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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. HIT BY MY OWN CAR TWICE, Yes really happened. Working on my 32 roadster preparing to go the Rhinebeck this spring. Reached in thru the open drivers door, flipped the key and tapped the button. Yup. Fired instantly and it was still in reverse. Shot backward and the outside mirror and door caught me in the shoulder next the left front tire knocked me to the ground. Fortunately the garage door was already left open. Now the roadster is heading for the stone wall across from the garage. I leap off the garage floor and start running toward the drivers door. I ram my arm in through the window and attempt to throw it into neutral. No such stinking luck. My forearm bumps the column shifter into drive and the car jerks forward , outside mirror mashing my shoulder (again) and the left tire clobbering my knee. Laid me down pretty hard. I'm up again in an instant but pretty wobbly and make my final leap in through the widow and finally cram it into park with a lot of pawl clacking noises. Car was fine after all this excitement. My shoulder and knee were now candidates for a doctor visit.
     
  2. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,778

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    One of the weirdest days of my life:

    My old Shovelhead died exactly mid span on the Golden Gate bridge on a hot summer day returning from Alice's Restaurant. Lots of tourists frequent the bridge and a couple guys helped me lift it over the railing up onto the sidewalk as there is no shoulder and traffic was blocked. I soon realized the fuel petcock was clogged with rust because I had cleaned the tank with acid and didn't neutralize it afterwards. It was resisting all my efforts to poke it open. Meanwhile foreign tourists were taking pictures of the American Biker with his dead chopper. I did my best to appease them with dirty looks and 4 letter words. The GG bridge emergency truck had gotten wind of it, came along and told me in no uncertain terms that if I got it running I was not to ride it on the crowded sidewalk.

    Amid my frustration, a young American couple came along pushing a stroller, the guy asked me what the problem was. He thought about it briefly, reached down in the stroller and pulled a very, very big safety pin off his babies diaper! Worked like a champ, had it flowing gas in no time. I thanked him, offered him 20 bucks. He said no, this would be a story he would enjoy telling his boy in years to come.

    But the story doesn't end there. I wasn't about to push a running 600 lb. motorcycle for a mile or , so I slowly rode it through the crowd, most of them clearing the way via the rumpity rump. Except two guys walking in the same direction. They must have been Italian because there arms were waving around as the walked and talked. As I went by, one of the waving elbows hit first my mirror and then me in the beanie helmet I was wearing due to the fairly new helmet law. I heard something in foreign but I wasn't about to stop at that point.

    But the story doesn't end there. I got to the end of the bridge and sure enough the bridge truck was parked there. I saw the lights go on as I sped past, taking the first exit down into Sausalito and vanishing down some side streets. Feeling a bit safe, I made it to the gas station to replace the missing fuel. It was then I noticed the blood dripping from my ear, caused by the Italian elbow/helmet buckle conflict.

    But the story doesn't end there. I got back on the highway headed for home, certain the cops had been notified about the bridge happenings. Then, about 5 miles later, cranking along in the fast lane, my helmet apparently decided it had had enough and flew completely off my head! I then tried to screen myself by riding around other cars, but sure enough just a couple exits from home a CHP was parked on the side of the highway, and despite my best efforts he was soon on my tail with lights flashing. Not much chance of running this time.

    I figured my goose was cooked for the bridge escapade. The first thing he wanted to know is why I was riding without a helmet. Then he curiously noticed the blood on my shirt from my ear. Thinking quickly, I explained that the buckle must have broken, the helmet flew off and the buckle caught my ear on the way. He shook his head, took my license, went back to his car, got on the radio. I figured my next stop would be jail but he returned, asked me how far I had left to go, said my excuse was too goofy to have made up and sent me on my way!

    Made it home, couldn't pour myself a JD fast enough. What a day, I only wish I could find that guy with the baby on the bridge and tell him the whole story. The Italian guys not so much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  3. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,355

    manyolcars

    To adjust the shift cable on the 47 Mercury I bought in 1967, the 392 hemi has to be running so you can tell where neutral is. The metal tilt front end made it easier to get to the cable as I crouched down to reach under the car. I moved the cable carefully out of reverse but went too far into drive. This jerked on the tilt front end and it closed and fell in my head. That kinda stunned me and again I moved the cable too far, going into reverse and the front tire ran over my bellbottom jeans, trapping me. I couldnt reach the shift cable and had no way to stop the engine. I am planning to do things different next time I work on that car!
     
  4. High5
    Joined: Jul 2, 2012
    Posts: 185

    High5
    Member

    I bought my friends Corvette from his widow. When I went to start it, it wouldn't. So I poured gas in the carb and it started up and ran for a couple seconds. Then stopped. So we disconnected the fuel line and no fuel was pumping through it. I had looked at the fuel gauge and it showed half a tank so no worry there. Went out and spent $95 on a date coded correct pump and installed it. Poured gas in the carb and it started right up. But for just a few seconds then quit. So we disconnected the fuel line and sure enough no fuel flowing through it. Now I'm mad. Just spent all that money and it has to be faulty. But before I went to pulling the pump back off, I decided to check the fuel tank. To my surprise it was empty. My friend had attached a lanyard to the cap and it had gotten entangled around the sender forcing it up. Why didn't I just check the tank in the first place? Stupid!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  5. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,138

    Boneyard51
    Member

    A Senior Captain at the Dept hired a firefighter, that was going through a divorce, to overhaul the 289 in his OT car, mainly to just help him out. Job almost completed, the firefighter, a Chevy man, couldn’t get the Ford to start. Captain calls me to come over and help. After I rearranged the wires to the Ford firing order, the firefighter got in the car and started it and revved it up and a rod when right through the block.
    Captain ask what happen? I said it threw a rod. He said “ already”. I said” well you didn’t expect it to last forever, did you?”

    After I took the engine apart, the firefighter had forgot to even tighten the rod nuts, let alone torque them, some that were still there were able to be turned by hand.

    I, myself,have never made a misstake


    Bones .
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  6. pila38
    Joined: Mar 25, 2009
    Posts: 763

    pila38
    Member

    I tend to always get in a rush when I'm working on things. I don't know why, but no matter how excited I am to work on something, I still feel I need to get it done and move on to the next thing. Now that you know that...
    I was 17 working on my OT Chevy C30. It had a 350 in it with a mishmash of parts and never quite ran right. One day after school I decided to try a couple things to help it along. It always stumbled, so I decided maybe a different carb would help. We had a couple extras lying around our garage, so I gave them a shot. I tried two different ones, nothing seemed to make a difference. I was now getting impatient. My father had a 750 cfm dominator on the shelf from his car that he had rebuilt before mothballing. In my feeble teenage mind a gigantic carburetor would probably fix any fuel issues the truck had. I grabbed the carb, hooked everything up, but didn't bolt down the carb. Why? I knew my father wouldn't let me keep it on there, so I would just be taking it off again anyway, why bother tightening it down? I start the truck up and all seems good. So I lean under the hood grab the throttle and smash it back. Its at this point that the truck backfires, sends the carb flying up in to the hood and smashing back down onto the engine...which is now engulfed in fire. Still in shock that my hand was attached to my arm, I finally snap out of it, run in the garage and grab the fire extinguisher and unleash it on the fire. Flames go out. No too much damage. Except that now everything is covered in extinguisher material. Had to explain to Dad what happened later that night, he was not happy.
    Not the only time I hurt my pride (or myself), but I laugh my ass off every time I think about that.
     
  7. The most recent dumbass thing I did was about 10 years ago. I did an oil change on an OT diesel car. I drove it for about 30 or miles and didn't notice anything. even after I parked it. I came back and was wondering why there was this big pool of oil under the front of the car and it was still dripping. I thought maybe I blew an oil cooler hose. I popped the hood and saw the engine covered in a big oily mess as well as the underside of the hood. I then noticed the oil cap was gone and sitting not far from were I put it under the hood.
     
  8. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 954

    spanners
    Member

    Got my FJ Holden Ute finally painted and drive able . A couple of bits of welding wire to hold the tailgate shut and time for a test run up the drive. Couldn't resist and gave it squirt. Bang goes the newly painted tailgate as it hit the concrete. I hadn't installed the keepers.
     
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  9. I drilled a hole thru my chin .... and I guess got blood on my car ....

    Don't really know if it was dumb to my car or not, but definitely dumb to my face. :D :cool:
     
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  10. Retrorod
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 2,020

    Retrorod
    Member

    A couple of decades ago doing rings & bearings on the drag race truck (radical 350 solid lifter Chev) got two pistons mixed up...the thing made some clacky noises initially but settled down to its normal bumpy noisy idle. The next day at the track at about 7,000 rpm in second gear in came apart. Seems that mixing up two pistons allowed some intake valve contact (piston flycut differences) and when it came apart it shredded everything. The moral of the story is SLOW DOWN, PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL...then drink beer.
     
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  11. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,559

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    clearing the way via the rumpity rump. Except two guys walking in the same direction. They must have been Italian because there arms were waving around as the walked and talked. As I went by, one of the waving elbows hit first my mirror and then me in the beanie helmet I was wearing due to the fairly new helmet law. I heard something in foreign but I wasn't about to stop at that
    Made it home, couldn't pour myself a JD fast enough. What a day, I only wish I could find that guy with the baby on the bridge and tell him the whole story. The Italian guys not so much.[/QUOTE]


    55D948FD-AB25-4CB7-A8CA-4F8FBCA56805.jpeg




    How do you shut up an Italian??
    Tie his hands behind his back !!!



    That there is a funny story !!!
     
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  12. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,082

    goldmountain

    Many years ago, just after I had swapped a 327 into my Plymouth, I towed it to the muffler shop. It ran, so I decided to drive it onto the hoist. Unfortunately, I had placed the gas pedal too close to the brake pedal and when I tried to stop, it overshot the hoist and just came to rest before going into the pit. Some time later, I bring my Ranchero to the same muffler shop and with it being lowered a bunch, I high center on a manhole cover just in front of the door. It's always the same guy working there when I do this. Now I just do my own exhaust.
     
  13. RoddyB34
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 542

    RoddyB34
    Member

    1980,,,Tried adjusting the rear float level on a 650 Holley while the engine was running in my 34 in avatar,,,,,bad idea,,,instant inferno when fuel spray hit the distributor,,I did manage to race around and shut it down and hit it with the extinguisher,,big panic ,,
     
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  14. Primed an oil system on a built 301 SBC with a hand drill without the oil pressure line on. Heard a gurgle, oil missed my head by about 2 inches, oil hit the 16 foot tall peak of the garage ceiling and proceeded to rain down on me. On the plus side, I had great oil pressure and I no longer squeak !
     
  15. Putting a rebuilt engine/trans/transfer case all back together and back into the vehicle and not torquing the flywheel bolts.
    At the end of the day as I was reviewing the events, could not recall the action of torquing the flywheel.
    As much as I hate hate hate to undo everything I spent a whole day putting together, I made myself take the whole thing apart again just on a hunch.
    Sure enough, the flywheel bolts were just moderately tight waiting for the torque wrench.
    After fixing that, I felt much better about tearing all down to save the day.
    If I had discovered the bolts tight, I prolly would have been mad at myself for wasting all that work.
    It reminds me of the story of the farmer who got tired of running down to the storm shelter every time the weatherman warned of a tornado coming, then after the storm when the farmer came back out of the shelter and saw everything was fine, he started getting upset at the weatherman and the false alarms.
    One day he came back up to find his house blown apart.
    This time he said "well it's ABOUT TIME!"
    I'm glad I caught the untightened flywheel before anything could happen.

    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
  16. Long time ago; jacked up the front of my '33, put it on jack stands and installed the newly painted fenders. Jacked it back up when done and removed the jack stands and lowered it down and found the jack was higher than the now crunched tie bar and fender tips. Luckily it didn't ding the grille.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  17. I rewired my 53 Buick Skylark one wire at a time, bought it with all the wires burned up, The starter switch is on the carburetor. So I get in front of the Buick lean all the way over the grill radiator and open the throttle which engages the starter. It starts after not running in 10 years, I rev it up a few times, sounds good and suddenly it takes off climbs up my front porch closes the hood on me, I'm staring at the fan go round and round. I'd left it in drive and the converter was dry for the first minute. Pretty dumb!
     
  18. 55styleliner
    Joined: May 11, 2015
    Posts: 549

    55styleliner
    Member

    I was finishing the build on my first restoration, a 1966 Mustang. The 289 came from a truck or Galaxie, the bell housing came from a swap meet, trans from a wrecking yard. First mistake was a 164 tooth flywheel and a 157 tooth sized bellhousing. So I went to the wrecking yard and acquired a 157 tooth flywheel. I couldn’t seem to get all of the bolt holes lined up between the flywheel and crankshaft so ovaled out a few of them. I pretty quickly learned what an externally balanced engine meant lol. 3rd time on the flywheel was a charm.
     
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  19. Screenshot_20180911-004338.jpeg

    Oh, by the way, when you want to pump out a liquid thru a plastic fuel filter, don't do it while the liquid is still hot.
    just a thought.....

    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  20. Perry Hvegholm
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 113

    Perry Hvegholm
    Member

    I had a BB Challenger when I was just out of high school. Broke the driver's side insulator / mount while putting headers on it. Finished the headers with the intent to replace the broken insulator...just figured id be careful with it.... but forgot about it for a few days. Drove off in the car one afternoon. At a stoplight, some guys in a Camaro pulled up. Skyjackers, Wide Ovals. Cherry bombs. Primer. Revved his engine in provocation and I took the bait without thinking about it.

    I left him the dust initially. That was until the motor, revving at 5000 or so, pulled itself off the broken insulator. At that point, the passenger side insulator decided to throw in the towel instead of going it alone. The motor lifted up, off the K member, the fan ate through the radiator shroud and severed the upper radiator hose. The fan then threw a blade, which went straight into the side of the battery, punching a hole in it. Billowing steam, I pulled over in utter defeat and humiliation.
     
  21. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,559

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    In my 80 zapper just got it.
    Pulled up in front of my high school before class all happy, revved it up to do a big ol’ Smokey burnout revving it up,a crowed forming on the sidewalk.....

    Rev,rev..... oohs and ahhs “ go man go”
    Then the upper rad hose let’s go..... bunch of steam and smoke out from under the hood and coolant all over the floor........:mad:

    The mustang crowed never let me live that down! Lots of laughs and finger pointing that morning !
     
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  22. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,439

    BJR
    Member

    What's an 80 zapper?
     
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  23. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,559

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    Camaro z28

    Colloquialy known as a “Zapper”
     
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  24. dmdeaton
    Joined: Nov 25, 2017
    Posts: 468

    dmdeaton
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What is the most times you have taken something back apart to get it right?
    I love this thread
     
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  25. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,117

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Well I'm not done yet
     
  26. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,439

    BJR
    Member

    I had a friend who put his C10 pickup front wheels on ramps, and put it in park. Then crawled under it and removed the driveshaft to replace a U joint. Of coarse it rolled down off of the ramps when the driveshaft was removed, pinning him under it crushing his chest. Other friends got him out, and an ambulance ride to the hospital saved him. He was all bruised up but OK from the fiasco.
     
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  27. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,822

    zzford
    Member

    The following stories concerned stupid tricks my buddies have done. One guy just HAD to drive the fiberglass dune buggy he had built. He couldn't wait to get the clutch OR the brakes functional. He ended up hitting a pole and busting up the right front fender and destroying a brand new Hallcraft motorcycle wire wheel. The other case, a buddy was finishing up his 455 Olds powered Henry J. He had been working on the floor boards around the brake pedal. His wife was after him to come in for dinner. He got pissed off, started the car to pull it into the garage. Unfortunately, he had neglected to check the brake pedal operation. He had fitted the floor boards so tight around the pedal, it bound it up. He put the Henry J into a work bench. Worse yet, he had a complete VW engine on top of the bench. The engine rolled off, onto the hood of the freshly painted Henry J.
     
  28. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,117

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    You should have asked him "Other than that, how was dinner?"
     
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  29. I had just buttoned up a 283, sitting on an old tyre on the floor in the shed, when I hooked it up and ran it on the ground. All sounded good, except I didn't see the leak from the carb inlet fitting, which trickled down near the distributor and coil (which was just lying on the manifold) , and up in flames she went. So I grab the hose which was close by, and proceeded to spray the engine (which I had killed the ignition to), which deposited drops of burning gas onto the wall, which luckily was steel and I beat the flames out. After removing the small brown deposit from my undies, I notice a new CO2 extinguisher about 2 feet away from where the mess started.
     
  30. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,822

    zzford
    Member

    I was working at the local Mercedes Benz dealer as a line mechanic. The boss was one of those "if you're sick, don't call in, crawl in". Although I was sick as a dog with a fever, I came in. I put the front brake pads on a car inside out. Luckily, the test drive revealed the error. I pulled the car back in and fixed my screw up. No real damage done. But, boss or not, I went home.
     
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