The Truth About Cars » Citroen Hell Road Trip The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:51:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Citroen Hell Road Trip Despite Water Pump Woes, Citroën Hell Road Trip Reaches Louisiana Tue, 28 Dec 2010 18:00:18 +0000
Yesterday morning, it seemed that Spank’s LeMons-veteran ’71 Citroën DS would be stranded in El Paso due to a bad water pump shaft seal. When your car is made out of pure unobtanium, Miami seems much farther than a mere 2,800 miles from San Diego.

The clutch started slipping somewhere in the California desert, Actually, it started slipping during the Sears Pointless LeMons race in March, but it became alarming in the California desert.
Thanks to some help from Quattroporte-drivin’ Pendejo Racing, Spank figured out that the weight of the clutch pedal was overwhelming the weak spring and causing the clutch to disengage slightly. The fix: bungee cord on the pedal!

Things were going fine for a while.

But then Spank’s Honda-motorcycle-radiator-and-AC-condenser-fan heater rig stopped blowing warm air. Uh-oh.

No water! Turns out the Citroën’s water pump shaft seal had let go, causing water to pour out the drain holes designed to keep water out of the bearing. Water was still being pumped, but most of it was being pumped to the wrong place.

After spending the night in El Paso, Spank worked on the car while dozens of LeMons veterans called every auto-parts store and junkyard in West Texas. You want a water pump for a whaaaaat? That’s when the 12-volt RV hot-water pump came into play: just remove the Citroën’s fan belt, block off the pump’s drain holes, and let electricity cool the engine.

Weirdly enough, it worked! As you read this, the Citroën is well into Louisiana on a “no sleep till Miami” run. You can follow the ongoing adventure here, as legions of LeMons racers offer help to heroic solo Citroën road-tripper and Index of Effluency winner Mike Spangler aka Spank in his crazed cross-country journey. And I thought I’d made some epic road trips in hoopty-ass cars— San Francisco to Atlanta in a beater ’65 Impala loaded with all my stuff now seems like nothing!
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Solo Road Trip Heroism: San Diego To Miami In a Caged $500 Citroën Sun, 26 Dec 2010 17:50:14 +0000
Readers of On The Road gush about the incredible asphalt journeys taken by the book’s protagonists, but they did most of their driving in a brand-new Hudson and a brand-new Cadillac limousine. Here is a truly heroic road trip: a solo San Diego-to-Miami drive in a basket-case Citroën ID19 that ran for the first time in 25 years when it clanked a single lap around the Sears Point paddock and then headed onto the track.

Meet Mike Spangler, the man behind the Lunar Rover Mini Moke and turbocharged ’62 Austin Mini race cars. He decided that it would be fun to drive the Citroën— veteran of two incredibly punishing 24 Hours of LeMons races— nearly 3,000 miles to the season-ender LeMons race in Miami.

A single LeMons race generally kills most cars. Honda Civics? Toast. Fox Mustangs? Crusher bait. The Citroën hadn’t even had an oil change since 1985, so Mike decided he’d do some routine maintenance before leaving on his lunatic journey. You know, tune-up, adjust the valves, that kind of thing. Whoops, busted rocker pedestal!

After much thrashing, the car was ready to go this morning at 7:30 PST.

He’s been rolling east for two hours now and the Déesse appears to be running well; he’s made it across the mountains and out of the wet weather. Text message from a minute ago: “4k @ 70mph. climbed into mtns over 4k elevation gain in the rain no prob. Babying throttle because clutch slipped under uphill throttle test last night b4 departure.”

I hope to see the man and the car when I show up in Miami to judge the race. Wish him luck!

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