Author Topic: Great Mechanical Disasters  (Read 782 times)

Online RDfella

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #15 on: 02.09. 2020 12:34 »
In the sixties a firm I worked for had the contract (more of a lodge handshake I believe) to re-commission the machinery on a small island recently bought by a millionaire. There was a tractor, landrover and numerous pumps, generators, winches etc to sort out. One day I was there with the boss’s son and as we needed to use the tractor to move something in the generator room he went off to get it. Now there was a tarmac track leading down to the generator house (containing three large Listers). This track headed towards the edge of a 300ft steep cliff before turning right to the generator house. As it was a sunny day I was sitting on the grass admiring the scenery waiting for him. I heard the tractor (Ferguson 135) coming and then nothing. I looked around and saw Dennis standing on the bend with a cloud of dust rising behind him. I asked him what he’d thrown over the cliff, and he replied “ the t t t trrrrraactor”. Now this tractor had a forward loader attached but no counterweight on the back, so when he got to the bottom of the track he couldn’t slow down – the back wheels just locked.
We walked around into the bay below to investigate the situation. The tractor was broken in half, resting halfway down the cliff. With absolutely no means of salvaging it other than by helicopter, we went back up and Dennis went to the owner’s mansion to explain the situation. He was very good about it, saying he could easily replace the tractor, and gave Dennis a couple of large brandies to steady his nerves.
Now Ive spent many hours driving tractors (still have our 135) and jumping off the rear of a tractor as its going over a cliff must be darn close to impossible. Dennis was real lucky that day. The tractor remained there for years, but I presume with the new owners it is now gone.
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #16 on: 02.09. 2020 13:38 »
 in a similar vein - When I drove a Fergie 35 we used to look forward to the smaller tractors job of leading grain from the combines to the drier (early 60s) the Combines were also MF, the driver sat to the left hand side of the combine, below the drivers seat was where the toolbox lived, un beknown to me a favourite trick was to site an oilcan in the toolbox with it's spout sticking out in line with any driver pulling alongside to empty the combines bin, the combine driver just had to move his foot back onto the top of the toolbox and pump it to deliver a scoot of oil onto the driver emptying the bin and yes that's exactly what happened.
I jumped off the 35 not quite managing to select neutral and it took off, being young supply and quite fast I ran after the trailer, climbed up the back of it intent to save the situation by getting back to the tractor seat via the trailer, the tractor meanwhile  had found it's way to the edge of the field, crashed/jumped through a hedge headed across the corner of the adjacent field and was heading towards a dean (shallow wooded gully with a stream flowing through it).
I had by this time decided the situation was beyond saving and jumped out of the trailer.
Damage to the tractor was only a bent radius rod, damage to my status was a severe ticking off from the boos at the repair shop  and leg pulling for quite some time, but a let off in as much as it's debatable what the outcome would have been if I'd stuck to my plan, and the estate manager got the whole story somehow (not by me) as I got a stern look and nothing else, combine driver possibly got a word or two I don't know

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Offline Topdad

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #17 on: 02.09. 2020 16:05 »
Back in the early 70's (thats the the 1970's before anyone else  *smile* )  a mate and I ran a little lockup garage just for spending money but we gained a good reputation and we made a bit of money. Any way one day a guy rolls up in a moggy minor  ,it was chuffing like a steam train and the owner said it was down on power .We opened the bonnet and low and behold there was the reason ,a rod sticking out the side of the block, the other 3 working away as normal . Been a bit slow for the past MONTH said the guy   shaking our heads there was a muttered "wonder why"before we started phoning round for a replacement motor.
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #18 on: 02.09. 2020 16:12 »
When our kids were young we were camping at Barn Farm Birchover Derbyshire near a stone quarry. We got to know some of the workers. One day we saw a young chap we had befriended, looking rather pale, walking back to the stone cutting sheds. He normally was seen driving a skip lorry full of waste up to the top of an empty quarry where he undid the back chains of the skip and tipped the contents out. When asked what had happened he said, in his broad Derbyshire accent; "Tippt lorry downt quarry!". He must have overdone things or the weight was too much because as he moved the skip out, the front of the lorry rose up and he jumped out before it went over the edge. We went and had a look. Way down below us there was a nearly new Renault skip lorry laying on its side among the rubble.
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Online Ratchet Richard

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #19 on: 02.09. 2020 17:24 »
You should have a time delay so that new owners can%u2019t  access this strand until they have owned they bike for at least two years!
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Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #20 on: 02.09. 2020 17:54 »
Sorry this is a bit tame.

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Online Greybeard

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #21 on: 02.09. 2020 17:56 »
Sorry this is a bit tame.



I'm glad you marked it so you can get it back in the way it was!
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Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #22 on: 02.09. 2020 18:01 »



I'm glad you marked it so you can get it back in the way it was!

Wouldn’t want to assemble it with the hole in the wrong place.
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Offline Swarfcut

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #23 on: 02.09. 2020 19:51 »
Induction Bias???   Got to admit that's an all time classic just in time semi failure. Neat.

Swarfy.
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Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #24 on: 02.09. 2020 20:03 »
Induction Bias???   Got to admit that's an all time classic just in time semi failure. Neat.

Swarfy.

Twin carbs seemed to be fixing the previous induction bias, until...



The crack in the piston reached the gudgeon pin hole.
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Offline bikerboy

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #25 on: 05.09. 2020 15:24 »
I simply refuse to add any pictures that will remind myself of just how bad an engineer I was when I was about 17

Its embarrassing and I refuse to participate  *smile*
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #26 on: 05.09. 2020 21:39 »
When I was 16, (1966) I sold my Excelsior Consort, (98cc of raw power)  and bought an Ariel Huntmaster with a sidecar chassis attached. One evening, heading toward home after blasting around west London, the bike started to misfire. I put my hands behind the silencers to feel which side was duff. I felt a sudden pain in one hand! When I looked, there were pieces of piston ring on my palm. I continued the journey home! An engine rebuild followed.

I didn't know about sludge traps then so that job did not get done.
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Online Truckedup

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #27 on: 06.09. 2020 21:17 »
 My dual 650 engine Triumph land speed race bike was being tested on rural public roads...The front engine left cylinder went lean and or detonated for unknown reasons. Forged piston seizure...
   
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Offline Jules

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #28 on: 07.09. 2020 01:41 »
not sure how many of you watch the MotoGP, but talking about major disasters and hair raising events, did you watch the Austrian GP of 2 weeks ago, when Rossi missed a flying bike by microseconds? and then the following week Maverick Vinales "stepped off" his Yamaha when travelling at 215 km/hr, because his brakes failed completely....here's the video....
Take a look…
https://www.facebook.com/MotoGP/videos/there-were-no-brakes-vi%C3%B1ales-on-frightening-crash/332353007915479/
the sound is muted on the video, you may need  to unmute it too….
I cannot imagine the microsecond decision making process that passed through his head to decide that stepping off the bike at 215 km/hr was the best possible decision he could make!! (but it evidently was!!)
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Great Mechanical Disasters
« Reply #29 on: 07.09. 2020 10:08 »
Incredible video! You'd think he could have engine braked to slow the bike down a bit before he ejected.
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