Bush Mechanics?, Tie it up with wire mate!

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 18:18
ThreadID: 110679 Views:3733 Replies:11 FollowUps:10
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Got to be some stories out there!,..I put a log into the centre of the radiator one time, sat there for what seemed like eternity with a pair of daggy old pliers pinching off the copper tubes trying to get the thing to hold a bit of water ..lol....did make it home with a full head of steam though.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: The Explorer - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 18:44

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 18:44

While we wait for some more recent anecdotes ...some good ones in the archives..

Bush mechanics - what have you done ? 2010.

Outback ingenuity & bush mechanics - Lessons needed! 2009.

Bush Mechanics 2007.

Bush Mechanics 2006.

Bush Mechanics 2002.


I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Terry 80FTE - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 22:33

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 22:33
Just over xmas in the high country, I needed to repair a cut air locker line on the daughter's 80 Series.
Slipped a piece of 6mm fuel hose over the 5mm air line, run some super glue in then tie-wired it for clamping force. Refitted the line, held beautifully:)
Reminds me though I better get a proper joinier. Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Andrew - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 18:52

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 18:52
Old classic range rover oil leak. (Rock caused hole in diff banjo housing) heated the front diff pinion enough to bend it. out with the stub axles and the front drive shaft (uni seals melted). Coke cans taped over the hub to block the stub axle holes. Centre diff lock in and drove 4 thousand km home.

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Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 18:58

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 18:58
Lol Andrew,...Just can't stop the Rangies!

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 19:02

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 19:02
Axle, My patrol came with a small roll up tool bag, it has a few cheap open ended spanners and a pair of cheap slip joint pliers and a double ended screwdriver. Is it true that Landrovers only come with fencing pliers and a roll of 8 gauge wire! ;)) Michael
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Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 19:08

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 19:08
Well its like this Mike!, The poms were smart enough to supply a tool kit to match the engineering of their vehicle...lol....at least you can get a few ks closer to home..;))).

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 20:52

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 20:52
No, they now come with a motoring organization membership and a national register of tow trucks.

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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 21:36

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 21:36
There was even a Toyota grease gun in the tool roll of the 45 series ute...
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Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 21:40

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 21:40
I was driving a White 4000 prime mover as a road train for a while years ago.
On the way home from dropping a load of cattle off, I discovered that I had a broken clutch rod, soo, no clutch....Not really a problem, tied it back together using fencing wire, only used the clutch to get rolling anyway, so all was good...

Fixed it properly when I got home...
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 23:04

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 23:04
While visiting a cousin on a farm years ago we decided to fire up the old truck that hadn't been started for some time. But the distributor rotor had been removed for security and could not be found.
I spent a hour or two carving a replacement rotor from a piece of mulga then fitted a strip of tinplate to it as a conductor. It worked fine and was still in use several years later.

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Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 23:46

Saturday, Jan 10, 2015 at 23:46
Mate I travel with the absolute best outback mechanic ever. I never cease to marvel at the way he can rebuild a diesel motor using nothing more than a paper clip, a rubber band and a box of matches. The bloke can crochet a new fuel pump out of steel wool. The bleep this bloke has fixed in the absolute back of beyond defies description. Good on you Jaydub.


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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 10:13

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 10:13
Ah Mick, not so many of them around anymore unfortunately.

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 01:59

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 01:59
I took on a job of driving an old - no ancient - Commer Knocker from Geelong to Norseman in Dec 1995 for a bloke from Norseman.
I'd bought a little Inter truck (a D1310) off the same dealer, so it was easy enough to load the Inter onto the back of the Commer.

My heart sank when I first saw the Commer. It hadn't moved in probably 18mths, and the spiders owned the interior of the cab.
The scrap yard dealer assured me it was a beauty, and it ran like a Swiss watch, and he'd drive it to Brisbane himself tomorrow.
It was registered and had passed its pink slip inspection no worries, he reckoned.
It was about then that I found the entire roof was held on with duct tape, painted over!

The scrappie said he'd have to find the battery for it. He actually went off and found a battery that would have normally been scrapped, I'm sure.
It did actually crank the old Knocker into life - but I think that was more because there was very little compression in the motor.

When the Knocker cranked up, we couldn't see half the yard for blue smoke. I dutifully loaded the little Inter on the back and set off. Looking behind me, I still wonder to this day why the fire brigade wasn't following me, the volume of smoke looked like Geelong was under threat from a bushfire!

About 30kms out of Geelong, I blew a front tyre. Sure enough, there was no spare, no jack and no wheelbrace. I rang up the dealer and he very promptly delivered a better (inflated) spare wheel - in the boot of his Mercedes, no less.
I reckon he would have delivered a boot load of cow manure if it meant he never saw the Commer again.
We changed the wheel (he'd been thoughtful enough to bring a jack and wheelbrace) - and I was off again.

I actually got to near Bordertown as dusk fell, and I went to switch on the lights. Yep, you guessed it, the Prince of Darkness ruled.
I had nothing by way of lighting - no parklights, and no headlights. I wasn't going looking for the problem/s with dusk rapidly falling.
I ran her into Bordertown and stopped her outside the pub as it was getting completely dark.
I went to move her off the main street 10 mins later, and she refused to start. Luckily the pub had a room, so I was set for the night.
The Commer stayed parked in the main street overnight.
Next morning, I went out, put about 2 litres of oil and about 4 litres of water in her, and she cranked right up, and off I went.

Somewhere West of Bordertown the roof started flapping in the 85kmh (top speed) breeze.
It got worse and worse, and it threatened to turn the Commer into the full sunroof model, as a frighteningly huge gap opened up, at the front and sides of the roof.
I had brought a small pair of pliers, so I stopped, pinched some fencing wire, punched holes in the roof and the cab at all 4 corners, and wired the roof back on.
Off we went again. Suddenly, near Murray Bridge, I started losing air pressure.
I pulled into a garage and the mechanic was eager and on the ball, he found a chafed airline and patched it up. We were on the road again.

I made it through the Adelaide Hills, taking a shortcut North to avoid Adelaide itself.
I got to a point probably 10 or 20kms East of Nundroo before night fell that second day.
I was smart enough this time to pull off the road before it got dark, so I didn't need those non-functioning lights.
I found a gravel pit about 250M off the highway and camped for the night. However, during the night, a cold front rolled through, and the overnight temperature dropped to about 3 degrees (even though it was mid-December!)
There was no way the Commer would start the following morning. I had very little by way of tools and equipment, just a few basic items that I could carry on the plane, besides my sleeping bag and pillow.

So, I rounded up some more fencing wire and twitched it together to make a rudimentary set of jumper leads.
Some judicious work was required to insulate them anywhere they touched metal.
I connected them to the Inter and started the Inter up and let her run for 25-30 minutes. After that length of time, there was just enough juice in the Commer battery to get her started. Another 2 litres of oil and 4 litres of water, and we were set.

I hit the road again and made it to about 400kms East of Norseman, when the air compressor failed.
The air pressure dropped and the maxi-brakes on the back axle locked on.
I'd just passed an MRD camp, so I walked back, borrowed a big shifting spanner off the blokes there, and backed off the maxi-brakes until the brakes released.
I returned the shifter, and high-tailed it for Norseman - with no brakes whatsoever.
Luckily, the traffic was light and I had no real need for brakes.

About 4:00PM, I reached the outskirts of Norseman. I slowed down and found another gravel pit with a handy pile of dirt that I could use for a ramp.
I backed up to the pile of dirt, stalled the Commer and chocked the wheels with rocks and proceeded to unload the Inter.
This proceeded without too much drama and I drove the Inter into Norseman to find the bloke who owned the Commer (he was the Shire mechanic and he'd knocked off for the day).
I found him without too much trouble, and told him I'd delivered his Commer, and it was ready to be picked up from the gravel pit - but it did have some air and brake problems!

He was very surprised that it had been driven to Norseman - he'd only bought it as a farm hack (because it had a Hiab crane on it) - and he thought the dealer was going to deliver it on the back of a semi!
I collected my $1300 from him for the delivery, and left him with it, and drove the last leg back to Perth in my little Inter.

He did tell me later, he'd spent 4 days steam-cleaning the truck engine, drivetrain and chassis, just so he could work on it and actually find components!
He found the air compressor failure was merely a broken disc valve in the compressor, and he was pretty chuffed with the Commer, because it was just what he wanted for the farm!

I have to say this was one of the more "interesting" trips I've done, and I reckon I earnt my delivery money! I did also save quite a few hundred bucks in fuel for the Inter.
Then, just 5 years later, someone stole the Inter, and I've never ever seen her again - but that's another story!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 08:52

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 08:52
Good story Ron. Wish my memory was as good..lol

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 10:27

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 10:27
Awesome Ron. I can see the whole event in my mind's eye.

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Reply By: Road Warrior - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 16:21

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 16:21
Had a Mitsubishi Sigma that was my paddock basher/bush bomb and the shifter came out (nylon nut that held the shifter in on the T5 gearboxes was stripped) so I used fencing wire looped around the extension housing of the g/box and the top of the shifter to solve that rather highly annoying problem

It was still there when I sold the car :D
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Reply By: Member -Hilton Hillbillies - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 16:31

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 16:31
Back in the late 80's, I owned a HG Holden Panel Van.
We were on a trip from Brisbane to Cairns, when somewhere north of Townsville the clutch cable broke.
Luckily for us, the road in this section ran parallel to the railway line.
I found a broken strand of wire and borrowed (that's the word I like to use) about 2' of QR's best high tensile wire.
That roadside repair lasted until I retired the old girl some years latter.
Mind you car's in those days had enough room under the bonnet to fit the motor, the Twelve Apostles (Great Ocean Road One's) and the Leyland Bros with plenty of room to spare.
These days you're flat out getting to the dipstick without using equipment normally used by a micro surgeon and forget changing anything other than the rego label, sorry I forgot no rego label any more at least in the sunshine state.

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Reply By: Steve - Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 17:10

Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 17:10
My missus found an amazingly easy fix when she couldn't for the life of her start the thing. A bit of take a step back, relax and a nice calm approach did the job. She simply moved the gear stick from D to P and off it went, no worries.
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Follow Up By: ctaplin - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 00:37

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 00:37
My mishap happened about 4 months ago when out in remote country, well off any main tracks when I heard a loud BANG while ploughing through some deep sand and also turning the steering wheel trying to avoid obstacles... Next thing I'm slogging through sand with the back tyres digging in deep, so I stopped and saw that there was no wheelspin holes made by the front wheels, so I had a 2 wheel drive Hilux. The front left CV shaft had snapped. Because I had been warned about this weakness, carried a complete front CV axle shaft and all the tools needed to do the job. But it was tough work out there in the bush rather than my garage, where I have all the extra tools to make the job easier. Just getting the front end jacked up high enough not to loose diff oil, took me about 3 hours using the standard Hilux jack. Bit by bit, each time gaining a bit more height and stacking rocks under the vehicle each time I got more height...

Enough said, this video hopefully shows it better...
Changing a current model Hilux CV shaft in the bush

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 09:11

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 09:11
Enjoyed that, Chris.

Best thing Toyota ever did was changing to flexible hoses on the brake calipers!!!

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: deserter - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 16:57

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 16:57
Many years back we were on a mates property where we borrowed the old station ute to go shooting. Got about 20k from the homestead (big property) and the clutch went. No clutch fluid. So I cut down a used shotgun shell, attached a bit of fencing wire, and used it as a dip to transfer brake fluid across to the clutch cylinder. Got enough pressure to get the motor going. But we weren't going to turn it off. So for the 20 oddd gates on the return trip we did circles either side while someone jumped out and opened and closed the gates. Had the wives in the back in stitches. Mede it back though.
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