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Just wondering what stupid screw ups other people have made on their car.

While I have made MANY stupid mistakes working on my car the following two are by far the most idiotic things I have ever done to my Z.

1. Transmission to crossmember bolt - I had the typical Z "thunk" on acceleration. I removed my entire drivetrain from behind the transmission trying to find the culprit. Since everything was either new or rebuilt I was perplexed. After about two months I discovered that while the transmission crossmember was bolted to the frame, the transmission was not bolted to the crossmember. The noise was the transmission moving around.....ver bad but not as bad as

2. Block Head - I left the block of wood in.....yes you read that right....I left the block of wood in. After advancing my cam timing and double checking to make sure all bolts were tight, I fired the engine up. It seemed to lag a little... I drove for 150 miles. I then remembered that the block of wood for the timing chainwas still in place. Obscenitites followed....as did a removal and breakdown of the engine....
 

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We'll I havent been that bad yet as you loosetoe but I have jumped my z when it was dead hooking up the jumper cable on it backwards. Man I was lucky i didnt burn out or screw up my wires just a little smoke from the fusible links but nothing bad. I also went and cliped three wires off my ignition wires thinking it was one of my probs of it not having any spark it was next to the afm*not the afm* and the order of the wires where different in the factroy manual i bought on cd well when i looked in closer on another page close up on the manual it showed how it was originally but oh well just re did that and soon enough my car later started after two years of dry dock. Other than that.. thats about it. " Sad but True " is what all you can say to yourself after things like this
 

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I have't made big mistake on my Z yet, thank god. But here is one. I used to help load/unload pro-stock cars. One day I was waiting for the car to comeback so I can load it to the trailor. That wasn't so bad other than I was smoking right by the 6 gallons of ethonol!!!!!!!!!!! Bad idea. I luckly didn't catch on fire thanks to mt buddy.
 

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I shouldn't be telling you this, but...

Ever done an engine swap in a gravel driveway? Yeah, I did. Try pushing an engine hoist fully loaded from one Z to another... took three people and a lot of 2X4's, but we finally made it... VICTORY!!!!!
 

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Setting my valve clearance one day, slid my 0.0100 feeler gauge in #1 but it was too tight, tried #6 also too tight ... thought about it for a minute. Checked the exhausts with 0.0120 they were all fine. Went back to check the intakes, they were all too tight ... thought about it for another minute. Pulled out my micrometer to measure the feeler gauge and find my 0.0100 is actually 0.0190 !?!? The 0.0100 and 0.0090 had stuck together ... DOH!

ConorP
 

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Re: I shouldn't be telling you this, but...

I have alway worked on a gravel driveway I don't think I would know how to work on anything else:)
The stupid and most expensive thing I have ever done is...was racing while drunk, bad idea.Well I had been drinking for a couple of hours when this guy in a Accord wanted to race me. So we lined up and when I took off I spun so hard and fast that the car was not even moving.Me being drunk I thought that I had broken tach needle about mid way out, as there was a stub pointing toward 2k then I noticed that I hadn't broken the needle, IT was the short part pointing at 2k and the long part point at 7k. Needless to say I lost that race, but know one seemed to care bacause they where admiring my spin marks. Now here come the best part, right after that all of my idiot lights came on. I though oh sh!t I had broken a belt or something. It turns out I had flung off my crank balancer and messed up the keyway in both BALANCER and CRANK.

Watch your REVS
Jason
 

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Well, I was only 15 (not that long ago-i'm 22 now) but i had just gotten my first Z-77 280....after doing some work on the engine like replacing the fuel injectors, timing equipment, gaskets, etc. I was ready to go. Well, I couldn't find the battery holder that holds the battery in place-you know the square frame that clamps over it from the top-no big deal right? Who needs it anyway? A battery is so heavy it won't move. After driving for a few days I went around a sharp corner saw a spark fly out of the hood and heard a loud thunk.....the battery had rolled over and hit the top of the inspection lid. The spark caused a fire that burned the **** out of my wiring harness in the engine compartment. I was finally able to smother it out, and after pulling apart and resoldering melted wires all was well again....but I can tell you I haven't driven anywhere since without a fire extinguisher....or my battery securely fixed to the car.
 

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I drained the 10 year old oil out of my 77 restoration project the other day. I very carefully disposed of the old oil without spilling it everwhere like I usually do, so was congratulating myself on being extra neat while pouring in the new oil. Problem is, I had not put the drain plug back in, so 4 quarts of Penzoil's best began its trip down my driveway. Two sacks of cat litter later, most of it was sopped up. Moral of the story: No matter how good you think you are at something, there is always a way to screw it up.
 

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And I should Know better....

Installed and started my rebuilt engine with no oil in it. Test drove a friends 510 after rebuilding the rear end with no oil in the diff. Parked my 240 in a tree while looking for a cassette tape. Parked my 240 on it's roof while showing off. Drove my Z with no battery tie down very carefully to the gas station for gas, slammed on brakes to avoid cyclist and grounded the battery on my engine. Floated my valves during a very high rpm "missed shift" totaling my head. The thing that bugs me is I only seem to @#ck stuff up when I'm working at home on my own cars.Mmmmm maybe it's all the beer?
 

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Never feel bad...

Not me, but I had to fix it:
Customer thought they could do a clutch change following the "Idiot's Manual" instructions. No instructions said to take the clutch disc out of the cardboard box...
My letter has been immortalized in "How to keep your VW Alive" by John Muir.

YUes, someone actually installed a clutch disc WHILE STILL IN THE PACKAGE!

From that tidbit, never feel bad. Never feel stupid. Always be free to share your experiences and encourage newcomers no matter WHAT they have done, cause SOMEBODY somewhere has done much WORSE!

Though I defy anyone to top installing a clutchdisc while still in the cardboard box, complete with staples.
Thing is, it lasted 400 miles, somehow...
 

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Re: Never feel bad...

My cousin had just got his first car, and all he knew was how to check the oil on the dipstick. One day he finds that the oil is low in his Geo Metro. I tell him to fill it back up with oil. I told him to add a little at a time and check the dipstick because you don't want to over fill it. He is out in the garage for about an hour, so I decide to go see what he is up to. I see him pouring oil into a teaspoon and then adding it to the engine. Then he would pull the dipstick, wipe it clean, stick it back in, pull it out and read it. He was probably wiping as much oil off the stick as he was adding!
 

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Re: Never feel bad...

Well, I certainly feel in esteemed company. I don't know if I can top the exploits of you guys, but I will try. I am not a mechanic, but a reasonably competent do-it-yourselfer. Here are a couple of good ones:

NUMBER 1:
I decided to change the thermostat. While doing this arduous task, I dropped the old thermostat in the space between the radiator and the fan shroud. Those fo you who have done this know that that is a crevice which will defy all attempts to reach it from above. Especially in winter. Being an enterprising lad, I figured I would simply go to the local oil-change facility, go underneath, rech up, and grab it from below. I headed out with that plan. All was well until I hit a bump. ka-blammm. The old thermostat came up into the fan, trashing the fan, radiator, and sending shrapnel into the hood (the marks are still there). Coolant all over the place.

NUMBER 2:
I installed new water control devices (the ones which control the amount of coolant goign through the heater core). An arduous task. However, the new stuff never seemed to work well. It was always cold, and there was this vibration. Finally, after many hours under the dash, I took it to a dealer and asked an old hand to take a look. After spending a few moments under the hood, he said: "Sir, yo may want to check if the inlet and outlet hoses are hooked up backwards...". You can guess what I found out.

Hope that competes with the mayhem above.
 

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Once again, I reiterate...

NEVER FEEL BAD!!!
Tea Spoon, that's priceless!
 

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YUP!!!!

That one takes the cake!!!

ROFL!

Donna
 

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Re: YUP!!!!

Dunno how this compares, but I felt pretty stupid at the time.

I was polishing my valve cover on my 83zx and had taken the afternoon off to finish it the next morning. Car was in the garage and it's pretty cramped in there so I decided to move it back about 2m or so, "Would'nt wanna start the baby up just for that". So I decide to roll her back. So I jump in release the brake, push it back with my foot. Proceeded to roll over the little lip on the driveway, car gained speed. I tried to close the door to miss the wall of the garage door, would have worked if I didn't have my leg out the door still. Crunched the garage, crunched about 2 inches of my drivers side door.
Got the door fixed, and 1/3 of the car repainted by my bro for $600
Fixed the rollerdoor rails with a hammer and many expletives.

I now just start the car instead.
Luke
 

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hehe

My cousin had a 79 Monty Carlo. He had bought it the week before and my family and I were visiting for the week. He was 16 at the time. I was 17. One morning he decides to check the oil and not seeing any when he removed the cap he proceeds to fill the engine up to the oil filler cap. Luckly my father and I happen to come along and notice. After my father explains how to check the oil and leaves my cousin needing to drain several liters of oil, drains it right onto the driveway.

You can see my cousin btw in the movies "Extreme Days" and "Out Cold". Thank god you don't need mechanical ability to be an actor.
 

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lets see this is a bad one.

I was preping my car to put it up on ramps so i could check the rail bars, i was driving the car up onto the ramp. and my brother did not tell me i was at the end, si i drove right off them and you can tell what happened after that, i came down on top of the floor plates, bad dent in both sides now, also my two front side panels.

-Zed 1974 260z 2+2
 

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diet coke saved me my car and a city block

i had just bought my 78 280 and was in the process of installing all new fuel hoses
and thought i had gotten them all. Well the day the 2" long fuel hose decided
to start spraying the hot mainfold was the day i had taken the passenger seat
out to transport my welding equipment. i had a full oxy and acetalane tank
in the passenger side. i was driving along and i smelled gas real strong
i pulled over and it was about to ignite. this was on a city street mind you...
the gas was sizzling and smoking just about to blow. my heartrate must have
been 250. luckily i had a open diet coke inside the car. i grabbed it and doused
the mainfold and cooled it down. i could have taken out a couple houses
if that bomb would have gone off.
 

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We should start a club!

I pulled out of my garage while holding the drivers side door open! To this day (15 yrs) I have no idea why I did that. Too bad the garage door wasn't 1 foot wider! Just had gotten the car painted, too (of course)
 
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