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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. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,319


    Mentioned before maybe. Neighbor had a nice 65 Chevelle-this was in 68. He worked for the Chevy dealer. Bought a new 350HP 327. Installed it and got it all done. Fired it up-you guessed it-NO OIL!!
  2. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 639

    911 steve
    from nebraska

    while re-wiring my 40 Ford sedan, I was drilling a hole for the clamp holding the wires between the tail lights in the tail panel in the trunk. I drilled thru the panel into the gas tank...filled the trunk lower panel with gas, parked facing downhill, sopped it up & put a longer screw thru the hole stopping the fuel leak.
    blowby and vtx1800 like this.
  3. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 7,423


    Any of us that has worked on cars or anything have learned to pay attention to where is hand going, wrench coming when something gives/breaks, and a few scars to go with. I always remember what a mentor/old Tool Maker where I served my apprenticeship for trade kept telling me, STOP and THINK ! you need All your fingers and no sense hitting yourself in head, you're already dumb enough LOL
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  4. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,985


    After changing the timing chain in my 53 Olds I changed the oil and forgot to put the filter on and 5 quarts of oil on the floor,did not hurt the engine but it was a big mess and was about 11 on a weekday night.
  5. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,310


    This is the only one I will admit too, today. This was back in the early 80's, somewhere I had picked up a 51 Chevy sedan delivery, it had a small block/T400 in it. Anyway, in Iowa it gets a little chilly and one night I wondered if the 51 had antifreeze in it. It was stored in a one car garage next to the heated shop. I went out with a flash light, removed the radiator cap and saw a frozen slushy!! I jumped started it and drove it in the heated garage. I was darn lucky I had caught it before it had frozen solid. I've often wondered what became of that old delivery, I think I sold it to a guy from Omaha, he wanted to trade one of those 60's ugly Dodge pickups, the ones with the shifter on the dash, I wish now I would have traded, I just took his money.
  6. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,817


    Had an O/T Ford wagon D/D that was a complete dog but it was what we had to drive at the time, so, one evening after visiting my Dad near DC we get lost on 395 and waste 2-3 hours getting back into Virginia (yeah, that's dumb enough) but, this dog of a car needed oil about every fifty miles. I usually bought a case of the cheapest crap we sold at the parts store and, when the oil light would come on, stop and dump a quart into the engine. Well, try doing this in the middle of the night, in the wind, and getting it all over the exhaust manifold..... which smoldered up into flames. Flames which were burning the ignition wires........ so, off I whip my tee shirt and start whipping at the flames trying to put them out.... tee shirt catches fire... end up getting the fire out and saving the wires, just barely, so at least the car still runs.... sorta... pull into driveway with it knocking like a bastard and shut it off and went to bed for a couple of hours. Very seldom have I damn well run one into the ground but that was one. One reason I loathe Variable Venturi carbs.
  7. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,426


    I used to be into Porsches for a long time. When I bought my first 911, I decided to change the oil in my driveway. My dad taught me to get the oil up to temperature before draining it, so I jacked up the ass end of my 911 and put it on jackstands. I got my little old oil changing pan and removed the drain plug from the oil reservoir. I had no idea that a 1 inch diameter stream of hot oil was going to run out of that thing so quickly! I also immediately recognized that my catch pan was too small! As I tried to get the plug back in, I was getting the shit burned out of me by hot oil, so I quickly threw in the towel and just let it run down the driveway.

    I borrowed my wife's car and went to the auto parts store where I bought a sack of oil dri, a case of oil and a LARGE oil change pan which I kept for many years. I also quit changing oil while it is hot. Life is too short.
  8. Nitro crew chief
    Joined: May 4, 2008
    Posts: 181

    Nitro crew chief
    from Illinois

    While removing the body from the frame on my 56 Chevy Handyman wagon by myself, I was using ratchet straps to hook from the body to the hook on my cherry picker. once the body was high enough to clear the frame so I could roll it out, I turned to get my over sized sawhorses I was going to set the body on. As my back was to the car, I heard a pop and turned to see the body flipping onto it's roof due to one of the straps breaking. I now had a 56 wagon on it's roof in the middle of my garage, and to make matters even worse, the roof came down in contact with one of the legs on the cherry picker, putting a nice dent in it. Since all the glass, and doors were off, it really didn't do any more damage other then the dent from the cherry picker leg. Now I need to figure out how to flip it back without anymore damage. I mounted it on the rotisserie upside down and I was able to turn it back over. When putting it back on the frame, I used chains instead of ratchet straps, lesson learned.
  9. Back when I was drag racing, my O/T Nova had one of those HEI conversation kits from MSD. This used only the pick up coil in the distributor, and a remote mounted coil with a spark plug like end on the coil cover. Under the coil cover was a brass tab connected to the spark plug end and touching the carbon tab in the middle of the cap. This brass tab was connected with a screw that’s went through the top of the coil cover. Weelllll, I was 21 at the time, and figured a few more degrees of timing would help, so timing light in one hand, and the other on top of the distributor, HOLY SHIT that hurts! Thankfully I didn’t drop my new Snap On timing light into the fan! Oh, and this happened at about 3500 RPM setting total timing.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  10. my top 3 are 1) had to add water to my 33 ford pickup, my grandfather added a little petcock valve at the top to let air out, so i open the valve and add the water and then promptly forgot to close that valve. drove to a car show the next day, open the hood and find the motor covered in antifreeze. 2) pulling a motor and transmission out a 34 5 window and though everything was unhooked, wrong. Forgot the speedo cable and had it stretched out to the max. 3) The dumbest thing that nearly lost the car, pulled the holley carb of my 68 camaro to put new power valves in it and re jet it, had a table set up next to the car did my changes and put the carb back on. Went to fire the car and it popped and had the little fire out the top of the carb, grabbed closest rag (that was soaked in gas) tossed over the carb to snuff the fire out and whoof rag is a blaze, quickly grabbed the rag and tossed it away from the car before anything else caught fire, but singed my hand pretty good.
  11. strait8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2014
    Posts: 142

    from Skokie, IL

    When I was 16 I did an engine and trans swap that had a long tail trans. This required moving the support cross member rearward. Drilled my holes and went to bolt it in. Thought I should make sure it was good and tight to the frame. Took two impact guns opposing each other and pulled both triggers. One spun harder than the other and smashed the garbage out of my hand between it and the frame. Thought I busted every bone in my hand and just laid there on the creeper under the car for eternity until the feeling came back in my hand. Got lucky. It was sore and swollen but no broken bones. Quite a lesson.
  12. I had put together my dirt modified and we had a impromptu show on my front lawn. There were 5 other cars from the neighborhood. I was so excited to run the engine (V6) that I had failed to break in the cam (used).......flattened a about embarrassed. My crew chief was not there so that night I replaced the cam and lifters......
    LS-SV: My crew chief has used that same engine 10 years before to win a championship. We found he engine lying along side his cousins garbage cans and rebuilt it.......
  13. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 737


    How many have slid out from under a car after bolting in a transmission and found the torque converter on the bench,

    Guilty of that one!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. i was much younger as an excuse. Working on a 67 impala convertible in the garage. dumped a little gas into a bottle to dump in carb.... spilled a very small amount.... what the hell just burn it off floor. Proceed to run directly over to the plastic gas can, melt it and set the garage and car on fire.... fortunately someone was in the volunteer fire department a 1/4 mile up the road. Scorched to work bench and burned a little car paint.......
  15. When I got out of the Navy I bought a OT Nova and restored it, (paint and interior and brakes and wheels). I found a tilt column at a swap meet and put it in. then the car didn't start. I wanted to make sure the engine would crank, maybe a dead battery? I shorted across the starter and BAM she started at a fast idle AND in reverse. I fell to the ground and watched my car drive 50 ft into a tree. it hit the passenger rear and buckled the quarter. Turns out the column was in park and the trans was in reverse. Young and dumb. I think about that alot and ask myself what will happen if I.......
    j-jock likes this.
  16. Benny Dow
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 1

    Benny Dow

    Hello Leevon, different subject sorry, putting NP833 in my 1955.2 Chevy truck. Trying to verify what clutch arm i need for my throw out bearing. Any help would be appreciated, I know there's not that many different ones out there, thanks.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  17. henryj429
    Joined: Jan 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,061


    I few years back I built a 37 Lincoln Zephyr woodie with a late model Ford V10 (I know, O/T engine, but you can't replace 12 with only 8). The engine had a misfire and I was troubleshooting it. I was pulling the plugs and checking them one at a time. The engine is coil on plug, with an allen head screw holding each coil to the head. I had three plugs out on the left blank and was removing the coil from the fourth with a 4mm allen wrench. The wrench spun out of the bolt and went directly into the open plug hole on the adjacent cylinder. I'll never forget the "tink" sound as the wrench hit the piston. With a light I could see the wrench sitting on top of the piston. In a panic, I went to the local auto parts store and bought the magnet on a stick. Took about a hundred tries, but I fished it out.
  18. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,828

    from Alabama

    I got in my car to move it forgetting I had pulled the engine out of it.
  19. :p
    chryslerfan55 and F-ONE like this.
  20. chryslerfan55 likes this.
  21. Smoothy
    Joined: Jun 18, 2015
    Posts: 338


    Wasn't my car so this made it hurt worse, but I once knocked a fully dressed 500 Cadillac off an engine stand. Went to roll the cherry picker away after bolting it to the stand and the hook caught somewhere on the engine and flipped the thing over. Lucky it didn't land on my foot. Sure made me feel bad, but thankfully everything was fine.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  22. I am going to tell two related stories, one on a friend of mine, now deceased, and one my son.
    I live on a hillside with long driveway with a serious slope. I have lived here for over 30 years, and am paranoid about making certain that the vehicles are not only parked, but I also chock a wheel. My friend, a heavy equipment operator, lived a few doors down, with a driveway that is even longer than mine, approximately 300 feet long.
    Many years ago, he was working on his O/T truck, and even though he was careful to secure truck, whatever he was doing, caused him to leave the truck with the shifter not in park, and no brakes set. As he walked into the house to get something, he heard a sound, and turned around to see the truck just having rolled off the pad, and now proceeding to pick up speed on the driveway.
    He ran after the truck for all he was worth, but there was no hope on catching up to it.
    At that time, the narrow two lane road we live on had traffic so heavy in the daytime, that there was normally a solid stream of vehicles, in both direction, from 6am until 8 pm. The truck went straight down the driveway, crossed the road without hitting a car, and got hung up in a tree in the neighbour's yard. Had it not been for the tree, the truck would have either hit the roof of our other neighbour's house, or at least, gone through the wall.
    He had to get a tow truck to lift the truck out of the tree and back onto the road. We were all so grateful that the truck didn't kill anyone. It is impossible to explain the look of relief on his face.
    Now, for my son's story.
    We had done some routine maintenance on his first O/T car, and then he went out for the evening with friends. When he returned home after his socializing, he parked the car and retired for the night.
    The next morning, he went out to drive to work, and came running back in the house to tell me that his car had been stolen. I headed for the front door, figuring that we were going to have to call the police and go through the hassle of reporting the stolen car. Just as I got outside, I happen to look beyond my driveway, and saw the nose of his car, with the body of same thoroughly camouflaged, by the hedge it was buried in. It had rolled down the driveway, crossed the normally busy road, and come to rest, without hitting a thing.
    I went down to assess the damage, and found that the car had rolled up onto an old rotting log that was lying perpendicular to the back wheels. When I checked inside, I found that the parking brake was not set, and the transmission was in third gear. It was obvious, that the car just went on a leisurely tour of the two yards all by itself. I had to get the excavator to extract the car from the hedge, and on looking over the car, it didn't have as much as a scratch on it.
    I had a much relieved son that had learned a good lesson.
    chryslerfan55, weps and LAROKE like this.
  23. Apache Albert
    Joined: Nov 8, 2018
    Posts: 83

    Apache Albert

    Working on my early nineties ranger trying to install new injectors. To do this the upper plenum had to be removed. Needless to say an injector clip fell into the intake. Motor had to be pulled to take the head off.

    Better one: at my high-school the district sent us a Cummings school bus motor for our diesel program. Some changed the oil but forgot to add it back!

    Sent from my SM-G960U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  24. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,223


    I had just completed painting my 1954 Holden ute which was a long term project (10 years). Rust repairs, body repairs, wiring and mechanicals. I thought a quick squirt up the driveway was in order, Gassed it, hit second gear and dropped the clutch. It was at this point the tailgate ,which was only held shut with a piece of welding wire, flew open and the top edge dragged along the concrete driveway leaving a few horrible gouges in the metal. Repaired the tailgate, finished the ute and got it regoed. Six months on the road and I'm taking my pushbike to the local bike shop for repairs and had the tailgate open but hanging on the struts. Hit the speed hump a bit quick, the tailgate flicked up and the struts unlatched themselves and the tailgate dropped down and contacted the towbar gooseneck punching a large dent in the tailgate. Bought a new skin and started again.
    chryslerfan55 and Lil32 like this.
  25. big john d
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 236

    big john d
    from ma

    don"t forget that antifreeze needs water at 50/50 to be good to -30 by itself straight antifreeze freezes at about 17 degrees
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  26. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 611

    Bob Lowry

    Back in the '60's I had a hugger orange '40 Chevy coupe street rod. Had American 5 spokes all the way around and decided to make it really cool looking, and do a spindle mount look for the front wheel. Took off all of the brake stuff on the front two wheels, backing plates, etc. Then knocked out the rivets on the hubs so that all that was left were the hubs. You could see daylight right through the spokes..which I thought was way cool...just like the dragsters.
    Unfortunately, I didn't understand that 70% of braking power is on the front wheels, so I always had to plan ahead to come to a stop. Lots of tense driving moments, sold the car to another guy who loved that "cool" look. Ah, youth.
  27. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,904


    Fiddling around under the hood of my '69 Javelin SST, I told my brother, behind the wheel, to "hit it", not realizing my one hand was on top of the coil and my other was on the block. ZAP! After a few stunned seconds, I peeled myself off the driveway retaining wall.
    clem, weps and lothiandon1940 like this.
  28. ...........OUCH!!!!!:eek:
    chryslerfan55 and LAROKE like this.
  29. I was 16 and it was my first car, a '53 Ford. I had it in the yard just doing some cleaning on it. I had it parked beside a slight grade in the grass and went to back it up to put it back on the street. I had the driver's door half open looking back so I wouldn't back into anything. The car wasn't moving:confused: so I looked to see if the tire was spinning on the grass and that's when I saw that I had dug the corner of the door into the dirt and slightly sprung the hinges. Always had to lift up on the door after that to close it. Hopefully we learn from these dumb-ass mistakes, hopefully! 03222016.jpg
    chryslerfan55 and LAROKE like this.
  30. thomas.parker197
    Joined: Dec 29, 2017
    Posts: 52


    Changing or checking spark plugs. Leave one plug wire off.

    When I was in hs, my car was a 56 chev with orginal everything. One cold morning before school, I was checking the oil, put the cap up on top of the air cleaner. When I topped off the oil, I left the cap on the air cleaner and closed the hood. Left a nice little hump.

    Recently, shorted out the dash wiring in the 55, just went ahead and replaced the whole harness. It was 64 years old anyway.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

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