Interesting Experience in my Neighborhood today...


Well-Known Member
So here is what happened when we got home today....
*Scene: 2000, dusk*
We pull into our street and there is a Mustang...somewhere around an 04...with the hood up blocking the way. Roll down the window, ask if they need help and let them know that they can't block the street like that...and help them push it outta the way.
They have the hood up so I start looking has a CARBURETOR with a distributor, 302 (all pink block and intake...My wife Chelsey liked that!). Stand alone ignition and fuel system and various other things that at first glance look cool. So obviously this thing is a Frankenstein...Chelsey is poking around and sees a wire with a inline fuse holder coming off of the battery (common practice for after market stereos) with the top of the fuse holder off...she opens it and finds WIRE jumping the ports of the fuse holder!!!!!! First indication of something wrong...
That's when we look closer and notice pretty much every system is hooked up with the same level of care and finesse....
So I ask about what happened..they came out of WalMart and there was a bunch of Radiator fluid under the car and then they got in and drove...second indication....
They made it less then a mile before it started lugging and clunking and that is when they pull into our street and call a "mechanic" friend.....learn later that this is the third indication of trouble!!!
So I walk away and go eat and give the "mechanic" time to show and fix their car. It's now dark out and I go out and can hear the car running with a high idle. I get to where it is parked and this guy is under the hood turning the idle down. I watch him for a bit. Then I reach out and touch the upper radiator hose...VERY hot...and check to see if the fan is on. NOPE...fourth indication!!!
I let the "mechanic" know that the fan isn't on and he asks if I think it should be (remember that third indicator?)...I tell him with how hot the hoses are I would think that it would be. Also, given the symptoms it really sounded like an overheating issue. So the "mechanic" runs a wire from the battery to the positive plug of the fan and it does kick the electronics of the fan itself are still good. So I point out that most likely the thermostat is probably not opening.....I point out that Auto Zone is still open for another 20 minutes and it is a really easy job on the older Ford small block. Takes ten minutes. He declines....the "mechanic" says that he doesn't wanna swap out a thermostat at night and that he doesn't have the tools...I tell him I do and he is welcome to use them...he declines...Fifth indication of a problem...but now I'm not sure which problem!! lol!!
So now he has the fan hot wired to be on all the time..mind you, he did this by jamming a stripped wire into the batteries positive clamp and the other end into the plug for the fan..I offer him some connectors to make sure those don't come loose while driving..he declines. ....I go back to my place and get them a gallon of water per the "mechanic's" request. I offer to let them leave the car over night and I'll tell the property owner that they are a guest, I remind them that AutoZone is open for another fifteen minutes....but no. They say they'll just drive it and pull over if anything "feels wrong" then I tell them to only go about a mile and then pull over and let it cool down..the "mechanic" agrees with this and says let it cool "for a few seconds"....

at this point I can tell that this is just a basket of issues....I tell them good luck and walk away!!
Some peoples children......


Well-Known Member
I have subordinates who are the same way with their vehicles. Good old country boys who can survive a nuclear disaster but can't keep their truck running. I've tried to educate them on troubleshooting techniques and priorities but they prefer guessing and parts replacement.



Well-Known Member
Yup...I coulda had that thing fixed and back on the road before the 'mechanic' had even gotten there.

My wife saw them at walmart today and they actually recognized her. Ends up they are going to trade the car in for a Kia....they are keeping it running by hot wiring the fan every apparently the thermostat is definitely the problem....$20 to fix...or just trade it in!! Makes sense, right?

Chuck Leeper

Toxic old bastard
Staff member
" I've tried to educate them on troubleshooting techniques and priorities but they prefer guessing and parts replacement."

Sounds like some on the various car forums!!:eek::D