Doug Novak

The Odd Ball and Weird Issues you've had

51 posts in this topic

I just had one of those weird odd ball things happen while getting ready for a Car Rally with my Porsche. I was just prepping the usual things, cleaning, checking the oil and tire pressure. The tires, over the Winter storage, lost a couple pounds so I pumped them up to the correct pressure, 27# front / 29# rear. I didn't drive the car after doing this but the next day the right rear tire was flat! After sorting things out, the cause was the Cap covering the Valve Stem. The Cap is a Chrome one with the Porsche Emblem on the end and has as an extra thing to prevent air leaks, a tiny rubber O Ring that manage to some how fold it's self over where the O Ring now pushed in the Valve Stem causing a slow leak flatting the tire. Not a big fix, I took the O Ring out, but who would have thunk it? So much for Good German Engineering!

 

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My Mom had a 1968 Fury that kept having the battery drain somehow. I was never any good at electrical stuff, so it went a while having to jump the car battery with cables or charge the battery. One night, I came home late and while walking up the driveway, I saw a small circle of light under the car. Turns out that the trunk pan plug was out and the trunk light shined a small circle of light on the concrete. Somehow, the tang to turn the light off was bent. Re-bent it and the troubles were over. I NEVER would have figured it out if I had not seen that patch of light that night.

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You "saw the light" :lol:

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1964 Lincoln Convertible developed a rhythmic clunking noise when going around a left-hand turn. I thought it was likely the differential, as I couldn't find anything obvious. Even removed the wheels and brake drums to check the axle bearings for looseness, and saw nothing. Then, as I was reassembling everything, I just happened to touch a brake lining, and it moved sideways on the brake shoe. The rivets holding it in place were present, but loose, allowing the lining to move and rub against the inside of the brake drum, but only when the car turned left. When it turned right the lining apparently moved the other way. I tightened the rivets and the noise was gone, and never came back..   

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I had a 1967 Morris Minor while driving it just stopped running. It turned out to be the fuse for the ignition had somehow popped half way out.

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Last week as I was getting into my 2006 Dodge Caravan there was a loud bang and the driver's side front spring snapped. The car was not moving, had not even started it. Oddly enough the same thing happened 6 years earlier with a 2000 Ford Windstar in a mall parking lot. Both times as I was getting in, both the left front spring. Maybe I should go on a diet.

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Coming home very late at night from an evening at the drive-in with my girlfriend. Driving Dad's '64 Coupe de Ville. The car failed to proceed and I drifted off to the side of the road and called brother for a ride home. Came back the next morning and found that the bolts holding the fuel pump in place had loosened to where the pump no longer worked and was about to fall off the block.

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Was having weird taillamp stop lamp problems. checked all wires, replaced bulbs. It was a dual filament bulb and one of the contact tits had broken away from the bulb and was cuasing intermittent issues.

 

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Many a year ago I owned a beat up 1954 Oldsmobile that I was using to get me around while my regular ride was in the body shop.  To enter the vehicle I had to use the inside door handle!  To exit the car I had to use the outside door handle!  Never did figure that one out?

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The strangest fix I ever made was to a early 70s Volvo that had an early (I think one or two years only) fuel injection system that used a separate pair of points in the distributor, located under the ignition points. I had the distributor out for some reason that now escapes me but when I put if back, the car would only run on two cylinders. I tested about everything I could, including the injectors – all of which worked perfectly. Somehow, one of the sets of injector points was grounding out... in the end, I realized I had left the lock washer out under one of the screws that attached cap retaining spring clips. The two or three threads further in that the screw went was just enough to touch one of the springs on the injector points. To this day, I wonder how I ever noticed that.

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Posted (edited)

I had a used 68 Mustang when I was very young married man, and one morning while driving to work, the engine made a popping sound and died, with smoke pouring out around the hood. I was an apprentice sheet metal working in Local 224 at the time, and being late for work was a BIG deal. Cursing loudly, I coasted to the edge of the road, and raised the hood, Underneath I saw that my coil had exploded. The bakelite top-cap was broken free and hanging from a fairly large bundle of wire windings from inside the coil body. The smoke I had seen was the oil/tar from inside the coil having landed on the exhaust manifolds and all over the engine compartment. What a mess! 

 

I couldn't believe it, and I could not afford be late...or at least any later than I was already. This must have been about 1976, so no cell phone.

 

In a bit of a panic I stuffed all that wiring back inside the coil, jammed the broken bakelite top back in place and plugged the center distributor wire back in the hole. Got back inside and turned the key, and THE DARN THING STARTED RIGHT UP!!! I drove the remaining 20 minute drive to work, and then decided to drive it right in the sheet metal shop door. Everyone was shocked, and the shop foreman said, "Lump, what the HELL are you doing?" I said, "Boss, I know I'm late, and I knew no one would believe me. But please, just LOOK under my hood!" I raised the hood, and he saw the coil tower busted out, with oil oozing out, and yet the engine still running. He said, "Damn! Never saw anything like that before. Ok, we believe you. Now park it outside and get to work."

 

The local auto parts store delivered a new coil, and I drove it after that for months, with no troubles. 

Edited by lump (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Back in my yout went on a Indiana-Michigan-cross Canada to Watkins Glen and back to Indiana trip on a '64 Harley Sportster (magneto ignition). About half past Ohio it suddenly lost poser - engine was running smoothly & seemed to shift normally but no movement. Was night so called for a friend with a trailer to pick up. Back home put it up on a stand and found all of the rivets connecting the sprocket to the wheel had sheared & was just spinning.

 

'Nother time was in the middle of Arizona just past Meteor Crater heading back to Texas in a VW Westfailia on a hot day when the engine quit and would not start. Opened the lid to find the coil bubbling crude. Wife and small son were in the rapidly heating interior so had to do something. Was before cell phones so was weighing options when I spotted about a 1/2 mile back from the road a derelect of some sort. Can say that a dual port 1600 VW ran fine with a Stovebolt Chevvy coil that had been baking in the Arizona desert for years.

 

And then there was the time I was pushing the 72 Goat Wagon a bit on a curving exit ramp when passed by the inside tire, wheel, and axle...

 

(if ever publish an autobiography will need to market as fiction...)

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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way back in the late sixty's I was "parked" with my date on an old dirt road off of the main paved road.  When it was time to go home ( I had a curfew) the car would not start. Had to walk with my date about 2 miles to get home. Dad and I took my date home and then went to check out the car - a 1959 ford with a 6 cylinder- and could not find the problem.  The next day towed it home. After several hours we found that the wire going to the resistor on the firewall had broken, but the wire wrapping was intact.  Got a lot of grief and good natured kidding from my mom and dad for quite awhile after that.

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1978 Mercury, driving across North Philadelphia late one night with wife and kids in the car. About a mile from our destination, the engine died and we coasted to a stop. It would not restart. I touched the coil, and it was red hot. We had a small ice chest full of water with us. I poured it onto the coil, then dried off the wire connections. The car started immediately and we drove home. Next morning, no spark. I got a ride to an auto supply and bought a new coil -- problem solved.

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In 1974, in my bought-new 72 Javelin, on the way from Long Island to the wedding of one of my sister's in New Hampshire, as I drove across an overpass on Rt 95 north in Massachusetts, all the dash gauges spiked up to max. Then as I got to the other side of the overpass the gauges went back to normal.  Later I discovered I had no turn signals. Stopped and checked the bulbs and not only turn signals were out but the (GE1157) brake light filaments were burned out too. This happen in clear weather, early afternoon, without the brake, or turn signals being on - so the bulbs were not in a closed circuit.

 

Drove the car for  over 100K miles more and it never happened again.  A mystery to this day.

 

Paul

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Another trip to the country for a wedding.  Ten year old 1953 Buick Special.  Stopped for gas and the engine wouldn't start.  Service Station mechanic looked and wiggled an fiddles and the engine started.  Charged me $5.00.  I drove about 30 miles and the engine stopped.  I wiggled things shook and tapped and the engine started. The next good sized town we came to I stopped at the Buick Dealer.  A mechanic did all the above things and could find nothing wrong.  Charged me $10.00.  Went on to the wedding 100 more miles no trouble.  Three AM going out to the farm engine stopped.  I had no underhood light but could feel my way around the engine compartment fairly well.  Thank goodness for Buick's accelerator start.  I was standing on the right side of the engine and reached across an moved the accelerator linkage to kick in the starter, saw a small spark, touched the place and discovered the nut holding the primary wire to the coil was loose.  Tightened it up and had no more trouble.  I wonder if it hadn't been so dark how long it might have taken to find this loose nut.  Interestingly enough the coil or these wires had never been touched since the car was purchased.

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, D Yaros said:

Many a year ago I owned a beat up 1954 Oldsmobile that I was using to get me around while my regular ride was in the body shop.  To enter the vehicle I had to use the inside door handle!  To exit the car I had to use the outside door handle!  Never did figure that one out?

My '55 Roadmaster has quirk like that on the doors.

Whether , inside the car, or outside the car, to open the door;

one must pull (or push) the door TOWARDS the center of the car to get the door to open.

When inside the car, it's easier to use the outside door handle to get out of the car.

Edited by JamesBulldogMiller55Buick (see edit history)

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We bought a new 1972 camero. Had it two weeks and the engine blew up. Called the dealer and they sent a tow truck. When they lifted it the windshield shattered. The driver said no big deal happens all the time. Got a new engine this one lasted about two months and blew up. Same thing on the windshield. Got another new engine this one lasted over 200,000 miles. But for about three or four months after the last engine was put in every time we turned right it sounded like a bottle rolled across the trunk. The dealer could not find anything wrong and they said they could not make it happen. One time it made a loud clunk and we never heard it again. Have no idea what fell off the car but it didn't effect anything. 

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Fortyfive  years ago, when Dad and I were cruising in  the Roadmaster, we regularly heard a 'clang .. clang' as we went down the road.

Dad was driving, I was in the right seat.

Dad said the noise was from the driver's side.

I heard the noise coming from the passenger side.

Several times , armed with pieces of old innertube and electrical tape, we went under the car to find and silence the 'clang ... clang'.

Next time we went cruising, 'clang … clang', again.

We still couldn't agree with what side the 'clang … clang' was coming from...

I got the idea , 

as Dad drove slowly around the block , I would trot along side and figure  which side the 'clang… clang' was coming from.

 After trotting around the blockbon both sides of the car (much to the amusement of the neighbors) I relized the 'clang … clang'  was from BOTH sides of the car.

Again, we went under the car,

both of us under the car ....

Dad asks, 

"do you think it could be the parking brake cable yokd clanging against the torque tube?"

 

me,

"No, Dad. That yoke is a good two inches from the torque tube. And it's very tight...."

 

in unison;

"but, it's not tight when driving down the road!"

 

A bit of innertube and electrical tape on the parking cable yoke,

and no more 'clang … clang' …

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

Another trip to the country for a wedding.  Ten year old 1953 Buick Special.  Stopped for gas and the engine wouldn't start.  Service Station mechanic looked and wiggled an fiddles and the engine started.  Charged me $5.00.  I drove about 30 miles and the engine stopped.  I wiggled things shook and tapped and the engine started. The next good sized town we came to I stopped at the Buick Dealer.  A mechanic did all the above things and could find nothing wrong.  Charged me $10.00.  Went on to the wedding 100 more miles no trouble.  Three AM going out to the farm engine stopped.  I had no underhood light but could feel my way around the engine compartment fairly well.  Thank goodness for Buick's accelerator start.  I was standing on the right side of the engine and reached across an moved the accelerator linkage to kick in the starter, saw a small spark, touched the place and discovered the nut holding the primary wire to the coil was loose.  Tightened it up and had no more trouble.  I wonder if it hadn't been so dark how long it might have taken to find this loose nut.  Interestingly enough the coil or these wires had never been touched since the car was purchased.

That happened to me about six years ago.

I found it the same way you did, in the dark,

working the throttle to start the car,

saw a spark...

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Posted (edited)

I once started my '68 Mustang to give it its monthly exercise, and it wouldn't move because the brakes were locked.  Shut it off, got out and pushed the car and it rolled fine.  Started it back up, brakes locked up tight again.  I was a bit perplexed, and apparently it's rare, but one failure mode of a power brake booster causes the brakes to apply themselves as soon as vacuum is applied to the booster.  Replaced the booster and all was fine.

Edited by GT52
grammar (see edit history)
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1925 Pierce-Arrow Series 80, 6-cyl, single ignition.  Would idle fine up to 700 rpm, then sputter badly--undriveably.  If the clutch was slipped at low rpm, the engine would sputter as soon as load was applied even under 700 rpm. Re-set ignition points, added supplemental new condenser, no help.  The points were now 'way out of adjustment.  After MUCH head-scratching by two of us (the other was far more skilled at vintage iron than I), we added an inductive timing light which went all over the place when the 700 rpm no-load was exceeded.

 

The vertical pivot on which the points were mounted was ever-so-slightly loose in the distributor plate, not loose enough for either of us to notice while re-setting the points.  On this car, the pivot was not pressed into the plate but was secured on the underside of the plate by a nut and split washer.  Apparently the split washer had fatigued over 71 years (this was in 1996) just enough to allow the pivot to wobble almost imperceptibly, but enough to radically change the point adjustment under the points' spring tension.  The cure was a new #8 split washer! 

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Hmmm, several things over the years, but guess these are the highlights.

 

1.  Got in my Sunbeam Tiger one day to go to work, backed out of the carport, turned the steering wheel to the right, the left upper a-frame broke into, and down I went !

 

2.  Bought a new 1969 Fairlane Cobra, and during a "showing my wife how it runs" drive on the very day I brought it home, when I wound it out in 2nd gear and shifted to 3rd, the Thermactor system cannister blew off ! Huge noise !  Removed the entire smog system that weekend and threw it away.  I know, I know you don't have to tell me, ha !

 

3.  We had a beautiful 1955 Ford pickup "hot rod" truck with a 472 Cadillac drive train and most of the Caddy's interior. Went out to drive it one morning, pulled on the door handle and the steering wheel area burst into small flames and smoke.  I had been having quite a lot of trouble with the truck anyway, but that was the last straw.  Oh, I still had the keys in my pocket !  When it quickly fizzled out on its own, I reached in, put the key in it and it started right up.  I didn't drive it again until the day of the Nashville Swap Meet at the fairgrounds, where a guy from Wisconsin bought it and drove it home ! I made him promise to call me "IF" he made it, and he did...said he had  no troubles whatsoever. grrrrrr

 

4.   Had a 1967 4 door T-Bird that I had bought earlier in the day come off my car trailer, pass me, and slowly roll to a stop with out damaging anything ...Very scary !!!!

 

5.   Driving our newly "fixed up" 1964 Falcon Ranchero home one day after a trip to town, on the way home, heard a noise, and I looked in the mirror and saw something spiraling down the road behind us, and a Chevy pic-up straddling it to miss it. I said the appropriate dirty words about those guys at the "muffler" shop, and after stopping, backed up a couple hundred yards and got out to retrieve it. It was the gas tank, which we had just filled up about 3 miles back !!!!  Thank goodness for Holley 4 barrel carbs and their big float bowls !  We went to a nearby house and they took my wife to our house, she brought back a length of copper pipe, a screwdriver, a length of rubber hose, and a few clamps.  I had been getting a couple of folks to help me carry the tank out of the road, load it into the bed, and when she got back, hooked the pipe and hose to the tank and to the fuel pump (pipe down the drivers side of the truck, behind the side mirror, and into the wheel well, then through the inner fender hole above the a-frame, ha !) and drove on home.

 

6.   Lots more things about lots more cars, but I must be blessed or looked after, because here I sit writing about them, ha !

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'60 Ford, my first convertible, started missing and sometimes quit going up little hills.  It would start back up and run fine for a few days and then do it again.  Started to the Ford garage one day to get it looked at and did not get there.  It quit and would not start again.  My brothers came by and decided I needed a condenser.  They went to town, got a new condenser and that was the last of that.

'72 Ford Gran Torino would eat brake shoes on the right rear wheel.  Never did figure that one out.

'79 Dodge Omni (that also means Dodge Junk) developed a bad vibration/shaking going up or down my driveway.  Then I noticed it did it when ever I was on an unpaved road.  It was driving me crazy.  Took it to a Dodge dealer and they found nothing.  Took it to another Dodge dealer, a mechanic drove it, told me he saw nothing wrong.  I asked him if there was an unpaved alley he could drive it down.  He turned down a gravel alley and immediately his words were, good grief, we've go to get this thing in the shop and find out what's wrong.  Put the car on a lift and came and told me the bolts holding the wheels to the A-frames were all loose and both front wheel were ready to drop off. 

Had a '74 Ford F-100 that was a real power house.  However it got to where it would hardly pull a hill.  Small hills would require second gear; longer hills would require first gear and would drop to as low as five mph.  On the level it would easily run 85 or more.  My friend told me, you need a set of plug wires.  I did not believe him but got them anyhow.  Next morning I started home from work and pulling the first hill was such an ordeal I stopped and changed the wires.  Immediate cure.  

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Going to a school dance in my high school days my older brother gave me the honor of borrowing his car and let me take his 1970 GTX 440 to pick up my girlfriend at that time. When I went to return the keys to him later that night my arm kept twitching and caused the keys to drop in my coat pocket...

 

Damdest thing,,, the twitching would only stop when ever he would let me drive it somewhere... He sold it in 1978, the twitching hasn't stopped since :huh:

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