Coffee Brake: Weirdest Place You’ve Found Car Parts
Did you read about the guy who found out that he had a turn signal stalk from his ’63 Thunderbird stuck in his forearm for the past 51 years? Apparently he was setting metal detectors off for years and only recently had a surgeon remove the offending Ford part. For today’s Coffee Brake segment, I’d like to ask you (our dear reader) where you’ve found or stored car parts/tools over the years.
For me personally, I had a decent collection of tools/parts in the kitchen of an apt I lived in many years ago, but I might have gone a bit too far when I bolted a bench vise through a thick dining room table. However, you’d be surprised at how often that vise came in handy for cooking tasks — pickle jar lid stuck, just put it in the vise.
What about you?
Most of my stuff has been in the living room of my first apartment, my bedroom of some other apartments, the basement of the family cottage and right now: in the back of my '90 Pathfinder, in the basement of the family cottage, the "spare" room of my current apartment and the balcony.
I kept a partially disassembled BMW R75/6 in my living room for a few years, but couldn't top a guy I know with a complete basket case MG A (yes even the frame) in his living room. It was a very large room, and he had the parts stacked in piles in a rough mock up of the car. Slowly he'd acquire new parts, or restore/recrome etc various bits and they'd be placed in the general vicinity of their future home on the car. Haven't been over there in a few years, but I've yet to see the car out and about so I expect he's still 'working' on it. Single guy.
Recently found some parts to my 1983 Honda Accord 5-sp in a box of old college textbooks; turn signals, extra bulbs, a spare H for the grille, clutch pedal pads, and a shift knob. SWEET!
The burnt exhaust valve from my TR3 that I replaced in 1989 is in my desk drawer here at work as we speak. It's my stress totem. If you see me fondling an exhaust valve at my desk I suggest you just keep moving.
I ride bike a lot and always pick up tools off the road. Found a pair of channel locks the other day. I have probably found 20 wrenches in the past few years.
I was in a junkyard with my grandfather when I was 10 and found a bag on the front seat of a wrecked car that had a bunch of tools in it. Amazed at this windfall, my 10 year old brain couldn't spare the processing power to fathom why anyone would leave their really nice tools in a bag on the front seat of a car they had hauled off to the junkyard.
So naturally I picked up the bag and took it to the bed of my grandfather's truck and dropped it there before going back to help my grandfather unhook the wires behind the dash of an early 80's GMC (I had small hands and he had parkinson's). Once we returned to the truck, my grandfather took one look at the bag of tools and busted out laughing.
We scoured the lot, talked to the lot manager, and never did find the guy who owned them. To this day, the worn out orange-red MAC TOOLS gym bag with the grey straps holds a prominent place in my garage.
I have been wondering all these years what had happened to my tools…lol
I found a ratcheting 10mm snap on end wrench while I was pulling the interior out of a B6 Audi A4. Audi mechanics get the big bucks lol.
I used to lose tools doing a job to find them again on subsequent jobs. Like the 6mm hex key socket that I lost in the bumper of another A4, Drove around with it in there for a year or two then found it again later all rusted and crusty looking. I'm bad about setting tools all over the engine bay while I'm working.
Back in the 60s I was with my uncle on a mission to find the rest of a car that belonged to a flywheel being used on a directional wind mill to hold the blades. It was on a farm a mile from his house. Once the barn interior was stripped it turned out I be a 1911 White open car, one of two known to exist to this day. He built he whole car from a good frame and motor out of wood covered by aluminum exactly as the original.
I'd picked up a few craftsman metric sockets, ratchet and extension at a pawnshop in Montana, to keep in our truck shortly after we bought it. However, I could not find an 11mm socket! A couple of months later, driving through Montana, I saw something glitter on the side of the road. I stopped and walked back, only to discover a craftsman ratchet with, you guessed it, an 11mm socket on it. I feel so complete now!
i have found a few tools on the road in fact a very nice heavy Hammer that was a great find and any time you pick up a used car and rip out the back seat and find treasures under the seat or down the side of a trunk just look out for Fish Hooks they hurt Damn Anglers…. !
Long ago I owned a Ford van. Tranny leaked so badly I'd have the engine cover off while driving and I'd pour fluid into the reservoir *while driving*. Ah, those were the days…
When I finally got around the cleaning that van (before I sold it), I found a chunky solid gold men's wedding ring with a small diamond buried deep in the grunge of the oil and dirt encrusted interior. Must've been there for years.
I'm sure there is a great story as to why it was in the back of that van…
Hmm let's see. I once found a mess of very nice Craftsmen tools in the glove box of a scooter I was restoring. I also found a Swiss army knife with the name "Bill Lee" on it under the seat of my Cagiva Mito 125. I still carry that knife with me nearly everyday. I've found a ton of tools next to the road including a two high-quality wire strippers/electrician tools and a perfect, medium size crowbar. My best find was a full-on, heavy duty, off-road style crank jack I found in someone's garbage. I used that bad boy to get myself out of trouble a number of times before someone broke into my car and stole it. Hopefully the next "owner" gets some good use out of it as well.
They used to use junk cars to prevent erosion on the creek beds here in Northern California. I had a '58 Chevy with a bad wiper motor gear. A very hard part to find in the early '80s as they only used that design in 1958. I found a '58 in the creek that not only had the gear I needed, but also a complete instrument cluster with a much smoother speedometer.