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SA4x4 Clinic got a technical query

Amphibious Hilux


Qusetion by: Rudy Coetzee Answer by: Ronald HairbottleI’d like to ensure that my Hilux 3.0 D-4D is completely waterproof in deep river crossings. How do I do this?
Rudy Coetzee


Unfortunately, due to all their electronic gadgets, new 4x4s aren’t that easy to waterproof. But I’d look at the following:
Front and rear diff housing: You need to extend the diff-housing breathers and mount them as high as possible. Also, you want to leave out the non-return valve and fit a small fuel filter to the end of the tube; this will ensure that no dirt enters the pipe.
Electric diff-lock actuator: These units inevitably draw in water, either at the o-ring or through the breather pipe. If water enters this unit it will corrode and stop working. A new one from the dealers will cost you approximately R4 500!
Gearbox and transfer case: Again, the breather pipes need to be extended to prevent water penetration.
Snorkel: The most commonly fitted accessory for waterproofing an engine. Be sure to double-check the installation.
Water repellent: If you’re driving through a wet area be sure to spray your engine’s electronic components and exposed electrics with water repellent. Remember the alternator windings.
Nose cover: You could cover the front of the vehicle with a tarp or nose cover which will act as a shield and prevent water from entering the engine bay. Remember to remove the tarp when you’re done as you could overheat the engine by preventing air flow.
There are dozens of rules to follow when attempting a deep water crossing but the most important is never to restart your engine once it’s ingested water – doing so will cause significant mechanical damage.
Ronald Hairbottle
TAC 4×4 Traction
(015) 293 0736 / 082 376 5378 /