Hacking a Radiator

On the drive back from Maine I noticed the Check Engine light was on and the temperature was insanely hot. I pulled off I-95 at the next intersection, got to a gas station, popped the hood, and Sandra pointed pointed out that the top hose to the radiator had come off. After waiting for the engine to cool down, I put it back on the way I thought it should go and filled the radiator with coolant and water. After starting it up again, it appeared to be fine, so we piled back in and continued on our way.

Somewhere past Providence, Rhode Island we stopped at a Wendy's for a bio-break. Immediately after killing the engine I popped the hood to make sure all was still well, only to find the hose was just coming off again and spewing its green glowing bile all over. Sandra took Rory in to get food, and I started looking and thinking and waiting for the engine to cool down enough to touch.

A roughly 40-45 year old woman came out of the restaurant with her three daughters, and with a friendly smile made some comment along the lines of "That doesn't look good." I agreed, then she noticed the Virginia plates and asked if we'd come up from there and just developed the leak. I explained that we were returning from Maine and heading back home. It was about 6:00pm on saturday, and she commented that we were probably stuck in whatever town it was until Monday. "But I'm an automative technician, would you like me to take a quick look?" Eagerly I agreed. She pointed out immediately that the pipe that sticks out from the radiator that the hose attaches to had rotted away. "But if you run some wire around here and here like this, you could probably Mickey Mouse it so that you could get home."

She suggested going to a Loew's some unclear direction and distance away for materials, loaded her daughters into her car, and drove off. I set to work, using the .056" E string and .017" B string from my guitar.

It worked.

That said, I'm still getting a new radiator installed as soon as possible.