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  • Writer's pictureMax S

The mystery man and the flooding

I joined the forums, someone gave me the engine schematics for that torn belt from the drive back, I learned how to find part numbers and that was my first job on the truck. We got the alternator belt changed no problem and pretty much immediately I went and found a rocky river delta and crossed it alone. In hindsight this was a terrible idea, the crossing was long and yes it looked shallow but to be honest if I got stuck there was no one to help me, not to mention I had no idea what I was doing.

I started looking for logging roads (not too common in the prairies) and kept pushing the truck further and further, going up north or east to Ontario. Wherever there was a dirt road I could find I would drive it. Months later the course I was on finished and I got posted to Vancouver Island. British Columbia is the mecca of logging in Canada, classified as a temperate rainforest the trees get big and grow fast. Industry has taken advantage of this and over decades spiderwebs of logging roads have been built into the province. I was hooked, slowly but surely the truck started getting all sorts of little parts on it. A few roof bars, a roof basket, a light bar. I also started investing more and more into camping gear and clothes. Next thing I knew there was a fishing kayak sitting on my roof, a collection of poles in the back, a stove, an awning, and my camping gear.

One day I decided to cross a little stretch of water, no wider than 20ft I don't think, I had crossed this water before but it definitely looked higher this time. I should've walked it first, but of course, I didn't. The second I went in the truck dipped dramatically and the hood went under the water, it made it most of the way out but it sucked in a good amount of water and sputtered to a stop. I had to crawl out of the sunroof and jump back in the icy cold water and start walking. Luckily not too far there was a group of people camping on the lake and one of them had an old 3rd gen 4runner with a winch. "You're stuck huh?" He asked. It was a bit more than that I said, the truck would have to be winched back partially under the water. At this point the glove box was full of water and so was the rest of the interior. I grabbed his winch cable and dove under water to hook it to the back of the truck. I then got in the driver seat and put it in neutral. The truck came out no problem.

At this point these guys were giving me a hand with trying to get it started, we took the intake hose to the turbo off and I scooped out as much water as I could out of the turbo. We tried to start it but it locked up fully. That was it. A Toyota Tacoma full of people came cruising down the beach at some point and asked if they could help, they couldn't. But they offered to give me a ride to town if I needed one in the next 30 minutes. There was no reception there and after a while I decided this was my only choice. The guy with the 4runner pulled my truck out to the main logging road and I hopped in with the group of French-Canadians that would give me a ride back to the town, about 30 minutes away. They were nice people. The driver asked me in what part of town he should drop me off.

Fearing the massive tow truck bill combined with the fact that I was sure I just destroyed the engine, I decided I would at least get some tacos first. So they dropped me off at the taco shop, wished me luck, and left. I ordered my tacos and went outside to call a tow truck. Except I couldn't, my phone was full of water and wasn't working.


An old man with a long white beard and white hair with a seemingly equally old dog sitting out front looked at me and asked what's wrong. "I'm having the worst day ever man" I told him.

"I'm sure it could be worse" he said.

"Nah I don't think so, I flooded my truck in the middle of nowhere, it's probably done, and I can't even call a tow truck because my phone is full of water"

"What kind of truck is it?"

"It's an old import diesel Land Cruiser"

"Oh ok, I collect Land Cruisers"

What are the odds? This guy collects Land Cruisers? He asked me where it was and I told him the spot, he said yeah I know it, I know all the trails around here I made money cutting firewood for years.

"I'm pretty sure you just gotta pull the glow plugs out and shoot the water out man" he told me. I told him I didn't know how to do that. He thought about it for a minute, threw his dog in the bed of his 80's Toyota truck and said alright lets go. We flew down those logging roads, hitting washboard that send the truck sideways. Meanwhile this guy I just met, Steve, told me stories of working as a smuggler out of South America in his youth. I didn't know whether to believe him or not but it sounded reasonable enough. We got to the truck and he started instructing me on what to take off. We got the glow plugs out, and he told me to crank it. There must have been a 10ft plume of mist that sprayed out of those cylinders. He took a look, said it looked dry enough, and we put it back together. I of course lost my 10mm socked in the process, the first of many over the next years.

After putting the glow plugs in the truck started first crank. I couldn't believe it. She was shooting black smoke and water out of the exhaust but she was running. I thought the truck was going to explode. Steve said to start driving slowly, keep her in low or 2nd gear on the way out and that he would follow me to make sure I got out of the woods, literally. Well the truck didn't explode, after about 10-15 minutes it actually started running completely fine. I pulled over, Steve said she seems alright, and I agreed.

"Thanks so much man, how could I repay you?" I asked

"You're good man" he said

"Ok well hey I can't think you enough"

"We'll see you around Max" he said, driving off. Those words sent a shiver down my spine. I'm sure he meant see you around town but it felt like someone was watching out that day haha, crazy as it might sound. But seriously, what are the odds? The military has a car club with a shop you can use, I took the truck back, met my friend at the shop, and when I opened the transfer case fill plug to see if any water had gotten in it shot this creamy milky water out. We got the oil pan and the other 2 guys there were pretty surprised not a single seal leaked on the t-case despite it being full to the brim with water.

That was 3 years ago. It's a small miracle there was not damage at all to the motor. That day was a crash course on how to change glow plugs and unlock a waterlocked diesel.

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2 תגובות

f s
f s
09 בינו׳

Just randomly came across your vids and really enjoyed watching! Thanks!! I am always thinking of doing smth similar, just for a couple of months and starting in Europe.

However I am wondering if you were an mechanic or do you have any kind of Knowledge about (older) cars form former jobs? Saw you working on the car in Honduras e.g....

Cheers and keep going! :)


9 R
9 R
04 בינו׳

That old man was an angel. Most likely your guardian angel.

Twice in my life I've had a very similar circumstance. One saved me by pulling me out of a hole I got into and couldn't get out while hiking with my family and the other saved my life by grabbing my arm and pulling me away from the open floor of a dark abandoned building. I was there inspecting a large project with no one around. They both disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

Now you must pray and give thanks to our Lord for sending the angel for your "worst day ever".

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