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Road side repairs, MacGyver style?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DocWatson, May 1, 2009.

  1. Ok, so this was inspired by the JB weld thread and a radio call in I heard the other day. What MacGyver like repairs have you done on the road side that would be great to see in a movie?

    My best one, not that its all that good was done the day I bought my 38 off my parents. It sat for a long time on a dirt floor garage so had some rust. I found out how bad it was when I took it for a drive.
    The collector ring was so rusted that the length of exhaust from where the 4 pipes entered the collector to the muffler dropped off on the drivers side!
    I had some hose clamps and some tools in the car but no way to connect it all. Found a big empty tin of dog food on the nature strip, cut it down one side and open at both ends with tin snips and formed the new collector ring from that and held it together with the hose clamps.
    Worked like a treat for months!

    I know, not that MacGuyverish, but whats the best you have done?
  2. Smokin' Joe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,000

    Smokin' Joe
    Member Emeritus

    One time when I was stationed at Fort Dix, NJ, we were going to see some girls up in the Pocono mountains and it was snowing. Everything was fine until the windshield wipers quit working! We found some twine in the trunk of the car and tied it to the wiper arms and ran the string through the vent windows of the car. Bill was driving, and he'd tug on his string to pull the wipers one way and I'd pull on mine to bring 'em back. We made it safe and sound! Don't remember much about the girls, but that ride is something I'll never forget!
  3. red3
    Joined: Mar 14, 2009
    Posts: 186


    I had a belt break on my 66 El camino when I was in High school. So I took the belt off my pants and was able to make it home without over heating.
  4. That reminds me of something my father did when I was just a kid, same 38. On a rod run in Mildura Victoria he broke the accelerator pedal! Ran some string from the carb through the windscreen, just pull to drive!

  5. fiat gasser
    Joined: Sep 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,587

    fiat gasser

    I had a 1954 plymouth on a road trip up the interstate. Pulled into a rest area for lunch. We went to leave and the car would not turn over, it was dead and I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what was wrong. A old timer came over with a piece of aluminum foil, folded it neatly and placed it between one of the points in the 6 volt voltage regulator. The plymouth fired right up. Made the 50 mile ride home. I think he was Mcgyvers Dad.:)
  6. fiat gasser
    Joined: Sep 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,587

    fiat gasser

    Belts are very useful. The exhaust fell off the old car I had so I used my belt around the frame to hold the exhaust up. Worked good until the heat burned through the belt.
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  7. hot rod wille
    Joined: Oct 27, 2005
    Posts: 695

    hot rod wille

    Had a carb on a friend's car start flooding--I open up tjhe carb--a Q-jet--and clean out the needle and seat--but the primary spring is broken and the gasket is toast.We go to the hotel where we're staying and grab a pen and go get a cereal box out of the breakfast room and pull the pen spring out to put in the primary well,and cut a new gasket out of the box.Put it back on--adjust as needed= car runs good!
    Fast forward a few months---see the guy at another run--he says car still runs great--won't touch the carb! It stays that way for over a year!
    Also used panty hose for fan belts--can buy em anywhere.
  8. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,895


    Last year on the way to Road Rocket Rumble in my chopped Model A sedan, went over a bump and SHWACK!!!! the prop rod for the radiator broke, so I sent a text out to everyone in the convoy and we all pulled over. Spoons (driving his Model A coupe) rigged up about 62 wires holding the radiator away from the fan, and shoved a deep 5/16 socket into the prop rod and put the other end of that into the other end that broke off...then duck taped the hell out of it. On our way!... he knew a guy that had a shop in Indy so we went there AND THE GUY WELDED THE SOCKET RIGHT ONTO THE FREEKING THING....I still owe spoons a socket for that....THANKS SPOONS! ended up selling the car before I put on 2 prop rods like it should have had.
  9. Parts48
    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    from Tucson, Az
    1. Hot Rod Veterans

    1970 Road America..

    Left Sunday late afternoon after packing the trailer..loading the car. A friend and I were in my E Type..took a detour for food.
    On the way home we see a Triumph Spitfire hood up..
    We stop..two girls with a split radiator hose. It's Sunday evening in farm country..

    We have some tools..duct tape type stuff..a cooler full of beer..mechanics wire..
    and lime vodka..
    Welp..we drank some beer..cut a can or two open..used them to cover the slit (in the hose)..then used gobs of tape to seal it.
    Not much water..but we have ice..and beer..and lime vodka..

    Drank the beer till late..and at one point my friend had a great beerdea (beer idea)..

    We can't use beer in the radiator..but we can convert the beer..

    So we drank..piss in a can..all four of us..all melted..we drank..pissed..made friends..drank..pissed..and filled the radiator..
    I had the blaze of thought to add the lime vodka as antifreeze..

    We set up a tents.. the morning..

    Started the Triumph..let it idle for 20 minutes..followed the ladies back to hose..drained the radiator..(funny no one wanted to actually do it).

    I dated friend married Sarah..

    Good thing we didn't need some type of grease..:eek:
  10. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,282


    Starbucks coffee jacket and a paper clip to hold the throttle linkage of my 57 Bel Air together. Sometimes you just need to think on your toes

    Another time, friend of mine with a mid 50s Ford with a badly overheating Cadillac engine. We stopped ont eh road ont he way back from a show on a brutally hot summer day. The engine was so hot, the starter wouldn't crank it back over, only turning very slowly. We hooked 2 batteries to it wired parallel, not much help. We sat there for 30 minutes to let it cool down, no dice. Finally, we hooked the batteries up in series, turned all electrical goodies off, on the count of 3 hit the key, 1, 2, 3...WHIRRRRRRRRR BANG! motor spins over like a banshee with 24 volts to it, starter solenoid explodes as it fires, and off we go
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  11. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,498


    Doc, you would remember the series on TV acouple of years ago. It was called something like "Bush Mechanic". The episode I remember best was a bunch of Aborigines in an early Commodore. The fuel pump had shit itself so they hooked up the windscreen washer pump to the carby and just kept topping up the washer bottle with juice. Had to hold the washers on all the time of course.
  12. When I was at the Nats about 10 years ago in my 39 Convert, the fuel pump in the flattie stopped pumping. I used some snips to cut some ali packing and folded it up to space the pump push rod. It got me home and lasted 500 or so miles before it shit itself again
  13. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,132

    RAY With

    I doubt MacGyver ever had this experience but I did. While doing a little friendly street race my throttle cable broke. Damn no tools or parts so what to do? Looking in my trunk I had some electrical tape and that was it. The wife says I might have something and handed me a tampon. Well, what the hell here is a rip chord and since I did have a pocket knife I cut the chord and did the ties as necessary and then wrapped the electrical tape to secure the knot and was able to drive the 65 miles home. Of course the wife never let up and today still talks about how she saved the day and saved me a couple of hundred in wrecker fees.

    Attached Files:

  14. aceuh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,361


    I had the cotter pin fail that held the clutch linkage to the pedal assembly while trying to merge on to I40 just south of Knoxville. I knocked it outta gear and got it pulled over to the barely there e lane. I walked the side of the road until I found a piece of wire that I used in place of the missing cotter pin. Held together long enough for me to find a hardware store...and a package of cotter pins.
  15. I used my shoe strings tied together to replace a broken fan belt. just kept the water pump moving

    another time out in the desert hauling ass down dirt roads in a fiat 124 spider. damn thing just died. had gas and no spark. no tools. took awhile to find the problem. a carbon block in the distributor cap that contacts the rotor had turned to dust. walked around found a empty .22 shell that fit snug put it back and it was still there when my buddy sold the car a year later
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  16. years ago, put a pound of hamburger in the rear end that had gone dry, greased her up fine til i could get home.
  17. sponge
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 249

    from Austin tx

    dont like the sound of that...
  18. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,919


    It's okay, it was probably a McDonalds Special...:D
  19. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,231

    from Burton, MI

    Hit a nasty bump in the Peter beater a few years ago and it busted the u-joint loose on the driveshaft. No tools, hell no room for tools. Found a good size rock and pounded everything back together. Made the trip to the car cruise and home no problems.
  20. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    real simple one for me, was going to the last Road agents show when a rock flew up & dinged my radiator, was pissing out a good size stream.Went into the local IGA market got a tin of McCormicks black pepper, put it in the radiator, topped it off & drove away.Its still in there & not leaking today!! & that was about 3 yrs ago & 7,000 miles ago!!
  21. Fatbob309
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 491


    Did that on a Jeep one time. Worked fine.
  22. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,749


    driving on a rural road in northern idaho, in my '50 ford truck
    dead of winter
    comming down a steep grade the ice had formed a hellacious washboard
    broke the bunjie cord holding the battery in place
    and sent the battery on to the distributor
    the cap popped off and the rotor split clean in two
    dug through my limited tool kit
    found some fiber reenforced packing tape and taped the rotor back together

    drove the 30 miles to town and bought a new rotor and bunjie cord at the first parts store I came to
  23. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    Tripped the fan belts on a setup that was runnig two matched belts, twisted and trashed one of them. I had no tools at all and stuck on the side of the interstate. I could not remove the belts because the power steering belt was in the way. I cut the offending belt off with a small piece of glass I found on the side of the road, took a while in the AZ heat...

    The adjustment bolt had dropped out of the alternator causing the whole mess, I was able to tie the alternator to the radiator support with a nylon strap in order to tighten the remaining belt to make the remaining 50 or so miles home.

    I have seldom had to call for help on the side of the road unless it is a tire situation... I can usually find a way off the road and to help.
  24. Hotrod1959
    Joined: Nov 3, 2007
    Posts: 732


    Driving the 59 F100 to work one day and the generator froze up and snapped the fan belt. I wasn't more than 5 miles away and just kept driving. That thing never got even close to hot. The radiator was big as a house. Love all the stories.
  25. CadillacCorey
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 111


    That has to be one of the coolest stories I've ever heard!

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