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Under Water any hope?


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Just as the title say's my boss took out the work truck a 1997 dodge 3500 4x4 5spd. Down to the river after work 2 week's ago it had been raining for day's and has rained almost every day since. Needless to say due to mostly an inabilty to drive a dually on wet ground and laziness. We seen today that the truck had water almost over the cab!!!! So without a doubt the truck is totaled now and should it still stay put and not get washed away in the flood. I have requested to get first dib's on the truck to buy the truck back from the ins company. so i guess my question is how much damage should i expect. I have rebuilt many wrecked vehcile's and i know to stay away from salt water flood truck. But i figure the truck will only be under water for about 2 day's of fresh water. Givin' the truck is a 12 valve and has little electronic's. What are the odd's the truck as a whole other then the good body part's could be saved? the body was perfect had no dent's nearly no ding's or scratch's. And the truck had 69,xxx original mile's!!! I felt sick when i heard that due to laziness the truck could be destroyed now. But i pray the truck stay's strong and dosen't float away. I know that i have to let the truck dry out for a few day's and drain all the fluid's out of everything and go through everything with a fine tooth comb but at this point all i can do is sit and pray she can hold her ground.

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I would be fine with everything but the electronics. Wiring harness probably ok with some cleaning. I would tear everything apart asap and get the water out so as not to have rust start forming. i wouldnt turn it over either until all fluids have been replaced and cylidnders drained and dried (head off). tranny fluid would need to be flushed a couple times, front diff fluid replaced.

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I think the injection pump would be fine and not have water in it unless it got into the oil supply lines. I would think the lift pump would stop any water flow into the actual fuel system. I believe all the rust/seizing happens when wet metal is exposed to oxygen so maybe you could pull it while its still under water then pull the oil drain until it stops, dump the oil filter out then spin it back on, then instantly top the whole engine off with diesel fuel. Jump on it to slosh it up a little and then wait a while. The remaining water will sink to the oil plug since it is heavier than diesel and thats the lowest spot. Drain it all again, change the oil filter, dump 12 quarts oil in and pull it around the road with it in gear so the engine will start to build oil pressure and shove it around everywhere else. Do that for a miles worth. Let it sit for a day, then drain that oil, water should come out first, change oil filter. The engine won't turn on since all you are doing is unlocking the steering wheel and you probably dont have any electronics so the solenoid won't pull up, though it doesnt do that unless you are in the start position anyways. As for the fuel system, the lift pump will pump when you do this and that actually DOES need lube so it won't like pumping water. Before you do any pulling the truck around, take the inlet line of the lift pump and cap it. Then pull the return line and put it in a bottle of clean diesel. Run another line from the same bottle of clean diesel to the inlet of the lift pump. That way it will just recycle the fuel as you move and the list pump will be happy. Add some 2 stroke oil to it as well. Biodiesel would be even better. Change the fuel filter as well. Then you should be able to pull it around with the fuel system being happy. Now this is all in theory and yeah I might get shot down but if it was my truck I would probably still try it. :shrug:

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Just as the title say's my boss took out the work truck a 1997 dodge 3500 4x4 5spd. Down to the river after work 2 week's ago it had been raining for day's and has rained almost every day since. Needless to say due to mostly an inabilty to drive a dually on wet ground and laziness. We seen today that the truck had water almost over the cab!!!! So without a doubt the truck is totaled now and should it still stay put and not get washed away in the flood. I have requested to get first dib's on the truck to buy the truck back from the ins company. so i guess my question is how much damage should i expect. I have rebuilt many wrecked vehcile's and i know to stay away from salt water flood truck. But i figure the truck will only be under water for about 2 day's of fresh water. Givin' the truck is a 12 valve and has little electronic's. What are the odd's the truck as a whole other then the good body part's could be saved? the body was perfect had no dent's nearly no ding's or scratch's. And the truck had 69,xxx original mile's!!! I felt sick when i heard that due to laziness the truck could be destroyed now. But i pray the truck stay's strong and dosen't float away. I know that i have to let the truck dry out for a few day's and drain all the fluid's out of everything and go through everything with a fine tooth comb but at this point all i can do is sit and pray she can hold her ground.

Interior such as any cloth etc, would be ruined, for my guess. Fluids need replaced, etc... I would seriously look into taking every drain cap, plug, etc. out or off and drain all fluids, even steering fluid and brake fluid. Keep it all open and get to an auto body shop. Pay to have it in their spray booth for as long as possible and hot as possible on their bake setting. Those booths can get to around 150 degrees IIRC! That would seriously do some drying! :thumbup2:
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I hate to say it but all the electronics in the cab are ruined. As for the interior all the seats, carpeting,etc will all have to be remove and dried and/or replaced. As for the exterior I would drain all fluids and pull all the injectors to verify there is no water in the cylinders. All air plumbing will have to be pulled and cleaned. Big job no matter how you slice it.

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I am seeing this as being caused by someone driving the truck too close to the water. Was the engine running when it went in? Did it inhale water? If it was, I'm suspecting the motor hydro locked, came up on a cylinder of water. Likely bending the connecting rod on that cylinder. I've seen in a Marine Diesel conversion. The motor was rebuilt / saved but costly.

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I am seeing this as being caused by someone driving the truck too close to the water. Was the engine running when it went in? Did it inhale water? If it was, I'm suspecting the motor hydro locked, came up on a cylinder of water. Likely bending the connecting rod on that cylinder. I've seen in a Marine Diesel conversion. The motor was rebuilt / saved but costly.

No the truck was drove down to a clearing were the tree's had been dozed to make a river bottom pasture. He turned around in the mud and leave's got the truck hung and just left it there for it to dry up. I offered to go pull him out with my truck or his 4wd tractor but he wasn't worried about. then after 2 week's and almost a week stright of rain the river rose up past the flood stage and covered the truck for about 24hr's. The ins company sent out a big peterbuilt semi tow truck after the water had gone down they took pic's and to the truck looked great really couldn't tell it had been under water. And on top of that he just left the key's in the igniton(Off but in it).Tow truck driver opened the door to take it out of gear and the Door buzzer went off...and th dome light came on i was amazed they still worked... so after the attached the tow cable and pulled the truck all the way up out of the pasture ....BOOM to cable snaps truck take's off down the hill over a small bluff samck dab into a tree less then afoot away from the river...now they have to get the tow cable fixed and get a second tow truck to help pull it out and it's been raining all day and will the next two so it's not looking good but keeping my hope's up it really only hurt the fender everything else is still good.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought i'd update the info on this the ins company totaled the truck out. He didn't ask for a buy back as i figured he wouldn't. which was ok it was towed over 150 mile's buy the wrecker to the ins yard with the rear end full of water. The ins company started the truck up on the lot ran for a min then locked up due to the leftover water still in the engine...:banghead: So i said forget it. So today my boss bought a replacement truck a 98.5 Dodge 3500 24 val extcab LB 4x4 auto with 170k mile's. He bought the truck sight unseen from Cincinatii Ohio..... Had it delivered to work today... And needless to say a waste of $9,900+ tax title and $500 delivery... In the 5 minute's i took to look the truck over. The front and rear rearend seals are bad losing fluid bad, Water pump fan has about of 3/4 inch of play front to back, Oil all over the motor, power steering pump's leaking, tranny leaking, oil pan leaking, Rust from top to bottom, Bad frame rail rust, Goosneck plate nearly rusted into, all the front end part's wore out, all the brake line's nealy rusted through and only a few drop's of brake fluid in the resivour, and 4 quart's low on oil exhaust about to fall off... Started the truck up starter nearly gone, need's batterie's, drove it a few feet feel's as if tranny is on it's way out as well... At this point i'm certain he is just to cheap a person lol

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