Field Expedient Auto Repair Tips

The following field expedient tips were taken from a Field Expedient Handbook published at the U.S. Army Infantry School in the 1960’s.  Some of these tips will only work with older EMP proof vehicles that used points.

Broken fan belt.  Replace with rope, a waist belt, or a piece of field telephone wire.  (Modern try panty hose)  The rope should be looped around the pulley 3 or 4 times and tied in a square knot.

Vapor lock.  The fuel pump will not pump vapor.  This malfunction is common in hot climates or when the engine operating temperature becomes too high.  Wrap the fuel pump with a piece of burlap or other cloth that has been soaked in water.  This will lower the fuel temperature enough to keep the fuel in a liquid state.  Cold water alone may be used when cloth in unavailable.

Frozen fuel line.  These may be thawed by connecting wire leads to each end of the fuel line and running current through the line.  The line will heat and melt the ice.  Do not arc the wire against the line.  Attach wires securely to fuel line first and then connect them firmly, but momentarily at the battery.

Broken fuel of oil line.  Such broken lines under low pressure or vacuum may be spliced temporarily by forcing a piece of hose over the broken ends of the line.  A piece of hose cut from the windshield wiper may be used.

Dirty ignition points.  If you have dirty points, the distributor cap, rotor and magneto cover may be removed and the breaker points cleaned with the striking area of a matchbook cover.  The matchbook cover can be used to check the point opening or clearance.

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Broken brake line.  Crimping a cut brake line will allow the brakes on the remaining wheels of a vehicle to continue functioning without the loss of brake fluid.

Cracked Distributor cap.  Cracked caps have a tendency to fill with moisture.  Sparks, running along the moisture, cause some burning which create carbon.  Scrape a notch in the cap, deep enough to remove all the carbon from the crack then fill the crack with tar from the top of the battery.

Loose battery terminal.  If a battery terminal cannot be tightened, insert a wood or metal wedge between the terminal and terminal post to tighten as much as possible.

Hope you never have to use these.


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3 thoughts on “Field Expedient Auto Repair Tips”

  1. “The following field expedient tips were taken from a Field Expedient Handbook published at the U.S. Army Infantry School in the 1960’s.”

    What was the handbook?

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