From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: How a "shoe lace" saved our @#$
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2005 15:22:32 -0400
On Thu, 6 Oct 2005 19:43:55 -0700, "Bill" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>My friend and I went up to the forest to cut firewood today.
>We were about 25 miles from the nearest town, and nine miles up a bumpy
>gravel forest service road when we heard a dragging noise from under the
>truck. I thought it was a tree branch stuck under the truck.
>My friend got out and looked under the truck, then got a look of worry on
>his face. He said; "We are [expletive deleted]! The tie rod end on the
>left front wheel is broken off!" (This connects the front two wheels so
>they both point the same direction when you turn the steering wheel.)
>So then we just sat there for a while. Then my friend got another idea. He
>removed his shoe lace and said let's use this to tie it in place.
Heh! whatever it takes. I've gotten out of the woods on my dirt bike
after breaking a chain and using all my masterlinks by cutting the
clutch cable and wiring the chain back together with the high strength
Two things that go in the emergency kit are duct tape and mechanic's
wire. This is soft iron wire that is strong but easy to bend. I've
made everything from a fanbelt to an alternator bracket to suspension
parts with the stuff. Fashion the wire in the shape you want and use
the duct tape to hold it in place if necessary.
You might also consider carrying an improvised welder in your kit if
you're out in the woods like that. All you need is some gas welding
filler rod, a long set of jumper cables and a carbon rod that you get
from the welding supply place. You use your car battery as the power
source. 12 volts isn't enough to keep a stick welding arc going but
it will run a carbon arc. You use the carbon arc just like an
acetylene torch or TIG and use the filler rod to fill the joint.
That and a few random pieces of metal stock and you can fix almost
anything. In your situation (BTDT), I'd have taken a hunk of angle
and welded a bracket to the control arm to hold the ball in place.
Strong enough to get you out but easy to remove for the permanent fix.
If you carry a second battery, for in case you run the other one down
after flooding or drowning the engine, you can hook the two in series
for welding and use ordinary AC or DC sticks. Lots of the guys I
off-road with do that. They carry the long jumpers and a third jumper
suitable for running from the spare battery to the cranking battery.