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burntPiston 11-18-2002 12:28 PM

Pinging when wet
What would cause pinging [detonation] under acceleration when the engine gets wet?

I was wheeling yesterday in a mud pit and took some water up to the grille. I had my fun and on the way out it started to crap out. I made it out fine, but got about 100 feet and died. I pulled the K&N out and luckily the top was dry and clean, but the bottom was soaked and covered. Fired up and drove to camp filterless, running shi**y. Pulled the dist cap and had some water in there, so dried it out and cleaned the contacts. Ran ok on the 40 mile trip home, but started pinging a bit about half that way. Also experienced the hard-cranking syndrome typical of timing problems.

I took everything apart after I washed it. Cleaned the air intake tubes, airbox, dist cap, and noticed some fuzz on the tiny air meter filaments, so I carefully cleaned those too.

Runs great today with no pinging or ill-effects. Any ideas what caused the pinging? Residual water in the intake tubes making its way into combustion? Or water in the dist cap?

91FordTough 11-18-2002 12:47 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
My guess was the water in the distributor cap. We had the same problem with one of the trucks when we went out on our last offroading adventure. But in my opinion it was the cap.


86convert4wd 11-18-2002 01:05 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
Water on old wires will cause that too. Try wetting the wires then going for a drive. The power goes thru the rubber and never makes it to the chamber. My truck did that when i would drive in wet weather. New wires and now she runs better on wet days then dry ones. A LITTLE water(Vapor) ion the air is good. It helps cool the chamber as it burns. To much is no good. It helps crack parts and bend rods. There was a Buick back in the 50's or 60's that has an all aluminum engine that would warp if it got to hot so the enigineers made a water injectoion system. Worked great but you had to fill the water up or it was useless.

The slow cranking could have been water in the starter. How long after the dunk did it crank slow?

burntPiston 11-18-2002 01:11 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
Cranked hard once right after dunking, but again 40 miles later near home.

The plug wires are in great condition.

86convert4wd 11-18-2002 02:21 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
Hmmm. I've heard from a few friends that some Lincon's with 302's have a small guard in front of the distributor that is supposed to deflect water. Not sure how effective it is but next time i'm at the yard i'll look around for one. I've heard of some people sealing up their distributor w/ di-electric grease. I guess vaseline would work too. Not sure if the heat would melt it and do more harm than good.

burntPiston 11-18-2002 02:30 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
Yeah, I'm going to have to seal up that distributor and find a way to keep the airbox more dry...hated having my fun cut short due to those problems while the other truck got to keep playing.

I know a lot of you see much more water/mud than I do, any similar problems or ideas for workarounds?

86convert4wd 11-18-2002 03:22 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
I always have to stop playing too. I grabbed an airbox of an 86 bronco cause the one from the 89 didn't fit and i broke the one that came w/ my truck when i pulled the original motor. The earlier ones bolt where your coil goes so i moved the coil the where the a/c compressor woud go. They have a backwards tilt on them so the water that you do get in there stays away from the front where the intake tubes are. I left a screw out on the bottom so it drains faster. The only thing is you have to find a way to get the air to the box. It's intake is on the side of it and has an elbow that connects the tube that runs to the grill for fresh air. I just have the elbo turned up and no tube. i didn't like how low it's intake was. You could just get that flexible tubing crap that these kids use on thier rice rockets to make a cold air induction system. My brother did that to his grand am and had about 2 feet left over so one of these days i'll go in there and re-route it to the fenderwell so i don't splash it thru the gap left by the body lift.

lookinfurfun 11-18-2002 04:06 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
Here's a distributor boot for Mustangs. Maybe it could work for your app. If you know your gonna get wet, you could spray the inside of the cap with WD40 too. Just not sure how much he'd like it though [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

reptillikus 11-18-2002 05:25 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
hahha, we had to do that to dry out someone's (not mentioning anyones names coughstevecough) dist, after a couple big mud puddles on our trip to paragon. Ive heard that boot does a pretty good job, i was gonna go check one out at a yard this weekend to see if it looks like it would be worth getting

McDerry 11-18-2002 06:15 PM

Re: Pinging when wet
Well you could always runn a snorkel instead of the air intake on the grill, it doesnt always looks as cool but at roof top hieght it can realy help out on water in the air intake.

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