My favorite car hack.

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.