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#1 28-11-07 14:54:42

GrahamADI
Verified Member
From: Wisbech, Cambs
Registered: 20-06-07
Posts: 150

Driving through floods

Just wondering what peoples thoughts are for driving through floods. What depth would you say is the maximum safe depth for your average bog standard car?

I know that you have to keep the car slow with high revs, but it's something that I've never done before.

Reason I ask is because where I live, there's a road that seems to be flooded over winter, meaning a 30min diversion. A bit of a pain if you just want to get to the next village!

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28-11-07 14:54:42

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Re: Driving through floods




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#2 28-11-07 15:20:27

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,302

Re: Driving through floods

Hi
Most cars should be able to go through at wheel centre height/depth, unless that is higher than the door sills.
BUT it depends on a variety of things.
How low is the air intake for the engine.
Do you have a lot of lowdown pulleys which will splash the water around too much under the bonnet.

The ideal speed is one which creates enough of a bow wave that the lower level of water just behind the bow wave is in line with the engine.
too low revs could result in back pressure through the exhaust stopping the engine, but too high revs could cause more splashing under the bonnet.

Bewary of cross currents, roads flooding often have quite high currents.

Why not find a couple of local fords and try it out before it becomes a neccessity.
See this website for around your area, change to a different county if you are near the border.
http://vamp.idlers.org/~jaffa/cambridgeshire.htm

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#3 28-11-07 16:41:43

binty1968
Verified Member
From: Hants/Surrey border
Registered: 22-02-06
Posts: 1,691
Website

Re: Driving through floods

Funnily enough this was a topic of convo with one of my pupils today, personally i wouldnt attempt to drive through any water that was going to go higher than my wheels, so i suppose that puts it at about 1 1/2 -2 ft max. Thats in a fiesta size car and my personal choice, id hate to get marooned half way thru!

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#4 28-11-07 16:54:40

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Driving through floods

Just get a proper 4x4, they have snorkels and are good at going through water smile

SafariSnorkel110TH.jpg

I'm sure you could modify one onto your standard road car lol

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#5 28-11-07 17:09:33

Dimmy
Guest

Re: Driving through floods


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#6 28-11-07 17:13:41

JonnyG
Verified Member
From: Belfast
Registered: 13-01-05
Posts: 742
Website

Re: Driving through floods

We had 1 hour of very heavy rain on 11th June this year in Belfast I had to cancel the rest of my days lessons...
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gtua5L3UINE

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#7 28-11-07 17:26:31

Luchell
Verified Member
From: Salisbury
Registered: 12-06-07
Posts: 1,661

Re: Driving through floods

Don't know if the link is working for anyone else but it only played for a second  neutral It was fully buffered andi tried twice.

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#8 28-11-07 17:45:03

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Driving through floods

LOL

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#9 28-11-07 17:51:52

GrahamADI
Verified Member
From: Wisbech, Cambs
Registered: 20-06-07
Posts: 150

Re: Driving through floods

Hmmm... Snorkel on a corsa... Really struggling with that image  lol

I could just imagine the phone call to the office "Hi it's me. Just thought I'd let you know I'm stuck in the middle of a road which is flooded for about 400 yards. It's on a back road, and there were signs telling me the road was closed, which I chose to ignore. Because the road is also twisty, any recovery is out of the question (primarily because I'm totally out of view), and the interior is getting a bit damp. Is there any chance you could send me out the spare car please? ... ... ... Hello..? ... ... ... Hello..?

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#10 28-11-07 18:09:04

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,302

Re: Driving through floods

Hi

Not the sort of bow wave you should create.
I would think that definitely got water inside the air intake.

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#11 28-11-07 18:26:32

hector
Verified Member
From: Manchester
Registered: 04-04-06
Posts: 2,097
Website

Re: Driving through floods

Get a   diesel golf plus it will do 2 ft of water comfortably i demonstrated it to a pupil last year- something that could have gone horribly wrong big_smile big_smile big_smile

Ever noticed how the 4 x 4 crowd get really impatient with the meer mortals and overtake in an aggresive manner to get through and always drive through the deepest bit at high speed!


EXCELSIOR TRAINING 
James Dawson Grade 6 ADI (Ordit Registered) Ba (Hons) Driver Education
ADI qualification/Check test training/Excelsior DSA Ordit/fleet courses
Johnny boy United 20 its coming son

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#12 28-11-07 18:28:40

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Driving through floods

Because they can tongue

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#13 28-11-07 18:40:49

hector
Verified Member
From: Manchester
Registered: 04-04-06
Posts: 2,097
Website

Re: Driving through floods

great fun in a disco. Ours used to break down everywhere the only place it didnt was in deep water!


EXCELSIOR TRAINING 
James Dawson Grade 6 ADI (Ordit Registered) Ba (Hons) Driver Education
ADI qualification/Check test training/Excelsior DSA Ordit/fleet courses
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#14 28-11-07 19:02:53

DampDog
Verified Member
From: Staffordshire.
Registered: 04-02-06
Posts: 1,538

Re: Driving through floods

Unless of course you're a "Top Gear" presenter, then you have the water on the inside of the car! What a bunch numpties. Highly paid numpties.......Grrr Who get to play for a living....Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr


ADI (car)
1st CT (5)

I used to be a compleat idiot, until some bits fell off...

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#15 28-11-07 20:14:08

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,302

Re: Driving through floods

Hi

Unless of course you're a "Top Gear" presenter, then you have the water on the inside of the car! What a bunch numpties. Highly paid numpties.......Grrr Who get to play for a living....Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Wasn't that in a lake and also at sea?

Go on be honest, your only jealous because they won't let you do it instead of them.  big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

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#16 28-11-07 20:30:52

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Driving through floods

I take it you didn't see the latest episode pegasus wink

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#17 28-11-07 21:18:29

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,302

Re: Driving through floods

Hi
No, I only ever see it if I am visiting someone who has a box when it is either on or available to watch "on demand".

Do I take it they have been doing something silly in floods or fords then?

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#18 29-11-07 00:55:37

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Driving through floods

In classic old British Leyland cars actually, it involved a lot of water, dry suits, and snorkelling kits wink

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#19 29-11-07 07:20:53

adi
Verified Member
From: shropshire
Registered: 28-02-04
Posts: 1,231
Website

Re: Driving through floods

Hmmm... Snorkel on a corsa... Really struggling with that image  lol

I have seen a peugeot 205 with a snorkel fitted using an offroad route i often use. It managed to get to a point that cars would never really reach!

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#20 02-12-07 12:30:49

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Driving through floods

Snorkels on 4x4's were never designed for going through floods - they are to bring the air intake above the low lying dust level in deserts, though they do give a little additional piece of mind when wading. Not knowing where your air intake is will cause you real problems - many cars (even 4x4's - I know cos I killed one doing this) have the air intake in the wheel arch - very easy to flood in water higher than the axle.

Bottom of the wheel hubs is about right for most cars with disk brakes, but watch out because if you wade in vehicles with drum brakes the recommended wading depth is below the bottom of the drum (yes even on big 4x4 pickups like the Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navarra among others you still get drum brakes - god knows why).

Creating the "bow wave" is the correct technique IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO, but this really does throw water around your engine bay, and you need to prepare the vehicle for this kind of wading (petrol engines especially). Lots of water in your engine bay can create real problems over time, and is to be avoided at all costs.

High revs is recommended when using a petrol engine through water above the level of the exhaust - diesels don't have this problem and can be "walked" through (no/little gas, 1st gear, slow wade through). If the water is above the exhaust tho - don't risk it, it is probably too high elsewhere.

Realistically, if the water is likely to be higher than the your lowest wheel nut, or the bottom of your drum brakes - don't do it.

Oh, and even if you buy a Land Rover with a factory fitted snorkel - they'll still tell you that the maximum wading depth is only 500mm as they won't recommend the additional kit that you need to do it safely any more (wading plugs and raised axle and transmission breathers)!

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#21 04-12-07 23:06:11

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Driving through floods

I believe you can get cars nowadays which can detect if the brake discs are wet and will softly "dry brake" at certain intervals, to use friction to create heat and dry the discs.

By the way Tim, what exactly is that in your avatar?

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#22 05-12-07 07:06:50

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Driving through floods

That tends to be on expensive cars - beemers and mercs and the like, and unfortunately doesn't help when you've got silt and the like in drum brakes - for this you need to hose them out before driving on.

It's the "little gear lever" from a Land Rover. It is used to change from "L"ow through "N"eutral to "H"igh gearboxes, and to engage the differential lock between the front and rear axles.

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#23 05-12-07 07:58:36

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Driving through floods

Ah yes, but I thought most cars now had disc brakes on all 4 wheels.

Also - I thought the diff between the front and rear axles generally locked automatically if it sensed the front wheels had little/no traction?

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#24 05-12-07 08:59:11

adi
Verified Member
From: shropshire
Registered: 28-02-04
Posts: 1,231
Website

Re: Driving through floods

There is a variety between vehicles in how 4 wheel drive can be selected and when a centre diff would be used. This can be done at the push of a button in newer 4x4s or the vehicle can do so automatically. the defender has the small selector to change from hi range to low range gears and would be pushed over to the left as and when required to 'lock' the centre diff. When offroading there are occasions when you wouldn't want the centre diff to lock, especially if there are ground sections that suddenly become grippy which can result in broken diffs or half shafts. usually when your giving the vehicle a bit of 'wellie'!!
Personally i prefer that overall control to the vehicle as opposed to the vehicle doing it all itself, the trouble with new technology is that there is more to go wrong which isn't good when your in the middle of nowhere!

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#25 05-12-07 10:23:50

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Driving through floods

Yep, I also prefer having full control. The electronic systems which do a lot of the work themselves can keep a complete idiot from actually breaking the car itself.

Early Land Rover Discoveries were notorious and even got a slot on Watchdog because propshafts broke - LR came on the show and basically said - yeah, because people are stupid and are engaging the difflock on tarmac, so no we're not gonna fix this under warranty because we've got big signs all over the car telling you not to do this you silly school runners!

The modern sensing systems are there not to help the driver so much as to stop the driver from breaking the vehicle! Most of the "soft" offroaders have these systems, but most of the "real" offroaders are still selectable in some way.

And as far as disc brakes are concerned - have a look at any of the fancy bling pickups that are around - they've nearly all got prehistoric drum brakes on the rear (some of them even have  leafspring suspension on the back!)

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