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Features Whats the dumbest thing you ever did to your vehicle while working on it?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 56don, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. I was trying to get the drivers door on my newly acquired 48 Ford coupe to close properly yesterday. I thought the door panel or the weatherstripping was keeping it from closing right. So I took some padding out of the door panel edge and replaced it but did not put the window molding back on before trying to close the door. So being dumb, I tried to close the door. It still didn't close properly so I shut it a little harder and cracked the new window glass in three places. :mad:
    I was dumb, what have you done that made you call yourself dumb? I sure hope I am not the only one out there.
    LOU WELLS and chryslerfan55 like this.
  2. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,103

    from Houston

    I have made the mistake of asking "what's coming next":eek:
  3. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,732


    I started the new 276" Merc in my '36 3-window to show a friend how good it ran; since there was no seat in the car, I just reached in, turned on the key, and hit the starter. Unfortunately for me, the car was in reverse and the engine started immediately. Lucky for me, the front sheet metal was off, the front was on jackstands and the garage door was closed. Between the back bumper hitting the garage door and the front end coming off the jackstands and dragging, the engine stalled out when it hit the door. Amazingly, the only damage was a broken panel in the garage door and my pride.:(

    This happened about 25 years ago, so I guess I can finally admit it. It's better to be lucky than smart!
  4. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,593

    ramblin dan

    Was taking the engine out of my car for a rebuild recently and forgot to unbolt the torque converter. Pulled the engine loose, broke off one of the mounting pads and dumped 4 quarts of tranny fluid all over the garage floor when the engine tipped back. Luckily we could weld the pad back on to the converter.

  5. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 488


    The dumbest was to put a clutch disc in backwards and that's all I've got to say about that one.
    Well there was a time I was dechroming a 56 Chery and could not get the bondo to fill the holes, kept falling out the backside. So I got some pine tree sticks from the yard and stuck them in the holes and filled over with bondo, worked great till there was a hard rain and the sticks got soft and the sticks and bondo fell out
    All this happen when I was very young
    slim38, rjones35, LOU WELLS and 4 others like this.
  6. Sky Six
    Joined: Mar 15, 2018
    Posts: 1,750

    Sky Six
    from Arizona

    They don't call me "dumber than a box of hood ornaments" for nothing. I won't embarrass myself by telling you guys all that I have done over the decades.:rolleyes:

    Hint: shop rag left in blower hat.
    LOU WELLS, chryslerfan55 and 56don like this.
  7. southerncad
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 774


    Does not hooking up a throttle return spring count?:eek:
  8. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,460


    When I was taking apart my front end I was told under good authority that there perch bolts were probably rusted in and wouldn't come out without cutting them. Well I cut the tops and bottoms off.... Long story short got some help and with a touch of heat and and a little pressure they popped right out

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    LOU WELLS, chryslerfan55 and 56don like this.
  9. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,776

    Bandit Billy

    I was going to say "I put ina LS motor" but even I haven't got that dumb...yet.

    I did jack up my C3 vette once to pull the oil pan in an effort to diagnose a low oil pressure issue. Used the floor jack to lift up the nose and put it on jack stands. Left the jack under the car for extra support. I crawled under the car, removed the pan bolts, the pan came lose but wasn't high enough to clear the floor to remove it completely.

    Soooo, I did what any idiot would do, I used my leg to run the jack up until the car was high enough for the pan to come out. Then, of course I crawled a bit further under the car to scape the RTV off the motor when low and behold I could not move. I squirmed a bit to get free and noticed the car was squirming with me. Realizing that the jack was losing air I looked immediately at the jack stands and there was at least another 2 inches of day light between them and the frame. I had crawled too far under the car to work the jack but fortunately for me I had a socket set under there with me and I started propping anything I could reach on the top of the stands to take the weight of the car as it came down. Like a boa constrictor, the vette was crushing me to the point I could not holler for my wife for assistance. I could reach my cell and called her. 3 broken ribs...oh and there was nothing wrong with the car.
    Baumi, Dino 64, rockable and 15 others like this.
  10. Ive also put a clutch disk in backwards. hooked up a battery backwards and started the vehicle. Ruined all kinds of things. Installed a battery and didn't fasten it down. It fell out got in the fan bent the fan blade and the blade got in the radiator and cut a circle right out of the center of the Radiator. And worse yet it was a customers truck. I made it right with brand new parts & made no money that week. The worst I seen but it wasn't me. The boss backed the wrecker boom thru the windshield of a customers truck. Worse yet it was a semi wrecker and he backed it thru a pretty new Frieghtliner Cab Over. His insurance wouldn't cover it because the wrecker was the old yard dog and not insured. So he hired a couple of body men and they where frantically trying to fix it before the customer found out. He showed up and that did not fly. He just had to go to the bank get a loan and buy the guys truck. The next week he was going home after dark. In his pickup he had a small block engine in the back. The tailgate came open & the engine fell out. The car behind him ran over it. It was a small car and it was totaled. I don't know if it made it worse or not. But it was his wife who was behind him.
  11. scotts52
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,298


    I was working on my off topic truck back in my early twenties. The keys to all my old cars were in my pocket and it was bugging me. I proceeded to set them on top of the truck. After only a brief time I realized that was a bad idea as I might forget about them and drive off. So I proceeded to put my truck keys with them so I wouldn't forget. Fast forward, I'm finishing up the truck and want to take it for a test spin. I grab the truck keys and away I go. 1/4-1/2 mile down the road it occurred to me that it was ONLY the truck keys I'd grabbed.

    Had to re-key all my projects.:(
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  12. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 488


    ^^^^^^^^^ Old Wolf YOU WIN!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
    chryslerfan55 and Hnstray like this.
  13. 23E965A6-1EFC-4612-A6D1-D93FDC81EDB6.jpeg Don’t know how many brake lines and fuel lines I’ve flared over the years perfectly!!
    Only to look over at the bench and see the fitting sitting there.and.not.on.the.end.of.the.line :mad:

    Removing a broken exhaust stud, snapped the easy out flush into the stud ... that’s also shaped off flush to the head !!
    Asked my boss what to do next he tells me “ now you start drinking heavily!)

    I know there’s more, but this is all that I’m admitting to !!!o_O
  14. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,116

    from norcal

    Trying to pull the heads of a 265 with a pry bar........3 stitches to the eye later I could see the rest of the bolts under the sludge.....ah to be 17 again
  15. Installed a left-hand center lock hub on the right front of my car. Disaster.
    56don likes this.
  16. I have driven thousands of miles in unfinished hot rods and have always had a problem with finishing them.

    We had recently chopped the top on a Model A sedan and just in time for our clubs annual car show, we were excited about making the show at the eleventh hour and everyone was having a good time, along about 3 pm a cloud came up and the bottom fell out I ask one of my daughters to run out and roll up the windows, no sooner than she ran out to the cars I realized I had forgot something so I made a bee line towards the car and no sooner than I had the car in sight I heard braking glass and my daughter soaking wet and squalling.

    I told her it's OK and it was my fault the glass broke as I rolled up the window on the passenger side.

    I had never cut the glass to compensate for the 4" chop and I failed to replace the cap on top of the door so the glass was 4" higher that the door opening. :rolleyes: HRP
    norms30a, jethro67, LOU WELLS and 5 others like this.
  17. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 781


    Off topic 69 Chevy pick up. No springs on hood hinges. Propped with a broomstick. Was back deep hanging over the side head first. Somethi g in my way , pushed it, was the broomstick . Trapped! Hoods are heavy without springs. Yes some alcohol was involved.

    Sent from my LG-TP450 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  18. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,933


    I assembled the front pump on my C4 trans finger tight and forgot to tighten the bolts before I installed it on the transmission. Had this massive internal hemmorage.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Atwater Mike, chryslerfan55 and 56don like this.
  19. Leaving the return spring off the manifold/card swap.....Test driving in the rain...... Hey! I was 16 at the time.....
    I knew everything! I liked to do burnouts, but=Damn!
  20. Fresh rebuilt original motor (including new poured Babbitt bearings) in a ‘34 Chevy. Motor all buttoned up and in the chassis. I thought I would fill the radiator with plain water for the first start up. It was taking quite a while to fill and I was thinking that the cooling system must have a much larger capacity than I thought. Then I saw the water running out the tail pipe. Apparently a ‘35 head gasket is slightly different than a ‘34. I had filled the entire engine with water. Doh!

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  21. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,225

    big duece
    from kansas

    some things I don't share...
  22. Cleveland Coupe
    Joined: Aug 16, 2008
    Posts: 71

    Cleveland Coupe

    Installing a new radiator shroud that I just fabricated. I drilled a hole for a clamp for the overflow hose with a wood block against the radiator perfectly. I then grabbed a larger drill bit to deburr the hole and the bit grabbed and went right threw my brand new walker radiator. Oh well cost $125 for the radiator repair, poorer but smarter, I guess.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  23. 33 cdan man
    Joined: Sep 15, 2016
    Posts: 149

    33 cdan man

    Install fresh engine in car (SBC). Fill crank case. Insert oil pump priming tool. Connect drill to tool and pump away. Looking around I see a LARGE puddle of oil on the floor. I forgot to install the oil filter.
  24. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,732


    I wouldn't have ever "told on myself" either except that I didn't damage the car at all.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,552


    I walked into a friend's machine shop in Texas in the early 70's and he hollers,
    come take a look at this. This was a small block Chevy head that was broken off along the line of the bottom bolts. Evidently the guys who pulled the head wanted to leave the exhaust on and used a 6 ft pry bar to get it off. Then they took it to his shop and wanted him to grind the valves.

    Probably the funniest dumb thing I ever did was wiring the firing order of the 283 in my T bucket in reverse order. I wired it just like the 350R Olds that was my daily driver and fought with it for 3 days before I woke up in the middle of the night with the revelation of what I did. Neighbors didn't think much of my firing off my engine with open meg style headers at 02:30 am.
    The really stupid and lived to tell about it thing was jacking up my 55 Buick and putting it on jack stands on dirt and then removing the front wheels and going about taking off the front bumper to give it that 1966 "gasser" look. Got the bumper all unbolted, got out from under the car, jerked on the bumper to pull it off and the car went over sideways on the stands and knocked the corner post of the carport out.
    After my heart calmed down I jacked it up, put the wheels back on, and then proceeded to get the post back in place on the carport before my dad got home from work. Never told him what happened.
  26. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,986


    The first one I remember was not putting the battery hold down back on and the battery hit the alternator fan and ruined a freshly painted engine and destroyed the brand new plug wires too. Put a new timing chain in my 53 Olds and after filling with oil I started it up and no oil pressure,looked under the car and I did not put the oil filter on and a huge puddle of oil so off to the store about midnight for more oil and cat litter to soak the oil up.
  27. kmrumedy
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 142


    Years ago, the first time I attempted an oil change on my then newly acquired 64 Plymouth. ( 360 small block with fenderwell headers.) The oil filter is located in back of engine passenger side. Pain in the butt to reach. Previous owner ran the brake line right behind the filter making even more difficult to get the new one in. I was like a contortionist trying to weave my arm through the headers with the filter in hand. I slipped and my arm dropped through the headers above my elbow. When I tried to pull my arm was stuck!!! I couldn't get my arm out!!! Took 15 minutes of sheer panic to finally oil up my arm so I could escape!

    Pic of engine bay. I have since learned to practice my route before changing the filter!

  28. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,827

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    Changing Header gaskets on an off topic 68 Mustang with a 428 swapped in, real tight to work on. We had to unbolt the motor mounts and jack up the motor to do do it, guess we made to much noise as my
    father came down and thru us out. ( the garage was under my 5 sisters bedrooms and it was 2 am. There might have been some beer involved.) We tightened the last bolt on the headers, started the motor and he drove home. Two days later he realized the jack was still holding the motor on the right side. God I miss being a teenager.
    jethro67, CudaChick1968 and nochop like this.
  29. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,070

    from Rolla, Mo.

    Checked the cruise control while on jack stands. We were at over 100 mph before we could get it shut down.
    rockable, slim38 and Beanscoot like this.
  30. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 3,708


    I had an accident with the coupe in my avatar, bent a frame horn down about 3 inches and in quite a bit too. Local hot rod shop told me to straighten it cold and that worked out like a charm. Not having a frame machine me and a pal braced the cross member to a roof rafter and using a floor jack got it back where it belonged and it looked almost perfect. A bit of heat and it was ready for paint, which I was re-doing from the firewall forward.
    I wet sanded the primer and when I shot the Imron there was more fish eye then color on it! WTF? Took a while, but eventually I remembered draining Zerex antifreeze into that bucket I had wet sanded with. Right, Zerex with silicates in it. Learned a lesson that time, keep your antifreeze toys away from the rest of your stuff.

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