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April 1, 2012

My favorite car hack.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 2:17 am
Wedging the alternator with a Chouinard Stopper
Wedging the alternator with a Chouinard Stopper

I was making digital copies of some old Bishop family slides for Sue when I stumbled upon some old Kodachromes of mine from my college days. I found this photo and had to chuckle. I was on a climbing road trip from Texas to Colorado (a trip I made many times) when a bolt fell out of my VW Rabbit Diesel in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. Despite looking for well over an hour, I never did find the bolt. My solution was to chock the alternator in-place with… well… a CHOCK.

A Chouinard Equipment #7 stopper if I recall correctly.

I limped into the next town, stopped at a NAPA, where they had no metric bolts, but I was able to make do with an SAE bolt (which eventually caused the alternator mounting hole to bell out before I could find a proper metric fitting in Denver.) I seem to recall having to have a machine shop enlarge the hole after a while – but that came later. I had forgotten the whole episode until I saw this photo.


  1. Ahhhh yes the days of the car that could lay down an instant smoke screen with a push of the accellerator. too bad it couldn’t speed away when the police were stuck in said smoke screen. Apparently this can be fixed by dropping a modern TDI unit in to the older lightweight chassis.

    Have a Happy Easter

    Comment by sredmondus — April 6, 2012 @ 5:04 am

  2. Not a ‘bodge,’ per se, but similar: I use one of the carbon fiber rods that were used to hold my pelvis together in my tool box, as a lever to set belt tension…;)

    Comment by vrooomie — April 12, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

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