Flushing a flooded drive train

Flushing a flooded drive train

kev

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I got some bad news a couple of weeks ago. I left my CJ5 at the deer camp, a bad rain came through, the creek flooded and water got into the motor. The dip stick as a mix of oil and water on it. :(

So I need to flush the motor crank case, transmission, transfer case and rear end.

What would yall suggest to best flush the motor? I thought about dropping the oil pan, and using several cans of degreaser, or a steam cleaner. One guy said to drain the oil, pour a couple of gallons of diesel into the motor, let it sit for a few hours, and drain.

The motor is a straight 6.
 
I got some bad news a couple of weeks ago. I left my CJ5 at the deer camp, a bad rain came through, the creek flooded and water got into the motor. The dip stick as a mix of oil and water on it. :(

So I need to flush the motor crank case, transmission, transfer case and rear end.

What would yall suggest to best flush the motor? I thought about dropping the oil pan, and using several cans of degreaser, or a steam cleaner. One guy said to drain the oil, pour a couple of gallons of diesel into the motor, let it sit for a few hours, and drain.

The motor is a straight 6.

If you haven't started it and moved a bunch of water around through the oil galleries - a good flushing is all you most likely will need to do.

Engine - The toughest to clean out... Drain oil (filter also) and the key here - let it drain for a day ar at least a few hours. You need to get every drop of water out. Now, refill with a very light weight lubricant or distillate (for engine flushing). I wouldn't use diesel fuel here as it really has such a low viscosity that in the next step, bearing damage could occur. Then, disconnect the dist, remove the plugs and turn over the engine until you see oil pressure. Drain and fill... I would change it again after a few hours of running to remove any leftover contamination.

Trans, transfer case and diffs. Easy - drain well and refill with gear oil. Shouldn't be any problems. Many a CJ has submerged the difs and trannies... :) (I'm assuming you have manual gear box)

The great thing is that that I6 is about the most bullet proof engine Jeep ever used. All those big main bearings works to your advantage here...

I bet you won't have a single problem with it!
 
At work we normally use ATF to flush stuff out. Diesel should do the trick though. After you fire the motor up again you might want to change the oil after 50mi or a few days.
 
Bad news. The oil was drained from the crank case and pieces of metal started coming out with the oil.

The jeep had been parked at the camp, close to a creek. I used my toyota truck to pull the jeep away from the creek and parked it closer to the house. Maybe something in the motor broke when I pulled the jeep with my truck?
 
Bad news. The oil was drained from the crank case and pieces of metal started coming out with the oil.

The jeep had been parked at the camp, close to a creek. I used my toyota truck to pull the jeep away from the creek and parked it closer to the house. Maybe something in the motor broke when I pulled the jeep with my truck?
Ouch! What size pieces? Are we talking metal shavings, grit or chunks?

If the Jeep was in neutral when you pulled it, there is no way that towing could have caused any damage to the engine. If it was running when you stopped it and all it did was fill with water then any damage had to come prior to the flood.

Have any pics of the metal?
 
The pieces looked like the rings on a pistol, and were less then an inch long.
Well, so much for the 'grit' theory. If it wasn't towed with the Jeep in gear, then that has top be previous damage. Just flooding and engine with water can't cause that kind of carnage - especially if you haven't run it.
 
Well, so much for the 'grit' theory. If it wasn't towed with the Jeep in gear, then that has top be previous damage. Just flooding and engine with water can't cause that kind of carnage - especially if you haven't run it.

I'am thinking the damage may have been done when I pulled the jeep away from the creek. I did not know that water was in the motor. My son in law and I hooked a strap to the jeep, put it in gear and pulled it about 100 yards hoping to get it to turn over (there is no battery in the jeep).
 
I'am thinking the damage may have been done when I pulled the jeep away from the creek. I did not know that water was in the motor. My son in law and I hooked a strap to the jeep, put it in gear and pulled it about 100 yards hoping to get it to turn over (there is no battery in the jeep).
That would do it... :( :(

If it is indeed ring material then as you stated, a replacement of a total rebuild is most likely in order. If a ring broke I would dread seeing what the main and rod bearings look like. They are very soft and most likely scored, as well as the crank.
 
I would do a compression check to be a little more positive, but without seeing, it sounds like a done deal.Do it once dry, then spray a little oil in the cylinders and recheck. I would locate a motor on craigslist. Sometimes you can find one still in the vehicle and hear it run. That would be ideal. If not, it is kind of a gamble. I would also look into a good seal kit and reseal the motor while it is out of the jeep. Much easier that way, especially rear main. Nothing worse than dropping a motor in to have a puddle pouring out of the rear main. Might want to consider input shaft seal on trans while motor is out. Grit from water can play heck on a seal. Just my $.02
 
May as well chime in with my 2 cents. If It were mine, and I found metal chunks coming out of the oil pan. I wouldn't spend another second on it. If you have any plans on doing it up and driving it around other than the camp, I would just go for a rebuilt long block. If all you're going to do is use it at the camp, I would find a good used unit to drop in. There's no way for metal chunks to just fall off and end up in your oil pan. They had to migrate there, and probably messed up a bunch of stuff in the process. By the time you tore the engine down, found what is sure to be a wasted cylinder wall from broken rings being sent down the pipe, and tried to bore and re sleeve, you're getting in too deep cost wise.
 
I was reccomending a motor from craigslist because of a quote from kev on another thread. Maybe I should have posted my comment there.

Lets say that you had a 1981 CJ5 with a 258 straight six. And the motor might need to be replaced, what you you do? Keep in mind that money is a factor. This is not the type of project that I can drop $1,000 on. Lets keep the price less then $400, maybe $500 at the very most.

What is the best replacement motor (new or used) for a 1981 CJ5 that currently has a 258?
 
If $$ is tight on this project, I would go to the jeep boards for a look before craigslist. Jeep guys are pullin 358's out all the time to go to v8's. I know where there is one right now in NJ for 100 bucks. Join a few more forums and post up looking for one. It's a leap of faith anyway you go, but I would trust one of the guys on a Jeep forum before I would someone on CL.
 
Yep, definitely from a Jeeper if you could. I had two 258's laying around years ago and I got rid of em for free. I don't even remember where I picked them up, just had them for some reason or the other...
 
Kev, If you decide to rebuild your current engine, make sure a good machine shop takes a hard look at the bottom end. If there was more water than than combustion chamber area could handle its quite possible you could have damaged a few things in the bottom end too.
 
Wow. That sucks. For future reference, I've flushed a swamped engine with auto trans fluid. Tried to pull a john boat through a flooded creek with a 94 YJ. My dad made it across ahead of me with the CJ that I have now. :) When the YJ stalled out, it sucked water up the exhaust into the engine. I drained the sludge out of the pan, filled the crank case with trans fluid, then fired it up for about 20 secs to build oil pressure. Repeated this two more times (changed the filter each time also) before adding the oil back. Fired it up and ran it for about 5 minutes, then checked for signs of water in the oil There wasn't any. Never had any problems with the engine after this either.
 

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