Extreme 4x4 Waterproofing

    Tips from folks who use their rigs like submarines

    Ken BrubakerPhotographer, Writer

    When it comes to waterproofing, Florida swamp buggy racers have their game on. In their world, a properly waterproofed rig is as standard as Florida humidity in August. If their rig isn't able to resist water, bad things will happen when it gets immersed in the deep water of the Florida Sports Park. Needless to say, that takes the fun out of swamp buggy racing.

    To learn how these folks defend against the evil water, sand, and even pond grass, we scoured the pits and talked with numerous teams. We examined a number of rigs in a variety of classes, and what we found was surprising. A few of the steps are pretty standard, but the vast majority of waterproofing tricks these folks use are homegrown and derived from trial and error. Further, each team also has its own approach and opinion as to how to waterproof a rig. By far, the four-wheel-drive Jeep class faces the biggest challenge because these rigs are almost completely submerged when they enter the sippy holes. The faster classes have less to worry about because they actually skim over the surface like a boat, so their main concern is dealing with water spray as opposed to total submersion.

    What follows are a few of the fascinating tricks swamp buggy racers use to keep their rigs alive.