Water-proofing

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Shane_ONeil

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<p>Alright gents and ladies, I have a snorkel installed on my 2004 XTerra 4WD.  However, my battery, distributor, and alternator all lay exposed to water (if I enter deep enough water to make my snorkel serve a purpose).  <br /><br />What are your tips, suggestions, and advice on properly water-proofing a vehicle?  <br /><br />Thankfully Nissan designed the 1st generation XTerra to have a distributor in a good/safe location, but the alternator and battery are still exposed.  How can I mitigate water from killing my truck?  <br /><br />I hope I never have to cross water deep enough to hit my windshield, but I'd like to be prepared for it, just in case (which is the basis for my plans with this truck anyway...."just in case").  <br /><br />Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see any pictures of my set up.  Thanks in advance for your time.  </p>
 

Robert OB 33/48

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Hello Shane,

Think that is a brilliant question, which I personally cant answer correctly.
I went once deep enough through water to loose all the blades of my fan, but the battery and wasnt affected. And the altenator is just a bit higher.
But, what I have seen on films on you tube and more, is that there are cars just driving under water, as long as they have an air intake high enough.
So, maybe there is someone who can answer this question in theory and practice.

Thanks, Robert
 

Conrad318

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Don't forget about your axle, transmission, and transfer case breathers. Arb makes a relocation manifold where you can connect up to 4 breather tubes.
 
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TxTerra

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I siliconed the distributor cap and ran the front diff, trans, and t-case breathers by the brake booster. I'm planning on getting the arb manifold to clean it up
 
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MA_Trooper

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You should also cover the front of your vehicle with a tarp or something similar to create a good bow wave. Keep the water from forcing it's way through the grill. The less water that ends up under the hood the better.
 

GoldenStateAdv

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These is a very upon ended question as all vehicles are different, but generally...

Dielectric Grease on all electrical connections
100% sealed intake
Sealed distributor
Sealed fuse/relay box
Extended breathers for front/rear diff, t-case, and transmission

Gasoline engines don't like being submerged no matter what precautions you take. What the videos on YouTube don't show are the vehicles running like **** afterward and failed/malfunctioning electronics.

Always walk the length of the intended crossing first looking for rocks, logs, holes, snags, and the general condition of the bottom. Everyone has their own opinion on maximum depth, so that is up to you and what you're willing to risk. Just make sure you enter slowly so your fan doesn't grenade, and also get yourself a good bow wave, which can help increase your fording depth.

Hope this helps
 

Laughing Otter

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These is a very upon ended question as all vehicles are different, but generally...

Dielectric Grease on all electrical connections
100% sealed intake
Sealed distributor
Sealed fuse/relay box
Extended breathers for front/rear diff, t-case, and transmission

Gasoline engines don't like being submerged no matter what precautions you take. What the videos on YouTube don't show are the vehicles running like **** afterward and failed/malfunctioning electronics.

Always walk the length of the intended crossing first looking for rocks, logs, holes, snags, and the general condition of the bottom. Everyone has their own opinion on maximum depth, so that is up to you and what you're willing to risk. Just make sure you enter slowly so your fan doesn't grenade, and also get yourself a good bow wave, which can help increase your fording depth.

Hope this helps
I am in agreement here. I very rarely cross deep water...ONLY WHEN NECESSARY...and in general I don't cross water at all if I can help it...it hurts eco systems. Now that being said, I am sure most of us have been on washed out trails during rainy or flood season... it's good to be prepared. 99% of water crossings that I do, to include flooded trails, usually the water is no higher than my front bumper. As some of you may have seen on this site I posted my DIY Snorkel project. The main reason for that was for my desert trips...it really helps my rig breathe better.

I didn't see this mentioned...but there are aftermarket companies that make water proof electric fans that will either turn off with a switch or when the sensors are submerged, thus reducing fan spray. These fans will replace your existing clutch style mechanical fan.
 

Marine7

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I agree, I don't like crossing water either, the DNR frowns on it, and we don't need them closing down anymore trails!
However, what I carry in my 80 series (or whatever else I'm wheeling) is Pam nonstick cooking spray. Before getting in the mud or water I pop the hood and spray the he** out if any and all electrical connections and the any other vital areas.... Mud won't stick to it, and it's like silicone on wires. When I get off the trail I pop the hood and spray down with garden hose.... Clean again.... Too easy!
And remember.... Snorkels are actually for dry, dusty conditions..... They keep you sucking clean air, not dust from truck in front of you!
 
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expeditionnorth

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most folks use the snorkel just to gather clean air above the road as LCGunnar said
 

4xFar Adventures

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The battery should be low on the list when it comes to things to protect against water. Electric fans are a safe bet and as mentioned, dielectric grease on every electrical connection. Aside from the engine bay, think about the interior. The door seals probably have a little gap somewhere that will let water in. Is there a BCU, ECU or any other computer under the seats? Those will be toast if water touches them. While it won't leave you stranded, water in the headlights can be a pita to deal with as well.

If you have a distributor, carry WD40 to dry it out if it gets wet. Or better yet, carry a spare and keep it in a dry location. I use Pelican cases for tools and spares (among many other things) and keeping out dust.
 
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Nomad

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I hear your pain about water crossings for me as soon as I get water on the exhaust pipes and then the steam starts and gets to the electrical thats it for me im toast until things dry out hours later...
 

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Silicone and dielectric grease will help a lot. On mine I relocated my alternator up higher on the engine. It used to be on the bottom. When going through water or snow it would get full of water and act up for awhile. I also made a splash shield out of a rubber mud flap that they use for dump trucks to reduce the amount of water and such from getting under the hood. It has helped quite a bit. Obviously water still gets in but I no longer have much trouble.
 

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The alternator doesn't mind getting wet its when mud get pushed into it is when you have problems, run the front and rear diff vents into the airbox as well as the fuel and transmission vent. Ive never had a problem with a battery being submerged. If you have a distibutor silicone the heck out of it with marine grade silicone. Remember to flush all the diff oil when you get home since water will get sucked in through the wheel bearings if the diff is hot then suddenly cools when hits water. If you have a diesel you can skip the distributor part since they dont have em. I also reccomend siliconing around all ecu and pcms you may have anywhere there is a connection and a coat around the case itself .