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Old 07-18-2019, 07:02 AM
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Attacked by lightning

anyone ever have their Jeep struck by lightning? Unfortunately last night my Jeep took a hit and now it won’t turn on. I ran it perfectly fine hours prior to the storm. There’s a hole in the street right under my engine and pieces of asphalt inside my engine. Anything I should know, look for, or do? I’ve never heard of this happening to a vehicle. I figured it’s grounded because of the tires. Could someone be electrocuted while driving in their Jeep?

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Old 07-18-2019, 07:42 AM   #2
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I'll save the long engineering dialog, but basically call your insurance use the check to get a new jeep.

And no, getting electrocuted should not happen. Not because you are grounded (you ain't) but because of the vehicle acts as a cage and the shock goes around you. Now maybe if you were topless and your head was the highest point, but then you'd have a better chance at back to back Megabucks wins.

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Old 07-18-2019, 10:34 AM
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Why would I have to get a new Jeep? It’s not like there’s NO power. Battery still turns on, it sounds like it wants to crank over but won’t, and I JUST replaced the PCM 3 weeks ago bought from advanced auto. Could it be the computer again? I’m going to check the fuses today.
But please maybe explain why YOU think to total my Jeep? Doesn’t make much sense to me cause I doubt I’ll get that much for my Jeep.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:26 PM   #4
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Act of nature, your insurance should cover. That being said, so you replace the PCM, then what, you find out that the lightning bolt superheated the block and it cracked water jacket?

Before you start tossing parts, talk to your adjuster, talk to your trusted mechanic. You could be looking at just the PCM, or every single electronic part and block.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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This thread definitely calls out for pictures...
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:43 PM   #6
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Pics or it didn't happen
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:54 AM
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Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:57 AM
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Thank you patofnaud for your input. I’m gonna let the insurance figure this out too. I just replaced the ECU or PCM, whatever, maybe 2-3 weeks ago. So I’m really hoping it’s not that, AGAIN.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:48 AM   #9
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Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
Folks asking for pics are NOT stupid comments and 'pics or it didn't happen' is a very common phrase.... nobody insulted you and there is no need for you to lash out....

You described something that they thought they'd like to see.....

Btw, to see asphault inside your engine would require taking it apart and/ or using a bore scope .... I assume that you mean your engine COMPARTMENT.....
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:55 AM   #10
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Isn't a picture worth a thousand words?
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kokomo63 View Post
Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
Its a joke internet tough guy and its ellwood city pa thank you very much and it sounds like all your electric components are fried at least it happened to a nice guy like you
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kokomo63 View Post
Lol what would you want pictures of?!?! Smh! Only pictures I have is the street around my Jeep and under have a bunch of holes and chunks in it now and a bunch of asphalt was up inside my engine.
It’s lightning buddy! Lol and I definitely don’t need to show you pics now to say it’s true. It’s what happened, period. That being said, thank to the ones that actually have advice instead of stupid remarks from the peanut gallery out in elk wood, pa.
Folks asking for pics are NOT stupid comments and 'pics or it didn't happen' is a very common phrase.... nobody insulted you and there is no need for you to lash out....

You described something that they thought they'd like to see.....

Btw, to see asphault inside your engine would require taking it apart and/ or using a bore scope .... I assume that you mean your engine COMPARTMENT.....
well said
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:16 AM   #13
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@Kokomo63 dude the internals of your electric system (based on your account) could be really screwed up and cooked to a crisp. As you start to fix one area it becomes a popcorn trail of issues. Insurance will probably want to fix it... cheaper and then you have electrical gremlins for the life of ownership. A bolt to make a hole and have asphalt shrapnel in your engine --- i d fight tooth and nail to get a check from insurance. Totally odd SITU but I guess anything is possible- though kind of surprised nothing caught on fire from what you say, as an asphalt hole is pretty insane.

That being said, got a pic? good luck.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:18 AM   #14
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Well, Mr. KoKo, I can tell you this if it helps to convince you any. I spent my entire career working on and repairing vehicles for a living. Lightning struck vehicles are a very rare thing indeed. I personally was responsible for checking out and attempting repair for only three cars over the course of 30 plus years. ALL 3 were totaled. I guarantee your new PCM is fried, along with your radio, alternator, everything that's electronic is toast. You likely will find that at least one of your tires is ruined as well as the associated wheel bearings and who knows what else. That's the thing, you don't know and you keep putting parts on trying to repair it and it goes on and on and on. It's totaled.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:26 PM   #15
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Thank you Kangler, that's what I was implying in my initial response.

To the base post, any large metallic thing in the path of a lightning bolt 99.9 times out of 100 will pass AROUND said object on its way to the ground causing 0 damage. Like a Faraday cage. (ref: https://science.howstuffworks.com/faraday-cage.htm )

This is why you do not get electrocuted in a plane flying through a storm, and why a car is a good place to be in a storm.

But if for some reason the bolt passes THROUGH an object, things melt, things superheat and explode (like water does in trees).

If in fact your bolt when THROUGH your vehicle, instead of AROUND like 99.9% of the time, then anything along its path has been compromised. And that could be obvious stuff like ECM/PCM/Radio,,, but could also be things like bearings that superheated, or wiring harnesses that melted enough to work today, but not tomorrow.

If your insurance says, sorry we don't cover lightning, you still want to get a friendly mechanic you can trust to start looking at it. You may be able to save it, but you want to get a feel for how deep a hole you will have to dig to get it back to life.

What you do not want to do is, pay $500 for an PCM,,, oops that didn't fix it, sorry no returns on electronic parts,,,, here try a new coil,, opps sorry that didn't fix it,,, oh we got it running but there is a weird squeal from rod #4 that sounds like the bearing is shot,,,,,, see where I am going? Have some due diligence put into the assessment and assume you are taking a rebuild/PCM and then decide if you want to keep going.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:04 AM
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Thanks so much for all the helpful advice! My radio and lights still all work, it just won’t turn over. I can’t hear/feel the fuel pump turn on.
What I feel like I’ll be doing is purchasing another vehicle and working on this Jeep over time. It’s my first one and kinda want to keep it, sentimental value I guess you could say.
As far as you picture ppl that want to see it, I meant nothing by my response. I simply felt like I didn’t need to prove anything to anybody. Maybe toughen up a lil since I’m obviously a “tough guy” lol and not be so sensitive when some tells you no. But to quiet all the drama here’s your pictures of holes in the street and in my engine COMPARTMENT. Lol apologies for not being specific! Hahaha
Thanks for all the good advice and comments from the few that posted.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:21 AM   #17
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You should be able to work something out with your insurance company so that you can keep it. Just know what you are getting into.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:00 PM   #18
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A few months ago we had a guy killed by lightning while riding his motorcycle down I-95 just south of Daytona. Don't think you are safe if you are topless in your jeep with your hands or legs hanging out. On another note my neighbors boat was struck buy lightning last year. Very expensive Boston Whaler and the insurance company totaled it. Hope you had insurance.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:36 PM   #19
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I tend to agree with the advice to talk to your mechanic and insurance man. The lightning bolt could have gone over or thru your jeep in a number of ways. It could have followed a clear focused path thru various parts of the vehicle to ground, or it could have dispersed over the skin of the vehicle to ground. Not sure which happened here. But we are talking about mega voltage here and even relatively low voltage thru just one part of the electrical system could have essentially fried all electrical components. Vehicles are not built to absorb and shed a lightning strike like aircraft are. I have seen this happen before in a storm. The bolt dispersed over the skin of the vehicle and because the tires were wet it used them to go to ground. No one was hurt but the vehicle sustained severe electrical damage nonetheless. Take those other commenters advice and talk to your insurance man after talking to a good mechanic. You may be in for a long and expensive future here with electrical components that keep failing. Just consider yourself darn lucky to have walked away and go buy a lottery ticket soon.
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:42 PM   #20
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Heh heh heh - as an electrical and electronics professional, and a former soldier with knowledge of EMP, I know what I'd be doing. Unfortunately, it seems parts of the conversation became contentious. Rather that get involved, I wish you the greatest success, and I'll keep my thoughts to myself.

GOOD LUCK SIR.
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:06 PM   #21
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Ironically, if your YJ had been a '90 or earlier YJ it might have survived better. Had a friend who had lightning hit near his house and travel out to the street vial the water line. Unfortunately, his several year old Ford PU was parked over the water line.

It fried everything electronic in his PU. It was totaled. The repair estimate was several times the value of the PU. I had a lightning strike near the house two weeks ago and am still trying to get everything back up and going. It took out my DSL modem (replaced by phone co), one of my two DirecTv 4K mini-genies (replaced) and the control box to my 65" 4K TV (tech coming in a few days). It also took out one of the video inputs to my stereo amplifier in the office and the input it was connected to on the 43" TV it was connected to. The other two inputs work, so I am just using alternate inputs. Strangely, it did not take out the 4K mini genie that those two items were connected to.

It's usually not a direct strike that takes these items out, its the EMP pulse. A house much closer to the strike lost the submerged well pump.
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:40 PM   #22
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Electricity takes the path of least resistance. I wish I did too.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:24 AM   #23
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Heh heh heh - as an electrical and electronics professional, and a former soldier with knowledge of EMP, I know what I'd be doing. Unfortunately, it seems parts of the conversation became contentious. Rather that get involved, I wish you the greatest success, and I'll keep my thoughts to myself.

GOOD LUCK SIR.
This sounds like Mike from the yaesu group! Hope all is well with your big dogs there in the Deep Deep South. 72/73 from bob.c
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:28 AM   #24
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This sounds like Mike from the yaesu group! Hope all is well with your big dogs there in the Deep Deep South. 72/73 from bob.c
Good morning Bob.

Yeah - same/same. I feel sorry for the guy. But it is what it is. If he has a hole in the pavement under the vehicle and chunks of asphalt in the engine, it is pretty clear it was a direct hit. No telling what-all was damaged.

At work I have extensive experience in the subject. The system draws lightning strikes all the time. Have you ever heard of "Step Voltage"? This is why sub-stations are covered in gravel, and linemen are taught to shuffle their feet getting out of a sub-station that is blowing up. Step-voltage is what kills cows under trees in a strike zone. Everything needs to be grounded to everything else. There is actually a ground grid under a sub-station. Even so, step-voltage will take out equipment and pop breakers.

Getting it running again isn't the main problem. But at some point the insurance will want to close the files on it. The problem is the items that were not destroyed immediately, but were compromised or weakened to near failure, that will fail in the future. After the insurance calls it done. Seen that too many times.

I had an engineer tell me once that there was no problem that couldn't be fixed if you threw enough money at it. That's what I see here. It can be fixed good as new, if you throw enough money at it. But problems could show up later. Much later.

Overland trip to the Gila wilderness this weekend. I'll be V/UHF on the Silver City and Caballo/T or C repeaters, 146.460 and the Wilderness Protocols. Since you didn't post your call, not sure, but if you're in range give a call. Or hop in your JEEP and run out for a visit.

The Danes are happy, they just got breakfast. I'm checked in to the NM Breakfast Club on 80m, and I'll get my breakfast soon. Then a day of packing the JEEP and the little Expedition/RTT Trailer for the trip. Daughter KE5BHT will house-sit the Danes. Grandson KI5DYU and the dogs get on quite well. Son KC0WKY will be here shortly to help me load the tool/parts box, it is too heave for one to load. Wife N5NHC will supervise.

Mike-5. El Paso, TX.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:48 AM   #25
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Best of luck sir.......

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Thanks so much for all the helpful advice! My radio and lights still all work, it just won’t turn over. I can’t hear/feel the fuel pump turn on.

Thanks for all the good advice and comments from the few that posted.
Just a question sir. Have you considered the idea that the stroke may have passed through critical engine or drivetrain components and "Spot Welded" them together. It may never turn over without an overhaul. You may get the engine started only to learn that the transfer case, transmission or one of the axles is locked up. The aluminum engine block may have been compromised and the heat of running it cause a failure. I understand your "sentimental value" comment. I have a few items like that myself. In the end, you may end up putting it on blocks in the back yard and let the grandkids play JEEP.

Was it me, even if I got it running again I'd never trust it beyond where I could reasonably expect a tow truck to come get me.

I truly wish you the very best of luck. And please do update us from time to time. A portion of my present career path deals with the aftermath of lightning strikes, and I am continually amazed at what it does, and what it didn't do.

Mike-5 - El Paso, TX.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:58 AM   #26
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Good morning Bob.
Overland trip to the Gila wilderness this weekend. I'll be V/UHF on the Silver City and Caballo/T or C repeaters, 146.460 and the Wilderness Protocols. Since you didn't post your call, not sure, but if you're in range give a call. Or hop in your JEEP and run out for a visit.

The Danes are happy, they just got breakfast. I'm checked in to the NM Breakfast Club on 80m, and I'll get my breakfast soon. Then a day of packing the JEEP and the little Expedition/RTT Trailer for the trip. Daughter KE5BHT will house-sit the Danes. Grandson KI5DYU and the dogs get on quite well. Son KC0WKY will be here shortly to help me load the tool/parts box, it is too heave for one to load. Wife N5NHC will supervise.

Mike-5. El Paso, TX.
All I understood was "Good morning Bob, Im going out in the jeep, with a rooftop tent. I have a family and dogs and stuff is heavy"
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:37 PM   #27
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Here's some pictures...

We had a strike this week and I took these photo's yesterday. This shows the energy that may have passed through your jeep. That trench was not dug in the picture. It was blown out by a lightning strike. If you zoom in what looks like roots in the trench is actually PVC conduit shredded by the strike. No place like a sand dune in Central FL for a good strike. I can't imagine what this could do to an engine block, seals, etc if they were heated to such extreme temps.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:14 AM   #28
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:15 PM   #29
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Good morning Bob.

Yeah - same/same. I feel sorry for the guy. But it is what it is. If he has a hole in the pavement under the vehicle and chunks of asphalt in the engine, it is pretty clear it was a direct hit. No telling what-all was damaged.

At work I have extensive experience in the subject. The system draws lightning strikes all the time. Have you ever heard of "Step Voltage"? This is why sub-stations are covered in gravel, and linemen are taught to shuffle their feet getting out of a sub-station that is blowing up. Step-voltage is what kills cows under trees in a strike zone. Everything needs to be grounded to everything else. There is actually a ground grid under a sub-station. Even so, step-voltage will take out equipment and pop breakers.

Getting it running again isn't the main problem. But at some point the insurance will want to close the files on it. The problem is the items that were not destroyed immediately, but were compromised or weakened to near failure, that will fail in the future. After the insurance calls it done. Seen that too many times.

I had an engineer tell me once that there was no problem that couldn't be fixed if you threw enough money at it. That's what I see here. It can be fixed good as new, if you throw enough money at it. But problems could show up later. Much later.

Overland trip to the Gila wilderness this weekend. I'll be V/UHF on the Silver City and Caballo/T or C repeaters, 146.460 and the Wilderness Protocols. Since you didn't post your call, not sure, but if you're in range give a call. Or hop in your JEEP and run out for a visit.

The Danes are happy, they just got breakfast. I'm checked in to the NM Breakfast Club on 80m, and I'll get my breakfast soon. Then a day of packing the JEEP and the little Expedition/RTT Trailer for the trip. Daughter KE5BHT will house-sit the Danes. Grandson KI5DYU and the dogs get on quite well. Son KC0WKY will be here shortly to help me load the tool/parts box, it is too heave for one to load. Wife N5NHC will supervise.

Mike-5. El Paso, TX.
Hey Mike, k1qed here, up in Mass. We hardly get electrical storms like that here, and I'd be safe enough in my YJ with the hard top. But I would fear for the pulse or induced charge that would run thru everything, including my vhf radio. When I was a kid we had a nearby lightning strike that blew out the tv which was unplugged and disconnected from the antenna, but which didn't bother the '58 Ford station wagon in the driveway - 3 tons of steel!
Your expedition sounds made just for your Radio-active Jeep. I'll be listening to vhf this weekend but my YJ can't get to Texas in time! Your trip shows the perfect way to combine hobbies and how they build on each other. Have a super time, 72/73 to all! bob.c

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