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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Lightbulb Water-Proofing Engine/Wireing

I am Looking for a cheap and easy way to semi water proofe my electrical stuff such as disributer and coil under my hood. I am ussually not deep enough to be to my hood, and I dont have an electric fan, but when I go through too many puddles or water holes fast, it kills my engine untill the wiring drys out. Once the wiring and distributer dries out, it starts right up

I was wondering if I could simply take some silicone caulking and pul it around the outside of all the seals of the disributer and coil and such, But before I did so, I wanted to make sure that it woundn't make anything heatup and burn out......

Whats your Ideas??

thanks
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucker Terra View Post
I am Looking for a cheap and easy way to semi water proofe my electrical stuff such as disributer and coil under my hood. I am ussually not deep enough to be to my hood, and I dont have an electric fan, but when I go through too many puddles or water holes fast, it kills my engine untill the wiring drys out. Once the wiring and distributer dries out, it starts right up

I was wondering if I could simply take some silicone caulking and pul it around the outside of all the seals of the disributer and coil and such, But before I did so, I wanted to make sure that it woundn't make anything heatup and burn out......

Whats your Ideas??

thanks
Since you didn't list what year/kind of Jeep, or what ignition system you have, I'll have to 'Spit-Ball' this question...
..............................

DO NOT use 'Silicone' type RTV sealer, or anything with an acidic smell to it (Vinegar smell)
The acids in the silicone will rot/corrode/rust your wiring faster than you can even imagine it!


Most of the time when the engine 'Drowns Out' and the Jeep is a '78 to '90,
It's one of two things...

Water In The Distributor Cap,
(Either from condensation from rapid cooling when the cap got 'Sloshed', or from outside water actually entering the cap through vents or faulty cap sealing to the distributor.

Condensation can be kept to a minimum by spraying the inside of the distributor cap, rotor and cap adapter with WD-40.
Don't cheap out here, buy the real brand name WD-40 and don't be afraid to use it!

If you use the WD-40, remember your distributor cap, rotor, ect. will collect carbon from the center button like crazy, so you will have to clean it out regularly...

OR,
The coil terminals getting muddy.

Many times, the distributor is blamed for 'Drowning' out when it's actually the salts and conductive properties of the mud that's coating the coil terminals and shorting the coil out...

Since I have NO IDEA of what ignition you are using, I can't really be more specific than that...
---------------------------------------------------

This is a 'For Instance'...
If you do the 'TeamRush' upgrade to the '78 to '90 distributor (Large Cap, Tall Rotor, Reasonable Plug Wires) you can seal the distributor cap adapter down to distributor with weather strip adhesive (Gorilla Snot),
And the Larger Ford Cap has a groove on it's underside that mates with the cap adapter on top.

This is a V-8 distributor with the cap adapter (light gray) and upsized distributor cap (Dark gray) and reasonable spark plug wires...


Here is an I-6 with the 'TeamRush' upgrade, cap adapter, large cap, taller rotor,



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the next part, you must remember one principal...
"WHERE GREASE IS, WATER CAN'T BE"
Don't spare the dielectric grease! Buy the large tube, and don't be afraid to use it LIBERALLY!
Excess can be wiped off, and it doesn't hurt anything!

You simply put some dielectric grease in that groove before you put the cap on the last time and that grease will seal the cap to the adapter without restricting the removal of the cap the next time you need to inspect/service the ignition.

See the groove in the outside edge of this Ford style cap?


Put some dielectric grease in there and the water simply can't get in through that joint between adapter and cap anymore!

Swabbing up the inside of the coil wire ends and the spark plug boots with dielectric grease will help keep moisture from entering that connection.

I also pull the boot back from the wire, and work dielectric grease in that connection to keep it watertight also.

You should unplug the distributor trigger wiring from it's harness and fill that connector with dielectric grease.

You should unplug the module connectors, clean them, and add dielectric grease to those also!

Remember, your coil wire connector, although having exposed terminals, can benefit from dielectric grease also!

A cover over the coil connector will help keep the conductive mud off the coil low voltage connections,
And using dielectric grease in both sides of the terminal boot will help keep the water out of the wire/coil terminal.

Last edited by TeamRush; 05-15-2009 at 09:40 PM.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Okay, sounds good. thanks. Ill start by getting the dielecrtic grease.

By the way, the jeep is a 74 Cj5 strait 6. It used to have the electronic ignition, but 3 times the box died on me when i was out, and we had to tow it back. well after the third time, I decided to put the old point system in it, becuase you can always get them to run a little, at least to get back home, where as when the box goes, you done running it till you get a new one

but ya, thanks
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 07:03 PM
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Use good-quality coil and plug wires. Clean them thoroughly with alcohol, spray them with silicone spray. When it dries as much as it's going to, spray them again. Make sure the boots have no cracks. When you install them make sure the wires are fully into the cap and onto the plugs. THEN push the boots on.

Make sure the cap and coil have no cracks or carbon tracks. Clean them with alcohol and spray the outside with silicone.

Check for any pathways for water to enter the distributor. The late-70's Autolite distributors had an exposed slot in the side for the linkage from the vacuum advance to enter. You need to make a cover and fasten it in a waterproof way. That's one place where a small amount of silicone caulk is OK since it should never need to be removed. Just let it cure for a day or two before installing it.

Some distributors have a vent hole in the bottom. That's a good idea for any distributor, but it needs a small nipple and a hose run to a dry place.

Silicone grease or dielectric grease is a good idea for the cap-to-housing seal. I use a Blackburn putty that an electrical lineman gave me, and it's never let me down.

I had a problem once when the vacuum advance diaphragm developed a leak. That let low pressure into the distributor housing, which sucked blow-by up from the crankcase past the seal. NOTHING I did helped kept the moisture out of the cap until I found the leak and replaced the diaphragm.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucker Terra View Post
Okay, sounds good. thanks. Ill start by getting the dielecrtic grease.

By the way, the jeep is a 74 Cj5 strait 6. It used to have the electronic ignition, but 3 times the box died on me when i was out, and we had to tow it back. well after the third time, I decided to put the old point system in it, becuase you can always get them to run a little, at least to get back home, where as when the box goes, you done running it till you get a new one

but ya, thanks
ANY Moisture in the bottom of the distributor will make the breaker points malfunction.

With an electronic ignition, the 'Magnetic Trigger' is impervious to small amounts of moisture, and will actually function under water,
Where even small amounts of moisture in the bottom with the points will make them malfunction...

If you decide to upgrade to a solidly WORKING electronic ignition (around $150 for a VERY GOOD ignition) let me know and I'll walk you through the steps/parts to make that thing march on it's own!
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Jim_Lou is pretty close,
But with the Breaker Points distributor you are using (Delco Remy), some of his suggestions are not going to help you.

Lower distributor problems are pretty much solved with a $50 Reman distributor from a '78 or '79 Jeep CJ with I-6 engine.
This takes the breaker points out of the picture, and lower end moisture problems are solved since there are no longer breaker points to be affected by moisture.

If you go with the Jeep/Motorcraft distributor recommended,
You can upgrade to a taller, wider cap that is up and away from bottom end moisture,
And it creates an air bubble around the rotor and cap terminals that keeps moisture from entering from the outside.

If you spray the inside with WD-40 or Silicone Spray, that will help keep moisture from condensing on the inside from the air already in the cap when it 'Quick Cools'...

If you switch to the Jeep/Motorcraft distributor, and tall/wide cap & rotor,
You can use some MODERN spark plug wires that don't have the socket type terminals.
IT will have 'Spark Plug' terminals on both ends, and they are MUCH easier to seal with just a little dielectric grease.

Stock cap and rotor on LEFT,
Upgrade Cap & Rotor on RIGHT,


I can supply you with wiring diagrams, parts lists, ect to switch your breaker points ignition over to Electronic ignition in no time,
And this time it will be RELIABLE!

Last edited by TeamRush; 05-18-2009 at 01:04 PM.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 04:06 PM
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If you go with the later model distributor, here is the cover you need to make to seal off the vacuum advance mechanism. You can also see the vent hose coming out the bottom.

DSCN0887a.JPG

This one is milled from a block of aluminum, but the previous version was bent from a a piece of aluminum sheet.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 07:21 PM
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I'm willing to consider and discuss about anything, so please tell me how this cover keeps water out of the distributor cap/cap adapter?



Since the cover is just keeping moisture out of an EXTERNAL area that has drain holes in the bottom anyway...



Notice the drain holes in the depressed areas of the vacuum advance mounting boss?
How does the cover keep them from letting water in UNDER that cover?
-------------------------------------

The only real 'Exposed' area under the cap or under the cap adapter with the updated cap and rotor is where the TRIGGER PLATE vacuum advance arm 'Sweeps' in it's arc around the center shaft...



Since the cover doesn't come up far enough to contact the distributor cap or cap adapter and seal out water,
Or am I missing something I can't see in the image you posted?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 05:35 AM
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You're missing something in the picture I posted. The cover does come up to the bottom of the cap or cap adapter. The cap is sealed to it and to the distributor housing with a little silicone grease or duck putty.

IIRC I sealed the vacuum advance and the cover to the distributor housing with silicone caulk since they only need to come off to change the vacuum advance.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Lou View Post
You're missing something in the picture I posted. The cover does come up to the bottom of the cap or cap adapter. The cap is sealed to it and to the distributor housing with a little silicone grease or duck putty.

IIRC I sealed the vacuum advance and the cover to the distributor housing with silicone caulk since they only need to come off to change the vacuum advance.
That makes sense now!
Having as much of the trigger advance sweep area sealed up makes REAL sense.
I usually grease up the arm, then use weather strip adhesive once the cap adapter is seated, and move the arm back and forth to clearance the weather strip adhesive... (vacuum advance removed)

Then put the vacuum advance back on.

Does about the same thing, seals up as much of the advance slot as you can without interfering with the operation of the vacuum advance, or the trigger arm sweep.

Ever think of manufacturing that little cover on a CNC machine?
---------------------

I don't worry about the external parts, there really isn't any point to it except to keep things a little cleaner, or make them easier to clean!

I never cared about 'Looks' on my Jeeps...
These aren't show cars, so rattle can paint and rust are OK with me as long as the engine stays running and the wheels stay turning!

I WOULD take better care of mine if I had that Stainless Steel body you have!
That thing is the only really COOL Jeep I know of!
the rest of them are just paint and chrome (smoke & mirrors!)...

The way it is, I really don't care if the rust gets bent up or scraped off, as long as I don't bend the axles or frame, I'm good to go!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 03:06 PM
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If I had a CNC machine I might make a batch. I have a model in my CAD software somewhere that could be imported into a CAM system easily. And all it would take is a 3-axis machine, except for drilling the mounting holes. Heck, a 2-axis machine could do it.

Do the eight-cylinder distributors have the same problem?

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
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