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waterproofing

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BPCRJ, Nov 27, 2000.

  1. BPCRJ

    BPCRJ Registered Member

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    i need some ideas...

    I am trying to waterproof my blazer inside and out. I plan on not using any carpet and putting down a spray/paint down liner and need some advice on how to seal the firewall and where the t-case shifter comes through the floor? (maybe silicone/marine sealent)? also what is the best way to seal or partially seal the door jams (maybe by putting a lare bead of silicone or something around the door itself then letting it dry so when i shut the door it is pressed againt the door jam to make a watertight seal??. i also heard that disk brakes are better because they won't hold water? i have NO idea where to begin to seal all the mechanical parts (engine/trans. etc.) any tips/ideas i also plan on running all the electrical wires through some type of waterproof hose/tubing? any suggestions
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    For all your mechanicals: Extend all the vent tubes as high up on the firewall as you can. I saw in a magazine a guy who ran all his vent tubes into the glove box, then he rolled his truck and before they got it back on its wheels there was gear oil all over the inside of it[​IMG].
    Add a snorkel kit for the engine so it doesn't suck in any water. Use an aftermarket sealed ignition system like the MSD offroad box.
    Interior sealing: 2 approaches here; first is to try and seal everything possible (very difficult). Second is to create easy drains with rubber plugs. I've seen a Cherokee that was extensively sealed up and also running a small bilge pump under each front seat. I guess the guy like crossing real deep water!
    Just a few things I've seen in a few magazines like Fourwheeler etc.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Forget it. Make it so that it has a way out. Unless your fire wall has had a lot of extra holes drilled in it along the way it should be pretty well sealed. From experience the door seals do ok and thats not where the majority of the water will come in. There are drain holes in the bottom of the door so that any water that comes in around the window has a way out well the water can come in once it gets that high. There is a vent in the door to inside of the truck and thats where the water will be comming in. The other places that water will come in is all the holes that are in the floor for seat belts spare tire carrier ect. Put bolts in any unused holes. Now here is the deal with 32 inch tires and 4 inch lift your looking about 36 inches of water before your really going to get any apreciable amount into the inside if your mooving. If you stop that about to the brake peddle. My advice is make sure what does get in has a way out. I would keep your water play to about 40 inches max depth. That will put a bow wake of about 5 ft infront of the truck and reasonable speed and thats well into the radiator. If you get the truck waterproof much over that and your going to start floating. The reason a hummer doesn't float is they don't seal it they let it run in and back out on the army versions. As for the shift...new rubber boot is going to seal it as good as anything. Adding a few extra screws around the bezel. Thats for a 203/205 not sure on a 208. I have a fair boot and even at 36 inches I didn't have anything comming in.
    As for the rest...get your vents way up high. If oil is leaking out the water can leak in so replace any seals. When playing in water if you have the through the grill air intake pull it loose and turn so that it's behind the battery before you get in the water to keep it from sucking water into the engine. NEVER shut the truck down if the water is above the tail pipes. It will have to much backpressure to start back up and you can suck water backwards through the exhaust pipes into the engine.
    Dielectic grease all your electrical connections. Pack them full including light sockets and any plugs like where harnesss plug together and stuff like electric choke and connections for the distributor.
    Distributor is a tricky deal. It has to vent so unless your going to go into heavy mods and put a fittings into the housing your better off just staying out of water that deep and keep a can of WD40 handy to spray out the cap if you get condinsation in it.
    Fan...the clutched fan works well for water crossings. Just inch in so the fan starts dragging in the watter and it will stop. If you go a flex fan or a non clutch fan ditch it. It can suck into the radiator and tear it up.
    Tail gate...good stock seal is best bet and some camper seal tape around the access pannel.
    Power window motors don't like water and not really a way to water proof them
    2 spares to have on your truck would be an alternator and a spare starter if water play is going to be your game.


    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  4. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    A tip for waterproofing wire connections is to twist the ends together, put liquid electrical tape over the exposed wire then slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over the connection. When the heat shrink tubing contracts it squeezes the liquid electrical tape out the ends, sealing it off from the elements.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]FUN WITH 31's![​IMG]
     
  5. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>What about re-routing the air intake into the cab? My glove box (along with most of my interior) is long gone and it looks like a perfect spot for a K&N conical filter. Would it be possible to use the air cleaner case from TBI trucks (the kind that goes into the core suport) to move the air cleaner inside the truck? I was thinking of having it face the firewall and run the stock hose inside because there is less water behind the dash and the air is cooler (denser) too. If I did this I would put it behind the glove box door with a steel plate under it because water sometimes splashes in there on my truck when I get real deep (over the tires usually). Would it also be a good idea to run the valve cover breather into this? Would oil fall backwards into the air cleaner in the event of a rollover?

    Also, the last time I was really deep my motor started to bog and it almost stalled. It happened to the guy I was with too, only his did stall. How can I prevent this?

    Another thing, is there anyway to reduce the amount of mud that splashes into the engine bay? I remember in the Top Truck 99 videos, all the rock jeeps made they're own inner fenders out of rubber mats. I was thinking of making new inner fenders out of flat sheetmetal (since my stock ones are gone anyway) that go from the firewall to the core suport, then from the frame to the hood. I tried to make mock-ups out of cardboard but found that the brake booster was an interference. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make these work? Mabye building the driver's side one to fit the brake booster and steering shaft behind it while still clearing tires? I also found that a lot of water gets in from the huge gap between the front of the motor, the framerails and the radiator suport. Would it be possible to use a peice of rubber to cover up this area? </font color=blue>
     
  6. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I have done qiute a bit in waterproofing my truck. It still needs more but I can spray the high pressure car wash hose anywhere I want under the hood and it doesnt even miss a beat. I have built a snorkel that takes air from outside the truck at the roof line. I modified a stock air cleaner and jobbered it onto a series of PVC sewer pipes out thru the fender and up. It still uses the stock filter, and I used pieces of rubber innertube for the seal between the carb, the spacer, and the cleaner housing, then a small piece of inner tube fitted over the wingnut screw on the top. Not a drop of water gets in thru this to the carb. For the ignition, I used vaseline on each spark plug wire (both ends) but that dielectric grease is probably better. I also put vaseline around the base of the distributer cap, on either side of a paper gasket that I cut from a sheet. I installed electric fans on the rad that I can shut off. Interior wise, I dont think there is any possibility of keeping the water out, so I believe in the principle that if you cant keep it out, then make sure it can get out when you are out of the water. The Canadian road salt is taking care of drainage for me very nicely! [​IMG] Any electronic devices I have in the truck, (CB, cell phone etc) are usually OK to get wet as long as power is off to them and they are thouroughly dried before you turn them back on (inside and out). I have never had trouble with them anyways but I have never had the interior under water either, just the occasional rainstorm when the top was off! If you can keep the truck moving for the duration of your stay in the lake, the water inside will be limited anyways. Unless you get stuck... back and forth doesnt count. Exhaust... anything I have heard says that as long as the water is below the level of your manifolds (or headers) you can shut it off without trouble. I have left the truck overnight with the exhaust well under water and never had trouble. However I had a Toyota that even if the pipe went under by an inch, it would lose all power and sputter like crazy so I wont say for sure. My 327 has a little higher compression than that 22R. Oh ya, my diffs and t-case are vented all into one line and run right up to my firewall as high as I could with one of those little one way caps on it. After being in the water for any more than 5 or 10 minutes I put 'repack the hubs' and 'check the gear oil' at the top of my things to do list after getting home. I still get a bit of water in the passenger side front hub, but its not bad. Gear oil will turn white milky looking if there is water in it. Grease (unless its synthetic) will also turn grey/ milky and get real runny. I run Amsoil synthetic grease in my hubs, and Amsoil synthetic gear lube in the T-case. It is guaranteed not to mix with water. I run the cheapest 80W90 gear oil in the diffs cause I go thru so much of it. Lately anyways. I may try the Amsoil stuff in the diffs, they say you need 2 complete changes worth of it. Then you take the fluid out, refill it with new stuff and let the old sit on the shelf so it can separate from the water, then you drain the water off and can reuse it next time.
    Wow, what a book... sorry.
    So good luck
    later
    Mike


    <font color=blue>Thumper
    85 Fullsize Jimmy
    [​IMG]
    <font color=red>Lets Go Wheelin! </font color=red>
     
  7. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I have done qiute a bit in waterproofing my truck. It still needs more but I can spray the high pressure car wash hose anywhere I want under the hood and it doesnt even miss a beat. I have built a snorkel that takes air from outside the truck at the roof line. I modified a stock air cleaner and jobbered it onto a series of PVC sewer pipes out thru the fender and up. It still uses the stock filter, and I used pieces of rubber innertube for the seal between the carb, the spacer, and the cleaner housing, then a small piece of inner tube fitted over the wingnut screw on the top. Not a drop of water gets in thru this to the carb. For the ignition, I used vaseline on each spark plug wire (both ends) but that dielectric grease is probably better. I also put vaseline around the base of the distributer cap, on either side of a paper gasket that I cut from a sheet. I installed electric fans on the rad that I can shut off. Interior wise, I dont think there is any possibility of keeping the water out, so I believe in the principle that if you cant keep it out, then make sure it can get out when you are out of the water. The Canadian road salt is taking care of drainage for me very nicely! [​IMG] Any electronic devices I have in the truck, (CB, cell phone etc) are usually OK to get wet as long as power is off to them and they are thouroughly dried before you turn them back on (inside and out). I have never had trouble with them anyways but I have never had the interior under water either, just the occasional rainstorm when the top was off! If you can keep the truck moving for the duration of your stay in the lake, the water inside will be limited anyways. Unless you get stuck... back and forth doesnt count. Exhaust... anything I have heard says that as long as the water is below the level of your manifolds (or headers) you can shut it off without trouble. I have left the truck overnight with the exhaust well under water and never had trouble. However I had a Toyota that even if the pipe went under by an inch, it would lose all power and sputter like crazy so I wont say for sure. My 327 has a little higher compression than that 22R. Oh ya, my diffs and t-case are vented all into one line and run right up to my firewall as high as I could with one of those little one way caps on it. After being in the water for any more than 5 or 10 minutes I put 'repack the hubs' and 'check the gear oil' at the top of my things to do list after getting home. I still get a bit of water in the passenger side front hub, but its not bad. Gear oil will turn white milky looking if there is water in it. Grease (unless its synthetic) will also turn grey/ milky and get real runny. I run Amsoil synthetic grease in my hubs, and Amsoil synthetic gear lube in the T-case. It is guaranteed not to mix with water. I run the cheapest 80W90 gear oil in the diffs cause I go thru so much of it. Lately anyways. I may try the Amsoil stuff in the diffs, they say you need 2 complete changes worth of it. Then you take the fluid out, refill it with new stuff and let the old sit on the shelf so it can separate from the water, then you drain the water off and can reuse it next time.
    Wow, what a book... sorry.
    So good luck
    later
    Mike
    BTW, here is a link to my site if you want to check out my snorkel.
    http://sites.netscape.net/mikesthmpr/thumper


    <font color=blue>Thumper
    85 Fullsize Jimmy
    [​IMG]
    <font color=red>Lets Go Wheelin! </font color=red>
     

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