Saturday, January 12, 2013

My truck ended up in the lake.

(Really late post to provide background information for current posts)

Well, on July 4th, my truck ended up in the lake. For some odd reason, I got it in my head that leaving it running would make it easier to pull out in a hurry if something went wrong. So I had it running and was loading the boat up. I hit the trailer kinda hard, and everything looked good, so I went to shut the boat down and hook the trailer safety cables up. I heard people yell and I looked up and water was half-way up my tailgate. I jumped out but only managed to get in the truck as it died. I didn't realize until after that that the bed was up to my shoulders, and my feet weren't touching the ramp. I figure the emergency brake either came loose, or the truck started sliding when I hit the trailer with the boat. The boat is big enough that it floated the front of the trailer and the back of the truck. So once the truck went in far enough, the boat lifted the back wheels and the truck rolled the rest of the way. If I had killed it, I could have left it in gear. If the emergency brake is what gave, then at least the gears would have held.

Luckily, it only rolled until it was sitting level, so the boat actually saved it. It didn't get deep enough to short the battery, since the electronics were still working, but it wouldn't start when we pulled it out. I got lucky and let it sit for 3 days while I drained the oil and it started right up. I drained the oil again, and removed the oil pan as well just to get out any standing water. I drained the power steering fluid, since it was low enough to have gone under. The master cylinder didn't go under, or the clutch fluid reservoir, so I didn't worry about those. I didn't even have to pull the spark plugs, or the dreaded buried-back-at-the-firewall distributor cap. I also noticed oil leaking out of one of my axle tubes, but I think that was probably less from the lake than from when I rebuilt the u-joints a few years back. I had probably nicked the seal then. But that would let water into the front differential, so I drained and replaced that as well, and replaced that seal (which was a major pain, since it's buried in the middle of the axle tube).

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