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Your most MacGyver moment?

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  • Your most MacGyver moment?

    Here is mine. Making a press for squeezing cured silicone through a die so I could cut it into bits. Used a cylinder from a compressor rebuild and modified bottle jack. This is after blowing up the first bottle jack Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20210207_163954088.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.77 MB ID:	1926797 Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20210207_163947753.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.96 MB ID:	1926798 Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20210207_164444824.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.87 MB ID:	1926799 Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20210207_164003922.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.00 MB ID:	1926800 .

  • #2
    My son called late one night, early one morning, from the parking lot of a bar in downtown Detroit (he's a musician), couldn't get his key to turn the ignition lock in his POS Saturn. I called the mechanic who sold him the car, a personal friend who sealed the deal with "call me any time something's wrong." He wasn't happy but we headed off to see what we could do.

    My friend disassembled what he needed to, popped out the lock cylinder to discover a small broken piece that kept the cylinder from rotating. He announced that he had to get parts and there was nothing we could do right there. I looked it the broken part, eyed the dozen or so empty iced tea cans scattered around the trash dump my son calls his car, and whipped out my Leatherman. Three tries and 10 minutes later the car started. Part held until the car was eventually junked (not long after).

    The mechanic still tells the story.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DrMike View Post
      My son called late one night, early one morning, from the parking lot of a bar in downtown Detroit (he's a musician), couldn't get his key to turn the ignition lock in his POS Saturn. I called the mechanic who sold him the car, a personal friend who sealed the deal with "call me any time something's wrong." He wasn't happy but we headed off to see what we could do.

      My friend disassembled what he needed to, popped out the lock cylinder to discover a small broken piece that kept the cylinder from rotating. He announced that he had to get parts and there was nothing we could do right there. I looked it the broken part, eyed the dozen or so empty iced tea cans scattered around the trash dump my son calls his car, and whipped out my Leatherman. Three tries and 10 minutes later the car started. Part held until the car was eventually junked (not long after).

      The mechanic still tells the story.
      In his version, who fixed the car?
      😉

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      • #4
        He says I did, but the car wasn't really "fixed," just more functional then when we arrived.

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        • #5
          It's such an unfair question, It's like asking what's your favorite song, I mean how could anyone pick just one? I really do have hundreds of examples as im sure many do,
          One sticks out in my mind just because of the situation with who I was with, went for a ride with a nice blonde gal friend who used to actually work at a bike shop --- we got pretty far out in this one area and she flatted her front tire, she immediately asked if I had a pump and I said no but don't worry I got a patch kit, she said that's useless because she was not carrying a pump either, I told her no worries because I was wearing my "hoseheads" she's like "WTF are hose heads?"

          I take off my sunglasses and show her that I have the ends of my sunglasses connected together with a piece of automotive vacuum line - keeps me from losing them and also just handy to take glasses off and let them hang around my neck, she just sat on a rock and made the statement "were so screwed" lol

          then I start looking at the situation --- and kinda go "oh fuque you got a shrader valve stem --- yeah we might be screwed" I go ahead and fix the flat and put her tire back on the rim, then im scrambling all over the ground looking for the perfect little rock, occasionally looking up to see her looking down at me like iv lost my mind,,, ah ha!
          I find this little one that has kinda a channel in one side --- insert it into one end of the vacuum line, then find a little stick to push it into the right depth,
          take her wheel over to my bike, I have presta valve stems so my side was easy just loosen the top of the valve stem and push the hose over it, then put the hose end with the rock in it over the shrader valve on her wheel, while tilting the presta side and holding the hose on I hear the pressure build - then kinda remembering where the channel in the rock was I grip to avoid that area and push down to open the shrader valve stem, walla her front tire starts to fill, I hear a "holy crap" statement from the girl, I check the pressure of my front and it starts going down some and then I stop and switch her front to my rear tire and repeat till no more flow, now I got two semi low tires and she has a front with acceptable pressure esp. for her light weight. she's stunned and amazed and full of praise the rest of the ride back to our vehicle lol

          for years she brought it up after and id just say "who's the dog" and she would say "you are, never seen anything like it" lol that's all I needed to hear lol

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          • #6
            I think it's something we here were born with. We ALL grew up taking things apart before our first day of school. We ALL live to fix schitt.
            Some may look down upon the "MacGyver" techniques we employ, much like tool & die makers look down upon the lowly machinist, but I say that's even more schitt. I take great pride in getting-er-done with what's within reach.

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            • #7
              In fall of '88 I quit work, paid my mortgage and utilities 3 months in advance and went on a bicycle tour of Australia with a side trip to the south island of New Zealand (and a side trip to Maui before Austrailia - rode up to the top of Haleakala on a fully loaded touring bike). This trip (practice retirement) was in celebration of my upcoming 30th birthday.

              After Australia, I flew into Christchurch and set out the next day to cross the Southern Alps and ride down the coast. On the uphill side, a few miles from the pass, my freewheel fails. The pawls were not engaging unless I was able to spin very fast to get the pawls to fling out and then I had to keep a load on the drivetrain otherwise the pawls would disengage. It took me a while to figure all this out and how to slowly coast downhill, spin furiously to engage the pawls, make a quick u-turn and ride uphill with a touring bike with both front and rear panniers; and never pausing to spin the pedals. A bike with about 60 lbs of gear is not very nimble and does not do u-turns very well.

              Somewhere near the pass was a road maintenance yard, gate was open and one person was on duty. I asked to mooch a teaspoon of grease and a nail and also borrowed a large can. I used the nail and a rock to unscrew the retaining ring on the freewheel, the coffee can to corral all the loose ball bearings. The exploratory surgery revealed that both of the springs that push the pawls out to create the ratcheting of the freewheel had failed (they were also rusty looking, I had spent about a week in heavy, daily rains a few weeks earlier in Austrailia). I took a strand out of either a brake or derailleur cable and formed my own springs. Used the grease to retain the ball bearings and reassembled the freewheel.

              The freewheel's ratcheting sound was different than with the original springs but I rode that freewheel over the pass and down to Dunedan (sp?) where my cycling trip ended and a rental car took me back to Christchurch. I continued to ride that field repaired freewheel for a couple more years (but not as a loaded bike). And somewhere down in my basement in one of the boxes of obsolete bike parts, I still have that Sachs freewheel. And the only reason I dared to dismantle the freewheel is that at age 14 I had broken a spoke on a rear wheel and mistakenly dismantled the freewheel while trying to remove the freewheel and at age 29 I knew what to expect when dismantling the freewheel.
              Metro Detroit

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              • #8
                A toss up - the two that come to mind both involved skate laces - once to bypass a broken accelerator cable on my old Bronco, and once to actuate my Honda's windshield wipers when the motor crapped out in a heavy snow storm.

                For the Honda it took two laces - one for me to pull for a wipe one way, one for my wife to make the return wipe.

                Might be a Canadian thing, always having skate laces in the car...

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                • #9
                  Several years ago I rode my Triumph Speed Triple from philadelphia to Indianapolis for Moto GP. On the way my arthritic knees told me that I was too old to ride a sport bike that far. Before I came home, I went to lowes and bought 1" perforated square tube, two 5/16" u bolts and a cheap hacksaw. I cut the tube to length and bolted it to the header so that I'd have highway bars for the ride back to Philadelphia.

                  My knees felt great on the way home. If only it hadn't rained for four straight hours...
                  Last edited by Commander_Chaos; 02-14-2021, 02:33 PM.

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                  • #10
                    When I was in a teenager, I used to spend a lot of time in my girlfriends car . Sometimes when it was cold outside we would let the car idle while we talk . Sometimes that car would be idling for a long time and over a period it develop a leak at the thermostat housing and steam started to come out from under the hood. She was really concern and so was I. I didn't want to lose this love nest. I took a pack of cigarette and cut out a new gasket and install it. She stood there the whole time and watch me do the repair, but was not to confident about my cigarette pack fix. After a week of no leaking thermostat housing, I was her Macgyver hero and I was a very happy teenager for saving our love shack.
                    Last edited by fixerup; 02-11-2021, 09:59 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by challenger View Post
                      I think it's something we here were born with. We ALL grew up taking things apart before our first day of school. We ALL live to fix sh!t.
                      Back in college, I made a spring from a paper clip to repair the latch of a cash drawer at the liquor store where I was working night shifts. Did it without thinking and I still remember my surprise at the amazement of my co-workers. You can definitely divide the world into those-who-can-fix (or will at least try) and those who can't.

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                      • #12
                        In 1964 my 1934 Morris Minor (the forerunner of the Morris 8, not the later famous Issigonis-designed Minor) ran a big-end bearing while I was heading home at top speed (40mph).
                        I pulled off the road, pulled off the sump, being careful not to spill the oil, removed the offending conrod and piston, removed another conrod and piston from the opposite crank throw, bolted the sump back on and drove home even more slowly on the two remaining cylinders.

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                        • #13
                          About 1980 and I am on a music tour of Russia & Romania with the Trenton State College choir singing as a tenor (big joke that). We had a channel 52 public television with us and about 4 days in the Beaulieu film camera stops working. The camera man says we are screwed and I said why don't we try to fix it? He replied we didn't have any tools. I said I have tools and he says "Who goes on a singing tour with tools!" I said I never go anywhere without tools and I go to my room and get my tool bag. I disassembled this very complex camera on the bed and I commented how nicely made it was. The camera man says for $30K it ought to be nice but if I can't fix it its worthless! Deep down inside I find a shaft out of place with a missing circlip, and its lying farther down inside. I retrieve the clip and reinstall it and put the camera back together and it works for the rest of the 3 week trip.

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                          • #14
                            So many, especially in my days of doing effects for commercials, one day shoots and it HAD to work! But the most important one was when while visiting my mother in FL she let the screen door slam on the tip of my 10 year son's prized fishing rod, a gift from his other grandfather. I found a heavy 'canvas' weight sewing needle that fit the diameter of the break and snapped off 1.5" with a plier. Found some CA glue and some brown thread that matched the rod color. Glued it in, wrapped it 3/4" above and below and soaked the thread in the glue. The tears stopped, he still prizes that rod 11 years later, a flat spot a few inches from the tip doesn't affect it much.

                            Another good one was when I put an 8" crack in the hull of my kayak on a 3 week whitewater trip in northern Idaho. We went into the tiny town there with a general store, I bought a bucket, a pop riveter, a tube of goop and a 3/16 drill bit. Cut the bottom from the bucket as an inside patch, drilled through using the bit in a pair of Visegrips a friend had, and riveted it together. It not only lasted the trip but the rest of the season!

                            As for MacGyver, so much of that was BS! I remember one where he made a cannon with a can of freon, I knew that didn't work, I'd tried it!
                            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                            • #15
                              Was out in my old van with a few friends, and we get a flat tire. I had a spare. Keep going- the spare goes flat. We're 40 miles out on a gravel road. So- put the flat on the left front and the boys in the back on the right side- one hanging on the open back door. That was enough to keep the rim off the ground for the long trip back to the main road. Pulled into a gas station, hoping the guy would take pity on us and fix one of the flats. We had no money. We hovered around there for more than an hour before he decided to get rid of us by fixing one of the flats.
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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