Waterproofing your vehicle


Expedition Leader
As far as waterproofing the distributer goes, just use silicone. Silicone the cap to the distrubuter and silicone the plug wires to the cap. Put dielectric grease on the rotor and contacts, coat the whole thing with WD40 and you should be golden. Remember WD stands for water dispersant (or something like that). It is designed for that task. Better yet, convert to diesel and forget about water! (Depending on how deep you get. . .)

water dispersant...attempt #40.......cute huh?:)


Expedition Leader
I also forgot to mention previously that some components in vehicles may have either drain holes or rubber drain nipples. Those needs to be cleared of debris and preferably lubricated with something like Armor All or the like, to ensure they will drain water easily. This should be part of pre-operation maintenance when wading may be required.

Items that come to mine or floor drain plugs, and on a Land Rover Defender for example, the heater intake plenum has a rubber nipple for draining water out that often can become plugged. All A/C systems also have a condensation drain, that would also be the drain route for any water that collected in your HVAC during a deep ford. don't want that plugged!


Expedition Leader
Oh, the things we learn and how we learn them...

Chance favors the prepared mind! eh?

There are a few factors that I keep in mind for water crossing - depth of water, time (how big is the crossing and how long will my rig by in the water) and is there a current that would make wading difficult. Each has a solution.

The previously mentioned extended breather lines are notable. The addition of one way air valves to them is something to consider as well. Wrapping the dizzy helps. I use a plastic grocery bag wrapped loosely around it and duct tape the end. If you submerge the dizzy to the point this won't help, you likely have bigger problems at hand. Keeping fan spray off is the main goal.

Snorkels are often debated as bling or extreme. I'm a believer - just check this pic out. I was the third vehicle to cross and was lucky enough to hit a sink hole that did not exist for the other two rigs. I took a deep, prolonged dip that easily filled the location of the factory intake. Snorkel saved my bacon, no doubt about it. As I first enter the hole:

You only need it once to pay for itself.

Another good tool for water crossings is a tarp. If the crossing is going to be long / deep, then I will drape the front of the ARB with a tarp. I have one ready to go with holes making attachment easy. Additionally, If you get into trouble, as my friend Adam did below, in water with any current (this one was pretty strong) placing a single large tarp upstream against the side of the vehicle, along the bottom door seams, will go a long way toward keeping water out of your rig especially if there is a lengthy recovery.

An exhaust extension up toward the roof is a smart idea. This Disco stalled due to the exhaust being under water. Once we got it out, a huge amount of water drained from the front end (hi lifted the front bumper to drain) and then it started right up.

Most importantly is technique. Driving the proper speed with a nice bow wave will prevent engine saturation, save your fan, help assure traction better than spinning wildly, and look like you know what your doing!

matt s

Breathable chest waders (shorts in warm weather) and some teva sandals. I can be in them in about 2 minutes. If I can't/don't want to wade it I don't drive it. That takes care of most of the problems right there.

My intake is right up against the top of my hood nearly 4.5 ft from the ground and at the rear of the engine compartment. Not a snorkel but if I am that deep I made a mistake. Splashing could be an issue but hasn't been so far. I also have a grill bra that I made that bungies on really easily. It's for winter but I carry it to use if needed for water crossings.