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Old 03-04-2002, 19:19   #1 (permalink)
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What's your least successful / most embarrassing motor repair / mod?

Me.

Last year. XF. What looked like a fairly minor repair on crazed fill on bonnet turned, in about 300 separate stuffed up steps, into full respray of bonnet and top guards with a poxy little electric gun that was totally unsuited for it. After numerous stuff ups, including a couple of full sandbacks after the first one because of spray problems, I finally got a real good coat on. Told my kids to keep well away from car and not touch it on pain of death, and went upstairs for a well deserved beer. When I came back there were several little finger grooves in the now dry paint. Unhappy is not the word. Got hold of the little bastards and gave them the third degree, but they both denied it and I couldn't work out which one of them was lying, or if they'd both done it. Considered killing both of them on the basis that one of them had to be guilty. Suddenly occurred to me how it might have happened and, sure enough, there was paint on the electric cord on the gun, which I'd dragged into the surface while leaning across the bonnet. Abject apologies to the children.

Old FE Holden years ago. Spent an afternoon on some electrical problem related to rear lights and fiddled about without benefit of a wiring diagram, which I don't understand anyway, and created as many problems as I solved. Finally sorted it out, or thought I had, until I applied the brake at night and the dome light went on. Looked like a real dork driving around in a car when the interior is illuminated every time you brake and sitting at the lights in full view of normal people in dark interiors. Gave up and took it to an auto elec, who took about 15 seconds to find a bit of metal stuck between a rear light bulb and the lampholder.

Mate. Rebuilt engine in Isuzu Bellet (Isuzu what? Nippy little Jap 4 cyl in the late 60's). Bloke helping him (not me) dropped a bolt or something down a plug hole and couldn't get it out, so he shut up about it until after, a long time after, the donk went kaput on its maiden trip around the block.
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Old 03-04-2002, 20:19   #2 (permalink)
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Mechanical workshop in yr.9.. was doing a tuneup on a 202 Red, the bastard wouldnt start... turned the key on the stand, gave the throttle a good pump.. All of a sudden, a massive fireball blew out of the carby, and singed my hair. Thankfully i've lived that one down, as its happened to a few other blokes... Dodgy Holden engineering :D
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Old 03-04-2002, 20:51   #3 (permalink)
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Question

Not as good as the others, but a learning curve anyway ....... putting really really fat tyres on front and back of an XB, and then discovering the front one's were so fat the steering wheel wouldn't turn .......
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Old 03-04-2002, 22:02   #4 (permalink)
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A similar paint thing to EA S. Years ago when I was about 18, 1st car and 1st job someone told me brake fluid made good paint stripper so as I worked at a brake shop and had abundant supplies of second-hand brake fluid I decided to give stripping back my crazed bonnet on my TD Cortina a go. Big mistake. I put the first coat on and left it for a few minutes and then scraped it off - hardly any difference just made the bonnet look worse. Repeated this about 4 or 5 times until I made the bonnet look totaly sh*t, down to undercoat in patches but mainly just flat dull(er) colour. I ended up having to go to the auto parts shop and buy 4lt of auto paint stripper (from memory it was around $50 a tin, quite expensive on a take home wage of $119) and a stack of sandpaper of various grits.

Eventually after several weekends of hard labour I managed to get the bonnet paint free enought to put some primer on. Not having a spray gun or knowing much about painting I bought some Duplicolour grey primer in the spray can. I thought two cans would do it. Not even close. At least another 4 later (big cans not the piss fart little ones) I was so sick of it I decided that that was as good as I was going to get so it was now time for the colour.

More spray cans. First of all though I had to work out what colour it was. It was a baby sh*t bronze metallic. In the Duplicolour range there were about 6 slightly different versions. I looked up the correct one from the compliance plate and purchased a few cans and went home and started spraying. Again it was very poor covering and it didn't look much like the colour that was on the rest of the car. :oo1:

It'll be right when I get more coverage I kept saying to myself. Never happened. Stood out like dogs gonads. At least it wsn't crazed. I was so sick of it all (this weekend project had turned into a couple of months) I didn't even bother (couldn't afford it either!) to put the clear coat on.


I just remembered another car painting disaster that I had before this on an old FC Holden I owned. I bought this old FC for $500, a stocker with the big block 138 Grey complete with stuffed oil rings. I knew absolutely nothing about cars and bought this on an impulse without really knowing anything about it or checking anything out. Apart from the stuffed motor it also had airconditioned rear quarter panels as well.

It was all sanded down ready for paint so my mate that lived a couple of doors down (who had a spray gun) said he would paint it for me for nothing, I just had to supply the paint.

I went to the auto paint shop and picked out a nice red and explained to the guy what I was doing and he suggested enamel paint, that way it's glossy of the gun and you don't have to buff it. Ok I said lets have it. Anything else I need, thinners maybe? just put the paint i an old pot on the stove for a while and heat it up until nearly boiling this guy said and you won't need thinners.

Not knowing any better I thanked the guy for his good advice and was on my way. Bastard is probably still laughing about this today. Probably tells all his mates about it every time they come around for a barbie.

Anyway, back to the spray job. We found an old saucepan and poured the paint tin and then tried to heat it up on the stove. Did that and then fillled up the first paint pot and fired up the spray gun. Interesting splatter effect that would of been more at home on the wall of the National Gallery than my FC was all that we could muster out of the gun.

The paint was way too thick. It was Sunday and the paint shop was closed (I had no $$ anyhow) so we couldn't go back and abuse the guy for his dodgy advice or even buy some thinners. Luckily my mate's Dad had a couple of small tins of thinners in his shed so as he was out we "borrowed" them in an attempt to get the car all one colour.

The paint started going on quite OK now and it was looking quite promising for a while...until the bugs flew in. I don't know if it was the colour or the smell or something else but all these bugs started suiciding themselves onto the fresh paint. Aaarrrrrggghh!! Being enamel it was about 24 hours before it was touch dry and by this time there were hundreds of bugs all over the damn car.:fmad:

I decided then that this wasn't the car for me so I advertised it for sale in the paper. I figured that I got ripped off there had to be someone else just as dumb to take the car off my hands. To "enhance" the sale further I put some gearbox oil in the motor to try and stop it smoking. it worked a treat until the engine got up to operating temperature and the oil lost all it's viscosity because it wasn't designed to work at such high temperature.

I had a couple of people come around and look at it but were put off because of the smokey motor and the rust. "Paint it yourself mate" was the standard comment. "No mate I paid five grand for that what do you reckon" was my smart arse reply.

A couple of biker blokes come along and took it for a test drive, I think my old man went with them to make sure they were going to bring it back. I watched the smoke cloud drive up the street and a few minutes later they returned and said they would buy it. I was sh*t scared they were going to see the rust and the smoke and beat me to a pulp for trying to rip them off. Didn't happen of course, they gave me the money, took the car and I never saw them or the car again.

Sorry for the long post everybody.
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Old 03-04-2002, 22:10   #5 (permalink)
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helping the 'big kids down the road' rebuild their 250 xflow motor when i was about 12 or so. i spent most of the time getting stubbies from the fridge but thought i was pretty cool.

some how a loose lifter was left in the sump. the engine went fine for the warm up and the first drive, but when the owner drove it back up the driveway the lifter must have kicked up. it got wedged between a big end and the block at about 2000 rpm and blew a nice big hole out the side.
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Old 03-04-2002, 22:16   #6 (permalink)
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On my first car , a HK Kingswood, I decided to do a lowering job, replaced the front springs with 2"lower v* springs, cleaned evreything back up , put it all back together, and drove off, felt great, till two weeks later drove into the vets carpark to drop the dog off for his shots when the RH lower ball joint snapped and the front RH corner of the car dropped to the ground.
First tow truck didn't want to touch it as he didn't have the right equipment, and would have to drag the car around. He said it was to nice a car to do that!!.
Second tow truck took 3 hours to turn up despite behind 1/2 hour away each time I rang (this was before mobiles too..
Three weeks later got the car back on the road.

Worst painting accident was my sisters EH , which I resprayed in Midnight Blue, and doing the last coat of clear I forgot to add thinners to the pot, and spayed spider webs all of RH rear door. D'oh!!!

Then we cut the rusted floorpans out of this car (EH) with a 10" angle grinder, when dad noticed a fluid spilling onto the floor, from the fuel line we had cut through with angle grinder. Whoops!!

Least successful mod was the blue park lights on my XG, didn't add the 50Hp I was expecting:s6:
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Old 03-04-2002, 22:18   #7 (permalink)
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oops, forgot my worst one.

i had a pretty dodgy dato 240k. i replaced the head (cracked) in the driveway at home and dropped the timming chain down the front as you do. so i had to pull the timming cover off. i didn't have any new timing cover gaskets so i reused the old ones to get it going as i had a party to go to about 25 ks out of town. got the car running fine, but as it was dark i didn't see the oil leak. i got about 15 ks out before she started to knock and shortly after blew the #1 conrod out the side. for those that don't know, datos have the oil pump in the timing cover, so the oil was fairly pumping out.

how stupid did i feel.....
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Old 03-04-2002, 22:26   #8 (permalink)
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My mates Dad tried to fix an indicator but wired it up wrong so every light in the car would flash when he used them
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Old 03-05-2002, 01:31   #9 (permalink)
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Putting a XB 250 Side flow Camsharft in a Cross Flow 4.1 XD.

Flame 10feet high out of the carby being out of time, and bent 3 pushrods.
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Old 03-05-2002, 03:12   #10 (permalink)
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I have a few but cant remember them all.
One was thinking I could do the body work on my Datto 1200. I spent lots of $$$ on sand paper, primer, paint etc and just gave up. I must have spent hours out in the shed. I gave up in the end seeing as the spray painter down the road only charged me $1200 to respray in 2pack including sanding back and primering, fixing my dodgy attempts. Looked shmick as until some tosser at an intersection pulled out in front of me. No more front end!

Another was getting 6x9 speakers for my birthday. Only problem was I drove a ute. No room in the doors or kick panels. So what do I do...? I mount them in the rear wall that separates the tray and the cab. So anyone walking down the street could hear the sounds cause the only thing keeping it in was the tarp. Sounded good though. Worked well in my mini too. Did the same thing with 7x10's. But the rear of the speakers led into the boot.

At college, besides the old Holden 202's we also had a Hillman. We got hold of it one lesson and flared the guards with pliers folding out the lip. I also had the ingenious idea of reversing the standard wheels. Instead of bolting them on normally we turned them around so they had a huge dish. They stuck out heaps but our dodgy flares maneged to keep them under control.

I had a standard exhaust on my Datto including the exhaust manifold. Found out there was this restrictor thing in the manifold that helped with backpressure or something. My automotive teacher told me to pull it out cause it leaked and also restricted performance. So I smashed it out but was left with the two holes that the hinge pin mounted to the manifold. So my solution was to WELD them shut. Yeah its cast iron you dick. So it worked for a while until travelling home they blew out and the car sounded like a bucket of shyte.
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