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(Car Talk)   Mechanics share their most memorable stupid acts. Share yours   (cartalk.com) divider line 229
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36588 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Dec 2004 at 3:21 AM (10 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2004-12-20 05:57:56 AM  
One time I was driving to work in the rain, and there was what looked like a puddle covering the road. It wasn't the first time the road had a bit of standing water in it; it was Florida after all. So, like a trooper, I drove on.

Then I noticed someone at my side backing their car out of the puddle. I slowed down, looked ahead of me; and in the rainy haze all looked well, so I figured they were being overcautious. I pushed my foot against the pedal and suddenly... things went real slow.

Turns out I was in a foot and a half of water. It was starting to dribble in through the doors (old car, weather stripping's fairly shot), the hood started smoking, and the engine started going put-put.

Luckily, it was your 'basic' GIANT puddle of doom, so the car and I didn't float anywhere.. but it was still freaky. Taught me to pay attention to the ones backing away from the puddle, that's for sure...
 
2004-12-20 06:02:59 AM  
the time my neighbor decided when he couldn't get get the cap off a gas he had just drained.

He decided to weld it off with a torch.

it took two weeks for his eyebrows to start re-appearing, and even then they still don't look right to this day.
 
2004-12-20 06:11:30 AM  
I decided to burn-out in my dad's 1977 dodge colt... with a CHP officer right behind me...
 
2004-12-20 06:20:22 AM  
Working on a 70 Mustang, replacing the thermostat. Took off the hose leading to the housing, replaced the thermostat and the housing. Got in the car to start it up while my friend checked for leaks. Neglected to connect the hose, drenched my friend in coolant, luckily not hot.

Same car, on ramp to NJ turnpike, light rain. Looked like a nice open stretch of road so I nailed it near the end of the ramp. Spun the car 180 degrees. I sit there looking at oncoming cars, luckily not one within 1/2 mile. Nail it again, spin it back around under control this time and take off. Very very lucky.
 
2004-12-20 06:22:59 AM  
Not exactly mechanical but it is funny.

I was drunk at a party. I asked one of my friends to drive me and my truck back to my home. He obliged. I gave him the keys to my truck which coincidentally have my house keys on them. We pull up to the driveway and I say "shiat, forgot my keys." We proceed to go back to the party where I search for 20 mins looking for my keys. One of my friends mentioned something that most people have keys on a keychain. That's when I realized that my keys were with me the entire time.
 
2004-12-20 06:33:44 AM  
Best car stupidity I've seen is two trashed out hondas bout 5years ago back in my HS and both drivers thought it was a good idea to drag on "the bulevard of death" (google it) in front of the HS to impress people that have a thing for shiatty old cars...anyways im not sure how stupid people can be but if they had looked at the rear view mirror there was a patty waggon + cop car right behind them....plenty of room for the 5+ peeps. Amatures.

On the other hand one day my radio went dead on my 1yr old mitsu eclipse; then my dashboard lights followed by my cdplayer etc...Took me 4 months it was a farking penny in the cigg lighter. Damn it.

My stupidest moment was probably to head 95MPH~ on a side road w/3 random cars that had a bunch of v-tech stickers on them. Anyways make matters short I had a buddy w/me on the passanger side reading a mag; he calmly looked up and saw the scenery really flying... dude shat his pants when he saw the "speed limit 35" and then looked at the dash board. He further made a bigger mess when we aproached an intersection with 3 lanes blocked by a large van + 2 18wheelers; in gods favor the 18wheeler shifted lanes right in front of me and i was able to slide by just bearly at a really fast pace. I won that stretch mother farkers!
 
2004-12-20 06:35:54 AM  
got a few,...
my best friends sister(17ys) asked if her car needed oil, 68 cuda, i pop the hood check the oil, "yep, your a quart low" i said. shes like "ok, thanks". i go in the house...
a hour later my buddy mark and i go outside, and his sister is under her hood still. we look under there and shes covered with sweat, cussing up a storm while very carefully pouring (more like dripping) oil in the dip stick tube! she did a good job too, hardly spilt a drop...
other friend steve had a 66 chevy van, changed his right front tire, forgot to tighten the lugnuts, we are driving down sherman way in the valley (socal) when we see a tire pass us on the right, had not a clue what was going on, the van did not drop down,must have been loaded just right, watched the tire run off in to a parking lot and looked around to see where it came from. (it must have bounced 20 feet in to the air when it hit a parking curb)
we drove for a mile or two until we turned right, and found out where the tire came from.
i drove circle track, could write all day on the dumb ass things we and others did.................
 
2004-12-20 06:55:51 AM  
Yes Virginia, the turbo works in reverse as well as gears 1-5.

/dummmm da dumm dumm.
 
2004-12-20 07:00:39 AM  
Heh. Had a power-steering leak, right onto the intake manifold. Was constantly filling the damn thing, and was pretty smoky at times. Anyway, a buddy of mine looks over and says, "Hey, you know transmission fluid is the exact same stuff. Why don't you use that?" Turns out there is one crucial difference between the two: Power steering fluid isn't flammable. Damn thing started dripping flames just as I was pulling into the garage to get it fixed.
 
2004-12-20 07:02:00 AM  
-I also dropped a new K1200RS off the lift right in front of the customer.

/wish I could do it to every BMW.
 
2004-12-20 07:05:49 AM  
veritron: DO NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR WHILE IT IS IN GEAR FOR ANY REASON.

hmm, every single time i get out of my car, its in gear. in fact, given that the only other choice is neutral, which tends to allow the car to roll away, i think its the BEST choice when leaving my car unattended.

oh, you meant running. and in 'drive'. and in an automatic.

/not everyone drives a farking automatic, thank christ.
 
2004-12-20 07:08:09 AM  
Just a good cat in a car story..

I lived out in the country where we had lots of feral cats. They hung around even though they wouldn't come near humans. One morning I found a white cat in the front seat of my station wagon when I went to leave for work that morning. The cat saw me when I opened the door, and I just shut the door. The cat took off full steam for the back window, which was up. BLAM! hit it full force. Tried the side window. BLAM! He bounced all the windows at least twice, about half way leaving a bloody mess, as his nose was all messed up at this point. He finally found the small wing vent window he got into the car to begin with. All my windows had a 1" sized blood print right in the center.

I never laughed so hard in my life....
 
2004-12-20 07:11:09 AM  
I have stupid friends who think they know cars.

There's the guy who decided to put together three rusting, cranky, sucky International Scouts to make one rusting, cranky, sucky International Scout several thousand dollars later.

There were the morons who blew a head gasket on the highway, pulled over until it stopped steaming, then kept on driving it into the ground and wondered why they owed the guy who owned it a couple of thousand dollars.

There's the idiot whose license is currently revoked for whom I've rebuilt his alternator, and he now insists not only on driving around clunker turbo Toyotas on said revoked license, but is intent on road rallying in one of these turbo Toyotas with his revoked license.

There's the absent-minded guy who should stay in academia and never be let out with a handler, who thinks he's a magnificent driver when my cat could probably drive better than him, who wonders why he keeps getting into accidents.

And then there's the morons who decided to race (Eclipse vs WRX) right past a Trooper barracks.
 
2004-12-20 07:25:11 AM  
This idiot friend of a friend I knew about a decade ago had an oil light that came on while we were driving. She wasn't exactly what you call real enlightened about the automotive world. I let her know that she should check her oil. Since this idea came from me she refused to bear it any mind and kept on driving. Somewhere around 12 minutes later her car stopped, stranding all of us. Problem, well it seems the engine had frozen for lack of oil...
 
2004-12-20 07:26:02 AM  
From when I was about 12 on, I had always worked with my stepfather and his friend building transmissions in his buddy's garage. Now these were a couple of backwoods boys, and they really did teach me alot...including scarying the hell out of me on a couple of occasions.

Gasoline is a great transmission cleaner, and air pressure behind it really helps. But the aforementioned combination, with a cigarette hanging, no dangling out of your mouth and can really get your attention...luckily no one was hurt.

After my first car accident, my car was totaled (not my fault, daddy's little girl type rear ended me....ugh). But my stepfather mentioned to me in the Geico office, to buy the car back from the insurance company, which I did. We then drove it to another backwoods friends house with a big Oak Tree in the middle of the yard. Around this tree my stepfather wrapped a chain, then attached the other end to my bumper support on the back of my Tempo. He removed the taillights, and then told me not to watch what was going to happen next. Intrigued I turned around in time to watch him floor the gas on my poor Tempo, when the chain went taugh, the car launched a good five feet in the air, then crashed down with the sound of buckling metal. He did this three or four times per side until the metal was mostly straight and the bumper was reasonably level. At this point I began breathing again, watching your car vault in the air isn't a good experience, but hey, it worked. Hooray for redneck frame pulling tricks.

I could go on...but I won't, too many stories to tell and too little time.
 
2004-12-20 07:28:47 AM  
Oh, remembered my worst moment. A few months back, I went to back my mom's car up so we could move my dad's car and work on his brakes. I decide I'm bond or something and go to do it with the door open. For some reason, I go back further than I needed to, and all of a suddend I hear a crunch. I look left and see I hit my neighbors gas meter (no damage, thankfully), and bent her door back, in addition to crunching up the edge. Good thing the frame wasn't damaged and we managed to fix it (over than the crunched edge) by taking off the panels and readjusting the hinges.

Between my sister and I, that car has been beat to hell (her: 1 minor accident and 2 fender benders, and dozens of cigarette burns in the interior; me: crunched door, bent wheel, punctured tire).
 
2004-12-20 07:37:13 AM  
20 years ago I used to maintain a "fleet" of about 10 ford vans and some international 18' box trucks. I'm driving to work one morning, and I realized that I'm driving behind one of the vans....that's being pulled by a wrecker. As we drive along, I notice that the starter is dangling below the van hanging by the cable.

The wrecker drops off the van, and I take a look. The driveshaft (which is now inside the van) looks like a pretzel, the bellhousing shattered, and the manual trans case has a big-ass crack in it. There's also a big bulge in the van floor, probably from the driveshaft letting go.

We figured it was a defect in the van (it was brand new, less than 5K miles on it) but Ford insisted that the only way this could have happened was that the vehicle was driven at a speed of at least 105 mph for a half hour or so.

Given the reputation of the driver, this was possible.
 
2004-12-20 07:47:32 AM  
Back in college I worked for a mainframe consulting firm doing some web work and marketing stuff. The PC I had they bought but pretty much gave to me. I had to bring it back to use one winter break 'cause they hired a bunch of people.

So, I pull my 1990 Plymouth Sundance up front, and park it to unload the PC. I took off my hat and put it over the gear shifter.

I get back in the car, won't start, no noise at all. Crap. Call AAA for a jump. Guy comes, hooks up his truck. Nothing. Crap, I say to myself, this is going to be expensive. Pick up my hat in frustration, see that I left it in drive. EVER so subtly I shift into park and tell the guy I'm going to try again. Presto! And he was never the wiser.
 
2004-12-20 07:48:00 AM  
No crisis or catastrophe, but a car story, and happened just 2 days ago.

...so, my GF is borrowing a car from her brother while hers is in the shop. We drive out to his house, over an hour away. It's a Saturn station wagon, really old for a Saturn. He noted when he was "getting the car ready" that it was a POS, and he had replaced the battery. Car has ants living in it--lots of ants. So anyhow, it starts up fine, and we head down the road, and stop at the nearest gas station so she can fill up.
Gas wasn't all it needed:
She says, "hey, could you take a look while we're here? A couple of lights are on and I don't know what they mean?" So I glance at it and notice that the temp and radiator light is on. Not sure if that's the name, but you know which one. We open the hood and I start checking fluids. No coolant in the resivoir. None. zilch.
I check the oil. NONE showing on the dipstick. nada.

I put 1 quart in, wait a bit, and check. Still nothing showing. Put another quart in, wait, and we show that we're still about a quart low.

Took the better part of a bottle of coolant to fill, too.

Good thing we stopped and checked before getting on the highway.

Geezus...
 
2004-12-20 07:54:52 AM  
barc0001:

My first car was a DIESEL nissan sentra. Dammit that thing was a bear to work on.

/Still driving Nissan over a decade later.
 
2004-12-20 08:00:01 AM  
Winter had clamped its icy hooks upon Akron, Ohio.


Looks like the 'Worst First Sentence Of A Story' winner....
 
2004-12-20 08:05:04 AM  
Life_is_a_carnivore

Slither slither slither went the winter's icy hooks...
 
2004-12-20 08:08:49 AM  
Bought a Ford. /flame on
 
2004-12-20 08:11:10 AM  
grinding the clutch at 100+mph in a ~86 sentra.

spent 8 hours at a mechanic waiting for them to fix it because i had no other way to get home. cleaned out my savings at the time.

did i mention this was after my last day of seasonal work right before christmas?

it was worth beating that fricking fiero though.
 
2004-12-20 08:11:27 AM  
1990 Honda civic that had a problem with mice. I'm driving down the highway at 70, and a mouse runs across my dashboard. Spun out into ditch, get out laughing. Car high-centered on snowbank, get on other side of car and push, and the car slides down the bank and takes off since I left it in gear. I swear I could see that b*stard mouse driving and laughing...
 
2004-12-20 08:11:54 AM  
I've got a million of 'em here's a couple.
Changing the clutch on a TR6 while extremely drunk and completely forgot to put the throw out bearing in also siphoning gas out of an almost empty tank the hose must have pulled out of the gas just as I gave one last suck,shotgunning gas is not an experience I ever want to repeat,I was burping,smelling and tasting gas for days not to mention the thrill of puking gas up through my nose and mouth when it happened.
 
2004-12-20 08:12:42 AM  
Just happened. What timing! I sent my 10 year old Accord over to Canadian Tire because they had a special on oil, lube, filter, TIRE ROTATION, and free roadside assistance kit thrown in, plus it was almost half price than what I could do myself.

I do this stuff myself because it ain't all that hard and it baffles my wife.

Well they had me pick it up and I paid for it. Drove down the road, hit the highway, and the car started to shake, steering was like a Mexican earthquake (I was near one so I know what it feels like).

I hopped off the next exit and slowly made my way back to the Canadian Tire and went in and said, something is wrong, then I said I believe your teenage mechanic forgot to tighten up my wheel nuts on the front.

Sure enough, one rim (the sleeves were shot even), set of lugs, set of lug nuts, all gone for crap on the passenger side. Hand tightened nuts.

The sad thing is that I had to argue to get a FREE replacement rim out of this; the manager wanted to charge me for a new one.

I had to say that I would let my pregnant wife take it up with head office instead. He then started out his next sentence with, "Actually, let me see what I can do..."
 
2004-12-20 08:22:07 AM  
 
2004-12-20 08:28:12 AM  
I have an old Honda Accord that died. Unfortunately It
died right after I filled the 15gal gas tank. That was
last year and its been sitting in my driveway for a
year in hopes that recovery will be immenent. Well we
finally pronounce the old car dead on the weekend and
shut its hood once and foreall.
Except...it still had that 15gals of gas in the tank.
HEY at $2 a gal..thats $30 worth of Gas!! so I grabbed
a hose and set to work. First I tried to siphon, but
it has an Anti-Siphon. So I unhooked the gas lines in
the engine, but couldnt get any gas to flow. So I made
a cuppa tea and pondered. Lookie, under here, a small
drain plug for the gas tank, lets see how that goes.
So I wrench it loose and a small trickle of gas starts
coming out. WOOHOOO come to daddy. Oh dont want the
gas to go on the driveway, hmm so stick tea mug under
it. gotcha. WOnder how long that bolt realy is? So I
set about unscrewing it very slowly...
Did you know that the drain plug for a gas tank is
only a few milimeters in length. This information came
as a bit of a surprise to me I can tell you, as the
plug poped off and gas was now pouring into and out of
the tea mug. PANIC! The plug had rolled out of reach
(as they always do), and the driverway was becoming
one big gas puddle. So I stuck my finger in the hole!
Ok so here I am, laying soaking wet in gas, in a
puddle of gas on the driveway, under my car, with a
full gas tank, with my finger in the gas tank hole...I
did what any Red-Blooded male would do in this
situation...I yelled for the WIFE!
"What are you doing?"
"umm getting the gas out of the tank?"
"Yeah, but your putting it all over the ground...Ohhhh
MEN!"

She knocked the plug back to me, and I gently, very
gently, screwed the plug back in using a metal wrench
on a metal bolt in a metal tank. Genius!

So in the end, I did get 6 gal of gas out of the
tank...oh...and a mug full for my lawnmower.

/from a friend
 
2004-12-20 08:45:39 AM  
Lumoclear

What's wrong with tightening nuts by hand? I've always done it that way on my '88 Corolla (ph34r the 1.3L inline 4 OF DOOM!)...

Unless you're talking about "hand-tightened" as in "he only used his bare hands to tighten them", in which case he should have been killed on the spot.

And if he really was dumb enough not to use a tyre iron, I'm speecless.
 
2004-12-20 08:46:00 AM  
I forgot to pump up the brakes after replacing them and backed out of the driveway and went into the street because I couldnt stop. Lucky for me there were no cars coming.
 
2004-12-20 08:48:33 AM  
Once, while checking fluids in the '86 Camry I had at the time, I noticed I was low on brake fluid. Unfortunately, I didn't have any more, so I added transmission fluid instead. It's all about volumes of fluids, right?

Turns out the transmission fluid soaks in to the hoses used in the brake system, causing them to swell and constrict. I found this out because the brakes were always semi-engaged when I tried to drive the car. It started to get pretty bad while going down a long stretch of road, so I decided to floor it to make it to the gas station at the end at a reasonable rate.

Turns out that (brakes engaged)+(50+ MPH)=Wheels on fire. I could smell the smoke and hear them crackle as soon as I stopped. Unfortunately, that gas station didn't have free water outside, so I had to run in and buy bottles of water to put my wheels out. Spent about $15 running in, buying water, running out, dousing a wheel, realizing it's still on fire, and going back in.

/Don't know why I didn't just buy several bottles at once.
//Had to have the car towed, brake system flushed with proper fluid.
 
2004-12-20 09:04:20 AM  
Here's another stupid driver story. (I was the stupid driver.)

I had this gorgeous jet-black 1986 Chevy Caprice Classic. It was LOADED, bought new by my grandmother, then used by my Dad for awhile, and was now mine. Fully automatic everyhing, wire wheel covers, the works. The only thing wrong with it was that it only had a 305 and not a 350. This is the car I used to transport Chris Rock from the Dorval Airport to my College where we had hired him to perform. It was like a mini Limo!

ANYHOW, I had decided to drive downstate and surprise a friend I hadn't seen in years. I was driving along US Route 20 south of the NYS Thruway (taking the scenic route). I was looking for Simmons Road which is just over the Wyoming County line. It had been years since I had been to her house, but I had it in my head that I needed to turn LEFT when I got to Simmons Road. So I cross the county line and I look at my atlas. Simmons road was coming up next! "Left...I need to turn left..." I kept telling myself.

When you are making a left turn, there comes a point in time when you check for oncoming traffic. That may sound like an obvious thing to say, but everyone does it...you HAVE to do it...and most people who have been driving awhile don't even know they're doing it. It's automatic. So there I am, all geared up (mentally) for a left hand turn. At that moment when I SHOULD have been checking for oncoming traffic, out of the corner of my eye I recognize my friend's house...on the RIGHT! I'm looking at it thinking, "man, that sure looks like her house!!" My hands were on auto-pilot, however, and they continued to initiate the left-hand turn.

In front of that Ford Bronco that nailed me in the right-rear quarter. :-( The ass-end of my car ended up in a utility pole and I still don't know why my glasses were in the back seat.

I didn't call the Police. I didn't have to. Waiting to turn onto US 20 on the north side were a State Trooper and the local Sheriff, engaged in a prisoner transfer! The Trooper came over, verifed that I wasn't drunk, asked no other questions, and ripped off the ticket saying simply, "Well, I guess this is for you."

Damn, I miss that car! It was a sweet ride.
 
2004-12-20 09:19:06 AM  
Had a 69 Ford Torino with a broken shock mount in the back.
One day I decided I would replace the shock mount. Took the nuts off the U-bolts holding it to the LEAF SPRINGS and started wailing away on it with a hammer and pry bar.

The next thing I remember was waking up on the ground next to the car, while my dad sat there laughing at me, saying "well, we had better get you to the emergency room."
When my dumb ass knocked that broken shock mount off it released all the tension in the leaf spring and the car fell about six inches and busted my head, right above my left eyebrow. Took six stitches to close it, and to this day I have a scar that just peeks from the corner of my eyebrow.
Live and learn kiddies.
 
2004-12-20 09:21:34 AM  
I was in a hurry and didn't shovel snow before trying to leave, wound up farking around in the driveway for a couple of hours. Of course, if my landlord had asked the plow to come by earlier, it wouldn't have been a problem. :/
 
2004-12-20 09:23:09 AM  
"I swear I could see that b*stard mouse driving and laughing..."

ROFL!
 
2004-12-20 09:23:38 AM  
barc0001:

Steven had the brilliant idea that he was going to light a trail of the stuff up to the barrelful against the wall and blow out the library.

The terrorists have won.
 
2004-12-20 09:25:54 AM  
It was my brother in law replacing his breaks on his new dodge one ton 2500 turbo diesel. He's a farm manager and hired some retarded city kid, well he was helpin and he was asked to turn on the truck while he was under it to pressure the line or whatever, the kid didn't know about clutches and my brother in law defeated the safety, and the rear truck tire rolled square over his chest. Kid: "did i get ya?" brother in law: @#$*^&@$)*^@)$*) lol he had a 8 inch wide bruise all the way across his chest.
 
2004-12-20 09:27:43 AM  
[image from img71.exs.cx too old to be available]
 
2004-12-20 09:31:12 AM  
I knew a girl in high school who filled up her unleaded-only care with diesel. "It was cheaper".
 
2004-12-20 09:31:25 AM  
I was up in the thumb-region of Michigan on the shore of Lake Huron one weekend in February with friends. It had snowed over night, so I thought "no problem, I'll just put my Dakota in 4WD HI and climb right up that steep-sloped, snow-covered driveway." So I put her in 4HI and she wouldn't budge, so I thought I'd try 4LO for some extra tourque and traction to get up there. I put her in 4LO and fought my way up that hill. As I neared the peak, my buddy yelled to me, "Are you sure the parking break's not on?"

$580 to replace my rear brakes and backing plates that were warped from the friction of the engaged parking .
 
2004-12-20 09:33:40 AM  
my friend runs a body shop. A guy comes in with his "fleet" of vans (6 of them) to have them repaired for hail damage after a bad storm. Insurance company asks my friend to inspect the vans. He notices all of the "hail damage" is uniform in size, kinda about the size of the ball end of a ball pein hammer! Turns out this guy took a hammer to all 6 of his vans to rip off the insurance company. He now owns a fleet of 6 ball pein hammer damaged vans as insurance refused to pay.

my own coup de grace...backing my car out of the garage the passanger mirror snags on a trash can. I know the mirrors fold in and out, I'm late for work so I just give it a little gas. SNAP. Now I'm late and pissed.
 
2004-12-20 09:41:15 AM  
Mine isn't very good but I'll share anyway.

Wife takes her Toyota Corolla to the dealership for its 30k mile inspection. They put it up on a lift to look over it and change the oil. When they tried to bring it back down, a small plastic pin popped out of the lift causing it to freeze up.

This was 4pm on Friday and they couldn't get a lift guy to come fix it. Had to give her a loaner car for the entire weekend before they could get her car down.
 
2004-12-20 09:42:10 AM  
After changing out a dead battery, at work, in the rain, I was in a hurry to get everything buttoned up and be on my way. I hooked up the battery cables and, as I did so, the large fuse on the positive cable running to the trunk stereo equipment blows. Dammit, I must have left the radio on and now my amp and subs won't work. Oh well. I hop in the car and fire it up. It turns over but won't catch. I'm back out in the rain, checking carburetor (lots of gas in there), distributor, etc. Keeps turning over but no start. Battery is starting to get low (motor is 454 high compression big block Chevy-takes some juice to spin it) when I finally notice that I've hooked up the battery cables back wards (pos on neg, neg on pos). Doh! Once on correctly, car caught right away. Actually, with all the gas fumes that I'd been pumping down my exhaust system (3" dual exhaust on 70 Impala-over a cubic foot of room for vapors), I had a nice air/fuel bomb waiting to go off. I'll say this for the guys who welded up my exhaust setup; nothing came loose. I did have the gaskets on both ends of the headers blow out but didn't lose a muffler. The backfire was as loud as some artillery shots I heard, over in desert storm. Damn!
 
2004-12-20 09:42:13 AM  
Preface: In the spirit of the holidays I had put a christmas wreath on my front grill - attatched by a single coat hanger wrapped around the hood latch.

Junior year of HS, driving my 1986 Pontiac 6000 home from a hockey game. Hop on the interstate, reach cruising speed of 85 MPH...BAM! Total and complete darkness...hit the brakes and pray to jeebus that nobody is nearby and swerve into the median. Get out amidst a 50 foot cloud of dust to see the hood was bent over the windshield and onto the roof, and the windshield is 100% spidered - not a single visible inch of space to look through.

Drove home ace ventura style with my head out the window on I-25 at 30 MPH and the hazards going.

And just like the christmas wreath, my christmas spirit would never be found again.
 
2004-12-20 09:45:22 AM  
Several days earlier a friend and I had put a nice cam, aluminum intake and Holley Double Pumper on my 69 Grand Prixs 400. GAWD she had a nice Rumpity Rump to her. Anyway, had a little problem with getting the idle right and after about 2 hours messing with that Holley, I started walking away to take a breather. Don't know what came over me but I turned, threw the air cleaner wingnut at the car. It hit the underside of the hood and shot RIGHT DOWN THE DAMN CARB! What a shot eh?

Worst part is that the car was idling and about 10 seconds later I heard this nasty crunch and the engine died. Taking the heads off a few days later made me cry. :(

Lesson learned? Empty hands are essential when blowing off steam.
 
2004-12-20 09:47:24 AM  
After I purchased a 1995 Toyota Camry from my grandmother, I decided to give it new plugs, cap, rotor, and wires. The plugs were overdue for a change and the cap, rotor, and wires were OEM!

I got everything changed, but then the car wouldn't start. It cranked, but nothing happened.

I knew the firing order and this little four banger Toyota was nothing compared to the big V8 on my Oldsmobile. I checked everything in that car and was convinced that I had somehow managed to break this car that I had just purchased.

After about two hours of frustration, I realized my problem. I had forgotten to notice which cylinder was #1 and had wired it backward. I wired it right and got going.
 
2004-12-20 09:48:02 AM  
I took the winter tires off of my VW Passat last April, and of course it snowed the next damn day. So I am driving in 30 degree weather, in the snow, on Pirelli P7000 summer tires.
To add insult to injury, I did not get one of the tires set properly, and the damn thing started wobbling so bad, it felt like a flat tire at 50mph. By the time I pulled over, two of the 5 lugnuts were missing on my driver front tire.
So I am out in the snow trying to fix my tire, when my cellpone dies. I scrounge in the car for 50 cents to make a call. My father in law comes to bail me out. . .he had the tire put back on right in 30 seconds.
 
2004-12-20 09:53:51 AM  
Wanting to show my mom my stuntman driving skills several Christmas' ago, I floored my jeep on the wet pavement entering I-10 via the on-ramp wanting to do a little bit of a drift. Instead, we did a complete 180 into the ditch. Nothing got wrecked, but my mom refuses to ride with me anymore when the roads are wet.
 
2004-12-20 09:55:17 AM  
re: BigBadWolf

Ouch! I feel your pain. I dropped the wingnut down my carb one time. Luckily, it fell into the secondaries and I was able to shut it off and retrieve it.

I did roll a '72 Nova down I-90, in central Washington one time. The medians out there are just lava dust and pumice. I had the car towed back to base (Fairchild AFB) and started cutting/tearing away front sheetmetal. Finally got to the engine compartment ('69 350 w/double hump fuilie heads from a 'Vette) and found the radiator had ate the fan (we went end over end as well as sideways rolling). I pulled the radiator off the fan, threw in my original radiator and fired it up. Started right up. I felt so proud, that my motor was built so tough, until I saw all that volcanic ash flying around the engine compartment. Everything was coated in it. Of course, since the air filter had gone flying in the wreck, the carb and manifold were also liberally coated with the stuff. I'd just sent about a quart of highly abrasive powder through my engine. Oh well. Bored it out to .040 over and it was now a 355 ci engine. Doh!

That engine ended up in another Nova, that I drove down to Florida, and then, when that car was totaled, I installed it in a '69 Camaro. I finally sold both car and engine but got a good 8 years fun out of it.
 
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