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Your most MacGyver moment?

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  • #31
    Hey Artful, I’ve seen a number of times where an engine developed a miss-fire on #5 or #7 (small block Chev) & it boiled down to the same vacuum modulator on the transmission. But this time the diaphragm of the modulator was ruptured from age & allowed trans fluid to be drawn into that cylinder and the excess oil fouled the spark plug repeatedly. A perished appearance of the vacuum hose at the intake manifold prompted the investigation of the issue when ATF was shown to be present.
    Back to the subject, I’ve fixed toasters - yeah who does that. Also one of those garbage cans with the pedal to open the lid. I made a new plate for the pedal & it’s still working 15+ years later. Then the linkage to the lid broke (plastic u-joint style) so I made one out of aluminum rod & it’s working well after 7+ years. There is so much more.
    Also, Google “Turboencabulator” (something like that) - a fun video to view.


    • #32
      My uncle said he had invented the Turboencabulator and got royalties on every one sold!.


      • #33
        Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
        Around about then I heard someone behind me say "He is from Nuu Zeeland, even their women know how to use a welder and mix seement".
        AAahhhhhahahahahahhahaha a ... thanks .... *whew* I haven't laughed that hard in a while.
        And sadly, yes, I was born with a wrench (spanner) in my mouth instead of the proverbial silver spoon.
        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA


        • #34
          I don't know if this is my most McGuyver moment but it possibly ranks as having the most witnesses.

          Some years back, the wife and I stopped at a friends house to visit. I noticed her husband and another guy out in the back yard trying to push his garden tractor (bigger than a lawn tractor) out of the rut it was in.

          His yard was low and wet, and all 4 wheels were in a deep muddy rut from all the rocking they had been doing. I thought that if I my put back into it as well that we could surely free this beast, but alas. The three of us pushed and pulled, and stuffed the holes with rocks and debris, but try as we might, we couldn't get that tractor out of its' ruts.

          Then I took a step back and reconnoitered the situation. The tractor was stuck at the edge of the woods. I asked the owner if he a rope and a wood fence post. He replied in the affirmative. When he returned with "my materials" in hand we tied one end of the rope to the tractor, looped the other end around the end of the fence post, placed the fence post horizontally on the far side of one of the nearby trees, and I warned my colleagues to stand clear. I pulled on the fence post as the tractor walked right out of those ruts no muss no fuss.
          I had a lever, I found a place to stand and I moved the world!

          My buddy's were dutifully impressed with my "polish come-along".
          Last edited by jmarkwolf; 02-14-2021, 05:24 PM.


          • #35
            I have a double wheel wheel barrow that cracked/broke. i trimmed some plastic from the sides and welded the plastic cracks. Still doing fine after 6 years.


            • #36
              My most MacGyver moment was probably on a road trip. My wife and I were at least a day into the trip and had another day ahead of us. My Chevy truck had been having some trouble with the carburetor and I had already had several mechanics look at it but they all failed to find the real problem. On top of all that, it was a Sunday afternoon and the sun was going down in another hour or two. The truck started to slow down and finally I could not get it over about 5 or 10 MPH. So I looked for a parking lot to stop in.

              When I opened the hood, my wife was getting really worried. This was before we had cell phones so calling for help was going to be a problem. I grabbed my tool box from the rear and started to take the carburetor apart, carefully laying out each part in the correct order for reassembly. I had only rebuilt one carburetor before and that was a year or two before this. As much as a way to take her mind off the situation as for any real reason I had her take notes as I worked. That worked.

              What I found was a bunch of small, black particles in the carburetor that were clogging things up. When I cleaned them out and reassembled it, the truck ran just fine. This may be an everyday occurrence for many of you who do all the work on your own cars as well as on those of others, but I worked mostly in electronics and for me it was an unusual undertaking. I really wasn't sure I would be successful. But in less than an hour we were back on the road and made it to our overnight stop in another couple of hours with no further problems.

              As for those black particles, I later found they were carbon granules. A filter which used them had a net that was supposed to hold them in place had failed due to age. When I showed them to my usual mechanic he almost immediately knew where they came from and promptly replaced that filter. I had no more problems with that carb. until I sold the truck.

              And my wife was AMASSED.

              I have had others, but that one stands out in my mind.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.


              • #37
                You dont want to hear my no can do fix and asking for help.

                All depends what the problem is. Ill look to my dad, or uncle. Maybe Michael, or Joe. Or Brian. Maybe Red or ol man. Always Del. (yes, they are all dead)

                Guess what? I managed to get the impossible bolt out. The difference would be $1000. JR


                • #38
                  In November of 1975, three of us in two cars left the Navy nuke school in Vallejo, CA heading for Idaho Falls to complete our training at the NRF prototypes. While crossing the Bonneville salt flats after midnight, I see my friend flashing his lights behind me and we pull over over. The heater core in his car blew out filling it with steam. With a screwdriver from my toolbox that i always carried and a gallon of water that i always carried, I bypassed the heater core and filled the radiator back up. It was pretty darn cold in that car for the rest of the trip and we took turns driving it but it got us where we were going.
                  Tom - Spotsylvania, VA


                  • #39
                    Just started my van with a Milwaukee m18 battery, does that count ( it works quite well, takes one block off the charge indicator)


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by boslab View Post
                      Just started my van with a Milwaukee m18 battery, does that count ( it works quite well, takes one block off the charge indicator)
                      Who would have thought that it could? Yeah, it does count.


                      • #41
                        I did the broken fan belt fix with nylon stockings. I still have the scars to prove it. The scars ain't from the repair actually but from the fight I had to get them off the girl I was on a date with that night. She didn't believe me and thought I was just trying to get her naked!
                        Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                        How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!


                        • #42
                          For me, the event this discussion has called to mind was actually a non-McGuyver response on my part.
                          Back in the late 60's, right after we married, my bride and I were driving a newly purchased used Pontiac back to Ft Rucker, Ala, where I was stationed at the time. The car started emitting a lot of steam. Checked under the hood and found the upper radiator hose was cracked near the connection to the radiator.
                          I had a toolbox in the car which contained a partial roll of electrical tape, so I taped it up, and away did drive. But it soon started steaming again, so stopped at the next country store and bought a new roll of tape (since I'd used all of the other and it wasn't enough.)
                          While I was outside trying to tape it up, an old man walked up to check out my work. He said "sonny, you've got enough extra hose there, why don't you cut off that rotten end and reconnect it?"
                          Well Duh...! Why didn't I think of that??

                          "Thank you Sir, that's a good idea!"

                          But some years later my insight proved a little better.
                          In the mid-70's when the fuel shortages and price increases hit, I traded a gas guzzling Olds 88 for a nearly new dealer demo Toyota Corona station wagon. A few years later, for reasons I don't recall, I decided to pressure wash the engine. I disconnect various hoses and such so I could wrap the carburetor to keep it dry. Afterwards, when I was restoring everything in its place, I noticed one hose had not been connected to anything when I started. Its connection point was obvious, so I connected it back and forgot the matter. Long story shortened, for the next 2 or 3 years, when first started in the morning, the car ran rough as hell. During that time I took it to several mechanics, including a dealership, and none could fix the problem.
                          Then one day, with the hood up, my eyes were drawn to a stain on the top of the engine, and I recalled that episode with the loose hose. Suddenly it hit me ...that hose (now connected) was dripping raw gas into the intake manifold overnight so the engine was partly flooded by morning.
                          I pulled that hose loose, stuck a golf tee in the end, and that solved the problem.
                          Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                          • #43
                            I have allot of stuff laying around that I built along time ago to solve problems with certain things, many of the things have to do with Mt. biking or auto repair/performance or even white water kayaking, and many of the things are old - very old as in 30+ years way way way before I got any kinda of metal machinery like my mill.

                            so below is something i built out of absolute necessity as I was taking Mt. bike racing very seriously and trying to exploit every edge - even ones not thought about or invented,

                            We had front suspension - but it was a double edge sword for climbing as when you sprinted the bike would "po-go" and you would waste power ---- so the motto became the popular "spin to win" and you would just sit in the saddle - increase the RPM's and get into a rhythm, it became the most widely used method for climbing as it's all we had, it had one problem --- climbing puts the bike and esp. MT. bikes that climb very steep at an extreme geometry angle - so sitting in the saddle and trying to spin gets very difficult due to your weight not being "above" the crankset anymore, you therefor have to use other muscle groups to try and stay efficient, it's all a trade off and one I recognized early on,

                            my solution to the problem was simple --- collapse the front suspension and in doing so take care of two problems --- first the po-go-ing effect so that now if you wanted to sprint you could do just that --- second was it changed the frame to ground geometry and this also made spinning more practical, your weight was shifted slightly back in your favor above the peddles --- you could now alternate muscle groups between sprinting and spinning in long dragged out climbs, it was the bomb,,, in creating this I also realized I created the worlds first lock out front suspension system as it was many many years before they actually came up with a true hydraulic lockout...

                            mine was different though - mine changed the geometry, but how can you collapse a front suspension, yeah maybe once by having a button that lets the air out of your shocks but then what? your screwed after you get to the top of the hill and then have to descend...

                            Not if you have an air pressure reservoir and a little pressure regulator, so --- I sealed off the big bottom tube of my Gary Fisher HK2 (hoo koo E koo)
                            I had to seal the hole in the front headset and also one at the bottom bracket, I then had a "fill valve" at one of the water bottle bolt mounts and that same bolt had a discharge that led to the pressure regulator just a few inches away that was strapped to the top tube,

                            I had a modified shrader valve on one side of my handlebars that I could collapse my front end with my left thumb within about 1 second and a plastic "fill" button on the other side of the bars that I could press with my right thumb and within a couple three seconds the suspension would be back up and working with 42 psi every time, the big thin wall cro-mo bottom tube on the Bike held 150 psi --- I could take my bike to a race and have about 7 or 8 cycles of collapse/refill before I depleted the large tube to the point of it falling short of the needed 42 psi

                            the system worked great and really well in circuit races where I knew what I was up against in the climbing --- I usually pulled off a top 3 position and that did not matter if it was a class of 50 guys or 150... I would have done well regardless but I do know for a fact this system gave me an extra edge,,,

                            my regulator weighed 1 ounce - the tiny plastic tubing and collapse/refill valves weighed 1/2 ounce... the entire system was about 1 1/2 ounces,

                            I built the regulator from a shrader valve, I also used some kinda carburetor diaphragm (choke pull off?) and then proceeded to build my base out of a piece of flat stock aluminum and the other side from what I believe might have been a chunk of the carburetor itself,,, JB weld covered all the flaws as like I say this thing is over 30 years old and all I had was a drill and a file... the units pressure is adjustable with little shims inside -- I tried to find something small and light that I could use but there was nothing like it at the time so had to build my own... it is unbelievably dependable and to the pound every time also but who know's now as I bet the diaphragm is brittle as all hell...

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                            Some of the stuff iv built I just look at now and shake my head, You crazy kid! but nothing was going to stop me, I did not even know the basic operating principles of a pressure regulator but figured it out in my head and built one... stuff like this is testimony to who we are - our determination and unstoppable will... someday someone will find this in my home after I kack and just ****can it as a POS... it resides on a little shelf next to my mill for inspiration - along with a little honeycomb bee hive, can't forget the great master builders....


                            • #44
                              About 40 years ago, drove about 540km (330 miles) from Auckland New Zealand to a small town called Himatangi Beach in a Hillman Superminx to collect an old dunebuggy.
                              We were going to tow back it on an a-frame. After arriving, we decided to drive down a gravel road to the nearest pub. The driver, Danny, thought he was a rally driver and tried to get the old POS sideways on the gravel - he tore the centre out of the clutch plate.
                              We pushed the Hillman about 1.5 km back to the house.

                              We had plenty of tools but no jack. We managed to push the front wheels up onto some 4x4 blocks. It was night time. We had no torch. We removed the gearbox by candlelight, lying in the sand.
                              The old dunebuggy was powered by a Hillman also and I found a spare clutch plate, but it was an 8 inch & oily, rather than the Superminx 9". It still fitted.

                              We reassembled, decided we weren't going to tow the buggy back to Auckland & that we were going to change the clutch as soon as we got back. Last time I saw Danny, about three years later, the oily small clutch was still going strong.


                              • #45
                                2001, thousands of miles from home on a vacation. We were driving along at 70 miles an hour and my 13 year old daughter lets out a blood curdling scream. Her braces had a wire release and stab her in the cheek. I pull over and quickly check her over and see the wire. With no orthodontist near by I figure I better do something. Kids can scream kick and be general pains in the ass but, my wife and I were able to hold her still enough to extract the wire from her cheek and get it back into the braces. Then with a multi tool, bend the offending wire at the end so it could not release again. The orthodontist was impressed at my wire bending abilities.