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Thread: What did you last fix that others would walk away from?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2008
    Suffolk, UK

    What did you last fix that others would walk away from?

    Our oven/hob was on it's last legs (stats didn't work and half the elements were dead or dying) and was faced with replacing it, mucho cash I didn't want to part with, too much to waste time on spare parts.

    An add appears on a local board, barely used double oven with halogen hob, free as fan not working. 2 minutes away so I grabbed it. Took the fan motor out (full of gunk from cooking roasts and such) freed it, cleaned it, a little lube and all back together in 20 minutes.

    Installed the range and there we have a completely FREE, bright sparkly cooker that works like a dream!

    This would have been scrapped if they had a big enough car to move it, so what have you salvaged from its 'end of life' which is about a year it seems for most things nowdays!

  2. #2
    Gotta ask, what is a hob?

    Funny story, i live next to an 85 yr old widower that was driving a 1994 ford taurus. One day going to church, he leaves the radiator cap off and cooks his motor. He gets it towed to a shop and they tell him 700bucks just to tell him whats wrong with the car. I said get it towed home and i'll look at it. 10minutes later, i knew it was a fried head gasket, so ordered a cheap head and gasket from rockauto, installed it, car ran pretty good. He got another 3 years outta the old girl for chump change. When i lived in Germany years ago, i used to change head gaskets on little 3 series bimmers for a rack of beer! I could do those in about 4hrs in THE DARK. My grandmother would tell me long ago, if you're not rich, ya better be smart. I have to laugh as my local city tries to sell me a $9 dollar a month insurance policy to protect a $3 dollar piece of pvc pipe that connects the city meter to my house! What a joke and is border line illegal, a city touting a private business. Hmmm.. someone got GREASED $$$.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member chubbyjp77's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Millersburg, PA
    The title sucked me in. I'm sure this will be a great thread so I'll contribute.

    I received a 15hp Sears Gamefisher outboard engine from my uncle. It was made by Eska Outboard and had a Tecumseh powerhead. Thing was plagued with a bunch of problems and seemed like a great winter project, but I was short on cash for such things. Anyway the engine had a no spark condition and after cleaning all the contacts for the ignition the problem still existed. I ended up making two new ignition modules for it with upgraded electronics rated at higher voltages. It's a capacitor discharge type system and has proven itself problematic in factory condition. Got some help from The Eska Outboard Group on Yahoo and made a set of completely functional modules. I even went at far as winding new pick up coils on a handcut armature that fires the spark. It was quite the task but came with great reward when it worked. Here's a couple of pictures.

    Here you can see the pickup coil. It's 650 turns of 38 ga enameled wire on a .050" core.


    Here's a picture of it potted in fiberglass resin in a wax mould made from an original part.


    Here they are mounted to the plate that resides under the flywheel.


  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    I tig welded a $12 metal fold up chair back together...
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jagboy69 View Post
    Gotta ask, what is a hob?
    Well i had to know as well so i asked my wife , she was born in Great Britain, she said it is what we call the cook top or burner section of the stove.

    Art b

    After dinner and talking with my wife's sister a hob originally was the hook in the fireplace that the pot hunk on.
    Last edited by master53yoda; 01-03-2017 at 12:41 AM.

  6. #6
    What did you last fix that others would walk away from?
    You mean what haven't I?

    I grew up in East Texas where you're expected to know how to be mechanically inclined, self-reliant, and cheap (or poor, depending on your perspective). Thus, I've had a long history of frustrating projects.

    1. My first vehicle, which I drove for eleven years was a 1994 Toyota Pickup. Basic, no frills, 22RE four banger engine, this truck took me to the moon and back. We bought it with 110,000 miles on it and when I totaled it, I had 268,450 miles on it. The engine, cab, chassis - literally everything was worn out and rattled. But, when something gave out, I'd just go buy the parts, look up the repair sequence in the Chilton's manual, and fix it. I did all my own maintenance. I'd replaced belts, shocks, water pumps, ignition system, starters, etc. You name it, I fixed it. I did farm some stuff out like the timing chain but generally, I kept it running.

    Here's a photo of my old pickup on that weird Easter it snowed in Nacogdoches:
    Crazy Bob.jpg

    2. My old lawnmower. I bought a home in 2009 that had a hilly, .934 acre lot and most of it was too steep to push mow. So, I resurrected a 1999 model Murray Wide body lawn tractor somebody gave me. Murrays, in case you aren't familiar with them, are cheaply made for Wal-Mart and are generally found pushed out in the woods behind the bard with weeds growing up through them. I had no money to buy a new $3,000 riding mower for my little yard but I did have tools and time, so I wrote of the ever-needed maintenance and spare parts as being money ahead as opposed to biting the bullet and buying a new one. And, I figure the operation to maintenance ratio was roughly 3:1 - for every three hours of run time, you'd spend an hour fixing whatever fell off, gave out, or blew up. I replaced the engine, overhauled the mowing deck, replaced the battery once, belts twice, and starter solenoid three times - but I learned a lot and I saved a bunch of money over buying a new one. However, nobody else I know would've invested the time I put into this to; they all just went and hired a lawn service instead..

    Here's a couple photos after the last overhaul, including the custom exhaust system I had to fab up to when I changed engines on it:

    3. Troybilt Tree Saw. I did some horse trading about the time I bought my house with a coworker having a getting-divorced-fire sale and wound up with a Troybilt weed trimmer and bunch of attachments, including a tree saw. The tree saw came in handy because my new yard was over grown and it allowed me to reach up and trim back the jungle. Or that is, until the differential gear inside of it snapped in half. So, I learned a bit about weed whackers - in that whatever cutting tool you're using is linked to the engine by a long spring and your attachments fit into a square keyed shaft. I took the saw apart to figure out why it wouldn't cut and discovered it had a pot metal differential gear to transmit shaft power 90* to the bar, and that pot metal gear was broken. I further discovered that you can't buy replacements any more. So, seeing as it had a 1/4" keyway cast through it, I slotted a piece of 1/4" keystock down each side and epoxy the whole mess back together with JB Weld. I figured what the hell? I was only out $2.00 and if I got one more use out of it, I'd be out $2.00. As it turns out, the tree saw attachment has outlasted the weed whacker itself. That died last year and got replaced by a cheap electric unit because I was moving soon.


    4. My house. I'm not sure somebody would've walked away from it, although I really wanted to at times. I bought it very naïve to potential maintenance problems as a fixer upper and I was not at a lack of fix-it projects. In the seven years I lived there, I gutted-and-replaced the master bathroom (including moving plumbing and remediating mold), added a dishwasher, resloped the yard away from the foundation, and two years ago my wife and I completely stripped and replaced the roof ourselves. Hell, just about the time we're done with the main punch list, I took a new job and have it up for sale. Whoever buys it is going to get a heck of a house! Everything I did was overdone to some degree because I thought I'd live there forever so I spared no expense. Now I'm stuck in an apartment. The advantage to that I don't have to fix anything. The downside is I have no room to try things like casting.


    So "what did you fix last that others would walk away from"? Its hard to say because looking back over the last several years, it seems like I've fixed dern near everything!
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    "Success is 99% determination"

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Suffolk, UK
    Sorry, yes a hob is usually the stove top burner rings. In this case we are all electric so these are halogen rings, a step up.

    I've been fixing daft things for years not least since my wife and I first got a house 25 years ago, what tickled me this time was at 45 years old I'm still doing it!!

  8. #8
    The men's restroom at the local bar needed an overhaul and the owner's usual go-to guys wouldn't touch it. Sure, I'll do it. What a nightmare. Drove myself to mental and physical exhaustion. Looks pretty good though.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TRYPHON974's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Réunion Island
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    Last fix was a 30 years old Magimix ice maker. The owner wanted to throw it away beacause the 'propeller' didn't want to turn. It's a very sturdy and well built machine with a built in fridge compressor. The shaft was stuck because the grease was dry. Nothing a pair of pliers and some WD 40 can't fix. Forgot to take pictures but here's a link to the video of the running machine.
    I gave it back to the owner, hope to get some ice cream in exchange
    Jack of all trades, master of none.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ralph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Gladstone Qld AUSTRALIA
    Yesterday my dishwasher stopped getting hot. As I had already replaced the heater not that long ago, it seemed like it was time to call it quits, and let it go to meet it's maker. If the water heater element was going to keep on dying with monotonous regularity, I was just wasting good money. But I had a look anyway. Surprise - the heater was OK. Pulled the electronic card out of the door, re-soldered the relay that controls the heater, to the printed circuit board, and soldered solid wire along the tracks to the heater plug. Upshot - it has another lease on life.

    I think that the average house-husband would throw it out rather than fix it. And I think most on this forum find that attitude very frustrating. The stuff that is thrown out that could be so easily fixed... what an incredible waste!

    Last week I was given a clothes drier that was on its way to the rubbish tip. For $30 I had a replacement thermal cutout from Ebay, and it works fine. As I said, frustrating. Anyone want a good clothes drier?

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