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Hi Folks,
I'm a first time Jeep owner, I have been looking for a Rubicon for a while now, they are rare here (New Zealand) and sell the instant they appear.
I was finally quick enough to buy one (a 2007 JK), and got it dirt cheap as an insurance write off. It was parked up in a flood, water in the area got up to around waist height, then quickly receded.
I had a friend look at it for me (I've not seen it yet) and he was unable to determine how high the water got, the Jeep starts and runs/drives fine though.
There is some surface rust in the seat springs, so i guess it was at least seat height.
My questions are:
- What areas are prone to rust?
- Any electrics/relays etc I should be worried about?
- Would it be wise to change any/all fluids?
- Any points I should be lubing/greasing?
- Else....

Thanks in advance :)
 

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These are the things I would check/do:

1.Flush all your fluids: Motor oil,Trans Fluid, Gear Oil, Coolant
some may take multiple fills and flushes to clean them out, I would use a cheap fluid at first until clear and then use quality fluids on final fill.

2. Pull all carpets and check for rust on floorboards and or mold from moisture.
other rust points may be water trapped in the rocker panel.

3.Just incase check all joints, Control arms, Tie Rod, Drag link, Track bars to see if they have seized

4. I would check the fuse box and see if any fuses are fried, but I'm no electrical expert so I cant help you much there. Evap may be another concern not too sure of the waterproofness there.


Also welcome to the forum :wavey:
 

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There's only one thing I'd need to do with regards to one that's been flooded...look for another one. Too many electronic items in today's vehicles and you'll have nothing but gremlins from here on.
 

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I've seen allot of cars written off over flood damage & my advice is to walk away... they all develop problems.

Sorry, it's not what you want to hear, but for me it wouldn't be worth the risk.
 

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I am gonna disagree with the masses on this one. Most of the electronics sit up high on the Wrangler and as a result, they are PRETTY safe (not perfect).
If it were my Jeep, here is what I would do:
1: As others have stated, drain all fluids. This applies for deep water crossings as well as floods. Your oil should be changed regardless of flood damage.

2: Yes, pull the carpet. Not so much for rust but, for mold. Personally, I threw mine away.

3: People forget this but, remove your jack and tools and set them aside. Look for rust on the tools and mold in the little bag that the stuff comes in.

4: Check for waterlines. Pull out your glovebox (it is really easy) and take a peek behind it. If it is super clean, keep looking up for a waterline. If it is all nasty and dirty, you are probably in luck as water did not clean it.
 

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Aside from what was already mentioned these things come to mind: The question is are you able to do repairs? Electrical systems and floods don't mix well, problems can rear their ugly heads at a later date. If you have to pay for electrical repair work it can add up fast. Automatic transmissions don't take well to water either, they can be damaged to the point where a rebuild will be necessary. The clutch materials used in automatic transmissions are very sensitive to water, even a little can cause major damage to them. Fluid changes won't fix that. OTOH a manual transmission will probably only need a fluid change. Not knowing how deep the water was is the wildcard here.

Change all fluids, clean and check for rust, lube what can be lubed and hope for the best. You might have really scored! Good luck.
 

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I would say just do the things the others have said and forget about it. You got a good deal on it so you can take the hit of some repairs down the line.

On another forum I frequent, there was a person that picked up a new flooded fully loaded Ram Diesel pick up for 20k. He video'd a bunch of things throughout the process. In the end he picked up a really nice truck for about 30k+ USD off market price.

And just think, if you have engine trouble you can do a LS swap and still be less $$ than most of us! Just start saving and drive it like you stole it!
 

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Maintenance after Water-crossings

After encountering a water crossing you want to be sure to inspect specific things that could be affected by the water. Any time you encounter a water crossing that is axle depth or deeper, check the differential oil for water contamination. Even if you have an extended differential breathers, this is not a guarantee that water has not entered the differential. If you do not have differential breathers this should mean a mandatory inspection. Even though the best time to check the differentials for water is right after the crossing, most of the time, people will not check it right there and will continue wheeling the rest of the day. However checking the differential fluid is relatively easy to do. Since water is heavier than your gear oil oil, it will collect at the lowest point in the differential, at the drain plug. To properly inspect it after a crossing allowing time for your axles vehicle to cool a bit, then loosen the drain bolt and run a small amount of the gear oil into a glass or cup. You'll see water if it's present. Also a milky or chocolate milk colored oil indicates water is present. If you're unlucky enough to have water present in your gear oil, the differential oil should be drained and replaced. Driving your vehicle for any distance with water mixed with the gear oil can damage your ring and pinion. If you had taken on water in the differential and have to drive out, allow the axle to cool for a while and attempt to drain as much water as possibly without draining any larger quantity of gear oil. Collect this oil and water mixture in a container and save it until you get home, then dispose of it properly. Never dispose of oil into the environment.

Aside from the axle differentials your gearbox, transfer case and engine oil can all become contaminated by water. These however usually only take on water when a vehicle is stationary in deeper water. Also check other electrical items such as your electric winch. Winches typically are not used for extended periods of time but when they are needed, they may have been damaged or may have seized due to the water exposure. Periodic maintenance and testing should be part of your routine anyway. After a water crossing give the winch a quick test of it's operation.
 

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There's only one thing I'd need to do with regards to one that's been flooded...look for another one. Too many electronic items in today's vehicles and you'll have nothing but gremlins from here on.
that is kind of doom & gloomy...
so exactly how is a flood that was "waist high" worse than your average deep water crossing that jeeps do all the time?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback.

The re-certifier has come back with seatbelts only needing replacing, as they had water sitting in the bottom covers. They are wired in so expensive (about 3.5k NZD installed) but I am very happy with this result.

Apparently an inquiry to the manufacturer came back that the electrical systems are designed to be water resistant.

I'll follow the advice above, especially changing fluids, and all said and done I'm in for about 15k (NZD) for what will be a 30k vehicle!

Very happy :)

Now to choose a lift......
 

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If it wasn't damaged, it wouldn't be an insurance write-off...
Hi Willy,

In NZ we had a problem with Auzzie imports after the floods over there, so the law has been tightened regarding flooded vehicles; electrical systems must now be replaced, or a suitably qualified person must make an application for a deviation, which is the process I am going through.

So essentially, the insurance assessor popped his head in the window, saw water, and wrote if off..... but ofc it is a JEEP! And Jeeps don't mind a bit of water, apparently ;-)
 

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There were allot of US cars imported here following hurricane Katrina... They got around a technicality in the import laws, weren't sold as insurance write-offs, but cost allot of people a lot of money...so much so that there have been warnings against purchasing US cars.
 

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Just remember; non of this is true and you did not really buy a jeep unless you post pictures for us to see. :)
 

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Seems strange to import U.S. cars as the steering is on the wrong side (for you guys). I would think they would have gone to countries that have the steering on the left.

As to the electronics, generally as long as the water did not get into the dash, you should be ok. I know that some have had erratic electronics for a few days after rain leaks into the dash, and of course there is always the dreaded clockspring in the steering wheel. But they show up rather quickly.

As for the insurance adjuster, yes, he probably did stick his head in the window and saw water and think about all the electronics under the seat and low in cars. But then we know the Jeep is not a car. But the difference is lost on non Jeepers.

$3,700 NZD ($2,500 USD) seems like an awful lot to change over the seat belts. As for the electronics in the belts, I think the electronic part is in the dash with only a switch in the buckle and pressure switch in the seat. I would have tested them first to see if the signals work. Of course you may have had to replace them to get it certified. But, what is done is done, and enjoy your Jeep.
 

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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback.

The re-certifier has come back with seatbelts only needing replacing, as they had water sitting in the bottom covers. They are wired in so expensive (about 3.5k NZD installed) but I am very happy with this result.

Apparently an inquiry to the manufacturer came back that the electrical systems are designed to be water resistant.

I'll follow the advice above, especially changing fluids, and all said and done I'm in for about 15k (NZD) for what will be a 30k vehicle!

Very happy :)

Now to choose a lift......
Water only as high as the bottom of the seatbelts? In Florida, we call that "Tuesday".
Congratulations on your Jeep.
 

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The re-certifier has come back with seatbelts only needing replacing, as they had water sitting in the bottom covers. They are wired in so expensive (about 3.5k NZD installed) but I am very happy with this result.
seems like a lot...
it is like 1 switch and one bolt...I have a hard time believing the 3.5K NZD I would think it should be under 200NZD...
and even then, it probably docent even need to be replaced... squirt some wd-40 down there it will be fine...
 

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Seems strange to import U.S. cars as the steering is on the wrong side (for you guys). I would think they would have gone to countries that have the steering on the left.
Dubai... We drive on the same side of the road as you guys... There's a healthy trade in US raptors and tundras... Stuff that's useful here but not sold from the main dealers... But for everything else it's not worth it... Gulf spec cars have higher rated filters a/c etc which is important when selling the car on...
 

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Dubai... We drive on the same side of the road as you guys... There's a healthy trade in US raptors and tundras... Stuff that's useful here but not sold from the main dealers... But for everything else it's not worth it... Gulf spec cars have higher rated filters a/c etc which is important when selling the car on...
Sorry, I saw the Ireland and was thinking that would be where they were sold.
 
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