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Your past antique auto mishap events


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Lets here a snippet of what your past vintage auto break downs or mishaps were.

I'll start in brief and the stories maybe later .Here I go in no particular order of date.

1)Threw a rod through the bock in my 72 Nove 6 coming back from.College.This one is not.an antique car yet.

2) lost the clutch pin in a 46 Ford pickup and drove home with no clutch.

3) lost the center main bearing in a 29 Ford 29 miles from home at 1pm and drove hom a knocking.

4) threw rod threw the bock in a 28 Whippet backing out of the garage.

5) broke an axle in a 1928 Whippet backing out of the garage.LOL .

6)droped the exhaust system in a 48 Chrysler in Worchester mass going for Pizza .200 mile round trip.

7) Dead coil in a Model A Ford at 11 Pm in the country.

8) Tossed a no.6 rod delivering my sold 32 Nash, on the highway in Hartford Ct.6 hour wait for tow.

9)trashed the timming gear in a 28 Ford ,6 miles from home.Rope tow home.

10) broke the axle in a 33 B model Ford Pickup in the driveway.

11) sheered the rear axle key in a 29 Ford Pickup moving friends.Fixed in street.

12) broke the axle on the same 29 Ford a year laterbon the highway. 

13) split open the transmission case in a 1936 Dodge..( a friend stalled it and tried to jump start in gear going backwards..He was in second..not revearse..) Drove 3 miles home no oil.

14)lost the fuel pump in a 54 DeSoto at 2pm.

15) broke the clutch throw out arm in a 30 Ford..at 1.pm..walked home.

16) dead magneto in a Model T at Thanks Giving out of town..Fix it.a piece of saftey wire shorted the mag terminal inside the bell housing.

17) lost a wheel on a 1930 Model A .

18) dropped a rear brake rod at the front connection on a Model A 1928 .The rod rapped it self around the left rear wheel spokes and locked the wheel at speed 9f 30 mph.(I was going to look at a 1926 Essex for sale) I was late.

There is more..gurrrr.

19) oil pump drive pin broke in a Model A..The mains would knock dry over 30 Mph. So drove home at 2o Mph on rod spashing a bit to the mains and pump working some on friction.

20) spun 360 off the road on ice in Model A coach and went over a bank. Bent the front axle..Drove home..Wandered a bit.Lol.

 

There is more..

What happed to you.?

 

 

 

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It was only my '54 wagon that stalled and left me stranded or in need of a tow on several occasions (I guess about 4 to 6 times.) Once was due to a bad charging system, but I think the rest of times were the standard contaminated fuel system issue that's so common in old cars. It's a very straightforward problem to address, but it takes a while for it to sink in with novices that most barn-find level cars that have been brought back to running condition after decades of inactivity are going to suffer from this. I don't think any of my other "old cars" left me stranded, because I kind of learned what not to do with my '54. I also don't put a lot of miles on these beasts. Now...if you go back to the old cars I owned as a kid (when they weren't so old) I've probably been stranded too many times to count. 😄

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Ahhh yes, I was 19 years old and just leaving the parking lot of a liquor store in Worcester Mass (yes the legal age was 21) When a front  brake line in my 1965 Mustang broke. They had a single reservoir master cylinder so I had no brakes whatsoever. Luckily I was quick with the handbrake but it was right in front of a cruiser that saw me quickly back into a spot and get out looking. So he stopped and saw what happened and asked if I had any tools in the trunk. I did, but I also had a case of beer but not wanting to look guilty I opened up my trunk and dug around coming up with a pair of vice grips which I used to pinch off that one wheel so I could limp it to the NAPA and get it a new front hose line... He must have bought it or felt sorry but was really happy to help me fix it.

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My 70 Chevy PU truck tie rod end fell apart on a Philly street 75 miles from home. I wired it back together with a coat hanger and a pair of pliers and drove it home. VW Rabbit exhaust pipe parted on the way to Look Out Mtn, Tenn. Put it back together with a Swiss army knife, a beer can, hose clamps and a muffler bandage. Drove it another 2 years like that. My 69 Vette uses a cable for throttle linkage and one night it came from together to apart. I ran a length of heavy cord from the carb through a hole in the firewall ending in a loop I could hold. It took a few minutes but it wasn't long until I got the hang of my new "hand" throttle. My wife and I both drove it that way until I could get a new cable. Vive le ingenuity.........Bob

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In the summer of 1998 when I lived in San Diego I bought a '65 Mustang D code (289-4V) with a 4 speed from a guy about 80 miles away in Orange County. Everything was fine until I was almost home when my left rear wheel and tire came flying off while I was cruising at 70 on the freeway. My first priority was getting the car safely to the shoulder which I did because I didn't even know what happened then. When I got out I looked out into the roadway and there was my tire rolling along in my general direction. (I was on I-805 South on the overpass above I-8 for you SD people.) It rolled onto the shoulder and stopped right behind my car so I thought that that was convenient. Since I didn't have a cell phone (or a jack) I walked about 1/4 mile to a call box and called AAA. While I was walking back to my car I saw a woman standing next to my car crying. When I reached her she shook her jacket and a lot of small pieces of glass came off of it and that's when she said that my tire had hit the windshield of her car. I looked down the road a ways and there was a car on the shoulder which was obviously hers. I apologized profusely and told her that I had just bought the car in Orange County and was driving it home for the first time. I told her that AAA was on the way and I would take care of it. When the guy arrived in his rollback I told him what happened. It turns out that all the lug nuts were loose inside the wheel cover and the holes in the wheel were about twice the normal size so we put on the spare with one lug nut off of each of the other 3 wheels. I then had the guy put her car on his wrecker and we took it to an auto glass place. They ordered a windshield which they said would be there in an hour so I paid for it and gave her the emergency $100 bill that I always carry in my wallet. She had stopped crying by now and was happy with how it worked out so I drove home about 50 mph but the excitement of the new car purchase had definitely worn off. The bottom of the quarter panel was pushed up pretty far from the wheel hitting it so I took it to Earl Scheib and they did a decent job fixing and painting it. Of course I called the seller and told him what happened but he had no interest in reimbursing me for what I spent so I told him to go have sex with himself. So my question to you guys is if you saw some idiot driving down the freeway with a wheel wobbling badly would you try to get his attention to tell him about it? Nobody did that for me but the good news was later that year in November I quit my job as a traffic officer at Lindbergh Field and said adios to California and moved to Louisville and married a woman who I had met in April 1998 on my first computer through a website for The Andy Griffith Show. We were both in our mid 40s at the time and it was the first marriage for each of us and we're still happily married so that's cool. END OF STORY!!! :)

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Driving through Seekonk Mass one evening in my 26 Cadillac, the arm on the transmission that operates the clutch split at the keyway. I had no clutch and 20s Cadillacs are hard enough to shift with a clutch - driving without one is near impossible.. I was with a friend - also an antique car guy and when we decided there was no way we could patch it up to get home we decided to phone my father,. There was another transmission in the garage with the arm so we asked him to take it off and bring it to us. He succeeded, which may not sound remarkable except that my late father (1st viola of the RI Philharmonic Orchestra) was as un-mechanical as anyone could be. He really shouldn't have been allowed to own a screwdriver so I've no idea how he managed to do it...his idea of tools was a set of Craftsman open end wrenches he bought when he got married and never used. I'm using them today.  We fixed it in the parking lot of a drug store and drove home.

 

Another time, the driveshaft of my 1910 REO broke while getting off the Orient Point ferry. I was coming back from the Vanderbilt Cup commemorative car show on Long Island, having driven from Rhode Island to Long Island and back. The break was the result of a poor repair I'd done (I was in my 20s at the time and have learned a lot in the intervening 40 years). I pulled over to the side of the road on the grass in front of an electrical transfer station and started taking the car apart. A few minutes later a truck with a Gas & Electric Company crew pulled up and the guys offered to help. "Aren't you guys supposed to be working" I asked. "no problem, we're union" was the reply. We got the drive shaft out of the torque tube and the foreman drove me over to another part of town where another crew was installing gas pipes. The chief welder set it up on his portable rig for welding pipes and put it back together. We then drove back to the car and installed it. In all, my broken drive shaft delayed me about 1-1/2 hours!

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Delivered a 1933 Cadillac 12 to a client after many months of restoration work.  Client is admiring the car. I opened the driver side door to exit the car and the window winder handle fell off, almost hitting the client's foot.

 

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Flivverking, sounds like you need a new mechanic!

Lebowski, Great story, it could have been much worse, lucky the lady you hit was accomodating.

Restorer, That must have been a bit..........well, I think we all know how you felt.

 

My trans am left me stranded at the end of a cruise night with a bad starter. Drove there  under its own power, came home on a rollback. By noon the next day it had a new mini starter installed and back on the road.

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How the thread started reminded me of this curious puddle of oil I saw in a Walmart parking lot.  I went for a looksee and in the middle of the oil puddle was a mangled connecting rod and the remains of a piston attached!  I can envision a lady pulled over the future oil puddle on the phone to her husband, "honey, the car is making that funny noise again'.  I looked for an abandoned vehicle to see how far they made it, I felt if they had called a rollback he would've kept the rod & piston as a trophy, lucky me I hung it on the wall for years and never tired of telling the storey about it.

To this day I wonder about what all it must have taken to drive that piston thru an oil pan in a Walmart parking lot.

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Fresh out of the Army in September of '63, took the train from Ft Carson Colorado to Rock Island ill.

Had just enough $$$ to buy either a '60 Ford Starliner or a '53 MGTD.

Dad said buy the Ford. I bought the MG, and threw a rod on the test drive.

Went to the junk yard and bought a Triumph TR-3, that had been rolled for $100.00

Transplanted the engine, Tx, and rear end, and drove it like I'd stolen it for 9 years.

Had to sell it, when our first daughter arrived.

Broke My heart............

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1999 - Took semi truck delivery of my first "old car" a 1929 Graham-Paige 619, sight unseen from Maine.   I needed a semi truck unloading dock so I had to get the car in town.  We got the car unloaded, but I could not figure out how to start the car.  An older Gentleman was walking by, interested in the Graham, he showed me how the dimmer switch was actually the starter button...  We had it turning over...then he put his hand over the carb throat to choke the Graham, it sprang to life.  Thank you's all around, a small crowd has now gathered, the drive home only 16 miles as it was getting dark.  I notice the generator is not charging... but we have good oil pressure...  The drive home is going well except its getting dark and there is a car driving directly at me, in my lane, what is going on????  at last ditch I stick my head out the window... no car, well my heart stopped racing enough to keep driving (it was a car coming up behind me, now I know why they have window shades in the back) love flat windshields.  Anyway up the hill with my 29 candle power headlights that are now down to about 6 candle power.  Made it home with only a slight heart arrhythmia.  The next day it would not start...it was out of gas. 

 

I now use a trailer every time to pick up a "new to me" cars.

 

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Well I have to say that up until a few years ago I would try to get peoples attention for brights on or if their brake lights weren’t working or stuff like that but anymore I wonder about how someone blowing a horn or waving at another car will be received. Equal chance of a thank you or a raised finger or worse.  

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Had a couple of scary events but this one was the worst.

 

In 1981, I bought a '52 Plymouth Cranbrook that ran but was sitting for about 10 years.  The car was in Queens and I wanted to drive it home to Staten Island.   I got on the Belt Parkway to go to the Verazzano Bridge and everything went well until I was heading up a long curved ramp onto the VZ bridge.  I tried to stop and the brake pedal went to the floor.  After Iots of downshifting and pedal pumping I managed to stop the car.  I then inched my way across the bridge and crawled through Staten Island to my house.  Only slid through one red light.  I consider myself very fortunate that the trip didn't end in disaster.

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2 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

Watching a Hudson Convertible fail to make the last turn with no brakes driving down a mountain road, and taking off for flight through the trees has to top my list of things.

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That looks real bad, what happened to the occupants?

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Owner staggered up the hill. Very strange day, very strange event. It seemed like I could do nothing to stop that from happening. I just got hammered the more I pointed out that the car had no brakes. Maybe people were hoping someone else was going to drive it down the hill? Not sure on that one? A close second would be the Vette that burst into flames parked in a garage. With the oil pressure line acting like a heating element. I have to just shake my head at everything that happened. I did have a retired sheriff tell me "that's my story" how nice, everybody gets a story? And that is a picture of Sadie, very sweet dog. I remember saying to a neighbor, "if you are really in trouble it will show up on your front door". The next day Sadie had two holes torn in her chest, and was laying by the front door. She was very submissive and scared when you approached her. Very sweet dog. Someone changed the cover sheet on the CC&R's. No more dotted line that says pipe line. Just says easement now. You could not make all of this stuff up. And the picture of the 57 shows a used car sign. It was brought out to my shop by the guy that has the other painted door. It made me laugh when he brought it out, So I put it on the car I was working on at the time. I did go out to his house and photograph his cars a little while later. Just wanted to make sure that they were not the ones on the news that got torched. He could not look me in the eye when I was there. Bet not much has changed out there. And I am guessing that the BLM land will stay public land. What a story, should be told. Enjoying your County living out there? Glad to hear it.

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6 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

Owner staggered up the hill. Very strange day, very strange event. It seemed like I could do nothing to stop that from happening. I just got hammered the more I pointed out that the car had no brakes. Maybe people were hoping someone else was going to drive it down the hill? Not sure on that one? A close second would be the Vette that burst into flames parked in a garage. With the oil pressure line acting like a heating element. I have to just shake my head at everything that happened. I did have a retired sheriff tell me "that's my story" how nice, everybody gets a story? And that is a picture of Sadie, very sweet dog. I remember saying to a neighbor, "if you are really in trouble it will show up on your front door". The next day Sadie had two holes torn in her chest, and was laying by the front door. She was very submissive and scared when you approached her. Very sweet dog. Someone changed the cover sheet on the CC&R's. No more dotted line that says pipe line. Just says easement now. You could not make all of this stuff up. And the picture of the 57 shows a used car sign. It was brought out to my shop by the guy that has the other painted door. It made me laugh when he brought it out, So I put it on the car I was working on at the time. I did go out to his house and photograph his cars a little while later. Just wanted to make sure that they were not the ones on the news that got torched. He could not look me in the eye when I was there. Bet not much has changed out there. And I am guessing that the BLM land will stay public land. What a story, should be told. Enjoying your County living out there? Glad to hear it.

 

 

 

 

Was that about 6 stories in one paragraph? I found it very difficult to comprehend. What happened to Sadie with the holes in her chest?

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6 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

Owner staggered up the hill. Very strange day, very strange event. It seemed like I could do nothing to stop that from happening. I just got hammered the more I pointed out that the car had no brakes. Maybe people were hoping someone else was going to drive it down the hill? Not sure on that one? A close second would be the Vette that burst into flames parked in a garage. With the oil pressure line acting like a heating element. I have to just shake my head at everything that happened. I did have a retired sheriff tell me "that's my story" how nice, everybody gets a story? And that is a picture of Sadie, very sweet dog. I remember saying to a neighbor, "if you are really in trouble it will show up on your front door". The next day Sadie had two holes torn in her chest, and was laying by the front door. She was very submissive and scared when you approached her. Very sweet dog. Someone changed the cover sheet on the CC&R's. No more dotted line that says pipe line. Just says easement now. You could not make all of this stuff up. And the picture of the 57 shows a used car sign. It was brought out to my shop by the guy that has the other painted door. It made me laugh when he brought it out, So I put it on the car I was working on at the time. I did go out to his house and photograph his cars a little while later. Just wanted to make sure that they were not the ones on the news that got torched. He could not look me in the eye when I was there. Bet not much has changed out there. And I am guessing that the BLM land will stay public land. What a story, should be told. Enjoying your County living out there? Glad to hear it.

 

26 minutes ago, Lebowski said:

 

Was that about 6 stories in one paragraph? I found it very difficult to comprehend. What happened to Sadie with the holes in her chest?

 

 

Yeah, WTF happened? This reads like someone who has been awake for six days straight.

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Wow what a thread (did Daisy pull through ?)

Mine are similar:

- wife saw a beaver in Colorado and pulled over. Turned out to be mud on the side of a mountain and FIAT 124 started sliding. Was relieved when the tow truck finally arrived and could stop trying to hold the car back. (Later found out that Colorado had no guardrails because it was easier to push the snow off the road).

- set an altitude record at Gratten Raceway (MI) when the embankment protecting the ambulance eroded into a ski jump and the 'vette popped out of gear at the top of third in a turn.

- replaced a clutch in a Buick on an oak tree root

- drove about 200 miles home clutchless when the disk cracked and a spring cocked sideways. Fortunately had already bypassed the clutch-starter interlock.

- passed by rear wheel and axle (10 bolt) on an I-69 (most stolen sign) exit

- towing an ASR in Ohio when trailer tongue broke off. Fortunately chains held but got to drive the ASR to the next exit.

- rebuilt the trans on a Yenko Stinker on the back of a trailer. Synchros were destroyed so made it a crash box. Car won the race.

- seat belt broke and was ejected unhurt as an  E-type (no roll bar) rolled down a hill in an autocross.

- traded a car for a set of wheels.

- can't count the number of times the racer's mantra has saved me "Don't do anything sudden."

 

And so it goes

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The Lucas ignition fuse  holder in my 1967 Morris Minor decided to just to let go of the fuse on highway 61 in Minnesota. 

Meeting at a friends house to drive together to a local car show his horse poked his head in the open left window and started munching on the front seat upper corner.

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So here is an automotive adventure that never left the garage...

 

Over the course of 50yrs I have owned 3 1931 Buicks, an 8-86 coupe, an 8-57 sedan and finally, my current obsession, an 8-66S special coupe.  But the first of these cars came into my life before I started counting the 50yrs of actual ownership.  When I was 12 my dad was driving home from work one day when he spotted the 8-86 coupe I would own years later on a watermelon farm with a for sale sign on it.  My brother Al (RIP) was 19 and graduated high school with honors and was accepted at Purdue University where he would get an electrical engineering degree.  My dad, knowing the story of Buick and the OHV straight 8 was fascinated by the car and thought it would be fun for him and son Al to play with, so a few days after, the car came rumbling into our driveway and eventually into the garage.  That was summer of 1962. 

 

Fast forward to November of 62, Al was at Purdue, my older sister was at Western Michigan and I was home, bored, on an evening when my parents went out somewhere without me and my younger sister.  My younger sister went to grandma's and I was at home so my mother got one of my brother's high school buddies to come baby sit- er- watch me.  My brother was a ham radio operator, K8DDX, and his high school buddy, Ralph Bugg was also a ham K8HSQ.  So I waited for my opportunity to escape Ralph's oversight and it occurred when Ralph became engaged in a QSO (conversation) with another ham.

 

I dug around my dad's dresser drawer and found the carton of Salem filters and helped myself to a pack along with one of his Zippo lighters and off I went to the garage to sit in the Buick and smoke!  I was multi tasking, playing with the throttle and headlight switches on the Buick while enjoying my cigarette and not aware I had been joined by the family cat.  Claudia was a white Parks Persian long haired cat and unbeknowst to me had hopped up on the driver side running board.  About that time I was bored with the steering wheel switch gear and was looking for something else to play with.  I spotted the kick pedal for the driver side cowl vent.  Now these vents have a powerful over center spring arrangement so when you open it it opens with a pop and stays put.  this one was missing the foam vent door gasket so when the pedal was pushed forward it would snap shut with a bang, a feature I was well familiar with having played with it before.  It happened the vent was left open when I entered the car so the first move was to flip it closed which I ... unfortunately.....  for Claudia...... did!  

 

There was a scream and a commotion on the running board of that car as I had closed the vent just as Claudia's tail was fully in the vent opening and when the vent snapped shut the screaming started along with the claws trying to get traction to free her tail.  I swung the driver door open and discovered the cat, still stuck in the vent door and reached into the car and pulled the vent door pedal releasing the cat.  That brought the smoking hour to a hasty close.

 

Later, poor Claudia got Ralph's attention as her tail, bloodied, crooked and broken in 2 places, dragged across the radio shack floor.  Ralph didn't know what happened to the cat until years later but didn't want to be blamed for Claudia's injury either.  He found a piece of stiff copper wire and spiral wound the cat's tail in a makeshift splint and fluffed her fur to hide the wire.   That worked pretty well except now the cat's tail went on a curios angle from her rear quarters to the floor, very straight, and you could hear the wire dragging on the floor.   A few hours later my mother returned home and greeted Ralph in the kitchen and paid him for his baby sitting services and he left for home.  Then Claudia appeared and rubbed against my mother's leg and she felt something metallic...  My mother got to the bottom of my adventure long before Ralph did...

 

Dave

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Back in the early 90's the bell crank split in two on my '64 Malibu about 70 miles from home.

Had to drive home with no clutch.

Stopping was not fun as I had to use the starter to get the car moving, but shifting while moving wasn't too bad since I could rev match and shift OK.

 

While on tour with our Pierce Arrow we lost a set of points and an ignition coil.

Had to leave it at a member's house overnight and go back with our trailer to retrieve it.

Car didn't complete a tour so it couldn't be judged in the most original category.  😢

But it did limp onto the show field for the final day of the meet.

 

 

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It was only 10 years old at the time, but in 2000 we had our Aerostar inspected, as is required by law.  The shop that did it messed up badly and we lost the brakes on the way home. That was the worst thing i remember ever happening in a car. We had gone out to eat afterwards and were going down a hill when the brakes stopped working. Limped to a convenience store parking lot and called a tow truck.

 

Because we're almost always in something that barely runs I've been stranded many times. The first time our Jeep stopped on it's own was in Lake George, three hours away from home. It turned out to be a clogged fuel line if i remember correctly, the was over a decade ago now. 

 

Just this past December, the Sunday before Christmas, my brother's car started to break down in Times Square, NYC. We were able to nurse it home, barely, and it gave out in sight of the garage. That was an hour and a half and really stressful, because it was barely running and shaking badly. Fixed now though.

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Cruising north along a 60 km/hr arterial in the '12 KisselKar about 15 years ago, I felt the RF corner lurch down and the wheel and saw the tire go bounding off another block in the curb lane. Culprit was a failed, ancient weld repair to the RF hub.  I bought this car as a project that had been parked, untouched, since probably the late '40s so the welding would have been circa WWII or earlier. Anyway, that explained why we hadn't been able to sort out a slight wobble in that one wheel. The RF kingpin nut lost 1/3 of it's height as it plowed a dandy furrow in the blacktop.  A local club member (and highly skilled machinist) carved me two new hubs from billet 4140 steel a few days later. That was some pile of chips!

 

 

K12 RF hub failure copy 2.jpg

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Sorry, seems like my post derailed the thread.


For a happy mishap, I was replacing the water pump on a Corvette LT1 about 20 years ago, and if you're familiar with them, you know the water pump is internal and the intake has to come off. So we pulled the intake and laid a rag over the valley to keep trash from going in. We reassembled everything but it was late in the day and so we didn't bother filling it or firing it and just went home. That night I had a dream that we left the rag inside the valley. When I got to work, I told Charlie, the guy I was working with, that I think maybe the rag is still in there. He laughed and said there was no way we'd both forget to pull it out. Just the same we took the scope and shoved it in there and sure enough, there's a bright red rag down there in the valley. We managed to fish it out without any damage, but if I had not had that dream, would we have started the engine and let it digest that rag?

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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6 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

A great many of the truly awful moments in my life happened that that single 8-hour period.

 

 

And none of them your fault. Hopefully there's some solace in that.

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7 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

 

 

Yeah, WTF happened? This reads like someone who has been awake for six days straight.

:lol: I am on a 47 year Idaho bender. Comes from long term potato consumption. Just throwing it out there. Did not do me any good reaching out to people. I will stick with something I did. Pictured is a 37 Ford with a removable hardtop. Installing the side window, the glass slipped out of my hand. And dropped into the bottom of the door. Did not break the glass, but the glass went in between the bottom structure and the outside door skin. Put a big star burst in the door skin and paint. Whole door had to be resprayed. Only time I damaged a customers car. First call was to the painter, second call to the owner. And maybe we will find out who damaged the 50 Buick, see now I am drifting back to the Idaho stuff.:wacko::D

vic 37 good by 007.jpg

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I bought a 1972 Vega in Illinois to drive to Texas. 

I made it to Southern Illinois (On RT 66) when I stopped to get gas.

The car did not start as it had no compression.  I did not know the the temp gauge did not work.

I left the car in a gas station and hitch hiked back home to get another car.

I returned with my Mom's Datsun (Not Nissan) wagon and sold the car to a junkyard cause he liked the wheels.  Got the tow charge back.

6 years later the Datsun wagon would not start multiple times in various places  and I finally left it at the auto parts store. 

No idea what happened to that car, knowing Texas, it could still be running in Mexico.

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We were putting the final touches on a 1958 Cadillac Eureka Flower Car we restored.   We had forgotten to drill a 3/4" hole in wood we had replaced to mount a light switch on the B pillar.  Employee took a drill and a 3/4" bit and proceeded to drill the hole. Unfortunately the bit caught (He should have started with a much smaller bit} and pulled itself thru the wood and thru the freshly painted outer skin of the body.

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Restorer32. Sounds familiar. My friend who owned a van conversion shop back in the late 70's had his employees install a new overhead console in a brand new van only to discover a dozen or so screws sticking out of the roof when they finished.

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We were asked to hang a partially restored  '33 Cad 12  back together and get it running so the owner could sell it.  Engine was basically together but none of the accessories were mounted.  Our rule here at the shop is that in such situations we always remove the heads and the pan to determine what the condition of the engine actually is.  Customer did not want the heads removed because it was a "rebuilt" engine but we insisted.  Under one head we found a small handful of rat poison on top of one of the pistons.  Under the other head we found several shards of glass.  Most were way too big to have entered thru a spark plug hole. We're talking 2" square pieces of glass, 3 or 4 of them.  Now if we had fired up that engine with those pieces of glass on top of one piston it would have been exciting.  Had to be sabotage or maybe a blind mechanic dropped a wine glass and pieces of it ended up on top of a piston.  Same situation with a '21 Kissel Gold Bug.  Engine the customer bought to replace his badly cracked engine was supposedly rebuilt. Took the heads off.  Everything looked new inside including pistons, valves etc.  Customer insisted we just button up the engine and put it in his car.   We insisted on at least plastigaugeing the bearings and measuring the bores.  Customer did not want the added expense but we were adamant and he finally said OK.  Good thing he did. The new pistons were installed with no rings.  I could write a book...

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Had similar things happen with new cars I insisted on examining at the dealer. One had no lube in the posi axle. Another had so much engine sealer the radiator was clogged. And so it goes.

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So many choices about what to tell.  I guess the most memorable was my 1961 Rambler Ambassador that as I was making a left turn about 25 miles from home had a clunk in the front end and the fender went down a little. I drove into a parking lot and looked underneath. The trunnion joint at the top had failed and and damaged the A-frame.  25 years old(me) and stuck. A friend with a trailer and a CJ-5 got me home.  With my Father-in-Law’s help 
we made all new A-arms from stainless steel and rebuilt the front end. I learned all about coil springs and other cool Rambler stuff.

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When my older brother went back to college he couldn’t get his 54 Chevy to start so he took a greyhound bus back to univ of Nebraska. He barley knew where the gas filler was on the car.  It took about an hour To get it running. Friday nights were pep rally nights and I was leaving the parking spot. When I put the shifter (3 on the tree) in reverse it flipped all the way over.  Opened the hood and the housing holding the different shift rods was sitting there with no bolts holding in together. I went back in the school hoping to find a maintenance guy to see if I could get wire or bolts but no luck. I asked my girl friend if she had any Bobbi pins for her hair. She found 2 in her purse so we started asking other girls. I finally got enough to make a bunch of pins similar to a cotter pin by putting one pin thru the closed part of another making a ‘T’  putting it thru the hole and bending it on the other side. Did two for each hole, one in each direction. It held together to make it home. I got to use the car until Christmas when big brother came home and took it back after the break. 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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