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Old 07-12-2004, 04:54   #1 (permalink)
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What is your worst breakdown moment

I was recalling some incidents I've had over the years in cars after a few beers today. Have you guys and girls got any memorable break down moments?

Here's a cool one. I was driving along Stirling Highway on my way into the city minding my own business in my old HK Holden station wagon (yeah yeah I know - if it was a Ford probably nothing would have gone wrong).

Suddenly the speedo just winds up of its own accord to about 100mph and the motor revs as if the clutch is slipping. I lift on and off the acclerator a few times and realise I've lost driveline connection, but the speedo doing its own thing gets me. My mind races in these few moments, maybe its the diff blown, maybe the clutch has let go, but why is the speedo still working I think...

Next thing the back of the car drops suddenly and the car pulls hard to the right into on-coming traffic. About now I'm thinking what the f**k! I go to put my foot on the brake and there's no brakes, the peddle hits the floor! S**t realise I'm now in one major pickle.

With a fluke of good luck I pick a gap in the on-coming traffic and literally ditch the car in a driveway on the oppositeside of the highway, which turns out later to be the loading door for the State Brewery.

Quite shaken up, I get out to see what on earth could have possibly happened to cause all this.

Hanging out about 3 feet is the rear axle. Amazingly the car had rolled along with the axle half out which caused it to skew to the right. No brakes because the drum had come out with it and the linings were pushing against thin air.

Turned out a cheap fix, but what a hell ride.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

geez that woulda been one scary ride, glad your ok :), i havent had any experiences like that yet , just the usual prick who cuts me off on roundabouts and when changing lanes
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:35   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

I have so many of these stories.. but the one that stands out most in my mind was when I was 17 years old.. So this is going back a couple of years.
I was driving the ED to work from the Northside of Brisbane to Stones Corner. I was going through the City.. I should have known something was wrong when the car died at the Pickering Street/Southpine Road roundabout..
Anyway got him going again.. only to die in the MIDDLE of the Normanby 5 ways intersection.
(For those of you who knew this stretch of road years ago.. there was no underpass..) it was 7:30am. jam packed full of traffic.. took the RACQ 70mins to get to me.. and by this stage it was all over Brisbane radio.
Some really nice council workers tried to help me push the car to the side of the intersection.. but there really isn't any room on it.. So after much distress.. many late comuters beeping their horns at me (Did they think that hundreds of cars beeping and honking was going to magically fix my car?!?!?) I was able to crawl to the mechanics... Was late for work that day. :)

And what was the cause of such drama? A little wire in the freaking alternator.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:40   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

Worst time I had was a week after I got the EA ..... driving along a quiet country road on the way home & a huge bang,crash, boom,scrape ..........

I pulled up & put her in park .... well I thought I did ....opened the bonnet & had a look ... not easy when the sun had just set & I wasnt game to use the lighter ..... I tried to put her in drive & nothing but shudders ......

Thankfully a neighbour came along & had a look with a light ..... the dipstick was severed....... not a good look ;(

Works out that the Gear Box had parted company at the front & had taken out an inch thick slice of metal with it ........& the dipstick for the ride ........


Got it all fixed with a new gear box..... but wasnt a happy camper


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Old 07-12-2004, 05:44   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

Back when I used to drive my mum's Mazda 121 (1978 model) I was driving to work along the Gore Hill Freeway when the radiator exploded. Lovely orange coloured water everywhere! Scared the crap out of me. Pulled over, left the car there on the shoulder and a kind bus driver stopped and let me on to catch a (free) ride to Lane Cove (he saw it all).

That was the turning point that made me get the EL that I have now. The 121 was old and was costing a lot to keep maintained.

Ah, fun times...
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:49   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

I've only had two break downs, both were over heating issues.

First time the thermostat seized shut. I limped it to mum's work, pinched her car to go home, came back a few hours later, moved mine a few kms closer to home, dumped it on a nature strip when it hit the red again, called dad and got picked up. About 11pm I get mum to drop me off (this time having learnt my lesson I make her follow me in case I don't make it home). Get her home and start pulling the cooling system to pieces.

It did it again the other week, though not as serious. One of the power wires for the thermofans earthed itself to the body, blew the fuse. In outbound traffic at 6pm....after pulling into a bus stop to check it out, I jump back into traffic, jump over the median strip and SPEED home. Turning the engine off at the lights, weaving through traffic as fast as I could getting max air flow over the radiator. At least I got her home in one go that time.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:49   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

With my car (the BA) it would be when I turned from Ferntree Gully rd into Jells road and lost all power. it had shutdown into limp mode. Something to do with the coil pack. Had to be towed back home and then towed to dealer.

However there was one even worse. Dad and I were coming back from Avalon speedway one night in his old XF. We just get onto the Geelong rd when bang, the heater hose blew off, steam everywhere. We pulled over and I walked 200m in freezing cold weather at 1am to find the number of the emergency phone so the RACV could find us. Me and dad now laugh about it.
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Old 07-12-2004, 07:50   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

stalled the old mans XB(column shift auto) in maccas drive thru on saturday night.X 100
the thing flooded when i tried to do bunny hops to impress the girls....it wasnt as embarrasing for me as it was for my two no longer best friends who helped push me through........
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Old 07-12-2004, 13:19   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

a few stories... the most recent (and most popular with people in the FPV Club Sydney) was when I was in my XR on the way to dinner (car is 3 month old with 10,000kms on it). Decided (cause there was some water on the road from a slight drizzle) to get the wheels spinning a bit to reduce the radius of the U turn I was taking. 3/4 of the way through the turn my car suddenly gets a bit of traction and shudders a couple of times then BANG! didnt sound too good. With the bang the car dropped a little to the left. Let go of the clutch, and i feel a little drive and a LOUD grinding sound. Call Ford care.

Turns out, Left drive shaft is broken and CV is a thing of the past. Lovely thing warrenty is!!

Luckily we were infront of another resturant and we had dinner while we waited for the tow truck and Ford paid for the cab home.
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Old 07-12-2004, 14:59   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What is your worst breakdown moment

March 1980, on the way to Melbourne, 5.00am 8 k's from Gundagi the baffles blew out of the muffler. Plugged the Escort up like you wouldn't believe, no power, nothing. This is pre mobile phones and absolutely no one around. Went looking for a farm and luckily found one with the farmer about to take off for a days ploughing out the back of beyond.

He graciously let me call the NRMA. After an hour wait the serviceman arrived and got me going again. He pulled the baffles out through the tail pipe with a coat hanger. Amazing. This is the only time a Ford has let me down.

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