Project Sipster Part 7 – Sipster Indeed!



Undaunted, we headed to the lakebed at midnight, slept on the ground, and here we are at dawn, ready for the science. Crisscrossing the lake to check for any unexpected bumps or hazards, the Sipster’s massive torque and nimble handling prove irresistible. Just a squeeze of the right pedal and a flick of the steering wheel and the little blue box is sliding sideways across the desert at 80 mph. Fuel economy be damned, this is what we live for! Those H&R coil-overs we installed a few weeks back, yeah, they let us put our undertray exactly 5.5 inches off the ground, but really they make our ex hippy-hauler turn like a race car. And that efficient turbodiesel? Just feel the torque!
Uh… feel the torque? As suddenly as the fun began, it’s over. Squeezing the go pedal isn’t making any more go. Rolling to a stop, the engine dies, again, and a strange hissing noise is coming from the engine bay. All ears under the hood and the hissing is tracked to the brake master cylinder. Whaaa?
A phone call to Cam explains everything. The hissing is either a leaky brake booster, or a bad seal on the master cylinder letting air leak into the booster. That won’t kill the car, but, since the booster and turbo share the same source of vacuum, it will make the car run erratically. Making it just die mid powerslide? That would be the g-forces stirring up the old french fries again.
?Stupid hippies.
What’s that, wind? Just a breeze at first, but within minutes its gusting to 25 mph. Our science just blew away, the Sipster is dead, and we need this baby running for tomorrow’s mileage test. Then the driver’s door blows open and slams into the front fender, bending the hinges so much the door won’t close any more. Is this the part where the car catches fire and we get to go home?
Sadly, no. Abandoning the Sipster on the lakebed, we drive into Adelanto, the nearest town-shaped armpit, to get another cheap Chinese fuel filter and swing by the junkyard in search of a less-broken brake booster. We want one from a Cabriolet or a VW Pickup, according to Cam. When was the last time you saw a VW Pickup? Well, if you’re looking for one, There are FOUR in Ecology Auto Wrecking in Adelanto, and SEVEN cabriolets.

1 comment

  1. Your town is an armpit to me, no SPEED week time trials no Adelanto grand prix no King of the Hammers racing, no racetracks no endless off road freedom. Just a bunch of self important media snobs who need experts to help them build a car. But maybe that’s why top gear America failed, some can see through the bullshit, and when you finally tried to do something real, it was too late. Buy the way, the wind DRIVES people mad out here in the middle of nowhere California, but its cheap enough to afford many cars to power slide at El mirage, and then rip up a mountain to the lake. British Top Gear came here as well, and it looked like an amazing crowd(they probably hated it). It’s funny how a maximum security prison and crazy local drivers can make a town intimidating to someone from a major metropolitan city.

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