Repair Mistakes & Blunders
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    Repair Mistakes & Blunders

    They say that timing is everything....... there is a topic that was started yesterday about one of the members here putting gasoline in his diesel. Towards the end of it, @SulleyBear told a story of his and I totally forgot..... I was made semi-famous by being in Rockautos newest newsletter. (The July one was just released)
    https://www.rockauto.com/Newsletter/

    If you didn't want to click on the link, here is my story. And yep, Rockauto sent me a cool t-shirt and a 5-pack of magnets for sharing my story.

    Back in my early 20s, I had a '67 Chevelle which I changed the motor on numerous times. One of my most memorable motors was an all black and chrome high performance small block. After adjusting the valves, I took it out to the highway for a road test. After 10 seconds, smoke started pouring out from under the hood, making it look like a car from a James Bond movie. I limped the car home, opened the hood, and oil had soaked the entire engine bay. After washing the motor down and topping off the oil, I started it to find the leak. Goosing the gas repeatedly, no oil was seen. It was odd due to how much was under the engine bay but, I just could not find the source of the leak. So once again, I took it out onto the highway and sure enough, the smoke comes pouring out again. I pulled over and yep, oil all over the engine bay again.

    I dragged it back home, cleaned it again and ran it for over an hour and still, not a drop leaked from anywhere. So being the glutton for punishment that I am, once again I took it onto the highway where yep, you guessed it...smoke started billowing out from under the hood.

    Being as frustrated as I was, I elected to pull the motor (thankfully, the engine removal on that car was less than a couple hours of work due to the amount of room underhood), and as the engine is just about to clear the radiator support, there it was (or in this case was not). The bolt that should have been in the fuel pump rod hole was missing! I could see the shaft clear as day. Apparently, revving the engine did not allow enough oil to pass through, but at higher RPMs and under load, the oil would pour out. Having painted the block black definitely did not help in diagnosing the issue either.

    Needless to say, I found the correct bolt to take up residence in the hole, dropped the engine back in and happily motored on until it was time for a more powerful motor a couple years later. I made sure that one definitely had the fuel pump bolt in place...and was not painted black.

    Anthony in New Jersey
    So......I know I can't be the only one here that did something bone-headed, where the only thing that got hurt was your pride. Let's here your stories.

    PS, if this is in the wrong section (or could be added to an already existing topic of the same nature), if someone could move it I'd greatly appreciate it.
    rtgt, rydplrs, BigJim55 and 11 others like this.

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    DRobinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toughsox View Post
    They say that timing is everything....... there is a topic that was started yesterday about one of the members here putting gasoline in his diesel. Towards the end of it, @SulleyBear told a story of his and I totally forgot..... I was made semi-famous by being in Rockautos newest newsletter. (The July one was just released)
    https://www.rockauto.com/Newsletter/

    If you didn't want to click on the link, here is my story. And yep, Rockauto sent me a cool t-shirt and a 5-pack of magnets for sharing my story.



    So......I know I can't be the only one here that did something bone-headed, where the only thing that got hurt was your pride. Let's here your stories.

    PS, if this is in the wrong section (or could be added to an already existing topic of the same nature), if someone could move it I'd greatly appreciate it.
    I read that story. It's pretty exciting reading about old Chevelles. It didn't sound unusual to me, because it sounded like something that I would have done. I didn't realize that I knew a celebrity!
    etcallhome, rtgt, rydplrs and 10 others like this.
    Don

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    Back in the late 80ís I restored a 70 Dodge Challenger. It had a couple of broken bolts in the heads so I pulled the heads to fix them. I was left with just the short block in the car and cleaned and painted everything. It looked great. I put it back together carefully. Torqued the heads down correctly. Checked everything carefully EXCEPT one thing of course. No radiator fluid. Without water hitting the sending unit it didnít even show hot. Lucky me I caught it right away and it didnít hurt a thing but it was a near thing.
    2018 2025r, FEL, 60" autoconnect deck, pallet forks, some other stuff.

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    Great story. I read that part of the newsletter every month.

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    2LaneCruzer's Avatar
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    Back in the olden days, my first car was a 1930 Chevy coupe. I decided one day to clean the carburetor, so without a lot of trouble (everything was accessible on the old six cylinder), I removed the carb, dismantled it, cleaned it and put it back to together and remounted it. I noticed this one strange part, in the bottom of the wash pan, that looked like a short, small pencil. I disregarded it at the time, don't ask me why, probably because I was only 15. When I tried to start it, it wouldn't hit, and all of a sudden I began to smell gasoline. I stopped, and the carb was flooded and gas was running out of it like Gang Busters. It's a wonder it didn't burn to the ground. With a strong admonition from my Dad, and a bit of advice, I found out the strange part was the needle valve, and it was an essential part of the carburetor.

    In a similar vein, a friend of mine told the story of when he did his first motor overhaul. He had completed the work, had the engine installed in the car, and was about to give it a shakedown run, when his Dad came up to him, and said "What did you intend to do with these?" He opened his hand, and it was the rod bearings that he had somehow neglected to install.
    Have wings, will travel.

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    JD4044M's Avatar
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    Rebuilding my TH400 in my Chevy I had to keep pouring transmission fluid in the transmission 3 different times! On the 3rd time I forgot to put my pan on and dumped around 3 Qts in before it started coming out from under the truck! Man that was one big mess to clean up! 4th time was even better it came out my tail shaft had not put the Transfer Case on yet! Least that time I did not lose as much? If I gave it more thought I could come up with good stories been working on stuff for over 60 years now getting in trouble self teaching myself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD4044M View Post
    Uf I gave it more thought I could come up with good stories been working on stuff for over 60 years now getting in trouble self teaching myself!
    Im on 40 years and while I definitely have a lot more stories I can happily admit to, Id like to hope Im not done making a few more !!!

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    The only one I can remember right now -

    My daughterís first car was a Hyundai. She said she needed the oil changed so I pulled it in the barn.

    After getting it up in ramps I pulled the plug. Huh....why is this oil red....?

    I have never been involved with a little front wheel drive car before. I got underneath and pulled the first plug I saw. Yes....it was the transmission.

    Now itís disabled up in the ramps and had no idea of what fluid is supposed to be in there. Ended up filtering the dropped fluid and putting it back in so she could get home - after I changed her oil then.
    ~Stan~
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    Simple things like using the drain pans containers which you lay on the side and the oil fills them and then you put the plug in and can carry the enclosed pan and dispose of the oil. But forgetting to pull the plug out of the side of the container and then you do pull the engine drain plug and the oil runs all over the floor around the drain pan container. I have seen that done several times and it always makes a mess...........

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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    Yesterday, in the NASCAR Xfinity race, the winner of the race blew up the engine in the car by over revving it during the celebratory burn out. Not only did he do a terrible job on the burnout, he failed to shift the car during the burn out and you could hear the car over revving and for some reason, the rev limiter didn't protect the engine. Perhaps they had the wrong chips in the MSD module or failed to put the chips in, which are only about $5 per chip and they are RPM limited, so when you snap in a 7,400 RPM chip, if the car hits 7,400 RPM's, the ignition module will misfire preventing the engine RPM's from increasing.

    You could hear him hit the limiter twice and then he went up against the limiter and held it there, which will kill and engine and it did. He ended up walking to Victory Lane and they didn't push the car into Victory lane, likely because it was spewing fluid and would have been a mess for people to walk through in Victory lane.

    Very much a rookie mistake. It was his first win, so I can understand he was likely excited. He drove like a veteran when he was fighting for the win with A.J. Allmindinger, who is a very accomplished road racer. But to put the car "On the chip and hold it", I wouldn't be surprised if Roger Penske charges the driver for part of the engine, to make a point. The engines are about $100,000 each in those cars and he trashed it doing the pointless burn out. The announcers started to mention what he had done and then stopped talking about it, probably to save the driver further humiliation. But anyone who has been around the race engines knew exactly what the driver did and its very much an avoidable issue..............Its painful to hear that happen because you know it didn't need to occur. Even if the rev limiter didn't function correctly, there is no excuse for over revving it in the burnout.

    In drag racing, we did burn outs every single run to clean and warm the tires and to put down our own rubber for traction. You get the rear wheels spinning and shift into a higher gear and maintain the engine RPMs but drastically increase the tire spin speed. The kid who won, simply put the car in first and held the accelerator down, which isn't how you do a burnout successfully. You also hold the front brake to create rolling resistance by adjusting the brake bias, to get the rear wheels spinning easier. Its called using your "Line Lock" or "Brake assisted burnouts".

    Kids.......

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