Register now to get rid of these ads!

Admitting a Mechanical Mistake (Whats Yours)?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 48flthdf1, May 2, 2012.

  1. The clutch pedal got weird on my '64 Ford all of a sudden... I was 22 at the time and me and my brother (a MUCH bettter mechanic than I am to this day..) look it over and come to the conclusion that the TO bearing is probably collapsed or shot in general.

    Out comes the 3-speed box... TO bearing was a bit sloppy, but we tossed in a new one and slapped it together. Same deal, pedal won't come off the floor. Upon closer inspection, we discover that the clutch arm on the cross shaft is all but torn off. A quick trip to a local welder and it was fixed.

    Lesson learned, look the entire thing over before diving into it. Part of the problem that it was diagnosed at night and would have seen the torn arm if we had something better than a cheapo drop light to work with.

  2. Olds Dad
    Joined: Sep 22, 2011
    Posts: 216

    Olds Dad

    After switching auto transmission in a vista cruiser, it was late (dark) - working in driveway - and I proceeded to begin to add transmission fluid...emptied about 8 quarts into it when I realized that since I hadn't yet installed the drive shaft (i.e. slip yoke), that everything I was putting in was running down the driveway turning my friend's property into a temporary Brownfield...
  3. lukey
    Joined: May 27, 2009
    Posts: 668


    Had a 71 cutlass when i was 16, never ran a thermostat in the summer, but in the winter i would put one in it. The genius i was didnt want my dad to help. Well, sure enough the fit just fine upside down! Ran it hot a few times before taking it apart to replace the junk thermostat i dad still laughs everytime i talk about changing one

  4. Skeezix
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 845

    from SoCal

    My blue 70 maverick 170 cu in we called Blue Thunder had a column shift with a habit of dropping into R when idling - your story is so familiar and gave me the laugh to start the day
  5. aerocolor
    Joined: Oct 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,187

    from dayton

    Painted a buddys Nova and he had to reassemble after the spray job so a couple of days later he comes down to the house (about five miles) to show me the finished product and I comment on how quiet the new small block is running.

    Proudly he opens the hood to display the blanket still over the engine compartment to protect it from dust. We got it off before it caught fire. No wonder it was so quiet!

    Never let him live that down.
  6. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    from So Cal

    Did a cheap rebuild on a SBC in my driveway in the mid 60's- motor still in the car. Probably my 1st engine job. Pulled heads & cleaned up- pulled pistons out. Cut ridge & honed cylinders. New rings- looked around garage & found some old hose to slip over the rod bolts. Forgot which hole pistons came from. Cut 16 pieces of hose & tried to install pistons (w/ no ring compressor) They weren't going in as easy as I thought! Block of wood & a hammer fixed that! Look under the car & there's little hose pieces laying under the car! Hoses were too loose & fell off. Gouged the shit out of every journal on the crank. Took a flat file to the journal to remove the rough stuff- threw a new set of rod bearings on it & ran it for 80,000 miles- just like that!
    I fucked up that motor big time, bu it never let me down.
  7. Put a c4 trans into a Fairlane but when I cranked the engine the trans would not work. Finally gave up after trying to figure it out and pulled the trans. I had left out the input shaft on the trans. Must have been distracted again.
  8. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,539

    from Oregon

    Did a real blooper the other day. I've done a lot of pan gaskets on SBC and BBC, but was putting my 327 together and having trouble with the front pan to timing cover seal on the pan set. I stuck it all up to the block with ultra black RTV, and then grabbed the pan to put it in place. Got it all bolted up, and cleaned up the old gaskets and mess.
    Started the engine up to check for leaks and had drips coming from the front seal! Crap! Drained the oil and pulled the pan again to install another gasket set, and there was no seal in front! Somehow it had dropped out when I slid out to get the pan and I didn't notice it gone. When I cleaned up the old gaskets I didn't notice there was one extra in the pile of pieces too!
    Installed another set and all was well, but I did get a good chuckle at my own expense.
  9. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,984


    As we say in my professional career (Veterinary medicine) they are TNTC-too numerous to count. :)
  10. 49 lincoln
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 251

    49 lincoln
    from reno

    Ugh...about a year after the disc conversion on the Lincoln, the right front caliper fell off. Then I wen't and got a torque wrench.
  11. I was about 15.. had a chance to work on a REAL car. It was a '65 Ford wagon. We were putting a junkyard transmission into it. Got the old one out, floor jack method.. no sweat. Putting the new one up... no fit... tried this and that. Finally an adult comes along and suggests comparing the new and old units.

    Sure as shti... not the same. This was an indoctrination into matching up the parts first and all Ford transmissions are not created equal!

  12. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466


    There was this CL ad that said 50 dollars to the first person who can get my C-4 tranny to mate up with my 289. He was restoring a 65 stang. I called him and got his address. Went there spun the converter about 20 times while shaking it and no go. Finally I took the converter off the tranny and looked at the front input shaft and it was sticking out way to far. Turned it a slight bit and it slide down in the tranny, put the converter back on, double thunk, and on to the 289 with alittle room to pull it up to the flywheel with the bolts. The funny part was I had the wife with me and said I will be back in 5 minutes with 50 dollars, because she was in a hurry to get some place and I didn't tell her about this stop and instead it was 15 minutes, which reminded me of that show "A Christmas Story" where the wife times the guy while changing a flat tire and the kid goes "awwww fudge" after all the lugnuts in the hubcap go flying!
  13. paulie_boy13
    Joined: Mar 1, 2005
    Posts: 269

    from NC

    Had a bad day. Was pissed off and distracted. So I went to the garage to blow off steam.

    I was installing the drivers side Fenton header on my shoebox and couldn't get the center dump bottom bolt started because of clearance to the header. Had the idea to put it on a rachet so I could turn it while putting downwards pressure on the bolt with my fingertip. Then zip,zip,zip done deal. Forgot 2 things:

    1. Rachet was NOT a flip lever reverse action rachet.
    2. There was NO clearance to get the rachet back OVER the bolt head due to the cast iron header dump being in the way.

    Then I realized 2 things.

    1. I got this rachet stuck in the absolute worst possible location. Underneath the header, center dump with the steering box/road draft tube/steering linkage/ oil dip stick tube ALL in the way.

    2. Cutting apart American made ratchets with no room to manuver sucks! The ONLY time I wish I had Chinese made steel tools. Haha
  14. a bloke
    Joined: Jul 6, 2007
    Posts: 231

    a bloke

    Woking in a wrecker's yard 20+ years ago, the foreman dropped an OT engine in my work area and told me to fire it up, then compression test it. There was some oil on the end of the dipstick, and I fired it up for about 10-15 seconds. Took the plugs out, fitted a comp tester and went to bump it over. It wouldn't turn - turns out the sump bung was missing and the oil was all gone, and I'd seized the engine. The lesson that day was to check the oil plug as well as the oil level. Thankfully it wasn't my engine and the foreman was fairly philosophical about it.
  15. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,583


    My high school job was working at an Enco station. I was a veteran at 17 (started when I was 15).

    I was showing a new kid how to do an oil change. We got the oil drained and installed a new filter when the "bell" rang... so I went out to pump some gas and just told the new guy to fill it up with oil... '57 Pontiac. When I got back to the lube bay i tried to fire up the Poncho but it only made 1/4 turn and stopped. We knew this car very well as we had done all the maintenance and repairs on it since it was new.

    I fiddled with the battery cables and looked at the starter... everything was OK. then I pulled the dipstick just to make sure it had oil... boy did it ever! The kid actually FILLED the engine with oil... right up to the breather cap! We had a pump system and he must have put in ten gallons of oil.

    When I pulled the drain plug to empty the pan the oil shot out for three feet!

    The owner came back a few days later saying the car was smoking... I told my boss what happened and he told the owner we cleaned the carb so he should take it out on the highway to clear out the carb cleaner...
  16. RagtopBuick66
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,182


    I had one just this past Thursday. I blew out a wheel cylinder on my '53 while bleeding the lines, so I decided to rebuild all four just to be on the safe side. Needed to anyway, just wasn't planning on doing it that moment. Started with the blown passenger side front wheel cylinder. Removed the wheel, removed the grease cup, pulled the cotter pin, spun off the nut, pulled off the drum (making sure not to let the bearings or races hit the dirt in the process), bulled the upper springs from the shoes, unbolted the cylinder from behind, disassembled, lightly sanded and cleaned the cylinder, reassembled with new guts, etc. etc. etc. Long story short, had just spun the last lug nut on after getting everything reassembled and I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I saw not TWO, but FOUR cylinder end caps... you know, the ones that go on either end of the cylinder? Well, having FOUR front caps left told me I had fucked up. Had to do the whole process all over again. I wanted to beat my head off the fender.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  17. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    built a motor dry,3 solenoids later and alot of wd 40.Wrong filter put on a pontiac ,Used a chevy ,Lost a quart or 2 ,Over reved a motor in park ,locked up a split second,Installed new bearings and had crank repolished,Brand new motor.Replaced battery distributor and then battery again.Didnt realize thou cant touch positive lead on alternator with valve cover,There the only one's I made through out the last 22 years ,Most of them were 22 years ago
  18. Fuck it I don't even want to talk about two weeks ago................
  19. RagtopBuick66
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,182


    Aw c'mon now... We've all thrown OUR great moments of genius out there... What did YOU bring for show and tell today? :D
  20. xracer40
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 308


    In 1970 I was 18 yrs. old and working at the local Sunoco gas station. I had just finished an oil change on an older chevy with a canister oil filter. A few minutes later,the owner of the station pulled up and came in asking "What's this streak of oil going across the lot ?" I told him I had just finished an oil change. He said we better go find him and started following the oil streak. Luckily the customer only lived a block away and had driven straight home. He then made me go to customers door and explain the situation(he was not happy) and that we would tow his car back to station and fix the problem.
    Now most of you older guys know where I'm going with this. Yes, I had forgot to remove old canister o-ring but I had installed the new one.
    Instant leak! Fortunately no damage was done to the customers engine, and other than the ass chewing I got everything turned out OK.
  21. jbtine
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 214


    The Model A in my icon was built in Pensacola Florida before moving to Ft Worth. Days worth of work and priorities. One thing bit me in the ass. That ole I'll go over everything after I get it running. In the middle of the good intentions came the major undertaking and I must say distraction.
    I survived the move which included moving 4 cars(not including daily drivers) and one trip per month for a year towing my 24' trailer LOADED with shop stuff. Well I got here settled in and started taking in a few local shows. Busy Bee Bakery every Sunday morning, Classic Christian Cruisers show in N. Richland Hills and even the Pistons and Paint in Denton. The first show in NRH this year I hoped in the A with my son and we headed there having to negotiate North Loop 820s construction. The A was handling like a wheel barrow full of bricks. First it would understeer then next thing it would be oversteering. The final BAD omen came when I went across a railroad...the dreaded shimmy. I thought Damn this front end is too new to be doing this. We made it home ok but the next day i started investigating. I was a bit surprised and pissed at myself but hey shit happens, right? No cotter pins. The dust caps kept the nut from backing all the way off and the caliper helped too. I went over every nut and bolt on the front end. Tightened up all the bolts on the caliper mounts etc. what a difference. I HATE distractions. I know better than that but it did turn out well.
  22. southern thunder
    Joined: Mar 14, 2012
    Posts: 226

    southern thunder
    Member the wallet
  23. southern thunder
    Joined: Mar 14, 2012
    Posts: 226

    southern thunder

    when tearing down a sbc to rebuild, got the cam out about 6 inches, and wouldn't go anymore. after prying on the sprocket with a 4' pry bar till i broke it off, i remembered the fuel pump shaft had to come out first........haven''t done that one since.
  24. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,268

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    If ya never did a misstake your lien.
    I had at the time [early 60's]never worked on VW bug,one of my buddys had killed the sinkrows in his bug tranny,and being the only nut he knew that would help him fix it,cus he was not a mec. ether,we redid the trans,ended up with 1 speed forword and all the rest backing up=[don't mix up the ring gear from side to side :eek::eek::eek: Had to do a do-over! Now think of it as funny crap!
  25. Braggaboutcars
    Joined: Sep 6, 2005
    Posts: 70

    from Woburn, Ma

    At a Vintage race in my "34 Ford Special AKA the Old Grey Mare with 21 stud flat head I was installing new spark plugs when I was called to assist a fellow racer. Returning I just hooked up the wires to the hand tightened plugs. Only took a few laps before one blew out!
  26. Calipers on the wrong side of the car, and I COULDNT figure out WHY I was not able to bleed the brakes and get a solid peddle.:confused:
  27. greensheads
    Joined: Sep 21, 2005
    Posts: 85


    My first serious hp build, i had flat top pistons with 4 valve reliefs, but only one side had the reliefs machined for large valves. The pistons had arrows that said "front", and I pointed them all toward the front, but neglected to ensure that all of the machined valve reliefs were "up". The engine ran really well for a week, until an intake valve finally broke from hitting the piston. I learned a valuable lesson: "eyebrows go up", and check piston to valve clearance on every cylinder.
  28. SCRIBE35
    Joined: Apr 27, 2011
    Posts: 75

    from California

    As an 18 year old mechanic at a Mercedes shop (back when I knew everything), a lady pulled in with steam gushing out of the grille of her pale yellow, 250se (gas engine). I couldn't open her hood because the hood release cable was bound-up tight. She hadn't opened her hood in years. As I was busy at the moment, I told her I'd get on it right after lunch....which I did- cutting a big hole in her grille with aircraft snips.

    Imagine my surprise when I popped the hood only to find a diesel engine. Who in their right mind would swap out a gas engine for a diesel, I thought in bewilderment?

    They wouldn't. The lot guy had moved the SE and the car I had just massacred belonged to a man waiting for an oil change.

    A lawyer. A lawyer with no sense of humor, as I recall.

    Not a good day for me. I kept that chopped-up grille hanging from my toolbox for many years as a reminder to check VIN numbers.
  29. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,300


    I jacked up my car and was ready to put jack stands under her when the car fell off the aluminum jack and fell on my rack. Nice bend in the middle and will take a gorilla to turn her now. Not to mention it won't self center now. Only had about 400 miles on it and now need to find a replacement.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.