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Monkey
07-09-2010, 03:26 AM
Ok, so my MC decides to get rid of her evil stalker's car. She steals it, drives it to the boat ramp and puts a rock on the accelerator.

Right now, I have her putting the car in position, putting it in park, getting out but leaving the door open, putting it in gear, and then before it gets too far away, throwing a heavy rock onto the gas pedal.

The tires squeal, the car nearly hits the left pier, but contacts the water first.

The spinning tires propel the car through the water for a few seconds, then it begins to take on water through the side with the open door and sinks. The last the MC sees is the right rear tire. I'd like it if that tire could still be spinning (the rock would fall off, but the car was in drive, and I'd like to think a BMW would have enough oomph that the wheel--having little friction to slow it--would still be spinning, at least a little, even if the engine died.)

If it helps, the car is a 2010 BMW 1-series 128i soft top. Here's a link to a pic:
http://www.dupontregistry.com/autos/Search/DRauSearchDetails.aspx?itemid=818156 (only the one in the book is red)

Is this feasible? Is there something I'm missing, or something I should mention?

Just a little unsure on the mechanics of it all...

Thanks in advance for any insight or thoughts you may care to add. :)

CACTUSWENDY
07-09-2010, 03:34 AM
No idea....but such a waste of a nice car....sigh.

jclarkdawe
07-09-2010, 05:06 AM
Depends on how realistic you want to be.

Personally I doubt you could hit the gas pedal with a rock if you were a major league pitcher.

However, there's a safer, saner, and better way of doing this. Put car in park, and block one tire with a low block. A rock about an inch high should work here, one on each side of the tire. You just want to discourage the car from rolling. Take a piece of string and attach it to the top of the gear shift (assuming you've got an automatic here, this doesn't work for a manual). Take the string and run it over the trunk in a straight line. Then place car in neutral, and jam the accelerator to the floor. Shut door and walk to back of car and pick up string. Say, "Yee-hah!" and yank string. This will cause car to drop into drive (usually you don't need to press a button to get into drive from neutral, but if you do in this car, use duct tape on the button). Much safer than your approach.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

StephanieFox
07-09-2010, 05:20 AM
I don't think your tires are going to squeal. That happens on turns on certain sorts of pavement, but not here.

Monkey
07-09-2010, 05:55 AM
It's concrete. I thought that tires squealed when they were spinning to fast to gain traction right away? What sort of pavement is needed?

Monkey
07-09-2010, 06:18 AM
Ok, so it's a manual tranny. Here's an alternate idea...she drives forward until the car is on the downward slope of the boat ramp, then puts her foot on the brake, puts it in nuetral, and jumps out. She then goes around back and helps the car get up a little speed on its way to its watery doom.

Not as dramatic, perhaps, but cleaner.

Would that work?

Nivarion
07-09-2010, 06:23 AM
Well, I'm not an expert mechanic but the first thing to go would be the engine.

Once the air intake is under water its going to mix the gas with a lot of water, and choke the engine out immediately.

Once the car is in the water, the wheels will be pushed under, so they'll have little effect towards moving the car. They'll be pushing as much water forwards and down as back and up.

And an easier way to get the car going off like that would be to raise the back wheels up with a jack, put it on cruse and then drop the jack. Best to do it with the jack between the wheels or with a really long handle.

Wheels squealing is a go, it's the rubber that makes the noise bouncing off any hard surface. Though most docks you can drive a car to have corrugated ramps. At least, the ones I've been to.

jclarkdawe
07-09-2010, 06:35 AM
The way you get a burn out is to rev the engine up and drop it in gear. That will cause the tires to spin. Concrete can be better than asphalt because of the rough surface, which decreases traction.

I'm not sure a BMW would spin its tires from just mashing the accelerator to the floor. They don't have that much torque. But it's going to be close. Either funky surface or worn tires could do it. Definitely it would chirp with hard acceleration at the shift points, but you're not going to get out of first gear. Then again, not that many people would know this.

I don't know whether your character wants to make sure she can't be convicted for destroying the car. If so, have your character bring along a pair of heeled slingbacks. Take the shoe from the right foot, and break the rear strap (she broke it as she struggled to get out of the car). Take the heel and using the floor mat, jam it under the gas pedal, jamming the throttle open

String needs to be weak enough to break, and use a water soluble glue to hold the shift button down. The glue will let go as the car sits and soaks. Have her jump in the water, maybe rip her blouse, then explain to the police how the car got away from her. Fingerprints pretty much dissolve in water, and the story can't be disproved with the level of investigation that would happen.

Anyway, just some more stuff for you to work with.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Monkey
07-09-2010, 06:43 AM
Sounds like a good idea, Nivarion.

Small town ramps are often nothing more than slanted concrete--that's how it is in my town, and the town I grew up in (which happens to have the lake that I'm basing this one on).

The car is rear-wheel drive, which should help.

There is the problem of the car wanting to roll forward with the back end jacked up like that. So how's this for a scenario?

(Scenario 4) The MC sticks rocks in front of the front tires. She jacks up the rear end, then gets in and gets the car up to, say, thirty mph, and hits cruise control. Then she gets out and pulls the jack...BUT the rocks in front of the front tires cause them to turn, and the car goes off course. It cuts hard the right, and instead of hitting the boat ramp, it hits the pier, which it flies off of, landing in the water and sinking.

Any objections, oh knowledgeable ones?

(And, by the way, MUCH thanks to all of you for your very helpful advice. :) )

Monkey
07-09-2010, 06:47 AM
Thanks, JClark. I didn't see your post until after I did mine.

The MC hasn't thought this through very well. She's stolen the car and is simply hoping that no one will discover that she was the driver. She runs into the car's owner very shortly after this scene, though, so it's important that she not be wet or show any other signs of having been at the lake.

Lhun
07-09-2010, 02:22 PM
If you have a boat ramp, you could just park, get out, release the hand brake and let it roll down the ramp. It'll keep rolling until the end of the ramp, though a bit slower underwater.
That the tire is the last thing your character sees sounds a bit strange no matter the way of drowning the car though, since the tires are generally on the underside of the car and thus should be below the water first.

jclarkdawe
07-09-2010, 05:44 PM
Cruise control doesn't work below a certain minimum speed, unless you do some fancy jiggering of the system.

A jack works, but will tear up the ground quite a bit when you push the car off it. Police tend to look for this whenever a car goes in the water. (Your character won't be the first to do this.)

Manuals are more of a pain in the ass, but here's how to work a manual and leave little evidence. Use just the mat to jam the pedal (or find a Toyota, they'll apparently accelerator all on their own). But the first step is to find a long branch. Set the parking brake first. Take the branch and jam it against the clutch pedal and the other end against the seat rest. It's got to fit tight and be strong enough to apply pressure to the tire. Set the parking brake first.

Now, from the passenger side, jam the gas pedal in place. You can use a shorter stick for that, the mat, a rock, or if you have some car knowledge, jam the throttle open under the hood. Now place the car in gear (remember that the clutch is in). First will give you better acceleration, second will give you the maximum speed. Release parking brake and get out of car fast.

Shut door, and walk around to the driver's side. Shout "Yee-Hah!" and whack stick to get it to break. Stick will float out of car with any luck. Again, very little evidence for the police to work with and not likely to be discovered it was intentional.

Ramps don't produce much action. Car rolls in, usually to the point of getting front end under water, then stalls. Destruction to the engine is massive as it sucks water into the air intake, but you can't see this. Do make sure the car is thoroughly warmed up, to produce maximum steam effect.

Dock produces more action and is more likely to cause the car to flip. Although there are ways to guarantee this, they're probably beyond the scope of what your character wants to do. And the question is whether you want it to flip in the air or in the water.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Monkey
07-09-2010, 07:19 PM
I'm liking that idea, JClark, but I'm not sure I have it mapped out in my head well enough to write it. Let's see if I have it...

Car is in second gear. MC:
1) Pulls up the parking brake
2) Jambs clutch down using stick
3) Jambs accelerator down with other stick
4) Gets out of car (It's revving like nobody's business, but there's no forward momentum 'cause the clutch is down.)
5) Uses another stick to break the one pushing down the clutch.

So the parking brake is still on, but fat lot of good it's going to do. The car zips forward, possibly even angling slightly to one side (no driver, possible rock in the way) and can then drown itself, or maybe hit the boat dock any number of ways, sending it a half-turn before it hits the water.

Sploosh! And there's steam! Yay! I like the steam. :)

I don't at all mind a small bit of luck or chance causing the car to do something more dramatic than the MC had envisioned, so she doesn't have to plan for the car to hit the dock at all. I can do that easily with happenstance.

jclarkdawe
07-09-2010, 09:36 PM
I'm liking that idea, JClark, but I'm not sure I have it mapped out in my head well enough to write it. Let's see if I have it...

Car is in second gear. MC: Car would be in neutral. You can't park a standard in gear with the engine running.
1) Pulls up the parking brake
2) Jambs clutch down using stick jams, not jabs, a jab is more a temporary action.
3) Jambs accelerator down with other stick this stick will go into the center consul somewhere. with any luck, it should come lose with the collision with the water, then place car in gear.
4) Releases the parking brake as she Gets out of car (It's revving like nobody's business, but there's no forward momentum 'cause the clutch is down.) Exactly.
5) Uses another stick to break the one pushing down the clutch.

So the parking brake is still on, but fat lot of good it's going to do. No, it's released as the last thing when she gets out of the car. The car zips forward, possibly even angling slightly to one side (no driver, possible rock in the way) and can then drown itself, or maybe hit the boat dock any number of ways, sending it a half-turn before it hits the water.

Sploosh! And there's steam! Yay! I like the steam. :) If you want some more heat, half clutch it (clutch halfway in so its slipping) for a couple of miles. Will heat the transmission like crazy, easily getting up to almost 200 degrees. Also, the cold water, hitting the hot transmission, will totally destroy it. Not that an immersed running car is terribly salvageable.

I don't at all mind a small bit of luck or chance causing the car to do something more dramatic than the MC had envisioned, so she doesn't have to plan for the car to hit the dock at all. I can do that easily with happenstance. Within broad parameters, you can predict actions here, but even for movies or stunt jumping, you're never quite sure what the car is going to do.

And remember when they pull it out to have a fish flop out when they open the door to let the water drain.

If you want, send me the scene when you get it written.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Stanmiller
07-09-2010, 09:53 PM
M,

Why go to all that trouble when she could simply burn it?
stan

PeterL
07-09-2010, 10:12 PM
I

So the parking brake is still on, but fat lot of good it's going to do. The car zips forward, possibly even angling slightly to one side (no driver, possible rock in the way) and can then drown itself, or maybe hit the boat dock any number of ways, sending it a half-turn before it hits the water.


The parking brake will stall it almost instantly, unles the brakes are in really bad shape.

I think that Clark-Dawe has it right.

I think that the best effect would be with the automatic.

Monkey
07-10-2010, 12:29 AM
I suck at driving. Really, I do. I've driven a car with the parking brake on, so I know that can be done. :tongue

What I don't get, though, is how the car can be "driven" forward if we start our scenario in Neutral. I thought in Neutral, the most you were gonna get is engine revving...Wouldn't it have to be in gear (as in first or second) to actually engage and drive off the ramp/pier?

PeterL
07-10-2010, 12:36 AM
I suck at driving. Really, I do. I've driven a car with the parking brake on, so I know that can be done. :tongue

What I don't get, though, is how the car can be "driven" forward if we start our scenario in Neutral. I thought in Neutral, the most you were gonna get is engine revving...Wouldn't it have to be in gear (as in first or second) to actually engage and drive off the ramp/pier?

You could drive with the parking brake on because the rear brakes were in extremely bad condition.

You are right abou Neutral, and shifting would be the hard part of using a car with a manual transmission. Having an automatic and shifting from neutral to drive with a rope would be the easiest way of starting it out. You would want to start at the top of the ramp so that the car could get some speed. The faster it was going when it hit the water the farther out it would go before it sank.

jclarkdawe
07-10-2010, 02:37 AM
I suck at driving. Really, I do. I've driven a car with the parking brake on, so I know that can be done. :tongue

What I don't get, though, is how the car can be "driven" forward if we start our scenario in Neutral. I thought in Neutral, the most you were gonna get is engine revving...Wouldn't it have to be in gear (as in first or second) to actually engage and drive off the ramp/pier?

I'm sorry. Missed a step the second time through.

After jamming the accelerator open, with the clutch also down, place the car in gear, probably first. Then release the parking brake, then remove branch holding clutch pedal down.

This is the type of scene though that doing a walk through helps make it work better. Take your car and block the wheels thoroughly. Then walk through the steps, with the only difference being after you release the parking brake, shut off the engine, then pop the clutch. I wouldn't want to redline the car idling, but you shouldn't be able to do any destruction to your car.

You'll find some of the steps are harder than they seem, while others are easy but awkward. Doing a run through of scenes though can really help your realism.

This approach is a combination of a couple of car trashings and accidental drownings that I've heard about from people involved.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Lhun
07-10-2010, 04:35 AM
Ramps don't produce much action. Car rolls in, usually to the point of getting front end under water, then stalls.Depends on the ramp and the car. Ultimately, all cars will roll down until the end of the slope, since they're much heavier than the displaced water, but different cars might take different times to fill all air containing space with water. In the case of a convertible, if it built up enough speed rolling down to get water above door-height, it should be over pretty quickly.
People manage to sink their cars with alarming regularity when trying to launch boats.