In the manual it says that the JKU can handle a max water crossing depth of 76cm (at slow speed, forget the listed speed exactly). Is this realistic? Any gotchas / advice for water crossings in a JKU with no mods (ie: no snorkel)
Yeah I went in over my front bumper last weekend. Had to take it with a little speed to get over the rocks on the others side. Sadly, I hit some bolder under the water and knocked my jeep out of gear and the wave came back and in (I had my driver's window down). Jeep seems fine but I'm still cleaning mud spray out of the interior. Def should have extended the breather hoses before hand. I hate shifting underwater.
I know of a few people who have hydrolocked vehicles, some from a bit of stupidity, others were careful when taller, better equipped vehicles threw a bow wave across their intakes. We have youtube videos of these antics. Most of the times people make it, but in some we open up the intakes to look for water in the plenum, pull plugs, cross our fingers, etc.
Even if you stay within seemingly safe bounds, realize that sitting in water and submerging your axle tubes, having a loose vent tube from articulation, muddy water in electronics -all this can have longer term consequences.
Have fun but limit your exposure.
'14 Anvil JKUR (sold the '12 at 52K miles)
'13 unlimited stripped sport (red one)
'13 JKU sport (blue one)
'10 Unlimited sport (other red one)
'08 Unlimited X (green one)
Did you mean to say start without using the clutch?
Nope. Of course you can do that as well, but you also don't need the clutch either. Whether that's some kind of side benefit or not I don't know, but I've done it and it works just fine. Slipped from 1st to neutral to 2nd like I had the clutch in.
2012 JKU Sport S in BFG:
Max Tow, LSD, M/T, Connectivity, Infinity, Hard Top, Step Rails