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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 put the timing light on a plug lead on a 283, and I couldn't even see the marks. The engine was running well,and where the mark was only lead me to the conclusion that the pulley/damper had slipped around on the crankshaft, what else could it be? So I removed the radiator, pulled the pulley off -and all looked good. Put it all back, hooked up the timing light- the mark is now spot-on! Turned out I originally had the wire on the wrong plug (no. 2 instead of no.1).
    I work with electronic integrated circuits, some of which have 8 pins. Guess where no. 1 pin is ?- right where cylinder no.2 is on a SBC!
    j-jock likes this.
  2. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 540


    I've have done so much dumb stuff to cars... a few that come to mind;

    I moved houses and towed my '56 Buick wagon to the new place with a ratchet strap over the hood because the core support and inner fenders were out. I drove it into the driveway but and didn't notice I ran over the tail of the ratchet strap - pulling it tight and bending the fender down - bowing out the wheel arch and bending the trim. I was able to push it back into shape but there is still a slight wave to the trim. Felt real sick after that one.

    Spent two whole weekends working on my sister '72 Bug trying to get it charging. After replacing the generator and it still not working I converted it to an internally regulated alternator and it still wouldn't charge. It was a blown fuse.

    On my OT daily I did the waterpump and didn't notice it was missing a clip that held one of the heater hoses coming off the pump up out of the way of the belt. Long story short - the hose rubbed through and I lost all my coolant, absolutely cooked that engine. It had zero compression. On a variable valve timmed quad cam V8 doing head gaskets is no cheap or easy task. Ended up swapping motors. Weirdest thing was it never overheated on the gauge.
  3. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    from Pacific,Mo

    Trying to cure a starting problem on the Jeep I built I got tired of vehicle moving when leaning
    over the engine I slapped the T-18 in 1st gear. I cured the starting issue because the next time I
    reached in to start it the beast started immediately IN 1st Gear! Wiped out two new f/glass
    fenders against a steel work table and moved garage wall 2 inches. DUMB.
  4. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,058


    There have been many regrettable incidents, I will share the most painful as an example.

    Putting in the diff I had jack stands supporting the body so when I finished up and lowered the car one of the spring shackles went over center towards the front instead of towards the rear, causing the spring to over arch and separating the leafs at the rear of the spring. I layed under the car, grabbed the spring and gave it a hard yank to get the shackle to flip the right way. When it went the leafs closed up and grabbed my hand just below my fingers, tearing away the proverbial pound of flesh. There was lots of pain and a fair amount of blood so I patched myself up with paper towels and black tape like any “real man” would do.

    When I got back to the job about a week later the first order of business was to clean off the jerky hanging from the spring...
  5. motorplex88
    Joined: Jan 2, 2014
    Posts: 14


    Left the ratchet and socket on the end of the crank after running the valves on an old 327. Yup, right into my new aluminum radiator. My best one is after a 312 ford build could not get it to fire up. Decided I didn't get the timing gears correct and took it apart. Sure enough I had the cam and crank gear marks lined up like a SBC. I know this now because I took it apart twice to verify it was correct. This was the day I learned to open a damn book and read ! Ahh to be young again.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  6. Took someones opinion and hated it afterwards (I was young and dumb at the time).
    F&J likes this.
  7. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,564

    Deuced Up!

    Just after finishing all the body work on chopping the top on the Austin, we raised the lift with the passenger side door out of sight, out of mind and standing wide open. It caught on the upper cross bar on the lift, bent the top of the door that had been fitting perfectly and broke the top hinge and sprung the bottom!

    As if we needed more body work...LOL!
  8. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,164


    Did exactly the same thing on a Ford 429 SCJ. Setting the valve lash and when all finished took the car for a spin. When I got back the balancer bolt, socket and ratchet were lying on the ground. I got very lucky. The ratchet swung around, hit the bottom of the frame and unwound the the bolt, and luckly didn't harm a thing.
  9. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 473


    17 years old, welding floor pans in my convertible in my parents driveway.
    Rolled my new tool box out to the driveway so my tools would be close.

    Needed to move the car a few feet and forgot I had I unhooked the shifter and gas pedal to get the carpet out.
    The battery was weak and I had to work the throttle on the carb since the gas pedal was disconnected so I’m leaning over the fender working throttle with one hand and key with the other.
    Car started in gear and drive over my foot and my new tool box.
    Of course I was wearing my safety sandals.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    j-jock and VANDENPLAS like this.
  10. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 540


    Actually the dumbest thing I ever did was buy a truck I didn't want because the guy begged me to make an offer. That $50 has turned into $2,000 and its still not road worthy - added bonus the truck is worth about $1,000.
    Doctorterry and Truck64 like this.
  11. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,819


    I left a breaker bar and socket along with the dampener bolt somewhere on the Fremont drag strip. That was when we pushed down to start. Didn't have nerve to go and ask for it back.
  12. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,939

    from Michigan

    As for me????? You don't want to know.... :oops::(:rolleyes:
  13. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,998

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Getting ready to do some primer..Had everything laid out.. I followed the gun directions which said to take it apart and clean before use..I mixed up some primer and poured it into the paint gun and it promptly came out the nozzle peeing on my foot..I forgot to put the spring back that holds the needle closed..Duh..
  14. Long while back was welding some coil spring mounts on an A frame. Decided to prop the frame up a little so it was easier to weld, couple spray cans were handy. Being that one of the cans had a modern plastic cap, it decided to melt, which pushed down the button, which became a flame thrower. Doused it with a bucket of floor dry, then noticed the welding rod was stuck, glowing bright red, and the shield on the end of the stinger was burning now, quick shut the welder off. Let everything settle and cool off and the only thing wrecked was the spray can cap and the welding rod. Pontiac T1000 springs worked good on that A sedan.
    mikes a chassis - Copy.jpg
    56don likes this.
  15. Hey 3spd
    I hear you on that one...I am into a 1947 Willys CJ2A for way over $3500.00 and I will be lucky if I get $2000.00 for it and I dont even really like was "deal" when I bought it...the hard part is getting rid of them and not taking a bath on it...
    I am glad I am not the only one now...

  16. Cree
    Joined: Jun 13, 2017
    Posts: 98

    from Montana

    First fireup of 52 Ford F1 with 351W, on jack stands, tranny in Park, run it up to cam break-in RPM and set. Standing alongside I notice the rear wheels spinning--it was actually in first gear. The C4 had come out of a Fairmont with a bellcrank or something that flipped the selector lever throw. Had it not been on jackstands it would have been out the door. Thanks, Great Spirit!
    Peanut 1959 likes this.
  17. I have had that problem too. One way to look at it is if you keep it long enough, inflation will have made it worth what you could sell it for in the future...o_O
  18. GuyW
    Joined: Feb 23, 2007
    Posts: 517


    I'd rather that you suspect I'm a knucklehead than open my mouth and remove all doubt...
  19. Put a shiny new glasspack muffler on my 235, 55 chevy [no tailpipe] and while I was at it, I removed the trashed carpet from the car. I replaced the shitty carpet with a couple shag carpet remnants and headed down the interstate. I was "hardtoppin it" with all the windows down and began smelling smoke. Then smoke was coming our from under the dash. After pulling over and finding nothing wrong 3 times I started out again and this time the smoke got really bad. Pulled over again to find one of the back floor carpet remnants was smoking so I pulled it out and it exploded into flame in my hand! I threw it over the bank and into the river.
    My professional muffler installation had placed the muffler's outlet pointing up at the rear floor. Oops!
  20. pnevells
    Joined: Sep 5, 2008
    Posts: 393


    I borrowed a 283 for my dragster, Was pre oiling the motor and kept staring at the oil pressure gage throught he cage after hearing the drill motor pull down, but pressure never appeared on the gage, it was not until puddle of oil became wider than the frame i remembered the front oil pressure plug on a 283, all tools and stuff under the car were now in a 4 foot diameter puddle of oil
    CudaChick1968 and Doctorterry like this.
  21. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 473


    Did something similar but no oil puddle.
    After trouble shooting no oil pressure on my YBlock I removed the oil pressure gauge and coolant ran out. Turns out it was in the wrong hole in the block.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    CudaChick1968 and 532r5 like this.
  22. Started an 318 dodge and had a fountain of oil in the engine bay, forgot the oil sending unit....

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    CudaChick1968 likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2016
    Posts: 409


    '39 style 3 speed.....lost the shift lever locator pin....had to take the trans apart to make sure it wasn't inside....never found it it in the trans.....made a new one...later found it taped to the shift lever.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2016
    Posts: 409


    Bought a set of port-a-walls for my project..... a year and a half later I tore the shop apart looking for luck. This week I helped my wife move some furniture in the guessed it...they were under the bed.
    CudaChick1968 likes this.
  25. WordSmith
    Joined: Apr 23, 2012
    Posts: 64


    Shimmed the oil pump on a 409 with a welch plug. Oil pressure was fine... until you hit the gas. Then it blew the oil filter clean off the car! :eek:
    j-jock likes this.
  26. My sister had a similar situation on on OT truck. New truck. After the required mileage, she wants to change oil. Insists that the gauge on the dash is an "oil level" gauge, not oil pressure. She ignores my advice. So she puts so much oil in it that it tops out the gauge when she cranks it up, blows the oil filter. luckily, no other damage.
    Truck64 likes this.
  27. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,814

    from Ioway

    It's just a damn shame the manufacturers never thought to include such knowledge in a book or a manual of some kind, that could be consulted by the owner when such questions arose. Oh well.
    CudaChick1968, Doctorterry and 56don like this.
  28. Don't try to lift your engine by the fanbelt...even a tiny bit..even just to wiggle it into the motormounts....IF you do...just keep your fingers clear because it WILL Break & drop on your hand ! Trapping you between the block & the frame!
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  29. Had the kitchen table covered with newspapers while spray painting something in a rental house. Dropped the can, landed on it's top and blue paint began spraying all over the refrigerator! I grabbed the can, dropped the slippery devil and it got the other side of the fridge. I couldn't stop it so I just went with it....painted the refrigerator blue with drips all over the linoleum floor, counters etc. No, we not only didn't collect our damage deposit, we were thrown out!
  30. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,437


    I decided to remove the rear leaf springs on a Dodge truck. I was, of course, drinking beer at the time, I put the Jack stands under the frame, and left the Jack under the differential. I didn't relieve the jack...

    So I start removing the U bolts. On the last U bolt, I figure that I should use a impact gun. Well, it's amazing how fast a leaf spring can fling down before a jack stand finally supports the weight of a vehicle. My thumb got smashed between the impact gun and the leaf spring and the ground(concrete driveway) Thank God thumb nails grow back! That was about 20 years ago.

    I have not worked on any cars/trucks suspension since if I drank anything because of it.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    CudaChick1968 likes this.

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