Your favorite Macgyver moments\tricks

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by HaChayalBoded, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Moke

    Moke Just Some Asshole

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    81
    Location:
    42° 54′ 39″ N, 74° 34′ 29″
    ↑Brake spring tool

    My girlfriend tweaks when I work on things because I usually end up replacing a tool I modified to do a job you can't get a tool for.
  2. s10rat

    s10rat Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,019
    Location:
    around the world soon
    Nice one:clap
  3. funkamongus

    funkamongus dumas noob

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Tahoe...Heaven's Motorcycle Heaven
    MY favorite macgyver was supergluing knobbies off an old rear tire on my clutch cover for a bumper so my kick starter wouldnt hit my clutch cover.. another was,, on my street bikes, they wanted crazy money for grommets, so I used fuel line.. tighter, cheap, better all around.. and of course my homemade manometer..
  4. The PacRat

    The PacRat I'm that other guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,746
    Location:
    the Poison Oak Patch
    MacGyver Cruise Control - cost $0.00

    [​IMG]
  5. rambis

    rambis Ramblin' on

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,019
    Location:
    North of Hotlanta, South of Heaven
    I lowsided in the North Georgia mountains, about 150 miles from home. Other than scratches, I only broke my shift lever. I carry a small tool kit with miscellaneous parts, but I didn't have a bolt/nut small enough to fit the one that broke, so I found some vine that I threaded though the hole, then tied it off.

    I rode like that for 20 miles until I found a hardware store that had a bolt.

    Oh yeah, I also broke my collarbone in 3 places and cracked 2 ribs. I still rode the whole way home so I could go to the hospital that was 5 minutes from my house.

    There are many other MacGyverish moments, especially off-road, but that was the most difficult considering the personal injuries.
  6. Old Nubbins

    Old Nubbins Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    Darrington, WA
    Just started a weekend of fishing in a little 12' boat and I buried the prop in shallow water, breaking the shear pin. Of couse, with no spare, I had to pilfer the kid's hot dog skewer. Jammed it in, bent it off, and away I went!
  7. HighScore

    HighScore No More, all done.

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    928
    Location:
    in a coma
    This has to be the Best one (at least for me it is)
    Just try that one next time you need to take off the kickstand or centerstand on a GS:clap
  8. Jonex

    Jonex zipper suited sun god

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,357
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    I was driving my friend's Chevy Astro across South Dakota and the cruise wouldn't hold at 100 mph (hey, that's what the speedo said) - not enough vacuum or something.
    My foot was hurting from holding the gas pedal to the floor so I broke the eraser off a pencil and taped it to hold the "accel" button in on the cruise control stalk.
    Using my left foot sometimes helped too.
  9. Jonex

    Jonex zipper suited sun god

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,357
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    I read a story about some folks who were flying in a helicopter and the collective pitch lever went slack in the pilot's hand. Turns out the clevis pin up at the rotor head had fallen out. Oops.
    The pilot throttled up and climbed. What else could he do?

    So, one of the two passengers had a bolt in her purse (sounds like my wife) and the other passenger had some big ol' kiwis on him so he climbed outside and mucked around for awhile trying to get the linkage lined up with the clevis or rod end or whatever, and after pulling on it and putting the chopper into a low G descent and almost falling off, he got the bolt in there, the pilot landed just before fuel ran out and they lived happily ever after.

    Might be handy to keep a bolt with you. You never know...:D
  10. 6gun

    6gun Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Calhoun,GA
    As an industrial Electrician my world revolves around zip-ties. When you buy them ALWAYS buy the good ones and your melting problems will reduce greatly! A tension gun is a wonderful tool to have! I keep a good supply with me while travelling and for now they function as my quick release luggage mounts!
  11. Schmeds

    Schmeds scarce

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,630
    Location:
    the Deep East
    The first weekend into a trip through New England, the pilot screw on one of my carbs vibrated its way loose and out. For a day or so, I had to reach down and cover the hole with a finger when I came to a stop, and try to regulate the idle circuit in the carb that way.

    I ordered the screws from an internet cafe, but in the meantime...

    [​IMG]

    ...I fashioned this out of the tip of a mechanical pencil. The flow was adjustable by pushing in more or less of the stripped wire jammed through the middle, which was swiped from a leftover Christmas wreath at the conference center. (The cutie at the desk said she didn't mind.) She also gave me a few paperclips to hold it in:

    [​IMG]


    It worked like a champ, for the next couple thousand miles. The screws had arrived, but I just had to know how long the fix would last...

    Even better were the events of the very first day, as we were making our way through the Adirondacks. The ferrule on the lever end of my buddie's clutch cable popped off. Try as I might to finagle something, I rode ahead, defeated, and stopped at a farmhouse to use their yellow pages. The farmer crosses his yard, where I see he was working on his barbed wire fence. We chat. He reaches into his pocket, shows me a handful of fat fence-joining crimp connectors, and holds up the giant crimpers. Serendipity at its most beautiful. Somewhere, that clutch cable is still sporting that fence connector, and working better than new...
  12. Dave in Wi

    Dave in Wi Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,061
    Location:
    Madison WI (40 Square Miles Surrounded By Reality)
    Here is another carb-related fix. I haven't been through all the pages of this thread yet so if it's been posted already, I apologize. I did think this one up on my own, out of necessity.


    Last weekend I was up at the cabin & tried to start my ATV (I know, but this tip is good for motorcycles as well!). It started but ran very rich, would only run with a lot of throttle and soon fouled the plug. Once it quit, I smelled gas. It was coming out the overflow. So I know the float needle was gummed up, dirty or stuck.

    I tore into it and once I got to the carb found that the ridges on the float needle (like this one below) were scratched up and sticking. Maybe from vibration, don't know why.
    [​IMG]

    So on a holiday weekend in rural central Wisconsin, there was no way to get a rebuild kit on short notice. What I did was carefully rub out the small scratches and burrs with a whetstone, made sure nothing was wrong with the float needle jet, and put it back together. It worked like a charm, ran great all weekend.

    I will be getting a rebuild kit and repairing it properly, but this was a good temporary fix. Might come in handy for someone else someday.
  13. Dano 407

    Dano 407 One Man Wolfpack

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,455
    Location:
    The orange groves, CA
    I had one today, and it will not be built for a few days:

    A lockable tape rack on my paint cart. It seems everybody believes that tape just grows in my shop. When somebody needs tape, it is take, take, take tape. Screw that noise. Enter the lockable tape rack.

    It is four pieces, counting the lock. Two 3" square tabs with outer corners rounded and a hole in each to accept the 1/2" rod; one end bent at a 90 and the other will accept the standard lock. Simply weld the tabs to the vertical legs of the cart and insert the rod with the tape rolls upon it. Apply the lock and watch the fumbling begin.


    Not necessary in your personal space, but needed if you are in a common shop.
  14. cynicwanderer

    cynicwanderer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    555
    Location:
    sacramento
    I love all the stories. this first one is not a motorcycle story. got a passat with a "low oil pressure" light on that I needed to drive back home across the US. so, I added a cheap mechanical oil pressure gauge and routed the nylon tube through the back of the hood, through the door frame and placed the gauge on the dash. oil pressure wasn't really all that low, a little low, just lower than what the factory oil pressure switch was calibrated for. I figured the farther I got west, the cheaper it will be to tow/haul it the rest of the way.

    this worked fine for a while, until the hose from the oil pressure gauge popped out while in the toll booth line, during rush hour in chicago, spewing oil over the dash... I folded over the oil line and held it with my hand to prevent more oil from squirting everywhere, while paying toll and then pulling off to fix it. drove it for another 500 miles until the oil pressure finally went away and I got off the interstate in the middle of nowhere in iowa. I found out the nearest bus stop (trailways had one bus a day and about 40 miles away), got a ride to the bus stop place (also in the middle of nowhere), took the bus to the next big town with an airport, got to the airport, rented a SUV with trailer hitch (one way) and a dolley at a U-haul and went back to get the car.

    since, I didn't want to run the engine with no oil pressure I had to use a come-a-long, which I wisely brought along, to get the car on the dolly. except the cable wasn't long enough to anchor on the SUV trail hitch and pull the car up. so, I anchored one side of the winch to the ramp, winched it up a foot or so, put the car in park, re-anchor the winch, release park, winch it a little more, put it in park, re-anchor the winch.... anyway, finally got the car on the dolly and home. it only needed to have the oil intake screen cleaned... put another 38,000 miles and 3 cross country round trips on it since then.

    same car; the other day one of the rear brake calipers just came off (not quite in the middle of nowhere, but away from things); the two bolts holding the caliper to the axle were gone. probably, because I forgot to tighten them when I installed the new caliper the week before. I took one of the bolts from the other side and secured the caliper... so both sides only had one bolt holding it on. no worries, it's just the "rear" brake, it doesn't really do much and got me home 50miles.

    my bike mcgyver moments usually involve bailing wire found in the field and/or tie wraps holding various things on the bike, when bolts were broken/shared off, etc... I have done the, push the bike, jump on it and smash it into gear(s), when the clutch cable broke, routine.

    to deal with stuck open float valves, just ride it until the carb starts overflowing, turn off the gas cock, drive until the engine starts to sputter/backfire, turn on the gas petcock, etc...

    then there is the time I almost got stuck at the bottom of a big hill with no way out with my buddy. i.e. we were exploring fire trails and went down this big hill, had lunch and then tried to get back up the big hill with mostly worn out dual sport tires. it took several attempts and we were convinced that we might have to dissasemble the bikes and hike out the pieces and then reasssemble them. luckily, we finally were able to push/power the bikes out. another idea, my buddy suggested, would be to wrap industrial sized tie wraps around the rear tire/rim, much like a snow chain, in order to get more traction. we'll have to bring some the next time.

    you can sometimes fix a punctured radiator, by pinching the effected tubes tubes together with some needle nose pliers. of course, the puncture/leak needs to be in the tube/fin area and not the box area. I have limped home that way.

    bump starting a bike (car) with fuel injection and really dead battery is tricky. it turns out that the computer needs some juice to figure out how much fuel to meter and tell the coil when to spark. when the battery is dead, push starting it doesn't generate a high enough voltage for the computer to boot up, because the dead battery will load down the electrical system.

    unless you can jumpstart with another bike/car, you'll need a really long hill and use a tall gear so that the motor/alternator gets enough RPM and generate enough juice that computer will boot and then run. it's a bit easier, if the battery is disconnected so it doesn't drag the electrical system down. you can connect the battery once you get it running to charge it.

    if the computer on a fuel injection bike is dead you can re-wire the injector through some kind of switch (like the kill button) so it can be operated manually. you then pulse the injector in order to inject fuel manually... it takes a little to get the feel for it, i.e. how fast you need to pulse it in order to get enough fuel, but not flood it, but it will get you home. the brother of someone I used to work with has done this.

    use condems to carry/get water from stream/puddles for radiators. most any fluids will work in a radiator, besides beer/urine, as has been suggested, you can also use oil, or soft drinks...

    of course, always carry tie-wraps, bailing wire, duct/electrical tape, non lubricated condems. having rope/strap, and a multitool (I like gerber), helps too, besides tubes/air pump, basic tools, fuel line.

    but most of all, stay calm, step back assess your situation, etc...
  15. K80JIM

    K80JIM Super Tanker

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Huntington Beach Ca.
    So there are some great ideas here. But here is one NOT to do. Now Please remember we were only 16 and city boys. So there are four of us and my buddy takes his moms new 69 Chev Nova to Big Bear for a overnight snow trip. We get up in the morning and windshield is frozen, we try to scrap it with a knife we found in our rented motel room. One of the guys said I have got the fix. He goes in the kitchen turns on the hot water and fills a pan. He comes out and throws it on the windshield to melt the ice. I am guessing you know what happens. CCCCRRRRACCCCKKK...... Oh shit.

    So parents warn your kids if they take your car to the snow. You city people that is.
  16. Jonex

    Jonex zipper suited sun god

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,357
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    If you're doing an engine swap at the salvage yard so you can be sure to get the parts you need, and it's closing time and all you have to do yet is hook up the throttle cable...

    just throw the hood in the back seat (convertible) and have your buddy drive while you sit on the fender and work the throttle.

    When the cop stops you, promise to walk home and wait until he's good and gone before seeing how fast she goes with the new V-8 in there. Be sure to hang on tight to the windshield and make your buddy promise not to swerve.
  17. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    When you loosen the timing chain on a BMW 4 valve K bike to do valves you supposedly need a $70 BMW special tool to keep the cam chain tensioner depressed.

    I shove a bit driver in the hole and apply some leverage with a string tied to the fork trees.

    I practiced first on a parts engine I had to make sure it would work before tring it on one of my real bikes:

    [​IMG]
  18. Jamming

    Jamming Desert RAT

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,923
    Location:
    Buckeye AZ.
    DOH!!! I'm such a dumbass! :rofl I did the same thing but I have a 2X2 the perfect length to wedge under the steel round stock.
    Why didn't I think of the string? Spent half a day getting the 2X2 the right length. :lol3
    Great tip!!!!
  19. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    15,967
    Location:
    Chicago-ish
    UI can easily see the movie of this in my mind's eye -- perhaps it's a midwestern thing? ;-}
  20. BluePill

    BluePill AARP Slacker

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,015
    Location:
    "God's waiting room" (Florida)
    Riding in difficult, rocky terrain, my buddy's 1970 Suzuki 250 conks out. Fuel is ok, but no spark from coil. Old-style magneto ignition with points and condensor behind crankshaft mounted flywheel. Looking through small slot in flywheel, I can see that the spring metal band that acts as a return spring to close the points is broken, the points just flapping around. With no spare points or flywheel puller, and at least 5 miles from a road, we weigh our options. Too rocky to tow out with a bike or 4X4. Finally figure that we will have to find a hiding place for the bike, come back the next day with parts & tools - three hours round trip from home. Just before dragging the bike off the trail, I decide to look in the tool kit under my seat for any possible tool or part to Macgyver a fix. I notice my seat cusion foam, and the lightbulb goes on. Take a small piece of the foam and jam it between the arm of the points and the condensor - voila, enough "spring" tension to make the points close ok up to about 2200 RPM - just enough to get back to the road under power.
    I just love it when a plan comes together.:clap