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Please read this story , then i would appreciate your help.


NAXJA Forum User
I would first like to thank those on this forum that make this a helpful community and who have provided me with very ample assistance when times have been rough.

I write as a reminder for those who enjoy our hobby and to give those whom might make poor decisions a second thought before traveling. Pt 1 the long story, or skip down to pt2 the help to fix.

PT 1 please read,

My weekend had started 3 days ago and i was wrapping up some bump stop mods on the jeep. Ive been building the jeep up a little this summer and after polishing off the bumps, i decided to head out on a solo run for the evening.

I set out to Colorado Bald mountain road, starting at the Rustic end up highway 14 at 4PM. The most important of what i would like to mention is that usually i keep the jeep stocked with: water, food, tent, sleeping bag, fuel, chain saw, Gun, knife & axe, lighter/flint, oil, coolant, coat, gloves, spare, and basic tooling, jumpers, reflective vest.
This particular run ive had much out of my car while working on the upgrades. I left with the spare, some very basic tools, 1 budwiser(not funny more later), axe, oil/coolant.
I usually end up wheeling alone most of the time and as such ide like to think im used to being back country Colorado.... I end up 3/4 through the trail, testing the new tires, gears and locker to my hearts content and the jeep was handling the trail quite well. Towards the end of this route the trail goes from 95% rocks, to 5% mud holes.
In the last leg toward the out I was making through each hole with ease, Then I reached a biggen. I proceeded to idle in expecting the entry to be the average gradient as the other mud holes. What ended up ensuing was as I idle in, the grade was a 3-4' 90 degree drop into the mud hole! This is the turning point of where a fun stroll that im used to, became very Dangerous!

Idleing forward the jeep dropped in. Within seconds the vehicle sputtered then immediately shut down! Im striving to always learn about our rigs and I thank Rusty411 for his help on these rigs when in the wet south trails.
HYDRO LOCKED. This is a term many know, thought usually not in Colorado.

PANIC!!!! I had an idea of what happened and as such adrenaline became rather noticeable. As mentioned above i have left home alone, with limited supplies. I toss my shoes to the bank and jump out of the jeep into the mud hole, pop the hood, pull the air box cover. The filter is SOAKED, I quickly hop back into the jeep and grab a spark plug socket and wrench, the front cab is taking on water now. Back into the water which is waist high and Im wearing jeans and a t-shirt, the sun is setting. I pull the plugs and Every cylinder has water!!! Continuing panic mode I again enter the cab and cycle key to evacuate water from the cylinders. I gets some out, but by the time im making progress the battery is almost done, and its getting dark, this lasts maybe 20 minutes max.
I emerge soaked, a battery dying, cellphone almost dead, light fading. I have chainsaw fuel in the jeep and throw that, axe, and the 1 budweiser out of the jeep thats stuck at a 40 degree pitch. Scrambling and wet I start grabbing all the driest wood I can, Its been raining off and on lately.

Sun almost down, I set up a cone shaped arrangement of fire wood and dump some fuel on to light it.....POOF! ablaze and a very important survival need is in place and growing. I hurry to ditch the wet clothes and start to focus on drying these items for safety, hypothermia is not a joke. my mind racing of how bad i just F***** UP and I just keep focuses on one goal at a time. Get your gear dry, feed the fire, survey my surrounding and inventory the rig to get ready to make way for rescue. As mentioned i pulled the few items that were of help. I gather as much wood as I can find doubling, tripling, until its maybe a pile 5x bigger.

Reality is setting in. Im very deep back woods CO, goals are feed the fire, keep focused: rescue #1 priority, the jeep is a latter issue.
Now this is where things really show their value and it boiled down like this.

your stuck deep woods CO, You made a fire, wet clothes drying, we have a lighter, a knife, axe, 1 budweiser, no food, no socks, no water, chainsaw fuel, dying battery and phone almost dead. I proceed through the night by using whats left of the battery to charge the phone as much as possible, this was my one tool for rescue this far out!!! burning burning burning damp wood, its 130 AM, im exhausted and I let the fire down to a hot bed of coals for safety, then i try to bed in the jeep. I crawl in, moving all the crap in the back to the front. the spare is leaned up vertically in back to give me room to curl up.
230AM im in a jeep at a 40 degree angle, its flooded inside, windows fogged to hell and its cold enough to see your breath. charger Red lights on, phones still very slowly charging... I remember I had a reflective vest under the seat, pull it out and use it as a blanket. At first i position my head to the tail gate, legs on the rear seat, the backrest is not in the jeep. As my body begins to shiver i switch postions and end up on the rear seat completely. 330AM, shivering uncontrollably I make the decision that its better to keep a fire going without sleeping then trying to shut my body down freezing.

The fire is a burned up pile of coals almost gone, Freezing i begin to grab twigs, sticks, anything i can find to aid restarting the blaze and stay warm. I fuel this until i have enough light to keep getting wood, i have some from the previous pile, its large and a bit damp, the fire needs more work to keep going with my resources. I return to the jeep now and again through the dark navigating trees to monitor if the phone is still charging. Here by the fire i remain huddled for warmth and keeping my mind on rescue.
I Mentioned i had one budweiser that i held on to until 430 am, no water i begin sipping this gradually to burn and utilize my intake. ! alcohol is diuretic and being this my only fuel im cautious on drinking it. eventually i have a free can i boil water in which i did. a near by a stream was found and i spent the remainder of the morning until day light tending to boiling water.

They night was filled of battling emotions and should haves, could haves, and bringing my focus to surviving. I spend the rest of the night deciding where to head out towards and what i should bring on my search for rescue.
530am once enough daylight comes to move i head out, not know how far i need to go, only a relative direction. I drown the fire with a tool bucket. Ive decided to take the reflective vest, sunglasses, boiled water, i have a knife i made a sheath of used electrical tape carried by para cord around my neck, phone, and the lighter. I dont know how far im hiking out, i know somewhat of where im headed, and i know if i have any more days to battle, im not in a good situation.

I begin to hike out at 6AM out of the trail onto the old logging roads.hiking hiking hiking, my F******* phone beeping like its getting signal, only to have a health app telling me congratulations your walking! OMG if i could murder that app... 1030Am body aching, wearing down, mouth dry dry, and im heading up hill again. Phone beeps, my attention is had, beeps again, again again. im getting the texts and voicemail of yesterdays loved ones wondering what happened to me as they are freaking out. I stop dead track with one bar of signal and dial 911..... family is contacted, I havent slept at all, I keep walking another hr and a half until rescue shows and im reunited with everyone thats been loosing their G## D##mind bleeding hearts. I get the option to go home or find the jeep. I continue on to find the jeep.

We find my rig and proceed to hook chains to the rear of the jeep and make Many Many MANY multiple efforts for a rubicon to pull me out, each try failing, steering cornered, we keep carving down the bank with a hatchet. 1130- 530 pm we spend trying to extract my rig. By some friggin miracle we are able to get this jeep out instead of some TRACTOR come up. We begin to flat toe out down the mountain dirt roads until it can be parked near a highway. BTW this sucks trying to follow with very limited brakes, especially when going down hill!

The importance of my writing this is to remind those that what we do out there for fun should not be taken for granted. The one time i run without my gear i ended up needing it more than ever, stranded deep woods not knowing how far i needed to get for rescue, no food, water, no viable shelter because of no gear for warmth.
My first and greatest mistake was leaving for what i thought would be a simple stroll, and NOT letting anyone know where, Stupid, stupid stupid move.

I have a jeep with good tires, locker, lift, winch, its capable, but the one thing i never geared up for was WHAT IF YOUR JEEP DIES!

In retrospect, If i was to advise further gear i would add as so: CB radio, ample gear for the season, water filtration/ purification, food to last you enough expected time to get help, good shovel, and a highlift + tow rigging with d rings / things for adjustability. In my case i was ignorant, and very lucky.
28hrs later from leaving home to start the trail i go to bed finally, lucky and safe. BE mindful of what we do, and where we go, PLEASE!

PT 2 your help,

I get the jeep down the mountain towed by uhaul truck and trailer, we modified the trailer straps via more ratcheting straps. In the driveway i wet vac out the intake and cylinders. I put a socket wrench on the crank to see if it spins freely and it does. I continue to spray everything again with liberal amounts of starter fluid, then vac that out of intake and cylinders again. TB removed and it had a bunch of crud that made it in. It was cleaned with the IAC removed.

new air filter added...
Jeep wont cycle cylinders with a jump, I get one click and done. Ive been here, so i pull the starter (2weeks old) which was flooded. We disassemble the starter which has rust and grit throughout, it is cleaned thoroughly, then we take it to be tested. IT passes... we go back bolt it on, and it starts to cycle the cylinders again!!!!! new spark cables added because the others had the inner clip pull off the wire when i yanked them off while the jeep was drown. new air filter added...
new plug wires are added 2&3 swapped to the right order and we get her to fire up tonight!!!!!!!!

Idle is decent, driving i begin slow, its doing well, i get up to 40- 45 then it sputters now and gain, rpms dive throttle dives and pedal is unresponsive for 1-2 seconds until it regains power, this happens whenever. I get the check engine light read by AZ and i have a clock spring error they come up with..., its recently been replaced wtf idk maybe its just still in there. I go back in and say hmm, well can we at least clear the check engine code. they give me the tool to clear codes as its as they claim: they cant hit the button to clear codes... liable for ... whatever.
i plug it in and it shows me a TPS
code P0122
throttle/ pedal position sensor A
ciruit low input

simple question does this seem like any other issue or is TPS a pretty clear bet?

thank you for your help and i hope this serves as a benefit for anyone to not make my dumb decision.
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The TPS on a Cherokee is notorious for being sensitive to getting wet.

Did you shut the engine down before it started taking on water? If not you might want to pull the pan and check for bent rods. I would also do a compression test.
Wow. While I can't help with knowledge of the issues now, I'm sure glad you are ok.

Your 100% correct, being prepared is key especially in our beautiful mountains. It's hard to be prepared for everything.

As I've grown older, I've become more cautious, heading out on my own is a little scary for me.

If nothing else, thank you for the reminder of the risk involved with nature and how prepared we should all be for each and every situation we may encounter.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The TPS on a Cherokee is notorious for being sensitive to getting wet.

Did you shut the engine down before it started taking on water? If not you might want to pull the pan and check for bent rods. I would also do a compression test.

The jeep laterally idled in and instantly shut down when it hit the water, I did turn the key off immediately because of this. Funny you mention a wet tps, we pulled it off this am and it had plenty of water in it. Bought a new one to try putting on tomorrow am.
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I never go wheeling alone anything can happen from break downs to simply slipping on a rock and cracking your skull open whil taking pictures .
It would seem reasonable to take a water removing agent and spray all your electrical under dash and under hood.

Always. Always always leave a bag that never leaves the rig, in the rig. Always. No matter what. Always. For this very reason.
Man -- great story, and great result.

Aside from your unusual unpreparedness, and jumping in the water :nono:, I think you did everything perfectly, and that is why you have a happy ending.

I'm with Mike, my Jeeps (and now my Dakota) have permanent-resident milk crates of survival necessities (same stuff you listed, sans gun... it has a better home). TPS is a near sure issue, CPS might be too -- Mopar sensors in general don't like water. If the under-dash wiring is corroded yet, its going to start, Mike is right to spray the snot out of it, and get any carpet you may have out.

Thanks for sharing - good reminder for everyone. And glad you are home safe with your loved ones (and your Jeep!).
Update: jeep is running, new tps, 2 oil changes, compression tests past very well.

Now I'm not very knowledgeable on how the 4.0 runs completely, but we found my vacuum egg was missing. I don't know if this was before water, by pulling the jeep out, but I'm curious if this aided to it shutting down so fast. If it pulled water in the vacuum line... new tps and it's driving very well. I'll be keeping a keen eye on the oil.
update 2:
jeep still running smooth. its being driven to work daily. 3 oil changes & filters in a weeks time, looks great. coolant level looks great. as mentioned above the compression test passed very well. TPS is new, new wires, new plugs gapped to .035, soon to be new ignition coil for good measure. TB was disassembled and cleaned.

As Old_man suggested i plan to pull the pan at some-point just to verify rods visually.

since, ive replaced the vacuum canister that i some how lost, its gotta be on the trail because it wasnt floatling in the mud hole.

on an off note, WTF is with the smurf blue mud my tires pulled out of this hole and i mean SMURF BLUE. ???
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probably the paint from the rig that was swallowed by that hole before yours. :D
Glad to hear the rig is running good. My buddy locked up his engine at MSV/Coney years ago and lost a rod through the block a week later. He was going full throttle into that big water crossing at the top when it locked up though, so the engine was spinning really fast when it stopped suddenly.
Thanks man i think i got lucky being at idle when it dropped in.

Blue mud we were stumped lol, tire pigment or something then? Looked like I ran over a Smurf village haha