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Lucky Phil

Stupid things we have done to our cars

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I noticed a couple of posts on "What did I do to my Porsche today" where people had confessed a couple of silly things they have do in the past e.g forgot to put in sump plug before filling up with new oil, so I thought it would be interesting to hear some of the stories out there about crazy or brain fade errors we have made in days gone by.  I will kick it off with this little memory.

Many years ago when I was 18 I came home from work and my dad was working at the back of his Rambler Hornet in the garage.  I asked, "what you doing dad?" and he explained that the reversing lights did not seem to be working.  I said "can I help?"  To which he replied, yeah start her up.  Which I did.  Then, "put her in reverse". Which again I did by leaning over the seat whilst standing in the open drivers door, checking the hand brake was on and clicking it into reverse.  Dad did not see me doing this as he was working down low at the rear of the car with the boot up.  About now is where my 18 year old brain must have faded and started to lose interest, when dad then said "now put your foot on the brake".  I for some reason heard this as "rev it up a bit" (which I often did from the open door when working on my "manual" Datsun 1600).  So for some stupid reason I proceeded to apply great pressure to the accelerator.  All of a sudden the car was laying rubber and then travelling at great speed in reverse out of the garage with me hanging on to the open drivers door.  The said door soon collected the garage wall and garage door which proceeded to crumple the drivers door into the front guard before the whole car jerked sideways and stopped.  At the time my dad was on the floor at the rear of the car moaning, and fearing I had run him over I ran to him to see if he was ok, but no injuries as he had managed to get out of the way of the rapidly reversing car.   He was just lying on the ground crying into his hands at the mess and then yelling at me for wrecking his nice new much loved Rambler Hornet.  

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  What idiot would leave the sump plug out? Moron 🙄

 I did similar to my dads XR Falcon wagon leaving the door open when he was reversing. Dad never swore in front of me before, but that day a few expletives were heard 😳

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I admit I have done a 'few' stupid brain fade things working on cars.

One of the dumbest things I ever did was working on the petrol tank in the vast boot of a 450 SEL MB and letting the bootlid close on me while i was inside.

Nobody else around, and if I waited for my wife I would still be there. Would be very hard  to do this on an old 911 !!!

I cannot claim youthful inexperience as I had over 40 years working on cars. 

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Didn`t notice that the oil filter ORing stayed on the car instead of the filter,                  Lexus SC 400 , prick of a spot, put the new filter with its own ORing on and dumped about 6 litres of oil over my new concrete, no sump plug would have been better as the oil would have made it`s presence known much sooner and possibly I wouldn`t have got it all in before realising what had happened

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The other day I was idly checking under the bonnet of my '66 Benz , as you do with old cars. Think there were a few leaves in there.
After a few minutes I thought hey , the radiator cap is sitting on the battery case.
The week before I filled up the rad and obviously,  doh.
The amazing thing is I drove to work twice , I live on a steep hill with several tight corners and I don't drive like a granny. And I don't think the battery has a strong magnet in it.

Also after spreadeagling myself over the engine of my DIL's Laser one day , I forgot to check the O ring came off with the oil filter.
Oil pissed out everywhere after startup. The old oil ring must have been twisted/caught.

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12 minutes ago, tazzieman said:

 

Also after spreadeagling myself over the engine of my DIL's Laser one day , I forgot to check the O ring came off with the oil filter.
Oil pissed out everywhere after startup. The old oil ring must have been twisted/caught.

Now that you have said that, startup may have been when I became aware of my mistake, long time ago and I just remember Oil everybloodywhere.

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This will take some beating - Neglected to tighten bolts on intake trumpets, which worked their way loose, down the Webers and were ingested by the engine. Smashed pistons, vales and bores. Nothing was salvageable.

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12 minutes ago, StevepGT3 said:

depends on car

Gemini - 2 litre Rodeo engine on av gas. It was circa 1998, it was my pride and joy and good for 12 second passes.

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15 minutes ago, JV911 said:

Gemini - 2 litre Rodeo engine on av gas. It was circa 1998, it was my pride and joy and good for 12 second passes.

Yea OK,you win, but 6 litres of synthetic comes awful close.

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5 hours ago, Lucky Phil said:

I noticed a couple of posts on "What did I do to my Porsche today" where people had confessed a couple of silly things they have do in the past e.g forgot to put in sump plug before filling up with new oil, so I thought it would be interesting to hear some of the stories out there about crazy or brain fade errors we have made in days gone by.  I will kick it off with this little memory.

Many years ago when I was 18 I came home from work and my dad was working at the back of his Rambler Hornet in the garage.  I asked, "what you doing dad?" and he explained that the reversing lights did not seem to be working.  I said "can I help?"  To which he replied, yeah start her up.  Which I did.  Then, "put her in reverse". Which again I did by leaning over the seat whilst standing in the open drivers door, checking the hand brake was on and clicking it into reverse.  Dad did not see me doing this as he was working down low at the rear of the car with the boot up.  About now is where my 18 year old brain must have faded and started to lose interest, when dad then said "now put your foot on the brake".  I for some reason heard this as "rev it up a bit" (which I often did from the open door when working on my "manual" Datsun 1600).  So for some stupid reason I proceeded to apply great pressure to the accelerator.  All of a sudden the car was laying rubber and then travelling at great speed in reverse out of the garage with me hanging on to the open drivers door.  The said door soon collected the garage wall and garage door which proceeded to crumple the drivers door into the front guard before the whole car jerked sideways and stopped.  At the time my dad was on the floor at the rear of the car moaning, and fearing I had run him over I ran to him to see if he was ok, but no injuries as he had managed to get out of the way of the rapidly reversing car.   He was just lying on the ground crying into his hands at the mess and then yelling at me for wrecking his nice new much loved Rambler Hornet.  

Sheeeeesh you win already. 😨

1 hour ago, JV911 said:

This will take some beating - Neglected to tighten bolts on intake trumpets, which worked their way loose, down the Webers and were ingested by the engine. Smashed pistons, vales and bores. Nothing was salvageable.

Holy crap! 

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Freshly sealed 13B in my RX4 Coupe, engine in, all ok, rightio - lets get back to Sydney.. A few hundred K down the road, she goes BANG.!

Opps - so who forgot to put the oil in hey..?  Young, dumb and to much chuffing on the mountain madness way back in the day.!

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Few months ago a mate of mine & I installed a freshly painted Cam Cover on my 944S2 in his workshop/ garage.  As you'll know in order to do this you need to remove the fuel lines to get access to the cover.  I was in charge of reinstalling the fuel lines & checking that they where on tight.  Needless to say I may have been distracted while performing my duties.

On completion I jumped in the car, drove home 50k's & parked the car on the street overnight.  Jumped back in the car the next morning to head to work & lots of crank but no start.  Then strong fuel smell.  Pumped the gas a few times.  Very strong fuel smell.  Exited car- fuel all over the road.  Bonnet up to find fuel lines where disengaged completely & pissing fuel all over the engine.

How in God's name they stayed on for 50ks & only fell off once the engine was cold i'll never know.  We all know the proclivity the 944 has for bursting into flames due to fuel line issues.  Angels were definitely sitting on my shoulders on that trip.

Sadly I can't blame youthful exuberance, teenage hormones or the demon drink (as I was 46 at the time).  I'm just not that bright - or mechanically minded - just lucky.    

 

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Got a million of 'em. And I'm still working on cars and getting older so still makin' them.

Another oil O Ring story. At the age of about 12 I started working nights and weekends at the local Golden Fleece (yes I'm that old) servo. Pumping petrol, selling Activ 8 Upper lubricant and smokes. The bosses there taught me how to do stuff. Change tyres, do a grease and oil and generally suck up as much info & details as possible. One Sat arvo while working by myself one of our regulars ( a lovely old chap of about 80) came in and asked for a grease and oil change on his new Falcon XP ute. Did the job while he sat in the side office and listened to the footy on the wireless. Filled it with fuel, took his money and sent him on his way. 

Then I noticed a trail of oil from the driveway out onto the road and all the way down the hill. Fairly shat myself as I knew I'd stuffed up but didn't know why.  So what does a scared kid do? Play ostrich? Nah. Though I better take care of this proper like. Looked up is name in the phone book, gave him a call and (thank God he was home) told him of the problem and asked him to come back. Luckily he only lived a mile or so away. So he comes back, up on the hoist, filter off and lo and behold - the orig O ring still there under the new one. Fixed it, added another few pints of oil and sent him on his way. Cleaned the driveway and wondered whether to tell the boss. Decided not to and managed to continue working there part time for another 12 years and didn't have to pay off an engine rebuild.

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Did the oil change on my Datto 200B, filter etc but neglected to replace the filler cap.  Overhead cams in Datsun L series have a tendency to spray oil up and out of the cam cover if the cap isn't there.  I realised something was up when I noticed an oily smear on the windscreen after driving on the freeway to work the next day.  Cap was gone too.   I never quite managed to get all the oil out of the hood structure and it was forever seeping out of the panel seams. 

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Very close friend managed to do half an oil change on he’s AMG. 

Wasnt aware that there is a front and  rear sump plug on these engines. (The two sumps are separated due to a cross member and oil is pumped from one to the other) 

He was confused as why it took such a small amount of oil to fill such a large engine! 

 

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12 hours ago, Airhead said:

Then I noticed a trail of oil from the driveway out onto the road and all the way down the hill. 

"OMG!!!"  "Sooo lucky nobody got killed

We live in very different times now ;)

You'd have to fill out an incident report for a start.

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 - Forgot to tighten the wheel nuts on my VW beetle.....heard a weird wobbling noise from the car after about 3 kms

- Used aluminium foil for a fuse in my VW beetle - fuse box caught fire while I was checking whether the fix made the the tail lights work again

- Miswrote order of removal of ignition leads on VW beetle.....lots of backfiring and then tears as I was convinced I had broken the engine when it wouldn't start or only 'just' run

- Forgot the sump plug after draining oil of Jackaroo

- Didn't drain oil from  car before proceeding to remove oil cannister of Jackaroo

- Didn't drain oil from  car before proceeding to fill with oil (can't remember what car)

 

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Just now, OZ930 said:

Surprised that nobody has said ...

"converted it to a long hood"

😂

 

I'll go now 🤐

 

 Ouch! Seeya :D

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28 minutes ago, LeeM said:

 Ouch! Seeya :D

Wow, that didn't take long to get a bite !  😁

ok, ok,  I'm going ...

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Not me but when I worked at a Self Serve Petrol Station on a busy Sunday a woman came in and bought a litre of oil, then another one and another... once the rush had cleared I went out to the forecourt to see what she was doing. She had kept adding oil (about 6 litres by now) because she couldn't see it in the oil filler hole! We convinced her to stop and call her husband as we didn't have a mechanic on duty. He duly arrived and thanked us - towed the car home to drain the oil.

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1 hour ago, OZ930 said:

Wow, that didn't take long to get a bite !  😁

ok, ok,  I'm going ...

  It's my job as a moderator to rein in the offensive members.

You're banned for a hour :D

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