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Old 01-06-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Possible "Hydrolock"

I have a 2000 Wrangler that I finally put to the test on the trails and water....after 30 minutes of my jeep crossing trails and creeks that I had never done before, and having the time of my life, I came across some water that ended up being deeper than I thought. The jeep died almost immediately. Like a nervous idiot, I tried to start the jeep to no avail.

Finally got towed out and got home and jeep with crank up, but won't turn over. Several mechanics have thrown out the word "hydrolock", but I don't think my front end was deep enough for my air filter to take in water (but since I'm no mechanic I don't know for sure). The Autozone guys seem to think a simple changing of the fluids and a tune up will be all I need....BUT

Worst case scenario - If I did get water into the air intake and did cause a "hydrolock", what am I looking at???? New engine? Major Overhaul?

Any advice would be appreciated.....THANK YOU!!!

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Old 01-06-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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OUCH! Could be real bad, first pull the spark plugs and see if you can turn it over. If not I bet you did hydrolock it.

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Old 01-06-2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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"hydrolock" is when the engine sucks in water instead of air, when it comes to the compression stroke the engine cant compress water so gives way at the weakest point as in this case the con rod.

as barrie says above pull the spark plugs out and crank it over, you will soon know if there is water in there as it comes out at a fair speed without the plugs in, if it does dry the plugs and all other electronics around it and try to start it, what you will probably find is you will need to compression test it to really see if a rod is bent, if its only one it will just run rough, if its all i dont think you will start it at all.

if there is no water in there you may have just got some electronics wet first that shut down the engine, i dont really have a lot to do with modern engines so will leave that part to someone else
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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What do you mean by: "...and jeep with crank up, but won't turn over"? Do you mean it cranks fine (i.e., the starter turns the engine over) but it won't start?
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:46 PM   #5
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If all your internals are indeed bent from watter getting in the motor and hydrolocking it then this would be a good time to look into a V8 swap if you have ever thought about doing that in the past.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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I think we have a serious case of "wet under hood stuff"..... Spray anything that looks like it has wires running to it with some WD-40 (the wd stands for Water Displacement....what this stuff was developed for). Anything you can pull the cap off of....do that.....spray liberally.......wait to dry a couple of hours/days......should start up......

A lot of people like to throw "hydrolock" around. Unless you were up to the Air filter or seriously splashed around in some deep water....not gonna happen.

I observed this happen to a Chevy Citation one day during a flood in Minnesota....drove through a puddle just a bit too fast......filled up the under hood area with water and sucked a cylinder full of water. Engine stopped IMMEDIATELY and would not crank thereafter. Pulled plugs.....VOILA...cranked.....but no start. WD-40 all over the place and a couple of hours later..... back online.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:54 PM   #7
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If the engine will turn over when you try to start it but it just won't start, it is not hydrolocked. Water just probably got into the wrong part of the engine like inside the distributor cap if your tj has one. 2000 is right about the time the jeep engine went to a distributorless design so yours may or may not have a distributor cap. Check to see if you have spark at the spark plugs while someone tries to start the engine.
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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If it won't crank, remove the plugs and try turning it by hand. Trying to use a starter with water filled cylinders can do lots of damage. The water itself in the cylinders doesn't bend anything, it's the trying to start it that does.

Even if water can't get in from the intake it can still get water in through the exhaust.

Sometimes sitting in water for awhile draws water up in the muffler since it's low - as the exhaust cools down it sucks the water in.

Then when you try to start it, it can't breathe out. It'll sound like it's trying to start, but won't.

Simply use a center punch to punch a small hole in each end of the muffler and cat, then let it sit for awhile. The water will drip out. After you get it running you can plug those small holes with a sheet metal screw. A punch is better than a drill since it leaves flared metal inside for the screw to grip on.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for all if the input. Have a friend coming over this weekend that's very familiar with jeeps. Stay tuned and wish me luck. What's sad is that this happened while having a great time with the jeep Offroad for the first time ever. Hopefully I'll be back in the trails soon!!! Thanks again for the input.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:33 PM   #10
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just open the air box see if the filter is wet.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #11
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If it was mine I would not wait any longer than absolutly nessesary to dry it out.

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