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Old 02-04-2011, 01:12 AM
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leostevo leostevo is offline
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Join Date: Jan 27, 2009
Location: Okaloosa County, FL
Posts: 322
Cool I had to pour water out of my air cleaner housing

So, since I fixed my GW last weekend I have been offroading like never before. After we had some huge storms I figured the trails would be ripe. Loaded up the family and headed out.

When choosing the route I chose to start in an area where I knew there would be 2 big mud puddles. (but in this text, they will be referred to as lakes, to better described their flooded state) They never presented a problem before and it would prevent backtracking across the same trails. I head in and the kids are loving it. I approached the 2 lakes and I saw smaller tire tracks on both sides of the puddle so I assumed that was the easiest route. (hey, a 8" wide street tire made it) I am in and out without a problem. Then I approach the second lake and it is too long to see the other side. I could tell that they entered on the right side, but then I couldn't see if they stayed right or crossed in the middle. I chose to stay right. THAT WAS A BAD IDEA.

I made it through, probably because I was in 4low and launched into that sucker like a seadoo. I coasted out of the lake and listened as my motor stumbled into silence and I watched the wave that I created glide silently beneath my truck.

The key point in my head was that the truck stumbled for a few rotations before it died. I got out and checked under the hood to determine the level of water intrusion. First thing I had to do was take the water-logged hood insulation out because it had abandoned it's relationship with the hood. This is the part where I had to pull the air cleaner off and pour the water out. I grabbed the air filter and slung water out of it as well. The air filter was also intact without any holes in it and the edges were still dry when I removed it. Water was on top of my intake manifold, pooling under the carb.

Now everyone knows that water in the engine can lead to bent rods, holey pistons and ruined valves. So I went ahead and assumed there was water in the motor because the air cleaner was holding water, the air filter was soaked and the motor died. But, it did continue to stumble through a few revolutions before it died.

(ofcourse I didn't have all my tools, because I'm an idiot We also aren't going to examine the idea of careening into a lake with an unknown depth)

I pulled the power to my HEI and cranked the motor. My assumption was that if one of the cyclinders was full of water, then it wouldn't compress and the starter isn't strong enough to cause significant damage. It cranked slowly. I continued to crank it until I was reasonably sure that any significant amount of water had been expelled into the exhaust. I reattached the power to the HEI and gave it a shot. No-Go.

I did have a small roadside kit and a voltage meter. I checked the power wire to the HEI, it's good. I pulled the HEI top to see if the coil was sitting in water, it's dry. I checked the newly installed fuel pump, it's running with no signs of leaks. I stuck a screwdriver in the plug wire to check for spark, strong spark. I even pulled the top off the carb to make sure fuel was getting to the bowls, both good. What's the deal? I left the air cleaner open, just so things might dry out a little. I didn't have a socket to pull the plugs.

I called my wife's grandfather to come get the wife and kids. (I hated that mental defeat) Although much sooner than that, I did call a 4wheeling buddy who was already on his way.

By the time grandpa arrived, my battery was dead and we had walked about a mile toward the less difficult terrain for the pickup. The family was all loaded up and my super supportive wife chose not to abandon me or Daddy Wagon. (and there weren't enough seats in grandpa's explorer)

We waited for my buddy, Ryan. When Ryan arrived, we decided to hook up some jumper cables and give it a try. Several attempts to start it and no luck. I had gotten my strap out and was about to crawl under to hook it up when Ryan says, "Just give it one more shot." It cranks up and fires off. It didn't stay running but this is a good sign. Another 2 minutes and crank it again. It starts and runs like it should. I put the never-used strap back in it's case and mount up for the journey home.

We cruised home like nothing ever happened.

Of course, now I will be changing the oil and pulling all the plugs to examine the cylinders. Wish I had a compression tester.

The important thing is, Daddy Wagon got us home under it's own power.

-Steve

PS Holy crap that was long. Sorry for the length, I have been wordy lately.
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1990 Grand Wagoneer "Daddy Wagon"

AMC360/TF727/NP229

Edelbrock Performer Intake, Headers, Cam, 1406 Carb, Mallory HEI. No smog. Rusty's 4" all springs. '89 GW wheels, custom painted and wrapped in Maxxis Big Horn 31x10.50, dual 2.25" exhaust outside the frame rails.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2011, 01:30 AM
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asphaltrockdweller asphaltrockdweller is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 1,193
Sweet!

Glad you made it home OK.

I know all to well about water intrusion.
I will post up in the off topic soon.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:42 AM
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jaber jaber is offline
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Join Date: Oct 17, 2003
Location: Chino Valley, Arizona
Posts: 8,094
My first J-10 would do that durring the monsoons. I had to cross a major wash to work and if it rained, it would get under the dizzy cap and wreak havoc.
In most cases, they will get me home. once in a while, they need s stretcher...
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:44 AM
FSJ Guy FSJ Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 20, 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 10,061
You probably just needed to turn it over enough to get the water out. The trip home probably vaporized any remaining water.

Changing the oil will be good PM. Check your transmission, diff and t-case fluids, too.

Your 727 has a silly vent hole behind the torque converter. WAY below your water line!
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:52 AM
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flatbackdragon flatbackdragon is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Aug 22, 2003
Location: New River, AZ
Posts: 1,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by leostevo

I pulled the power to my HEI and cranked the motor. My assumption was that if one of the cyclinders was full of water, then it wouldn't compress and the starter isn't strong enough to cause significant damage. It cranked slowly. I continued to crank it until I was reasonably sure that any significant amount of water had been expelled into the exhaust.
I didn't have a socket to pull the plugs.

FIRST things first. Disabling the HEI does nothing to help the IMMEDIATE problem of possible water in cylinders. What ever is in the cylinder (air, gas, water), the compression stroke WILL try to compress whatever is in there even if there isn't any chance of spark.
You MUST relieve the possibility of compression by taking the spark plug(s) OUT. That way you get some/most of the water out of the cylinder.
You must remember that the valves are closed during compression stroke so no water is going to go into exhaust until that cylinder has finished its compression stroke. Something has to give, most likely the pistion rod first. Been there, done that going through creek. Took out two rods, engine would not crank at all due to how badly the rods were bent.

Since yours still turned over and fianlly started, you probably didn't get enough water in engine to do much/if any damage. There is the possibility that one or more rods did get bent attempting to compress what water was in any cylinder but didn't damage them enough to keep engine from actually working. Would be a good idea to tear down the engine to check but is a major pain, even if you could pull the heads, drop oil pan, drop the crank and pull the pistons out without actually pulling motor out (did that on an 86 Bronco II). You are almost better off pulling the whole motor, in the instance with the Bronco, I knew one or two were hammered, after dropping oil pan I could see only two were bent so replaced those. Still, it was a inframe teardown.

But apparently you got lucky, drive it until it quits.

PS: Holy crap that was long!

PPS: next time (and there will be a next time), pull the plugs first before attempting to crank engine.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2011, 07:54 PM
leostevo's Avatar
leostevo leostevo is offline
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Join Date: Jan 27, 2009
Location: Okaloosa County, FL
Posts: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatbackdragon
Disabling the HEI does nothing to help the IMMEDIATE problem of possible water in cylinders. What ever is in the cylinder (air, gas, water), the compression stroke WILL try to compress whatever is in there even if there isn't any chance of spark.

I didn't have the spark plug socket or wrench, otherwise I would have pulled all the plugs and cranked it to evacuate the cylinders. I was banking on the notion that the starter would stall before it did significant damage to the motor. My rational with removing the spark was to ensure that a clean cylinder didn't fire and exert too much force on a cylinder that had water in it. Also, because it continued to run, even for a short while, after it was removed from the water, I suspected that there was just enough water to keep it from firing. I know I gambled and it appears that I came out on top.

Of course I will post if I find evidence of damage.

The crazy thing is this: I just bought the proper air hoses to connect to the radiator support and the water wasn't actually deep enough to submerge the carb or the holes in the radiator support. I think that when I took off into the "lake," it splashed a steady stream of water up to the inlets on the air cleaner. I will be installing the air intake hoses now.

I will also be assembling a offroad tool kit which will include a spark plug socket and full set of wrenches. I know, I know; I should have done it a long time ago.

-Steve
__________________
1990 Grand Wagoneer "Daddy Wagon"

AMC360/TF727/NP229

Edelbrock Performer Intake, Headers, Cam, 1406 Carb, Mallory HEI. No smog. Rusty's 4" all springs. '89 GW wheels, custom painted and wrapped in Maxxis Big Horn 31x10.50, dual 2.25" exhaust outside the frame rails.
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