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Old 01-13-2020, 01:57 PM   #455 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
California98Civic's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 5,819

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 66.42 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,171
Thanked 1,872 Times in 1,277 Posts
Water runs deep enough: a short story of redemption

It was about 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. I was out for coffee with some friends in my "Black and Green" ecomodded Honda. As I left the coffee spot to go to the markets and do more holiday preparation, the rain was coming down fast--flash flood threateningly fast. I left anyway.

Driving along a major artery my first warning was catching out of the corner of my eye what seemed to be water shooting straight up out of the asphalt. I did a double-take, not being able to believe my eyes, but I was too late to get a better look. I kept going and the rain kept coming.

The first puddle was a pool blocking the entire four lane road. A pickup paused and went through. I did too. It got deep, but not dangerous. I saw water shooting into the air through manholes that had been pushed aside by the pressure. I kept going.

At the next red light a few yards further down there were multiple residential waste containers in the intersection. They had apparently been washed down a hill from neighborhoods above. I kept going.

Near the creek, on still lower ground, I and 20 cars met a massive puddle. Cars and trucks were going through. I thought to stop, but there were lots of cars behind me on this divided road (no place to turn around). I should have pulled over anyway, but a Prius seemed to make it fine, so I went.

I barely made it through and struggled to keep traction. I got through, but I immediately got hit with multiple misfire codes. With a tree now blocking the road, I pulled into a hotel lot with a badly smoking car. Soon, it would not start when I shut it off. So I got permission to park until I could start or tow the car the next day and went on with Thanksgiving. Had a great time.

It would not start the next day. The air filter was wet. But the engine would try to fire and would almost start sometimes, so I knew it was not hydro-locked.

Testing began. Swapping out the air filter, spark plugs, and spark wires with known good parts improved nothing. The distributor turned out to be shot. A few weeks after getting it running, my 10 month old starter motor died. Both parts were warranty replacements.

Actually, I kinda made money. Because I bought the distributor in 2012, I got 30 bucks from the chain store because the price has since come down. And because of clerk errors both times, I got both the new distributor and the new starter with renewed lifetime warranties.

That water is always deeper than it looks.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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