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Waht to do after the trail ride.

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Grim-Reaper, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    I am with a big club. We have a lot of new people that have joind in the last few months. We had our monthly ride over the weekend. We got to run through some deep mud and deep water. As I was doing my after trail maintance I got to think about the fact that in our club meetings we haven't brought up vehicle maintance in a while. So I typed this up for a club mailing list and thought I would share it with the CK5 crew as well because we have a few new folks here also. Understand my club is diverse in the vehicles we have We have about every Jeep ever made, Ferds, Cruisers, rovers and even a Styer Puch Pinzengaur. My note also adresses them so don't get all huffy that Jeeps are mentioned.
    Well here it is.

    I got to thinking (yeah I know, that's dangerous) and realized we have a lot of new people in the club. Many new to 4 wheeling that may not be aware that they need to do some maintance and checking after deep mud or water crossings. It's been a while since I recall this being addressed at a meeting so I thought I would bring it up.
    Hose the truck off including the underside and drive line. Get the suspension clean and back flush the radiator if you have taken a deep dive in mud. The mud can collect between the radiator and AC condenser and cause over heating issues. Be careful when rinsing off the engine to try to keep clear of the distributor or cover the distributor. If the engine is hot when you do this it's possible for condensation to form in the distributor and cause the truck not to run right. I prefer to hose the engine off when it's cold when cleaning off mud to help prevent this problem.
    Be careful when your cleaning around non greasable components like u-joints, ball joints and tie rod ends. It doesn't take a lot of water pressure to lift a rubber seal and you can get water into these components if you hit it with a hard enough stream of water. Even good pressure on you garden hose can be enough so don't go thinking that I'm only talking about a pressure washer. Some houses have the on of the outside spigots before the water pressure regulator and you may have 90psi if your close to the pumping station. So around these parts light pressure will do the job it just takes a while for the mud to soften up and run off.
    Water and mud will get into everything. Few things that need to be checked or done are the following after you have cleaned the vehicle.
    If your truck has greaseable tie rods, drag links, U-joints, control are bushings, ball joints you need to regrease them. Water will get in them and will drastically shorten their life span. Always good to do this after a trip.
    Differentials need to be checked for water getting in them. You need to do this right after driving it because oil will float on the water. If the truck has been sitting it's possible for the water to settle and the problem not be apparent.
    Pull the fill plug and stick a finger in there see what the oils look like. If it's milky brown then you have water in there and it needs to be drained and flushed. If a lot pours out when you pull that plug it could be water is in there also.
    I personally feel the way they do it as Jiffy Lube is not going to cut it if you have water in the Diff. They stick a suction device in the fill holes and suck it out. Problem is oil floats on water and they are not going to be able to get it all out. It's best to pull the cover and flush it out with some brake cleaner. Not taking the time to do this could be very costly as it could ruin the bearings and gears in the axle. If a bearing seizes it could even destroy the housing.
    If you get water in you need to figure out why. The most common place is an inadequate vent arrangement. many axles will just have a small vent on the housing and easy to submerge. When a hot axle hits cold water it's going to suck water in if that vent isn't up high enough. The other place is worn seals but usually that is apparent because you will see oils leaking out.
    Best thing to do is install a longer vent hose to a high point. On a Jeep that would probably mean running it up the fire wall and zip tying the hose to the brake booster mount. I get myself a cheap fuel filter to use on the end. The one I get is for I think a carbureted mid 80's Toyota Corolla. It's about 1.5 inches in Diameter and has the connections at the bottom and the side. I connect to the side so it has to vent from the bottom. These are clear so you can see if they are contaminated. Just make sure you leave enough slack in the hose at the axle that the hose will not get pulled off.
    Transfer case and transmission is the same deal. Sometimes the vents are low and can suck in water. Same trick as the axle vents can be done.
    Front wheel bearings and locking hubs. Good to pull that locking hub off and see if there is any water behind it. Some vehicles have sealed bearings and there is not much you can do for these but if you have the older style hub and spindle arrangement it's good to at least pull the hub. Not a bad idea to completely disassemble the whole deal every few months and inspect the bearings and seals.
    Roll around under the truck and check the frame and under carriage for dents and cracks also. It's possible for you to hit a rock hard enough to bend things. On Older GM trucks like mine they are prone to craking the frame around the steering box. I know on a lot of Jeeps it's not hard to bend the belly pan/ transfer case suport can be bent and push the transfer case and rear yoke against the floor board. Not hard to fix with a HiLift and a sledge but sure can cause problems. I under stand that the newer Jeeps including the XJ that you can whack lower contro arms. Take the time to look for damage.

    Get in the habit of spending a couple hours on your truck after a wheeling trip if you have gotten into any deep stuff. It really will save you a lot of cash in the long run. If your not very mechanically inclined feel free to ask so of us that have been at it a while for some help. This is not hard stuff and easy to learn. This club is full of great folks that are more than willing to lend a hand and teach you this type of stuff. Big reason is preventative maintance goes a long way and will help prevent problems on the trail. You buying a cheap grease gun and a few hand tools is far cheaper than having to get a new ring and pinion so get use to a little grease under the fingernails after a trail ride.



    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  2. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    Transfer case and transmission is the same deal. Sometimes the vents are low and can suck in water.

    <font color=blue>Especially on the SM465, thats how my 1st one got destroyed. Good post
     
  3. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    one very important thing not to do after a trail ride is. ride behind, infront of or beside grimmy.

    gime a bucket of chicken with extra skin!
     
  4. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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  5. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Great post. Basic information never goes outta date. And the things we may take for grabted can be very valuable to those just getting started. Mind if I post this to my club website?

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  6. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Great post Grimmy. I have something to add.

    For those of us who haven't converted to 4 wheel disk brakes yet, need to check your brakes in the rear. Mud and dirty water likes to get in the drums and coat the shoes. And if your like me and lost your dust covers you will let lots of mud in there and the brakes wont work at all.

    Its the popping, rumbling, roaring, twisting, flexing, grinding, so you can wheel anywhere medicine[​IMG]
     

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