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Old 05-15-2018, 01:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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.

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Old 05-15-2018, 02:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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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
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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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?
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
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:
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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funny how by merely being slow can pull you a ticket here you only get ticketed if you drive a tractor on a "interstate" size road
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The pass has a dedicated passing lane for going up the whole length of the pass.
The "obstructing traffic" warning makes even less sense.

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