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Thread: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Though t I'd share this... .

    A while back, I discovered the lower radiator support/brace in my '98 Nissan Frontier pick-up had rusted away -leaving the radiator hanging by not much and swaying back and forth with the motion of the truck.

    The "right" fix is to weld in a new support - but I can't weld. So I chose (temporarily) the "rigged" fix - which is a cut-to-fit 2x4 block that I placed between the bottom of the radiator and the frame crossmember that lies underneath where the radiator support brace used to be. A couple of sheetmetal/self-tapping screws secures it in place. Viola!

    It actually seems to be secure and tight; might not even have to bother with getting a new brace welded in... that piece of 2x4 may just last aslong as I need the truck to last (maybe another 3-4 years before I retire her to "Farm Use Only").

    As Bert Lance once said: "If it ain't broke..."


  2. #2
    mrblanche
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    I would put some sort of a pad between the 2x4 and the radiator, such as a piece of innertube or some such thing.

  3. #3
    MikeHalloran
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    A college friend of mine had a piston replaced in his Chevy six overnight on the NY Thruway. It was a long time ago, when you could actually get service at a service area.

    When they tore the engine down, they found a wooden piston, with a sheet aluminum top.

    The wooden piston was _not_ the one that failed.


  4. #4
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Don't forget to lace it all down with nylon cable ties.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran
    A college friend of mine had a piston replaced in his Chevy six overnight on the NY Thruway. It was a long time ago, when you could actually get service at a service area.

    When they tore the engine down, they found a wooden piston, with a sheet aluminum top.

    The wooden piston was _not_ the one that failed.

    I've often wondered whether that would work!

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    I would put some sort of a pad between the 2x4 and the radiator, such as a piece of innertube or some such thing.
    Good idea; I did wrap the block with Duct Tape... but your idea's probably better...

  7. #7
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran
    A college friend of mine had a piston replaced in his Chevy six overnight on the NY Thruway. It was a long time ago, when you could actually get service at a service area.

    When they tore the engine down, they found a wooden piston, with a sheet aluminum top.

    The wooden piston was _not_ the one that failed.

    This story confuses me. Was the wooden piston discovered when the engine was serviced by the overnight place on the Thruway, or did the guys on the Thruway install the wooden piston?

  8. #8
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    >>This story confuses me. Was the wooden piston discovered when the engine was serviced by the overnight place on the Thruway, or did the guys on the Thruway install the wooden piston? <<

    And, don't forget that all this wood needs to be inspected by Orkin to keep out the termites!


  9. #9
    MikeHalloran
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran
    A college friend of mine had a piston replaced in his Chevy six overnight on the NY Thruway. It was a long time ago, when you could actually get service at a service area.

    When they tore the engine down, they found a wooden piston, with a sheet aluminum top.

    The wooden piston was _not_ the one that failed.

    This story confuses me. Was the wooden piston discovered when the engine was serviced by the overnight place on the Thruway, or did the guys on the Thruway install the wooden piston?
    A regular metal piston failed.

    As is customary, they removed all of the others for inspection and cleaning. Only then did they discover that one of the remaining pistons was nicely crafted from a block of hardwood, with a moderately thick aluminum sheet serving as the crown, retained by some wood screws. My friend had owned the car for a while, so the wooden piston had survived for at least several tens of thousands of miles.




  10. #10
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    That reminds me of someone I knew who tore down an old Corolla engine and discovered that it had been assembled with no piston rings, and had been driven that way for a number of years with no apparent problems.

    I do not recall why it was being rebuilt.

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran
    A college friend of mine had a piston replaced in his Chevy six overnight on the NY Thruway. It was a long time ago, when you could actually get service at a service area.

    When they tore the engine down, they found a wooden piston, with a sheet aluminum top.

    The wooden piston was _not_ the one that failed.

    This story confuses me. Was the wooden piston discovered when the engine was serviced by the overnight place on the Thruway, or did the guys on the Thruway install the wooden piston?
    A regular metal piston failed.

    As is customary, they removed all of the others for inspection and cleaning. Only then did they discover that one of the remaining pistons was nicely crafted from a block of hardwood, with a moderately thick aluminum sheet serving as the crown, retained by some wood screws. My friend had owned the car for a while, so the wooden piston had survived for at least several tens of thousands of miles.
    Whoever did the job at least deserves praise for his woodworking skills! I mean, how the hell did he manage to get the diameter even close (without severe blow-by/slap)? And how did he cut in the ring grooves and how did the rod/wrist pin fit in the wood piston and how were they secured? Was the weight of the wood piston even close to the weight of the normal slugs?

    I can't even imagine what th forces of IC would do to wood, either. Or the effect of oil and extreme heat...

    I'd like to try this and see what would happen!

  12. #12
    mrblanche
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Eric, you should get yourself a small welder and learn to do a little welding. Get a 110 v machine, and you can do minor frame work, body work, etc.

    I used an arc welder a little in high school, and I did some of the non-structural welding on my T. I'd like to get a decent machine, but I haven't been able to justify it yet.

  13. #13
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    >>Eric, you should get yourself a small welder and learn to do a little welding. Get a 110 v machine, and you can do minor frame work, body work, etc. <<

    110v Arc welders are a total waste of money except for very light sheet metal. A cheap 220v at 225 amps can be had for less than 300 bucks and will do anything that you need to do in your home workshop. Try Lincoln Electric----
    I used to work for Marquette and sold that stuff years ago. Marquette has been acquired by Lincoln.

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Eric, you should get yourself a small welder and learn to do a little welding. Get a 110 v machine, and you can do minor frame work, body work, etc.

    I used an arc welder a little in high school, and I did some of the non-structural welding on my T. I'd like to get a decent machine, but I haven't been able to justify it yet.
    I know.. you're absolutely right.. it's something I have wanted to do for years; at least acquire basic competence, to do repairs such as you describe....maybe I will treat myself for my birthday.. which is only a few months from now... but first, the upstairs bathroom demands priority. My wife ree-quires it!

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>Eric, you should get yourself a small welder and learn to do a little welding. Get a 110 v machine, and you can do minor frame work, body work, etc. <<

    110v Arc welders are a total waste of money except for very light sheet metal. A cheap 220v at 225 amps can be had for less than 300 bucks and will do anything that you need to do in your home workshop. Try Lincoln Electric----
    I used to work for Marquette and sold that stuff years ago. Marquette has been acquired by Lincoln.
    Jim,

    Thanks for the advice; I have copied your note for future reference. This is undiscovered country for me... any advice you have as to specific models (and specs.) etc. that would be good both to learn on and which would serve me well once I've figured out the basics would be appreciated...

  16. #16
    mrblanche
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Jim is right, if you want to be able to weld 3/8 inch steel. But a 110v Lincoln mig welder can do what I was talking about. A 220v mig unit is undoubtedly better and more versatile. Get the full get-up, with heavy gloves, auto-darkening helmet, etc.

  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Jim is right, if you want to be able to weld 3/8 inch steel. But a 110v Lincoln mig welder can do what I was talking about. A 220v mig unit is undoubtedly better and more versatile. Get the full get-up, with heavy gloves, auto-darkening helmet, etc.
    It seems the way to go (if feasible/reasonable) is buy the rig I can "grow into" rather than start with a low-capability unit that I'll just have to trade-away as soon as I acquire some competence.

    But maybe it's like motorcycles - and I ought to start out with a "basic" rig to keep myself out of trouble?

  18. #18
    mrblanche
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    It seems the way to go (if feasible/reasonable) is buy the rig I can "grow into" rather than start with a low-capability unit that I'll just have to trade-away as soon as I acquire some competence.

    But maybe it's like motorcycles - and I ought to start out with a "basic" rig to keep myself out of trouble?
    There's not an immense difference in price.

    Unless, of course, you get one of the massive units that has its own gas motor, can run mig, tig, and arc welders, and has a built-in generator that can run a small house!

    Keep in mind you have to have a 220 outlet to run a 220 welder.

    Or, you could go to the other end of the scale and build your own arc welder out of an alternator. Check it out on the web!

  19. #19
    MikeHalloran
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    But maybe it's like motorcycles - and I ought to start out with a "basic" rig to keep myself out of trouble?
    Start by taking a basic welding course at your local community college.

  20. #20
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    Re: It's "rigged" - but hey, it works!

    >>Thanks for the advice; I have copied your note for future reference. This is undiscovered country for me... any advice you have as to specific models (and specs.) etc. that would be good both to learn on and which would serve me well once I've figured out the basics would be appreciated... <<

    You can probably rent a video if one doesn't come with the unit --- There are a few tricks that you'll have to see to learn. Sometimes they have welding clinics at the dealer's stores. Ask about them. I don't know if they still do those dog & pony shows that we used to do back in the 60's & 70's--- As far as the machines go, for light duty use around the farm and garage, the least expensive unit with about 180-225 amp output will do all you need. You can weld, cut(special cutting rod), braze(using a carbon arc torch) and on low settings, weld up thin sheet metal.
    Of course, you could get a little crazy and get one of the inert gas units and do some really fancy stuff------- wire feed etc--- naw-- stick with basics-- that's all you'll need for general auto and farm work.

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