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Technical Look out for the "Mickey Mouse" repairs of Previous Owners....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by F-ONE, May 26, 2021.

  1. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,769

    from Alabama

    You have to give credit where credit is due. If it were not for the previous owners of our cars, we would not have them toady.

    Now, running an unrestored car is not like "building" a car. On a unrestored car there is just so much to go through. It's a work in progress. Issues arise in a piecemeal fashion. Things crop up, you fix it and move on to next.
    In a way repairing a un restored car getting it, "tip-top" may be in long run, more difficult and more work than tearing one down and building it up. The only advantage is, the car is able to be driven. There's down time but there's also drive time. In short when you build one, it's down for a long time but when it's done it's done for the most part. On an unrestored car....there's always..."what's next".

    Most of you know I'm going through a '51 Ford Coupe right now. Likely some of this will be posted on that thread. I decided to share as a topic what happened to me today because it was such a surprise. diligent in your inspection. Since I did not catch this, maybe you will, or at least be on the look out for this kind of stuff.

    I had a close encounter with a poor repair yesterday.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    Yesterday I drove up to my daughters new home to see the Grand Baby and eat some spaghetti. I brought the Spaghetti stuff and even a quart of Rocky Road. This photo was taken right before the adventure at the gas station.

    On my thread I have mentioned a strong smell of gasoline in the car.

    Hind sight is 20/20. Putting all this together after the fact makes a lot of sense now.

    When the car was in the garage, there was always a smell of gasoline, slight but it was there. When the car was closed up for a while in the garage, looking back, the smell was rather strong. That should have been a clue. I did investigate it but not near good enough.

    I was convinced the gasoline smell was coming from the front, namely the carburetor.
    The tank looked good.
    The filler pipe looked good.
    The filler pipe hose to tanks was clamped and dry.
    All the gas line connections were dry, there was/is no evidence of leakage from the tank to the fuel pump.
    There was no leaks from the fuel pump to the carburetor.

    Now, at the carburetor the airhorn gasket was wet. The carburetor was not dripping but it was obvious the float needed attention...

    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    It's hard to tell from the photo but the float was way too high. I adjusted the float and it seemed lessen the smell of gasoline but not as much as I had hoped...

    Anyway....I go to the gas station and top off the tank. Gasoline goes every where.:eek: Probably a cup maybe a pint just start pouring out from under the trunk.

    A pint of gasoline pouring out from under a car looks like Niagara Falls. A cup to a pint of gasoline on concrete looks like the Exxon Valdez.
    I had to go in and tell them....out comes the guy with Kitty liter. It was embarrassing.:oops:

    My first though was the filler seal....No, this was coming from the top of the tank....
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    Just look at that Mickey Mouse BS.!!:mad:o_O:rolleyes: Now, I noticed this before but I truly did not see it......

    I did not catch it. Those screw holes looked like Old Faithful...WTF.
    They had a cute little foam cover covering this cut out with a pocket knife.:rolleyes:
    These cars go through many hands unfortunately some of these hands belong to complete and total dumbasses.

    The truth is I should have noticed this. I guess this makes me a dumbass too.:rolleyes:
    I was all in the trunk last week working on the brake lights. I should have followed the clues....

    Anybody lazy enough and dumb enough to cut a big hole right square in the middle of a perfect trunk panel to wire up a used $3.00 flea market gauge, is dumb enough to leave it like they did. Open! WTF....

    The way the power wire for that bullshit gauge was just draped on the frame or whatever and ran to the back under the car is another clue. It was just cut loose and wrapped around and around the bumper bracket...WTF
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr
    ^^^Here was the power wire for that stinking gauge....Hey there's a hole, lets run a wire through it.:rolleyes:
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr
    Take a look at this little jewel.o_O The accelerator was flopping all over the place. It was impossible to drive the car in that condition. So they made this piece of crap. They took a piece of aluminum and a Plastic bolt and nut. They drilled through said plastic bolt to make a bushing for the pedal.
    Did it work? Hell No!
    They had no idea how the accelerator linkage works on a Shoebox. The problem was not the floor. It was the linkage. That, and the accelerator actually needs to secured to the floor. A self tapping screw ain't gonna do it....
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr
    ^^^ Lets use a porch door spring. No place to secure it...No problem, we'll just use bailing wire wrapped around the Generator mount.:confused:
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr
    This one nearly cost pulling the engine and a machine shop repair. The front four exhaust bolts on a Flathead are 7/16 bolts instead of 3/8 like the others. 3/8 too small???? Lets just use 3/8 studs and lots of silicone.....and gall the threads in the process. Jeeshe Louise !!! It took three days of careful work to save those threads.
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    I'm a year into this, repairing stuff right and fixing things correctly.
    I never dreamed that the top of the gas tank would be open.
    ^^^ It could have been bad. It could have been bad bad.

    Now I have to fix it. The thing is....It's fucked up. The tank is FUBAR. To use that tank, I'll have to out "Mickey" Mickey Mouse....
    I'm not going to do that. It looks like a new tank is in the future.

    It's such a beautiful car. Why someone would do such to such a nice car is a mystery.

    I missed a big issue. Go over your car very very carefully.
  2. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,025


    Shame on the mess, shame on the kids that made the mess, and shame on the mess that made the kids:eek:
    LSJUNIPER, AHotRod, pvfjr and 8 others like this.
  3. Thank God you caught it before it killed you and maybe some other people!
    Seems like every car I've had, the wiring has been butchered beyond recognition. I am no automotive electrician, but usually end up rewiring the entire car...
    AHotRod, F-ONE, hotrodjack33 and 4 others like this.
  4. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,974

    from Tampa, FL

    A friend just got a car from one of those car collector places with the fancy showroom in Minneapolis... it sure looks cool, but so much is screwed up. Typical used car salesman, will tell you anything. The worst are (so far): a tranny pan mounting surface ground so uneven it had two gaskets on it and one bolt with a crooked helix-coil and of course it leaked; tranny linkage all screwed up; a single cylinder, racing master cylinder plumbed for both front and rear braking circuits; racing brake pads so hard they practically squeaked and squealed when the car was sitting still; a heater control valve installed backwards and inoperative (frozen open); no antifreeze just water; speedo uncalibrated; suspension so low it can hardly be put on a lift (despite adjustable coil-overs all around); door and trunk latches that didn't latch properly; no trunk seal; wiper mechs installed backwards so they hit each other; cooling fan inoperative unless the AC was on; no auto thermostatic switch for the AC / cooling fan; heat and AC on at the same time; hood latch inoperative - luckily the hood opens from the rear so it can't blow open; door glass won't fully rise; AC vents to the dash not connected to the AC unit. Otherwise, the car looks fantastic and the engine runs fantastic.
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
    AHotRod, F-ONE, texasred and 3 others like this.

  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,180


    Back when I was teaching auto Mechanics one of my students had his pristine 74 Cougar burn to the ground because his father decided that he could bandaid the power steering pressure hose by cutting it in two and putting a pipe nipple in the middle and then use bailing wire as hose clamps. The car made it to school the next day, went to lunch at noon and caught fire on the way back to school and burned to the ground behind the school shop. Luckily another student had decided to break the rules and wash his car in front of shop door or the kid would have driven inside and probably caused the whole place to burn.
    AHotRod, Jim Bouchard, X-cpe and 4 others like this.
  6. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,009


    Worked with a guy when I taught at a vocational school who taught civil engineering. He had and early 70's Torino and blew a PS hose. He came to me to see what the hose cost as the school got a discount. I called and the hose was around $30.00. He couldn't believe that so he said he would just make his own hose out of heater hose. He did this at home but I was told it lasted until his wife turned the steering wheel and gave him a bath in ATF. Since he was an engineer (which he told me often) he got a new piece of heater hose and wrapped it tightly from end to end with mechanics wire. I think it did work for about a minute. I found all this out later after he asked me to order the correct hose.
  7. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,009


    When I bought my 57 T-Bird it had a lot of new parts installed. A couple of them were installed correctly. I spent the first 6 months I had the car redoing previous repairs. If they could put a part in backwards or upside down, they did.

    My 64 Chevy flat bed had been owned by a young man and it had been his first "car". I bought it because I needed a truck and it was cheap. Whenever anything electrical quit, he would run new wiring and switches bypassing the original looms. I think I pulled out a mile of extraneous wiring. Much of this wasn't connected to anything. His other habit was when reassembling anything only use every other fastener and be sure and leave those fasteners lose.
  8. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,391


    I don't trust anybody to build my cars but me. When I do succumb to buying one someone else built, it seems like I have to go through it from one end to the other before I am satisfied I can drive it any distance, I've only bought one car, my 48 Buick Convertible, that was well built. I did almost nothing to it for the 3 years I owned it but I did spend a lot of time checking it out from top to bottom.
    lucky ink, AHotRod, F-ONE and 4 others like this.
  9. The things I’ve seen on old cars that drives me nuts is mismatched hardware !! If your going to use 3/8th bolts then use them for the entire assembly where they are needed !!! Not some here , a 5/16 there a slotted head there an Allen head over here !!!

    hardware is cheap in the long run!!

    The other is butchered electrical , now I know electrical can be daunting for some but a wire cut and spliced 2456777889986553332 times in a 6 foot run with different colours and gauge of wire and cheap Chinese connectors is completely infuriating :mad::mad:

    I’ve seen house wire, extension cord and marrettes used in cars as well, wtf man :confused:

    or safety stuff, seat belts held in with self tappers, tranny pans held in with self tappers
    The “I DID IT” brand of 1’ brake lines joined together 10,000 times under the car with compression fittings !!!

    it’s the stupid stuff that gets bodged together for no reason, and most times these are the cars with shiny paint , fancy wheels and those cheap knock off racing seats or newer car leather interior, yeah, sure . Your car might look fancy but it’s a rolling death trap !!

    it’s enough to drive me to drink....... more then usual!!! when I see this garbage on my cars and a work I see this crap all the time .
    weps, DirtyJoe, F-ONE and 6 others like this.
  10. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 4,521

    Lloyd's paint & glass

  11. I feel for you all and have seen some $hit too. Wire nuts are for household wiring. At least use crimp on connections although I prefer soldered connections that are shrink wrapped. Had someone show me how he buggered the threads on his bolts so they acted as "Lock Bolts" where you couldn't use lock nuts or even use a lock washer. He did this on his head bolts. He said he did it all the time so he didn't have to re torque anything. Well his boogerd head bolts stripped the threads out of the block and blew the head gaskets. The mechanic who got to repair it also found that he did it on his intake manifold to head bolts. Oil pan, water pump, front cover, and valve cover bolts. This was back in the 1970's and I do not know what the outcome for the 389 Pontiac block and heads were but they were replaced with junk yard parts that were reconditioned.
    F-ONE, Thor1, loudbang and 1 other person like this.
  12. I was fortunate with my '59, outside of some wiring creativity, the car had not been butchered in any way. I did rewire the car. Any subsequent repairs, those are on me if there are issues.
    F-ONE, Thor1 and loudbang like this.
  13. It's easy to be harsh on this subject. Many are uneducated. Many are poor and have no resources. Some are thieves. Today we have the privilege of youtube videos. Every project I have completed has a video so the buyer can see what was done. I realize that not everybody is going to do that. If we buy something sight unseen, should we assume that everything should be inspected before driving? Many on this forum are very knowledgeable but many want to buy a car and have fun, not work on it.
    midnightrider78, X-cpe, F-ONE and 2 others like this.
  14. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 644

    from Alabama

    Went to look at an early Pontiac that the owner said had a GTO engine. Generally the work was very shoddy. He had used Craftsman Tool Universal Sockets to route the steering column to the steering box. The welds looked like bubblegum that could have easily been knocked off with little effort with a hammer. Wiring was a combination of left over bits and pieces of different gages some in the same electrical line. There were numerous other things.

    The guy bragged all the wile I was there that he did everything himself. When I told him I wasn’t interested without mentioning any of what I found he got pissed and starting complaining about me wasting his time. Hard telling what was done in areas I couldn’t see and I didn’t care to look after seeing just a few things.
    F-ONE, Thor1, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,598

    Atwater Mike

    I've only bought one car I didn't have to tear into upon receipt.
    My brand new '61 Ford Starliner. (other than straighten the low/reverse shift rod...looked like some factory worker pushed it down hard, for anybody's guess why!)
    Everything with 1 or more moving parts has a potential problem, or will have.
    ...and I'm an optimist!
    F-ONE, Thor1, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  16. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 310

    from Maine

    Of the 4 years I've had my '59 I've spent 3 restoring, and 1 de-mickey mousing it. And 3 months driving it.
    Spooky, Joe Travers, F-ONE and 5 others like this.
  17. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,664

    Jalopy Joker

    View attachment 5074534
    - what I am dealing with on my '63 Nova SS - other guy had put in upgraded stereo & dash gauges, etc. - some wires not connected, for some never cut wires to go from point A to B and just stuffed extra wiring under dash , etc - "current" challenge is wiring for Neutral Safety Switch
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
    F-ONE, loudbang and Budget36 like this.
  18. This is standard practice from the factory on every British car i've ever owned.
    Might partly explain the demise of their auto industry.
    F-ONE, Fabulous50's, Thor1 and 2 others like this.
  19. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,129


    When I first started working on old cars, I was a kid and had nobody around to ask questions or for advice, so I did the best I could. I learned, a lot the hard way and doing fixes several times, until they lasted. Looking back, I'm not proud of some things I did, but I learned and kept going.

    Point is, nobody is born knowing everything - it has to be learned. If you see something on somebody's ride that you think is dangerous, don't just laugh about it to your buddys - diplomatically point it out to the owner and offer to help him or her fix it.
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  20. rotten ron
    Joined: Aug 11, 2018
    Posts: 1,260

    rotten ron

    TagMan AMEN
    F-ONE, Thor1, VANDENPLAS and 2 others like this.
  21. Both of these statements is so true. Back in the 1950's clear through the 2000's not very many people owned a MIG welder to be able to repair sheet metal let alone a TIG. So many vehicles had their floors patched with road signs pop riveted in or bolted for this reason. They were stolen right off of the sign post. YES. We all have to learn and this site helps us learn anything from sheet metal forming, to welding, painting, upholstery, mechanical work. For anyone interested in learning how to do something.
  22. cavman
    Joined: Mar 23, 2005
    Posts: 646


    I could write a book about things that were messed up with this when I bought it.
    To mention a few, one bolt holding the body to the frame, no bolt in the steering rag joint, std & metric brake fittings squashed together so they just about didn't leak, king pins tilting forward about 8 deg. Steering column so loose at the dash, that when you turned the wheel your knuckles hit the window crank. An old aircraft gas tank that leaked so bad it soaked the carpet and the plywood it sat on. Not one piece of window channel, or a wiring grommet anywhere, the seat was secured with 2 quarter inch bolts. I could go on, and on. But hey it looked cool 40 yrs ago. 32 Ford 007.JPG Maybe that's why it has taken me so long to re-do it. At least it will be safe.
  23. Just never know what you'll find

    100_2849.jpg 100_2869.jpg
    alanp561, Glitchy, DirtyJoe and 10 others like this.
  24. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 2,380


    I would have been more than happy if some of the project cars I've bought were JUST Mickey Mouse'd...but many of them appeared to have Goofy's handiwork.:(
  25. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 572

    leon bee
    from Arkansas!

    I'm a car guy, I look at everything. I may be amused or amazed at some of the things I find, but never offended.
  26. PotvinV8
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 114


    Rule #1: Expect to have to fix EVERYTHING.
    TagMan, missysdad1, rockable and 10 others like this.
  27. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,825

    from PNW

    Funny, I've never really felt the need to complain or bitch about a previous owners work on what was their car at the time. I didn't give a shit about the reasons they did what they did to their car. I was buying the car, I wasn't paying for their mechanical ability. If their work wasn't up to my standards, I just hitched up my big boy pants and set about fixing the problem. After all, if you need a cotter pin at 2:00 in the morning, on a deserted road in the middle of bumfuck N. Dakota, and you stumble across a rusty nail that'll do the job, you don't really wait around till the parts house opens and you can get the factory authorized cotter pin to complete the fix.
  28. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,805

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    I bitch all the time about the work done on my truck, then I remember I did the work. Slowly improving.
    Glitchy, A23, redo32 and 12 others like this.
  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 19,590


    Poor Mickey...:oops:
    Wrench97, swade41, hotrodA and 8 others like this.
  30. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,073

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    F-ONE, Thor1 and Stogy like this.

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