Question of the Week: What is your greatest hack?


I once had an old Morris Minor (great gas mileage!) which worked great until the kingpin dropped out of the front steering when I turned a corner. The wheel caved inwards! I had been warned this would happen if I didn’t change them soon… but when you’re 18 it can wait a little longer, right? Wrong. Anyway, I jacked up the front of the car and pushed the wheel back into position and fed the old kingpin back into its worn out slot, then took a coat hanger and wired it into place. It worked, but needless to say I was wary of turning too sharply on the way to the repair shop!


Haha, I hear you with transmission fixes. My buddy and I were once changing my transmission in an old '64 Ford Custom - he balanced the transmission on his back while I loosened the bell housing bolts, then manhandled the beast down to the ground…


I had a '72 VW Beetle with the automatic-stick shift. It never worked right… so as a poor college student, I went to a local junkyard, collected (removed it myself) a 4-speed tranny, pedal assembly, and advice… all for $25 (it was mid 1980s!)… and changed it out. Everything was there (including the clutch cable tube, etc). Remarkable engineering! Worked like a charm.


My cousin and I were up in the mountains hunting West of Denver in my 67 Kaiser Jeepster Commando. When low and behold the one bolt holding the alternator tight to the belt broke, the light came on, and wala no charging. So I grabbed a come-a-long ratcheting strap wrapped it around the fender and the alternator and we were back in business. For a while . … Then the clutch got feeling real squishy, checking it we found the wire was about 2/3 frayed and ready to break. So I looked around did some Macgyvering, checked what I had available, then I took 3 zip ties extended them through each other to make them long enough then threaded them over the frayed wire and pulled it as tight as I could, – this I did 3 times. Well my cousin had had enough and was ready to head back, I said no fear, I can fix just about anything on this Jeepster. So we continued Hunting. . .


When I was much younger, I remember, being out on a date with a very attractive girl. The fan belt on my car broke. I did not have a spare belt in the trunk. It was late at night and the auto parts stores were all closed. What was I to do? I asked the foxy young lady to remove her panty hose (mamma mia) and used them as a fan belt. I tied them around the pulleys and it worked great!


I remember back in high school , I had a 68 Corvair, we took it out to the UP of Michigan , doing about 80 most of the way, When we got out there my friend’s Aunt and Uncle wanted to go to Copper Harbor. We took the back-roads (really a trail ) I hit a bump and put a small hole in the gas tank. My friend got out and put a wade of bubble gum on it, It worked , drove to Copper Harbor and back. Then drove all the way back to Chicago . I think I sold the car with that patch ! Ralf Nader can kiss kiss my a&s !


I recently went for a drive in the '47 Chevy pickup. I went over a speed bump at a mall a little too fast (the shocks are very bad) and the truck emitted a whistling sound and stalled. Got to a parking spot and started to check the engine out. Narrowed the whistling sound to the wiper vacuum fitting on the intake manifold. I had a bolt in a piece of rubber tubing placed on the fitting it to plug it (electric wipers) and the bolt had fallen out. (Looked for it but couldn’t find it.) Looked in the glove box. There were some bolts in there but not the right size. But the tire gauge worked until I could get home


My wife and I bought a Corvair in Georgia and drove it back to Az. Just outside of Truth or Consequences NM,. the spline shaft on the gas pedal stripped. I had bought a small pair of vise grips in Atlanta with some other tools, and used it as a gas pedal until we stopped in Albuquerque for the night. The next day I bought two big Stanley 9 inch vise grips and they got us back to Phoenix