4x4 Driving Tips
Drawing of Jeep.   
The Subject:

   Water Crossings Title
   Tarp over Blazer's hood to keep water out.  
TIP #1:
Before entering water, tie a tarp or canvas over your grill and winch to keep water out of the engine compartment.
TIP #2:
Let your rig cool down before dunking it. Cold water can warp hot disc brake rotors and can frag your catalytic converter if it gets sucked into the exhaust pipe.
Todd DeBerg, Kamiah, ID

TIP #3:
Know what the stream bed is like. A slow moving stream may have a deep muddy bottom that can bog you down. A faster moving stream washes away the silt from the bottom and will probably have a firmer bed with better traction.

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   Blazer entering stream.
TIP #4:
Be aware that in deep water, your rig will partially float. This greatly decreases your traction, and may make it difficult or impossible to climb up a muddy or rocky bank on the far side. You may need to open the door and let water into your rig, to decrease the bouyancy and give you enough traction to make it up the opposite bank. But if you try this in the winter be sure you have extra dry clothes along.
Contributed by: Francisco Ocana, formerly of Spain, now living in Maryland, USA. Thanks, Francisco.

TIP #5:
If you have to get across deep water in an emergency, you may increase your chances of making it if you drive across backward. The wake created tends to keep water out of the engine compartment. Drive as rapidly as you can and DO NOT lift your foot off the gas, or water will flood the exhaust pipe and stall the engine. Make sure you know first that the bottom is firm and doesn’t contain any large sunken logs or boulders to hang you up. Make sure your approach and departure angles will let you get up the far bank.
Author and adventurer, Ragnar Benson
Here's a tip from Ric Cumming:
"When heading for a stream never drive head on into it. The best way to cross is to angle your truck so that only one tire is in the stream at a time. This will allow easier crossing."
Thanks, Ric.
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   4-Wheel Freedom: The Art of Off-Road Driving. By Dr. Brad DeLong.
The definitive book on 4x4s, off-road recreation, and all-weather driving.
ORDER NOW at 1-800-4X4ROAD (494-7623). Copyright Symbolcopyright Dr. Brad DeLong 2005