Squirrel vs '95 Toyota: What Would you Do?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Nailhead, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Nailhead

    Nailhead Inclusion Rider

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    Last fall, my cousin bought my sister's Toyota pickup so he could get farther out in the backcountry than a Pontiac G5 will (should) go. It ran great.

    He brought it home, parked it in his suburban Longmont, Colorado driveway, and thought little more of it until he tried to drive it this spring.

    It was graveyard dead, by his description, and this is why: (pix to follow)
    #1
  2. Nailhead

    Nailhead Inclusion Rider

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    #2
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  3. Nailhead

    Nailhead Inclusion Rider

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    My cousin has no demonstrated mechanical abilities, so someone else is going to have to fix this.

    My thought was takeout wiring harness(es) replacing the damaged areas, but I’m looking for other ideas on what could be done.

    I did tell him to put moth balls under that hood to prevent further damage after he told me he saw a squirrel under there.
    #3
  4. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek adventurer Super Supporter

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    wow, never had an animal chew through stuff like that before. I've had a few that stored nuts and other food in airboxes and a mouse that used firewall insulation to build a nest...but this is some next level destruction. Does your cousin have a cat? might be time to get one...
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  5. Railbender

    Railbender Long timer Supporter

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    It may be covered by insurance. A friend had his truck's wiring chewed up, while it was sitting in a bodyshop lot waiting to get repaired after a deer strike. That was covered.
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  6. Emmett

    Emmett Been here awhile Supporter

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    His vehicle ins. and his home ins. I'd try both, and I'd start feeding all the cats in the neighborhood.....:-)
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  7. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

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    Squirrels or rats? I'd put money on rats.

    Some will say this doesn't work but here's what I do (prevention). I used to see snails in my truck engine compartment. I thought that was a very strange behavior for snails to go up there but then I realized they couldn't get up there and something was bringing them there. So on a monthly basis, I drop a few drops of pure peppermint oil and spray pepper spray in strategic locations around the engine compartment. Works great.
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  8. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    The wire insulation on cars is becoming "plant based" more and more. I would not have thought that car would be. But mice and squirrels etc will chew through much of anything. Sometimes using the stuff for their nests. Shouldn't be terribly hard to replace the wires that I could see in the picture. Maybe cannibalize a junk yard truck for the wires.
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  9. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    But, wait!!!

    What was bringing the snails up there???
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  10. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

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    Rats - we have them in our area - live along a wilderness area. Rats don't understand property lines and are quite unsympathetic to them. Essentially the engine compartment provides a warm, safe place to chow down on escargot.
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  11. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    First, you're cousin needs a kick in the nuts for neglecting a vehicle like that, and then expecting it to work when he needs it.

    That said. I'd take those pics to the scrap yard and chop into the parts that need replacing and I'd splice it. Can't be difficult for a 95 Toyota.

    I'd like to understand the logic of why the little fuckers chew that stuff.
    #11
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  12. 893cv

    893cv Adventurer

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    My brothers 5 series BMW wagon has been attacked by tree rats for years. One time it cost USAA $8300! He wont kill the little shitheads so he traps them and then relocates them. Last I heard he has trapped 43, 2 of those being albinos.
    #12
  13. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    There is something about the genetic makeup of the squirrel that requires a small amount of copper in their diet.

    During the cold war, the U.S. Army, in conjunction with the U.S.D.A. at a facility in Pueblo, Co. secretly genetically mutated a gene in squirrels to create a desire for them to get more copper in their daily diet. The idea was that the U.S. Army would release groups of these squirrels, via parachute, close to where the Soviets stored their tanks. The idea was squirrels would chew on copper wires (also breaking into electronics tubes to eat copper used in Soviet electronic devices) and then demobilize the vehicle.

    Unfortunately, the scientists were under a tight budget and had had to cut costs whenever possible. One of their cost cutting methods was to house the genetically mutated squirrels in, you guessed it: chrome plated copper wire cages.

    A number of these squirrels were able to escape and live on and procreate in the wild. Squirrels can have up to two litters per year so one can imagine the number of these mutated squirrels as they procreate for these many years.

    There is a program where the D.O.D. quietly reimburses Americans affected by these mutated squirrels. You will need to contact your Representative to have them submit the paperwork to the Pentagon. After submitting a description of the issue, photographs illustrating the problem and as well as the cost to repair to your Representative, they forward those documents to the Pentagon and they will respond in eight to 12 weeks informing if payment is approved. (I have no idea of how many approvals they give per year but from the little I know about this program, I would think the OP's cousin has a pretty good chance at getting reimbursed for repairs.) Good luck!
    #13
  14. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    Really sounds more like mouse or rat behavior more than squirrels to me. Get a mesh bag at the dollar store, small like what you put toiletries in when traveling. Fill it full of mothballs. Tie it to the hood someplace where it will not contact anything important when the hood is closed. Problem solved.
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  15. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Long timer

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    Worked at a dealer many decades ago. Cars would come in once a month like that or worse. That is insurance claim territory. There is so much wiring missing that is in need of replacing and not repairing. Hopefully a new harness can be found, if not a good used one. It will still take a little splicing.

    Don't forget to check fuel and brake hoses.
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  16. Racerrrx

    Racerrrx Long timer

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    You guys really think anyone carries full coverage insurance on a 24 year old Toyota???
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  17. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    That’s been parked in a driveway almost a year...
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  18. ABHooligan

    ABHooligan The Flying Mythos

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    My neighbor (now deceased) was reimbursed through this program, after signing a non-disclosure act.
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  19. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    Only a fool wood believe they didn’t test, release and activate mice and rats too. Come on dude.
    #19
  20. Arbolmano

    Arbolmano Not so Studly

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    Life with wild life. I’d second finding a harness at a junkyard. In the olden days certain Volvo’s had wiring where the insulation just “self distructed” with no rodent help. That’s sure was fun. We used to leave the hoods up on cars left parked fur spell, rats couldn’t nest as coyotes could reach up n get em.
    Good luck killing all the rats. Theys good at reproduction.
    Tonto
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