Safely crossing water with 4x2

If you drive a 4x2 Hilux, do NOT think you are not welcome. Post your questions here
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Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:53 am
Town: Stellenbosch
Vehicle: 2008 Hilux D4D
Real Name: Carel

Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:58 pm

Hi guys,

I live on a farm and the road turned into a lake after some heavy rains:


It's nothing too crazy, I would estimate about 75cm deep, maybe a meter in some places. Two smaller cars tried their luck and had to be towed out (and won't start this morning...). I already drove through twice with my 4x2 Raider (SC/RB) without too much trouble (my front license plate came loose, but it's fixable) but would like some advice for future reference. I'd just like to make sure I have the right technique to cross it and then there's some stuff I'm a little concerned about that I read on ... ossing.htm.

So here's what I did: Engaged difflock (happened before that one wheel lost traction and started spinning), approached water at a moderate speed (about 5-10km/h), switched into 2nd gear and just kept the revs at about 1500-2000rpm and focused on moving in the right direction. As you probably know the 4x2 is a little light in the back so there was some slipping and sliding with the reduced traction, but generally not too much effort to keep moving. LOTS of fun pretending to be a boat.

So here is my concern, on the site it says:

Axles, manual transmissions and transfercases typically have breathers. Breathers are designed to allow air pressure to equalize between the atmosphere and the inside of the mechanical component. During use, axles, transmissions and transfercases heat up. When a hot axle or gear box hits cold water it rapidly cools. This causes the air pressure inside the axle tube, differential housing, and gearboxes to reduce as the air molecules to contract. This in turn causes air to be drawn in via the diff breathers. If your breathers are below the water level or getting splashed, water will also be sucked into the breathers. Extending your low lying breathers, especially differential breathers, up higher into the chassis area using flexible tubing will allow a cooling component to draw dry air rather than water during a water crossing.
I hit this little piece of road after coming off the N1 so the axles and everything is probably a little warm. How much of an issue is this on the Raiders and also, can I assume my air intake is high-up enough to handle at least 1m of water? And finally should I be concerned about my radiator fan clipping the water?

Kind Regards
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Posts: 24225
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:52 am
Town: Benoni
Vehicle: '94 Hilux Raider 2.4i (22RE) DC 4x4
Real Name: Cassie
Club VHF Licence: B15
Location: Rynfield

Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:10 pm

When driving through water keep the speed constant and make sure to make a bow wave. Extended breathers is advised but if you approach the water slowly so that the diff have enough time to cool down then you don't have to worry too much about the breathers
To God be the glory
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