Q I'm a 17-year-old kid living in Fairplay, Colorado. I have a '91 Bronco Silver Edition with 9 inches of lift and 38-inch tires. I was just wondering about hydro-locking an engine. I have a K&N air filter, but I do lots of muddin' and often get huge waves of water over my truck. I just want to know if water can make its way through my K&N air filter. I have heard of hydro-lock socks but can't find them on the web. I really would like some info on this because I don't want to ruin my engine. Thanks.
A I use K&N air filters on many of my projects, but they will not waterproof your engine. The only surefire way to waterproof it is to raise the air inlet high above the water line, or run it inside the cab. I think inside the cab is going to make your ride less enjoyable, as the intake can be really loud.
ARB makes snorkels for many late-model trucks but not Broncos, though you might be able to make one fit. I think you'll find the easiest solution is to build your own out of some black PVC pipe. It may not look the best, but if properly sealed around your air cleaner, it will keep the H2O out of your engine.
As for a hydro-lock sock, I've never seen or heard of one, though supposedly Gore-Tex breathes and repels water when used in raincoats, so something like that may be true. If any readers know of such a thing, please contact us. We'd love to test such an item.
Why no Common Sense, Gents?
Q In your Drivelines section, it looks like Ford and GM forgot about just one thing, miles per gallon ("Diesel Wars: And the Winner Is...," July '10). Are the Big Three or Four not taking any hints about just what is happening in the world these days? It costs over $3 a gallon for gas and more for diesel in the Northeast. Why in common sense can't someone put out a small diesel truck (three- or four-cylinder) that gets over 75 mpg? Toyota had a good little truck in early 2000, then they went bigger and the mileage (23) went down.
A You want to have your cake and eat it too. I agree that 75 mpg would be great, but neither of the two trucks you own (in the photo) gets anywhere near that mileage, nor are they small trucks. I believe that many folks, like you, want to see a small diesel truck on the market but still buy and own large trucks because we need something to actually do the work of daily life. Unfortunately, big trucks are getting even worse mileage than they used to (at least the diesels; the gas trucks are a lot better than previous).
I'm not saying they shouldn't build a small diesel 4x4-that's a given-but unfortunately the rest of the world (i.e., weird people who drive cars?!) have convinced the Big Four to build hybrid cars. It all comes down to consumer spending. If people buy trucks that get 23 mpg, then that's what they'll make. I'm actually hoping this Indian company, Mahindra, comes to the U.S. with its little diesel truck and that it sells well. Then maybe the Big Four will follow suit. I doubt we'll ever see a 75-mpg truck that is worth its salt, but I like your style. If you want a kitten, ask for a pony.
Nuts, I'm Confused!
Q I currently own a '63 International Scout 80. It has an old 152ci four-banger that is being upgraded to a Cummins 4BT out of a Frito Lay delivery truck. Along with the engine swap I'm rebuilding the entire body and lengthening the frame and tub due to the fact that I'm 6 feet 11 and can't fit in it to drive the three-speed manual for more than half an hour before my legs fall asleep.
Do I try to build up and strengthen the original frame, which was never built to hold anything larger than the 152, or do I build an entirely new frame? Either way I'm definitely ready and excited about the buildup and all the wrenching. I just want to be sure the first step is done correctly for the base of the truck.