Come on, own up... - Cambridge
What is the worst car bodging you will admit to?

I once rewired most of my Triumph Vitesse with the same brown wire (got a whole reel for £1 at a carboot sale). Live or earth, all brown. It worked, but what the next owner thought when something went wrong I hate to imagine...

Anyone brave enough to own up?
Come on, own up... - Flat in Fifth
Old copies of the Daily Telegraph as a base on which to spread the gobbo!

Very young, very very foolish!
Come on, own up... - THe Growler
Beachy Head c. 1963, Triumph Herald, fair few quid invested in the evening......Chinese meal and several Babychams....parked up in the hope of shall we say some modest ROI...

Oh Christ, the fanbelt's busted.

You brought me here, now you get me home, I don't care what it takes.

Veronica, I need your stockings -- this was when the world was civilised before the tights abomination.

****** (unprintable).

Honest I can get it going if you take off your stockings. They can make a fan belt.

****** (ten minutes of negotiation). But that's all you're getting, and don't you dare look or I'll never speak to you again (she never did)........
Come on, own up... - Garethj
Not me (honest!) but a friend filled a hole in the front wing of his Mini Clubman. He prepared the area well, scraped all of the old rust away, primed it with rust remover and mixed up the filler when he found that there wasn't any hardener. He pressed on anyway, filled it, the technique was more of a plasterer than bodyshop man because it didn't go hard so he couldn't sand it, he just had to shape it. He then painted it and waited for it to go hard.

Two months later it was still a bit....springy. Not soft but a bit like moss on the grass.
Come on, own up... - bernie
Filled an outrigger on a Triumph Herald with concrete and then covered it in nice thick black underseal.

It certainly passed the MOT man's screwdriver test.
Come on, own up... - Hugo {P}
Minis are popular cars for these stories. My first one UCV980H. Charles do you remember "So you're a Yorkie eater then"?

I once did an excellent job on a hole right through the seam between the offside wing and front valance. I even restored the seam profile out of the filler. You couldn't tell it was filler.

Only there was a washing up sponge holding it in the other side!

It sold!

BTW - Don't worry about the Xantias, none of this to my knowledge has taken place!

Come on, own up... - cockle {P}
Section of garden house to replace heater hose on a MkII Cortina.
Silver paper wrapped round a fuse to stop the radio popping its fuse, same car.
Butterfly toggle bolts, the sort you used to use for plasterboard wall fixings, to hold a door mirror on.

Thought I was stupid, someone paid me £175 for that car......

Come on, own up... - Hugo {P}

About that MkII Cortina you sold me....

Come on, own up... - CMark {P}
The other day, I used a small nail and the end off of a bic biro to fix the broken end of the Jeep's fuel flap release. As good as new.

Come on, own up... - hillman
Not me, but, one friend, he was nurse tutor, packed the corroded sills of his Austin A35 with correctly prepared plaster of paris bandage and painted them beautifully. It was a good, solid job.

An aquaintance, nicknamed 'Breezeblock', bricklaying being his sole topic of conversation, filled the floor pan of his Vauxhall Cresta after dodgy rebuild job. From being a wallowing ride it became limosine like.
Come on, own up... - cockle {P}
Hugo, now, if you'd bought my old Morris 1100 I would really be worried, but then I hadn't 'modified' that, it didn't need any of my help! :-)

Come on, own up... - jeds
Had a very badly beaten up Cortina estate years ago - In those days my method was to never pay more than about 50 quid for anything with an MOT. The fuel pump didn't work so I ran a tube from the carb to a petrol can strapped to the roof rack. Drove around for about 6 months with my patent petrol can syphon system until the MOT ran out when I scrapped the car - in those days you got money for scrapped cars. Bonus!
Come on, own up... - RichardW
My Grandad was a bodger par excellence.....

Series 1 Landrover (diesel!). Hole in fuel tank - no probs 5 gallon drum in the back with the hose in it. Failed wheel cylinder - no probs clamp off the offending hose with a pair of mole grips and continue to drive it.


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Come on, own up... - HF
Supergluing the bumper back on, and sellotaping the number plates on.
Come on, own up... - THe Growler
I've just remembered this and it's a terrible one. Camping in Germany with a Bedford CA Van and the brake master cylinder seal was going so that continuous pumping of the brake was necessary.

After some futile attempts to get another seal in remotest Thuringia or somewhere, found that a 1 Deutschemark coin fitted the cylinder bore perfectly and by putting it in front of the piston it forced the weak seal to expand further and fit tighter, thus curing the by-pass effect so that the fluid wasn't bleeding past.

This bodge lasted for months quite satisfactorily and was still in place (shame on me) when the van was sold for £30.
Come on, own up... - spikeyhead {p}
I\'ve fixed the exhaust on a fiesta with a tin of peas (emptied) and some wire.
I\'ve replaced a fuse on a mini with some wire stolen from the speaker cable.
I\'ve a friend who fixed a hole in a piston with a piece of coke can and three self tappers the day before trade in. His mum never new he\'d damaged the car
I read often, only post occaisionally
Come on, own up... - Alfafan {P}
Cortina Mk2. Hole in top of front wing with rusty edges. Taped platic Tupperware lid over the hole, fixed with masking tape. Got through the MOT each time.

Same car. Small hole in petrol tank caused by stone chip. Inserted self-tapping scew, reinforced with Plastic Padding. Lasted for a coupl of years till I got rid of the car.
Come on, own up... - Hugo {P}
Just remembered this one.

A friend had an old Mk 2 escort with a hole in the exhaust. As he was a poor student we repaired it with a cat food tin.

After force feeding the cat to get the tin, we took the top and bottom off the tin and cut it down one side so we could fold it over the exhaust. Pushed in plenty of gun gum between this and the exhaust, tightened a couple of jubilee clips and away we went.

The first step towards cats in the exhaust perhaps?


Come on, own up... - Mark (RLBS)
I was going to Richmond ice-skating rink and the only available transport was a Ford Anglia, originally white I think, covered in red oxide patches and filler looking very illegal.

Two hours, some Dulux gloss house paint and a 4\" paint brush and it looked fine. We probably should have let it dry first though, since all sorts of rubbish got stuck to it.
Come on, own up... - A Dent{P}
My worst repair / bodge.
One weekend, fed up with my RWD 1.6 (gutless) cavalier pinking up hill I decided a de-coke was in order. Everything went fine, ground valves in etc and assembling the last valve with spring compressor and two split collets, one collet went walkies. Now everywhere is closed and I have work tomorrow, so I made one out of mind steel using a really decrepit old lathe. It fitted fine but did not have the same finish or hardness the other one had. It was fine when I eventually sold the car, for how long I though is any ones guess..

Since then I adopt the yanky approach, if it ain't broke don't fix it (cos will will be after)
Come on, own up... - Hugo {P}
Richmond eh Mark?

My Dad lives in Ham btw.

A colleague of mine took the term 'skinflint' to new levels.

He had an Austin Maxi which he used to do all the tricks to. He once told me that he repaired a petrol tank leak with filler/hardener mix. He claimed he never filled the tank above this repair so it was not an issue.

I asked him why he didn't just go to the breakers and get a replacement for £5, he replied that he did not see the point in wasting money on the car!

Apparently his daughter's mini had the same problem and was treated to the same repair. As it happened I had a good mini fuel tank going begging, which would have been a direct replacement. I offered to give this to him but it seemed he was so proud of his repair technology that he refused - or maybe he would have felt indebted to me...

I think he was classified by H and S as a Hazard.

Come on, own up... - Mike H
I did much the same thing on my dad's transit camper. Got 30 minutes into Belgium and exhaust started blowing - input pipe into rear box had separated with no stup to connect a repair to. So, opened the baked bean tine & split the sides, stuffed one end into the box and slid the other end over the broken pipe & added jubilee clip to clamp the tin on. Took it verrrrry slowly through german customs. Lasted for 3 days until it got ripped off on a german campsite. Then had to suspend silencer on rear of van with a bungee round one of the hinges. As it had become quite obvious by this point that there was a problem, I ended up having the two bits replaced - £18 parts/labour! Mind you this was in 1980.
Come on, own up... - Ian (Cape Town)
Used an old aerosol air-freshener once, as the diameter was perfect for the chore. Sprayed it til it was empty, carefully cut off top and bottom, slid it over pipe, jub-clipped in place.
Lovely. Unfortuantely the stink from the heated residue made the car smell a 'tart's boudoir'.
Come on, own up... - Rudolf
Engineering one, this.

Water disappearing out of Austin 8 engine. Found steel core plug in block (a flat disc) had rusted through. Worried it out and found it to be a little smaller in diameter than an old penny. Found large nut just smaller than penny inside and ball pein hammer. Domed penny, reducing diameter. Stuck penny in core hole, convex side out, hammered it flatter, tight fit in core hole. Repair proved so satisfactory that the other core plugs were similarly replaced before they went.
Come on, own up... - apm
Once repaired hot water tank (domestic) with chemical metal after (for reasons too complex to explain now) one of my housemates fired a harpoon into it.

Also "repaired" holed sill on my Viva with newspaper, P40 and underseal, followed by trip to local park to make sure sills were good and muddy (passed MOT...)

Have a friend with a very shoddy Rover 213 (old shape), and he filled the seatbelt mounting point to get the MOT (succeeded, too). I don't go in that car any more...
Dr Alex Mears
Seat Leon Cupra
If you are in a hole stop digging...unless
you are a miner.
Come on, own up... - Jono_99
Dr. A,

You didn't used to live in Monks Road in Exeter did you? My girlfriend at time (now wife) moved into a house that had suffered harpoon damage to the hot water tank (which cannot be a particularly common problem).

Two stories - from Kenya, the source of all great bodges.

1. Returning from safari in Amboselli (foothills of Mt Kili) and friends suzuki jeep (SJ series - horrid) stops. Identify problem as broken rotor arm - fix with only available adhesive, a plaster. Gets us 180km back to Nairobi - even mechanic impresses with bodge.

2. Cousin runs safari business, can assure you this is true. On overland trip to Lake Turkhana, piston fails on truck. Cousin is trained carpeneter, and manufactures replacement from wood to get him (and tourists) back to Nairobi.

The lucas petrol pump - Clanger
Summer Sunday 1970 in aged Austin Cambridge en route from Leeds to Haslemere. Horrid Lucas fuel pump gives up about Nottingham area. AA bloke files points and gives it clean bill of health. Car stops again. Different AA man near Leicester pulls pump apart and says "Youv'e been fiddling with this, haven't you?". Explained about previous call to AA. "Better fix it properly, then, hadn't I" he sneers. Repair lasts precisely 2 miles. Lost faith in AA now so delved in toolkit and pulled out long piece of wire. One end to points, other end to gear stick. Short out whenever engine hesitates. Worked a treat. Bought new pump in Haslemere.

1971, Mum has just bought her pride and joy, a Trafalgar blue Morris minor 1000. Petrol pump lasts about 10 days. Fix was to join a length of cord from the heater tap on the block to the body of the petrol pump. As the car was about to stall, declutch and tug on the heater control on the dash and the shaking engine rattled the pump back into life. As BL or Lucas or someone was on strike, it worked like this for a couple of months.

1963, six of us on hols in France in Dad's new Jag Mk ll. Around Perpignan, the fuel pump stops. By the end of that day we were all tightly drilled in which bits of luggage to remove and then we stood back for Dad to wallop it with the jack handle. The following day, unable to source any spares, we continued after buying lengths of plastic tube, a plastic bottle, some tape and a jerry can. Dad syphoned out the contents of the tank into the jerry can and filled the plastic bottle which had been taped to the radio aerial. A tube led from there to the carbs.

Stranger in a strange land
Not really a bodge, but.... - Chicken Madras
Just after I passed my driving test in 1985, my Mum bought a bright yellow Suzuki SC100. I was charged with doing the weekly maintenance - tyre pressures, washer fluid level, oil level, the usual stuff etc.

The car hadn't got a "lifetime" battery so each week I'd top it up if necessary with distilled water. One week I topped it up a little too far. Not really knowing the best way to get the excess water out and fearing the consequences of having too much water in there, I took the pipe off the distilled water bottle, put it in my mouth and sucked the water out.

Needless to say, I very quickly spat a mouthful of battery acid all over the garage floor and resolved to be more careful in future!

I didn't tell anyone at the time and have kept schtum for all these years. I also didn't tell anyone that I nearly welded a spanner to the bodywork when taking the battery leads off ready to fit a new stereo to the car....

You'll be pleased to hear that I gave up any aspirations I might have had of becoming a mechanic after all that.
Not really a bodge, but.... - Morris Ox
Borrowing a Granada Scorpio when they first came out, reverse-parking terribly and knocking the door skin in. Was mortified when I saw it.

However...took the door casing off, pushed on the metal from inside - and it popped back out again! Didn't dare own up to Ford, though someone must have wondered why some of the plastic press-studs on the door casing were split.
Not really a bodge, but.... - Hugo {P}
However...took the door casing off, pushed on the metal from inside
- and it popped back out again! Didn't dare own up
to Ford, though someone must have wondered why some of the
plastic press-studs on the door casing were split.

A suction dent puller would have probably worked just as well.

I invested in one for £1, which is perfectly capable of pulling out large dents.

Not really a bodge, but.... - GrumpyOldGit
Perhaps off-topic because I'm very proud of this one.

Old Mini boiled over on the M1. On the hard shoulder I found that the top hose had split. Pulled out the trusty tool box but had nothing immediately useful, so I scouted along the shoulder and embankment and came up with a polythene bag and a coke can.

I used the poly bag wrapped several times around the hose and Jubilee clipped it in place, then pulled 2 of the concrete bars off a storm drain and climbed down. I filled the coke can from the running water, handed it up to the missus who walked to the car and poured it into the radiator, then we repeated this until full.

It got us off the M1 to a spares shop where I got a new top hose.
Come on, own up... - bradgate
9 year old, 130k ZX TD - bodged to trade in for £1200.

Head gasket blown, coolant being expelled through top of radiator as it boiled. Engine fan operating constantly to try to cool engine.

I drove it 5 miles to the dealer's premesis at 5-10mph, stopped while just out of sight and waited for engine to cool. Took a couple of 2-litre water bottles from the boot and topped up the coolant then removed the fan's fuse. I then drove round the corner to the dealer's premesis, handed him the keys, said nothing and drove off in my new toy.

I next saw the car some months later. It was still parked round the back of his premesis looking very sorry for itself with the engine in bits.

Do i feel guilty? of course not. Would you?


Value my car