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What's the stupidest (Car!) thing you've done?
Anyone for a confession?

Just been clearing out some old Haynes manuals and a it triggered a memory that made me smile.

Many years ago (80-something) I bought a Porsche 924 Turbo, which I loved. The only thing it lacked was decent music.
So, I boldly set about buying and installing a new Radio/CD/Cassette player with new speakers and a large-ish amplifier.
It all went really well, except I couldn't find a good place for the amp. By standing on my head in the driver's footwell, I saw a lovely flat area behind the steering wheel, which I measured up - perfect!

Four small holes and some self tappers later, the amp was mounted and the system tested - 100% success.

A few months later I needed a new car battery as it wasn't holding it's charge. Off I went and bought one, got back home and swapped it over - or rather I didn't. I couldn't remove the old battery!  When fitting the amp I had managed drill through the battery tray, into the battery, successfully screwing the battery down from underneath! Not holding it's charge? Can't think why!

Valuable lesson learned - Anyone else?
Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement… 

2017 Berlingo Multispace Flair 120
2013 C5 Tourer 2.2HDi Excl
2012 C5 Tourer 1.6HDi auto
2012 Berlingo Enterprise 1.6HDi Van
2009 C5 Tourer 2.0D
2001 C5 Tourer 2.0D
2001 Range Rover 4.6 Vogue (really!)
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to Argos69 for this post:
  • Matt Haigh, saskak
Haha good story!

The first car I ever bought was a P-reg Nissan Micra, nice deep red colour, not a blemish on the paintwork. Bought it with my wife and we were really happy with it, pride and joy. We had a garage next to our flat and to keep it off the road I decided to put it in the garage. Colossal mistake, but in my defense it was really awkward garage, three in a row and the driveway was somewhat off-centre and everything was proper tight. As as I was a relatively new driver and did not think that it is much easier parking in reverse, I decided to park it forward, but as I said the driveway was somewhat off centre, so one needs to make a small turn.
New car and all, there was this almighty scraping/crashing noise and the drivers door was completely mangled. Not only that, but I had taken the side of the garage as well. I learned that only the front wheels or front side of the car turn and the back does not turn that easy, hahaha.

It was a bit of an expensive mistake and then quickly learned to re-point and plaster. Car got fixed as well as the garage. Being of a persistent nature, I parked in that garage for hundreds of times afterwards without a single scrape.
smile, you are alive!
Once drove a car home after a sheared TRE sent my mate and I into a ditch, we made a temporary fix with a G Cramp.

Got me home ok ... through the lanes of course ... though I lost count of the number of times it fell off when going around the bends.

Hairy to think of or do now but in younger more optimistic days it seemed a good result given the limited facilities carried in the boot.

I'd better keep my other car confessions for my biography.
Been driving a while and have done many stupid things with cars, mainly electrical based. Fitted a radio in my Morris Minor, this impressed my new girlfriend when the loom started melting and the car filled up with acrid smoke.

I graduated to cassette players and an MGB GT and successfully fitted a new auto reverse deck and recorded various albums on C90s so you could get 2 LPs on each. Bad planning then when I had one tape with Dark Side of the Moon/Derek and Clive Live. Having given a young lady a lift home we sat chatting outside her house with Pink Floyd playing in the back ground when the reverse kicked in! Anyone familiar with D&C Live will know.

I shouldn't post this pic really but it popped up on a T4 page and the guy was quite proud of his van. Still can't work out if it was a wind up.

Approx twenty years ago I was overhauling the rear hubs/brakes on a 1968 Land Rover Ser 2a. Parked on a  slight slope, hand operated transmission brake applied and gearbox set into low first.

Set about pulling the half shaft out on one side, everything is undone/loose but the fecker is stuck tight. Get a BIG bar in behind the flange and lever hard. Half shaft pops out, whole thing rolls back on the trolley jack and does its best to trap me against the side of the house.

Lessons learned:
1) No point leaving 4x4 in gear if the front half has freewheel hubs
2) transmission brake only locks the wheels if there's a halfshaft in there
3) chock the blazes out of every wheel other than the one you are working on.

(3) has stuck with me ever since so much that I axle stand, chock and block ad nauseum

p.s. let's not mention my track record on cambelt changes on ford 1.8i twin cam engines - my wife gets first dibs there
After many many years working on and eventually rebuilding cars, I can cast my mind back to a catalogue of early days cockups!

My very first car was a 1300 Escort mark 1 with a crossflow engine and a dynamo. I went over it, learning about everything I could. Then I read the bit about valve clearances in the Haynes manual and thought "Why not?"

I dutifully reset all the valve clearances, thinking "Boy, they were a long way out!" then went for a run in the car.
It spluttered, rattled and misfired like heck!

I asked a mechanic family friend to take a look. We whipped the rocker cover off and he asked me what method I'd used.
I showed him and after he'd finished laughing he explained I'd misunderstood "Open" and "Closed" when checking the tappets with the feeler gauge. Basically, I'd messed up every valve clearance, which he then showed me how to put right.

I also nearly killed my Dad when he was standing behind the car as I was driving off the ramps I'd reversed up onto. I'd forgotten the front wheel chocks were still there, so when the car wouldn't move I gave it a bit of welly!
The ramps shot out from under the back of the car, one either side of him at about waist height! Phew!!! Angel
Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement… 

2017 Berlingo Multispace Flair 120
2013 C5 Tourer 2.2HDi Excl
2012 C5 Tourer 1.6HDi auto
2012 Berlingo Enterprise 1.6HDi Van
2009 C5 Tourer 2.0D
2001 C5 Tourer 2.0D
2001 Range Rover 4.6 Vogue (really!)
Demolishing a neighbour's wall with a Ford Corsair V4 with the engine in the boot... (it's a long story)

Selling a 2-door MK1 Escort for £350.
God that last bit makes me weep.

I sold a tidy original MK2 RS2000 with proper Ford rally bits on it as it had been a competition car, complete with RAC logbook and navigators footrest, professionally bored out to 2.1, Vandervell bearings, Kent rally cam,  twin 48's, Rocket 4 speed box, 220Lb turreted Bilstein's, bronze sintered paddle clutch,  hydraulic handbrake, 3" Peco stainless full exhaust, 14" Revolutions....the pukka full nine yards......for £750. It was a 1979 T reg, and this was in 1984. It was 5 years old....

I kick myself every day I think about it. I bought a 2002Ti with the money. It was shite after the RS.
My Van: 2012 B9 1.6 HDi Enterprise
I curse the day I dumped my first Berlingo. Its ign key contacts had worn and it would only start now and then, and cut out without warning. Gradually got worse - spent 3 hrs on a motorway slip road waiting for the RAC one day. Garage advised that a fix would involve 'upgrading the car's security system' and would cost a grand. Didn't know about the forum then.

That's not so bad, but I vowed to avoid Berlingos and find some other car I could fit in. Several other makes and possibly 10-15 grand down the chute later (I daren't tot it up), I've come back to a Berlingo!
Current: 2003 1.4i MS MPV - Lucifer Red
Prev: 2003 1.6 MS Desire - Blingo Blue
Two tales from my College days with my Isetta three wheeler. One time it wouldn`t start, as I was near an incline I thought I could scooter it off with one foot outside and drop it into gear to start it; worked with me running alongside awaiting an opportune moment to jump in with my running getting faster and faster; I survived.
Another time the brakes failed on it and as I was on a quiet road and only two miles from the College I thought I would risk it; coming to the first T junction I found out adrenaline is brown and found in you underpants.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to lakeside for this post:
  • notsofast

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