Fording rivers & creeks

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Fording rivers & creeks

Post by winton » 29 May 2018, 4:40 pm

I've got a stock standard diesel 4x4 ute with all terrain tyres and nothing else and no experience fording creeks and rivers.

I don't intend on going any deeper than 300-350mm in the water with the vehicle and am relying on the Rooftop maps I have that have fording locations marked on them.

I'm just wondering if its generally pretty safe to do so with the kit that I've got in the Victorian Eastern Ranges?

Of course, I'd get out and check to see the water height. I only intend on going during winter or hunting season in Victoria.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 29 May 2018, 5:04 pm

As long as there's no water getting into the air intake(no worries at the dephts ya mentioned). The bigger issue is current especially in a ute that's light in the arse end. If ya can't stand up comfortably(while stationary)maybe rethink the crossing. Also don't try to bash through that's a great way to end up with a fan in the radiator. And pick ya gear before ya enter. :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by winton » 29 May 2018, 5:12 pm

Thanks Daddybang.

Yes, planning on going slow. Hopefully, the rooftop maps are good and accurate.

I don't have any recovery gear as yet, ie winch etc, so only going to be super cautious.

Do you mean make sure I have my gear handy before I cross? ie backpack etc?
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 29 May 2018, 5:17 pm

Na mate. Pick the right gear on ya vehicle, generally second, so ya not trying to change gears half way across and try to keep the revs constant. Might be a good idea to try to acquire a turfing winch. :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Bigjobss » 29 May 2018, 5:18 pm

Plenty of good videos on youtube showing tips and tricks, its how I learnt the basics before trying it, stuff like correct speed and gear selection and not changing gears.

Take note of where you air intake is if you dont already know, often under the guard.

You might want to install diff breather extensions, you can get a kit on ebay or fittings from Pirtex etc, super easy job to do it yourself and will give you extra piece of mind if you plan on doing it regularly.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by pete1 » 29 May 2018, 5:42 pm

As Daddybang said about picking your gear before you enter, is very important pertically in a manual. when you use the clutch the clutch will separate from the flywheel and water can get between the two and you will have a slipping clutch in middle of the creek meaning less power to the wheels which mean you may end up stuck.

Rooftop maps are very accurate and well done, but remember nothing wrong with double checking a river, as nobody really wants to get stuck.

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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by tracks » 30 May 2018, 8:04 am

Best advice I can give on river crossings apart from checking the depth, check what the bottom is like and the exit out, ya don't want to get stuck in slimy mud or some ones else's ruts half way across or trying to exit out, the next big one is watch the weather, I always plan on another track to get out as these creeks and rivers can turn into a raging torrent and rise well above a safe crossing with just a light rain or if it pours down you will definitely be stuck on the wrong side, all comes down to planning and being prepared for the worst.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by wanneroo » 30 May 2018, 11:38 am

The big mistake people make with water crossings is dive bombing into them at speed. When water is compressed it pushes back on you and I've felt it feel like a parachutes been popped when people do that. Plus they tear up stuff on the vehicle or end up with water in the intake.

Best thing I find to do is ease your way in like easing yourself into a cold outdoor pool. When wheels touch the bottom steady on the gas pedal all the way across. Especially if the bottom is more mud than stone once you get into the gas don't lift off, not even a tad. If you come out of the gas it will kill the momentum and you'll feel the vehicle settle.

If you don't have a lot of experience with water crossings I would start with easy ones and learn your way first. 300mm should be simple enough.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Bent Arrow » 30 May 2018, 12:24 pm

There is some good advice here for a newbie..... Bigjobs pointed out diff breathers. Whilst your at it, put breathers on your gear box and transfer case. Also find out where the breather for your fuel tank is. I have heard that on some 4x4 they are tucked into the chassis rails which might actually make it lower than the top of your diff
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Blackened » 30 May 2018, 12:42 pm

Daddybang wrote:Na mate. Pick the right gear on ya vehicle, generally second, so ya not trying to change gears half way across and try to keep the revs constant.


Low range second :thumbsup:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 30 May 2018, 1:09 pm

Blackened wrote:
Daddybang wrote:Na mate. Pick the right gear on ya vehicle, generally second, so ya not trying to change gears half way across and try to keep the revs constant.


Low range second :thumbsup:


Yep I probably should have been specific. Always use low to give you better control over the revs in high ya can find the revs running away from ya. Also I know it's not applicable to the part of the country that the op asked about but if ya ever find yaself up here be VERY CAREFUL about walking into rivers and creeks to check things out!!. :lol: :drinks:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Lorgar » 30 May 2018, 1:21 pm

What ute exactly mate?

It would be helpful to know what it has in the way of low-range, diff locks etc.

I'll reserve specific advice for after getting an answer to the above, but 30cm of modestly flowing water should be a doddle in any proper 4WD with A/Ts :)
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by winton » 30 May 2018, 5:02 pm

Thanks guys, Youtube is a good one.

A turfing winch would be a decent backup, but I reckon if I had to use it, it would wreck me for the whole week, maybe month.

I've got an auto Navara d40 diesel. would I be better off keeping it in low range 4x4 and in first gear? OK someone just wrote about 2nd. Thats good to know.
Is it a good idea to put car in reverse if you decide not to go any further?

I heard about diff breathers. Is it a necessity if I only plan on doing this a few times a month? Can my ute cope or am I gonna have trouble down the track.

I don't have a snorkel, so I'm limiting my fording to no more than 300-350mm. I probably wouldn't want to go a day after theres been some rain. Is it right to think that it doesn't take that much rain to swell a creek up?

@daddybang, there is no way I'm getting into rivers and creeks in the NT or QLD.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 30 May 2018, 6:04 pm

Ok I've never driven an auto 4by. The gear selection might be a bit different but I'm sure someone who has one will chime in otherwise all the basics are the same.
Yep reverse out don't try to turnaround in the water things can go arseup real quick.
Do you have the opportunity to get out for a drive with some one who has a little bit more experience before ya go out alone??.
Check ya diffs they may already have factory breathers that will be sufficient for the depths mentioned. :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Bigjobss » 30 May 2018, 7:19 pm

D40s have pretty average clearance but I am not familiar with breather location or height, have a look underneath and see if you think their height will be adequate.

If you do go deeper than planned without them all you have to do is change the oil when you get home, pretty easy job but the cost of replacement oil will be more than breather extensions.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Homer » 01 Jun 2018, 7:19 am

G'Day Fella's,

Winton, the best advice I can give you, is to walk thru any water crossing, prior to driving thru it.
Walk over in one wheel track and back in the other.
Yes you will end up with wet legs but this is better than dropping a wheel/vehicle into an unseen washed out rut, or hole!
A pair of those Croc like shoes, is good foot wear for this job.

Hope that helps

Avagreatweekendeh!
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 01 Jun 2018, 8:43 am

Homer wrote:G'Day Fella's,

Winton, the best advice I can give you, is to walk thru any water crossing, prior to driving thru it.


Hope that helps

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Not quite ANY water crossing!!! :lol: :lol: :sarcasm: :drinks:

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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by tracks » 01 Jun 2018, 10:41 am

No need to get your feet wet, carry a few heavy duty garbage bags in ya back pack and stick ya feet in them, just sling ya boots over ya shoulder, sling ya rifle and off ya go,,these days I also carry a pair of thigh height waders in my 4x4, they are very useful if you want to cross a shallow river to get to the other side to hunt, just leave em on the bank until you return, bugger having wet soggy boots gotta keep ya feet dry guys.
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