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Drying out a drowned Disco 2

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Long, and sad, story but could have been much much worse.

My son drowned the Disco 2 in a flooded wadi filled with flash flood water. Thankfuly he and his girlfriend survived the ordeal but only thanks to a heroic rescue from the air and river bank.

A few hours later I manged to pull the drenched Disco out with the trusty Defender.

Following morning turned the engine by hand - not seized so good start. Emptied out the air box, pipes etc and fired the engine - started quickly and after running a little rough smothed out. Every time we reved up the engine cut and then would not start for a couple of minutes. Main computer out, opened, dried and cleaned and that was sorted.

Then found that the gear box was not working (auto) just 3rd and reverse. Took the gearbox computer out from under the seat and cleaned and dried that out and that sorted the gearbox out.

Now have to get all the mud and water out from the interior - water was upto the base of the front seats. And this is where I need your help - how can I best dry and clean out the interior which is full of fine silt and water ?

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Take all the carpets out as they will hold water and will never dry in place. I guess the fuse box and higher mounted ECUs were above the water line but if in doubt dismantle and dry out!

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You will need to clean out the heater and air conditioning, any air vents and the like. Legionnaires disease may develop in these areas and can be quiet nasty when you start using the car again. My fathers friend got caught in a flood in a 3 month old Mercedes, the insurance company had the car crushed to protect themselves if the car got put back on the road. I saw the car and damage was minimal, just carpets really, but they would not take the chance.

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Drain, flush and replace *all* the fluids [engine-oil, transmission-oil, transfer-box, front/rear diffs, brake-system, PAS]. Drop the fuel-tank and get it steamed-out. Remove, clean and refit the alternator/starter-motor/all lights.

Likewise the handbrake-drum, swivel-hubs and all wheel-bearings. Replacing the battery might be worth considering too - and jet-washing around it to remove any escaped acid. You might need to replace the handbrake cable too - once it gets water inside it, it will never dry out: rust makes it swell and then the handbrake won't release.

I once had to deal with a Defender-110 that had been stranded on a beach as the tide came in. We got it going again, but the owner didn't take my advice to get rid of it - over the next year it suffered pretty much every sort of electrical-failure you could possibly imagine, and gthe bodywork broke-out in a spectacular rash of electrolytic-corrosion-induced boils/scabs.

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