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Old 09-08-2001, 23:22   #1 (permalink)
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Funnies and Disasters

Following on from my brilliant piece of work with the EA mystery beep that didn't exist, why don't we put up some motoring and mechanical funnies or disasters or oddities for a bit of a laugh. Here's a few to start off.

Years ago, on what must have been the "it seemed like a good idea at the time" principle, I decided that an old motor mower would benefit from a bit of petrol straight into the cylinder and few tugs on the rope to clean it out. Gave it a big pull. Fuel and vapor shot out of the plug hole over the spark plug, which was arcing onto the deck or something, and was nicely ignited by the time it hit the paint on the garage door and set fire to it. Only scorched it, really.

This comes from a mate of mine who says he got it from someone involved at the time. Back when manual chokes were common, an old dear bought a new car and had endless problems with poor running and lousy fuel economy. It went into the dealership time after time and was checked, many times, for every possible problem, but it always ran perfectly. Ultimately the service manager suggested that she take him for a drive, to see if it related to her driving. He got into the passenger seat. She got into the driver's seat, then pulled out the manual choke and hung her handbag on it. Turned out she had no idea what a choke was and thought this was a handy little gadget put in by a thoughtful manufacturer for people to hang things on. (For those who haven't encountered a manual choke - or maybe even a carburettor - a manual choke was a knob on the dash connected by cable to the carburettor to give a richer mixture to assist cold starting and early running. The choke was operating when the knob was out and of no effect when it was in.)

My local Bursons has a ventilated brake rotor on the counter, which has lost about 75% of one of the faces and exposed the vanes underneath, which have been scored by the pads, or whatever was left of them. The rotor came off a car that was in regular use until it was written off in a prang.
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Old 09-09-2001, 00:21   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like you're the kind of person god had in mind when he invented proffesional mechanics/panelbeaters
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Old 09-09-2001, 03:59   #3 (permalink)
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I've a story about my old man's car.

About 10-12 years ago, we were living in Melbourne and Dad had just picked up his brand new Falcon the week before we were heading to Brissie. Anyways he loaded us all up and off we went. About 3 hours into the trip the oil warning light came on, so he pulled into a servo (mumbling to himself) to fill it up. He pops the bonnet, grabs the dipstick and pulls it only to discover that it's right up to the full line.

Being the fussy old fellow that he is, he was a bit annoyed but decided to keep on going. A couple of k's up the road on comes the oil warning light again plus the cars now starting to overheat. This time he's starting to get really annoyed and the next major town he looks up the local Ford dealer. We pull into the dealer and he is out like a shot and getting up some poor bastard in the service dept. Long story short a mechanic comes out and Dad tells him whats going on (light coming on, checking dipstick, oil is full).

So they both go around to the front and check the oil level again. Same story with the oil level being fine. So the ford mechanic goes back inside and brings out a couple of the other mechanics to suss it out and they all start having a discussion on what could be going on for the next 5-10 minutes.

While these lads are having a good old chat an appentice mechanic goes around the front and has a look himself. He pulls out the dipstick and it's bone dry.

Yep you guessed it, the car was a automatic and my old man, AND the 3 Ford dealer mechanics had all been checking the auto dipstick not the engine one.

:D
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Old 09-09-2001, 05:19   #4 (permalink)
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Ho Ho Pro mech can stuff up too!Charge you for there mistakes..
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Old 09-09-2001, 05:54   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah my story happened quite recently wheni was helping my mate install a stereo in his EL, what happened was we must of arched the acc power when cutting the wires of the stereo. Anyway the first thing we done was to find contiueous power for the stereo then we can determine the speaker wires etc.

Spent ages, couldn't find it we decided to take it to another mate "elecrician by trade" who might be able to find the conitueous power, low and behold when we tryed to start the car up it woudn't start, checked the fuse box and "silly me didn't check all of the fuses" found no fuses broken, so we called nrma convinced we have blown either a relay or somethin else nrma spent ages doin the tests etc and then he checked all the fuses and sure enough found a blown fuse. Must admit i was abit :o :o :o :o about it.

Ahh but after we fixed the fuse and found contiuous power the stereo installation was a breeze.:D
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Old 09-09-2001, 17:30   #6 (permalink)
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Wheel Well Wedge

Was on the ole Famous Parramatta Rd. on my way to Wagga Wagga at a set of lights minding my own business when BAM!!!! Hit from behind. Bumper flexed back out so damage wasn't as bad as first supsected. Anyway, was about 25 k's out of Wagga at around 8pm, belting down rain, car decides to get a flat. Wearing my going out clothes, had to change the tyre only to find the locking bolt wouldn't budge. Not a cracker. Then decided to belt it withthe trolley jack handle. After missing it about 8 out of ten times, i finallygot it off. Tried to pull tyre out.. IT wouldn't budge. Turns out when that clown hit me back on Parra rd, the impact actually put a wedge in the spare wheel well, jamming the tyre in nice and secure leavering on it every which way I could, letting air out every couple of attempts until the tyre was damn near flat...........hence deeming itself useless by the time i got it out.(Its still pelting down rain mind you and dark in the middle of nowhere). Had to call NRMA to come out and pump the tyre. Also Late for party.
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Old 09-09-2001, 20:58   #7 (permalink)
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Some guys at work here had a flat tyre in their Econovan. No worries they thought, pull over and change it. Do you think they could budge the wheels nuts? No! Not a hope. Jumped up and down on the wheel brace, swore at it in several different languages, even found a longer pole to put over the end of the wheel brace to give more leverage. Still nothing! Turns out it was a left hand thread and they were actually trying to tighten the wheels instead of loosening!:o
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Old 09-09-2001, 21:04   #8 (permalink)
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Another one I just remembered relates to lawnmowers. I was watching my mate mow his lawn one day when he knocked the spark plug on the side of the garage causing the mower to start misfiring. So he reached down to try and hold the spark plug together and the result was, well...shocking:rolleyes:! The resulting kick from the spark threw him about 10ft. I nearly pissed myself laughing!:D We were only about 16yo at the time so I guess that is sort of an excuse. :o
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Old 09-09-2001, 22:37   #9 (permalink)
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I have a mate to blame for this one. He supercharged his lawmmower and described the basics, so I had to give it a go.

Starting with a 160cc two-stroke Victa I rigged up an impeller from a largish hairdryer and after some modification of the engine cover managed to set up a nicely geared up impeller speed (using a small fanbelt). A bit of pvc piping to the cylinder head, a re-routing of the carby to the intake side of the impellor and presto - one pseudo supercharged Victa lawnmower.

It sounded so stupid, but fark it cut grass like you wouldn't believe. It died not long after when the impeller exploded (obviously cyclic fatigue) and the engine ingested the pieces.

Oh, and the exhaust used to point down into the cutting disc but the port overlap combined with the intake pressure caused some high EGT which didn't help the grass much if you stayed in one spot too long!
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Old 09-10-2001, 00:10   #10 (permalink)
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Disasters

This happened when I was a little kid. I was fascinated by the ciggie lighter in my old man's car but in those days they didnt have the little safety features that prevent your car from erupting into a flameball. I pushed the ciggie lighter in, got bored, and decided to leave the car. About 10 minutes later my dad walked past the car and couldn't help notice that there was smoke billowing out of the car. Needless to say I got the spaking of a lifetime.

Several weeks later my grandfather successfuly managed to completely burn out the interior of the same car as a result of a "welding incident".

Several years ago while I was in high school in our metalwork class we were all rebuilding our own lawnmowers. One part of the rebuilding process was to test the capacitor from the ignition system with a spark tester. This thing would shoot a constant spark between two points about 10mm apart. The spark was standard lawnmower strength (around 10,000 volts). I had a brainstorm one day when I was using the spark tester. I noticed that all the benches had steel edges and vices. From that moment on our biggest laugh was to get a couple of spanners or steel rulers and connect the spark to the metal bench edges and watch everybody who was working on something or other clamped in a vice take a big jump backwards. There were even a couple who didnt quite catch on and kept trying to touch and grab their work only to keep getting zapped, leaving them with dumbfounded looks on their faces.
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