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Discussion Starter #1
I installed the new Mopar CAI last week, this one has the filter under the car in front of the driver's side tire.

We've had a ton of rain here in the Midwest, and on Thursday I was driving to work in the morning (early, dark, etc.) when I turned down a side street and ran into a rather large puddle. By the time I realized how deep it was, I was in the middle of it. I don't think the water was high enough to get sucked into the filter, and I haven't noticed any differences in the car so I think I'm okay.

The whole situation made me wonder, though - if this happens again and I'm not so lucky, what could/would happen? Temporary issues or long-term damage? And how would I know I got water in it? Would I get a light, sputtering/stalling, etc.?
 

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You would be getting a new engine. Water does not compress, so you'll bend rods and cause severe damage.
 

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You would be getting a new engine. Water does not compress, so you'll bend rods and cause severe damage.
True if the engine ingests a large amount at one time. But, in reality you probably will get a code set and go into limp mode.
 

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Hydrolock is always a possibility but you'd have to submerge the filter to do so, and in most cases the lack of air will just kill the engine. Same thing happens if you submerge the tailpipe. Engines can process small amounts of water, they've used water injection units for years to cut down on detonation on high performance motors. Just stay off the gas and get out of the puddle as quickly as you can before it sucks water into the intake.
 

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I had a K&N CAI on my SRT-4. I got caught on the interstate in the worst rain storm I can remember. I was going 45mph in 4th gear when all of a sudden the engine stalled and locked up the front wheels. I pushed in the clutch and pulled off the road. When the tow truck pulled the car up on the flatbed I watched 5 qts of oil drip down! Put a rod right thru the block! All it takes is a few onces of water.

Believe me when I say you don't have to have the filter completely submerged. Water riding up the wheel well can over whelm the filter and you will be sucking all water. My filter even had a water pre screen on it. 6K bucks damage in total. The engine only had 8K miles on it.

Mopar confirmed water can ride up and overwelm the filter. They installed a water shield on their CAI for protection. I only buy Mopar equipment from now on.

Be careful!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The CAI I have came directly from Mopar, and I purchased it about two weeks ago - does that mean it has a built in water shield or something like that?
 

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The CAI I have came directly from Mopar, and I purchased it about two weeks ago - does that mean it has a built in water shield or something like that?

Probably not. I would assume the orginal splash guards around the fenders and the accompanying belly pans will protect the filter, but you do have to remember not to go 4-wheeling through a couple feet of water.

I'm thinking for the most part you would be ok.
 

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I had a K&N CAI on my SRT-4. I got caught on the interstate in the worst rain storm I can remember. I was going 45mph in 4th gear when all of a sudden the engine stalled and locked up the front wheels. I pushed in the clutch and pulled off the road. When the tow truck pulled the car up on the flatbed I watched 5 qts of oil drip down! Put a rod right thru the block! All it takes is a few onces of water.

Believe me when I say you don't have to have the filter completely submerged. Water riding up the wheel well can over whelm the filter and you will be sucking all water. My filter even had a water pre screen on it. 6K bucks damage in total. The engine only had 8K miles on it.

Mopar confirmed water can ride up and overwelm the filter. They installed a water shield on their CAI for protection. I only buy Mopar equipment from now on.

Be careful!
how do you know how much water it was?

back in the olden days, edelbrock made a water injection kit called the vari-injection Edlbrock Vara-jection - Edelbrock Community Forum

it sprayed water into the carb to control detonation. I used one and never bent a rod. So i know they can inject some water. too much and sure, it will do damage but how much is too much?
 

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how do you know how much water it was?

back in the olden days, edelbrock made a water injection kit called the vari-injection Edlbrock Vara-jection - Edelbrock Community Forum

it sprayed water into the carb to control detonation. I used one and never bent a rod. So i know they can inject some water. too much and sure, it will do damage but how much is too much?
Water injection is a very fine mist and should not cause anything near a hydrolock condition. The guys who replaced the motor said the intercooler was full of water so I think it was sucking water for some time and finally got a big gulp! That was enough to blow the motor.
 

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thats my point. a regular rain is a closer to a mist than a bucket being dumped into the intake at once. if the intercooler got full, i could see it being a problem. it fills up slowly and then the tube fills and GULP! a big dose of water goes in. Its hard for me to see that happening with a CAI UNLESS it was submerged
 

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One reason to stay out of deep water puddles. If you're in an area plagued by heavy rain and puddles i wouldn't install a cai with the filter in the wheelwell. We get heavy rain often here in florida but i've never worried about sucking up too much water. I prefer my rotofab unit with the filter near the top of the motor, no worries of sucking up water.
 

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thats my point. a regular rain is a closer to a mist than a bucket being dumped into the intake at once. if the intercooler got full, i could see it being a problem. it fills up slowly and then the tube fills and GULP! a big dose of water goes in. Its hard for me to see that happening with a CAI UNLESS it was submerged
Ever since that happened to me I have had a tough time convincing people that your CAI doesn't have to be completely submerged! If people don't want to beleive it, that's OK with me, it's your motor!
 

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I believe your story, i've known other people that have suffered hydrolock before, almost all of them had a fender mounted cai where the filter was down at wheel level or near the bottom of the body. rolling thru a deep puddle would make it possible for it to suck up a big gulp which could in fact cause a problem.

I always had my doubts only because I drowned a 440 magnum with oil once before i stored it for about 5 years, pouring oil slowly into the carb until the engine died, it ate about a quart of oil before it stopped running, but in my case it didn't damage the motor at all, 5 years later i cleaned the carb, changed the oil and cranked it till it started and the motor ran great afterwards, in fact the same motor is still in the car 30 years later and regularly starts after sitting for a year at a time. Maybe with water it behaves differently with a couple good gulps of h20.
 

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I had a Cutlass when I was in high school that had unending carb issues and it would carbon up, so I would trickle water down the carb to clean it out every six months. People are worrying way to much, you can put quite a bit of water down the intake before there's much risk of locking it up. I drove my '79 Trans Am with an open scoop and a K&N filter during several heavy storms and you could see a lot of rain being sucked into the scoop when the throttle was opened up. Never had a problem with it in the 7 years I had the car.
 

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I believe your story, i've known other people that have suffered hydrolock before, almost all of them had a fender mounted cai where the filter was down at wheel level or near the bottom of the body. rolling thru a deep puddle would make it possible for it to suck up a big gulp which could in fact cause a problem.

I always had my doubts only because I drowned a 440 magnum with oil once before i stored it for about 5 years, pouring oil slowly into the carb until the engine died, it ate about a quart of oil before it stopped running, but in my case it didn't damage the motor at all, 5 years later i cleaned the carb, changed the oil and cranked it till it started and the motor ran great afterwards, in fact the same motor is still in the car 30 years later and regularly starts after sitting for a year at a time. Maybe with water it behaves differently with a couple good gulps of h20.
Oil is a different matter as it will compress, water won't. Hard to beleive that water will break a motor but I can verify that it will. I always cringe when I see cars floating down a river and have to think someone may have run the car while it was sucking water. Kiss it goodbye!
 

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Since I have been watching this post I may as well bring something up...
One item I put on my car that I brought over from my boating days was a K&N DryCharger Filter Wrap. They are water repellent, not water proof. It also helps to keep the filter itself clean of dust and bugs. Since my car is a daily driver and see's all kinds of weather it just made sense to me. I don't have a good pic of it installed but its clearly visible here.
Dodge Challenger Concept Photo Gallery - P8140498
Check out K&N Air Filter Wraps
Just a thought.
Steve
 

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The CAI mounted thru the fenderwell may be better for not drawing warm air from the engine compartment but now it's closer to the ground and can draw water from a deep enough puddle and destroy the motor.
 

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My post from an earlier thread on this subject.....

I believe you are correct.:thumbsup:
If you look at the installation pdf. for the AEM Brute force, which is the same as the Mopar unit, you can see the Filter is mounted up in the space behind the side marker light and horizontal to the ground.

http://intakesystems.com/images/PDFS...EM_21-8223.pdf

I think it would take a foot or more of standing water to reach it.
The side marker light is 16 inches above grade on my car with the SRT suspension.
I certainly am not going to plow my baby into a foot of water. And luckily in my area floods are not very common.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks to everybody for the thoughts & discussion. As stated above, the filter is tucked up by the side marker light and is covered by plastic panel on the bottom of the car. If I go through enough water to submerge it, I'm sure I'm going to have some additional problems.

The puddle I initially went through that generated this question couldn't have been more than 2-3" deep, and I was going slow through it - I'm sure no water got to the filter, I was just curious as to what would happen if it got too wet.

Thanks again for all of the responses.
 

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Also, something to consider, no idea how close one would come to fitting the Mopar CAI tube - but AEM makes multiple sizes of their "air bypass valve", which installed further up the intake, opens as an alternate source of air if the filter does in fact become inundated with water. Pretty neat, seen one work. Takes a fair amount of vacuum to trigger, but may be worth looking into if you plan on doing any traveling near the lower Mississippi basin in the near future.
 
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