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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. jbarker
    Joined: Nov 18, 2018
    Posts: 36


    Learned it's sometimes better to pay someone else to do the work. I learned real fast I don't have the patience or skill for sheetmetal work involving anything past a stud welder.

    Getting impatient and half assing and going cheap on stuff just to get a car finished. I'm still dealing with that on my 87 turbo buick.

    It's cheaper to buy finished and then gut it to make it your own.

    Don't leave a rag in the engine. They don't care for that.

    Double check the marks on timing chains. Yup, chased my tail for over a year because of this.

    Don't tear down an engine before you find out exactly what's wrong with it. It's hard to fix what isn't broke.

    Using worm clamps on turbocharger piping isn't the best idea.
  2. greaser
    Joined: Apr 30, 2006
    Posts: 861


    I will never take a running car and blow it ALL apart, thinking that the needed changes wont take too long,,,, YA, RIGHT! Better to keep it running, and make changes systematically, one upgrade at a time.
    Saxman, leadfoot1000 and nightmoves like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2016
    Posts: 409

    Member Emeritus

    The next time I do a tall T I'm going to shop around for a better body. I'm 79 and wonder if I'll outlive the body work.
    Fordor Ron, Rich B. and nunattax like this.
    Joined: Jan 24, 2010
    Posts: 2,109

    from IDAHO

    Flames On A Deep Water Blue Sedan Delivery That Never Should Have Had Any...ETC... 26231528_1958553994468872_1433347531996413577_n (1).jpg
    jnaki likes this.
  5. Not keeping notes and documenting a build. A mistake that's bighting me in the ass as I type this.
  6. Fuel to burn
    Joined: Jul 17, 2009
    Posts: 279

    Fuel to burn

    Had the radiator out of an Oldsmobile, tried to move it into the garage, automatic transmission, ATF everywhere.
    Bought a T-Bird that had sat a long time, tried to start it without thorough inspection, valves stuck bent pushrods.
    Ralphies54 likes this.
  7. Letting your (now ex) wife and friends talk you in to a paint color.
  8. oldsfrench
    Joined: Jan 26, 2018
    Posts: 242

    from France

    i was 18 yo , trying to fix a carb issue on my 1965 Renault 8...
    it was dark in the parent's garage , use a lighter to see what's wrong in the carb....
    booooommmm ...
  9. Gabby
    Joined: Apr 14, 2007
    Posts: 268


    I know real hot rods don't have radios. However, never buy a radio for a car that is unfinished. It will be an antique before the car is built. Anyone want a signal seek cassette / AM-FM radio, new in the box.
  10. Gabby
    Joined: Apr 14, 2007
    Posts: 268


    I know real hot rods don't have radios. However, never buy a radio for a car that is unfinished. It will be an antique before the car is built. Anyone want a signal seek cassette / AM-FM radio, new in the box.
  11. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 2,580

    from IRELAND

    bollox a radio is company on a long journey,weather updates traffic updates ferry updates.accident updates.radios are for people who travel long radio in your car probably never go far can allways turn it off and listen to the motor
  12. nightmoves
    Joined: Aug 12, 2014
    Posts: 124


    With cellphones readily available, photograph Everything. Sometimes, I take longer than I should putting things back together...and tend to forget.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  13. Rodders
    Joined: Jun 5, 2012
    Posts: 255


    Yep following trends and rushing. I am not doing ether of that on my build now. All that matters is that I like it.
    nunattax likes this.
  14. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,189

    rusty rocket

    Ha ha! I,m sorry!
  15. Yep. One of my biggest mistakes was loaning several uncommon tools on a Stude car club "tool loan ring" and never getting any of them back.
    ...Where they either quietly vanish or the borrower suddenly picks a fight for some goofy reason and conveniently feels "justified" in stealing my parts and tools.
    Never again have I loaned anything out trying to be a nice guy, only to be called a villain for the sake of free stolen parts.
    More than a few.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  16. Dangerous47
    Joined: Aug 14, 2012
    Posts: 48


    10 years ago I decided I wanted a "smooth firewall". Honestly one of the biggest regrets of any car I have built was welding up this poor firewall in my adolescence..

    Sent from my SM-N960W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    slim39 likes this.
  17. Not paying to have work done when I should have
    Paying to have work done when I shouldn't have
    And somehow still not learning when to know the difference
  18. HSF
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 133

    from Lodi CA

    Been said a few times on this thread. Buying someone elses project and tearing apart perfectly good running and driving cars to never finish them.
    Ralphies54 likes this.
  19. paintman27
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 287

    from new jersey

    Don't know which one was worse.............
    Welding in my front cross member 1 1/2" to far forward
    painting POR15 without gloves.......................
  20. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,402

    from Oregon

    Here is my past mistake that I only let happened once:oops:. I was 16 at the time. I had '68 Pontiac with a 327 . Using oil and smoking like a campfire. Middle of winter in a barn and no heat. Guy in town had a '64 283 4 barrel engine with 60,000. Pulled the 327 , dropped the 283 in got engine fired up and took off for a quick test. 1/2 mile down the road. Hissing like a snake. Checked over , water coolant leak. Drove back to barn. Freeze plug let go. Of course right behind the engine mount:eek:
    VANDENPLAS and mad mikey like this.
  21. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,402

    from Oregon

    Second mistake later in life was dealing with bullchit artists. Life lessons in avoiding them like the plague. Now tell them to their face to go rub salt.
  22. not checking the rear axle fluid
  23. mrbeetle
    Joined: Jan 30, 2017
    Posts: 9


    Not listening to those with more experience. Thanks for sharing fellas!

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    WB69 and VANDENPLAS like this.
  24. Big Mistake - letting a build stall out, then selling off the parts instead of taking a break then restarting later.
    I wish I could restart an old project, but the parts have been sold. :(

    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  25. Wire wheels, had them on a 53 Buick Skylark and on Ford roadsters, they bend and don't balance very well. Bad deal wheels.
  26. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,602

    from NKy

    Trusting you have the foot clutch adjusted correctly on a hand jammer . One time and never again sit at a traffic light with a manual shift in gear ( car , truck , bike ) , clutch disengaged .
    trollst likes this.
  27. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,794



    In looking back 59 years, one big mistake from our 40 Willys C/Gas coupe build that definitely would not be repeated in the next version was a B&M or C&O Stick Hydro instead of our LaSalle 3 speed floor shift transmission. At the time, our budget called for a heavy duty clutch, a very inexpensive LaSalle 3 speed transmission, and a two piece scattershield. Our hopes were for the new stick hydro transmissions for our 40 Willys 671 SBC C/Gas Coupe. But, as time and money always play a part of a direction in any build, we settled for getting the 40 Willys up and running. We would save more money for the later purchase and conversion of the stick hydro installation.

    As budding hot rod/drag racers doing their first backyard build, we did not think anything of using that 3 speed transmission and clutch set up. We even bought a heavy duty, custom built, clutch from a highly reputable (other drag racers used this shop) clutch shop for our new clutch installation. A national sanctioned body approved scattershield was purchased as a means of safety and protection as required by the rules.
    Once that 671 SBC fired up, all thoughts of replacing that 3 speed with a stick hydro went out of the window. The first drive down our neighborhood street and shifting into the upper gears made all other thoughts and ideas get placed on the back burner.

    It was thrilling at what we had done so far. It was something that we did together for the first time and the results were pretty good for a couple of teenagers. And that, this was what a street driven race car should and loud. Our 348/280 hp Impala was impressive upon acceleration, but this 671 SBC in the Willys Coupe was the best...!!!


    As anyone can do, thinking back to that moment in time, the cost of a stick hydro would have emptied our collective bank accounts. The Willys ran well, got close to the national record for our class and the sound was outstanding! We were extremely happy with the current build status/results of the 1940 Willys 671 SBC coupe, until August, 1960.

    classiccarjack and Tudor like this.
  28. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 688


    Buying a car with a misty eyed view that needs a lot of work before it can be driven. Having an old ride to drive while working on the other car may be my short term answer to driving something of age. Then sell the first car when the 2nd is a driver.
  29. My big mistake was listening to older builders who are more experienced and more skilled than I but who I later realize only know 80's and 90's Streetrods. Getting talked out of building the car I want because they think it's not how you build a safe, "proper" car. You know what I mean. Boxed frames, SBC, open driveline, t5, vega box, 4 link, coil overs, loads of catalog parts, etc etc. I worked hard on the car I was convinced to build to a point then I realized it wasn't the car I had ever wanted and I hated everything about it.

    I took a complete year off and ditched the near complete chassis I'd built to that point. I grabbed another mint frame I had then came back to the project with a determination to built the car I always wanted. A completely traditional car with original period correct parts I'd been collecting from swap meets and classifieds for years. The cars I loved from the early 50's magazines.

    Build the car you want whatever it is and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
  30. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 749


    Big mistake here was giving away a long time ago 3 SBC and 1 239 OHV ford engines in need of major rebuilds to fellow club members who expressed a desire for future projects of theirs, only to find out years later they sold the engines rather than pass them on to some other needy rodders. I realize once you give something away they are free to do whatever but !!!!
    No more Mister nice guy. Ralphie

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