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CDN OpelNut had a great idea. Tales of road-side repairs and the fascinating ways we've accomplished those repairs and with what.
One of mine was actually my old VW bug. Accelerator went to the floor one day on the highway. Pulled over and found the accelerator cable had broken. My boyfriend at the time was absolutely helpless. Luckily, I wasn't and reattached it with a convenient twist-tie found in the car and made it home 'revving' all the way on the shortened cable.
He was so impressed. :D
 

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Ok, I'll put mine in from the same thread. Way back when I was a young driver (71), I was driving one of my old fav's, a 60 Falcon. When the carb rod fell off due to clip removing gremlins, I tied a string on to the pedal rod and then to the throttle. Since I always used a return spring to make the throttle "pull" back on the pedal (don't ask why :rolleyes: ), it was good for the trip home. Simplicity IS a virtue! :p
 

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my favorite road side repair was to a Manta clutch cable. It had split in or near the middle and I was on a pretty isolated road, the only thing around were telephone poles. I "borrowed" a ground wire clamp from a pole type transformer that was near the ground and found one of those ceramic old wire insulators in the weeds. I cut back the clutch cable and found the brake, used the ground clamp to tie them back together. I used the insulater tied to the radiator support to act as a fulcrom for the now cut and patched cable. a pretty soft and spongy clutch but I drove it that way for about a week while I got another one. Lucky I had tools like wire cutters, crescent wrenches and a pocket knife about me.
 

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bout 6 years ago on Christmas Day we were driving to Watsonville,CA and the GT started running very rough. pulled over and found that the advance vacuum hose had been rubbing against the fan pulley and caused a hole. crap! what to do now?? i cut a section of washer hose and spliced it in. vroom!!! away we went to grandmas house. my wife was very impressed at my resourcefulness. its always nice to be admired by your wife :)
 

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"The Pull Tab" fix

My Dad used to own a 90 model Honda Accord. Honda has it's enitre harness wired through one fuse that if a MAJOR short occurs, it shuts down the whole car. Well, coming back from church, Dad and I were running out the Stone Mountain Frwy toward Snellville, and the whole car shuts off. Got out, pop the hood and smoke is boiling out from under it. Quick check around and there's a major power wire for the a/c that has shorted on a bracket. I quickly reach out with my leatherman tool and cut it off. Smoke clears, but, still no power. In looking around, I spy a plastic covered box mounted out on the fender. The cover on it is slightly melted. Pop the top cover and there's a bar fuse that has burnt in 1/2. Just a quick check, I cross both ends again with the knife blade and told Dad to hit the switch. It fires right up. Looking around on the road side, trying to find something, a strip of wire, foil, anything metal. I spy an old beer can pull tab. The ones that used to come completely off. Well it just fit enough to go under the heads of the screws to hold the bar fuse in place. Hit the switch and away we go. Next day we're at the Honda dealer getting a new bar fuse. I put the new one in, and was about to throw the pull tab away, when my "inner voice" says "uh, uh" you might need that again. So I put it in the glove box.
Gene
 

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last night at around 11:00 pm I was driving back to a friend's house with him and assuming that the fuel tank sending unit wasn't working accuratly I didn't think anything of the needle all the way on the white line past the red needless to say it in fact was out of gas, so I pulled off onto the narrow shoulder of the 55mph road. walked about 3 miles back to a sunoco to find out they didn't have any loner gas cans, then we found a milk jug by a garbage can but decided not to take it because of not knowing how gasoline would react to it. Then I thought to go to a different friends house about a half mile away from the sunoco, relunctantly he woke up and went out to the garage and got a gas can that was then filled up and walked back to the opel. 12:15 we were on our way.
 

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Duck tape and tie raps go a long way

Back in 1987 I had a Chrysler Lebanon GTS 5 speed. Well I was on my way to school and all of a sudden I lost the ability to shift gears. Come to find out the clip between the gearshift linkage and the transmission came off. It was a ball and socket type of connection.

The car was stuck in 3 gear so I was able to slip the clutch and drive in town without to much trouble so I took it to a dealer he said he would need the car for 2 days and $300 to fix the trouble. That was unacceptable so I had some tie raps and some duct tape in the car. I crawled under the car put the tie raps around the clips and the duct tape around the raps. That worked!! Granted shifting was a little stiff but it worked.

I went with that for 3 months. I made some calls to some other dealers they all said the same thing (2 days and $300). I finally was able to get in touch with a parts manager and he said he had part that would fix the trouble. The part cost $0.45. I bought 10 of them. I kept them in the glove box and I only had to replace the part 3 times over 200,000 miles. I think that was the best $4.50 I ever spent.
 

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Broken Clutch Cable

Back in '72 I borrowed by older brother's Austin Healy Sprite for a Friday night of festive pleasures. Clutch cable breaks. I re-route the manual choke cable to the throttle. Worked like a charm.

Forgot to tell my brother about it, and he was late for work the next morning; his first day on the job. He beat hell out of me.
 

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Solex Ball Joint

One Sunday morning my wife & I cruised into San Francisco for breakfast. On the SF side of the Bay Bridge (down hill slope into San Francisco) the Opel GT lost power. In neutral the engine would idle, but nothing else. We coasted down off the bridge into the city, pulled over, and popped the hood. 30 seconds later I had the ball connection to the Solex popped back into place. We were back up and running without even shutting the engine off. I didn't tell my wife it was related to a recent repair job during which I had forgotten to double check to see if I had secured that joint. I was her mechanic hero for years to come.
 

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The Fuel Injector & the Golf Tee

My old '74 Volvo 164E had the B30 engine; a fuel-injected in-line 6-cylinder power plant, and one of the best engines I've ever owned. But one dark and stormy night driving to Fresno (3 hour trip) with my wife and 3 small children, the car began blowing a white plume out the tail pipe. It turned out to be a cloud of unburned fuel due to an injector that was plugged open by a bit of grit from the brand new fuel tank (another story).

I pulled off the freeway, pulled the entire injector rail with injectors attached (no tools needed for this procedure on the B30 engine (did I tell you it was a great engine or what?)). Had my wife key the ignition so I could determine which injector was plugged. Disconnected it, and plugged the fuel connector with a golf tee I keep in the tool box, along with extra clamps.

I (to my everlasting shame) paid a homeless guy $10 to crawl under the car in the mud and drain the oil. (This is the worst environmental sin I've ever committed - and I will probably rot in hell). Bonus - Mr. Homeless even drained the oil filter for me. I bought fresh oil from a nearby convenience store. Got back on the road and ran just fine on five cylinders the remaining two hours to Fresno. Bought a used injector for another $10 at the junk yard the next day.

Having finally confessed after all these years, I plan on sleeping soundly for the first time in the 17 years since I committed this grievous offense. (Forgive me Old Hippie - whoever you are)
 

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Maybe this isn't the perfect thread for this story because it only involves using a pencil to fix a stuck choke, rather more of a story about growing up.

When I was in High School I had a Jeep Grand Wagoneer (the big one with the faux wood panel on the sides) that had seen better days. Most of the interior and body bits were McGyver-esque, but all the mechanical bits were sound (perfect for a teenager). One late night on my way home, the choke sticks shut. So, I did what any mechanically inclined person would do and wedged it open with a pencil. As I shut the hood, I see Mr. Police man with his big flashlight walking along side the Jeep. He asks me what I'm doing, and I explain the problem and what I've done to fix it. He declares that this is unsafe, insists that we push the jeep into a nearby parking lot and give me a ride home... I was pretty pissed off that he made me leave my car behind because it was "unsafe"... I am now old enough to realize that *I* was the one that was unsafe, he just didn't want me driving anymore that night.

Although some true ingenuity came that summer when I was working as a parking lot attendant at the beach. The back seat of the jeep was totally removable, so each day after going through my morning rituals, I pulled the seat out and set it down in my designated spot. Boom, instant sofa. With my cooler, sunscreen and summer reading, it's hard to believe that I actually got paid for that.
 

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Well I posted this story once bofore, but I will now put it in the right thread.
My recently purchased 1975 1900 Sportwagon had made it's way from Virginia to Alabama via the PO. During his trip an A/C hose had blown off and lost the freon. (this helps me later) So mid summer I am driving from Middle Alabama to Austin, TX with out the A/C. OK, no problem. I am sweating my way through Louisania when I smell coolant. A quick glance at the temp gauge and I see it moving up. So I shut her down on the side of I20 and coast to a stop.
Pop the hood and steam is bellowing out and everything is wet.
I find the culprit, the heater hose down near the exhaust manifold has blown out. Love the irony of my heater hose stranding me when it is about 95 degrees with 97% humidity. I brought a big bag of tools for the trip so I was not worried. A state trooper pulls over to check out the situation. He says, "I didn't even know they imported Opels over here. He looked to be about 25 years old. He watched me work for a while then he had to go.
While things are cooling down I figure out wtf I'm going to do. I got the clamp off the bottom hose, but the clamp falls apart on me. I luckily have a LONG screwdriver to get the hoses off where they go through the firewall. I try to bend the hose that is going in the water pump around to go straight over to the side of the block and that hose breaks in two right at the bend. S%$&!!!
I manage to come up with two pieces long enough to use the heater control switch as a splice. But I am one clamp short since that one fell apart.
Well just so happens there was a hose clamp on the hose that the A/C was not using anymore. (told you) Took that clamp and finished the job. Now for water. There was a granite business not too far from where I was standing. The were closed but I just knew they would have a hose bib on the side of the building. Voila! They did. I had a big bottle of water that I was drinking so a couple trips to bib and I was back on the road. I got to the next exit and stopped at some place where a guy filled me up with water and gave me a couple milk jugs full for the road. I was all greasy, burned the hell out of the back of my hand on the exhaust manifold (which never did cool down), but I was back on the road. That took me the remaining 400 or so miles home.
 

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My '73

When I was 16, my '73 orange GT had many problems. It had been totalled, the front end was mostly bondo, the wiring had been all redone (and impossible to figure out). These were the simple problems with it. There was a pinhole in the brake line that my dad and I never could find. It would be fine unless you had to panic brake; you would loose all the fluid. There was also another strange quirk. You could not take a hard left at speed, or the engine would dump 3/4 of the oil (from where, I don't know). Anyway, I was speeding down a country road, going very fast (as a 16 year old boy in a GT will tend to do), when I suddenly decided to turn on a road to the left. I slammed on my brakes (mistake #1), and turned hard left onto the road (mistake #2). Now I was on the road that I wanted to be on, but with no oil in the engine, and no brakes.
As I rolled to a stop, I reached in the back into my case of oil (I was a Boy Scout, Be Prepared) and grabbed 3 quarts and a bottle of brake fluid. My parking brake didn't work, and I had no electric fan. GTers will see my problem. I didn't want to turn the car off - I didn't want to have to wait for the engine to cool down before I continued my fun.
So, I opened the door, put one foot on the ground, (the other was holding the brake) popped the hood, and proceeded to pour in my 3 quarts of oil and top off my brake fluid in my running GT. All I can say is thank goodness the GT was so small (and the hood opens forward) or I never would have been able to do that!
 

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Here is a quick one. While still in college, I was home in Pennsylvania ready for a return trip to North Carolina when the head pipe to the first muffler breaks on my Manta Luxus. Being Sunday, nothing was open. I then requested pasta for dinner so I can get one of those small tomato paste cans. I open both ends of the can and proptly splice this between the head pipe and muffler, 2 clamps later, I'm heading down I-95 to Durham, NC.

Another one on the return Trip from NC. While driving in the rain, my GT stalls in the toll booth in Maryland. Myself and someone else push the car to the shoulder. Open the dist. cap, wipe it dry and I'm on my way.
 

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Repost from elsewhere, like George's

Let me regale you, with my small tale of woe
On a whim in my GT, to Fort Worth I would go
When evening temperatures, had somewhat relented
As if summer had finally, to my trip consented.

A two hour trip, just there and return
Give my GT its legs, and see what I could learn
At speed in high temps, now that was the test
My clutch fan would work, without any rest.

No problems at all, on the way out
Cruising like this, is what it's about
My turnaround point, I finally reach
Just off Loop 820, on a street named North Beach.

As I begin to exit, and down the ramp go
And begin for my turn, to now start to slow
The belt starts to squeal, the amp light too glows
What is up with that, man? This really blows!

The corner Mobil station, is still brightly lit
The belt squeals some more, as I turn into it
Now stopping my car, the engine also is stopped
With flashlight in hand, the hood is then popped.

In pointing the beam, I feel suddenly worse
I see some green liquid, and silently curse
What is there to do, now that I know the cause
This pump's hard to find, which gives me some pause.

A bit of good fortune, now slow comes my way
A friend lives close by, that is to say
A quick call to ask, if I can leave there my car
Things seem somewhat better, at least so thus far.

I call on my son, to come drive me back
He comes out to get me, without too much flak
I get home quite late, but get on the net
To see what kind of parts, I may be able to get.

All parts I find are, at least four days away
Which is too long for me, I do have to say
To wait until morning's, now my only recourse
To see if I can find it, at some local source.

Next day I called NAPA, and what with some luck
Was told it will be here, this afternoon on a truck
I asked them again then, just want to be sure
That the part number listed, is different from a '74.

I order the part, for that afternoon late
To get it in my hands, for this I can't wait
Then as I swing by, somewhat later that day
I find out it's WRONG, just what can I say!

My only resort now, is not with the chains
But it's now the only, the one that remains
Available from warehouse, the very next day
I go ahead and order, cross fingers and pray.

Next morning they call me, and tell me the news
The warehouse is in Fort Worth, and I must now choose
To wait until Monday, 'cause today's definitely out
This is so frustrating, I just want to shout!

Can I pick it up there? I hesitantly ask
They'll call them and see, if they're up to the task
Then five minutes later, all arrangements are done
I drive to Fort Worth, not really my kind of fun.

The day started off, and appeared very hot
As I'm driving across, it is cloudy and not
On my windshield while driving, a small drizzle appears
The heat of the day's now, the least of my fears.

I pick up the part, it IS the right one
The clouds have remained, the rain, though, is gone
An opportunity's presented, at which I must jump
The weather's just nice enough, to replace that damn pump.

The GT's not too far, away from me here
This pump I'll replace, and then get a beer
I replaced the pump, in a very short time
One hour, forty five, I'm still in my prime!

With my girlfriend's help later, car's returned the next day
All's back to normal now, that's all I can say
So, my fellow Opelers, my tale is now done
But on-road replacement, is STILL not much fun!
 

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Roadside repairs...

I had a few mishaps with my opels over the years...my favorite two are as follows:

Cruising a deserted back highway one day with the then-girlfriend, all of a sudden my mechanical oil pressure gauge goes to zero, and white smoke starts billowing out from under the hood. I shut down and roll to the shoulder, where I discover that the copper sending line has broken right at the sending unit fitting, and hot oil has been spraying all over the exhaust pipe. I back off the nut, but I can't reattach the line properly; the compression ferrule is not removeable from the broken stub of the line. In desperation, I start looking around, and I find an empty blister-pack of some gizmo in the ditch, with the plastic still on it. I cut a piece of the plastic, and fold it into a gasket big enough to fit inside the compression nut, but will clamp against the fitting end enough to seal it off when I tighten the compression nut back on. 20 minutes, and I was good to go, sans an oil pressure reading (I still had the idiot light, though; I had it on a tee-fitting).

Another time, I was flying down another country road, when my throttle cable broke. I was near a tiny town in rural Iowa, so I idled down the shoulder until I could creep into the parking lot of a small hardware store. I went in and bought a spool of braided nylon string, a length of 1/4" plastic pressure tubing, and duct tape. I snaked the tube through one of the grommeted holes in the firewall. I secured one end of the plastic tube by the throttle cable bracket with string and tape, and taped the other end along the underside of the steering column. Then, I threaded some string through the tube, tied one end to the half-round cam that the end of the cable rides in the track, and made a big loop on the other end inside the car. Then, I drove for several days using my hand throttle until I could secure a replacement throttle cable.

That's probably why I bet I have six or seven spare throttle cables now :D

I just remembered, I also had the seat back break on one of my Mantas right at the reclining adjuster, and I had to try and brace the seat back in a more or less upright position with the spare tire and some junk I had in the trunk until I could get home...those few moments of trying to maintain steering control while hanging on to the wheel for dear life were alarming :eek:
 

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Opel surf van

When I was 15 (1973 or so) one of my friends and his sister had a Kadette with the 1.1 L engine in it. It was Buick Gold and neither of them cared for the car and routinely ran it into things in a misguided attempt to get mom and dad to buy a 'better' car. He and I decided to take the thing surfing in Newport Beach - a good 60 mile drive. By the time we left three other surfers in the neighborhood had shouldered in on the action and there were 7 large surfboards strapped to the roof, a trunk full of junk, and five of us in the car. We hopped on the newly built 'freeway' and headed out. Floored the pedal for the entire ride - just barely making 45 mph on inclines. Just as we got to the point that we could smell the ocean the poor opel began to hiccup and miss. Nobody knew anything about cars except me, and all I knew would fit in a thimble. I got out and looked under the hood to find the carb was no longer on the manifold but was more or less dangling by the gas line and throttle cable - all the studs were gone, i guess rattled out from the hellacious driving. In the dirt at the side of the road I found a piece of a coat hanger and used it to reconnect the carb to the manifold at two corners- tight as I could but not very tight (no tools). We went on to surf and got all the way home without any noticible difference. I think the carb was loose the whole time!

That was my first auto repair. I still keep a piece of hanger wire in my car :) .
 

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Two short tales, neither of them mine, but I think you'll get a kick out of them.

First story: My two uncles went down to the Gulf Coast back in the 70's in a carbed VW Squareback (engine in back under cargo floor of aircooled station wagon). While they were on there way back, the fuel pump quit about 3 hours from home. So, while one uncle drove, the other sat in the back with the engine cover off, using a cup to pour gas into a funnel connected to fuel line to the carbs. They drove with the rear hatch up......and didn't smoke.

Secvond story: A friend of mine was driving home from his rural property late one night. In the middle of nowehere his fan belt broke at 2am. He saw one lonely light way up on a hill, since this was before cell phones, he trudged up the hill to knock on a door at 2am in the middle of the country to ask if he could use their phone. The resident wasn't too happy at being woke up, as evidenced by the shotgun. When my friend explained his plight, the guy smiled and led him to a garage out back. When the guy opened the door, my friend was greeted by the sight of the entire contents of the guys' now closed autoparts shop. Ten minutes of searching and he had the correct belt in his hand. Another twenty and my friend was back on the road.
 

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I guess a 'Holden' Commodore is almost an Opel. Mine needed a new radiator which I picked up on the morning of a holiday trip - and did not have time to replace the old one. So took the new rad. along in the trunk. Got through most of the holiday motoring before, on the run home, the old radiator burst.
Sent my Best Lady down the road with the water can to get water from the nearest river while I installed the new radiator. When she arrived back 15 minutes later I was sitting in the shade beside the car. "Can't you fix it?" She asked. "Waiting for the water" I said, "Already fixed" She was amazed at my mechanical ability and we cruised home - no worries!
 

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1975 Kawasaki Z1900
Pulled away from a stop sign and snapped a throttle cable, bike has two, one to accelerate, one to decelerate. I swapped them around and relied on the carb's spring to decelerate, that and my hand to reach down and manually close the throttle linkage. Got me home.:yup:
 
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