Floods - advice

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Floods - advice

Post by FFX-DM » 02 Jan 2003, 17:04

Hello all. Happy New Year!
Some splendid floods encountered on my way to work this morning, plus the usual run of hysterical drivers, swamped engines and generally mad people.
Can anybody shed any light on the question of driving through floods for me? I generally stick it in 2nd and pootle through at a moderate pace and feel smug that I am driving a diesel. <img src=icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>
However, when I got in and compared getting to work stories with my diesel Renault driving colleague, he tells me that I am doing it all wrong. He says that my 'pootling' technique could lead to water in the engine which could sha... oops, I mean 'damage' it. His technique is to put the car in 1st, rev it up to 3000rpm and then go through slipping the clutch. Does anybody agree with this? Should I be doing it? They never tell you useful things like this when you are learning or in the handbook or indeed on Top Gear. <img src=icon_smile_question.gif border=0 align=middle>


Post by Jon » 02 Jan 2003, 17:29

Made it back from the frozen north then?
hm, you can stop smiling.<img src=icon_smile_sad.gif border=0 align=middle> Loads of ZX diesels have suffered complete seizure after driving through floods, "hydraulicing" the engine. Turbo diesels draw their air a bit highre up and are not so badly affected. I'm alright then!
The reason being, the air intake on the 1.9D is mounted quite low at the front of the car, the idea being that it can draw nice cold clean air. Unfortunately, this can also mean that it sucks up flood water too.
I've heard of people removing or modifying the plastic air intake pipe to the air cleaner to avoid the above.<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>
Anyway, Happy New year.
Jon Wood

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Post by FFX-DM » 02 Jan 2003, 19:09

I think I will (a) take a route home avoiding the worst of the floods and (b) check where the air intake is on my car.
No thoughts on this revving thing then?
BTW, not too frozen in the NE, but not so good in Scouseland I gather <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>


Post by Jon » 02 Jan 2003, 19:43

Well, this revving business, I think that its a bad idea on a diesel. The induction system will attempt to suck up more air and get water instead as engine RPM increases. I think that this idea stems from older petrol cars, where the car would cut out at the first sign of damp, so revving the engine was the only way to keep going?
As the diesel engine has no ignition system as such (ignore HDI's and things with ECU's), the only way that water can affect the engine is if its sucked up the air intake.
As for slipping the clutch, I can see that one. Burns the water off the clutch plate I suppose.
I now await a flood (ha ha ha)of people telling me that I am completely wrong, as is generally the case. <img src=icon_smile_shock.gif border=0 align=middle>
Jon Wood

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Post by FFX-DM » 02 Jan 2003, 20:15

I think that the colleagues' idea was that you would keep blasting the old exhaust though the pipes to stop water getting back up that way. I hadn't even thought about the intake, just assumed it was in a nice safe place. If it ever stops raining I will take a look under the bonnet to see if I can spot the air intake. Presumably it's okay to reposition, modify or remove any down pointing tubes that I find? I do a lot of driving around in axle deep mud in the summer (summers getting hotter and drier my *rse!) and I don't want to be sucking up mud. It would be worth making the mods and warning my non-list enabled ZX driving chums.


Post by Jon » 02 Jan 2003, 20:41

As I am a really helpful person (read "bored" for that) I just went had a quick look under a colleague's ZX 19D to examine the air intake system. And it came to pass that I may be talking b0llocks, as on this ZX 19D the air intake was near the top of the rad, nice and high up. So no problems there.
When I first mentioned this earlier in the thread, it was because I had to fit a s/hand engine in a ZX D a few years ago after the bloke drove through a flood, it sucked up water, and bent the conrods etc nicely. And the air intake on that one was low, right near the bottom of the rad.
Maybe Citroen modified the air intake.
<img src=icon_smile_clown.gif border=0 align=middle>
Jon Wood

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Post by FFX-DM » 02 Jan 2003, 21:01

I confess that I already read on HJ's forum that somebody ('Citreonean' - nice name!) posted that his 1.9TD had sucked in water and got sh*gged due to low down intake. I will check on my car just to be on the safe side. I have never fiddled with the filter, etc, but I guess I should be able to find it if I follow in one direction or another! I'll let you know what I discover - perhaps other ZX owners could give us a consensus?
Jon, thanks for your efforts, you must be almost as bored as me! I am currently trying to phrase replies to customers in, how shall we put this, 'non-vernacular anglo saxon'

Dave Burns
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Post by Dave Burns » 03 Jan 2003, 05:04

Hehehe seen no end of cars and vans have their engines trashed going through water to deep for the intake.
Where I used to work there is a rialway bridge with a dip under it, during heavy rain the dip filled up, motorist could see the footpath was just a few inches above the water and thought it safe to proceed, unfortunately non locals weren't aware that the footpath was actualy eighteen inches higher than the road surface.
A nob in a Jag took a bloody great run up at it one day, and after being warned how deep it realy was, but he was in a big hurry and risked it, the water was a foot deep inside the car when he got towed out.

alan s
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Post by alan s » 03 Jan 2003, 08:53

Once upon a time, it used to rain in Australia; and when I say rain, Ahh dooo mean rain....I once went down to the pub to stock up prior to a heavy storm hitting, but it hit whist I was out; 5 inches in 40 minutes which flooded culverts and roads & I lived out of town a bit so it was no mean feat getting home. Nothing puts a lump in your throat more than seeing the bonnet of the Ford Failane (I ownd at the time) disappearing into flood water and the water running up & over the windscreen, or as happened only a few years back, crossing a culvert in an MPV and opening teh sunroof, undoing the seat belts & advising all on board that if I yell GO!! they bail out the top. Thought I'd throw that in to put my suggestions into perspective. <img src=icon_smile_clown.gif border=0 align=middle>
When we get the tropical downpours again, it will be common for diesels to fit a "snorkel" to the intake and an extension to the exhaust. In the case of 4WDs which are unfortunately totally useless on wet bitumen at anything over 60 KPH but the donkeys who drive them seem to be spurred on by a false sense of security and tend to dive into water deep enough for them to float off; this is how we keep the numbers of 4WD driver under control I think <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle> and with the snorkels, on a diesel, this is really the only limitation, the depth you get into so that the car keeps its wheels on the ground.
I did hit a flooded causeway one night in a CX at 110 KPH which was almost 400 metres across; I saw it coming just as I went round a bend & knew if I tried to stop, I would, about in the middle so I hit the height lever & gave it everything and almost got it up planing like a ski boat. The momentum was lost about halfway across but I kept the foot on the floor in 3rd. Came spluttering out the other side eventually and said a little prayer when I got home; can't believe I could be that lucky again so this method is not recommended.<img src=icon_smile_tongue.gif border=0 align=middle> <img src=icon_smile_tongue.gif border=0 align=middle>
Alan S

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Post by philcut » 05 Jan 2003, 18:52

We actually get some rain here in Saudi-honest!!And i like nothing better than to allow some poor unsuspecting chap to follow my BX into a foot deep 'lake' and watch him 'drown'as my Gallic miracle rises up as if by magic and pi**es off down the road-tee hee!!<img src=icon_smile_evil.gif border=0 align=middle>I've even done it to one of those 'soft roaders'-sheer bliss!!<img src=icon_smile_approve.gif border=0 align=middle><img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>. I find that raising up to full height,plenty of revs and slipping the clutch works a treat.<img src=icon_smile_cool.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Post by Jakey » 18 Feb 2003, 00:09

My girlfriend recently took her 306 Dturbo through a rather large (60 ft across and 14 inches deep) puddle and came to a grinding halt in the middle. She was very lucky - the nice AA man popped the rather sodden air filter out and the dt started and ran perfectly.
The air intake is just under the bonnet and the water wasn't that deep ! The air filter is located just behind the radiator, very low on the drivers side. The filter is removed by unclipping and removing the BASE of the housing. My guess is that as much water entered around the housing base as came in via the main intake...
Does that seem likely ?

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Post by MarkS » 23 Feb 2003, 21:28

I was in the slavage game, (ha ha) and came across many flood damaged cars. As has been said, the problem is when the water is sucked into the engine, but, this in its self is not too bad if the engine is going slowly (your answer) as you can remove the injectors and pump the water out. When the engine is reving high, it breaks/bends something.
Yes the ZX TD inlet for the airfilter is very low.
Whne pumping out the water dont forget the turbo and pipes/intercooler as these fill up too.
An engine which has been quiet full of water on top of the pistons, if the engine was going slowly, is often OK when emptied. An engine which has had water in the oil can also be OK as long as it has not been in there too long, but question how deep the car was into the water as the only way into the engine sump is often high. A lt higher than the air inlet.
I allways go through water slowly and with the engine at tickover or maybe just over, if then it goes wrong and the water is too deep, the engine just stops and it can be fixed.