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Old 12-25-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
surok001
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 2WD EX AT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Unhappy Fixing my flooded E

Please don't post anything which hints even remotely to give it up... I've heard it a thousand times
I love my E and want to save it. It was flooded during Sandy and the water line was at the bottom row of the fuse box. I wasn't able to work on my E for some time but resumed recently. Here's my basic list of what I've done so far and what I'm planning to do. Please feel free to contribute:
  1. wash the engine - done
  2. strip of the interior and wash it - done
  3. replace damaged/corroded terminal connectors below the water line - in progress
  4. check air filter (unlikely that water got to it since the water line was much lower, but will check anyways)
  5. replace gas
  6. change oil
  7. change transmission fluid (looks like there's no water, will change fluid anyways)
  8. replace SRS module
  9. replace AMP
  10. replace ECU (unlikely that water got to it but need to remove it and inspect it)

2003, A/T, DX, FWD
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
Rob Dobbs
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2007 SC 2WD 5AT
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Location: So Cal
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For safe measure since your set on keeping it, change ALL fluids. Doesnt matter if they are above or below the water line. Condensation is a major factor here.

Same with all rubber hoses, weather stripping and the motor belts. Do it now rather than risk premature failure later at the worst of times. Not that there is ever a good time for something to go wrong but take care of the issue before it becomes a problem.

Look into treating the metal with a rust inhibitor such as those marketed towards classic cars. Ive treated the floors and panels with a chemical that turned rust into a black inert finish. Its been years but that what I recall of it. I may be wrong but look into it. DO NOT just spray over a surface you believe is clean and dry with a sealer or rubber coating. You must treat the surface, end of story.

Unfortunatly your going to have to trace down every single electrical contact and treat those as well, above or below the water line. Same with the rest of the project, combat the issue before it turns onto a problem. This is where 99% of your future problems will arise due to corrosion. The corrosion may not even be visible as it could be within a jacket of wires and not a visible direct mount or contact. If you tackle the issue now, down the line youll know where to start looking then go deeper if need be.

Now the most difficult part, anything electrical will have to be gone over. Window regulators, exterior lights, the brake system.... Dont just assume things are fine with some elbow grease and a shot of WD40. Its not just your life as risk here but those on the road around you. On a "classic" car ive rebuilt many. Its much easier to pull and rebuild on those than a modern car due to lack of electronics and such not to mention massive parts interchange between models. Your in for a lot of work, do it right.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:34 PM   #3
surok001
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 2WD EX AT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
thanks Rob!
sounds like you've got some good experience at this, I'll be adding your suggestions to the list. A good friend of mine is an electrician, who also suggested to take electrical component inspection very serious.
Do you suggest any particular rust inhibitor?
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
Rob Dobbs
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The stuff I used to use ive not seen in years. Your best bet is to start a google search based on classic cars and rust/metal treatment coatings. Maybe start with Eastwood products to get an idea:
http://www.eastwood.com/rust-solutions/treatment.html
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
jscottk
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2007 4WD EXS AT
Satin Silver Metallic (SSM)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Im sorry to read about your E. Insurance didnt cover it?
I had a FJ cruiser that we lost in Sandy, and thats why we have an Element Now.
We luckly had comp and the FJ went underwater enough that Gieco called it totaled.

If there is anyway to total it do so. Im sorry to be harsh but the electronics on all modern cars are so sensitive to salt that it makes it dangerous to try to fix it, and Sandy was all about salt water and sewage.

Think of the dangers, seatbelt locks, airbags, anti lock breaks, ect. So many things you wont get to test until well..
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:23 PM   #6
Audiophyle
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I think the biggest determining factor for how much work needs to be done is looking at just how long the vehicle sat submerged in the water.
Most electrical stuff outside of the cabin (window & locks included) are relatively resistant to excess moisture, so unless the E sat for a very long time flooded I wouldn't worry too much about corrosion on connections & such, just the things not immediately working. If the systems are bad they will make themselves known pretty quickly, and the fuses are there to keep things protected.

I would replace all fluids, and maybe the brake pads, not sure how well they would work after soaking in water.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:54 PM   #7
Cyclist_306
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Great idea on the brake pads and fluids. Good luck. Please report back on how you are doing.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
07lmnt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophyle View Post
I think the biggest determining factor for how much work needs to be done is looking at just how long the vehicle sat submerged in the water.
Most electrical stuff outside of the cabin (window & locks included) are relatively resistant to excess moisture, so unless the E sat for a very long time flooded I wouldn't worry too much about corrosion on connections & such, just the things not immediately working. If the systems are bad they will make themselves known pretty quickly, and the fuses are there to keep things protected.

I would replace all fluids, and maybe the brake pads, not sure how well they would work after soaking in water.
Sandy was salt water.

Anything electrical inside will be effected. They are not designed to be exposed to water let alone salt water.

Has anyone witnessed an air bag deploy for no reason? I have and it's not pretty.

To those hacks that think you can "fix" your flooded car and then drive or sell it, good luck. And hope you have a good lawyer.

To the OP ...your just gonna get it running and then sell it to an unsuspecting buyer, and since you 'fixed it' on your own and there is no insurance claim it will show up as a clean Car Fax.

Buyer's beware.

Last edited by 07lmnt; 12-26-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:52 AM   #9
surok001
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 2WD EX AT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Dobbs View Post
The stuff I used to use ive not seen in years. Your best bet is to start a google search based on classic cars and rust/metal treatment coatings. Maybe start with Eastwood products to get an idea:
http://www.eastwood.com/rust-solutions/treatment.html
Thanks Rob, I found some great stuff on their website. I'm sure I'll come handy.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:00 AM   #10
surok001
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 2WD EX AT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Thanks for your posts. Although, this is not a simple case nor the results of my work are guaranteed, I can't simply give up without trying. Even if I don't succeed, it'll be a great experience.

I got only liability on my E, so insurance compensation is not an option. However, I did file a claim with my insurance company right away, which will go directly to Car Fax. My intention is to disclose all details and everything that I did to the car to get it up and running if I decide to sell it (will attach insurance claim response letter if you like). No reason to attack me without knowing all the facts.

Now back to the fun stuff... I do intend to replace all the fluids in the car. Replacing the break pads is another good idea, too bad that current pads have no more than 2K on them. At this point my biggest challenge is to replace all damaged electrical connectors and modules inside of the car (currently in progress). I saw what happened to some copper connectors and exposed wires submerged in the salt water, it wasn't pretty. That's why it was decided to replace damaged parts altogether. Even the fuse box will be swapped since it's all copper inside and has sensitive electronics board. Fortunately, E is relatively simple and since I removed the floor and the seats there's a lot of room inside to work with good access to all the wires. Another thing that worries me at this point is the ECU. It was barely above the water line, so hoping it wasn't touched or didn't short inside.

Last edited by surok001; 12-27-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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