BUsh mechanic Tall tales

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 08:25
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I have heard many funny stories over the years , but for me the one that stands out the most was told to our class ( when i was doing my apprenticeship as a fitter machinist ) about and outback adventure my teacher took one year in his troopie and went a little like this .....

He was traveling in outback Australia in his diesel troopie , just then his motor died - tried to restart it nothing ... checked fuel , injectors ... all ok - then wips out his compression tester - No compression on one of the pots --- So he begins to pull apart his motor - after a while he pulls the head off - he discovers that one of the pistons has a huge hole in the crown so he begins to pull this piston out of his motor(forgot to mention he was alone ) , now off coarse he does not have a spare piston with him so he goes to the back of the troopie and gets out the chainsaw - finds an Iron bark tree and cuts it down , then fashions a Piston ( not a plug for the hole - a complete piston ) he then sets a fire , and burns the top of this home made piston to harden it .... then installs it back into the motor - fires up first kick and informs the class he then continued on for another 3000 Km with this iron bark piston in his car....... And was very forthright that the car had never ran so good before ... ( At this stage the class was a mix of Tears from laughter and total disbelief )

once he got home he continued to drive around sydney with his iron bark piston - and eventually sold the car with this Iron bark piston........

Now there was not one person in the class - except for the class idiot that believed a word he said. I still remember this 15 something years later and still have a chuckle .....

Ok do you have any stories of outback adventures/ bush mechanic tales as tall as this one ?
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 08:30

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 08:30
Maybe they're the same ironbark pistons used in Nissans-
or do they use balsa wood !! :-)





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Reply By: Mikee5 (Logan QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 08:38

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 08:38
For those that don't remember of missed them, the ABC did a fabulous set of shows called Bush Mechanic. It showed central australian aborigines and how they kept their usually old and beaten up cars going. If you can get a copy they are worth watching.

Mike.
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:03

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:03
here 'tis
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 10:02

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 10:02
you have get on and play the game, really well done as you try to put the car together, pack it full of the gear then get the guys along the Tanami to the gig, as they pick up mates along the way and deal with corrugations etc.

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Kerry W (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:05

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:05
I thought we came across those original Bush Mechanics a couple of years ago near Lockhart River (Cape York)

They were trying to get an old MQ Diesel patrol started, they had been there all night and nobody would stop for them, (except us) they sent a young bloke off to walk the 70 odd klm to their home for help, at Lockhart River.
They had flattened the battery trying to start the beast.

They heard that batteries work better the hotter they are!!

So they built a fire during the night and heated the battery up,....needless to say that didnt work.

In the pic below I am using 4 jumper leads from 2 of my batteries straight onto their starter motor and what was left of their badly singed and melted battery to get it running.

We had a good laugh and ended up giving some of them a lift as there was a big leak in the fuel line from the tank and would have taken a while to fix. (There were some other engineering marvels cleverly disguised as repair jobs, I was amazed they got as far as they did)

We eventually met some of their family coming out to look for them, so left them in good hands.

Image Could Not Be Found
Kerry W (Qld)
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:43

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:43
a good post/story Kerry. Thanks for that. The picture was a bonus.
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 21:58

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 21:58
bushfix Hi

Watch the show on tv but had a look at the site ,,

You can get a good laugh out of it.

Cheers

Richard
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Reply By: Rock Ape - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:00

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:00
After the war they used two Tanks set up as dozer's to upgrade the Moonie/St.George road.
One of the dozer's broke a piston in the 671 Detroit engine, the offending piston was removed and a timber piston made and fitted to keep the whole thing in balance, naturally they didn't inject any fuel into that pot and the machine finished the job.

Saw my dad pull a leather rollick of an oar and use it as the big end bearing in an engine to get us home
AnswerID: 307672

Reply By: Nick R (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:01

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:01
I heard one about a bloke who did a couple of thousand Km with a big end bearing fashioned from a leather belt
Nick
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Reply By: Nic I (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:59

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 09:59
'A bloke I know' broke both engine mounts while trying to unstick his old Falcon from a ditch on the side of the blacktop, so he used some heavy wire and a corner post from a nearby fence to fashion a wire cradle to hold up the donk.

He removed the bonnet and layed a fencepost across it, ran the wire in a double loop under the engine and over the post.

Apparently there was 'some movement' when power and load were applied, but it got him the necessary 25 miles to the nearest small town.

Imagine the sight as the 'Fencepost Falcon' rolled down the main street to the local garage !

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Follow Up By: Member - Jim (Syd) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:28

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:28
In 2003 my mate Dexter broke an engine mount in his unbreakable Hilux half way across the French line in the SD. The engine was suitably trussed up with fencing wire and the journey continued, including over Big Red and back to Sydney where a new mount was fitted. I might add that at Tibbooburra, his radiator needed an Araldite repair to the bottom tank as well. This was left in situ for several weeks before the radiator was finally repaired.
Jim
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Reply By: guy007 - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 10:47

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 10:47
I was once fishing about 8 miles out from Suva Harbour in FIJI.
The injector pump stopped working on the diesel engine. To get home we started the diesel by squirting LPG from the gas bottle directly into the air intake. It started immediately and we made our way home. It was a little tricky to regulate the gas without the engine running away but we made it!
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Reply By: spliney - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:05

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:05
Was flying at 20000 feet over France in my Sopwith Camel in 1917 when a blasted Hun put a stream of tracer through my left-hand lower wing and faithful rotary engine. As he over-shot, I dropped my lunch-box on him (stale bread, corned meat, no pickles) - which put him out of action.

Now... how to get home with broken wing and no engine...!

I tied up the joy-stick with my belt to keep her in a shallow dive and climbed out onto wing. Promptly lost trousers in wind.

Retrieved piece of English willow from smashed wing-strut, fashioned new big-end bearing with sharpened spoon and fitted to motor. Used silk boxers to repair wing fabric. (Rather chilly after that!)

Restarted motor using clothesline from survival pack and limped home, shooting down three more Huns on the way.

Biggles
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:53

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 12:53
But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya :-))
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:47

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:47
we were evicted from our lunchbox!


God bless you both.....
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Follow Up By: Waynepd (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 14:30

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 14:30
And this alone my friends is worth the cost of admission to this forum. I was having a crap day at work then i came across this and OMG did I get some looks from those around me as i guffawed.

Jolly Good Show Spliney .......LOL.

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 17:22

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 17:22
Top effort spliney, bet that showed those jolly braggarts at HQ eh wot?
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Follow Up By: Member - Poppy (QLD) - Friday, Jun 06, 2008 at 14:03

Friday, Jun 06, 2008 at 14:03
By joves, well done Spliney.popping off a couple more Huns on the way home.
It's troopers like you that prevented us from all speaking German today.
Lol, still can't stop laughing, that tops any Friday Funny

Cheers Ray
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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:49

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 13:49
Hi All

When I was a kid, we were miles from any where, and we had Two
flat tyres in a row, the old man used the spare, and then packed the other tyre with grass and a towel, he made sure the good tyres were
on the front, we covered another 30 miles before we got some help.

Cheers
Daza

AnswerID: 307715

Reply By: Splits - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 16:43

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 16:43
I heard that same story about a wooden piston many years ago. I think it started with a T Ford and it would not suprise me what they did with those things. It looks like it has now progressed up to a Troopie. The next time it is told it will probably be a WRX!

Brian
AnswerID: 307737

Follow Up By: Rock Ape - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 18:40

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 18:40
The piston in the 671 engine is a true story. Remember it was only used to balance the engine.

Many have never had to do it hard, they just go to the local person who replaces parts.

I have been on a trawler (not a mate told me) where they starter destroyed itself and we couldn't find the crank handle. 8 cyl lw gardner with a twin disc box. Threw it into gear (old twin disc manual box) and fired it up with the tidal flow in the Torres straits.

Have made a cutlass bearing out of lignum vita (hardest/densest timber known to man and half the weight of steel) that lasted for years in a 60 foot trawler.

Not having a go or getting to serious about this post but a good few times I came across Toots Holzimer on the track to Weipa (yes track not a road like today) and she would tell people where to go in short sentences and that's' with her old MAN pulled half apart.

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Follow Up By: Splits - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 01:02

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 01:02
I wonder what they did to hold the bearing cap on the 6/71? Some of those things only had light spring clips instead of bolts because they were two strokes and there was always downward pressure on the con rod.

Brian
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Follow Up By: Rock Ape - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:34

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:34
Brian, I don't knowwhat they used but was told the piston was fashioned on a lathe in Dalby.
Also believe the tank/dozers ran twin 671's driving through a common gearbox. I believe one of the engines was counter rotating. This makes sense as it is possible to do anything with the 2 strokes except keep them quiet.
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Reply By: Dirty Smitty - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 16:47

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 16:47
I saw McGiver fashion an arc welder out of a broken push bike once. Marvellous, work. I tried to replicate this fine piece of engineering, however I could not control my left hand as I am right handed.
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Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:25

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:25
LOL the only things missing here are the campfire and the booze :)))

AnswerID: 307830

Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 19:23

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 19:23
Little Billy was the gullible kid in that class. He went onto become a man of famous feats with his own invention to get better mileage from a tank of fuel!
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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