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GT Mayor
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64,670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the most outrageous auto repair you have ever done that worked:headscratch:
I had a 1969 Plymouth Valiant with a slant 6 plant. The chick that owned the car before me never changed the oil. I had bought a chrome valve cover for the car, and when I went to put it on there was so much sludge on the head there was no oil getting to the top end.
I showed this to my roommate and he told me I needed a different engine, I told him I ain't got the bucks, he said you need a different engine, I said read my lips I ain't got the bucks.
He told me there was something he could try but there was a good chance it wouldn't work. We drained the oil, put in 3 quarts of ATF and 2 quarts of enamel reducer, and fired that baby up, we ran it like that revin the thing up pretty good for about 10 minutes drained the stuff and repeated. Some serious crud came out the drain plug hole for sure. We filled it up with oil and filter and took her for a drive. I run about 2 miles in town and ran out on the highway.
About 2 miles out the oil pressure gauge dropped to zero, my friend told me to turn around and drive very slow back to town. We got back to the shop, changed oil again and my friend told me to watch the oil pressure gauge like a hawk, and the second I saw it start to go down, get the hell home and change oil again. After about 6-7 oil changes I could go 3k and the oil pressure would stay up, so that crude fix worked:phew: Then ain't life grand I wrecked the car:crying:
 

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qxPfZzhK
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2,726 Posts
Used the cardboard package and some silicone sealant to rig a water neck gasket when I replaced the themostat on wifey's '65 Buick. Worked like a champ.

I also once scrounged a gum wrapper outta the gutter (Wrigley's foil - those were the days) to get my '73 CB350 running. The main fuse had popped and I had no spare. What the hell it got me home.
 

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Sarcasm Inc.
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16,586 Posts
Had a buddy with an 80's cadillac with that crappy 5200 series V8 and it was blowing oil out the valve covers.Pulled the covers off and found the oil drain backs clogged,tried to rod them out no go.SO we pulled the oil plug and I fired up the gas power washer and gave the top of the heads hell for about 15 minutes.After all the water drained out of the pan we put the valve covers back on and filled it with oil and started it.It ran the best it ever had and he drove it like that for another year until he traded it:cool:
 

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Spun a rod bearing on a 300 mile trip.
Dropped the oil pan on the side of the highway, carefull not to spill too much oil. Replaced the wasted rod bearing with a piece of leather from his belt, and finished the trip. No motor oil was added, that's why it was so important not to spill too much oil.
(not me, but a machinist I used to work with at an engine reuilding company)

coolest roadside repair I heard of
 

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3,155 Posts
I had an 84 corvette that had a little "catch" in the steering when you started to turn left. I had decided to sell it, pulled into the carport and the left side steering arm sort of exploded with fluid all over the concrete floor. I thought, just my luck, this will cost a fortune just when I am wanting to sell it. I was in auto zone looking at power steering stop leak stuff, knowing that a leak that bad could not be fixed by stop leak. The can of lucas brand stop leak said "guaranteed to stop all leaks, and steering hard spots" or your money back. Wow, I was thinking those are mighty big promises but I will try it just for kicks. Put in two cans-it never leaked again and the hard spot was gone. Sold it two months later. Saw the guy's wife later-she said she didn't want him to get it but now we fight over it. Said they hadn't had any trouble with it (6 months later) I sent an e mail to lucas to report how good that stuff is.
 

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It ain't over
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8,396 Posts
My old CJ5, with a 258ci 6 cyl, would just die and not restart. I had to let it sit for a day, then it would start and run for a few minutes and then die again. This really sucked when plowing snow.

I tried new coils, fuel pump, I rebuilt the carb, nothing seemed to help. Then I found a simple conversion to electronic ignition - one wire set-up.

I bought a used 6cyl GM distributor (circa 1980). The cam gear had to be replaced with a gear from an AMC 8 cyl engine. IIRC, this also made the distributor run backwards - but as long as there's spark to the correct plug when that cylinder hits TDC, it works. Larger plug wires, different plugs and voila! The thing starts and runs like a dream.

To find the compression stroke, I put a cork in the #1 cyl and rocked the Jeep until the cork flew across the garage. Then, I just rocked until the timing mark was at zero. This was close enough to put the distributor into the engine. Then, it was just a matter of hooking up new wires and supplying juice. It started right up - I had to turn the distributor a bit to smooth it out - but it's run perfectly since then.

I wonder who thought this up - just the fact that the length of the distributor is a match for the old AMC distributor is amazing - then, the fact that the 8 cyl gear replaces the GM 6 cyl gear... Go figure.
 

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Langolier
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220 Posts
I replaced the main bearing seal in my old 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the engine and tranny still in the car.
It was pouring oil out of the main seal.
Jacked up the front, removed the front wheels, remove the front leaf spring bolts and let the axle swing down.
Removed the oil pan and oil pump, the last main cap and discovered the seal was STUCK on both sides.
I had to use a hammer and punch to knock the top seal out.
But the seal wouldn't budge and the metal rod in the center of the seal was splaying out.
After about two hours of tapping and beating on this thing I was tuckered out and at wits end about the top seal.
I have it just one last light tap and it moved!
I tapped it some more and grabbed the other end with Vise-Grips then snatched it out!
I put the car back together and it stopped leaking for about 3 days.
Then it went to leaking oil out of anywhere that had a seal or space for oil to come out.
Come to find the PVC valve was clogged.
Replaced it and not a drop after that.
 

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bulletproof
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1,853 Posts
Ive done lots of "trail repairs". Broke the u bolts on my rear axle, used a come along winch to strap it up. Drove an old ford for weeks with vise grips for a steering wheel. Little things like sticks in a leaking water pump weep hole, good things to know. When I was a kid, I drove some serious rolling junk, we had $50 cars and trucks, and didnt care if we broke em. I kept an old Datsun running for years off of junkyard parts. It was an project, when I was a mechanic, starting out. I bought nothing but gas for that truck, and sometimes even got the gas from a junker.
 

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Jeep Pirate
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625 Posts
My "special" repairs usually involve a Jeep and a very remote location. We have made skids from log and chain after an axle shaft broke and the rear wheel/tire fell off. It allowed us to drive back to pavement.

My most odd repair was created when the fuel pump quit in the middle of a swamp. I found a littered Gatoraide bottle with a push/pull nipple, filled it with gas, and connected it to a piece of tubing pirated from under the hood. With me squeezing gently, it supplied gas to the carb and ran great. The odd part was sitting on the cowl with the hood removed and windshield down, squeezing the bottle with one hand and driving with the other.
 

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247 Posts
Spun a rod bearing on a 300 mile trip.
Dropped the oil pan on the side of the highway, carefull not to spill too much oil. Replaced the wasted rod bearing with a piece of leather from his belt, and finished the trip. No motor oil was added, that's why it was so important not to spill too much oil.
(not me, but a machinist I used to work with at an engine reuilding company)

coolest roadside repair I heard of
I realize it was a friend who was a machinest at an engine building company but I am going to call BS on that one.

No way you could drop the oil pan on the side of the road much less replace a spun bearing with a piece of leather.
 

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Sarcasm Inc.
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16,586 Posts
Spun a rod bearing on a 300 mile trip.
Dropped the oil pan on the side of the highway, carefull not to spill too much oil. Replaced the wasted rod bearing with a piece of leather from his belt, and finished the trip. No motor oil was added, that's why it was so important not to spill too much oil.
(not me, but a machinist I used to work with at an engine reuilding company)

coolest roadside repair I heard of
I remember hearing that story for the first time in the late 1970's,so you can bet he heard it from someone else too:whistling:
 

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NRA Member
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812 Posts
Had nothing but a ratcheting tie down strap holding my engine under the hood of my old pickup for a week. That strap held the engine tighter than any motor mounts ever did.
 

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My friend's late brother once ran low on automatic transmission fluid in a car he borrowed (it had a bad leak). He filled it up with water and kept going.
 

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local trouble maker
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9,139 Posts
I realize it was a friend who was a machinest at an engine building company but I am going to call BS on that one.

No way you could drop the oil pan on the side of the road much less replace a spun bearing with a piece of leather.
I am not going to argue about dropping the pan. however i have used leather for bearings in a lot of old farm equipment. As long as it is impregnated with grease or oil it will work fine for a while. Just keep it wet and keep the RPM's down.
Leather was the bearing surface on horse drawn wagon wheels for hundreds of years. Right on up to the late 1800's early 1900's
 

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I am not going to argue about dropping the pan. however i have used leather for bearings in a lot of old farm equipment. As long as it is impregnated with grease or oil it will work fine for a while. Just keep it wet and keep the RPM's down.
Leather was the bearing surface on horse drawn wagon wheels for hundreds of years. Right on up to the late 1800's early 1900's
I was aware of leather being used for bearings on horse drawn wagons but you are talking about a wood rod doing maybe 60-70rpm, not a metal crank doing 1500-3000rpm. Also consider the force that would be applied to the leather when the piston came pushing towards it.

Even if the leather would work trust me when I say there is NO WAY on earth someone dropped an oil pan on the side of the road. You would need to be able to raise the motor a good 5-6 inches just to be able to manuver the pan between the block and the K member while trying to clear the pick up tube, and manage not to spill oil at the same time.
 

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Special Member
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Even if the leather would work trust me when I say there is NO WAY on earth someone dropped an oil pan on the side of the road.
This depends entirely on the vehicle. On a '77-'84 VW, there is no subframe and the oil pan is otherwise unobstructed so it drops straight down. Done it twice now, once to replace a leaking pan and once to replace a set of bearings scored by an oil pump failure.
 

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THIS IS IN ALL CAPS
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7,035 Posts
I completely misread the first sentence of this thread and wrote 3 paragraphs that had nothing to do with anything discussed here.

Anyway, when I put a new engine in my truck, I made an oil priming tube by duct taping a big flat blade screwdriver to my cordless drill. Worked like a charm!

After a week of vacationing on Carova beach and a week of driving offroad to get to and from anywhere, my truck was in pretty bad shape. Several hangers broke bouncing over the ruts in the sand, so my two chain and a braided cable bicycle lock were all that was holding my exhaust system up. Also on the way back my dimmer switch went bad so I jumped out and unplugged the high beams. This was in the summer of 05. Everything sat until around November of last year. Now the beat-up old 87 Silverado is a daily driver once again. I love coming to a stop in the city so I can hear everything rattle on it. When I come to a stop, it sounds like a shopping cart in the parking lot.
 

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Premium Member
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I had a Dodge Ramcharger in Montana. I drove on a lot of gravel roads, most had a
lot of wash board sections. A battery bracket broke on me, the battery came loose
and got into the fan. The corner of the battery was gone, about an inch each direction.
I secured it with a cargo strap until I got home. I used a butter dish lid, cut into strips
and a soldering iron to build up the missing corner. I used that battery in the Dodge for
another three years. I bought a new battery before I sold it.
 

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Awwww SKEET!
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921 Posts
The sheet metal where the door latch is bolted to in my 94 grand Cherokee tore and rendered the door latch useless... I managed to get to work (Jiffy Lube) found a huge hose clamp, rolled down the front and rear windows about a half inch and claped the door shut.. Drove like that for about a month before my new door came.
 
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