water crossing for beginners

phs

Well-Known Member
You should have a snorkel fitted, don’t be mistaken for OEM raised air intakes as these will not help keep water out of your motor, check the height of the diff, transmission, gearbox and transfer case breathers these may need to be extended to keep water out

Unless you can easily see the crossings surface/ bottom you should always walk the intended line first, this will help you understand what the crossing surface/ bottom is made up of it will also reveal its depth and current strength, if you can’t walk it you should not drive it.

You should keep the manufactures wading depth in mind when evaluating if you should attempt the crossing, also keep in mind water above the window line is not advised not only will it probably make your 4wd float but will also be dangerous if you get stuck in the water

Your tyre air pressures should be adjusted to suit the crossing surface.

Once you are ready to make the crossing select low range 4wd ideally In 2nd gear for most 4wds as it will keep a good amount of momentum and reduce the chance of losing speed or staling while in the water, also engage your centre diff lock if you have one, Enter slowly at a consistent speed to avoid damaging your radiator or motor fan, once the front end is completely in the water slowly increase speed keeping RPMs About 2500 if you feel the vehicle losing speed gently press the accelerator to keep your momentum steady, do not change gears while in the water unless you have no other option, once you exit the water be sure to clear the exit prior to stopping

Safe Travels
 
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Kippie

Moderator
Before entering deep water, let your engine, diffs and axles cool down to avoid thermal shock.
If drum brakes are fitted and the crossing was deep enough to submerge the drum brakes, allow the brakes to dry after exiting the water before driving off.
 

John U

Well-Known Member
Great instructions so far.

If I could add, in addition to the excellent posts above, prepare for the worst, hope for the best. If you think there’s any chance you might need them, before you start the crossing, think about your recovery plan if everything goes wrong, install your winch isolator key and have your winch remote handy, connect tow straps so they’re ready to go if required. Rushing around trying to work this stuff out when the dung hits the fan can waste time and make things more dangerous.
Slow down. Panic is everyone’s enemy.
If you have one, a mate who’s raring ready to go into a cold stinky bog hole to help save your 4wd is worth their weight in gold.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Good advice. Not using high revs in water is important. You may have heard that sometimes the fan can hit the radiator during a crossing and damage them both. A common misconception is the the fan bends forward in the water. This is incorrect. When going through enough water, or too quickly, the gaps in and around the radiator fill with water, effectively sealing it off from the air. The fan blades then torque themselves forward in the vacuum which is created. Steady speed, steady revs, try to point downstream as much as possible. If you’ve bent your number plate forward, or lost it all together, you are crossing too quick.
 

CaptainBanana

Well-Known Member
Always lift up your skirt when walking the river.

Go in slow, throttle up moderately and point to the exit.



IMG_20210213_143814_copy_1280x959.jpg
 

Hoyks

Well-Known Member
How to do a water crossing:
Drive past Road Closed sign
Observe water over road
Ignore local advice
Send it

In that series there are a couple where they steer around the drowned vehicle, only to conk out 10m further on and block the road anyway.
 

smitty_r51

Well-Known Member
How to do a water crossing:
Drive past Road Closed sign
Observe water over road
Ignore local advice
Send it

In that series there are a couple where they steer around the drowned vehicle, only to conk out 10m further on and block the road anyway.
Amazes me how many Merc badges are down there and getting stuck ...
 

Swaggie

Moderator
How’d that end up @Swaggie ?
The water looks clean at least.

Hi mate

Yeah back in 2008 and the river had flooded a week earlier i found out later on the net. :oops: Either way i still made the decision to take it on and on this occasion lost but not totally.

The Hilux was very light then,a mate offered to go first in his 80 series he had since new. As my vehicle was in front of his I offered to go first. I was around 3/4’s of the way across and I suddenly felt the front steering was very light and within no time it spun me around and I was facing up river going backwards down into the rapids.

Vehicle filled up with water on the passenger front side mainly,I left the motor going at all times. The recovery side of things went well, Although trying to get the Winch cable across to the hitch swept us down river a couple of times, being neck deep in water trying to attach the Winch hook into the recovery hitch receiver by feel wasn’t fun especially being behind a vehicle your not sure what it’s going to do, it did seem stable tho and hadn’t moved .
Once connected I was pulled off the rapids into a channel and ended up floating down the river backwards until it spun me back around again (which happened in a split second,I now understand how people die in flood water circumstances because everything happens super quick, If you only have a few seconds between life and death decisions I’d say it’s almost impossible to make them) .
When the Winch cable tensioned up he was able to pull me back in. Although I put the vehicle in reverse when I felt traction. We were pretty sure the wire wasn’t going to break.

I have crossed a thousand or so river crossings since from over the bonnet to waste deep water and no other issues. The vehicle is like a tank weight wise now.


Yep you’re right it was basically clean water which was a plus and the next couple of days being hot dried everything out fairly quickly…;)
 

John U

Well-Known Member
Hi mate

Yeah back in 2008 and the river had flooded a week earlier i found out later on the net. :oops: Either way i still made the decision to take it on and on this occasion lost but not totally.

The Hilux was very light then,a mate offered to go first in his 80 series he had since new. As my vehicle was in front of his I offered to go first. I was around 3/4’s of the way across and I suddenly felt the front steering was very light and within no time it spun me around and I was facing up river going backwards down into the rapids.

Vehicle filled up with water on the passenger front side mainly,I left the motor going at all times. The recovery side of things went well, Although trying to get the Winch cable across to the hitch swept us down river a couple of times, being neck deep in water trying to attach the Winch hook into the recovery hitch receiver by feel wasn’t fun especially being behind a vehicle your not sure what it’s going to do, it did seem stable tho and hadn’t moved .
Once connected I was pulled off the rapids into a channel and ended up floating down the river backwards until it spun me back around again (which happened in a split second,I now understand how people die in flood water circumstances because everything happens super quick, If you only have a few seconds between life and death decisions I’d say it’s almost impossible to make them) .
When the Winch cable tensioned up he was able to pull me back in. Although I put the vehicle in reverse when I felt traction. We were pretty sure the wire wasn’t going to break.

I have crossed a thousand or so river crossings since from over the bonnet to waste deep water and no other issues. The vehicle is like a tank weight wise now.


Yep you’re right it was basically clean water which was a plus and the next couple of days being hot dried everything out fairly quickly…;)
That sounds terrifying.
 
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