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-   -   How to ford a puddle? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/how-to-ford-a-puddle-241948.html)

fredfunk 05-11-2013 12:09 PM

How to ford a puddle?
 
I just got a 2013 jk. traded in my old 4x4 cherokee and the wife let me step up to a wrangler... a real dream come true and i couldnt be happier.

I live in brevard county FL and i just bought a couple acres out near the st johns to go camping, shooting, etc... we've been out there a bunch over the last month or two and there are roads going right up to the property line, however, the last mile of the road that goes out to the property is unmaintained... and has some pretty deep holes in the ruts. This is no problem until the rainy season, and then it is less of a problem than an adventure IF you are prepared. Well, the rainy season came a bit early this year and last week when I went out there with a buddy after work we encountered less of a road than a series of lakes! He was in a hybrid Toyota Highlander, so I went first to blaze the trail. We made it out there just fine, although one particular puddle was pretty deep (almost up to my hood) and got a little water in the engine compartment to where steam was coming off the block! On the way back, I got a little scared on that same puddle and tried to go along the edge... Unfortunately there was a huge dip and i got stuck with my front passenger tire sunk down pretty deep (water about 8" above the door frame and pouring in). We pulled it out with a tow strap and the Highlander and now I have no pride, only thanksgiving for being rescued by a Hybrid!

So, I am excited to try again, but first I need to prepare my vehicle and my skills so that I don't need to get 'lucky' next time (I am glad I didn't mess anything up or get hydrolocked).

I am considering the AEV 2nd gen snorkel as well as some new tires. I will probably get take-offs so I don't loose too much performance on my daily driver, though i am currently running the stock 29"ers on the stock 16" rims. What else do I need to do to my vehicle in preparation? Is the snorkel a good idea? Also, what tips do you have for water crossing? go slow? go in and back in and back til you find a path not too deep? I think the reason i got stuck is because the vehicle was on a major incline and not all tires could fully engage earth... I should have put it in reverse as soon as i felt the front dip but i gunned it instead hoping not to get stuck.

Anyway, thanks for reading this long post and I look forward to and advice as well as perhaps some tutoring if there are any experienced jeepers in the area?!

Thanks,
Fred

scottmphoto 05-11-2013 01:07 PM

I would look into the Rugged Ridge low mount snorkel setup. I ran in on my 2010 and loved it.

fredfunk 05-11-2013 01:13 PM

looked at that one pretty hard... its already affordable and on sale right now too. Plus it doesn't involve cutting the hood of my new ride. I am a little wary of all the connections that need to be sealed though... I have read some bad reviews of it leaking as well.

scottmphoto 05-11-2013 01:23 PM

you will have to cut the fender but its minimal and pretty easy. As long as you follow instructions and seal everything up, shouldn't be a problem.

scottmphoto 05-11-2013 01:33 PM

So......we need pics next time you go out there.

First, always go slow. This will minimize the bow wave and also prevent you from slamming into a stump/rock/log/gator/whatever can be down there.

Second, Are we talking a Rubi? If so, you may want your rear locker to help you from getting stuck. Speaking of lockers, you may want to extend your breather lines too.

Third, in the next dry season, you may want to add some logs/large rocks to these lakes as fill to help from digging deeper holes and to also give you some slight elevation.

fredfunk 05-11-2013 01:37 PM

good advice on the fill... and that bow wave is what almost got me the first time!

Regarding the rear locker, I just have the wrangler sport and am not sure what the locker is. I have read about breather lines... do you suggest routing to the airbox once i get the snorkel on and seal it?

scottmphoto 05-11-2013 01:59 PM

I just know of others extending them up higher, no experience with routing into the airbox.

Where in Brevard are you? We used to live in Melbourne.

fredfunk 05-11-2013 02:23 PM

I live on Merritt Island, the property is out in canaveral groves off of satellite blvd

Rooster76 05-11-2013 03:07 PM

It's best to do water crossings at a slow constant pace. That creates a wave that helps keep water off the air intake (front, top, passenger side under the hood). Water in the air intake should be your main concern on quick water crossing. This is a good pace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDCf9iZN_Ls

Going fast and splashing has hydro locked some JKs in like 6" of water. Here is one example were splashing caused a jeep to hydrolock.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNhpOxVg4r4

I did a write-up about extending your breathers. For the $15 it cost i would consider it a must do mod for you. http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/ext...se-185089.html

brighton 05-11-2013 04:18 PM

^^Definitely extend the breather hoses. I used Rooser76's thread above to help me (thanks by the way!). I was in water today that was up almost to my headlights after all the rain last weekend.

I've extended breather hoses for both front and rear axles. Not sure yet if I'll do the transfer case. I have no real interest in getting a snorkel.

Watching the second video, that's just stupidity. Slow and steady. Invest in a good snatch strap and don't go alone. If you make it up to Jacksonville, we have a group that goes out at least once a month and it's almost always wet and muddy.

fredfunk 05-12-2013 12:27 PM

ok, so...

Technique:
1) don't go alone
2) slow and steady
3) scout the deep ones first (probe depth with a stick)

Technology:
1) bigger tires with better tread
2) snorkel to protect intake from hydrolock
3) extend breather lines to protect diffs/tranny
4) Snatch strap

Is that about it? I would really like to be able to go alone, but I suppose once I get the lay of the land and learn the ins and outs of each 'lake' that should be more feasible. Regarding tires... how much of a difference do they make? What is more important, diameter, width or tread? I'm assuming it is all about surface area... so all three would be best.

Can I get by with stock wheels (16"x7") and a larger tire? Are the 18" stock wheels that come with the sahara much better or should i go aftermarket? Take-offs? Remember, my main goal is not rocks/trails/etc, just good MPG on my daily driver and good traction in the mud.

fredfunk 05-12-2013 12:29 PM

Thanks for all the help, this is a great forum!

CG3 05-12-2013 01:46 PM

I would sure check your diff fluids since you went so deep, or you could end up with major problems in the not to distant future... and take the advise above - get the up higher (extended) before you do this again......

Rooster76 05-12-2013 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredfunk (Post 3747383)
ok, so...

Technique:
1) don't go alone
2) slow and steady
3) scout the deep ones first (probe depth with a stick)

Technology:
1) bigger tires with better tread
2) snorkel to protect intake from hydrolock
3) extend breather lines to protect diffs/tranny
4) Snatch strap

Is that about it? I would really like to be able to go alone, but I suppose once I get the lay of the land and learn the ins and outs of each 'lake' that should be more feasible. Regarding tires... how much of a difference do they make? What is more important, diameter, width or tread? I'm assuming it is all about surface area... so all three would be best.

Can I get by with stock wheels (16"x7") and a larger tire? Are the 18" stock wheels that come with the sahara much better or should i go aftermarket? Take-offs? Remember, my main goal is not rocks/trails/etc, just good MPG on my daily driver and good traction in the mud.

TIRES

The best tires for mud will be mt/r(mud terrain) ones. They have large knobs and space between them that helps clean the wheels when spinning. They are usually noiser, heavier, and have worse grip on rainy/snowy surfaces. Some are much better than others for on road handling. Lots of people like duratrac's for example. The have slits in the knobs called siping that help with slick stuff. I personally think the rubicon KM's are pretty good so far. You can usually find a set of cheap rubicon tires and wheels on Craigslist.

The larger the diameter of wheel is better for on road driving. That also makes the tires more expensive. The absolute smallest rim ( and not all work, especially steel ones) is 15". If personally would go 16" most likely. The smaller wheel tire combos while cheaper are harder to balance.

Another way to get more traction is to air down your tires. Most tires are aired to around 35 psi for road driving. To get the best traction they can be aired down to around 15psi. Too low and you can loose a bead.

With wheel width you have to also be mindful about back spacing. How far over the hub they go in. Often that makes the stock wheel not good. They make "spacers" to fix issues with wide tires, but I wouldn't use them.

Your best bet is to copy a wheel tire combo that someone else is already rocking with no issues.

A winch is a good idea if your stuck being alone.

Another topic to consider is adding LSD or lockers to the axles.

brighton 05-12-2013 08:02 PM

If you're with a buddy or a group, a snatch strap will be quicker and easier, but if you do go out alone, you should get a winch for self-recovery. I'd still advise going with someone though. You never know whether that mud hole or stream that you've been through before might have been dug out by someone else and it's different than you what you're used to, or there's a log lodged under water that you can't see. Even veteran Jeepers with 37" mud tires and lockers can and do get stuck on some of our rides.

Regarding tires, I had the stock 32" Rubi KM mud tires for about a year and they were ok. My 35" Goodyear MT/R tires are great for the conditions I'm used to with water and mud, even soft beach sand, and I can get through just about anything we encounter on our rides even without lockers. There's no reason you still can't enjoy going out on rides with stock tires. If they aren't mud tires, you will most likely get stuck more often. Nothing wrong with that, you just have to be prepared for it.

derfC 05-13-2013 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredfunk (Post 3744817)
... the property is out in canaveral groves off of satellite blvd

Oh man... you're in the swamp! :dance:

fredfunk 05-13-2013 09:08 PM

Thanks for all the help! Everything is running good as new but I will be checking all the fluids and underhood electrical connectors for signs of water this weekend. I'll probably also
squeeze a little dielectric grease in the connectors for future peace of mind. I ordered that rugged ridge snorkel from mike at jeephut (on sale for $290) and I'll take some pics of the install...

Still looking for a decent cheepish tire upgrade... are the stock 17" rubi wheels a worthwhile upgrade from my stock 16"s @ $120 for a set?

fredfunk 05-13-2013 09:13 PM

I've been reading that shifting (engaging the clutch) when submerged is a no-no as it can pull water into the tranny. Is this true? I definitely did that a few times so I will be checking the tranny fluid as well.

I ordered the FSM from Chrystler and I'm interested to see how their documentation has changed over the last decade (my cherokee was a 2000).

Rooster76 05-13-2013 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredfunk (Post 3752658)
I've been reading that shifting (engaging the clutch) when submerged is a no-no as it can pull water into the tranny. Is this true? I definitely did that a few times so I will be checking the tranny fluid as well.

I ordered the FSM from Chrystler and I'm interested to see how their documentation has changed over the last decade (my cherokee was a 2000).

It doesn't get in the gears, but can get between the clutch and flywheel. If crud gets in there you'll likely need to replace the clutch. I just posted about this on "the jeep forum". Here's a copy paste job.

THIS DOESN'T APPLY TO AUTO TRANSMISSIONS THAT ARE SEALED

SAFE DEPT TO SHIFT
If the water is deeper than the bottom of the tub you shouldn't shift. This would be the max dept.
http://www.jeep.co.za/12wrangler_unl...UX_SoftTop.jpg

MANUAL TRANSMISSION VENT
There is a vent on the top and bottom of the transmission. I have also read to not overly target it with a pressure washer. There is some grease in there that you don't want to wash out.

PICTURE OF THE BOTTOM VENT HOLE
The transmissions bottom vent looks like 2 holes with a line cut out between them. I'm not trying to insult anyone's intelligence, but I will try to describe its location just so there is no doubt about where it is. In the picture it is just slightly higher than the middle of the picture horizontally and centered vertically to the jeep . The vent is below the black rectangular oil pan. Its on the silver transmission that has rib looking reinforcements. The engine in this picture would be the top.This picture below shows a 2012. The 2007-2011's had a vent hole in the same place but it was slightly smaller.

http://image.4wheeloffroad.com/f/fea...riage_shot.jpg

ANOTHER VIEW
http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/...under_shot.jpg

REASONS FOR THE VENT
  • Heat created with shifting
  • Let Dust exit

STUCK SOLUTION
  • Start in 4-Low with no clutch
  • Friend with a snatch strap
  • Winch
  • While you cannot plug it you can put a skid plate over it that might help if you go through a bunch of mud.

NO CLUTCH STARTING (4-LOW)
So if you were to stall in something deeper than the bottom of your tub you would want to start without the clutch method of getting going again. You need to be in 4-Low (which you should be in anyways). With it stalled you should be able to put it into R without needing the clutch if you need to change direction. I'm guessing with a Rubicon you could start in 2nd or maybe 3rd that way because 1st would be way too low. So basically you cannot rock it which sucks and I think is the manuals biggest weakness

fredfunk 05-14-2013 07:11 AM

Rooster,
Thanks for the pics and detailed information! The clutch seems to be working fine so hopefully I'm out of the water!

I definitely got luck last time, but thanks to this forum I will be prepared next time. Thanks everyone.

Matador 05-14-2013 07:44 AM

Like everyone has already said, extend your breather hoses, maintain a constant steady speed and if you can be the 2 or 3rd guy in, it would be better ;) prepare to pucker up, especially when you see water coming over your hood.

[youtube]dOW-PwXVYNI[/youtube]

ilikeguns 05-14-2013 08:59 AM

I have the AEV 2nd gen snorkel and I'm very happy with it. Yes, you have to cut the hood but i liked how solid it is and it disappears when you are sitting in the driver's seat. Some of the other options look like they would obstruct your view.

As mentioned.. relocating your breathers is an easy and somewhat cheap mod. Also, hook up your recovery straps BEFORE you are underwater.. securing a D ring while hanging off your bumper isn't easy when you can't see what you are doing and your rig is filling up with water.

fredfunk 05-14-2013 09:38 AM

RULES OF WATER CROSSING:
THINGS TO AVOID:
NO WATER IN CLUTCH (NEVER engage clutch while submerged)
NO WATER IN EXHAUST (NEVER kill engine while submerged)
NO WATER IN BATTERY (NEVER go in over the hood!)
NO WATER IN DIFF/TRANNY (extend breather hoses if necessary)
NO WATER IN INTAKE (seal airbox, install snorkel if necessary)

THINGS TO DO:
Bring a second Jeep!
Hook up recovery straps BEFORE you get stuck
Check water depth FIRST
Engage 4-LOW
Lock diff (if available)
GO SLOW AND STEADY

ilikeguns 05-14-2013 09:50 AM

If you don't have a snorkel and your airbox is under water.. KILL THE ENGINE IMMEDIATELY! Water doesn't compress so if you suck water into your engine it will ruin your day.

fredfunk 05-14-2013 10:15 AM

Very good point! I should have know to never say never...

REVISED RULES OF WATER CROSSING:

THINGS TO AVOID:
NO WATER IN INTAKE (if airbox/snork gets submerged, kill engine immediately)
NO WATER IN EXHAUST (NEVER kill engine while submerged - except as above!)
NO WATER IN CLUTCH (NEVER engage clutch while submerged)
NO WATER IN BATTERY (NEVER go in over the hood!)
NO WATER IN DIFF/TRANNY (extend breather hoses if necessary)


THINGS TO DO:
Bring a second Jeep!
Hook up recovery straps BEFORE you get stuck
Check water depth FIRST
Engage 4-LOW
Lock diff (if available)
GO SLOW AND STEADY

jkjeeper06 05-14-2013 10:25 AM

Technically water in the exhaust isn't the worst thing that can happen. I wouldn't worry about that. It'll just make starting it a little harder but if you start it with your foot on the gas you'll blow all the water right out. Again, if you can help it don't kill it underwater, but if you do, you can still start it

fredfunk 05-14-2013 12:26 PM

That's good to know... I did turn mine off while submerged for about 5 mins with no ill effects. Is it possible for water to enter the engine through the exhaust? It doesn't seem likely to me but a couple of coworkers seemed to be overly concerned about the possibility.

ilikeguns 05-14-2013 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredfunk (Post 3754920)
That's good to know... I did turn mine off while submerged for about 5 mins with no ill effects. Is it possible for water to enter the engine through the exhaust? It doesn't seem likely to me but a couple of coworkers seemed to be overly concerned about the possibility.

It's not a sealed system (the exhaust needs to get out afterall) so theoretically it is possible

Blastek 05-14-2013 02:11 PM

never attempt to restart your engine if it sucks in water.

COStrider 05-14-2013 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brighton (Post 3745003)
^^Definitely extend the breather hoses. I used Rooser76's thread above to help me (thanks by the way!). I was in water today that was up almost to my headlights after all the rain last weekend.

I've extended breather hoses for both front and rear axles. Not sure yet if I'll do the transfer case. I have no real interest in getting a snorkel.

Watching the second video, that's just stupidity. Slow and steady. Invest in a good snatch strap and don't go alone. If you make it up to Jacksonville, we have a group that goes out at least once a month and it's almost always wet and muddy.

As for the video it's not stupidity. The old 4.0's were way tougher and the air intake was apparently placed more appropriately because I used to bounce mine off rev limiter over and over and over and over and over while shipping it across swamps in Minnesota (private property) and muddy water would shoot up 30' into the trees and coat them in the jeep artwork

No jeep should hydro lock in that little of water. What a crock to think it's plain stupid to drive your jeep like a jeep! Geesh!


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