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-   -   Pulled over, but for getting 55mpg without hypermiling. (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/pulled-over-but-getting-55mpg-without-hypermiling-36460.html)

Isaac Zackary 05-15-2018 01:13 AM

Pulled over, but for getting 55mpg without hypermiling.
 
So I wasn't hypermiling nor is my car ecomodded yet. And I still got pulled over for excessively good fuel mileage, in a sense.

I have a 1985 VW non-turbo diesel Golf. Going up Crow Hill out of Bailey I couldn't keep the speed limit. Mind you, the car is in good running condition. But by calculation, the 52hp engine is putting out less than 40hp at the attitude I was driving (7,700ft at the base of the pass.) Add that to three adults and a lot of luggage going up a long steady 7% grade.

I wasn't hypermiling. I downshifted into third and glued my foot to the floor. I did keep right to let traffic by. I think I hit 40mph in a 50mph zone. My commercial driving instincts even caused me to turn on my flashers (which may have been a mistake.) Next thing I know I see someone else's flashing lights that were blue and red. I pull over and the cop says, "Is your car road worthy?" "Yes." I reply. "Are you sure?" He asks. "Yes, the car normally does the speed limit just fine." I tell him. He gives me a warning for defective vehicle and for impeding traffic and asks if I'd feel safer if he followed me home.

After making it to DIA I also went to Cortez and then back to Gunnison in my "defective" VW that same weekend, over 840 miles.

RedDevil 05-15-2018 02:28 AM

I think the flashers did it.
Other vintage cars don't do that well either on such a grade, and loaded semis would be very much slower.
I made a trip around the national parks in '87 in a 2.3 liter Ford Tempo with a 3 speed auto. It couldn't hold 3rd gear on those grades, and sunk below 45 mph in second as it did not rev that well. So we had the occasional row of cars behind us. Luckily everyone was patient and once they got past many showed their compassion with a finger.

I did own an '86 Diesel Rabbit, 4 speed manual. How I cursed it for not having a 5th gear. But it had a tow hook.
One day I hired a trailer to move some cupboards to my inlaws in Zeeland. Driving against a storm, it could not hold 4th gear on the flat. I drove the freeways (up to 120 km/h limit at the time) at barely 80 km/h (50 mph), oil temp needle at the edge of the danger zone.
In Zeeland's 2 lane no passing road a long line formed behind me. Then at ascending the Zeeland bridge even 3rd gear did not cut it any more, I had to shift to 2nd oil temp light flashing and all. I finally managed to touch the 80 km/h speed limit on the down ramp 5 kilometers further... That was an experience I promised myself to avoid from then on.

Isaac Zackary 05-15-2018 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedDevil (Post 569739)
I think the flashers did it.
Other vintage cars don't do that well either on such a grade, and loaded semis would be very much slower.
I made a trip around the national parks in '87 in a 2.3 liter Ford Tempo with a 3 speed auto. It couldn't hold 3rd gear on those grades, and sunk below 45 mph in second as it did not rev that well. So we had the occasional row of cars behind us. Luckily everyone was patient and once they got past many showed their compassion with a finger.

I did own an '86 Diesel Rabbit, 4 speed manual. How I cursed it for not having a 5th gear. But it had a tow hook.
One day I hired a trailer to move some cupboards to my inlaws in Zeeland. Driving against a storm, it could not hold 4th gear on the flat. I drove the freeways (up to 120 km/h limit at the time) at barely 80 km/h (50 mph), oil temp needle at the edge of the danger zone.
In Zeeland's 2 lane no passing road a long line formed behind me. Then at ascending the Zeeland bridge even 3rd gear did not cut it any more, I had to shift to 2nd oil temp light flashing and all. I finally managed to touch the 80 km/h speed limit on the down ramp 5 kilometers further... That was an experience I promised myself to avoid from then on.

Interesting! That would be a MK2 Rabbit/Golf as well? Mine has a 5 speed, but only a coolant gauge and light. There's only a pressure gauge on the oil.

RedDevil 05-15-2018 03:21 AM

It was a Mk2 Rabbit, but it was a while back; I sold it in 2005.
It might have been the coolant gauge after all. But I managed to light its LED.

It had almost 400.000 km on the odo. It 'went to the moon' (Dutch proverb meaning gone lost or broke) and beyond, doing local commutes and shortish trips so it really had a hard life.
It was done. The plastic interior parts started to break (door locks, trip reset, switches), the boot flooded with window washer liquid (all the tube joins started to leak at the same time) and it was a heavy smoker.
It wasn't fast but nonetheless the speedo scale went all the way up to 200 km/h. Real top speed would be around 135 km/h, wind in the back on the flat.
Fair enough, I managed to get a speeding ticket with it ;)

redpoint5 05-15-2018 03:36 AM

Seems a jerk move to pull you over when you were trying to approach normal speeds, and a semi would certainly be much slower.

I have all the patience in the world for someone trying to do the speed limit, and none for the timid driver who is simply afraid of getting within 10 MPH of the limit.

MetroMPG 05-15-2018 12:34 PM

Crazy story!

Were there no trucks on this road also struggling to keep to the limit? Was the cop issuing warnings to them about impeding traffic?

Isaac Zackary 05-15-2018 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 569743)
Seems a jerk move to pull you over when you were trying to approach normal speeds, and a semi would certainly be much slower.

I have all the patience in the world for someone trying to do the speed limit, and none for the timid driver who is simply afraid of getting within 10 MPH of the limit.

Perhaps, although he did seem sincere. I didn't try arguing though. It was probably a combination of the lower speed, moderate smoke coming out the tail pipe and the use of my flashers. Maybe he's never been across the Rockies in an older economy car and doesn't realize there are cars with less than average power. Maybe he didn't realize it's a diesel or that older diesels produce smoke without burning any oil. I have found people that didn't know that there were diesel powered cars and at times don't even believe me that my car runs on diesel, including gas station workers who were concerned that I'm putting diesel fuel in a car.

I even had one guy following stop where I stopped to let me know that my car was burning a lot of oil. That was back when the car was still apparently tuned for sea level operation, but since then I turned back the maximum injection so that at these altitudes I can't feel any power difference, but at the same time I've reduced the black cloud effect greatly. Since I normally drive at 7,700ft and up that's about 25% less air and therefore should be tuned to squirt 25% less fuel under full throttle. One ecomod that could be done is to figure out a way to automatically adjust the maximum injection as altitude changes. Either that or a turbo charger.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 569774)
Crazy story!

Were there no trucks on this road also struggling to keep to the limit? Was the cop issuing warnings to them about impeding traffic?

Loaded trucks would definitely have trouble getting up (and down) this pass. Even school buses would not be able to get up this pass at the posted speed limit. If I remember correctly, I followed a truck down this same pass once that wouldn't go over 25mph. And going up I'm sure some have to drive that slow. The pass has a dedicated passing lane for going up the whole length of the pass.

redpoint5 05-15-2018 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary (Post 569783)
One ecomod that could be done is to figure out a way to automatically adjust the maximum injection as altitude changes. Either that or a turbo charger.

Exactly why I require my diesels to be forced induction. They lend themselves to it so much, that I always wonder why there are non-turbo diesels.

Fingie 05-15-2018 04:10 PM

funny how by merely being slow can pull you a ticket :D here you only get ticketed if you drive a tractor on a "interstate" size road

MetroMPG 05-15-2018 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary (Post 569783)
The pass has a dedicated passing lane for going up the whole length of the pass.

The "obstructing traffic" warning makes even less sense.

freebeard 05-15-2018 09:04 PM

Quote:

He gives me a warning for defective vehicle and for impeding traffic and asks if I'd feel safer if he followed me home.
Last part creeps me out.

I may as well mention that the Dasher is in the shop. I had the fuel pump replaced and the mechanic (whom I trust when he's not off his meds) delivered the car to me with a failed fan and blown head gasket. I'll have to wait for quality assurance until the owner comes back from Hawaii. (must be rough)

OTOH, I've got a nominal 48hp and a 5-speed. Because of the space available with the longitudinal layout, I'd prefer a 20hp altermotor to the turbo. Or at least before the turbo.

Quote:

but since then I turned back the maximum injection so that at these altitudes I can't feel any power difference, but at the same time I've reduced the black cloud effect greatly.
Can I subscribe to your newsletter? Is it in the shop manuals?

Isaac Zackary 05-15-2018 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 569829)
I may as well mention that the Dasher is in the shop. I had the fuel pump replaced and the mechanic (whom I trust when he's not off his meds) delivered the car to me with a failed fan and blown head gasket. I'll have to wait for quality assurance until the owner comes back from Hawaii. (must be rough)

Ouch! Sounds like he didn't adjust the timing correctly after installing the injection pump. Wrong timing apparently can cause all sorts of problems, like burn glowplugs and such. I need to tackle the timing belt on mine but am a bit scared of messing things up.
Quote:

Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 569829)
OTOH, I've got a nominal 48hp and a 5-speed. Because of the space available with the longitudinal layout, I'd prefer a 20hp altermotor to the turbo. Or at least before the turbo.

Altermotor? Like a hybrid with the motor where the alternator goes? I've often thought of making either one of my VW's a hybrid by either doing that or figuring out how to run two chain drive off of sprockets attached to each transmission output flange where the CV axles bolt on.
Quote:

Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 569829)
Can I subscribe to your newsletter? Is it in the shop manuals?

I didn't know my work was that interesting. I'll have to look in my Bentley's repair manual to see what it says about the max injection adjustment. It was capped off so that it couldn't be adjusted, I guess for emissions reasons. Although Bosch did make diesel injection pumps with automatic attitude adjustment, VW apparently never used them until the could adjust it electronically with the TDI engines. Still, anything I researched said black smoke was from too much fuel. And I put two and two together, if the car is adjusted for sea level operation and I'm where air is now 25% thinner, maybe that's why nobody behind me can see where they're going up at the top of Monarch Pass (12,000ft IIRC).

MetroMPG 05-15-2018 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 569829)
the mechanic (whom I trust when he's not off his meds)

Ha! Funny/not funny!

freebeard 05-15-2018 11:29 PM

Quote:

Ouch! Sounds like he didn't adjust the timing correctly after installing the injection pump. Wrong timing apparently can cause all sorts of problems, like burn glowplugs and such.
The shop owner listened to the [description of the] symptoms (more clatter) and deduced the same. That's why I want him to put his healing hands on it. I've gone to the same shop for 30 years, they're generally good. Letting me drive away and make payments for instance. He's already negotiating, offering to strike the cost of the pump if I pay for more labor.

Quote:

Altermotor? Like a hybrid with the motor where the alternator goes?
From the steamy jungles of Costa Rica:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tor-35003.html

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z4Zihl-vsj...-EASSIST-5.jpg

The Buick OEM part is 1" larger in diameter, and I've got nothing but room on the underside of the slant four. The only hang-up I see is routing the serpentine belt drive around the front engine mount. It wants a ~115v battery pack.

'...subscribe to you newsletter' is a trope. All I know is the valves are adjusted with lash caps.

Isaac Zackary 05-16-2018 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 569840)
All I know is the valves are adjusted with lash caps.

By coincidence, I was just looking at availability of lash caps so I can do my valve adjustment sometimes soon.

I'm glad you have a mechanic you can trust. I've had a bad experience with nearly every mechanic I've hired. If I didn't know how to do mechanic work, I'd be looking for a health insurance plan for my car. Good thing I like doing mechanic work.

jcp123 05-16-2018 01:02 AM

That's sad but I kind of understand. Many states have posted minimum speed limits (which I assume are at least de facto, if not de jure, only aimed at car drivers, or discouraging scooters and the like); others have a REQUIREMENT to use flashers under a certain speed (which conversely I've always presumed to be aimed squarely at truckers).

As a truck driver myself, I can't fault the instinct to run flashers; it's a margin of warning for those who are running high speeds behind you. I'd probably have done the same myself. Maybe as a strategic move, it's possible to use a truck as a "rabbit"?

freebeard 05-16-2018 12:25 PM

Quote:

I'm glad you have a mechanic you can trust. I've had a bad experience with nearly every mechanic I've hired.
Had. This last go-around is away from goodness.

MetroMPG 05-16-2018 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcp123 (Post 569851)
Maybe as a strategic move, it's possible to use a truck as a "rabbit"?

I was thinking the same thing. That wouldn't have raised any eyebrows.

Isaac Zackary 05-16-2018 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcp123 (Post 569851)
Maybe as a strategic move, it's possible to use a truck as a "rabbit"?

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 569893)
I was thinking the same thing. That wouldn't have raised any eyebrows.

Yep. I've used big trucks and buses as "rabbits" in my Rabbit so nobody notices that I can't make it up the hill as fast as the rest of traffic. They probably just think I'm scared to pass. But this time I didn't have any trucks around to follow.

freebeard 05-16-2018 05:58 PM

A flat-bed semi with a half-height load (less turbulence), going just faster than you could make on you own. They will suck you up the hill. But beware the rocks and road debris.

Isaac Zackary 05-25-2018 07:38 PM

UPDATE!

So something I didn't mention is that I had emailed the officer about the situation, which I just noticed the reply in my junk mail folder.

I very politely stated I respected his observation that the car might be "defective" but that the car was also built with very little power from the factory. On that line, I asked what else I could have done to have driven better.

His response was very nice. He stated that he didn't understand why my car was going so much slower than the rest of the traffic, but thought he could use that as an excuse to make sure I wasn't drunk or something. He assured me he observed me to be a law abiding citizen and trusted my judgment. He also thanked me for being polite and interested in safe driving. He also stated that the way I was driving was perfectly legal and sent me a quotation of the law about impeding traffic that specifically mentions that a car can drive slower under such circumstances, but said he had no other recommendation of what to do other than what the law already states.

So personally I feel he was being sincere both when he pulled me over and in his letter. It just felt odd to be pulled over especially for not doing anything wrong, since I hardly ever have been pulled over. And it's not like I don't ever get scoffed at for driving this car. Even close friends and family seem to think I'm nuts.

redpoint5 05-25-2018 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary (Post 570595)

His response was very nice. He stated that he didn't understand why my car was going so much slower than the rest of the traffic, but thought he could use that as an excuse to make sure I wasn't drunk or something. He assured me he observed me to be a law abiding citizen and trusted my judgment. He also thanked me for being polite and interested in safe driving. He also stated that the way I was driving was perfectly legal and sent me a quotation of the law about impeding traffic that specifically mentions that a car can drive slower under such circumstances, but said he had no other recommendation of what to do other than what the law already states.

So personally I feel he was being sincere both when he pulled me over and in his letter. It just felt odd to be pulled over especially for not doing anything wrong, since I hardly ever have been pulled over. And it's not like I don't ever get scoffed at for driving this car. Even close friends and family seem to think I'm nuts.

The officers reply goes against what he told you initially when he pulled you over. A warning goes on your record and will be seen by any other officer that runs your info, practically guaranteeing a citation the next time. If he gave you a warning for defective vehicle (whatever that means, I challenge to find that law), and impeding traffic (there had to have been traffic actually slowed down by your vehicle), and then later said you were perfectly in the right, then he was disingenuous when he pulled you over.

Cops don't really pull people over for minor infractions with issuing a citation being the end goal; it's an opportunity to interrogate for something more interesting of higher consequence.

I understand the necessity for the tactic, but I'll usually save them some time by stating that I'm not doing anything wrong, and that I'll be about my business if it's alright with them.

It's nice the guy responded to you, but I maintain it was a jerk move to issue a warning. The conversation should have been his asking if there is something wrong with your vehicle, you stating that there isn't, and him saying have a good day and keep safe.


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