Your Best Emergency "jury-rig" job

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A great thread is developing titled "shoelace saved me" or something like that. It is some great reading.
I wanted to capitalize on the creative mojo and do a formal thread on some of your best "jury-rig". (and drive the "that was unsafe" and "it would not have broken if you took care of it" crowd NUTS)
One of my favorite "rig" stories is in a museum at Hill Airforce Base in Utah. It was a small exhibit about the combat engineers, who basically jury-rigged stuff. They has examples of how they sealed fuel line holes on planes with aluminum from beer cans held in place with hose clamps. They also used empty coke bottles as insulators for high tension lines on ship, I can't remember what else they had.. I visited 15 years ago, but it was fun to see.
Interested in hearing your best rigs.
My best was probably with my brother, when his rear axle broke on his 4 wheel drive beater we got a hold of one of those tow dollys... disconected driveline to rear wheels, and used power to the front wheels to drag the thing home.. sort of towing the back wheels with the front.
Another time we were recovering a car with no brakes at all.. we hooked up a tow strap to the good car.. which was behind the no-brake vehicle. Both cars drove under their own power.. but when it came time to stop my brother in the in front would just coast, and I, being in the back, would brake for both cars. It was 2am, so we were just putting our own lives in danger, no one else.
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(snip) Twice helped out tourists. One was in a forest camp ground. With wife and 3 children and no money. 40 something Buick would not start. Starter motor bad. I removed starter and found broken spring that pushed motor brush tight to armature. Heated ( on Coleman stove flame) end of spring to remove temper. Reshaped spring and reheated and retempered (in motor oil) for tension. Reinstalled and tourist was on his way. Another time found a couple young men with a Jeep at the top of a steep 4 wheel road that had broke a front brake line. I ran a metal screw in the end of brake line. They happened to have a can of brake fluid so we added as needed and brakes were sufficant to get them down the mountain.

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Fuel filter in my 88 Chrysler is underneath the body near a rear wheel well. One of the hose clamps rusted and broke off the hose during an extended trip last summer. Had no tools of parts in the car, only a pocket knife. I "borrowed" a clamp from under the hood from a vaccuum hose that could get away without a clamp but this clamp was too big and would not tighten down enough to seal the fuel line. I un wrapped some black plastic ecetrical tape from a dressed wire under the hood and wrapped it around the fuel hose, put the clamp over the taped hose, tightened down and now had a good seal, good enough to drive 85 miles back home. All work performed with my 26 year old pocket knife.
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Not mine, but in my house......
Our house was built in 1918, and the waste line from the toilet to the cast iron main line was lead. After 50+ years of use, the lead "elbow" just below the toilet wore through (probably all the corn :-)). Anyway, I opened up the ceiling below the bathroom in order to replace the lead with PVC, and discovered that all the sewer lines in the bathroom were lead. No big deal, sez I; I'll just replace them all.
Now for the good part........ Connecting the stub at the tub drain to the drain pipe running to the main line was a radiator hose. It still had the "Atlas" label on it from a Standard Oil gas station.
And the best part......... The previous owner, who bragged to us about how he had replaced all the old bathroom fixtures with new ones 2 years before we bought it was a licensed plumber!
I also found, while remodeling the dining room, that the original knob & tube wiring from the light switch to the light fixture was madfe up of a bunch of short pieces of wire soldered together & covered with tarred sleeving. The longest piece was about a foot long. Evidentally, they didn't waste nuthin' back in the day. I'm guessing that the light was the last thing they wired in the house & they just used all the short ends, rather than tossing them out.
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Jack wrote:

The "dumb luck" fix which comes to mind occurred with my 57 Chevy (Inline 6 cylinder engine.)
I was in grad school in Philly in '58 and one day when I went to drive off the car's engine flooded out shortly after it started.
Turned out that the vacuum choke pulloff piston operated in a cylinder whose counterbored open end was supposed to be blocked off by a Welsch plug (A convex metal disk which expands and wedges into a counterbore when it's struck in a direction which flattens it.)
That plug had fallen out and disappeared. So, the vacuum all "ran out" of the end of the cylinder and the piston couldn't open the choke against the thermostat spring's pull. The choke remained closed and the engine flooded.
Wouldja believe that a US dime was eggsackly the right size for a light push fit in that counterbore? It got me home where I smeared some Elmer's glue behind it and that dime stayed there as long as I had that car, and probably a lot longer.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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This isn't much but shortly after our first child was born I became disabled. Some gracious people gave us some chickens so that we could have eggs and meat - they roamed the field for food. Unfortunately, they had to be housed at night to deter predators and the broken down shed had only a semblance of a door. I was able cobble together a door with scraps but I couldn't afford hinges. Looking about I found an old tire and I fashioned hinges out of a coupleof pieces of the sidewall. It closed so forcefully I had to make a few shallow, parallel-to-the frame cuts to weaken the 'hinge'. That was 25 years ago and the current owners are still using the same hinges.

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We were up in the high country on a deer hunting trip. We had gone over 20 miles into and up some really wild country. Broke the end off the rear leaf spring. With the help of an axe and tie wire, a healthy Aspen trunk got us back down to civilization.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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water main to a house was broke and shut off at the street
turned off the main valve inside the house and backfed the house through a garden house hooked between the garden bibs of both houses.
Mark
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Mark wrote:

Howdja handle the sexes of the hose fittings? Have to cut one male end off and replace it with a female?
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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On Sat, 08 Oct 2005 13:59:48 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

Easy with a clothes washer hose; both female ends.
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wrote:

Damn- why didn't I think of that the one time I had to do that trick, years ago? The 'borrowed water' from the neighbor didn't have enough pressure to make the washer usable anyway, and I wouln't have had to mess up a good garden hose with the 'wrong' end... (we were just trying to keep the toilet usable, etc.)
aem sends...
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Use a washer machine hose and regular hose in the length you need.
--
James Storm
snipped-for-privacy@REMOVEptd.net
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clipped

As young newlyweds, we had two junkers - a VW bug and a Simca. Simca died, then came the bug. Had to push it in order to start it, and since I was clutch-impaired, he drove and I pushed. If we had just driven it and wanted to restart it, had to pour water over the engine. I was pregnant when we got a new car - a lemon Datsun - and we made a pact to push it to start it, as well. Just to make the neighbors think we did it just for fun. I think it took me about two years to learn to drive stick.
My dad taught me to drive. Not a patient person. Lesson #1 was in the parking lot of the forest preserve. Lesson #2 was on the expressway, Chicago, rush hour. I HAD to drive, and NOBODY would wreck a car that my dad was riding in :o)
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Fellow with a broken throttle cable on his car. The sleeve had rotted out. The cable was fine, but the cable was limp. I took some nylon line, and tied to the place the throttle cable atached. Loop it around something else, and ended up with a loop he could pull with his left hand. Pull the rope, and the engine goes faster.
I'll think of a few more.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Calling on the members of misc.Survivalism. We've got the best fixer uppers, lets prove it to the home repair guys.
Be sure to mention which group you read.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Does cleaning, rebuilding and syncing the carbs on a '67 Spitfire by the side of the road in the middle of AZ with a roll of duct tape, a pair of slip-joint pliers, a pair of empty Slurpee (c) cups with straws, a liter of water, a nail-file and a Leatherman qualify?
TK
--
Cogito ergo bibo


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uppers,
Isn't that a weekly task with those old Webers?
Jeff
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Jeff McCann wrote:

They weren't webers, I think they were solexes.
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There are in fact two things, Science and opinion,
the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.
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As a kid I worked at a place with delivery vans.. we had a supercold winter, and place was too cheap to have good batteries, so a couple of mornings nothing would start. Finally figured out to go to air-cooled VW bus first, open engine comparment and put a couple of Sterno (canned fuel) in and lit them. After a while the engine compartment was warm enough that it started fine. We then used it to jump all the rest. That darn VW had no heater at all.. we would often pre-heat the passenger compartment with 3 or 4 sternos.. then jump in, put them out and drive off. and it was warm for the first few minutes of the trip at least.. after that it was all downhill.
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I still remember the '63 VW Bug I had in college. I drove through th mountains of West-By-Gawd-Virginia in the middle of the winter and froze my butt off! (Wait.....no I didn't....my butt's still there....;-]). I remember ordering a "booster fan" for the heat system from J C Whitney's that was supposed to give you more heat for the passenger compartment.
All it did was help blow the cold air even more in the passenger compartment......
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