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What’s The Strangest Broken Thing You’ve Ever Found On A Good Running Car?


What’s The Strangest Broken Thing You’ve Ever Found On A Good Running Car?

So a Facebook friend of mine sent me a couple photos last night of the damaged rotor inside his distributor with the following message. “Dude, WTF kinda s#!t is this?” I laughed when I read it and saw the photo, only to laugh harder just seconds later when he sent a message saying “Oops sorry wrong person. Sorry man ignore that.” to which I responded with some funny but inappropriate statements and then “I took the cap out of my dually and it had no button left in it. At all. It was so melted from the giant arch, that I am not sure how it ran so well!” We laughed about it and exchanged a few more messages, but it got me thinking about all the times I’ve went to do maintenance or repairs on a running car only to find something else messed up that you would think would have left it stranded. I know I’m not the only one, so lets hear about some of yours.

Broken rocker arms or valve springs? Parts barely hanging on for dear life? Things that should be full of lube but aren’t? Parts that fall apart as you remove them?

What you got?

Let us know.

 


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7 thoughts on “What’s The Strangest Broken Thing You’ve Ever Found On A Good Running Car?

  1. MGBChuck

    The cam dowel pin pulled out of my solid roller cammed SBC street engine locking up the oil pump pushing out the distributor, pretty bad but not as bad as if what caused it had failed completely. Engine builder had used grade 5 bolts on the cam gear, they stretched, gear wobbled working out the dowel. All the bolts had stretched, one came out with my fingers, minutes away from total engine loss—whew a close one.

  2. BeaverMartin

    My favorite was when I rebuilt the A+ in my Mini the skirts of the my two center pistons were completely broke off. The chunks were in the transmission sump (it functions as an oil pan as well.) Was still running completely fine.

  3. Loren

    I drove from L.A. past Ensenada B.C. and up in the mountains halfway to San Felipe to visit my parents, and back along deserted Mexican two-lanes and downtown freeways etc. and arriving home at midnight, in the 125K-mile 4cyl/manual “Millionth”-edition ’73 Vega I used to putt around in at the time (1988). The next morning adding oil I noticed there were no nuts holding the carburetor down, it had just been vacuum. If I’d ever given it full throttle it might have fallen off.

  4. oldguy

    speaking of Vegas – my wife had one when I met her – on it last legs we came back 20 miles to home on a two lane divided hiway -it started reacting to throttle input – hold steady for straight – give gas to move right , back off to go left
    One of the rear axle locating arms had rotted out where welded to the unibody
    this was in ’82 – we got $125 for the car as it had rust free nose – rare-
    and $ 75 for the tires —

  5. Race Car Alex

    Just last month while racing at Norwalk, we started battling some issues with the car refusing to run right. Assuming it was the carb, but curious for other possible causes, we pulled the MSD distributer apart, pulled the rotor cap off, and made sure it was clean with no apparent issues. We look when putting it on. Theres a round peg and square peg. Easy, right? Put the square to square, round to round, and put it all back together. Time for the test fire. The thing cranks half a rotation and pops a flame 14 feet out the headers. Pull it back apart, flip the rotor cap around, fire it again and it’s fine. Or at least just as it was before. So, we’ve run the car for 16 years with the rotor cap having been backwards from factory. Do we have any plans to change it anytime soon? Nope! And yes, the issue did end up being in the carb.

  6. Tim

    Thirty plus years ago I assigned to find the heavy clunking noise in a 73 Chevrolet C50 with a 350 gasoline truck engine. The engine ran just fine but the harmonic balancer was flopping all over the place. When I took the front cover off I found the crankshaft had broken behind the timing gear. The jagged break kept the timing chain doing its job and the front cover held the whole thing together. Call me a liar if you want but it happened.

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