Hooniverse Asks: What are your good car-fix “kluges”?

Rob Siegel is a wrenching icon. His efforts to keep old BMWs on the road is commendable. He’s good at it, and he’s good at writing about it. Recently, the Hack Mechanic posted a piece on Hagerty talking about kluges. This would be a repair where the goal is to fix the problem but also save money. Siegel goes on to explain that there are good kluges, but there are absolutely bad ones as well. He comes across an example of a bad one on his 1979 BMW 635CSi. And to rectify the issue, he turns creates a good kluge.

I would love to hear more about good kluges. I’ve typed that word enough for one day, so now it’s your turn to share some. And you can read Rob’s piece, by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

10 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What are your good car-fix “kluges”?”

  1. Neight428 Avatar

    Replacing the fuel pump in a third or fourth gen F-body requires that you either drop the rear axle and associated suspension to get the tank out or you cut a trap door out of the trunk floor pan in just the right spot. Some pop rivets and seam sealer gets you back up to speed with a nice bit of carpet that no one ever looks under to keep anyone from being the wiser.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Speaking as someone who dropped the tank in a thirdgen using a Haynes manual (which doesn’t mention the floor mod), I think whoever invented this was onto a real timesaving idea. However, the picture shows a bare interior–removal and replacement is probably just as much effort as dropping the suspension.

      1. Neight428 Avatar

        True, there’s even a kit out there that involves welding in an actual trap door, but you have to drop the tank to do that. I suppose if you already have everything out of the way it would be worth it. That was just the clearest photo I found with minimal effort.

  2. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    The very elaborate and very bulky crankcase breather on a Honda CM250C is a royal pain to install so after three attempts, I put it on the shelf, stuffed some foam air filter into the hose on the crankcase and plugged the hose on the air filter with an M8 bolt. It runs better than stock without all of the extra gubbins hanging off the airbox.

  3. OA5599 Avatar

    I had a piece of door trim that was held on by 8 plastic clips. The plastic became brittle over time, and would no longer keep the trim in place. I tried to grab some clips from junkyards, but those were all equally brittle to mine and broke upon removal. Correct retainer clips are available aftermarket, but they were about $11 each and I don’t think I could have gotten away with just replacing the ones in the worst condition; if the door trim falls off someplace irretrievable (like the freeway), trying to replace the trim would have required significant customization.

    Instead, I kludged it by applying adhesive to the back of the trim. It’s been holding since 2015, for about $7.

  4. scoutdude Avatar

    Yeah I’m not impressed and I’d say it went from a good Kludge that kept the bulb in the proper place and orientation for it to work with the reflector and lens. This moves it out of the focal point and orients the filaments incorrectly. The original Kludge didn’t disturb the housing, this one drilled a hole in it.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Yes, and bulbs with wires already soldered on used to be commercially available at your nearest U-haul dealer.

  5. outback_ute Avatar

    TIL that parking lights incorporated into the headlights are not ok in the USA…

  6. Troggy Avatar

    A self-tapping screw into the hole in the side of a thermostat housing will get you home. And to work. And home again, and…

    The car is long gone, but I’m pretty sure that self-tapper is still keeping the coolant in.

  7. Salguod Avatar

    Zip ties.

    As my kids older Mazdas rusted away, I drilled holes in the bumper and quarter panel to secure the flappy wrap around bumper ends that no longer had an attachment point.

    Just this week the aged and brittle plastic on her Protege mirror failed and the mirror was dangling. Popped the painted cover off and a couple of zip ties secured it until the Amazon replacement arrives.