What not to do -- breakdown jury rigs.


New member
Just thought I would share a little mistake I made with my westy. Kinda funny but it wasn't at the time, at least the wife didn't think it was. We have only had the westy for about a month,(we actually found it in a provincial park and purchased it a week later)went camping a few times close to home "just in case something happens". Of course nothing happened.So we decided to go a little further.Now being an 85 all stock and orriginal there are always going to be things that are going to break,wear out , fall off.So while on our trip after driving for about an hour and a half we started to smell something really weird. we were driving through a small city and chalked it up to that small town smell? after we left the city and no longer following any big rigs the smell continued and actually got worse kinda like burning rubber. the i thought it might be the new tires we just had put on the day before(BF Goodrich Commercial TA) great tires.got out and checked,not hot, could not smell anythig outside.very strange i thought.drove a little while longer to the next small town when the radio made a weird noise and the lights flickerd.thats when it hi me that the smell was acidic. so i reached over behind the wifes seat and darn near burnt my hand clean off.the battery was boiling, acid all over inside the box.so we pulled over and the boiling stoped. so i thought , why don't i just disconnect the battery and run it on just the alternator? so i proceded to disconnect the battery while the van was running so i woundn't have to push start it.got back in my seat steped on the gas and blew out both head lights and the tail lights. it was the regulater in the alternator . So while we sit there wondering what to do with no lights , i hook the battery back up and start driving while the wife is freaking out(we have two small children on board also)I find a TSC (tractor supply company).they actually had all the lights i needed. So after relamping the lemon as my wife called that night, i disconnected the alternator and drove the rest of the way trouble free. She watched the indicator lights on the refrigerator,when it went red i reconnected the battery.didn't take long to recharge. We ended up having a great time camping and have gone a few times since trouble free.


New member
that's hilarious! I've had a few stories like that myself. Like when my throttle cable broke, and i was desperate so I tied a nylon rope to my throttle, Lid off the engine and pulled the rope from the drivers' seat to speed up! it was a lot harder to pull than you'd think!!

Capt. Mike

I lost the master cylinder on my Westy once. NO brakes at all. And discovered as I approached a stop sign. That'll test your deoderant, but my emergency brake worked perfect.

It wasn't fluid loss, but a blown seal. Thus my only options were tow or drive with the emergency brake as my only stopping resource. I only had about 20 miles and could take a back road alternate, but it was not fun. I used the gears and downshifting, didn't get much above 35 mph, and would be darn sure I was stopped well before any intersections, then creep up. I'd never consider this if having to travel highways or through towns. OK, it got me home and I didn't have to use my FREE AAA towing so what I saved was really only about 2 hours time. At the cost of more than a little risk. I'm good about keeping the emergency brake system maintained -- I know many who haven't used theirs in years.