How do I calculate safe wading depth?

Howdy,
My owners manual (97 sportage) doesn't state a wading depth and in addition I have a 2" suspension lift now. How do I calculate my safe wading depth? Apart from trial and error lmao?

I've looked on the internet but the suggestion of 700mm looks a little 'optimistic' to me!! :eek:

Here are some measurements from flat asphalt: Tailpipe height 40cm, Lower door gap 40cm, floorpan 46cm, rear diff breather 42cm (gearbox breather above floorpan), Engine dipstick/coilpack/fusebox 70+cm, air intake (petrol) over radiator from grille/bonnet airgap 90cm (Tarp needed for bow-wave?) 90cm. So if I was moving I assume 45/50cm would be ok but if I think maybe some diff/gearbox breathers would be a good idea if over 40cm? I'm not overly concerned about water in the cabin floor- I AM concerned water stopping me mid crossing. :)
All advice appreciated for water-crossing novice (well anything over my hubs anyway)!!
 

Grumpy

Moderator
It's the same old saying, walk it before driving in saying that extend your diff and gearbox breathers as high up as you can, one of the secrets to a successful river crossing is the bow wave and a slow but continuous speed, if it happens to be a manual car select the right gear and stay with it, do not change mid stream so to speak.
In most cases the top of the wheel is probably a good indicator, after that trouble may find you, most of the items you have mentioned should be fine as usually when moving through the water it stays outside the car, just take care and the old saying is if unsure don't risk it.
 
Cheers, but what I want to know is when I'm walking it how deep is too deep lol. Seriously thanks for the tip - I'll keep 'top-of-tyres' in mind and I'm off to look at purchasing some breathers this arvo. It's a manual with low range so if there's some depth I normally go through at a speed equivelent to 1st gear 4H, which leaves me about 2 more gears if I get stuck, but yes I try not to change gears. I've never been deep enough to get a bow-wave and with my air-intake placement I'm reluctant to as well. I think if I stick to tyre tops and slow speeds / mid revs for now I should be ok? I think with the Sportage boyancy would be the main issue! :D

P.S. tyre top is 64cm :D
 
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03hilux

Well-Known Member
Have a look at my avatar pic. That water is about 50cm deep, and i am only doing about 10 - 15km/h in 2nd Hi.
From memory Toyota say 60cm as a safe wading depth. My air intake sits behind the right head light.

Depending on you hieght, if your around the 5'7", then knee deep is a good indicator.

If your air intake is facing directly forward without any obstuction like you have described, i definately would be using a tarp.
 
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Outrage

4x4 Earth Contributer
With the intake placement, a snorkel is priority if you try anything deep enough or with a decent entry angle. Even though the crossing may be shallow, if the entry is steep you will see the nose of the car going straight into the water, right where the air intake is, and breaking your engine.

Seen this happen to a newish dual cab ute, air intake placed at the front of the engine bay as most cars do these days, although the water depth was below wheel height, the entry was steep and saw the intake plunge right into the water, he was very lucky the engine stalled (petrol) before water would have gotten into the cylinders, still required the inlet and filters to be cleaned/drained and dried out.

A sportage might not have an off the shelf one and would require a custom fabricator to make one possibly. Water in any engine (petrol or diesel) will destroy it.
 

Swaggie

Moderator
Its a tricky one,To be totally safe no more than knee deep...Now if you want to take on waist deep water or higher you have to take into consideration of Floatation (vehicle) and also width of the river and especially the current...Look at my Picaso in my sig and the Sh!t Happens....https://picasaweb.google.com/116203404671669362801.....

What i totally stuffed up was vehicle floatation,now i hav a rear Kaymar bar i would have been fine....and 200 odd river crossings later i have been fine..:)
 
Ulost2 - Yeah seen that one....still no words to describe it lol.
Swaggie- ...um, 'Yikes' That looks like a bit of a stressful crossing lol.
Having grown up in the country I'm very mindfull of how powerful currents can be even at shallow depths and I've seen 4x4's float away, so being careful and not being afraid to say - 'that's too much for me' I'm ok with.

I was considering using a pod filter higher up in the engine bay which will be above my dipstick @70cm and therefore no deeper than I would go anyway, and out of way of the bow wave...or just carrying a small tarp to seal the front.

I'm thinking of using 60cm as my absolute limit for STILL WATER, 40cm (Just under floorpan) for anything with movement)- I'm short so I'll measure it on me for reference when walking through. Being up there it should be safe from bow wave and I was considering a backwards facing scoop for cold air. I've never seen a snorkle on a Sporty, so it aint gonna be 'off the shelf'.

I was also thinking of getting a short length of flexible pipe to seal and extend the tailpipe up to the wheelcarrier JUST FOR CROSSINGS (+70cm) so I don't get a water-blocked tailpipe if I stall? Thoughts?
 

Swaggie

Moderator
Ulost2 - Yeah seen that one....still no words to describe it lol.
Swaggie- ...um, 'Yikes' That looks like a bit of a stressful crossing lol.
Having grown up in the country I'm very mindfull of how powerful currents can be even at shallow depths and I've seen 4x4's float away, so being careful and not being afraid to say - 'that's too much for me' I'm ok with.

I was considering using a pod filter higher up in the engine bay which will be above my dipstick @70cm and therefore no deeper than I would go anyway, and out of way of the bow wave...or just carrying a small tarp to seal the front.

I'm thinking of using 60cm as my absolute limit for STILL WATER, 40cm (Just under floorpan) for anything with movement)- I'm short so I'll measure it on me for reference when walking through. Being up there it should be safe from bow wave and I was considering a backwards facing scoop for cold air. I've never seen a snorkle on a Sporty, so it aint gonna be 'off the shelf'.

I was also thinking of getting a short length of flexible pipe to seal and extend the tailpipe up to the wheelcarrier JUST FOR CROSSINGS (+70cm) so I don't get a water-blocked tailpipe if I stall? Thoughts?
The only problem there is some river crossings can be deep like up over your bonnet and up your windscreen for lets say 2-3 metres,then it shallows out....It would be an expensive lesson for the sake of about $500 bucks for a snorkel to be fitted compared to engine issues.....:eek:

Anyway all the best with your decision mate...:);)
 

prawns

Moderator
My safe wading depth is the point at which the wife refuses to walk out into the creek any deeper :D

Under NO circumstances should you replace the "wife check" with a "kids check" however - As I have found the kids dont have a built in mechanism that stops them no matter how deep the water gets - they just want to swim
 

PaulJK

Member
Now that's funny! I don't even want to imagine the response I'd get if I suggested my girlfriend do that. Lets just say it's fairly safe to assume that it's me who'd be getting the wet and muddy legs!
 

03hilux

Well-Known Member
Now that's funny! I don't even want to imagine the response I'd get if I suggested my girlfriend do that. Lets just say it's fairly safe to assume that it's me who'd be getting the wet and muddy legs!
Just dont mention crocs or leeches before you ask her.
 

PaulJK

Member
Just dont mention crocs or leeches before you ask her.
Oh don't even mention the word leech. I can still hear her screams from the last time she found one on her leg. Would have been quite amusing watching her hop around on one leg in the middle of the forest while waving the other one wildly (like that was going to make any difference!) if my ears weren't getting assaulted so much from her screams. At least she might have been quieter if it had been a croc that got hold of her leg!
 
I don't think I could fit a snorkle, the doors cover the A pillars so I don't see where it would mount. At least with the reverse scoop I can keep an eye on it :). Maybe I need a big-ass snorkle straight up through the bonnet and 6ft high lmao.

EDIT: Google has proved me wrong lol. Is $440 a decent price for a snorkle? I was surprised they're that expensive :(
 
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