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Technical What is the goofiest “On the road” repair you have ever done?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Driver50x, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. KKrod
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,147


    Used a pair of vice grips to hold a rear u-joint clamp in place.
    Driver50x likes this.
  2. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 886

    from Western MA

    Pedal end of bug's throttle cable broke, vise grips from my "road kit" clamped on the end as a pedal got me home.

    Shocked when I got out of the local VW dealership with a new one for less than $1, governor's cut included. After reading this thread over 30 years later I now know why..........

    Driver50x likes this.
  3. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,775


    I did a similar thing in high school, but filled the squirter bottle with Jack Daniels and ran the nozzle to a spot under the dash. Pull into the Sonic and order a coke... hold the coke under the dash... "How many squirts you want?". ;)
  4. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,232


    :D:eek: Now this video gives a whole new meaning to the series"Road Kill".Or,maybe to the"Further adventures of Squirrel":rolleyes::p.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Spoggie, 6-bangertim and Driver50x like this.
  5. young51
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 28


    Early 80's coming home from Truckee to the bay area in a blinding snow storm, so bad they closed the freeway behind us, this was highway 80 between Truckee and up the hill towards Boreal ski resort. We were in a little Datsun 310 and the snow kicked up from a truck in front of us just packed the engine compartment and the car died and wouldn't restart. My dad pulls the distributor cap cause there was snow all around it to see if it was wet inside. the little metal spring/tab goes flying off into the winter storm. No we are really stuck. A chp stops and says he will send help. A few hours later a repair truck comes from the station a couple miles up driving North on the closed southbound highway to help. in literally 2 minutes he assesses the situation and asks if we have a ball point pen. My mom hands him one, he takes it apart and pulls the little spring out and proceeds to tack weld it into the distributor cap. All this in a blinding snowstorm. Puts the cap on and says hit the key, car fires right up! We follow in his tracks up the freeway to the first service station and they guy has a new cap for the car hanging on the wall. About $12 later we were good as gold, My dad gave the mechanic $20 for his troubles and we were on our way.
  6. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 450


    About 1986 or so, I bought a '69 Impala more-door rust bucket for $60 just to get the 327 engine. The engine ran great, they had stopped driving it due to frame rot at the rear suspension connection point on the passenger side, frame was distorted out of shape and near ready to fail and let the arm pull out. I had to get it 15 miles to home as a kid with no we took a length of 5/16" link chain and wrapped the frame in the bad area and wrapped the suspension lower arm too....much like you'd wrap a sprained ankle.
    Made it 15 miles of highway without a hitch under its own power.
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  7. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 596


    When I was stationed at Clark AB in the Philippines back in the late 1980's, I had a beater 1969 Pontiac LeMans. The fuel was very dirty, so it wasn't uncommon for the fuel filter to plug up. Usually I would coast to the side of the road, change the filter, and be on my way. On one occasion I was in my dress blues when this happened - didn't want to get dirty in those! But I did have a can of WD-40 in the trunk, so I filled up the float bowl with that. Car ran a little funny, but it got me home!
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  8. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,189

    dan c

    a common "repair" on trucks with air brakes is to use vise grips when a line leaks. get it fixed pronto, though!
  9. 67drake
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 140

    from Avoca WI

    Not really a goofy repair, just did what I could do at the time.
    Back in the late 80’s. The wife and I are driving her kids to her ex’s house to drop them off for the weekend. Going south down I90 towards Chicago and it was snowing HARD. About 12” of snow on the interstate. We’re in my ‘68 Ambassador that I paid $50 for. It ran great but it was just my winter beater POS.
    All the sudden the exhaust gets real loud. I figured the muffler was dragging in the deep snow with 6 people in the car. I pull off at the oasis to yank the muffler off to throw in the trunk, NOPE! The reason the exhaust got loud is because the gas tank straps broke, and took the exhaust out in the process. It was dragging by the filler neck.
    I had the wife’s ex come get his kids while I figured something out. I hitchhiked to a parts store and bought back fuel line,a clamp,and a 5 gallon gas can. Tore the tank and muffler off and threw in the dumpster. Ran the line out of the can , which I bungeed in the trunk, through a rust hole in the trunk floor, to the fuel line. I drove it like that till I sold the car.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
    wicarnut, Driver50x and Boneyard51 like this.
  10. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 5,825


    Read a mention of it before about a broken fan belt, back in the late '70's as I was registering for scholl, the lasy told us about how a nylon could be used as a fan belt. My roomie had a mid '60's Malibu and was tossing belts. Sure enough he tossed another and we hit up a Circle K on Van Buren in Phx, bought an "egg" of Leggs, and wrapped and tied it up.

    Not sure when he finally went to a real belt and aligned things, but think that panty hose thing go him around for a few weeks.
    Driver50x likes this.
  11. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 804


    In high school I drove a lot of failed cars home with sketchy repairs. I fixed up a 55 Ford wagon for my sister. She called and said something big and rusty was hanging down and the car wouldn't go forward, but it would back up. My dad and I drove out and found the front crossmember had rusted in two and the front of one of the A frames was laying on the road. It was a brick street and when she tried to go forward the A frame would catch on the bricks. A jack and some chain got the car "driveable" and I managed to limp it home.

    My most far out on the fly repair was on an outboard. My buddy had an early 60's boat that we skied behind. It broke a shear pin about as far from the dock as you could get on our local lake. I took things apart while floating and didn't have anything to use as a shear pin. Both ends of the pin had sheared, but there was a good bit in the prop shaft. I took chewing gum and poked it in the hole until part of the pin indexed int the prop. We were able to idle the boat back to the dock.
  12. Speed~On
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,315


    As I was driving down the Interstate I noticed an atypical amount of movement from my grill shell and radiator. The radiator also appeared as if it were moving closer to my mechanical fan. I pulled over to assess the situation and noticed my 2 lower radiator mounts had sheared so the upper and lower hoses were all that was holding my radiator/grill to the car. I looked down at my shoes and remember my friend had once told me, "You're not a true hot rodder until you've fixed your car on the side of the road with your shoe laces". I chuckled and pulled my laces out of my shoes....I was in a pinch. Used my laces to secure my grill and radiator to the car as best I could until I could get off the Interstate. Had my brother grab my truck and trailer to come pick me up.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
  13. bigboy308
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 144

    from Merlin, OR

    This didn't happen to me, but I was in on the "fix". We were on the way home from Sturgis Rally many years ago with our camper. Got to Rest Area on way up Donner Pass, guy was sitting in his pickup looking pretty forlorne. My partner asked what was wrong, seems like he had a transmission line leak and was stuck.
    Robert took a look, saw that the hose had indeed developed a hole and was spraying fluid under the truck. Hose was pretty short and couldn't be just shortened and hooked back--What to do? We ended up taking the perculator coffee pot innard apart and with a couple of small hose clamps had cut out the hole in the hose and hooked up the perculator stem!! We had a quart of ATF that we gave to the guy and sent him on his way. We never saw him again so figured he got home with the "Perculator patch".
  14. We were getting the stock car ready for the big race for the year . All the top race cars would be there for the big purse . we started the engine and heard loud scraping noise . pulled the pan and one of the main bearings spun and wore down the block saddle. We didn't have a new main bearing so we went out to our scrap pile and found one that didn't look to bad . Problem it was loose in block so we got some crazy glue and glued bearing to block . We got to the race in time and came in first and won the big money . Engine was pushing 7500- 8000 rpm for most of the race. Engine was a 302 Chevy.
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  15. paul philliup
    Joined: Oct 3, 2013
    Posts: 199

    paul philliup
    from ohio

    I had a 1977 Chrysler New Yorker to tow my race car in the 80's. On my way to the track on Sunday the throttle cable broke I coasted to the shoulder. Got in the trunk found some wire coat hangers hooked one end to the carburetor ran it out the back of the hood pulling it with my hand to make it to the track.
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  16. nailhead terry
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,455

    nailhead terry

    A buddy of mine going to Austin lost his head lights we pulled over to help his upper alternator bracket broke we took his battery off put on my car stick shift push started it with a speaker wire ran to my coil off the hot battery then let it run and charge up In the mean while I found a 9/16 wrench and 2 pair of vise grips splinted the broke bracket and drove on in It stayed that way for 2 weeks we laughed our butts off at the Round Up
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  17. pmdguy
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 60


    It was 1984, driving my 67 GTO back to college on a Sunday night. I notice the car started to get hot, my fan belt had broke and was totally gone. I'm still 20+ miles from school and it was getting dark quick, the only thing I can think of is to pull out my shoe strings and limb it on down the road. I took it very easy, the headlights were dim and had a slight bit of steam coming from under the hood when I finally made it to the dorm parking lot. But I was able to complete my trip! I don't recall what I did to replace my shoe strings, but I do remember going to the auto parts store after class on Monday to get a new belt. I wish I still owned that car!!
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  18. pmdguy
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 60


    Another quick story...
    Not really a roadside repair but I think most car guys can relate. When I was 16 I bought a Pontiac LeMans that had a bad transmission, no forward gears at all, but then I realized reverse worked fine. That's right, I backed the car all the way across town to get it to the house!!
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  19. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,122

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    I lost a fan belt out in the middle of nowhere one day in my 62 Impala with a 283. Decided I’d see how far I could get before it overheated. Was going about 50 and the temp started to climb. It got to about 200 so I decided to run it up to 70 and run it till it got to 220. When it got up to 70 the temp stated to come down! At that speed the fan was windmilling enough to circulated the water and the air flow was enough to keep it from overheating. Every time I had to slow down for a corner the temp would start creeping up again so I would run it back up to 70. Made it about 20 miles back home.
    woodsnwater, Driver50x and 56don like this.
  20. the crimped end on the throttle cable broke on one hot rod.
    Rigged It!
    For the rest of the long trip I had a vise grip smashing the broken cable to the end of a coat hanger to make it longer. The other end of the coat hanger was fed from the floor to where the dash met the steering column.
    For the next couple hours I had to drive the car by reaching down and pulling the coat hanger to operate the throttle.
    And that was the same car that had the vacuum wipers fail in 1974 on my way to work, so I unlaced my bootlaces and fed them thru the vent windows to the wipers outside.
    That was DECADES before Americas Funniest Home Videos gave prize money to someone who filmed theirs.
    I did it a couple decades earlier.
    But I wasn't the first either. I got the idea from an old timer who told me what he did to rig his cars before I was born.

    Driver50x likes this.
  21. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,748


    left my boat club with a hot redhead back around 1989. was driving a 1961 F 100. was anxious to get home, wink, wink ! Anyhoo. Could not find the damned ignition key. went back in the club 3 times looking for the damned key. No luck. Shit ! Found a piece of speaker wire in the trash. Hooked the wire between one of the headlights and coil. Had to turn on lights to power coil. Jumped solenoid with a quarter and headed home. Found the key the next day in my watch pocket !!!!!! Too many Labatts at the club. And no, I did not endanger the public driving home. Redhead drove.
    Boneyard51, 6-bangertim and Driver50x like this.
  22. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,102


    In the Summer of '64, I drove my $15.00 (yeah, that's what I had paid for it) '56 Chevy over to pick up a gal for our first date. Just before pulling into her driveway, the exhaust pipe developed a very noisy leak, so I shut the car of and rolled into her driveway. She met me at the door and I explained the problem. She said her mother would never let her get in a car that sounded like it was going to fall apart and took me back to her dad's barn, scrounged up some bailing wire, tin snips and an empty #10 can. I cut the can apart, crawled under the car and wrapped the can around the pipe and secured it with bailing wire., with her under there helping me hold it in place Worked fine and quieted it down enough, so her mom would let us go out in it.

    I kept dating her, we married in Feb. of 1966 and will celebrate our 54th anniversary next month. She's got her own old car and we've travelled together all over the USA & Canada in old cars - still do.

    Marriage advice? Marry a farmer's daghter !
  23. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,620

    from Napa

    Around '76, my old Cobra buddies bought out a Cobra shop in Concord, and after a while found a better building in Vallejo, and had to move everything, including several customers cars, most of which were driveable. One was not, a somewhat infamous beast known simply as "The Red Car"- a street 427 Cobra that had been updated to S/C specs, and powered by a pretty stout Medium Riser with a 428 crank for 447 cid, and known to be pretty rapid. Problem was the gas tank was trashed, one was being made but not done, and the old one had been tossed. There were 4 other 427s, but pulling the tank from another owner's car wasn't a good idea, so the craziest of the bunch decide we'll 5 gallon can it, with him driving, and his partner following with an extra fiver jut in case. His partner's cousin got the duty, seated in the passenger seat with a big funnel running into a hose to the fuel pump, and the 5 gallon can, and off they go. Went pretty well for a while, but the driver's wicked sense of humor went into action as they crossed the Benicia bridge, so he starts rapping the throttle, Little Mike yells Hey F#@$er! which calls for more throttle rapping. Of course the funnel and hose is between Mike's legs, so guess where he's getting splashed :(. So they make it to Vallejo, but Mike couldn't walk straight for week, and said he had become a redhead in his nether regions- we took his word for it :oops:
  24. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,164


    in 1994 I won the "Hard Luck Award" at the Corvair Mini Nats in KC for a mundane broken throttle linkage.

    Corvair linkage runs through a series of bellcranks, and mine came apart at the mid point under the car during the opening night of the event, and spilled it's large rubber bushing and sundry guts to the ether when it did it, leaving a gaping hole in the bellcrank to attach the rod to. We duct taped it together and limped it in to the hotel, and proceeded to call on vendors at the event looking for parts. "Nobody had nuthin" was the result. We then fashioned a bushing out of double faced taped we scrounged from the hotel desk, stole a washer from another part of the car, fabbed a cotter pin from a nail we found in the parking lot, and put the car back together in time for the first event. The car ran the economy run, the rally, won people's choice at the car show, placed second in its class in the autocross, and drove us to and fro for two days in between during these events on that repair. We hammered on the car all weekend.

    At the banquet we were asked to share a hard luck story to vye for the award, and I shared the above. I won by "applause and holler" selection. It was a very fun way to close out the convention. The trophy is a plaque that has two valves through a piston, stem end first. Fortunately our luck was a bit softer than that.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  25. johnneilson
    Joined: Apr 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,258


    Had two "on road repairs" in the '70s.
    One off roading, slamming pretty hard and the motor dies. Have fuel, no spark. The rotor broke apart and was just the center piece left. Found a piece of bailing wire in toolbox and duct tape, ran it home and framed it.

    Second one was a pinto, yeah don't, running down freeway and dies. After an hour of chasing down wiring and crap, found the ground strap in dist to the point plate broken. Jammed some bubblegum on it to make contact and sold the car years later complete with bubblegum fix in place.

  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,505



    When we had our 2nd sedan delivery, the 327 was much more fun on long road trips than the high school Flathead version. Mainly, because of the extra power necessary to get us uphill on those long coastal highway grades. The Flathead just did not have it. But, all of the time we drove that Flathead, we only had one flat and the spare was put on by the side of the road.

    But, during the 2nd sedan delivery, we had a flat and since we had never had the opportunity to use a scissors jack, we found out that it would not raise the car high enough to take off the wheel/tire combo. Here we were near a town, but too far to walk to the nearest gas station. A good Samaritan stopped as he saw a couple of 20 somethings looking at a desperate situation. Being mechanical, I thought I had it all planned out, using the scissors jack, taking off the flat tire and installing the spare. But, as I jacked up the sedan delivery, I did not account for the lowered stance and the tire did not come off as planned.
    No, I did not carry a couple of 2x6 inch wood blocks to raise the jack position. But, the good Samaritan did have some flat blocks and he helped us get the tire off. The spare was easily put on the sedan delivery. I offered to pay the guy, but he refused.

    My wife said that we are too far away from home to safely drive on only 4 tires without a spare. So, we went into the nearest town and gas station. This old grizzly guy comes out and sees that we have a somewhat, flat tire. He looks at the nail and says he has just the thing. He did have this funny tool and a goopy thing that he put into the hole. He trimmed it up and filled the tire to the allotted pressure. It was a fully functioning air-filled tire. He even put it into a trough of water to check for any leaks. He convinced me that it should be good for the long trip home and to give my wife some assurance of being safe.

    Rubber plug:
    "...It has a rubber plug that is built into it, so once this is pulled through, the metal piece comes off, the inside is a patch, it seals the inside, it seals the outside, it's considered a permanent repair."


    When we finally got home, we were happy that nothing else kept us from enjoying the weekend. Soon, we both drove the 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery to various places during the following week and the flat with the plug was forgotten. It was months later that a friend had a similar incident and he also, had a plug inserted into his tire. He was given the assurance of at least 50 miles to his house and it started leaking within 25 miles.

    Then it hit us that we had a plug in the tire from months back. It was still full, the balance was not giving us any clue as to being off kilter. So, it must take some skill as to how the plug was installed as to how long it will last. That old guy knew his stuff. We had saved up enough money to buy a new tire and “retire” the plugged tire to the local dump site.

    Driver50x likes this.
  27. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 694


    On my way to work in the early 60s in my 55 Ford when the line to the oil pressure gauge sprung a leak.
    Too young & wise to carry tools, pulled into The Highway Patrol which was 1/2 mile from where the leak started. They loaned me a wrench & held a light so i could see under the dash. The trooper that helped me had given me a warning a week earlier for no mufflers. Life's funny that way....thank God.
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  28. This is just one of several trials and tribulations over the years. When I still lived in Connecticut, my youngest son and I had gone to the Englishtown, New Jersey as vendors. We had a fiberglass Cheetah bodied funny car body on a "T" bucket type chassis on my car trailer, being towed by my O T 1983 Toyota pickup. We stopped at a Gas station to fill up, and as my son stepped on the trailer tongue to get to the other side of the vehicle, I noticed the truck bed seemed to flex. What was happening was the frame had rotted through the top and side, but the bottom was still attached. I got out 2 come-a-longs, and proceeded to secure the front and rear sections of the frame tight enough to drive 3 1/2 hours home at 45 mph. When we got home I parked the truck for good, and then I was able to trade the truck for a 12 horsepower Sears lawn tractor
  29. Another time, a buddy of mine and I went to Pennsylvania to a swap meet in Kempton, Pa. in February in my buddies almost new 1989 Chevrolet diesel pickup. When we were leaving the swap meet, someone commented that one of our front wheels was at a strange angle. It was, so we went looking for a gas station to fix it if possible. The first gas station we came to was just opened by new owners, and the young kid working there had no tools, or any equipment available. Some bolts had broken on the front spindle. We looked around, and then asked the youngster if we could buy the bolts holding the vise to the work bench. He said yes, and we proceeded to do the repair with hardware store quality bolts. My buddy made me drive home, and made sure that he was securely belted in. When we got home my buddy went to the dealer that sold him the truck, and the dealer told my buddy that the bolts would have to be ordered. Luckily a parts guy from another dealer was there at the time, and he said follow me to the dealer where he worked, and they had the correct bolts in stock. We did, end of story.
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  30. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,848


    Tag man ...... you are a lucky man............ just sayin.....!

    Driver50x likes this.

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