I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
- Jul 19, 2004
- Out of Bounds
PS Ignition switch to starter motor wire on that car burnt out a few years later so as a quick fix I used the horn wire, turn on ignition and press the horn to start, left it like this for a few months and repaired it just before the next mot, for a long time after I would now and again beep the horn and scare myself starting the car.
The strangest Bug in our fleet was the Beachball. It was a really old ('59 / '60) Beetle that was pretty much worn out when we bought it cheap (originally intending to use it for parts only). It died on our test drive, and it took about 30 minutes to diagnose the short circuit inside the distributor, fix it using a Band-Aid, realize the vehicle's wiring had been endlessly modified by prior mad owners, and decide to buy it as a rolling puzzle that repeatedly tested our tech abilities. Some countercultural prior owner had painted the body panels into a patchwork of different colors, so we dubbed it "The Beachball." Anyway ...
One of the bizarro modifications someone had done was to cross-wire the ignition into the light circuit. The starter wouldn't engage unless the parking or headlights were "on." Once the engine was up and running (on its functional 3 or 3.5 cylinders) the ignition switch was irrelevant as long as the lights were active.
One of our running gags was performed anytime a passenger started complaining about the Beachball's rattlings, noises, etc., and cast aspersions upon its probability of getting us wherever we were going. Whichever one of us was driving would simply jerk the keys out of the irrelevant ignition switch, toss them at the stunned complainer, and offer to stop and let him / her take over. With respect to shutting up the griping, it worked every time ...