Can you mend your car?

  Quickbeam 12:14 22 Jun 2007

click here't+even+open+the+bonnet
If so , what was your most adventurous roadside repair?

Mine was to a Land Rover (a '68 series 11a) which conveniently broke down a hundred yards away from a Land Rover dealer in Middlesbrough, about July 1990. I thought I'd holed a piston as the amount of smoke created would have made a fantastic smoke screen at the battle of Jutland.

Anyway the dealer started quoting figures far in excess of the value of the vehicle... So, I took the sump off, removed the rod & piston, (piston crown had become detached completely!) bought a new + 10,000" piston for about £40, refitted everything, including the sump full of oil.

I then started the engine, put the old parts in the garage dustbin and drove off past the Foreman fitter, Apprentice & Salesman who were in stunned disbelief, less than 3 hours later.

Can anyone beat that one?!

  siouxah1 12:57 22 Jun 2007

Quickbeam, no can't beat that one.

Did however drive 100 miles to a scrapyard and remove a rear axle from a wreck. Drove 50 miles to my Opel Kapitan parked at the roadside and replaced the rear axle and drove 100 miles home. A rear bearing had failed. No replacement available. Plus the differential was shot and full of sawdust.

That was in the early 60's. Can hardly raise a sponge to clean the car these days let alone a hammer and screwdriver.!!


  wee eddie 13:29 22 Jun 2007

How about this then:

click here

I hope that this is a help

  recap 13:36 22 Jun 2007

Until my recent car but one, I used to do all my own service, now you need a computer to run all the diagnostics.

My biggest achievement was replacing an engine three time in one day, all got from a scrap yard, finally found one that worked.

  Quickbeam 13:42 22 Jun 2007

it's not often I laugh out loud by myself... but this one did it for me!

  Legolas 14:00 22 Jun 2007

Very funny lol

  wee eddie 14:16 22 Jun 2007

that we had had since I was 12. Dad bought it, second hand, in '57. Still going strong but somewhat battered. It didn't owe us much.

All four of us leaned to drive in it, and I have never come to terms with the requirement of modern cars to be bashed out, now and again. Many a tale it had to tell.

  spuds 14:30 22 Jun 2007

Doe's the DVLA theory test cover car maintenance!.

Looking under a bonnet of a new car nowadays scares me to death. The old days, a pair of overalls,dirty fingernails,a good toolkit, possibly a starting handle usually resolved any or most ailments.

Talking of motoring experiences, I always remember an incident when vehicle breakdown is mentioned. Driving a Vauxhall 2000 at fairly high speed when a farm tractor came out of a gateway. Went through the motion of reducing gearbox ratio, then bang and smoke appeared from under the bonnet. Opened bonnet and everything was covered in oil (engine blown!). Vehicle taken to garage, but the garage couldn't understand what had gone wrong, as the engine had full compression, so they contacted Vauxhall. Apparently, my manoeuvre had caused a back pressure, which in turn was released via the dipstick plug hole (what a relief). Cost of repair, can of oil, couple of hours labour charge and a bit of a laugh.

Knocked a couple of sumps off Leyland mini's though, on farm tracks :O)

  TopCat® 14:46 22 Jun 2007

Thankfully I have repaired/serviced/modified all my own vehicles. Saved myself a fortune on labour charges over the years. Found myself in great demand by the family and friends, as you can well imagine!

I have to thank the superb training I received in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for my expertise. It was second to none and very comprehensive, so I highly recommend it for any bored youngster looking to learn one of a great selection of trades.

Great link, wee eddie!! :o) TC.

  Bingalau 16:26 22 Jun 2007

TopCat. I know what you mean because we had all our vehicle mechanics trained by REME. I had the good fortune to be friendly with one who always looked after my car. Never had an ounce of trouble with it. After I had it a good few years I was posted abroad and he bought it off me for a song. When I came back years later he was still running it and said it was the best car he had ever owned. (one of the first Mini's). He wouldn't sell it back to me either.

  Jim Thing 16:34 22 Jun 2007

Date 1968, 5.30 a.m. on a summer Sunday. Driving neighbour and self from Montreal to Mont Tremblant for Canadian Grand Prix. Car (Volvo 122) suddenly dies. Perform diagnosis at side of expressway. Fuel OK, spark not. Find top surface of rotor arm blistered and badly charred. Obtain replacement at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday morning? Forget it.

Journey eventually resumed in replacement car hastily brought to scene by wife. Own car abandoned at side of expressway with note for local fuzz under wiper blade. Wife returns home by taxi.

Cut to mid-evening, same day. Homeward bound, passing through sleepy hamlet somewhere in rural Quebec. Alert passenger spots wrecked Volvo 122 alongside local garage. Happy days. Nobody home at garage-owner's house. Nicked rotor arm from wreck, leaving mine in its place. Returned to Montreal, fitted rotor arm and drove home.

I still sometimes picture a baffled French Canadian garage owner wondering how the hell somebody managed to total that Volvo when its engine wouldn't even run.

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