your most dumbass wrenching mistake? - Page 2 - Miata Turbo Forum -Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 12-19-2008, 12:21 AM   #21
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I've lost a pair of pliers long enough on the wiper cowl of one car that they were too rusty to use again. I also scared the **** out of my self using a breaker bar to move the crank pulley in the same car when the end of the bar hit the battery and sent sparks all over the place.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:26 AM   #22
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i lost a socket in my wiper cowl once. everytime i would turn it was LOUD, took a while to find that.

but i have messed up a little bit of stuff, but i have blocked them from memory, lol.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:27 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Machismo View Post
Have also had the misfortune of leaving sockets in the cowl area and losing them on the first turn in the Miata. I do not have fender liners anymore, so yes, I did lose them.
Don't forget about your cell phone.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:36 AM   #24
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I'd also like to include trying to burn an MSQ while my GF is driving at about 70mph. Didn't take and the engine died. She was a good sport about it though, only cried a little bit. I just burn tables now.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by johndoe View Post
I'd also like to include trying to burn an MSQ while my GF is driving at about 70mph. Didn't take and the engine died. She was a good sport about it though, only cried a little bit. I just burn tables now.
haha now that is ******* funny. my wife hates the miata only because of the way i drive in it. so i've been giving her the laptop and telling her to do things(mostly start and stop datalogs) and that i have to drive this way or it won't work right
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:45 AM   #26
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Filled engine with oil and forgot to put drain plug back in. Had the key in the ignition and was about to turn it over the first time after installing my greddy kit, only to have my friend stop me and ask me if I wanted oil in the engine first.

Tools left in the cowl more times than I'd like to admit. Lost a 14mm socket somewhere in the engine bay, I can only assume it ended up on the road somewhere.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:53 AM   #27
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I was under the car disconnecting the last PPF bolt from the transmission housing as my dad was cranking up on the motor with an engine hoist. At that point, the driveshaft pulled out of the rear of the now angled transmission and dumped gear oil all over my face.

Protip: Always drain your transmission oil or have a plug handy when pulling the motor, or everything will smell like a BBQ'd dinosaur for a week.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:57 AM   #28
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Hundreds of screwup. The ones that come to mind now:

- Changing the shocks out on the Miata and forgot to put the spring on first! Took me 3 hours to get the locknut off the top of the shock so I could install the spring. Ended up putting channel locks as high on the shaft as possible. Luckily I didn't destroy the shock.

- Forgetting to tighten the lugs and almost losing a wheel.

- Lots of broken bolts. Took me years to figure out not to tighten stuff so much.

- Doing the locktite trick on a bad crank on a Miata. Put the locktite on and found out that I should have removed the front sway bar because my dual head torque wrench wouldn't fit in there. Locktite drying as I am running around trying to find something to tighten the bolt with.

- Installed a clutch in my Fiat and deciding to drive it 500 miles the next day. Clutch shattered 300 miles from home in the middle of the night on I-77 in VA. No one in sight for miles.

- TWICE I've spent a week trying to figure out why my Miata wouldn't start and it ended up being a lose cable on the back of my Bipes (two different Miatas). I'll figure it out faster the 3rd time!
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:11 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by curly View Post
My god that must've been quite an explosion of plastic bits and coolant
Actually, I didn't even notice it for a month. I glanced into the mouth to see where the intercooler was going to go and noticed the radiator had a sad face.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:24 AM   #30
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Having made a living pulling wrenches the last 20+ years, I have had many " O ****" moments. The two that top the list are 1. Installing one main bearing backwards on a 3306 Cat wile preforming an "in frame", and not realizing it until the engine was fully back together. Could not roll that engine over with a 6 foot bar 2. wile replacing brake pads on my own truck at 3am I installed the inside pad backwards ( steel against the rotor). I drove it like that 5K miles, and it never made a noise, one day i got a real bad vibration every time i braked. I pulled the wheel off, and found the rotor was worn threw into the cooling fins.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:57 AM   #31
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Have made my fair share of idiot mistakes, but the dumbest one was improperly orienting the FM gears on my GT when I put it together after building the head. Intake gear was on the right slot for the alignment nub on the cam (somehow), but the exhaust gear was off one, and it took me about a week of hair-pulling and cussing to figure out why the car wouldn't start. Turns out that the other two guys in the state with turbo Escorts did the same damn thing, so apparently we're ALL morons.

Now, whenever I take them off and something isn't right, that's the first thing I check.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:51 AM   #32
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My top list, all were on customers cars, and all were within the first two years of wrenching, except the last which happened this year.

Forgetting to put oil in a early 2000s S-10. Drove the car out of the shop and around the building to the front parking lot before I noticed the "CHECK GAUGES" light, and no oil pressure. No damage..

Installing a brake pad backwards, twice.

Getting the wire from the crank angle sensor caught in the lower timing gear while doing a timing belt on a early 00's Lancer. I was spinning the crank watching the cam gears, didn't notice until I snapped the sensor off. Didn't have to pay for it at least.

Forgetting to put a filter back on, porter started the car to pull it out for a wash and I heard the noise, by the time he shut it down there was 2-3 quarts of oil in the bay. Fun!
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:51 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by olderguy View Post
Ratchet left on crank bolt after turning engine to facilitate getting spline into clutch disk. Made quite a racket when the engine was started(happened TWICE)
I did this at least once when adjusting the valves on one of my Hondas - fortunately was turning the right way so the ratchet only screamed, didn't fly off.

My proudest move - once I over-muscled it removing an exhaust manifold nut on my wife's Datsun. Nut suddenly came very loose, the wrench came off and I hit myself in the mouth with it, breaking a front tooth.
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:00 AM   #34
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In high school I had a '65 Thunderbird. I had just stripped, smoothed and sanded the whole thing, and put on some real auto primer and several nice coats of Midnight Torino Teal. It was sharp, the interior was PERFECT, and the doors still shut like a bank vault.

It had the 390 Y-block, but never really had the get up and go that it should've. Compression was good, and all looked great from the pan, so I commenced tuning. I replaced everything, distributor cap, wires, plugs, an expensive carb with a new air cleaner, and expected it to just RAWR to life. Instead it backfired a couple of times through that new air cleaner.

It continued to drive like ***, so I got fed up and traded it to a friend for his '65 Impala four door with a stovebolt I-6 and a "three on the tree." Great car, just not a great drive. But it ran impeccably (and did so for four more years until I bought first Z car).

My buddy called me back about a week later and said I had forgotten to replace the rotor in the distributor, and that it hauled *** now.
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:43 AM   #35
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Forgetting to torque my driveshaft bolts...

drove a week and noticed a weird vibration when i went into reverse, then when i got into boost.....then when it disconnected and flapped all over the place in front of a miata meet
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:52 AM   #36
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burning an .msq and thinking I unplugged the correct connector for the coils. Apparantly, I disconnected the injectors and still burned the coilpack

doing a trackday with a screwdriver still on the valvecover, because I forgot to put it back in the trunk. Noticed an annoying rattle from the front, thinking I had a messed up valvetrain or something. Was happy to discover it was only a screwdriver. So nothing serious (yet)
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:17 AM   #37
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oh, this is a good one.

I just did the clutch in my green car, bled the slave, test drove, and started cleaning up when wtf do I find...a little ***, pilot-bearing sized bearing on the ground!!!!!!! I used some profanity at this point.

So I pulled the trans again, started to take the clutch off and realized the trans jack screw was puking parts out...since its bearing fell out, and the one in my hand fit perfectly. lol
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:32 AM   #38
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Buddy and me were putting a fresh 1.6 race engine together. He laid the head gasket down, asked me to check it. I said OK. The very next race at Roebling Rd. the car is surprisingly quick... for a couple of amateurs putting an engine together. Managed to qualify second in ITA. On the start I was doing some fierce battling with leader. Then with each lap I start falling back, further, and further... I noticed the temps going up and decided to run the back half (all twisties) and check the temps again. By the time I get to the last turn, the car is noticeably slow... so I pull into the pits with the temp pegged and shut it down. Little did I know at that point that bearings were melting. Why? No block/head dowels. The head gasket slid forward until it stopped on the head bolts and cut the coolant and oil passages down substantially! $1400 in engine work down the drain.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:13 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by johnwag View Post
Don't forget about your cell phone.
Ha Ha, yes.....but that was my daughter's mistake; not mine. I just ended up having to pay for it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:21 PM   #40
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Many oh crap moments as well, but probably near the top of the list. Bolting the bypass tube support under the exhaust mani vs. on top of it and "wondering" why I had a huge exhaust leak. Totally pwned.
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