Your biggest mistakes.


alwaysFlOoReD

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I'm trying to think of something I've done really stupid to a vehicle I've owned......
I've got nothing....
 


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alwaysFlOoReD

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It was a joke.
I've got too many. Probably replacing everything except the water pump on my race truck when it had overheating problems...
I tried 3 different rads, including one from a Chevy.
Installed 2 different electric fans.
Put the rad from a bigblock 460 in the back of the truck, including running emt tubing thru the cab to the rad.
2 more different electric fans.
Then the ex asked if I had checked the water pump.....
 
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Bird76Mojo

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Sold my first truck, a red 1986 Ranger standard cab 2.0 5spd that was identical to my current V8 truck, AFTER replacing every single sensor, plugs, wires, Duraspark module, everything. Even my uncle who was a life long Ford mechanic was baffled. The day I sold it (for $350) the new owner had the title in his pocket and decided to start it and let it run a while. It ran good but just had a loss of power, but the exhaust had good pressure/flow coming from the pipe.

We let it run and decided to leave it running while we ran to the local gas station. When we came back down the road you could see smoke rolling from up the street. When we got closer, the cab was so filled with smoke you could even see the dash or steering wheel. We flung both doors open to let the smoke out and shut it off. The rubber flooring was a bubbling tar-like mess on the entire passenger side floorboard. I looked underneath and the cat was glowing cherry red. I guess me doing one too many "gas bombs" as I called it, clogged the cat. I used to shut if off while driving through town and pump the gas pedal like 20 times, then turn the key on, drop the clutch, and BOOOOOOM! I used to scare the local girls with it for laughs.

I tried to get him to let me keep it and give his money back, but he wouldn't do it. He cut the cat off later and the truck ran perfectly. He pulled the 2.0 a few weeks later and installed a 302. He got it all finished up except for the driveshaft, and that was the one item he never finished. The truck sat outside so long it went to shit and I was told it was eventually crushed.

I spent a full 8 or 10 hour day one time driving around the country where it was supposed to be, stopping at every house asking if anyone knew about a little red Ranger. No one knew anything.

So I bought my current (identical) 87 Ranger and V8 swapped it like I always wanted.



Other than that, I've never made a single mistake in my life. 🤪
 

ericbphoto

Old Redneck just wingin' it.
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Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
Bought a Festival once. Don't remember if it smoked when I bought it. But it started smoking a few months later, getting worse and worse. I pulled the head and took it to a shop for a valve job. Put it back on. Still smoked. Should have rebuilt the whole engine. But I didn't have the time or place to do that. Finally traded it in for a Silverado. I think the dealer just gave me scrap value for the Festival but manipulated the numbers to make me feel better.

That little car had a manual transmission and was fun to scoot around in. Lesson learned = don't just do half the job.
 

don4331

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V8 Engine Swap
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5.3
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Automatic
3 stand out to date, all from before I started with Rangers:

My dad sold me his '68 F-100 4x4 as my 1st vehicle. Rebuilt the front axle and replaced the 360 2V with 428 4V. Unfortunately, didn't tighten the u bolts on the u-joint to the front axle. On 1st test run, driveshaft dropped; front end kind of pole vaulted, and cleaned front output shaft off the transfer case. Drove it as a 2wd for 1/2 winter trying to find the replacement output shaft, then the enthusiasm to pull the transfer case to rebuild it - little cold to be doing it on driveway in SK winter.

Friend had a Vega which we were trying to get to run. So had air cleaner open, looking into the carb to see if gas is flowing when buddy tried to start - ensuing backfire burned off my mustache. Smelt burnt hair for at least next week. Removed the 4cyl/4 speed and replaced with 307/powerglide. Was fun to drag race, but didn't turn worth $#!+.

Had one of the original Dodge Omnis with the Volkswagen engine/transmission. Clutch stopped disengaging. The mechanism was operated by a push rod through the input shaft. My assumption was the throw out bearing at end of shaft had went, so opened up the end plate. Throw out bearing was fine but the push rod was way inside the shaft. There was a button on the pressure plate - which wore through after some 200,000+ km wore through. So, the transmission was pulled, a new clutch installed and everything buttoned back. Unfortunately, I didn't get a new gasket for the end of the transmission that I had opened up to look at the throw out bearing. After slowly dripping oil for a year, the transmission stopped cold (well actually, it was rather hot when it stopped) - FWD car does some interesting handling with front wheels stopped. Half shafts were removed so we could tow it home, then a VW 5 speed procured to replace the original 4 spd.
 

snoranger

4.0L > 2.9L > 3.0L
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My credo
I didn't ask for your life story, just answer the question!
I bought an '87 Chevy Sprint 4 door. That was my biggest mistake.


It was $50... I jump started it and drove it home. The kickdown cable was broken, you had to manually shift it if you wanted to use 1 + 2 gear. I blew the engine up within a month.
We swapped in a motor and manual trans from a Turbo Sprint, spray painted it primer grey, painted dual 8" wide racing stripes from nose to tail, cut the entire roof out of it, and drive it for the rest of the summer... I carried a tarp and bungee cords around in case it rained.

It was actually one of the most fun cars I ever owned.
 

Dirtman

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Over there --->
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2009
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Ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
466.63 teaspoons.
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Tire Size
So friggin big!
My credo
Give me money.
I had a 80's chevy cavalier in college. Paid 100 bucks for it and literally did zero maintenance on it in 6 years besides filling it with gas. I was so poor I couldn't even afford to change the oil so I never even bothered to look at it. When I left college I left the title and the keys for it sitting on the dashboard and took a bus home. :icon_rofl:

It had no functioning wipers, half the lights didn't work, bald tires, no muffler, interior was moldy, back window broken and covered with cardboard, it reeked like a dirty hamster cage. Started every day, and still took some girls home in it though!

I'm not GM fan but considering how I treated that thing, I am absolutely amazed it lasted more than a week let alone 6 years.
 

Josh B

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4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Too many to list :D
 

Ranger850

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Born with a 3.0, looking for a donor V8
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Manual
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2WD
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Stock 2"
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Stock
My credo
Doing things wrong, until I get it right.
I'm really kicking myself for this:: Bought an 08 Sport Trac, used. It also had some dumb computer reprogrammer thingy, that I quickly disconnected. It had dry rotted wires where that thingy plugs in and some where bare. One day they touched and it fried the Computer, got that replaced and tuned but no A/C. anyway, driving home from Valdosta Ga, I noticed, after diving 80+mph for a few miles, the trans seemed to slip and shift hard. Since I had recently had a new MAF sensor, I thought maybe a bad part, but it checked out. After several mechanics told me I needed $800-$1500 worth of services, I traded that Sport Trac in, for a Hyundai Sonata. After doing some research, I found out the truck was in "limp" mode and just needed a computer reflash. Still would have cost me some $$, but I haven't had a truck since, until now. I have my lil' Nissan.
 

G8orFord

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I rebuilt what I assumed was a "360" in the '73 F-100 I got from my grandfather when he passed. The breather had the 360 logo on it and I knew in that era Ford had de-stroked the 390 to try and help with fuel mileage. So anyway, I had a donor 390 engine for the crankshaft. Pulled it all down, had the block bored and decked (just enough to true it), had the crank turned and put all new parts in it. Everything seemed to go well. The engine turned through by hand with no problem. Installed it in the truck and started it. It sounded almost like a diesel. As it turns out, the pistons were just barely slapping the heads at RPM. I couldn't figure this one out at the time, but I pulled the heads and "milled" the pistons in place (first mistake) so they didn't hit the heads anymore. Got it all back together and it ran great. The best and most powerful 390 2 barrel I'd ever driven. I was smart enough to know that I was running a pretty high compression ratio, so I knew I had to use premium fuel and ran Amoco 93 octane exclusively. I had to put some Exxon 89 in it one time and not thinking about it, ran it pretty hard afterwards. On my way home I was cruising at about 55 mph when it just went boom and died. Detonation took out a piston, a piece lodged on top of it and that took out the side of the block. Pretty much a total loss.

Upon my next rebuild, I finally had the time to figure out what the deal was and why the pistons were coming out of the bore like they were. It seems that I may not have been the first one to work on the truck and someone had put 352 rods on the 360 crank to help fill up the 1/8 gap that was left at the top of the stroke. Who would have thought to do that?
 
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91stranger

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I got a few. I normally have to figure issues out first hand by getting my hands dirty and just tracing the issue back to the source so I normally learn the hard way how to do things. The biggest mistake I made was not using jack stands. I was working on my wife's pt cruiser one night, had an old steel jack on the rear and had the back half off the ground while I was replacing the brakes. While up in the air I figured I would look at the noisy exhaust leak. As I am underneath the car I am trying to put one of those stainless steel patch things you can buy and I must have wiggled the car just right because I start to feel the cross member touching the side of my face and putting more and more pressure. At this point I am freaking the ef out thinking my wife is going to find my dead body underneath her car in the morning. so I just start pushing up on the cross member and was able to push it up enough to where I could slowly wiggle myself out. Thank god I got out too... that honestly freaked me out and just had my brain tweeked for a few days just thinking "what if". I don't use that jack anymore and I will always use a jack stand or at least throw the wheel underneath the vehicle. So for those who don't use jack stands, please, please PLEASE start using jack stands as it could save your life. I've seen jack stands save a guys life at work. He was working on a 40,000 pound RV changing tires and luckily he had on jack stands because(this is what he swears to this day) that someone shut the air supply off on the air jack he was using while and if it weren't for the jack stand that RV would have killed him. We all heard the loud crashing sound of the RV falling onto the jack stand and started cussing and threatening to quit and kick everyone's ass.
 

Bill

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2007
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Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
I had a 2.6L V6 from a Capri sitting on the driveway. One morning I got a little bored so I figured I would bolt up the transmission and starter so I could start it up. It fired up after a few tries with some starter fluid and I got it to idle there in the driveway. Then I reached over to the carb to open the throttle and rev it up. I was fortunate to have done this while standing in front of it because when I revved it up the engine and transmission went spinning across the driveway and into the gas can and took out a leg on my workbench. It addition to breaking a leg on the workbench, it broke carburator and dented the oil pan and valve covers. So, I had to hunt those parts down in Pick-a-Part to get it all back together. I was just really glad it was a broken leg on the workbench and not my leg.
 

Josh B

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Guess I'll go with the "whatever". Friday I went to an estate sale about 12 miles west of a Tx town 20 miles south(that I was already in). It was late in the day and kind of rushed for time, but found it after awhile and as i looked through the place realized it was an incredible home in a sleepy little town. It was a "living estate" so I hoped at least one still was :( I truly hate these but realize many times they need it done, and appreciate the support it can offer. Usually I wind up walking into the garage and looking at hardware, paints, and such, where I did pick up a few things and carried them inside. The crowd was clearing out as i looked around at the many pieces of artwork which I knew were out of my league, but continued putting little things into my little "spot".
To make a short story long, I had bought a little 22 Taurus while moving home about 12 years ago, and given it to a niece last summer, it was easy to use, and to understand, and i wanted a replacement, to carry walking fence rows and such, and I especially liked the 22 shot shells for rapid disarmament of snakes in the path(I'm not one to shoot a non-poison type, most especially the king snake ones, which I actually like to see, but we have all types here. Rattlesnakes(both diamondback and velvet-tail, copperheads and water moccasins, including the cottonmouth) and also including the extreme venom of the Coral snakes, which are rare, but still present (red on black, you're ok jack, black on yellow, you're a dead fella).
And to make a long story short, There were two handguns on the main table ( a dozen had already been sold) and I saw a little pocket pistol, it said Beretta on the frame. Tiny little thing, better than the 22 I'd given away, so I bought it( after telling the lady seller "they only left it because it wasn't worth their time").
After making it back home and doing some research I found it was an older model used primarily for it's ease of concealment. A 950 Jetfire(named because it was a rapid shoot with no known flaws). Then I began searching for ammo or a second clip, which were high dollar and far away. Today i found ammo for about the same price of internet only 10 miles away from where I was at, in a small town hardware store over in tx, and right at the same price including shipping. I bought two 50 round boxes, and asked if he could get clips, which he could, for much less than internet price. He was an older guy, ran the place, and said the old man had told him always use European ammo in these, and it was fiocchi(French), the guns were made in Germany.
I left there a happy camper, but then I finally got home, loaded the clip to its full 8 capacity, and went to inject one into the barrel, but it slipped somehow I guess. This is a very tight gun and I now had one in the barrel and another one trying very hard to get in. Somehow in this struggle I managed to get the one trying to get in to eject, but when the slide slapped down it went off. Thankfully there were no other patrons nearby( I am very happily separated) excepting the dog, who was in the back yard.
As I began looking for the bullet hole, which was intentionally (thank you) not directed towards myself, I found it in a very old computer, over near the side outside door. This was a relic of a computer I'd set up there about 10 years ago, bought from NASA in Hunstville, used during the Apollo and Space shuttle days, and reloaded with a complete IRIX system install. It had gone in the front but not out the back, probably lodged inside the power supply.
Anyway, that's my story for the day, but then again tomorrow, is a whole new day :/
 

bobbywalter

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1988
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FORD mostly
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BIGGER
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Automatic
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4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
man.....where to start.
 

JoshT

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As I began looking for the bullet hole, which was intentionally (thank you) not directed towards myself, I found it in a very old computer, over near the side outside door. This was a relic of a computer I'd set up there about 10 years ago, bought from NASA in Hunstville, used during the Apollo and Space shuttle days, and reloaded with a complete IRIX system install. It had gone in the front but not out the back, probably lodged inside the power supply.
Shit happens, that's why you treat every gun as loaded and always point them in a safe direction when handling. Happened to me with a 9mm. Round in the chamber and wanted to decock it. If I'd dropped the magazine, nothing could have happened. I didn't and my thumb slipped. Was pointed in a safe direction, but still took out a window and frying pan. I was about 24 at the time and it scared the shit out of me, first thing I did was call dad and say I fucked up.

About a year later it happened to dad. Can't recall the caliber he was handling, but he had a negligent discharge. He called me a few minutes later and said I think I killed the computer. I asked what happened and he said "I shot it". :shok:

I mean he'd always threatened to when it didn't work right, but never expected him to actually do it. I immediately had to go over and check it out. He shot it alright. Bullet hole in the side cover right behind the processor. I build/maintain all their computers so they always call me when something goes wrong with one, but what am I supposed to do after it's been shot. I pulled the side cover and found part of the bullet wedged between the motherboard tray and case panel and more of it down in the bottom of the case, but nothing looked damaged. I plugged it back in, pressed the power button and it came to life. I guess the angle it hit was enough to really slow the bullet down. The thing carried on working for years and it was already an old computer when I put the parts together for them. When it finally died a few years ago and I built it's replacement in the same case. Thought about screwing a piece of plexi over the hole to show off his handiwork, but it's still sitting there with a piece of flashing tape covering the hole in the side.
 


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