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From: (Don Wilkins)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Help with water damage
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 12:19:47 GMT

On Wed, 21 Oct 1998 22:37:58 GMT, Bill Machrone <>

>Don Wilkins wrote:
>> On Tue, 20 Oct 1998 15:52:32 -0700, wrote:
>> >Hi list,
>> >
>> >I know this is the wrong list, but you guys know a little
>> >about a lot..<grin>
>> >
>> >My son crashed his CJ5 Jeep(V8) into a ditch full of water.
>> >
>> >The engine is full of water at the moment.
>> >
>> >How would you handle it after you drain it??
>> Most auto mechanics will tell you that after a car has been submerged
>> there will be unending occurrences of water related problems showing
>> up for years.
>> Their advice would be if you own one sell it. If you don't own one
>> don't ever buy a used car that came from  a flood area.
>> There will be a bundle of these showing up on the used car market
>> after the recent floods in TX. Nice almost new, low millage, no rust
>> beauties. Get it in writing that the car you buy was never under
>> water.
>> Disclaimer: I am not an auto mechanic. It is not my field of
>> expertise. This information was learned by discussions with auto
>> mechanics I have known and respected over a long time period.
>> Disclaimer added in case some jerk wants to know how I can say that
>> when I never owned a car that had been under water.
>Cars and boats are different animals when it comes to water damage. I've
>dried out a few outboard (and one inboard) engines, and they worked
>The problem with cars is the silt. Too many mechanical things on a car
>for it to get into. If the car had gone into a tank of clear water, I'd
>say take a chance. But a friend wound up with a flood car once and had
>endless problems with motors, push-pull cables, switches (clouds of
>smoke from the light switch), relays, seat belt mechanisms, door locks,
>etc. In every case, opening the offending device revealed wisps of tan,
>powdery sand that had either entrapped water and caused corrosion,
>jammed mechanical devices, or abraded bearing surfaces into
>non-operation or non-conduction of electricity.

Absolutely correct and....

Of course these little annoyances rear their ugly heads long after you
have settled with the insurance company.

In addition to the unsuspected corrosion and abrasion if one lives
where the temperature drops below freezing one finds that a plug of
ice for example in the brake lines or door locks behaves somewhat
differently than a pool of water. An then of course some things which
were just uncomfortable filled with water split open when that water

If properly cleaned the engine should not give any trouble. It is the
continuing trouble which will most likely convince you to sell.

>The engine ran fine. It had evidently been dried out, and the electrics
>and carb replaced.
>Get the insurance company to total the Jeep.
>- Bill

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