NorCal FJs

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So I experienced a couple of things on a road trip to Death Valley this past week.  We loaded up The Turtle and headed out with a first overnight at Alabama Hills.  We were driving around for a while looking for a good spot to camp.  

I drove up a hill that dead ended and I had to do a multiple 3 point turn to get headed safely back down the hill.  I 'think' I rolled down the hill with the clutch in, kind of steep but short, and when I got to the bottom I let the clutch out whereupon the Turtle stalled.  So I tried to start it and when it turned over made a very funny noise and suddenly the cab was flooded with the smell of gas.  That freaked me out pretty bad so we got out wondering if I had somehow magically punctured the fuel line/tank without hitting anything.  My husband lifted the hood and nothing was amiss.  So I tried to start again and while the engine was cranking over it wouldn't start.  Reminded me of the old days of a flooded engine.  My husband said you can't flood this engine.  So we let it sit while wondering how much AAA would charge to come out to Alabama Hills.  After a while we tried again and it begrudgingly started.  For the remainder of our trip through the valley and out we worried and kept us out of Titus Canyon!

Then while coming home yesterday through Tracy and the Altamont it was very windy.  A sound much like a horn was coming from the front bumper area.  Sounded like someone blowing into the top of a half empty beer bottle.  It was very loud and would increase or decrease in level based on the wind speed.  I video'd to capture the sound but it is too faint on the recording due to road noise inside the cab.

Anyone ever experienced either of these?

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The second condition is easy physics and aerodynamics , just wait until you install a snorkel to experience  odd wind noise. That gets fun.

The first is a question for Click and Clack ,oh  wait, they retired. Try Nestor.


This was a really freaky noise.  I've never heard anything like it coming off a vehicle.  At first I thought one of the tires was riding in those grooves they cut into the road to keep you in the lane.  We got into the slow lane and it got even louder.

We got into the slow lane and it got even louder.

Grooved pavement?

No.  This section of the freeway is fairly new.  No grooves. It was definitely the wind howling through the front grill/bumper.  It was a head wind with gust up to 30mph.  Can't even imagine what a snorkel would sound like in the wind.

Can't tell you what the gas smell is, but the filler tube is next to the rear cabin vent, you might have had a loose cap and some splash out. if you have the filler on a downward angle.

As far as the wind noise remember you are driving a brick and our already oh so quiet FJs don't cut through the air easily add a  strong head wind or a strong cross wind and it's is even louder. I especially notice additional noise because of the roof rack based on speed

Thanks...yeah it definitely happened right at the bottom of the hill when it stalled.  Couldn't believe how strong the smell was.  

The noise was quite interesting.  I wonder if any cars passing could hear it as well.

Do you know what gear you were in, and if you were in 4 Hi or 4 Low? It's possible that you were in too low of a gear causing the stall

Brought the FJ in today and worked with Mike Ganenko in Dublin.  Described the situation to him and after listening he said I did in fact flood the engine.  Since I had the clutch in while going downhill the fuel injectors were still doing their jobs and fuel was in the cylinders (?).  When I let the clutch out at the bottom of the hill that is when it stalled due to too much fuel.  I don't remember all of the technical details but I guess you can flood the engine.  So his advice for the future is to never keep the clutch in no matter how small the hill and just let the engine do its job braking.  Phew. Should have recorded the conversation.

Just to throw it out there about the weird noise.

Two things that have happened to me in the past that caused weird noises and to OPG's point.

1st thing if I don't have the tie downs on my rack angled just right the nylon catches air just right and it howls so loud I have to pull over and re adjust them.

2nd thing the grill trim, grill and lower bumper grill all just snap into place. I accidentally tapped a guy in traffic awhile back.

No damage to his vehicle but my lower bumper grill popped loose. I just grabbed it and snapped it back in place.

Point being check all that stuff, could be something is loose and and giving you the beer bottle flute effect.

Good luck.

: )

Thanks!  This happened again today on the Altamont where the wind gusts were 48 mph and higher.  I had to get off and go the back roads because we all know these things are not aerodynamic and I was really getting tossed about.  One of the roof rack bars was loose one time.  We could not figure lout what the noise was.  The dealership said it was my license plate.  HA!  I finally just started walking around touching everything and found the loose bolt.

I have the same issue with the wind noise, it only seems to happen if there is a strong cross wind. It actually happened to me this morning going through the American Canyon hills on 80. It went on for awhile this morning but can not pin point what is causing it. 

Shane - for mine I think it's a headwind hitting the fenders just right. Very freaky. I still winder if other cars on the road can hear it too!




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