Wrangler JK Drowned by Innocent-looking Puddle

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Perfect example of why you always look before you leap.

Is there anything better than meeting up with your buddies and going out for a weekend of trail riding? The answer, of course, is no. Unless, that is, you hit an unexpected four-foot deep puddle on the trails and drown your Wrangler. There are a lot of things better than that.

The YouTubers at Crawl TV are no amateurs. In their badass orange JK Wrangler Unlimited, Jarrett and Grace Drewes highlight their build skills and off-road adventures on the regular. But in this video, they head to an off-roading park in Ocala, Florida with their friends, where they prepare for a day of hitting the trails. As they air out their tires, Jarrett says “I think we’re going to be over-prepared. Prove me wrong.”

He is, of course, proven very wrong.

JK Wrangler suffers watery fate.

Tragedy Strikes the Poor Wrangler

Starting off, there are some wild rock formations on the trails, and a healthy amount of mud. But the group is moving slow, using spotters, and otherwise being pretty careful. Still, the trails are tough, and the winches come into play pretty quickly.

Then, coming around a corner, the orange Wrangler hits a seriously deep puddle. It’s enough to make everyone inside a little nervous. Then, there’s another puddle. It’s glassy and smooth; looking at it from the angle of the dashcam, it doesn’t look like it would be too much trouble.

In a heartbeat, the entire right side of the Wrangler is engulfed in murky water, rising up over the fenders and up to the base of the windows. That means the engine, transmission, transfer case and diffs are all flooded.

The Jeep interior floods with water as the group scrambles to pull it out of the muck. No one is in any danger, but then, no one is too happy about all this either. The Wrangler is practically submerged airbox-first, meaning that this Jeep needs a ton of work.

Jarrett shut the Wrangler off once it hit the water, but the water wreaked havoc on the electrical system, and the engine kept running. It didn’t hydrolock, but by the time they look under the hood, it’s smoking pretty badly. After shutting it down again, it doesn’t start.

JK Wrangler suffers watery fate.

A Ray of Hope, Then More Bad News

An oil change and fuel fill-up is done right in the park, and the oil comes out the same color as the water. Pulling the oil filter, it’s clogged with the gunk too. “One day we’re having fun, we’re going live on YouTube,” Jarrett says. “then we come out here, and…”

Amazingly, after the first oil change, the engine starts right up – without an Check Engine light. Still, there’s a lot more work to do. That oil quickly gets drained to pull more water out. It comes out looking just as bad, but it’s enough to get the Wrangler to a trailer and some emergency surgery.

We’re waiting with bated breath to see if the Wrangler survives. Jarrett promises that the next video will be a full fluid flush. We hope for his sake that it isn’t too bad in there. There are a million things that can go wrong off-road, and it never feels good to watch them happen to a dedicated Jeep fan. Here’s hoping that Jarrett and Grace’s Wrangler is back on the trails in no time.

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James Derek Sapienza has worked as a writer and editor in the world of automotive journalism since 2015.

He has a BS in History at SUNY Brockport, with a focus on American popular culture. A fan of the classics with a special interest in German cars, he is a proud owner of a 1991 W124 Mercedes. He is a frequent contributor to Mustang Forums, MBWorld, 5Series, Rennlist, and more.

James can be reached at [email protected]

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