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Old 12-18-2008, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default your most dumbass wrenching mistake?

what's the dumbest mistake you've made working on a car?

i had my worst one today. I've been slowly working on my s13 for about 3 months to finish the turbo install among other things. got my injectors back from deatschwerks the other day and installed them along with a walbro 255 and all new fuel lines all that crap. well if you saw my other thread you'd know i flushed the brake fluid on my wifes car today and i didn't make a difference. So i needed a win! lets see if my s13 will start. dump 4 quarts of oil in it, prime the pump a few times, start her up, wow it started, ran for about 30 seconds then stalled, no biggie i haven't connected the iacv up to a proper source yet. look under the car and find nearly a gallon of oil under the car!!! wtf!!!

yeah i'm a dumbass and i never put an oil filter on the car!
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:01 PM   #2
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Leaving tools under the hood. Month or so ago I left a socket under the cool air box. It rolled forward at exactly the time I was closing the headlights and jammed it. It was raining and cold and dark so I couldn't deal with it right then and I had no clue what the problem was. Thought something was wrong with the light motor. It of course killed the battery so I had to borrow the GF's car the next morning to go to work. When I finally got to looking at it I felt like an asshat. Found a screwdriver there too. I also left the lugs loose once after doing some suspension work and went for a quick drive. Wondered what that sound was. Pulled over and had only couple threads left before the lugs would have vibrated off completely.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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thats not that bad ... i once was changing a clutch on my friends s2000 and there was a bolt on the transmission that i could not see that held the bell housing on. I thought it was just being stubborn and pried it with the bar. I managed to crack a nice big chunk off of the bell housing :( ... I paid a welder $100 to fix it up and that was the end of that.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:12 PM   #4
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That's a pretty good one. Nine times out of ten deciding to use more force ***** something up but it's still a hard urge to deny, especially when you're getting frustrated. I have fubared many a bolt that way.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:13 PM   #5
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I once left a long, thin screwdriver under the Miata's hood, handle up sticking out of the engine mount cup. For a month I couldn't figure out what the horrible sound was, it was vibrating against everything.

When I went to change my clutch (engine out of car) the first time I had everything on and went to mate the engine and trans back together. I didn't line the splines up correctly and ended up fubarring the friction disc with the input shaft, but didn't discover that anything was wrong until the engine was BACK in the car and wouldn't start. I bought a new clutch kit from ACT (didn't know at the time whether or not the PP was toast also) but only needed to change the friction disc so I sold the rest of the kit to Braineack.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akaryrye View Post
thats not that bad ... i once was changing a clutch on my friends s2000 and there was a bolt on the transmission that i could not see that held the bell housing on. I thought it was just being stubborn and pried it with the bar. I managed to crack a nice big chunk off of the bell housing :( ... I paid a welder $100 to fix it up and that was the end of that.

holy **** hahahahha
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:16 PM   #7
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I think the dumbest thing for me so far was leaving two blinker lights on top of the front bumper...then I go to drive the car and they fall down and under the tires, make a loud POP sound and I thought my tires blew LOL
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:18 PM   #8
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Too numerous to mention, but I could tell stories about some of my friends on here.





Edit, OK, before they tell you:

Head gasket thrown onto a 1.6 reversed and couldn't figure why the new oil was pouring out after assembly.

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)
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:31 PM   #9
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Left a wrench under the hood - vibrated against the ac compressor wheel and I couldn't isolate it for about a week.

Left lug nuts loose on my old Land Rover Discovery after a suspension lift - only a few threads away from disaster.

Eagerly started up an engine once before without oil - flipped **** when I noticed my unopened bottles of new oil.

There's much more but I'd rather not recall any of it.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:35 PM   #10
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years ago did a valve job on my pickup. Got it all together started right up and tok it for a drive. About a half mile down the road I noticed the temp guage starting to peg out.

Yup, you guessed it, forgot to put coolant back in.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:42 PM   #11
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Now I don't feel so dumb. You guys should have seen me during my MS install at Ben's house with him and M2CC... I was all thumbs and no help.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:59 PM   #12
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i bought a RX7
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:00 PM   #13
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Forgot to place the oil cap back on the Miata. Drove about 30 miles and my hood was smoking like a chimney.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:13 PM   #14
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Installed crank pulley on dodge neon 2.0 SOHC without putting the rear timing cover back on. Had to use the puller to remove it again to install the cover. Put the pulley back on after putting on outter timing cover. Then realized i didn't torque the cam pulley.
Mother#$&(#(($
Used the puller to remove the pulley AGAIN for the 3rd or 4th time during that head gasket swap.
I'll never work on a neon again.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:27 PM   #15
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I've had my share.....that's part of the learning process. One that I still remember was when working on my '71 VW. Put in an all hydraulic motor and forgot to shim the fan in the shroud. Worst noise ever.....
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.
Oh, and recently grounding my temp gauge and losing three gauges and a fuse due to a huried install.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:49 PM   #16
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I haven't had too many blunders, mainly tools left under the hood, but I always seem to remember before they even make much noise.

My dad forgot to torque the connecting rod nuts on cyl #2. Started making a terrible noise about 50 miles after rebuild, took the head off to discover one piston about .125" above the deck. Cost us $170 to fix, rod bearings, head gasket, and we had the machine shop that did our work double check our head and valves to make sure he didn't **** anything up. Anyways, my longnose crank bolt backed out and ruined my keyways, so I've replaced my crankshaft, but other than that its the same engine I turbo'd and raced, and its doing great.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:29 PM   #17
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I tightened all my water pump bolts on my old 5.0 with a 1/2 in drive. Yea, I snapped about half of them.

My dad about took a dump. I had to pull everything, a/c, ps, alt, etc., off the front of the motor. All the way down to the timing chain. Then we had to heat the bolts with a blow torch, snap lock pliers onto it and back them off.

It sucked. I always use new bolts on a 5.0 water pump now.

Funny thing, The day I finished. I drove to my friends, and he had done the same thing.LOL And our other friend had broke a bolt off in his thermostat on his camero.


We were all 17-19yrs old. And the heat was jacking with our cars.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:44 PM   #18
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yup, I've done that with the miata's 10mm oil pump bolts, its not too much work to redo it, but it sucks, luckily it was on an engine stand at the time. its when I would get a little bit of old gasket goo left on the screw it would jam the threads enough to break the head off. then again I'm built like ******* Hulk so that doesn't help either.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:02 AM   #19
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The stock radiator drain plug on NA miatas looks like a phenomenal jacking point.

The first time.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:10 AM   #20
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My god that must've been quite an explosion of plastic bits and coolant
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