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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:12 PM   #1
Dirty Backroads
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Water crossings: How deep is too deep?

I've done some water crossings with my TJ while wheeling. I've read quite a bit here about if you do a "deep water crossing" it's necessary to check and perhaps change your tranny, diff and TC fluids. The video that came with my Jeep says not to go up past the hubs, which I think is rather unrealistic considering how Jeeps are supposed to be used.

Unfortunately when you are wheeling with a group of people it sometimes can't be helped where you go. I've wheeled at Paragon and there's plenty of water to be found and more than once we cross a stream or go through a deep mud pulddle.

I know the water has gone at least halfway up the wheels and to the frame and my rocker rails. Once it got to the very bottom of the doors. However I've never gotten stuck and I've always kept moving so I assumed it was good to go, but after reading some threads here about the dangers of water crossings I'm a bit more concerned.

The first pic is a typical crossing that I've done several times.

The second pic was from last weekend. I haven't driven the Jeep since I got home. Is a fluid change definitely in order? I want to at least check. Are these crossings something I want to avoid altogether? I hate the idea of having to change my fluids everytime after I go wheeling. I go about twice a month and that would get tiresome. I can't believe that all these people who are out wheeling and mudding their Jeeps every weekend are changing the fluids every time.

What say you?

Here's an example of some recent crossings:





This one isn't of me but I went in the same way right afterward so it gives an idea as well..Unfortunately he had to be pulled out because he got stuck.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper111
Nothing like going topless with some Kid Rock blasting looking down on the rice boys with their dropped Civics wondering what Japanese steel would look like under the Mickey Thompsons.

Last edited by Dirty Backroads; 11-25-2005 at 11:35 PM..
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:17 PM   #2
big blue TJ
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I wouldnt worry about it up to the bottom fo the door isnt too deep esp if your not stopping or anything
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:25 PM   #3
U.S.MarineLJ
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I would say when you go past the hubs a fluid change check might be in order. Some people on the forum have no problems when going this deep, others may. As everyone knows every Jeep is different. When you change your diff fluid this time and you see that it is or is not contaminated with water then you will know your potential limitations. Thats not to say that if you change your diff fluid this time and find it to be free of water that it will be the next time. Anything can happen, but like I siad this will give you a good indicator.

John.
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:40 PM   #4
TJ on the Rocks
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Dirty Backroads , were you in the BMJA fall 101?

Here's a pic of me at the creek crossing at PAP at the 101 on Oct 9th . 4" lift on 33"s
paragon-100905.jpg  
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:41 PM   #5
Dirty Backroads
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U.S.MarineLJ
I would say when you go past the hubs a fluid change check might be in order. Some people on the forum have no problems when going this deep, others may. As everyone knows every Jeep is different. When you change your diff fluid this time and you see that it is or is not contaminated with water then you will know your potential limitations. Thats not to say that if you change your diff fluid this time and find it to be free of water that it will be the next time. Anything can happen, but like I siad this will give you a good indicator.

John.

I have been wondering what is "too deep"? Seems it varies. I'm thinking that in any case, I'll be more careful in the future.

My plan is to change the fluids regardless. If I don't I'll be lying awake wondering if everything's OK and if something does happen I'll be kicking myself hard. I'll be interested to see in any case. At the very least I'll be learning a lot about my Jeep. I just wish it wasn't 30 degrees outside! Trying to think of a way to heat my garage...

Is the TC fluid at risk too? Should it be changed?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper111
Nothing like going topless with some Kid Rock blasting looking down on the rice boys with their dropped Civics wondering what Japanese steel would look like under the Mickey Thompsons.

Last edited by Dirty Backroads; 11-25-2005 at 11:53 PM..
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:44 PM   #6
U.S.MarineLJ
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Damn that stuff looks fun, there aren't a whole lot of water crossings around these parts, at least from what I have found. So Cal.
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:45 PM   #7
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I would thik the transfer case would be pretty safe as far as water contamination is concerned, I could be wrong though?
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:45 PM   #8
Dirty Backroads
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ on the Rocks
Dirty Backroads , were you in the BMJA fall 101?

Here's a pic of me at the creek crossing at PAP at the 101 on Oct 9th . 4" lift on 33"s
Yes, I was there. I guess with a 4" lift on 33s you stick up a lot higher than I do out of the water.

So you know the water crossings of which I speak. I can see that the water was at least halfway up your wheels so I guess it is pretty fairly deep afterall. What do you do regarding your trans/diff/TC fluids afterwards?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper111
Nothing like going topless with some Kid Rock blasting looking down on the rice boys with their dropped Civics wondering what Japanese steel would look like under the Mickey Thompsons.
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:49 PM   #9
TJ on the Rocks
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Yes the TC fluid is at risk too . In August when i split my case to do the SYE , the old lube looked like runny mud . A milky appearance . From driving thru high flooded streets after the Sept 04 heavy rains .
Although the internals of my diffs were very clean at their last change . The lube drained from them was free of water .

I've changed all my fluids since the 101 . I would say about one week after the ride . All lubes drained were clean . No water to be found or noticed . Yeah that crossing was a little deep , it was fun watching the stockers go thru it . Even the 2 Libs with us crossed it !

Too deep ? I guess that depends on what you're comfortable with . I've been thru water just over my factory fog lights . looking at my pic you can see that's getting up there

Last edited by TJ on the Rocks; 11-25-2005 at 11:59 PM..
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:51 PM   #10
Dirty Backroads
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U.S.MarineLJ
Damn that stuff looks fun, there aren't a whole lot of water crossings around these parts, at least from what I have found. So Cal.
Well, that could be blessing in disguise it seems! But you're right. It's fun! That's why I find it so hard to stay out of the water! But I've seen a lot people get into trouble in the wet stuff.

Aside from the water I pretty much stay out of deep mud. I like the rocks.

I haven't even ventured into the NJ Pine Barrens, which are supposed to be extremely watery, swampy, muddy, etc. I think I'm going to wait for a lift and better tires for that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper111
Nothing like going topless with some Kid Rock blasting looking down on the rice boys with their dropped Civics wondering what Japanese steel would look like under the Mickey Thompsons.
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Unread 11-25-2005, 11:55 PM   #11
TJ on the Rocks
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Mmmm .... the Pines ! I would love to venture there after my next lift
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Unread 11-26-2005, 12:01 AM   #12
Dirty Backroads
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ on the Rocks
I've changed all my fluids since the 101 . I would say about one week after the ride . All lubes drained were clean . No water to be found or noticed.
Well, that's a good sign! I'm definitely due for a check and change though. Since the 101 I've gone through that stream and more. The first weekend in November last weekend I had a run into the "Mud Playground." That's where the second pic was from.

Quote:
Yeah that crossing was a little deep , it was fun watching the stockers go thru it . Even the 2 Libs with us crossed it
Yeah, I'm one of those stockers! At least I didn't get stuck. Been lucky in that two times the guy in front of me did get stuck so I knew where not to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ
Too deep ? I guess that depends on what you're comfortable with . I've been thru water just over my factory fog lights . looking at my pic you can see that's getting up there
Actually I've been pretty comfortable taking my Jeep through the water. I haven't felt like I was "in over my head" or anything. I guess I'm just going to have to keep in mind that I'll need to check/change the fluids after I do it. I was pretty clueless until I started reading up on it. I don't want to get water into the engine itself. Fortunately there hasn't been a problem with that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper111
Nothing like going topless with some Kid Rock blasting looking down on the rice boys with their dropped Civics wondering what Japanese steel would look like under the Mickey Thompsons.
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Unread 11-26-2005, 12:02 AM   #13
Dirty Backroads
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ on the Rocks
Mmmm .... the Pines ! I would love to venture there after my next lift
Your next lift? Would that be 6" with 37s?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper111
Nothing like going topless with some Kid Rock blasting looking down on the rice boys with their dropped Civics wondering what Japanese steel would look like under the Mickey Thompsons.
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Unread 11-26-2005, 12:06 AM   #14
TJ on the Rocks
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Your next lift? Would that be 6" with 37s?
VERY CLOSE !!

I have a RE 5.5 in my garage with 36" Swampers waiting for me to get the rest of my toys for the next teardown . Among many other goodies . Can't wait !
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Unread 11-26-2005, 12:08 AM   #15
Dirty Backroads
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From what I've heard, you'll need that for the Pine Barrens. Sounds sweet!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper111
Nothing like going topless with some Kid Rock blasting looking down on the rice boys with their dropped Civics wondering what Japanese steel would look like under the Mickey Thompsons.
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