Lots of water in crankcase... Oh my that was a big puddle...

I went wheelin' last night in the F-150 ('83 stepside with a 302 and 4 speed). I got a little too ambitious when we got to the part where everyone one-ups the previous guy. So I ended up nose-diving into a huge rut and my
truck became more of a submarine than a truck. Water about up to the top of the distributor.
As the truck was filling with water I was trying to get out of the rut by rocking back and forth and almost had it, but the water got too deep and I didn't want to destroy my engien by sucking water in so I gave up and got dragged out. Drained about two gallons of oily water out of the engine, put new oil in, whacked the starter a few times to free up the gear, and she fired right up. Slight tap at idle now and oil pressure gauge is lower than it had been (in middle of "NORMAL" range on the stock gauge).
Today I'm gonna change the oil and filter (didn't have a filter with me when I was out in the woods), grease everthing, and change my differential and tranny gear oil. Hopefully nothing is too badly damaged. I ahve a feeling one weeekend soon I may be putting new bearings in the 302. Thankfully not terribly expensive, but a pain in the arse nonetheless. I also have another 302 laying around that I could use, so that is an option too. We shall see.
What are all your thoughts on the damage done. Anything else I should do considering how deep the truck was in the water? Also, how about thoughts on sealing off the crankcase to prevent water from getting in there to begin with. Where can water enter the crankcase? Valve covers, dipstick tube... Anywhere else?
Cory
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Cory Dunkle (no spam) wrote:

Dude! You have serious thrill issues...
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Next time, remember you CAN just drain the filter.
Run engine to warm and drain oil again
Rule of thumb: Imagine the engine turned upside down... does oil run out the valve covers?
I'd think about the diff and tranny if I were you... they have breathers
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I tried, but unfortunately I could not get the oil filter off and no one had an oil filter wrench. I think at that point the damage was already done from trying to get it out under it's own power.

Well today I changed all the fluids and filters on the truck. Engine has a light tap at idle and at moderate RPM cruise it taps like the rockers are loose though that may be an exhaust leak. The truck has side-pipes with Flowmaster mufflers, so it's pretty loud and hard to tell exactly where the noises are coming from. The oil pressure gauge now reads higher though, almost what it was before. I think I will put a mechanical gauge on it soon to see what it's really doing.
Differentials had some water in the gear oil, but not as much as I expected, and surprisingly the tranny gear oil wasn't as contaminated as I expected either. I'm sure it did well to change it all. Also gotta get new u-joints for the driveshafts. I think I may be staying out of the deep water for a while.
Really the only places I can imagine oil coming out of/water getting in are the valve covers where the fill cap/breather and PCV valve attach. Well, also the dipstick tube. Everything else ought to be sealed pretty tightly, or at least should be.
Anyhow, what do you think about the diffs and tranny? Should they be alright now that I've changed the gear oil or should I be doing some overhaul work and replacing some bearings?
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WIMP
:-)
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I suggest you also change the PS fluid if you have power steering and the brake fluid which absorbs water under the best of conditions (i.e. dry all the time). You are lucky the fan didn't suck itself into the back of the radiator. Maybe bigger tires would let you float through the really deep puddles?
--
Greg


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Good idea. I've changed the Ps fluid as the pump was making a little noise at extreme turns of the wheel. These modern vehicles still use Type F for power steering correct? It didn't say on the cap but every Ford I've ever owned has used regular tranny fluid for the power steering. Seems to be working fine so I assume all is well.
Tough little truck this is! I never expected a modern vehicle to be so reliable and durable. Of course most of the emissions equipment is not there anymore so that's a good thing for reliability. I'm surprised that the Duraspark box survived being under water, and actually kept the engine running while being submerged and resubmerged. Pretty cool.
Cory

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