About forty odd years ago when I was rock climbing in North Wales, I returned to my car to find the door lock had frozen and the key would not enter. It was an awkward situation as it was very cold, the wind was getting up and I wanted to get back to my tent to fry up some bacon and eggs and have a hot drink. It was the thought of the hot drink that put the idea into my mind and I managed to unfreeze the lock by peeing onto it at the same time as I was trying to push the key in. The "quick fix" worked and I am glad to say never had to be repeated as spray cans containing glycol appeared in the shops and these fixed frozen locks and iced-up windscreens.
It was a cold rainy day and we were driving home when our windscreen wipers broke. The rain was too heavy to drive without wipers. We stopped, waiting for the rain to ease up but it didn't. My mate Neil got the idea to tie a string to each wiper and feed the string back into the car via the front windows. So for the next half hour, Neil pulled the right string, which pulled the wipers up, then he pulled the left string bringing the wipers back. We have many laughs over this trip.
A flat tyre, middle of nowhere, broken tyre lever .... help!!! NOBODY would stop - NOBODY!!!
Finally I flashed my breasts in a desperate effort to get someone, anyone to help and guess what - 3 cars pulled over!
On a trip to Newnes on a really rough section of track, the semi-elliptical spring-centering bolts snapped and the front axle was at a 45 degree angle to the front of the truck.
We fixed this good enough to drive out by removing the handle from a pick we had and using fencing wire to strap the pickhead over the axle. It worked good enough to get us to a garage.
On another trip, in the Blue Mountains, one of our friends broke the steering arm connecting the front wheels to steer the truck. We welded a metal handled hammer across the break with a welding rod, powered by connecting 3 batteries together with jumper leads.
My friend was still driving this repair a week later.
At the time the wife and I were living in Kalgoorlie and I was taking the wife for a job interview for a mining company in Coolgardie. On the way there, the fan belt broke and, of course, we didn't carry a spare one. As luck would have it, the wife was done up for the job interview and was wearing stockings so, in a very short time, the stockings she were wearing came off and were used as the fan belt. Not only were we on time, she was also given the job.
I changed the stockings and replaced them with a proper fan belt when we arrived back in Kalgoorlie and also bought a new pair of stockings to keep the wife happy after destroying the ones she were wearing.
I hope you found this amusing as, at the time this happened, I can assure you the wife did not!
This could have been a real "whiz bang". While travelling back to Darwin from Katherine during the wet season in a short wheelbase Land Rover (l959), the headlight fuse blew. What do I do? No spare fuses and I want to continue. Brain wave. Use a .22 long rifle bullet for a fuse. On came the lights and off I went on my way to Darwin. It was a long trip, expecting a loud bang at any time. But Eureka, it worked!!!
We once had a very old Vauxhall Velox that continually broke down, and being parents of 6 young 'uns at the time, and on one wage, we couldn't afford a lot of car repairs, so we made do. Finally, it had a six penny piece in place of a welsh plug, a cordial bottle top to replace the cap of the master cylinder, and elastic holding one of the pedals together!
And yes, we did use pantihose on that car once too.
However we couldn't find a solution for the fact that the windscreen wiper kept flicking off after a half mile or so, and we would have to stop and search in the rain to retrieve it before we could keep going!
All the family were on the way home from a very "budget" type of vacation in Sydney. We had been plagued with tyre trouble and had spent most of our budget replacing the tyres on our Jeep traytop converted to a station wagon. Well, we were within a 100 km of home in Ipswich, 10 pm and the middle of nowhere when a tyre blew at the rear end. Where were we to get a replacement at that time of night, with no funds to spare either? We mended the inner tube but despaired at the tyre with a split in it that you could put your fist through. Luckily we (the missus) had some Woman's Day magazines so they were put to use inside the tyre to stop the tube from escaping. We drove at a very reduced speed, shedding pieces of Woman's Day all the way home, which we did eventually reach, absolutely fatigued by driving with the thought of the magazines giving way and us being stranded miles from home. It must have seemed like a paper chase to travellers the next day.
We were on the motorway from Campbelltown to Sydney (about 11 years ago) when our fan belt broke in our Datsun Sunny Station wagon. We pulled over and had a "big discussion" about what we should do and whose fault it was.
It was a hot day, and we had a very cranky teenager and a very tired toddler, and us two grown-ups had had enough.
Anyway, we were just walking along a little bit to see how far it was to the next emergency phone, when we found... by amazing co-incidence... an intact fan-belt that just fitted into place, and we got going again!
I still can't imagine how a non-broken fan-belt got to be on the side of the road, miles from anywhere.
Returning from Merimbula after a wonderful holiday, we had just stopped at the lookout halfway up Browns ? Mountain. We were setting off again when, whoa, the accelerator goes... a bit scary for a while but we managed to pull in along the side of the mountain. To this day I don't know how my partner managed it but, with a bit of wire, a coathanger and some rope (which lead from under the bonnet somewhere to out under the steering wheel) he had rigged up a contraption which allowed him to control the accelerator with his hand. We travelled to the next town but, being a Sunday, could not get anyone to fix it, so we decided to go the rest of the way home - just another couple of hundred K's!
We made it, my partner's hand was extremely sore for the next few weeks and we still call him McGyver.
My wife and I, as newlyweds, were making our way from Launceston to Hobart in our 1968 VW Beetle, when the fuel pump failed. In order to get the car going again, I removed the windscreen washer bottle and hose, emptied out the water, and then syphened fuel from the tank into the washer bottle. I then connected the hose to the carburettor and, with my wife holding the washer bottle out the window, we gravity-fed the fuel to the engine from the washer bottle. Using this method, we managed to get about 5 km per windscreen washer bottle of fuel.
Years ago I was driving my 1956 Morris Minor (with manual gear shift) when I felt the accelerator pedal go limp underfoot and the car rapidly lost speed. I immediately de-clutched and cruised to the roadside. On raising the bonnet I discovered that the accelerator cable had snapped at a point which made it impossible to splice. If I could only keep the engine running at a reasonable speed I thought I would be able to nurse the car along to the nearest mechanic's workshop.
I looked around for something to use as a wedge and I found a burnt out matchstick on the side of the road. By folding the matchstick over and "doubling it up" I managed to make it thick enough to jam the throttle open. The engine roared, I jumped in behind the wheel and by delicate manipulation of the brake and the clutch I managed to get to a mechanic about a kilometre down the road.
It must have been a strange sight - a car travelling at about 10 kph while the engine sounded like 80 kph.
July this year saw us on the road for our long-planned 4WD trek through West NSW, Birdsville, Simpson Desert, up the NT to Darwin, Lawnhill, Cape York then back to Lake Macquarie. All in six weeks!!
The road from Innaminka through Birdsville is across gibber plains - very rocky. An American in a Rav4 sped past us, driving in his own rally. Speed was soon replaced by the all-too-familiar changing tyres routine!
We found a few travellers not prepared for the road conditions. The Tarago, towing trailer (and six kids) looked like they were going nowhere. Out here in the never never with no spare bolts for the spring shackle!
We used the handle of their wheelbrace as a temporary spring shackle. This was firmly wired in place and we suggested that they stop every 30 mins and check that it was staying in place and rewire it, if required!! A very long trip to Innaminka.
This is one of many stories I have from my years of driving "not so great" cars, which is a nice way of putting it. My car decided it didn't want to get home in a hurry and promptly decided to snap the accelerator cable. Well, what to do? A clutch I can do without for a while but the accelerator - no way! I was going to have to improvise big time!
This was in the days before mobile phones were an accessory to call for help, so I did the next best thing. I had my boyfriend somehow sit himself under the bonnet, grab the remains of the cable and he became my accelerator for the rest of the trip home. You can only imagine the looks people gave us driving down the road with the bonnet up, him sitting under the bonnet and me hanging out the window trying to see where I was going. We made it home in one piece ready for the next adventure.
I was in the middle of nowhere on some 4x4 track and my thermostat housing had badly corroded on the inside and had a severe water leak. I came up with the idea to use one of my wife's tampons to repair the leak, then I topped the radiator up with water and drove home with the radiator cap half on and the engine never ever overheated. An hour and a half later we drove in our driveway and my wife said - was that super or regular?