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Old 08-21-2003, 07:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: In the garage, under the car.
What the dumbest car repair mistake you've made?

I'm sure the do-it-yourself-ers out there have all made some dumb mistakes....let's hear about them.

Mine has to be intentionally short-circuiting a timing belt tension warning light. When I was changing the timing belt on my 928, I noticed that the previous owner has spliced a wire in to keep the loose belt warning from occurring. I assumed that he must have done so because the warning light was faulty. The old belt wasn't loose.

I removed the short-circuit splice, finished installing the new belt, tensioned it, etc. Two days of driving and no warning lights. The third day the light came on. Being stupid, I figured there was no way the belt could be loose already since it was so recently-installed. I put the short-circuit wire back on.

After 2,500 miles, I decided to check the belt's tension. It was loose....really loose. For those that aren't familiar with Porsche 928s, they have intereference engines....the valves and pistons move in and out of the same physical space. So....a slipped or broken belt will pretty much destroy the engine......and I had been ignoring a legitimate warning.

The belt is properly tensioned again (it had stretched, which is normal), and the warning light is now operating properly.

Flirted with disaster there.

What bone-head moves have you guys made????
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Center of the Universe
I lost my keys to my old Land Rover while camping. I was really hung over and trying to hot wire the thing to get home. I touched a wire from the battery directly to the coil and watched all this ancient wiring glow red hot and turn to ash. It was kinda surreal. Now I was stuck.

My Dad towed me home 200km's behind his Escort GT. We used a old tire to cushion the jolt as the rope had no stretch to it. He would accelerate and I would do the braking. Problem was we couldn't make a hole in the tire and every time the tire hit the ground it would cut the rope. Every stop the rope would be a foot shorter and by the time we got home the rope was only 10' long.

Of course when my head cleared the next day up I realized I could have just unscrewed the dash panel and held the tumblers in lock cylinder by hand. Months later the key fell out of the bulkhead onto my feet while driving.
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
NotMinus
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me, nothing so terrible yet, about a week after owning my first car I changed the oil and didn't expect it drain out so fast which dumped about a litre next to the oil catch pan I had centered under the plug. After that I overfilled the car with oil as I didn't think about the incline it was sitting on, no damage done though but before I drove it, it was taken to a mechanic and he latter explained it blew alot of smoke for a few minutes after he changed the oil. I think the only other real slip up iv made was when I did a very butchered speaker install, I have a porsche 924 which uses very hard to find speaker sizes and clearence depth. so I did what many others had done, I planned to dremel the whole bigger but It was too tough for the dremel and it was slow going and shredding discs, in the end, make some straight cuts and with a hammer banged the whole out and then bent the metal to hold the speaker in place with pressure. I added a little foam carpet padding to keep the metallic noise down behind it. Ugly as ALL hell with the panel off but no visual change with the rear panel back on. I probaly should have taken my time with it but I got fustrated and just wanted to get them in place. I think its a treatment alot of 924/944's have gotten.
 
Old 08-21-2003, 08:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
Talk nerdy to me
 
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Location: Flint, MI
I was changing an alternator in my old Blazer. I took the old one out and put what I thought was the new one in and it showed the same symptons, not putting out enough volts.

It actually took my buddy and I about 20 minutes to figure out the new one was still sitting in the box.

D'oh
/homer
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Old 08-21-2003, 08:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: In the garage, under the car.
Quote:
Originally posted by God of Thunder


It actually took my buddy and I about 20 minutes to figure out the new one was still sitting in the box.
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Old 08-21-2003, 01:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: france
Last night I raked it up the hill to the garage in the BB. Joy unconfined.
As I turned into the last road I noticed the water temp. gauge was soaring. I turned off the engine and coasted up to the garage door. A pool of coolant was collecting underneath, and a trail of luminous green stretched as far as I could see. One of the hoses underneath was spewing its contents, and there was a loud and nasty gurgling sound.
Panic. Must cool it down.
I opened the back, and turned the coolant cap half-open as slowly as I could, pressing down hard.
Boom! A geyser of very hot coolant erupted into the left side of my face, and then many feet into the air as I staggered backwards. My face is still on, I thought as the liquid began falling on the adjoining garage rooves.
My next trick was to pour two buckets of water into the now empty reservoir, and inadvertantly (I couldn't see much, and it was a big bucket) all over the engine. ..
I didn't hear anything crack, my face should be okay by tomorrow; so all's well that ends well.

Hey, I've got loads like this...
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Old 08-21-2003, 04:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: In the garage, under the car.
Good stuff guys, keep it coming!
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Old 08-21-2003, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
Go faster!
 
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Location: Wisconsin
I think the best thing I ever did was just before leaving for Denver, CO, from central WI, I did the mandatory fluid check, and all that good stuff. We drive from Wausau to somewhere in Iowa, for the first fuel stop. As the fuel is being pumped in to the car, my wife noticed a small stream of water from under the car. No biggie, I thought...the A/C had been running the entire time, so I wasn't concerned. I hadn't seen it yet. I walk over to the left front of the car, and the stream is a river. And it's orange. Yeah, it was coolant. So, now to figure out where it's coming from. Open the hood, and the radiator cap was missing. And, of course, I found it. On the fuse box. I went and got some water from the gas station guy, and filled the radiator with that.
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: At the Casino
When changing the clutch in my talon (in the middle of November, in Iowa, in a college parking lot) it started to get cold and rain. So we packed it up fast and to get the shifter cables out of the way we just pushed them outof hte way. Well 1 weel later we finish. THe car shifts really good, but I cannot get in to 5th gear. We basicaly rip the car apart to find the problem. Finally in mid December I am going through the entire drive line and using a space heater so I can stay warm in the street I finally realize that there is a major kink in the shifter cable. That is what is preventing me from hitting 5th grear. So after a nice rain storm I head to a junk yard. Luckly it all froze. So I finally pulled the cable and then sold the car.
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Red to black while jump starting.


Oooops! Fried the puter... That one was expensive. Ugh...
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Old 08-21-2003, 10:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
Crazy
 
I am almost too ashamed to admit this one, but here goes.

I bought my truck and was taking it through some mud just for fun. Drove it out of the mud and all of a sudden the engine died. We spent the whole night looking for probs or shorts in the ignition and everything, then all that had happened was that a connector from the battery leading to the fuse box inside the cab was disconnected. I put the two end back together and then it fired right up... not one of my greater moments in life .
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Old 08-22-2003, 01:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
Crazy
 
funny stories.. i don't have any though.. yet :-/
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Old 08-22-2003, 11:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Mine's probably not the worst, but it's potentially can be.

over-torquing bolts from specifications!

I did this on my brake fluid line that goes to my caliper. Basically the bolt that holds the line has a hole through it, and when properly torqued the hole matches up and brake fluid passed into the caliper.

But the torque specs are so small that my click type torque wrench does not make an obvious sound. I was ratcheting pretty fast, and I must have passed it, because i just kept turning the bolt. Didn't strip the bolt itself, but the whole inside of the caliper was grinded down pretty badly. Lucky for me, the bolt still stays pretty firmly... I just had to manually match the bolt's hole for the fluid.

It would have sucked if i had to replace the whole caliper because of it.. or even worse, I could have been only utilizing three brakes if i didn't notice what I had done.
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Old 08-24-2003, 03:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Sarasota
Was installing speakers in the back of my '69 Mustang fastback, drilling through the panel that separates the trunk from the passenger compartment.

In went the drill bit. No problem. Out came the drill bit accompanied by a strong jet of air. Problem! I had drilled right through the spare tire on the other side. Oops.
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
Crazy
 
noblejr's Avatar
 
Location: Atlanta
I replaced the water pump on my '86 Nissan pickup a few years back. I filled the radiator up with water, checked for leaks, and drove it around. It worked great. The next day I went and bought coolant so when I had some time I'd drain the water and put that in. Well, over time a forgot that a HAD NOT done this. If you asked me if I had put the coolant in, I would have said 'yes'. December rolled around and one morning it wouldn't start. It froze. After defrosting the engine I tried refilling it with coolant. It took way too much coolant so I pulled the oil dipstick. My oil and coolant had mixed. I cracked the block!
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Indiana
That's a great one God of Thunder. Mine was an alternator problem too. Had an older car that wasn't charging properly. It had a electro-mechanical voltage regulator that seemed to work just fine so I took the alternator out and checked everything...brushes, windings, and the diodes. I had to disconnect the diodes to test them and solder them back in place. It took quite a while. Everything checks out okay so I re-install and it still doesn't charge. A day or two later I notice that even though the alternator is in the fully extended position on the bracket... you probably guessed it by now...the belt wasn't tight!
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
Dumb all over...a little ugly on the side
 
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Location: In the room where the giant fire puffer works, and the torture never stops.
one time while trying to remove the "glaze" from a set of front brake pads, I got out on an empty highway and got it up to 60 mph then slammed the brakes almost hard enough to lock em up.

j/k shark, actually, worse mistake I ever made was not trusting my instincts. had a cavalier start running real bad over the course of a couple of days. finally it wouldnt start at all. my first thought was plugged cat. converter (especially cause it had been making rattling noises). spend 2 weeks and too much $$ checking and changing all sorts of things like fuel injector, fuel pump, timing belt, etc. turned out to be the cat after all.

ouch.
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
JBX
Unfair and Imbalanced
 
Location: Upstate, NY
I put motor oil in the transmission fluid receptacle. Do'h
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Old 08-25-2003, 09:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
I forgot to put 2 spark plugs back in...wow the noise scared the shit out of me.
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:26 PM   #20 (permalink)
Upright
 
I fixed the brakes on my car and forgot to torque the lug bolts. Ended up riding on three wheels and watching the fourth take off down the hill without me.

Took me a while to find it in the dark. Robbed lug bolts off the other three wheels, put the wheel back on and drove home.
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Old 08-25-2003, 06:12 PM   #21 (permalink)
Go faster!
 
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Location: Wisconsin
Speaking of forgetting spark plugs...I had a 1984 Chevy Celebrity with the carb'd 2.8 V6. Did the plugs in that, and forgot to put the front three wires back on. It started and ran, but yeah, it sounded funny. Took about 5 seconds to figure it out once we lifted the hood up!
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Old 08-25-2003, 09:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: SE USA
So I've worked on cars since I was old enough to tell the difference between a flat-tip and a Phillips-head (literally). I'm changing the oil in my Trooper, something I've done dozens of times, takes only a few minutes, can do it blind drunk, right?

I unscrew the oil filter and toss it in the pan to drain, and screw the new oil filter, with the proper amount of oil inside and a smear on the gasket for a good seal, on. Finish up everything else and toss the rest of the oil in the engine. I hop in the Trooper to starter her up and see an amazing look on my Pop's face as oil just pours out everywhere. Yeah, my Dad was there, the guy that taught me about maintainence, been working on cars since way before I was born, runs a body shop, etc.

When I pulled the old filter, the gasket'd stayed in place against the engine. I couldn't see it because the oil was dark and I didn't take the time to check. Two gaskets in the same place means no seal against the engine, and a lot of oil on the ground.

So I dumped almost five quarts of oil in my driveway and felt like an utter idiot. My Pop looks at me and says, "Don't worry, it's an easy mistake to make. Everybody's done it." "You ever do it, Pop?", I ask. "Well, now that I think about it, no." Yep, made me feel good about my mechanical skills.
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
**PORNHOUND**
 
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Location: California
Hmmmmmm, I can only think of two...... I was 17, changing the oil in my Cadillac Eldorado..... I dumped the oil, replaced the filter and put five quarts of fresh oil into the engine..... as I was cleaning up I see a pool of oil under the car, I forgot to replace the drain plug! what a mess

Another time I was replacing the master cylinder in my Chevy truck...... I had it up on four jack stands to bleed all the brakes, as I finished installing the master I noticed it was tilted foward to clear the hood..... so it wouldn't bleed, so I get the smart idea to jack the front end up a little higher to level the master and BOOM the whole fucking thing falls off the jack stands

My friend had this Jag shop and he was rebuilding the master in a 56 XK140...... he gets it put all back together and takes it up the street for a test run, he runs it to the end of the block and it stops fine....... then he pops it in reverse and runs back toward the shop, as he gets to the shop he hits the brakes and No Brakes! he glides out into the street and broadsides this car....... Fucking totaled that shiny black XK 140! He also totaled his red Ferrari showing off...... wrapped it around a tree
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:57 AM   #24 (permalink)
Lost!!
 
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Location: Kingston, Ontario
Quote:
Originally posted by DEI37
Speaking of forgetting spark plugs...I had a 1984 Chevy Celebrity with the carb'd 2.8 V6. Did the plugs in that, and forgot to put the front three wires back on. It started and ran, but yeah, it sounded funny. Took about 5 seconds to figure it out once we lifted the hood up!
I bet there was a nice light show going on.
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:41 AM   #25 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Canada eh?
Quote:
Originally posted by DEI37
And, of course, I found it. On the fuse box. I went and got some water from the gas station guy, and filled the radiator with that.
I lost not one, not two, but three oil fill caps from an old 1st gen honda civic that way. I've never before or since lost anything like that. Only one of many reasons I hated that car. Maybe it was my subconcious trying to get of it.
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:44 AM   #26 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Canada eh?
Quote:
Originally posted by bodypainter
Was installing speakers in the back of my '69 Mustang fastback, drilling through the panel that separates the trunk from the passenger compartment.

In went the drill bit. No problem. Out came the drill bit accompanied by a strong jet of air. Problem! I had drilled right through the spare tire on the other side. Oops.
Could have been worse - It could have been the gas tank instead of the spare.
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Old 08-26-2003, 11:30 AM   #27 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Canada eh?
The worst I ever heard happenend to a friend of mine on a mailing list:
Posted in his own words:

Last weekend I spent two days wrestling with my GT-350 replica, which you may recall is now running after a one-year period of dormancy while the motor was in pieces. While dealing with some subsequent problems, I learned some lessons that can all be directly applied to working on our cars.

* Upon startup of a new engine, if you hear a distinctive tic-tic-tic sound from your header-to-cylinder head junction, you will be told by all your friends that it is an exhaust leak caused by using the cheap manifold gaskets which come as part of the entire engine-overhaul gasket set, and you should have opted for high-quality $35 Fel-Pro header gaskets instead. The only solution is to remove and replace the lame gasket with a quality unit.

* The header bolts which didn't allow enough clearance to get a wrench or socket on them when you were installing them, haven't shrunk any, so removing the eight bolts will take an hour.

* Your hopes of simply backing the header away from the head, slipping the two-week-old, cheap gasket out and installing the new, $35 gasket will be dashed when you realize the existing gasket has adhesed itself firmly to the head. It will need to be scraped off.

* Immediately after commencing the scraping activities, you will be struck with both a revelation and a recollection. The revelation is that the header-to-fenderwell interference won't allow you enough clearance to scrape the entire gasket, so the header will have to completely come off the car.
The recollection will be that you were smart enough to trash the cheap
gasket that came with the engine rebuilder kit, and the $35 Mr. Gasket like-new gasket you forgot you had installed, and have now just destroyed, is of similar quality to the new $35 Fel-Pro gasket you bought to replace it.

* Spray-on gasket remover is highly effective stuff, but it is also highly democratic in its application. In this instance, it will make no differentiation whatsoever between the like-new $35 gasket you're trying to remove, and the new Ford blue engine paint you're not trying to remove--both will fall away from the motor in equal amounts.

* In order to remove the header so you can scrape the gasket, you will have to disconnect it from the collector. The collector bolts which were too long when you installed them have, like the header bolts, failed to shrink any in the ensuing two weeks, and the mechanical locking nuts (stove nuts) have, if anything, increased their tenacious grip upon the too-long bolts.
Furthermore, the inadequate clearance to swing a wrench hasn't grown any either, meaning that you will be able to turn the nut about 1/32nd of a revolution before the wrench strikes something solid, and needs to be removed and flipped around for another swing. The upshot is that it will take about 15-20 minutes to remove each bolt.

* After the header is finally removed, while lying underneath the car and scraping the gasket, when a piece of gasket-remover-laden gasket falls onto your forehead, you will instantly determine that the democratic nature of the gasket remover extends to human flesh as well, and the forehead is particularly sensitive to extremely caustic chemicals.

* When extremely caustic chemicals are suddenly applied to a large section of your forehead, the result is an instant and involuntary muscle contraction in the torso, causing you to suddenly sit up, normally about 24 inches or so.

* The average Mustang chassis, when raised on jackstands, is approximately 22 inches off the garage floor.

* The sudden and violent application of 2900 pounds of steel to a burning forehead does not, surprisingly, lessen the effect of the extremely caustic chemical reaction taking place, but instead augments the pain with a deep pounding inside the skull as your brain takes a good shellacking from the inside.

* When it comes time to open the exhaust gasket package, the expeditious way is to use a screwdriver to make a small tear in the plastic, then run your finger along the underside of the gasket, neatly opening up the package from one end to the other.

* Exhaust gaskets are made of various layers of fibers and steel, and as you're opening the package, an exposed and sharp steel wire will neatly open up your finger from one end to the other.

* 1966 Mustang Red and Human Blood Red are remarkably alike when the blood is wet and liberally sprayed across the top of the fender. However, when it dries it darkens considerably and thus can't be used as touch-up paint as you had perhaps hoped.

* Gasket remover is remarkably resilient stuff, and although you took great pains to wipe down the cylinder head with lacquer thinner before installing your new gasket, the forgotten gasket remover still coating the flange of the header will immediately go to work the minute the header is placed against the gasket. Fortunately the gasket makers are thoughtful enough to include a pair of gaskets in each package for just such contingencies.

* As you are holding the gasket-remover-soaked header in your hand and removing your now-ruined new gasket, you will feel that the skin on your fingers isn't nearly as sensitive to the effects of extremely caustic chemicals as the skin on your forehead. However, when you have sliced your finger open and the gasket remover gets in the open wound, the effect is much the same.

* Once the second new gasket is in place, the header bolts and header-to-collector bolts will be just as difficult to install as they were to remove, as they were to install the first time, as they were to remove the first time.

But the final, and undoubtedly the most important lesson learned from this two-day exercise is this:

* A clever engine-building trick is to loosely install the spark plugs on a new motor; if the head gasket leaks into the cylinders, this will allow the water to leak and spray past the threads on startup instead of potentially blowing up the motor with hydrostatic lock. However, if the engine builder then forgets to tighten the plugs once the engine has successfully started, then exhaust gasses may leak past the threads, making a distinctive tic-tic-tic sound from the neighborhood of your header-to-cylinder head junction. You will be told by all your friends that it is an exhaust leak caused by using the cheap manifold gaskets which come as part of the entire engine-overhaul gasket set, and you should have opted for high-quality $35 Fel-Pro header gaskets instead, and you will spend the next two days removing and replacing a perfectly good exhaust gasket when all you had to do was simply tighten the spark plugs!

Sigh.....
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Old 08-26-2003, 11:34 AM   #28 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: In the garage, under the car.
I've swapped plug wires by accident before. Car ran like $hit.

I've also had sockets fall into places in the engine bay where they shouldn't be.

I've also discovered that if you drive at least 50mph in the pouring rain with a mis-aligned sunroof (and of course stuck in the open position), you won't get wet. The problem is, the idiots in front of you won't go 50 mph in a downpour.

Driving a 928 is nice. Driving an old 928 when its sunroof is stuck open in the rain and everyone else in traffic is having a good laugh....priceless.
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Old 08-26-2003, 04:11 PM   #29 (permalink)
**PORNHOUND**
 
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Location: California
LOL! I just remembered another one a shade tree mechanic friend of mine did.......... He bought this 70 Maverick for his son, A few months later the waterpump went out..... as he was pulling the last bolt out it broke off fush to the block, so he decides to drill it out....... after he easy-outed the broken bolt and put the new pump in he starts the car only to have water pumping out of the radiator...... he had drilled through the bolt/waterjacket and into the #1 cylinder!
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:46 PM   #30 (permalink)
Upright
 
Location: Kansas
My friend was trying to change his oil, but instead of draining his oil and replacing it, he drained his auto tranny fluid and put more oil into the car.

The joy of replacing a blown tranny.....
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:55 PM   #31 (permalink)
Upright
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Curving_Edge
My friend was trying to change his oil, but instead of draining his oil and replacing it, he drained his auto tranny fluid and put more oil into the car.

The joy of replacing a blown tranny.....
Your friend is dumb.

Worst i've done...Hmmmm, can't really think of anything...My friends arn't stupid w/ their cars either...
Well, maybe this one thing.
It was w/ my friends Jaguar...an 01 Stype 3.0. We had a few other cars (Porsche Carrera, 2 BMW E46s, and this Jag) all lined up, and were taking some pictures before we went out to cruise, and we were gonna take some engine shots...
Well, lets just say, it took 4 of us 10 mins to find the Hood release (the 2nd one, under the hood.) Stupid jag.
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:57 AM   #32 (permalink)
**PORNHOUND**
 
Ashton's Avatar
 
Location: California
Quote:
Originally posted by Type-R
It took 4 of us 10 mins to find the Hood release (the 2nd one, under the hood.) Stupid jag.
Anyone see the irony here?
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:59 AM   #33 (permalink)
**PORNHOUND**
 
Ashton's Avatar
 
Location: California
Quote:
Originally posted by Curving_Edge
My friend was trying to change his oil, but instead of draining his oil and replacing it, he drained his auto tranny fluid and put more oil into the car.

The joy of replacing a blown tranny.....
What are the odds of someone that didn't know how to change oil having a tranny with a drain plug?
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Old 08-27-2003, 04:41 AM   #34 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
when I bought my latest car, I was in the process of doing my usual maintenance whenever I buy a used car. Replacing spark plugs, oil, air filter - etc.

Nothing so much happened as I was putting in these pieces that was an error, but what I found was amazing! A literal treasure trove of tools!

- In the airbox, I found a nice ratchet handle and a 10mm socket

- In the front air intake I found one of those magnetic extender thingies that you use to pick up screws ( makes me wonder what the mechanic was trying to pick up)

- Underneath the windshield wiper arms I found a screwdriver like socket adaptor

- And wedged in between the fusebox and the firewall a pretty greasy, but still spendable $20 bill.

I actually made 3 bucks on that repair!
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:12 PM   #35 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Curving_Edge
My friend was trying to change his oil, but instead of draining his oil and replacing it, he drained his auto tranny fluid and put more oil into the car.

The joy of replacing a blown tranny.....
I've seen some cars where the combination of the trans pan location, and the trans pan being equipped with a drain pan make that a easy, yet unfortunate mistake to make.

I don't have any one incident in particular that sticks out, I have put the old part back in before once or twice, and every now and then I'll finish putting something back together only to realize I forget to put something back early in the process.

The best one was when I was an apprentice, it was my second day on the job. The guy I was working with was doing an oil change on a brand new Blazer with 2800 miles on it. Ten minutes later the customer called back to inform us that he had forgot to put oil back in the engine. We drove over to where the customer was, three miles away and filled it up with oil. The engine actually made it 8000 more miles before it developed a rod knock.
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:31 AM   #36 (permalink)
**PORNHOUND**
 
Ashton's Avatar
 
Location: California
Quote:
Originally posted by irieemon
when I bought my latest car, I was in the process of doing my usual maintenance whenever I buy a used car. Replacing spark plugs, oil, air filter - etc.

Nothing so much happened as I was putting in these pieces that was an error, but what I found was amazing! A literal treasure trove of tools!

- In the airbox, I found a nice ratchet handle and a 10mm socket

- In the front air intake I found one of those magnetic extender thingies that you use to pick up screws ( makes me wonder what the mechanic was trying to pick up)

- Underneath the windshield wiper arms I found a screwdriver like socket adaptor

- And wedged in between the fusebox and the firewall a pretty greasy, but still spendable $20 bill.

I actually made 3 bucks on that repair!
A long time ago I worked at my friends used car lot....... you could not imagine the stuff I would find in the trunks of those cars, the list could go on forever but the best things I would find were broken Craftsman tools......... tons of them! I would take them home and every once and awhile I would go to Sears and turn then in for new ones My toolbox is filled with spare ratchets, screwdrivers, lock pliers...... you name it!
Ashton is offline  
Old 08-28-2003, 05:30 AM   #37 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: europe
burned some wires while installing my car-radio

and even more stupid : my first car, after driving a while i noticed the pedal stuck sometimes, one time almost blowing my engine. so i returned it to the garage to get it fixed, they didn't find anything. 2 weeks later i discovered it was the carpet under my feet that sometimes caused the pedal to get stuck.

i felt quite stupid for that. still do actually
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FlorentinoAriza is offline  
Old 08-28-2003, 07:34 AM   #38 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Center of the Universe
Quote:
Originally posted by crazybill5280
I've seen some cars where the combination of the trans pan location, and the trans pan being equipped with a drain pan make that a easy, yet unfortunate mistake to make.
I can second that. I changed the oil in my Mom's Altima in her driveway. I was lazy and tried to do it without jacking up the car. I made one turn on the ratchet and realized it was the wrong drainplug. New tranny fluid would have set me back $60.
Mill is offline  
Old 08-28-2003, 10:28 AM   #39 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Florida
I was removing a bad fuel pressure regulator from my car. Just as I was loosening the last bolt which had broken the seal and caused a few tablespoons of gas to spill out, my wrench touched the positive terminal on the back of the alternator (its rubber boot had mysteriously vanished). There were sparks flying all over the place. I yanked the wrench away and chucked it on the ground, and it remained too hot to touch for a good 5 minutes. I still have absolutely no idea how that did not start a fire, but I consider myself damn lucky.

A friend of mine did the drain the trans fluid/dump in more oil trick as well. The engine was spewing smoke like crazy and the car wouldn't move, but miracuously it survived that ordeal.
irseg is offline  
Old 08-28-2003, 10:32 AM   #40 (permalink)
Junkie
 
I just remembered another one. I was changing wiper blades on a car, and one of the blades was being real stubborn coming off the arm. I had the arm pulled all the way up, and when the blade finally came off I wasn't holding the arm, and the spring tension on the wiper arm snapped the arm back down onto the windshield and broke the windshield.
laconic1 is offline  
 

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