it out. But how can I tell if it was flooded? All the fluids seem to be okay, so if it was dumped in a deep mud hole or sat in a flooded out neighborhood for a week or so the PO had it cleaned up fairly well, as far as fluids go.

Again, if all the features seem to work correctly and it runs and drives well, should I care about this at all?

Finally, how do I inspect my various drivetrain vent tubes?
If you regularly flood the inside with water then i wouldent be worried about some mud.Water can trash a vehicle quick.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:28 PM   #6
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My TJ has never been in water above the axle and you would be amazed at where mud has been found. That stuff gets flung everywhere.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:35 PM   #7
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My TJ has never been in water above the axle and you would be amazed at where mud has been found. That stuff gets flung everywhere.
i agree mud gets into all kinds of places u wouldnt think it would. especailly that red clay. best thing to do is wait for a down poor and drive down the highway seems to get things clean underneath prettty good.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:20 AM   #8
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i agree mud gets into all kinds of places u wouldnt think it would. especailly that red clay. best thing to do is wait for a down poor and drive down the highway seems to get things clean underneath prettty good.
I built an extension on wheels for my pressure washer I roll it around under the Jeep to clean off salt and mud. Now my gravel driveway looks like red clay.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
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No, y'all are not getting what I am saying, here. There is no way for packed dirt and gravel to get into this area unless it was fully immersed. The opening is about 1.5" and it is close to 5" deep, pointed straight down. The opening is at the top. Stuff cannot simply splash into these holes and build up to 5" of thickness. That is a LOT of mud or dirt. It would have to be poured in from above.

And it is not normal dirt, but super-fine powder, like river water silt.

Again, I have never seen anything like this except on vehicles that have been submerged.

I do not think it matters, though. Everything works fine. So either there was no real damage or it was all taken care of. I just wish the PO had done a better job cleaning the thing out.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #10
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Not to hijack your thread Holton345 but I have an identical story to yours. Your question is pertinent and analogy to the cat is spot on.

I had fine rock and gravel in my TJ from WV that was literally packed into the skid plate. There was a fine white powder inside the air filter box but the tub was fine. No chassis or body rust although there was some where the skid plate bolts to the frame. The inside frame is loaded with this fine silt/dirt I've got to clean out.

It is frustrating as heck yet the thing runs fine. (I've changed engine oil, tc lube, transmission oil, both diffs, replaced the radiator, water pump, hoses and plan to change brake and steering fluids.)

What is the back story on this thing? I'll probably never know. I'm gonna just catch up on the maintenance the PO woefully neglected at run it till something needs to be fixed.

Good luck. I will follow your thread as it strikes so close to home.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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Why would they take the electrical connections apart and clean, change all fluids, remove all signs of rust, then leave a 5" pile of mud to give it away.
Could it be from the regular tub flooding? And really the title thing, whats that going to accomplish. Maybe remove mud and see if it returns..?
Mine packs mud in weird spots too, behind lights, on top of driver side engine compartment and that's just from driving around the yard.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:57 PM   #12
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Look in the electrical relays. If it was submerged for any time they will show it.
I had a Toyota pickup that was underwater for 16 hours. After draining and replacing the fluids and chasing down a few bad connections and getting silt out of the relays. It ran great for years till I sold it. It may even still be running today.

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