If necessity is the mother of invention, then a tight budget is the tequila that makes that mother particularly frisky. Our $2008 Challenge competitors brought cars that showed off a variety of clever, low-budget solutions to both aesthetic and performance-related problems.

These are the kinds of …

Read the rest of the story

Vajingo New Reader
9/8/20 4:38 p.m.

Let's see... now to find an overhead projector in the grade school's abandoned closet. 

KentF (Forum Supporter)
KentF (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/15/20 8:15 p.m.

God, good, good. Would like to see more of this stuff!

DjGreggieP HalfDork
4/1/21 5:46 p.m.

One to add:

Small tubes of gasket maker silicone RTV. 

When finished with the tube for the day, remove the supplied nozzle, and push a piece of mechanics wire through the nozzle and leave it there. Let it dry and pull the wire out after and boom, it pulls the silicone out and you can reuse the nozzle. 

malibuguy HalfDork
4/2/21 10:16 p.m.

Here is a trick that should apply to alot of cars


Way back in my 1st Gbody Malibu I went thru a couple rears, and always loathe at the thought of wrestling the ebrake cables out of the backing plates, then one time VIOLA!  Used a small hoseclamp to compress all the little "fingers" to get it started and bam pop them right out everytime with no fuss. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/3/21 10:25 a.m.

Keep a cheap candle or canning wax in your arsenal.  When you have a rusty/seized nut, heat it with a torch... propane, MAP, OxyAcetylene.  Not glowing, just good and hot.  Touch the candle to it and the molten wax will wick into the threads.  You want it hot enough that it instantly melts the wax.  A little smoke is ok, but sizzling/flaming is too hot.

Want to run wires to the back/front of a vehicle, like trailer wiring, rear battery, or a backup camera but you're afraid of wire chaffing?  Buy a cheap stick of PVC pipe and zip tie it to the frame and run your wires inside that.

Want to protect the wires on your 4-pin trailer harness?  Separate the 4-wire ribbon into 2 and 2 and stick it through a piece of 3/8 fuel hose.  Shrink tubing or electrical tape will seal up the ends and keep the hose in place.

Isolating a noise?  3/8" fuel hose again.  Stick one end in your ear and trace around gaskets to find exhaust leaks, vacuum leaks, noisy bearings on a belt drive, rocker arm taps, fuel injector clicks, etc.

Have a second battery in your work van/truck/conversion and want to make it super useful?  Hook it up to a continuous-use high-amperage solenoid with the main battery on one side, aux battery on the other side, and a DPDT switch on the ground side.  One pole of the switch goes to ground, the other pole goes to an oil pressure sensor that is normally open until it gets pressure.  This way you can connect the batteries always, never, or only when the vehicle is running.  You can abuse the aux battery and let the car charge it after you start it.  Dead battery in the car?  Flip the switch for an instant jump start from the aux battery.

Need a long piece of heavy cable for hooking up a high-draw device like a winch or an aux battery?  Old jumper cables can often be found for free or $5 online and at yard sales and come in a variety of gauges from 8 to 2.  Even if you have to buy new jumper cables, it's often much cheaper than $/foot of new cable

GM > MG New Reader
11/18/21 3:16 p.m.

I call this "Bungie Stick". Basic, not an life changing idea...

2" PVC x 48" w/ holes every 6" or so.


Our Preferred Partners