Happy 4th of July!

So a few days ago Canada celebrated the invention of poutine, or hockey or something, I’m not really sure but there was lots of booze and William Shatner and probably some fireworks.  Many think that Canada is trying to one-up the mighty U-S-of-A by partying 3 days early but I see things differently.  I believe that America’s hat is just trying to warm things up and get the party started for the real celebration, our Independence Day.  All digs and kidding aside, we can all share in the festivities and our very own Ambersand shall serenade us with a National Anthem we can all be proud of. 
Briefly, Ambersand, myself and MrHowser (who just happened to be in town) attended the Lucas Offroad event at Miller Motorsports Park.  Miss Amber, who happens to be a trained opera singer and has over a hundred National Anthems under her belt, volunteered to sing for them.  And for that, we thank you Amber.  Happy 4th of July everyone!  Stay safe and blow some stuff up to show your patriotism!


  1. Well done, Amber!
    Although, you won't be a Tube of Ewe sensation. You sang it properly, with respect, and you didn't forget the words.

    1. Lol I'm perfectly content with the performance considering I was recovering from bronchitis. As for the version, I refuse to disrespect such an important song. I don't need to show off, the song speaks for itself. 😉

  2. I am so impressed…! Brava to a stunning performance. And a capella, to boot…!

  3. [clapping, whistling, shouting] YAY!!! Bravo!!!! Encore!!!
    Err, I mean that was very well done.

  4. It's not so much that we tried to one up you guys, it's just that we saved time by asking nicely for our independence, rather than fighting about it like a petulant teenager (I keed!)
    Still, well done Amber, and happy Independence Day!

  5. That's wonderful, &! Woul you be available for childrens birthday parties and Superbowls?

  6. Last time that happened to me, it was a timing belt on a Ford 2.3. Here's to hoping it's something stupid and roadside-fixable.

    1. This is how my 244's timing belt went, but that car doesn't have a tach, so I can't confirm. The sudden drop in RPM, however, gives me hope that it isn't that at all.

    1. When the timing belt went on my Subaru, it was a loud dull thud like a rock hitting the floorpan. That was a non interference engine though, so in your case it would be accompanied by the sound of valves hitting pistons.
      Looks like Thrashy has spelled out some good checks below. Keep us posted!

  7. The anthem never fails to bring a tear to this old vet. You, my dear, brought several. Thank you.

  8. What variety of Civic? D-series distributors, being at least 10 years old at this point, have a habit of failing suddenly. They generally show those symptoms. Did the tach immediately drop to 0 even as the engine coasted down? That would be a dead giveaway that the dizzy gave up, provided you didn't also hear the sound of valves smashing into pistons, which would indicate the timing belt let go.

    1. Sounds like the distributor is a likely suspect. Assuming that the '97 is similar to my '91, you can rule out fuel pump issues by turning the key to "on" and listening very carefully for the pump's whining when it primes. If the distributor, or any of the various ignition parts contained therein, let go, you can pop the cap off and see that fairly easily. Provided you've got a second set of hands while you're checking things, you can check that the timing belt is intact by unscrewing the oil filler cap and watching to see if the valvetrain moves when your helper cranks the car.

  9. Amber, you NAILED the National Anthem, one of the hardest songs to sing, ever! Great rendition, very soulful and respectful. Hey, I wanna hear you sing some blues with a good tight band. I'll bet you would shred. Too bad I'm not there and with my old band, I'd hire you immediately.

  10. Very well sung, Amber, and if that's as last minute a hook-up as it sounds, kudos to the fireworks guys for nailing their timing, too.
    A huge thank you to all American servicemen through the ages for the sacrifice you've made for our freedom.

  11. <slightly off topic>
    Detroit and Windsor combine the Canada Day and Independence Day celebrations into one.

      1. If you do the repairs yourself, I'd bet you'd still come out ahead. It may be worth calling around to local shops where you broke down, though.

        1. So, the family shop told me on the phone that best case, if I didn't damage the valves, would be throw a new timing belt on it, and go. If the valves are lunched, then the most cost-effective way would just be a new long block. But I'm seeing rebuild kits and new valves on FleaBay for ~$500.
          This car has some good things going for it – rebuilt transmission, good interior, decent body, not to mention my wife's sentimental attachment to a car her folks bought new. With that in mind, I'd like to fix it.
          On the other hand, I do love Craigslist shopping…
          Realistically, what sort of tools would I need to invest in to either rebuild the current engine or replace it with a new one? I've got a decent socket set and wrenches, plus an ok jack and good stands. How much time and swearing would you guess it would be to repair the old girl?
          I don't want to put a stupid amount of money into a car that we are definitely not keeping long-term. But, I was prepared to throw down $300 for a distributor (small towns…. argh) so if I can get a low-mileage motor in there, or rebuild this one for less than a grand, I'd be inclined to try.

          1. It's possible you've got valve damage but, from your description of the event If it were me, I'd just do the timing belt. Not sure if this applies to your model specifically, but it's an example of what you'd be in for. http://www.clubcivic.com/board/showthread.php?t=1
            Personally, I'd opt for a used engine before rebuilding something so plentiful. Others might disagree, but why put yourself through the hassle of a rebuild in a car you're not committed to over the long haul.

          2. Yeah, it sounds like there's a chance I got lucky and didn't do any valve bendage. I think what I'll do is try throwing a new timing belt on the current engine and see what happens. If it's bad, time to order a junkyard motor, throw a new timing belt on it to be safe, and drop it in. Even if I just get it running enough to sell it, that's better than trying to unload an undrivable car.

  12. Had something similar happen to a 94 Corvette. It was the coil wire. Driving along and then just like turning off the key. Starter worked, but no juice to the distributor. Should be quick, easy, and cheap to try a new one.

  13. Nicely done – I note the Gekko didn't take off his hat.
    (Give O Canada a try sometime)

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