Have you ever seriously broken down on the side of the road?

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by ChevyFan, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    With the events going on in Oregon this month, I'm reminded of the different cross-region or cross-country road trips that I've been on.

    I've only broken down once. That was on a 1977 Jeep CJ5 where the gas gauge went out on me. I was leaving Moses Lake, WA headed home early. I was on a road just off I-90 and my buddies were about 4 hours behind me. So I sat and waited and waited and waited for 4 hours while they packed up camp and headed down the trail. Finally they found me and with a spare 5-gallon fill-up I got back up and running. (Took a long time to live that down though).
  2. Davandy

    Davandy Moderator 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Not yet but you never know :roll:
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Up where you're at I'll bet it gets pretty cold in the winter, not much sunlight either. Take a survival suit with you to the grocery store!
  4. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Saved by a Swiss Army knife and a ballpoint pen

    My favorite breakdown (yes I do keep a top ten list) was when I was at a race event. A couple of guys and I flew into the event as volunteer pit crew for a friend. We rented a car and drove out to the track. After a weekend of wrenching, partying and racing we set out in the rental to get back to the airport late Sunday evening.

    The rental car started to sputter on the way back into town and we three grease monkeys isolated the problem as a fuel feed issue. (This was BC ....before cell phones) With no help on the way we set out to fix it ourselves. Since there was zero pressure coming from the mechanical pump, we improvised. We routed a line from the windshield washer bottle to the carburetor and proceeded to siphon fuel into whatever containers we had and whatever beer bottles/cans we could find on the side of the road.

    With our improvised electric fuel pump we would drive along the hwy until the car started to sputter and then give the ol' washer button a tap or two to fill the float bowl. Of course the reservoir would empty and then we would refill it with gas that we had siphoned from the tank. While filling the reservoir we would gather additional cans/bottles from roadside and siphon additional gas from the tank.

    Picture three guys lurching their way down the hwy with bottles/cans full of gas tucked between their knees tapping the washer button to keep the engine alive, stopping to fill the reservoir and siphoning gas into bottles/cans. As we got to the outskirts of town we stopped at a gas station to fill up. The station attendant gave us a curious look as we proceeded to fill the windshield reservoir and not the fuel tank.

    We made it back to the airport and dropped of the rental with nary a word to the clerk at the counter. They must have been amazed when the did try to re-rent that little beauty.

    We did this all with just a swiss army knife and a ball point pen. We used the barrel of the pen to splice the washer line to the fuel line.
  5. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Re: Saved by a Swiss Army knife and a ballpoint pen

    That's hillarious!
  6. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    RE: Re: Saved by a Swiss Army knife and a ballpoint pen

    I broke down in Christmas night of 2000. I had just rebuilt my engine in my Dodge Caravan a week before, and during the process instead of replacing a broken engine mount, I brazed it back together. I could see a slight twist in the mount, but figured it wouldn't be a problem.

    I was living in NH, and my parents lived in RI, so I was down for Christmas day and when I went home that night all seemed fine. Unfortunately little did I know that the slightly twisted engine mount was wreaking havoc on my flywheel. As I came around a bend in Tewksbury, MA on route 93 I let off the gas, and then stepped on it again as I exited the turn into the straight away. The torque from my whopping 2.5L 4banger sheered the flywheel at the bolts.

    With the sudden loss of power, I pulled over to the side of the road. I shut down the engine, and got out to see what happened. It felt similar to when I snapped a CV joint, but I couldn't see the problem, but when I got back in to start the engine and keep warm while I called a tow truck, I found out I couldn't start the engine any more. That's when I understood what happened.

    It get's real cold at 11:30pm on Christmas night with no heat... :(

    A MA state trooper stopped, and asked my situation I told him I called, and he followed up by placing another call through his dispatch with my AAA info. Or so I thought.

    Maybe mine was an isolated incident, but I'm inclined to not believe the state police when they say they will call the truck out immediately. Who he called was the people who have a contract with the state. It cost me $143.00 for the tow. Luckily AAA had a record of the call, and reimbursed me the total for the tow, even though I would have paid them too since it was over the 3 miles.

    That's probably the worst break down I've ever had, other than having a broken CV with that same vehicle, out by Lee, NH speedway. There's a nudist camp about a mile from there, and I did consider checking it out while I waited for the tow truck. Probably just as well that I didn't, it probably would have been a bad scene. But this was a daylight break down, so I don't consider it as bad.

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