Water Fording Pics

Jeeper18426572

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Thread for pictures of Wranglers fording water.
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mgroeger

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Question...

We can ford up to 30" and that puts you at the lower hinge on a stock height Jeep. That means the underside of your floorboards are covered with water. Guess where the rear axle vent's breather end attaches? Yep the underside of the floorboard. Is it tucked up high enough to avoid being submerged? What happens if it gets submerged? We accidentally forded well over 30" this weekend. I'm talking the front bow of the waved we made hit the bottom of the head lights although the back was not that deep, had no problems though.
 

chevymitchell

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Question...

We can ford up to 30" and that puts you at the lower hinge on a stock height Jeep. That means the underside of your floorboards are covered with water. Guess where the rear axle vent's breather end attaches? Yep the underside of the floorboard. Is it tucked up high enough to avoid being submerged? What happens if it gets submerged? We accidentally forded well over 30" this weekend. I'm talking the front bow of the waved we made hit the bottom of the head lights although the back was not that deep, had no problems though.
The breather is not just a vent, but a valve, too. If it gets submerged, the plastic valve will close. It should be closed all the time and only opens to vent the axle once pressure is high enough. You're good to go to submerge it. I'm sure there's a maximum time limit, but for a creek crossing, you won't have anything to worry about.
 

Will

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There are four drive-line components that have breather tubes: Axles (front and rear), transfer case, and transmission (your engine has an intake that is always pulling in air for combustion, but it's the same concept when considering water crossings: don't let anything but air get sucked into the air intake. A quick splash may be stopped by the air filter, but you definitely do not want your engine air intake submerged).

The concept behind the breather/vent tube valves is that they can be "pushed" up by air when the pressure in the axle, trans, or tranny generates greater pressure inside the assembly and needs to vent out into the atmosphere. This happens every time you drive the vehicle because these assemblies get very hot. Whenever there is a quick cooling of the assembly this creates a vacuum inside the unit and it causes the plastic cap to close. A scenario when this occurs would be a water crossing: when the axle is dunked into a water it rapidly cools the metals and this creates a vacuum and it sucks the plastic cap of the valve closed. Now exactly how effective is it at keeping water out? It depends on many variables: how well it seats when it is sucked closed, how long is it submerged... Overall they appear to do a pretty good job as long as you get in and out quickly.

Check your fluids if you're ever worried. I would say do it after every trip that involves a deep crossing. Aside from your motor, your transmission is by far the most water-intolerant driveline component. It does not take a lot of water to tank an automatic transmission. I would recommend getting your transmission, transfer case, and front axle breathers up to the top of the engine bay so that it's the same height as your engine air intake. Your rear axle is a little more limited but what I did on my previous TJ was to run it up into the wheel well in the dead space between the plastic wheel well cover and the tub of the body. That put it at the top of the tub and the same height as the breathers in the engine bay.

I was under the JL the other day and noted that the transfer case breathe is on the bottom of the tub, similar elevation as the rear axle breather. Has anyone pinpointed the vent tube for the automatic transmission in the JL yet? Shouldn't be too difficult to find but I won't be around my Jeep anytime soon. Interested to see how high it goes. I have not yet checked my fluids since the water crossings in the videos above - shame on me. I was honestly not worried about that depth but it still doesn't hurt to check.

I can tell you what ATF is not supposed to look like... it is not supposed to look like the picture below.
I toasted an automatic transmission in my TJ back in a previous life. This was a special situation. I would call it a submarine dive before I called it a water crossing.

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mgroeger

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WOW! Crappy transmission but great info :)

Unfortunately there is no way to even check the transmission level or fluid. the best you can do i find the filler tube and carefully slide a long zip tie into it and check to see what the fluid looks like on it.
I know on the JK guys ran the rear axle vent tube up into the area behind the brake lights.
 
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