Your biggest mistakes.


Dirtman

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Thought this would make a good discussion. What are some of the biggest, dumbest mistakes you've made working on your truck/car whatever?

I have tons but one that comes to mind right now was this total pile of junk 64 (I think) f100 I was given by the old lady next door for taking care of her property all summer. I was 15 and it wasn't just cutting grass, it was a damn full time job. My parents were so impressed that they said they would pay for an engine for it. (Not new lol). So with cash in hand I headed to the junkyard and immediately said... 460!!!! My dad was the type to voice his wisdom and then stand back and watch the train wreck since I never listened.

Got the motor in, got it running, driving etc. It was a beast of a truck. Even my dad was shocked I got that damn thing going.

About a week later I decided to replace the water pump and figured I'm gonna pull the timing cover and do that as well. I had never changed timing gears before so I took them off, put them on... easy!

Never lined them up, motor ran HORRIBLE for about 10 miles then exploded in a glorious fashion.

My parents obviously weren't paying to fix it again, so truck got scrapped. Found out years later how rare the truck was. Something with the window shape or something made it a rare truck.
 


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Dirtman

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466.63 teaspoons.
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So friggin big!
My credo
Give me money.
Another funny one, not my stupidity. My brother in law once stole my ATV race gas for his bronco. It was 118 octane, 2 stroke nitro blend. He didnt know any better... he was just out of gas and grabbed the big container in my garage. I'm told the truck got him to work, when he went to restart it afterwards it started and just poured smoke and then died. I never got the details of what happened to the engine because by the time I realized he used my fuel the truck was long gone.
 

adsm08

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Diagnosed a bad torque converter clutch based only on the description by my wife, found that even a good used trans for the vehicle was $1500, so I sold it and bought an Expedition that I didn't really want for $1200 ($950 purchase, plus about $250 in parts it needed).

Found out AFTER I bought the Expedition that the Explorer's issue was not a TCC but bad spark plug wires, it was a random misfire, that happened at 45 instead of 55, and never left any traces in Mode 6. By the time I found it and fixed it I was so far into the Expedition that I had to sell the Explorer to break even on the whole thing.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Diagnosed a bad torque converter clutch based only on the description by my wife, found that even a good used trans for the vehicle was $1500, so I sold it and bought an Expedition that I didn't really want for $1200 ($950 purchase, plus about $250 in parts it needed).

Found out AFTER I bought the Expedition that the Explorer's issue was not a TCC but bad spark plug wires, it was a random misfire, that happened at 45 instead of 55, and never left any traces in Mode 6. By the time I found it and fixed it I was so far into the Expedition that I had to sell the Explorer to break even on the whole thing.
Back when i was 17 or 18 i had a 77 LTD II. Royal blue, 4 door, brougham with a rather hot 351 in it.

Showing off one night after a few too many i found out an FMX trans will take approximatly 4 neutral drops before it makes really bad noises and quits working.

Not exactly sure what took a shit, sold it to a guy down the road. He may still have it for all i know.
 

Dirtman

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So friggin big!
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Not my fault (well). I had a 63 or 64 fairlane with a 351 Cleveland. And it had to have come out of an actual race car. It was insane. Could never get it running right until my dad did a compression test and did the numbers. It needed 104 minimum on his math. Put race gas in it and it came to life... wow... hit a big bump and the drivers side coil spring broke through the lower control arm at 45mph. Tore the whole front end to peices.
 

RonD

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I bolted the torque converter to the engine then forced freshly rebuilt transmission on to it.................first automatic install
Fubared the pump, so had to rebuild again

I oiled my squeaky brakes on my first car, 1954 Willys overlander 4x4
They stopped squeaking but started SMOKING, lol
Had to get 4 new shoes, didn't oil the back ones thank God
 

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Bent the frame on my 98 ranger blew out the ball joints and cracked both leaf springs treating it like a rally car. While evading what im assuming was the state police a week before my Cinderella license expired. On a road you probably want to do 15mph at most on. Mostly potholes and stone with deep ruts.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Bent the frame on my 98 ranger blew out the ball joints and cracked both leaf springs treating it like a rally car. While evading what im assuming was the state police a week before my Cinderella license expired. On a road you probably want to do 15mph at most on. Mostly potholes and stone with deep ruts.
But you got away?

Thats what matters.
 

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I knew a guy who put vegetable oil in his civic because he had to go get oil for his civic. He forgot about needing oil to replace the oil he drained. It smelled like french fries and seized.
 

JohnnyO

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Back in the 70's, my first car, 68 Firebird. Valve covers were leaking so I got new gaskets. Snapped off a bolt installing the new ones. Naturally it was a bottom bolt so it leaked worse than before. Cloud of smoke followed me everywhere. Had to take it to a shop to be drilled and tapped and after that one bolt was bigger than the others.
 

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Trashed the pinion bearings on a Ford 7.5 on my ‘98 Ranger. I was very mentally and physically tired and misread the preload torque as lbs-ft instead lbs-in. I could not get the pion out to fix the problem. Cost me a used axle from the scrap yard and the 4.10 ring and pinion I just installed before trashing the bearings. I also discovered the flange on the Eaton LSD cracked, so there was that money down the drain too. Not sure why but there is no way I was going to reuse that.
 

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Having a reason to start this thread: "My ranger's last chance..." Not going to post all that again, but short version. Didn't replace the whole damn engine after head gaskets blew with new heads.

Next up would be giving up on my 95 Probe after transmission broke. That car was fun to drive, but was a POS when I bought it and spent too much time fixing it in a year. What can you expect from a $500 car in the pick-n-pull parking lot?
 

Dirtman

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So friggin big!
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Give me money.
I bolted the torque converter to the engine then forced freshly rebuilt transmission on to it.................first automatic install
Fubared the pump, so had to rebuild again
Lol sorry but I love seeing you explain this to everyone, and have seen you diagnose at least 3 or 4 dead transmissions because of this. Even your stupidity is intelligent Ron...
 

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The first time you goof is not "stupid" its ignorance, a lack of knowledge, if you do the same thing AGAIN then it qualifies as "stupid"
When it comes to firing orders I am STUPID, lol, seem to reverse wires almost everytime
 

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My biggest mistake? My first marriage.

Car wise I think the worst thing I have done was set the plug wires in the wrong order on my Ranger... ran like crap when it even did run until I figured out that I was a dumbass and plugged them in wrong.

AJ
 


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