Crossing deep water in your 4WD truck with its winch bumper is fun and exciting; however, what’s not so fun is the potential damage that can be done if you go too deep and your truck isn’t properly prepared or equipped.
Covering your air intake with a snorkel is hopefully an obvious step to take to protect your engine.
There are lots of other parts you’ll want to protect as well so you aren’t dealing with a waterlogged truck once you reach the other bank.
Protect the Electrical System
Water and automotive electrical components don’t go together at all; even a minor accidental exposure can result in your electrical system shorting out.
Even though some trucks come with waterproof plugs and connectors so they are less susceptible to water damage, you should take some extra precautions if you plan on intentionally driving into deep water.
Check to make sure all your plugs and connectors are in good shape, then cover any critical electrical components with plastic.
A water blind over the grille near the bumpers can minimize the amount of water that enters the engine compartment; just be sure to take it off once you’re out of the water.
Seal and Vent the Exhaust Pipe
The exhaust is another access point where water can back up into the vehicle and end up in the engine.
Rather than take that chance, seal your exhaust pipe with an exhaust fording kit which is the equivalent of a snorkel for your exhaust pipe.
These kits contain a seal to keep water out of your exhaust system and an exhaust vent that attaches to the back of your truck to let the exhaust escape.
Extend the Driveline Breather Tubes
The drivetrain on your 4WD truck has multiple breather tubes throughout its various components that regulate pressure in the drive system as it heats up and cools down.
This is yet one more part of your truck that you don’t want to submerge; you can end up with water in your breather tubes and potentially in the axles, differential, transfer case, and other critical parts of the drivetrain.
Water mixing with the lubricants in there can cause major problems down the line, so it’s best to invest in a set of breather tube extensions.
Breather tube extensions fit together into the current breather tubes, allowing you to bring them up into the engine compartment where they will stay dry and avoid sucking water into the drivetrain components.
Check All Caps for Watertightness
Go around your vehicle and make sure all your caps are in good condition and then seal them so they stay watertight.
You can easily do this by removing the cap and applying some RTV silicone sealant around the inside of the cap and put it back on.
Do this to your gas cap, oil cap, and all the other caps in your engine compartment to keep all your reservoirs from taking in water.
All Sealed Up And Ready to Go?
Driving through a puddle that’s halfway up your wheels is one thing; driving through deep water that could go past your truck bumpers and reach or breach your hood is something entirely different.
If you plan on going the extreme route, you’ve got to prepare your truck the right way or you could end up dead in the water and your truck seriously damaged.
Take the time to make these important modifications so you forge that water in confidence!