Mythbusters tried the tennis ball method and deemed it Busted.
They say the video was faked by having someone off-camera use the
key fob just as the tennis ball suction was being applied.
Granted, they think it's air pressure, not suction, but
regardless, they could not match the results in the video they
Detractors say it does work but only on certain models of older
cars (80's & 90's), depending on what type of locking mechanism
----Android NewsGroup Reader----
On Mon, 22 Jul 2013 03:29:06 -0400, "Robert Green"
I think the plunger and tennis ball solution was posted on April 1.
Absolutely NO WAY it can POSSIBLY unlock the door. The lock cyl needs
to turn or the linkage attached to the cyl needs to rotate to push or
pull the linkage to the lock.
As for coat hangars and slim-jims - they can do a lot of damage in the
hands of anyone less than an expert - and an expert can open the door
with a set of picks faster and with less chance of damage.
I personally like the solution on my wife's Taurus - keyless entry
(code pad) if I can remember the code!!!!
On Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:29:04 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
A few years back 60 Minutes did a segment on auto theft. They parked
a car on a very busy street and locked it. Then they had a "reformed"
thief try to steal it in the middle of the day with a lot of people
around. He walked to the driver's door and in seconds he was in, a
few more seconds and the car was started and driven away. No one
A friend of mine parked her car right outside her office in view of
the window, about 12 feet away across a sidewalk. Came out of work
one day and the car was gone. Broad daylight, locked and alarmed. The
clean stripped body was found a couple of months later.
On Sat, 20 Jul 2013 08:44:36 -0400, "Robert Green"
I had a 1964 convertible with a lot of rust that I bought for $15
sitting on the side of the road. Rebuilt the engine to make it run.
No heat as it was rusted out.
The I had a 1970 coupe. Over the life of the car (I was the third
owner) it was involved in seven accidents. In all seven cases, the
car was either parked or stopped at a traffic light.
There was no heat on KG's that *weren't* rusted out, either! Dad first
bought a booster fan kit from JC Whitney's but in the cold NY winters, the
rear-mounted air cooled VW engine just couldn't pump enough BTU's forward to
make it comfortable. I assume the air leaks in a rag top made things even
I can still remember helping him locate the corrugated tubing (1" in
diameter, I think), cut it open, cutting open his hand on the sharp sheet
metal the vent hose was piped and finally jamming in the tiny booster fan in
a space not really big enough for it (there was not a glut of space in the
KG's). After all that he was really pissed that it did virtually nothing to
boost the heat. The one thing that could get him to curse a blue streak was
I was the designated flashlight holder and I learned some pretty impressive
Navy-style cursing whenever he burned his hand on the manifold or scraped an
inch or two of skin from his knuckles. Early on he tried to keep a lid on
it, but that only made the eventual eruption even worse. (-:
He tried a second JC Whitney unit with an electric coil booster but when you
ran it, the lights dimmed quite noticeably and the airflow was still luke
warm. IIRC, it used a 6V battery mounted under the seat that occasionally
shorted out, so overloading it was something he didn't want to do. The
cabin was so small that two humans did more to heat it with body heat than
the KG's heater.
I have no doubt. I had a similar experience when I drove a Jag MarkX. So
did a friend with a bright red restored '56 T-bird. People gawk at unusual
designs and since many aren't paying that much attention to the road to
begin with, any little distraction causes them to lose control.
(Not his car, just an image from Google. It really brings back memories,
though. He got rear ended a number of times - I think people got hypnotized
by the unusual spare tire mount.)
I had someone back into the side of my car from a driveway when I was
stopped in a traffic jam on the main roadway. After she hit me (with four
incredulous witnesses in my car) she jumped out screaming, "didn't you see
me coming? Why didn't you get out of MY way?!!" God's truth. She insisted
on calling the police who came and wrote her a ticket. Boy was she fit to
be tied after that, screaming at the cop that I had "the last chance to
prevent the accident." We make people take driving tests but passing them
doesn't seem to indicate that the teaching "took" in any meaningful way.
I'd guess PT Cruisers and other "different" looking cars end up getting run
into when stopped much more than plain Jane vehicles. Gawking caused so
many accidents on the Capital Beltway they had to put up special blinders to
keep people from looking across the road and rear-ending someone. That
sadly says that some people are so easily distracted you have to treat them
like horses and put blinders on them. Now, of course, people are too busy
texting while driving to even notice accidents on the other side of the
On Sat, 20 Jul 2013 16:43:27 -0400, "Robert Green"
Hey, I had that job for years as a kid. Learned a lot doing it.
My brother, an ME, came up with a design to convert it to 12V. He
took a Chevy alternator, had the shaft bored and left hand threaded so
it could be screwed on to the existing generator shaft. Then a
bracket held it in place and kept the body from turning. Changing
bulbs was easy, but the wiper motor needed a rheostat
My 66 Rambler had wipers that ran on the engine vacuum. They bolted a
vacuum booster pump on top of the fuel pump so when you hit the gas, the
vacuum was maintained and the wipers kept working.
When the diaphragm in the booster pump went bad, I simply connected the
input and output hoses together. It's a lot of fun having your wipers stop
when you are accelerating onto a highway.
Sounds a little like the patient in Catch-22. He had a bottle with a tube
going into his arm and a bottle with a tube coming out of his groin. When
the upper one became empty and the lower one full, the nurse would just
switch the bottles. Eeeww!
Boy, am I ever glad the automotive industry gave up on vacuum powered
devices. Somewhere, I have a cruise control left over from one of my dad's
cases. He investigated serious injury accidents after retiring from the
Navy and that particular cruise control (IIRC) was vacuum powered and
operated using a small beaded metal chain of the type you see in ceiling
light socket pull chain switches. It was incredibly complicated and tended
to fail in a very bad mode. I believe that if the chain broke, which it did
on a number of occasions, the device would essential stomp the accelerator
pedal full blast.
I had a '67 Buick Riviera that had a very twitchy "Electrocruise" speed
control that I recall had vacuum hoses attached to it despite its moniker.
It did have a really neat drum speedometer:
In the Jag, all the heating vent flaps were vacuum controlled. The engine
always ran very hot and those tiny rubber vacuum lines would just
disintegrate from the heat. Once they opened up, all sorts of crap got
sucked into the vacuum system. I wonder why Detroit thought vacuum powered
devices were ever a good idea? My mom's '67 Cougar had vacuum-operated
headlight "flippers" that drove my poor dad near crazy.
Vacuum was available before 6 or 12 volt power in cars and it was reliable
and cheap to use for wipers and air flaps. But then, things got complicated
and it took a while before the electrical engineers won the battle against
the mechanical engineers in automobile design meetings.
Vacuum systems also saved gas because you had to go slower up hills in rain
or snow to keep the wipers going.
Way back when in the early 1970s, I bought a used 1961 Lincoln
Continental off a Ford dealers lot (this was the same year Continental
as the Kennedy assassination car, except mine was a 4 door sedan).
I think I paid $700 for it and the dealer was selling it as junk. There
were a number of things wrong with it. The power door locks did not
work, neither did the wipers, and some other stuff that I have
forgotten, maybe even the AC. Also there was a banging noise in the
front end suspension somewhere.
When I got it towed home, I set out to find the troubles.
In my inspection, behind the driver's side wheel well, hidden behind the
splash shield, I found a box with about 8 vacuum tubes coming out of it.
I pulled the tubes one at a time and found that the ends of the tubes
were split. I cut off the split ends and plugged them back in. Voila,
I then went looking for the noise in the front. it turned out to a
missing bushing in a shock absorber end. A new set of shocks fixed that.
I then had it inspected and got it registered.
I drove it for a couple of years and then traded it in on a used 68 Lincoln.
If you still had it, there is a place in my town that can supply parts
for you. Or do a complete restoration
These guys have been selling old Lincolns around the world for years.
Ah, yes. There's nothing better than buying something broken and finding
it's really a quick fix. The electric wheelchair I got dirt cheap and
almost new for my Dad had the motor wires connected to the battery by
masking tape!!!! They made me sign a receipt that says "runs smoothly" so I
thought it was a bad motor or worse. Imagine my surprise seeing wires not
even twisted together, but just lying against each other and then wrapped in
masking tape. "You mean *that's* all that's wrong with it!?" is a great
thing to get to say. The converse feeling is when you discover a cracked
engine block or worse. )-:
As for split ends. That was the problem with the 67 Cougar's headlight
cover flippers. Dad even got these tiny pinch-type hose clamps but they
actual worsened the problem as they would bite into the rubber and the heat
and vibration would make them saw through the hose end in no time. I would
have used adhesive lined heat shrink tubing if I had to fix it today. Hmm,
both were fine Lincoln-Mercury products! Actually, IIRC, the Cougar was a
Mustang with a different body shell. As I recall he mostly fixed the problem
with heavy-duty surgical tubing that looked weird until road gunk turned it
Hah... somewhere out there there is an old VW Scirocco that I bought
ages ago... wouldn't pass inspection because the windshield washers
didn't work. Everything was a mess from the reservoir to the nozzles,
and every bit of plastic broke when I tried to remove it.
I got new nozzles, pump, and pump grommet from the VW dealer...
everything else was replaced with silicone "lifetime" fish tank air hose
and brass fittings for same from Petco, at a much more reasonable price.
I'm ASSuming that that setup will outlast the car :)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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