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Hot Rods Building mistakes you won't repeat

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. If you want to buy a project, just buy a project.
    But if you want to buy something fun to get on the road next month, don't believe photos and a description on the internet.

    I know this is a shocking statement, but there is wisdom to be found in the telling of it. :cool:
    Wraith, redoxide, 32SEDAN and 5 others like this.
  2. One particular project, my 55 Buick. About anything that could go wrong has from parts stolen by a scrapper, death, too much time spent at work. Just now catching up on stuff since retirement, maybe get back into it next year.
    reagen, VANDENPLAS and Clay Belt like this.
  3. partssaloon
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 479


    Will never fill in a cowl vent again
    Jibs, lewk, samurai mike and 12 others like this.
  4. Pinstriper40
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,398


    That is a really good idea, especially on cars you plan to keep!

    That's classic!
    LongT, chevy57dude and Hnstray like this.
  5. Using all black wires in a black car. Even labeled wires are too difficult to read later on.

    Not putting a shutoff valve in gas line close to the tank when the line can siphon out gas when replacing a fuel filter. That is my most recent mistake.
  6. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,746


    Here's a couple of my classic failures;
    Chopped my 32 5w 3.5" and filled the roof while the body sat on saw horses. Then I painted and rubbed out the black lacquer. The doors would never align and the old guy that I called in to help me said it would have to be cut apart and re welded. I tweaked everything enough to get the doors to close.
    I installed a Gibbon crossmember kit and Plymouth torsion bar front suspension in my '50 Stude pu. It was sloppy and the P.S. was waaay over powered. It took four attempts at alignment and variable P.S. valve to make it even remotely drivable.
    I never fell for that "monochrome crap" I always thought it looked like you are to cheap to pay for chrome plating. Still do.
  7. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

    Well I've got plenty I learned from but my most recent involved a mini high torque starter.
    I have always used a Ford solenoid to fire my GM starters (the old heat soak problem)
    When I built my 49 Chevy pickup about 16 years ago I installed a high torque mini starter WITHOUT a Ford solenoid (was told it was not needed) and it has worked flawlessly for 16 years.

    SOooo... when I built my 40 Coupe I again used a mini HTorque starter without the Ford solenoid,
    after about a year the old heat soak problem appeared, so about 2 weeks ago I backtracked and installed a Ford solenoid......problem gone, lesson learned and never again will leave it out of the equation.

    Glad to report the one on the 49 pickup is still working flawlessly.
    Atwater Mike and Bandit Billy like this.
  8. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,458


    I have been paid to remove a few Mustang 2 kits... You are not alone.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  9. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,458


    Oh... A lot of us have done this. I don't swallow my pride as much as I used to. Good advise from those in the know is truly priceless.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  10. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,458


    Did you drill them at a angle because the windshield got in the way? Oh... When I was 16.... My poor poor car... Sigh.

    Then there were the Sparkomatic Stereos back in the 80's... Poorly installed by completely mutilating the dash... What can I say, I was a dumb kid.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    samurai mike and nochop like this.
  11. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 590


    I can't help smiling while reading all of the comments. I can relate to so many if not all. I will add that I have friends (?) who volunteer to help, when what they really mean is now that I helped you for 15 min., you are indebted to me forever.
    Mahty, reagen, Jibs and 5 others like this.
  12. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 501

    from wi

    The one thing I regret the most is removing the outside door handles and using electric solenoids to open the doors on my avatar. I hate it and I am eventually going to figure out how reinstall original handles with the bear claw latches and make it lockable.
    Jibs and samurai mike like this.
  13. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 471


    Recently guilty. I added a cross brace on the rear frame rails after the body had been fitted. I was sure it would clear, now I have a 3" x 32" slot in the floorboards to repair. The body is on, and the underside painted body color. This is not going to be easy to repair. When I cut it out, the floor popped and has a warp that won't give up. I am not removing the body, as we got it on without a scratch and it was scary.
  14. Upon the initial start up and ride around the block make sure you're grabbing the frame rail and not the hot front pipe to pull yourself underneath checking for oil drips.
  15. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,265


    Yeah, we gave him plenty of shit about that. Hell, I'm sure he's still hearing about it if he's still working there.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    nochop likes this.
  16. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,728


    Never force a chop top into position,,,cut out the bracing and heard a loud pop...sure epnough had to recut the roof on drivers side....ha ha ha...
  17. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Clay Belt

    Pulling the engine instead of replacing the blown head gaskets in the car. Had nothing but problems since then.
  18. scrubby2009
    Joined: Jan 9, 2011
    Posts: 198


    1990, I was old enough to know better. Pops traded me an all original '63 Comet, factory black over red interior. First thing I did was cut the dash up for some Alpine headunit that cost more than my tires and wheels... He still gives me shit about that.
    mrhp, nightmoves, nochop and 2 others like this.
  19. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,163


    Some people on this site have been helping me like that, and I always feel kind of guilty for taking free help because I don't want to be that guy you are talking about.
    Chili Phil and nochop like this.
  20. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    from SW Wyoming

    Painting a car with large amounts of marginal chrome in base/clear. The paint actually outdid the chrome on a '58 Olds.
    dragginwagon2 likes this.
  21. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,000


    Going to the junkyard and spending all afternoon removing a major part, like say a transmission, and not collecting all the other parts that go with it. Like the shift linkages and know the "little pieces" that you'll take care of later.
  22. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,335

    from Spring tx

    Shaving a cowl vent when there was no way to make the mechanism work or seal it up, now someone started producing seals and the vent is still welded shut and filled over.

    Raised bed floor probably is the other regret but end of the day the old truck still works fine. Glad I kept the drop axle and leafs...
    classiccarjack likes this.
  23. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,411

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Loved reading all of these. All I can add is that I’m too busy making new mistakes to repeat the old ones.
  24. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,919

    from norcal

    Sent a 350 turbo trans to be stripped and proven to do a trans adaptation. Paid for a tear down and inspection. Called the company to the mods.....out of business. Anybody need a 350 case?
  25. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,993


    This is my original mutilated dash. The prism sticker hides the carnage. radio area absent and holes in the top.
  26. ...working on a Chrysler product only made two years with no aftermarket support whatsoever

    lancer ranch1.jpg
  27. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    from Pacific,Mo

    Welding in shorts and sandals...just need to tack weld a few spots. Invented new dance.
  28. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,348

    from NKy

    . This was not intendeted for you or anyone on this great forum . I’m thankful to share anything I can to help a person that is interested to learn and enjoy this great hobby we have . My comment was intended to those that live by reality TV and thing it’s easy , they build a complete car in 3 hours . There are many things I do not know and to this day need help with . So I’m here to help anyone who needs help please ask . Death Row Speed Shop “ we can fix anything from a pregnant whore to a basketball game . “
    BLUSHU likes this.
  29. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,178


    If you actually do something you will make mistakes. I've discovered that the more it costs to fix, or the more work involved to fix, the better you will remember.

    This is helpful as oldtimers set in, and I tend to forget some of the mistakes I made as a younger man. Fortunately for me so far is that as I am progressing on something a red flag appears in my minds eye that something may not be right. I've learned to stop whatever I'm doing and study it carefully. Often what I may be doing is starting to look a lot like one of those mistakes from my past. Its much easier to fix a mistake your just getting started on then it is to wait until its all done, then realize what you have done and you know it all has to be redone.

    Sometimes I see those things when I see stuff someone else may be doing. I'll try to share my experience, but sometimes people think I'm being a foolish old man. I guess we all reserve the right to make some mistakes ourselves, which brings us back to my 1st paragraph. Gene
    clem, classiccarjack and Hnstray like this.
  30. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 5,171


    Building Mistakes ? I prefer to use " Learning Experience's " or as we say in my trade " Engineering Improvements "
    alanp561 likes this.

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