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Old 10-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
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What was your dumbest move during a repair?

Today I was working on the Jeep. Took out the center console. While removing it, the transfer case shifter was moved to the N position. I didn't realize this. I decided to pull the Jeep closer to the garage. Start it up, shift to first, let out the clutch... nothing. It took me a while but I finally figured it out.

Anyone else pull bonehead moves? (I hope I'm not the only one)

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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Don't feel bad at all.

The first engine job I ever did I pulled the camshafts, pulled the head bolts, and used a hoist to pull the head (I6 land cruiser). Then my instructor told me to rotate it so we could check the plane. So I did, except I never put the cams back in. So after 24 valve spacers and buckets fell out, I got to learn about valve spacing and feeler gauges. Yes, every person in the shop turned to see why it sounded like a wind chime in a tornado had come through my bay, then fell over in laughter.

In my defense, he didnt tell me to put the cams back in....

While at a dealer, I saw spacers left off timing pulleys, brake pads actually put in backwards, the wrong tire getting replaced while the spare was on the car, 3 cars fall off lifts because the lift didnt get set on all 4 points, pretty much the dumbest mistakes you could make and then some. And we did it for a living.

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Removing the axles from my '78 Scout for a spring-over lift, I had the frame sitting on jack stands. For some reason I can't remember I had put a floor jack under the front axle to compress the leaf spring. When it came to actually unbolt the axle I forgot to let the pressure off of the jack, resulting in a face full of steel at a high rate if speed. I still can't believe it didn't break all of my teeth out, but only gave me s severely cut, swollen lip. Good times!
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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No you are not the only one.. Here are two of mine..

At a mod party with several friends I swapped out my shifter bushings. I learned how to pull my floor center console. Well the window switch for the PT's back windows is in the tail of the console. Got the bushings swapped but had to drive over an hour on the freeway with a back window that would not roll up.. It was quicly solved when I pulled the switch back out and one side fell out, it was in but not seated. I don't remember if it was me who put the switch back together or not I had help remember. But I learned always check that windows actually work anytime you mess with the switches for them.

Doing a composite manifold swap on my turbo PT I dropped a rubber grommet down my Up Charge Pipe while trying to put my IAT sensor back in the pipe it fell down into the intercooler. tried a few things to get it back vacumn, coat hanger, prayer but alas it was the intercoolers prize and a nice way of saying "my car is going to sleep at your house for the night" since it was taking up most of a friends garage.. Finally someone suggested a flexible grabber tool, but tracking one of those down on a Sunday proved to be a scavenger hunt.. Lots of places sold them but didn't have stock! Finally found one and it has proven to be a tool I would never be without..

And I won't mention the various wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers left on wiper cowls or have fallen into the engine bay and never made the ground that were not found no matter how hard we looked, found weeks or months later sitting right where they were left or landed..
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #5
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My biggest "oops" was changing oil in my 64 Mercury Comet. Drained the oil and pulled the filter, re-installed the drain plug and filled it with oil. Then I heard a strange noise when I started it to check for leaks. I had a rather large leak because I never put the new filter on!

Had another odd moment (not my mistake, but was a nagging issue for a long time. This was on a 76 Mercuy Marquis. Every time I would turn, I would hear a "wrr wrr" sound coming from underneath. Something I searched for endlessly, and never did find, until... I had to lift the front end to install a freeze plug on the back of the block. I heard the sound as I started to lift it and was able to pinpoint the spot. It ended up being a large socket in the transmission cross member. Large enough that it couldn't turn and was always rolling back and forth.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCreeper View Post
Today I was working on the Jeep. Took out the center console. While removing it, the transfer case shifter was moved to the N position. I didn't realize this. I decided to pull the Jeep closer to the garage. Start it up, shift to first, let out the clutch... nothing. It took me a while but I finally figured it out.

Anyone else pull bonehead moves? (I hope I'm not the only one)

I had a battery cell fail while stopped at a gas station. Jeep wouldnt start after I got gas, so I called a tow truck. (I had just bought the Jeep, so it was under the 90 day warranty) Before I let the tow truck yank on it, I put the T-Case in neutral. The next day the dealership called me and said the Jeep starts fine, but I need a new clutch. After I cussed and screamed at the guy for over 20min about how he ruined it, I drove up there and remembered the T-Case was in neutral. I drove home happy haha
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Installed my winch and ran one of the wires wrong (the one to ground to the bottom of the winch).

Tried to use it the first time, and saw smoke from under the hood as the wires to the battery melted together.

Had to remove the bumper again just to access the wiring, but fixed it, and all was good afterwards. Just a lot of kicking myself for the simple mistake to begin with.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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This is way back - fresh out of High School at my first shop...I had just pulled the intake off of this clapped out Ford 390 (I forget what it was even in...whatever it was was beat all to hell), and the coffee can that I was tossing all the bolts in I had sitting between the back of the passenger side head and the firewall...Well, anyone who knows me knows I'm not the most graceful person and as I was doing god-knows-what over on the side of the engine I cracked my head on the hood. This caused an immediate string of curse words and flailing. Somewhere in the flailing I managed to knock the coffee can (which was now pretty damn full of nuts and bolts) into the gaping open top of the engine. Bolts everywhere. Inside the heads (both of them, however the hell I managed that), the floor, couple stuck real far down on some crossmember. Took me nearly a day to retrieve all of 'em. Important lesson - use those magnetic nut & bolt trays...they make 'em for a reason.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Cuda View Post
Finally someone suggested a flexible grabber tool, but tracking one of those down on a Sunday proved to be a scavenger hunt.. Lots of places sold them but didn't have stock! Finally found one and it has proven to be a tool I would never be without..
I put a flexible grabber tool to use during my repairs too.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewG View Post
This is way back - fresh out of High School at my first shop...I had just pulled the intake off of this clapped out Ford 390 (I forget what it was even in...whatever it was was beat all to hell), and the coffee can that I was tossing all the bolts in I had sitting between the back of the passenger side head and the firewall...Well, anyone who knows me knows I'm not the most graceful person and as I was doing god-knows-what over on the side of the engine I cracked my head on the hood. This caused an immediate string of curse words and flailing. Somewhere in the flailing I managed to knock the coffee can (which was now pretty damn full of nuts and bolts) into the gaping open top of the engine. Bolts everywhere. Inside the heads (both of them, however the hell I managed that), the floor, couple stuck real far down on some crossmember. Took me nearly a day to retrieve all of 'em. Important lesson - use those magnetic nut & bolt trays...they make 'em for a reason.
Or a piece of cardboard, I can mark out 8 of this bolt = manifold uppper, 8 or that bolt = manifold lower. Also good when selling used pieces you can show you have all the hardware to go with it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Or a piece of cardboard, I can mark out 8 of this bolt = manifold uppper, 8 or that bolt = manifold lower. Also good when selling used pieces you can show you have all the hardware to go with it.
Also a very good idea. A little cumbersome if you're turning wrenches all day, but great for keeping track of stuff!
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Cuda

Or a piece of cardboard, I can mark out 8 of this bolt = manifold uppper, 8 or that bolt = manifold lower. Also good when selling used pieces you can show you have all the hardware to go with it.
That is brilliant! I don't know why i haven"t thought of that, helps with projects where it takes more than a day to do or alcohol impairment lol
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:30 PM   #13
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That is brilliant! I don't know why i haven"t thought of that, helps with projects where it takes more than a day to do or alcohol impairment lol
Yep and yes it can be a bit cumbersome but for a newb it can also be a godsend since bolts look alike. How you mark them out is up to you.. zip-lock bags can be a sub for the cardboard - but you still have to label. First time I did this I had cardboard but not zip lock bags.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:55 PM   #14
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This just happened to me last weekend. I was changing rear axle seals on my gmc 1500 and was in the process of getting the bracket off that holds the caliper on. Instead of getting a breaker bar for a 1/2 drive socket, I keep on going with the 3/8" drive. My hammer was close to I figured I'd give it a whack and break the bolt loose with no issues.....no such luck. Since it was behind the rotor I was hitting it blind. Apparently my finger was down farther on the socket wrench or I hit up higher than I intended too. Broke the tip of the bone in my pinky clean off! I'm still irritated with the fact that I did this, not because of the pain but that I've been alive almost 34 years and this is the first bone I've ever broken and by far the stupidest thing I've done in the 18ish years I've been working on stuff!!!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #15
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I dropped a winch with the mounting plate on my foot. It was maybe 6-9" and it didn't do any permanent damage but it hurt like a mother.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:53 PM   #16
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While diagnosing loss-of-signal issues on a mass spectrometer, i blindly performed the "thumb over the signal cable while watching the readout" test on the HED cable (10kV) instead of the analog signal cable (0v-10v). The HED power supply can't crank out enough amperage to do permanent damage, but it can sure guarantee you only make that mistake once!

The Jeep hasn't bit me yet.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:01 AM   #17
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I've had two dumb moments that I can recall. Years ago I did an engine swap. I had to install the distributor and needed a 2nd person to turn the engine over so I could find tdc. A retired neighbor helped me out. I didn't realize that when he was finished he left the key turned to the on position. When I connected the power to the distributor, I got lit up pretty good.

More recently I was installing a lift on my jeep. The front driver side coil went in fairly easy. The I moved to the passenger side and couldnt get the new one in to save my life. I struggle until I nearly passed out in the heat with no success. I took a break to cool off and get a drink. As I sat there contemplating returning it to stock, I noticed the jack under the axle which I failed to lower for the taller spring!
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:59 AM   #18
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While diagnosing loss-of-signal issues on a mass spectrometer, i blindly performed the "thumb over the signal cable while watching the readout" test on the HED cable (10kV) instead of the analog signal cable (0v-10v). The HED power supply can't crank out enough amperage to do permanent damage, but it can sure guarantee you only make that mistake once!

The Jeep hasn't bit me yet.
Was it a masspec by Varian or Baird Atomic?????
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My idea of help from the man above is a sniper on the roof.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:45 PM   #19
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I just installed the engine in our old VW Bus, got it all hooked up, bumper on, everything...went into the garage to put tools away and saw the clutch disc laying on the toolbox.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:57 PM   #20
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Installed my sye with new driveshaft, forgot to put u joint clips in the rear yoke & it, came apart 10 foot from my driveway at 1 in the morning
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #21
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i have a '96 nissan 200sx. it's had a slow oil leak from the oil pan its whole life. the entire bottom of the engine bay has a 16 year old layer of oil and dirt

anyway, last year i was installing new struts up front and i couldn't get the bottom strut bolts off for the life of me. i decided it was best to heat it up, so i took out the trusty blow torch and hit it with all i had. only thing i forgot was marshmellows.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:51 AM   #22
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Just got back from Nam and graduated from VW school as a mechanic. Was before anger management classed for Vets. LOL Well Older VW had a carb problem at idle. The owner would not spring for a new carb. It was warped and the shaft bushings were shot. 3 rd time it pulled in as a comeback i pulled it into my bay, pulled the carb off and proceeded to beat it flat with a ball peen hammer. Everyone was freaking out. I went to the back parts counter and bought a new carb at my dealer cost for less than it had cost me for 3 comebacks. I did not work there very long after that.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Just got back from Nam and graduated from VW school as a mechanic. Was before anger management classed for Vets. LOL Well Older VW had a carb problem at idle. The owner would not spring for a new carb. It was warped and the shaft bushings were shot. 3 rd time it pulled in as a comeback i pulled it into my bay, pulled the carb off and proceeded to beat it flat with a ball peen hammer. Everyone was freaking out. I went to the back parts counter and bought a new carb at my dealer cost for less than it had cost me for 3 comebacks. I did not work there very long after that.
Sounds like something i might have done lol
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:14 AM   #24
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I was excited to get the Trans Am, I'd only had it two days... I knew the tires needed replaced but didn't realize that the previous owner had been airing up the tire daily, so the next day I awoke to a flat on the right rear. I loosened the lugs, used the cars wimpy little jack and proceeded to take the tire off. The wheel seemed to be stuck so I gave it a tug.

My dress shoes gave way and my foot slipped under the tire and at the same time my gentle YANK on the tire pulled the damned car off the jack! My big toe was crushed and I lost the nail/nail bed altogether.

Learned several lessons that day.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:27 AM   #25
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I've cut slammed and jammed all 10 fingers and whacked my head 5 times on fenders and the front bumper while installing te leveling kit last weekend. Still healing up
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:00 AM   #26
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Quote:
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This just happened to me last weekend. I was changing rear axle seals on my gmc 1500 and was in the process of getting the bracket off that holds the caliper on. Instead of getting a breaker bar for a 1/2 drive socket, I keep on going with the 3/8" drive. My hammer was close to I figured I'd give it a whack and break the bolt loose with no issues.....no such luck. Since it was behind the rotor I was hitting it blind. Apparently my finger was down farther on the socket wrench or I hit up higher than I intended too. Broke the tip of the bone in my pinky clean off! I'm still irritated with the fact that I did this, not because of the pain but that I've been alive almost 34 years and this is the first bone I've ever broken and by far the stupidest thing I've done in the 18ish years I've been working on stuff!!!
Holy crap! That reminds me of when I was working on my old '94 Camaro putting new rear LCAs on. I was holding a wrench on the nut and going to town on the bolt with a 1/2" impact gun when the wobbly socket I had on there slipped off the bolt. Centrifugal force being what it is the head on the wobbly flicked all the way over and blasted my thumb (the one holding the wrench). Split the nail in two and started bleeding like a stuck pig. Oh, and this was after hours, so I was the only idiot at the shop. Not fun trying to put your ride home back together with a thumb that's being held together with paper towels and electrical tape.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:08 PM   #27
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I had a pretty dumb thing happen I had installed a leveling kit on my previous 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee I ended up having to take the front apart to diagnose a clunk and I figured out it was the sway bar end link binding because I installed it on the inside of the sway bar rather then the outside... 1st dumb thing I did but at least I got it figured out. Anyway I started putting it back together and was in a slight rush because it was getting chilly and dark. I got to the point of installing the tie rod end into the knuckle and on the WK they are cast aluminum and me not thinking I used an impact gun to tighten the tie rod end nut and it had too much ass and sucked the tapered end of tie rod down into the knuckle too much and cracked the damn steering knuckle.

Ended up having to take the entire front end apart to get the knuckle off and I spent the next 4 hours cutting a notch in the knuckle and filling it with weld. IMO that knuckle was probably the strongest part on the front end of the Jeep.

I'm so glad I took that welding class! Here are before and after pics of the repair:


Before:


After:

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Old 10-13-2012, 05:48 PM   #28
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Was it a masspec by Varian or Baird Atomic?????
HP/Agilent.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:05 PM   #29
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One time I was replacing the Pressure Plate on the Clutch of one of our vehicles, and I left the Flywheel/Plate bolts on the floor, and our dog Lola ( female Lab Retriever ) ate two of them !!! I had to keep her on a room for a couple of days till the bolts came out with the "biological-wrapping", and everything was just fine after that, but that was a big mistake, because she loved to eat anything that had grease or oil on it. She passed away a couple of years ago, but I will never forget her great and friendly soul and this story.

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