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Old 06 March 2014, 15:42   #1
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I am very, very lucky... ...and I know it.

Here is a lesson to be learned.

Yesterday I started removing the level sensor on our Discovery. Engine off, wheels chocked. Before trudging off to the shed to get the axle stands, etc., I gave the sensor connector a prod and it came apart. With a loud hiss the suspension went into an emergency mode and trapped my arm between the wheelarch and the tyre - it was now the only thing taking the weight of that corner of the car and it wasn't going to shift.

Now, I knew that would happen when I removed the connector and I had planned when it would happen; the plan included a couple of sleepers and the axle stands. It didn't include a 'premature disconnection'.

If anyone else had done anything like that I would have them hung, drawn and quartered, put their carcass in a gibbet with a large 'pratt' sign above it and then shout sarcastic remarks at the rotting remains (whilst sending crows to peck out the eyes).

The result was:
  • Two fire engines...
  • One Paramedic ambulance...
  • Fire chief's response car...
  • One neighbour with a slipped disc...
  • One neighbour with a suspected hernia...
  • An offer of an air ambulance trip...

Twenty-four hours later and there is not a mark on me - I am so skinny and muscle-free that there was no flesh to crush - my bone took it all. I don't like to think what might have happened if I my head had been in that gap.

They were all very nice and they commented on the fact that a) I wasn't swearing (much) and b) I apologised for not getting up or shaking their hands.

Only once did I shout "Mr Grimsdale!" when "Help!" didn't seem to be cutting the mustard.

Moral of the tale?

1)Never think it won't happen - assume it will. You'll be wrong 99% of the time but that 1% will make it worth it

2) P*ss-taking is a very strong deterrent against anything similar.

The epilogue to this tale is that today I snuck out of the house whilst my wife was busy and installed the new sensor. Startled to hear the front door open (I knew I must have been rumbled) I sat up with a start and hit my head on an open door.
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Old 06 March 2014, 17:02   #2
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Sounds like you had a very lucky escape!

One evening about 15 years ago I had a rear tyre puncture as I crossed the Tipner flyover on the M275 southbound into Portsmouth. I was on my way to collect my eldest (then about 12) daughter from her drama group, and had her two younger sisters in the back of my VW Passat estate.

The hard shoulder there is quite narrow, but it was at least the nearside rear so I was barrier side rather than carriageway side to change it. I got the girls the other side of the barrier and got on with it. Having jacked up and removed the flat, I was offering up the spare as an articulated lorry draughted past. Before I knew it, the car toppled off of the jack and, as the wheel was not yet on the studs, the car dropped. The pain was immediate as the my left wrist was crushed between the wheel arch and the loose wheel.

I was trapped, couldn't move, it was dark and I was the wrong side of the vehicle to try flagging anyone down. My daughters, having seen what happened were by now screaming. I managed to persuade them not to come over the barrier (what were two 10 year olds going to do anyway), but got them to start waving frantically at the traffic coming past.

Amazingly it was some while before anyone stopped, and that was a woman who was initially more worried about the girls than me. Fortunately, it wasn't long before a police patrol happened upon us, and whist the woman looked after the girls, two burly coppers managed to lift the car far enough to free my hand.

Though heavily bruised and scraped, amazingly there were no broken bones. In fact, the only serious 'casualty' was my stainless steel watch case/strap which was damaged beyond repair.

I've only once since had a blowout on a motorway, and I had no hesitation in calling the RAC to come and change it.
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Old 06 March 2014, 17:37   #3
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Glad you're okay Hugh.

Nothing quite as serious from my own experience, other than my brother lighting up a cigarette when I was disconnecting the fuel tank on a Suzuki SJ410 (think Poseidon Adventure) many years ago. It had been used on a farm in a previous life which would explain why a dead mouse landed on my head when everything dropped down.

Still chock the wheel on cars when I'm under them, and rely on at least two axle stands and a 2-ton jack for safety.
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Old 07 March 2014, 04:21   #4
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You've probably triggered a call back from landrover as well, if a jobs worth doing, well done
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Old 07 March 2014, 04:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughN View Post

1)Never think it won't happen - assume it will. You'll be wrong 99% of the time but that 1% will make it worth it
No truer word said... its a moto for anything mechancial or nautical in your life.
Very pleased to hear you still have your arm.
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Old 07 March 2014, 04:42   #6
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Glad you're ok. A good read. Must have been terrifying.

What makes me laugh is that the fear your better half puts in you that is meant to make you think about safety, in reality distracts you and even causes you to bang your noggin! Comedy.
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Old 07 March 2014, 09:47   #7
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You've probably triggered a call back from landrover as well, if a jobs worth doing, well done
A call to me telling me that if I can't be arsed to disconnect the battery I don't deserve any car.
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Old 07 March 2014, 10:22   #8
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You've probably triggered a call back from landrover as well, if a jobs worth doing, well done
A call to me telling me that if I can't be arsed to disconnect the battery I don't deserve any car.
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Old 07 March 2014, 11:05   #9
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HughN, glad you are OK, could have gone very bed. Didn't so

On a slightly lighter note, but whilst we are on the subject of getting things trapped.

When I was about 18, I had a Peugeot 205 XS (think that was the very basic model), and I was off to party where I knew that sleeping in my car might be the best option.

So to try the back of the 205 out for size, I hopped in to the boot, on my Parents drive, and pulled the boot shut, getting my hand caught between the boot strut and the boot. This rendered me immobile, I couldn't get the boot open from the inside, and I couldn't reach the horn.

I was stuck fast, but with no pain.

I should explain, that my folks live in the sticks, and nobody walks past their house. But that day, a bloke did, and like an every day occurrence to him, he spotted me, walked over, opened the boot, said "yer reet", and walked off - job done.
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Old 08 March 2014, 09:43   #10
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When I was about 18, I had a Peugeot 205 XS (think that was the very basic model), and I was off to party where I knew that sleeping in my car might be the best option..
The rear seats did fold down, you know!

(I had two of those: the model down from the 1.6 GTi. A K&N filter and a re-jet and it had more power than the GTi. Ex-works they would do 50-70 in fourth gear in 5.5 s which is pretty good even today!)

Not getting trapped exactly but I once put a 2.4m length of wood in my mother's Peugeot 106, slammed the hatch and the windscreen popped out. )
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