It had rained for most of the day, one of those constant downpours that we see frequently during the spring season here in the northeast. Water had overfilled most of the storm sewers, and flooded underpasses were common in the area. I was driving home in the 64 Chevelle convertible, my wife's dowry, and had been accustomed to having problems in wet weather. It seems that the ignition coil had a hairline crack down the high voltage tower and wet weather played havoc with the 30K volts at the coil wire.
I had pulled up to a traffic light and was the first in line. I saw a similar Chevelle pulled up to the light facing me. The hood was open and the driver was standing there scratching his head. As I waited for the light to turn green he leaned in and tried to crank it over again. I heard the engine cranking but that was all. It was still raining and I knew that he had just come through a deep underpass which I was certain was filled with rainwater. I knew precisely what was wrong - his engine had been drenched with water.
Remember I said I had experienced the same problems? Well, I also had the cure. It was a can of CRC5-56 that lived under the seat on the passenger side. I reached under the seat and grabbed the spray can. When the light turned green I crossed the intersection, pulled over in the center of the road adjacent to the dead Chevelle, stepped out and quickly sprayed his high voltage system with the magic juice.
"Step in and try it now" I knew exactly what would happen. It started like it was brand new. I jumped back into my car, tossed the CRC under the seat and started down the road. The guy yelled after me as I drove away, "Heyyyyy, what is that stuff?????"
I yelled out the window as I drove down the street, "It's CRC5-56 . . . . . you can get it at your local automotive store!"
I felt like the lone ranger riding off into the sunset. No, I didn't yell out Hi, Ho Silver . . . Awaaaaay!"
So what makes this CRC stuff work its magic? Well, to quote a line from "Fried Green Tomatoes", the secret is in the sauce. CRC5-56 is a petrochemical. It's main use is to loosen rusted bolts and it does that quite well. But as a "penetrating" liquid it also has the amazing property of getting down into microscopic cracks and displacing moisture. The dielectric properties of the CRC5-56 are such that it prevents any leakage of current down the high voltage tower on the coil. It doesn't coat the surface like some sprays which then trap moisture inside the hairline cracks. It just pushes the water out of the way and prevents the short circuiting that kills a lot of wet engines.
Related reading - see stun.htm.
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