pimpm3
pimpm3 Reader
11/20/13 6:04 p.m.

As many of you know I am a Police Officer. Yesterday I was dispatched to a single car crash on the interstate. I arrived on scene and discovered that the drunk guy driving an early 2000's Dodge Durango thought it would be a sweet idea to split traffic by driving between two semi trucks. Needless to say he lost control and flipped over into the median. When I arrived about 5 minutes after the crash occured I found this Durango upside down halfway off the road. Several bystanders were milling about and they informed me that the drunk guy was trapped inside the vehicle. I ran up to the car and realized that it is still running even though it was completely upside down! ! There was some gas leaking out of the tank filler so I felt that it would be a good idea to turn off the truck. I crawled inside, told the dude rescue was on the way and turned the car off via the key.

How is it possible that this truck continued to run for several minutes despite being completly upside down? I figured the fuel pick up is in the wrong place and all oif the oil would run away from the oil sump and pool in the heads.

Learn me running an engine inverted....

I guess the moral of the story is don't drive drunk and if you want to drive upside down buy a Durango.

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon SuperDork
11/20/13 6:07 p.m.

If it had a full tank, I could see the fuel still getting there, but what about the oil? It had to have run dry after it was upside down for a moment or two. Was the engine making any racket?

pimpm3
pimpm3 Reader
11/20/13 6:10 p.m.

Nope sounded normal and was running smoothly.

Mmadness
Mmadness Reader
11/20/13 6:12 p.m.

Most new cars shut off automatically in a crash, this is weird.

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
11/20/13 6:13 p.m.

Dodge 318 derived V8? That should run without oil for a good 20 minutes.

nicksta43
nicksta43 SuperDork
11/20/13 6:16 p.m.

We tried to kill a 305 Chevy one time running it without coolant and oil. Ran for almost a half hour at WOT before we got bored.

pimpm3
pimpm3 Reader
11/20/13 6:17 p.m.
Mmadness wrote: Most new cars shut off automatically in a crash, this is weird.

This one didn't unfortunatly. It would have saved me from crawling into the damned thing to shut it off.

pimpm3
pimpm3 Reader
11/20/13 6:18 p.m.
nicksta43 wrote: We tried to kill a 305 Chevy one time running it without coolant and oil. Ran for almost a half hour at WOT before we got bored.

But did you invert it

nicksta43
nicksta43 SuperDork
11/20/13 6:22 p.m.

No but we did sneak and remove the drain plug while one kid was getting some oil , I think he put about 8 quarts in before he saw it pooling under his feet. Ah, high school shop class, good memories.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
11/20/13 6:37 p.m.

If the fuel tank had been full, it's plausable the standard pickup was still getting liquid gasoline.

If the tank had a replacement pump installed in it, the pickup location could be changed, making it even better able to run on a full or near full tank.

And if someone rigged up a clunker type fuel pickup in there, it would get gas and run the tank dry upside down (think weed wacker fuel tank).

As for the engine, it tends to take quite a while without oil for damage to start happening. I've seen engines run for nearly a day without oil in them before something interesting happened.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo Dork
11/20/13 6:47 p.m.
foxtrapper wrote: As for the engine, it tends to take quite a while without oil for damage to start happening. I've seen engines run for nearly a day without oil in them before something interesting happened.

Especially with no load on it.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory Dork
11/20/13 6:50 p.m.

Don't most vehicles smoke like a mutha when upside down? Seems that way when watching Rock Crawling Championships.

pimpm3
pimpm3 Reader
11/20/13 7:03 p.m.

I guess aerobatic planes would have a dry sump and a weighted fuel pick up of some sort.

Knurled
Knurled PowerDork
11/20/13 7:09 p.m.

The Durango has a fuel module, the pickup is inside a plastic well and the fuel return from the engine (if it even has one, it may have been returnless) goes right into the pickup as well.

I'm assuming that it wasn't perfectly, 100% level. Even a few degrees off would be enough to keep the fuel system in fuel down to 3/4 tank or so (this is entirely a SWAG) because the air pocket will be off to the front or the back. Probably the back.

As far as engine running/not smoking... huh, dunno. You'd think that the valve covers would become the new oil pan and the valve seals would turn into upper cylinder lube metering devices. It's possible that, like a large percentage of Durangos that I've seen, the engine was being trained to run two or three quarts low on oil so this wasn't an issue.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
11/20/13 7:17 p.m.

He had probably added Z Max! and then drained all the oil out just before the big wreck...

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/21/13 7:07 a.m.
pimpm3 wrote: I guess aerobatic planes would have a dry sump and a weighted fuel pick up of some sort.

Dry sump and a multiple-pickup fuel system...

This is so unfair, on the track we all know it just takes a second of oil starvation to ruin an engine, but this drunk shiny happy person runs his upside-down and gets away with it

In the offroad world, standard procedure is to shut the engine down immediately when you go over, and before re-starting you should crank with the plugs removed (since oil will leak into the cylinders).

Will
Will Dork
11/21/13 8:16 a.m.

My only comment is that in WW2, early versions of the Spitfire and Hurricane were carbureted, while the Me109 was fuel injected. During the Battle of Britain, Luftwaffe pilots found they could escape attack by doing a negative-G pushover. Their planes would keep running, while the Spits and Hurris would fuel starve.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
11/21/13 8:46 a.m.

simple... The fuel pressure in the line hadnt been depleted yet. You can run at idle a few minutes off of that.

As far as the oil... I saw a car at LeMons finish the last half hour with no oil pressure... not that surprising. Yeah, gonna have a hell of a lot sloshing around in an upsidedown engine, but not enough to stop it running. eventually the PCV might cause some trouble though...

N Sperlo
N Sperlo MegaDork
11/21/13 9:08 a.m.
Apexcarver wrote: simple... The fuel pressure in the line hadnt been depleted yet. You can run at idle a few minutes off of that.

And like others said, if there is enough fuel, it should run just fine. Its pump has a pretty normal setup and the hose looks slightly flexible.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
11/21/13 9:38 a.m.

The oil is still in there splashing around.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UberDork
11/21/13 10:17 a.m.

Saw an 80's vintage Caravan go wheels up into a ditch. It kept running until shut off too.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
11/21/13 10:21 a.m.

The fuel shutoff in an accident only occurs with a short, sharp, shock, to quote Pink Floyd. Usually as a result of the car hitting an object or being hit. It is possible that all that flipping, rolling and sliding dissipated the energy sufficiently that there wasn't a shock that would trip it.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
11/21/13 10:58 a.m.

^This.

Did the front airbags deploy?

pimpm3
pimpm3 Reader
11/21/13 2:03 p.m.

No airbag deplooyment

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
11/21/13 2:17 p.m.

Not all cars have a crash fuel shutoff. Toyota's for instance. Fords do, and you can buy one at Summit to wire into your car as a safety feature. Toyotas will shut the fuel pump off when the engine stops running, like a Megasquirt.

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