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> Dumbest Thing
relentless
post Mar 13 2023, 12:58 PM
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I don't know if it's the dumbest thing I've ever done, but here is *one* that ranks up there. When in my 20's (long ago) I bought a sound system for my 914 to replace the 8 track player. The new system had a huge amp, and I proceeded to mount it in the cabin on the vertical area in front of where the passenger legs go.

I drilled my first hole through the metal and right on through the gas tank. I pulled out the bit and watched gas start to squirt out the hole. It looked just like someone peeing, and of course the tank was full.

I panicked and forgot to put a container down to catch the gas. By the time the tank was out several gallons of high test covered the floor.

Every time I drove the car after that the faint odor of gasoline reminded me what a dumbass I was.
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fiacra
post Mar 13 2023, 03:21 PM
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I alternate between thinking it was the dumbest thing I ever did as well as one of the smartest things I ever did -- buying a 914. Every story starts there.
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tygaboy
post Mar 13 2023, 04:38 PM
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QUOTE(fiacra @ Mar 13 2023, 02:21 PM) *

I alternate between thinking it was the dumbest thing I ever did as well as one of the smartest things I ever did -- buying a 914. Every story starts there.


@fiacra Broheen nailed it!
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barefoot
post Mar 15 2023, 08:39 AM
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Perhaps not dumbest thing, but scared me crazy doing new 2056 build. Set up garage floor run-in stand for cam break-in. I'd installed a mechanical oil pressure gauge where the sender goes and while cranking w/o spark plugs was seeing no oil pressure. Finally pulled out the oil pump in desperation only to find it DRY !!

Couldn't understand why no oil feed, thought I'd mis installed the pickup tube where it sockets into the case to feed the pump, but decided you can't install it wrong.
Finally pulled off the oil strainer only to discover that this used part had deformed so that it blocked off the tube inlet. Not much displacement needed to achieve this.
Straightened the damn thing out and now got oil flow. I was then a happy camper.
Glad i was monitoring oil pressure while cranking (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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930cabman
post Mar 15 2023, 08:45 AM
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QUOTE(barefoot @ Mar 15 2023, 08:39 AM) *

Perhaps not dumbest thing, but scared me crazy doing new 2056 build. Set up garage floor run-in stand for cam break-in. I'd installed a mechanical oil pressure gauge where the sender goes and while cranking w/o spark plugs was seeing no oil pressure. Finally pulled out the oil pump in desperation only to find it DRY !!

Couldn't understand why no oil feed, thought I'd mis installed the pickup tube where it sockets into the case to feed the pump, but decided you can't install it wrong.
Finally pulled off the oil strainer only to discover that this used part had deformed so that it blocked off the tube inlet. Not much displacement needed to achieve this.
Straightened the damn thing out and now got oil flow. I was then a happy camper.
Glad i was monitoring oil pressure while cranking (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


"Not the dumbest", how long ago was this and how is she running
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barefoot
post Mar 16 2023, 06:09 AM
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QUOTE(930cabman @ Mar 15 2023, 10:45 AM) *

QUOTE(barefoot @ Mar 15 2023, 08:39 AM) *

Perhaps not dumbest thing, but scared me crazy doing new 2056 build. Set up garage floor run-in stand for cam break-in. I'd installed a mechanical oil pressure gauge where the sender goes and while cranking w/o spark plugs was seeing no oil pressure. Finally pulled out the oil pump in desperation only to find it DRY !!

Couldn't understand why no oil feed, thought I'd mis installed the pickup tube where it sockets into the case to feed the pump, but decided you can't install it wrong.
Finally pulled off the oil strainer only to discover that this used part had deformed so that it blocked off the tube inlet. Not much displacement needed to achieve this.
Straightened the damn thing out and now got oil flow. I was then a happy camper.
Glad i was monitoring oil pressure while cranking (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


"Not the dumbest", how long ago was this and how is she running



Runs just fine, oil temps stay below mid gauge & head temps are cool.

barefoot
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technicalninja
post Mar 16 2023, 10:11 AM
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Trusting the machine shop...

I once built a 74 Fiat 1.8L Spider motor that I didn't verify the bearing clearances when returned from the machine shop.

This was from the best machine shop I've ever used. I had assembled multiple motors that they machined, went through all of the bearing clearance checks on the previous motors, and never had a problem.

I trusted them and assembled the Fiat (my own car, Thank God!) in record time.

Built, installed, and tuned in less than 5 hours. FAST AS SHIT.

It lasted 60 miles...

Crank main journals had been ground an EXTRA .005" so they were .025 under instead of .020.

Wiped out an early Fiat spider crank which had enough different than the later ones that I had to find the right critter. Took 6 weeks to find one.

I am an anal-retentive pin head regarding machine work that I have not done myself now.

And I've stopped trying to do stuff FAST anymore. Just leads to problems down the road

That was back in 1987.

The ONLY saving grace was that it was my personal car. Had it been a customer car I'd have been really screwed...
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Superhawk996
post Mar 16 2023, 11:13 AM
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QUOTE(technicalninja @ Mar 16 2023, 11:11 AM) *



I trusted them and assembled the Fiat (my own car, Thank God!) in record time.



First might have been owning a Fiat (IMG:style_emoticons/default/poke.gif)
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technicalninja
post Mar 16 2023, 01:51 PM
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Compared to what was available at the time a Fiat Spider was light years ahead of the competition. X-flow DOHC, 5 speed all syncromesh. 4 link rear suspension with panhard rod, 4 wheel disc brakes with load sensing prop valve. The real early ones were 2 side draft carbs.
Compared to a MGB or a Triumph they were hot rods.
Only an Alfa Spyder was better and not that much.

Mazda kicked everyone's ass with the Miata but It was far more like a Fiat Spider than anything else.

I was one of the last "Factory Certified" Fiat mechanics back in 1983-4 when they were getting the hell out of the USA. I hated them at that time.

Later I worked for Bill Sours (Passport engines-ATK and Vege distributors) and he was an old school Italian enthusiast. He taught me the mindset you have to have with Italian cars. Sort of like Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.

I did come up with a better acronym for Fiat. First Italian Attempt: Transportation.

I can flat ass fix Italian shit...
One time I fixed a 6-month-old Maserati Bi-turbo with a rock!
It had been back to the dealership 5 times.
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jfort
post Mar 16 2023, 02:54 PM
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Had the car on the lift, headers off, and adjusted the valves. Put the headers on, then the muffler, but the two-holed rear valance wouldn't fit. I was stymied.

Then, finally, I figured out that I put the muffler on upside down.
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jfort
post Mar 16 2023, 03:04 PM
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QUOTE(relentless @ Mar 13 2023, 10:58 AM) *

I don't know if it's the dumbest thing I've ever done, but here is *one* that ranks up there. When in my 20's (long ago) I bought a sound system for my 914 to replace the 8 track player. The new system had a huge amp, and I proceeded to mount it in the cabin on the vertical area in front of where the passenger legs go.

I drilled my first hole through the metal and right on through the gas tank. I pulled out the bit and watched gas start to squirt out the hole. It looked just like someone peeing, and of course the tank was full.

I panicked and forgot to put a container down to catch the gas. By the time the tank was out several gallons of high test covered the floor.

Every time I drove the car after that the faint odor of gasoline reminded me what a dumbass I was.


Your story reminds me. I was helping my mechanic friend put in a rebuilt 911 engine into an old 911. Wouldn't start. Wasn't getting fuel. We worked and worked to eliminate variables. Finally, we noticed a puddle under the car. The car owner, while mounting seat belts, had drilled through the fuel line in the tunnel.
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bkrantz
post Mar 16 2023, 10:13 PM
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QUOTE(Superhawk996 @ Mar 16 2023, 11:13 AM) *

QUOTE(technicalninja @ Mar 16 2023, 11:11 AM) *



I trusted them and assembled the Fiat (my own car, Thank God!) in record time.



First might have been owning a Fiat (IMG:style_emoticons/default/poke.gif)


Hey, I have 2 Fiats in my owners log. My 1969 124 Spider was my very first car at age 16, bought from an insurance salvage yard. In a few months I learned serious body work, basic mechanics, and how to replace synchros in a 5 speed transmission. That might have been the start of my auto repair illness.

The second was a 1976 X1/9 that I bought in 1986. It had spent its entire life in southern Arizona and had actual, really, I promise it is true zero rust. That car was lots of fun, with even less hp than a 914 1.7. I sold that Fiat to buy my first 914.
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ClayPerrine
post Mar 17 2023, 05:25 AM
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QUOTE(bkrantz @ Mar 16 2023, 11:13 PM) *

QUOTE(Superhawk996 @ Mar 16 2023, 11:13 AM) *

QUOTE(technicalninja @ Mar 16 2023, 11:11 AM) *



I trusted them and assembled the Fiat (my own car, Thank God!) in record time.



First might have been owning a Fiat (IMG:style_emoticons/default/poke.gif)


Hey, I have 2 Fiats in my owners log. My 1969 124 Spider was my very first car at age 16, bought from an insurance salvage yard. In a few months I learned serious body work, basic mechanics, and how to replace synchros in a 5 speed transmission. That might have been the start of my auto repair illness.

The second was a 1976 X1/9 that I bought in 1986. It had spent its entire life in southern Arizona and had actual, really, I promise it is true zero rust. That car was lots of fun, with even less hp than a 914 1.7. I sold that Fiat to buy my first 914.


We owned a 124 Spider at one time. I got the car cheap for $500.00. The owner's wife smashed in the oil pan and broke the pump off the bottom of the motor, and kept driving until it locked up. So I bough a short block out of a 124 sedan out of the wrecking yard. I bought a head gasket and a tube of silicone. Put the dohc head on the sedan block, and put it back together. It was in great condition, both interior and paint. Drove it for a while, and then sold it for 5K.

Betty named it Tony. The guy that bought it fell in love with it at first site. He renamed it Sophia. I hope he was happy with the car.

Clay
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barefoot
post Mar 17 2023, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE(technicalninja @ Mar 16 2023, 03:51 PM) *

Compared to what was available at the time a Fiat Spider was light years ahead of the competition. X-flow DOHC, 5 speed all syncromesh. 4 link rear suspension with panhard rod, 4 wheel disc brakes with load sensing prop valve. The real early ones were 2 side draft carbs.
Compared to a MGB or a Triumph they were hot rods.
Only an Alfa Spyder was better and not that much.

Mazda kicked everyone's ass with the Miata but It was far more like a Fiat Spider than anything else.

I was one of the last "Factory Certified" Fiat mechanics back in 1983-4 when they were getting the hell out of the USA. I hated them at that time.

Later I worked for Bill Sours (Passport engines-ATK and Vege distributors) and he was an old school Italian enthusiast. He taught me the mindset you have to have with Italian cars. Sort of like Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.

I did come up with a better acronym for Fiat. First Italian Attempt: Transportation.

I can flat ass fix Italian shit...
One time I fixed a 6-month-old Maserati Bi-turbo with a rock!
It had been back to the dealership 5 times.


Here I thought FIAT meant "Fix it gain Tony", silly me (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sad.gif)
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lolkema
post Mar 18 2023, 06:28 PM
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my brightest moment was when I had just finished a complete restoration on my wife's Beetle. I had spray painted it in my garage and was very happy with the result. I took it around the block for a first test run. I was 100 yards from my driveway when I noticed a wobble in the steering. First thought that I would look at it when I got it back in the garage. At 50 yards from home decided to stop and check, turned out I forgot to tighten the front wheel nuts, by that time I had lost 2 bolts on each side and the other bolts were hanging on by a thread. The wheels were angled 20 degrees outward. I think if I would have continued another 5 feet both wheels would have come off.

Felt pretty stupid after that one....
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930cabman
post Mar 19 2023, 05:53 AM
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QUOTE(lolkema @ Mar 18 2023, 06:28 PM) *

my brightest moment was when I had just finished a complete restoration on my wife's Beetle. I had spray painted it in my garage and was very happy with the result. I took it around the block for a first test run. I was 100 yards from my driveway when I noticed a wobble in the steering. First thought that I would look at it when I got it back in the garage. At 50 yards from home decided to stop and check, turned out I forgot to tighten the front wheel nuts, by that time I had lost 2 bolts on each side and the other bolts were hanging on by a thread. The wheels were angled 20 degrees outward. I think if I would have continued another 5 feet both wheels would have come off.

Felt pretty stupid after that one....


Was anyone watching? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/shades.gif)
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lolkema
post Mar 19 2023, 11:12 AM
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QUOTE(930cabman @ Mar 19 2023, 04:53 AM) *

QUOTE(lolkema @ Mar 18 2023, 06:28 PM) *

my brightest moment was when I had just finished a complete restoration on my wife's Beetle. I had spray painted it in my garage and was very happy with the result. I took it around the block for a first test run. I was 100 yards from my driveway when I noticed a wobble in the steering. First thought that I would look at it when I got it back in the garage. At 50 yards from home decided to stop and check, turned out I forgot to tighten the front wheel nuts, by that time I had lost 2 bolts on each side and the other bolts were hanging on by a thread. The wheels were angled 20 degrees outward. I think if I would have continued another 5 feet both wheels would have come off.

Felt pretty stupid after that one....


Was anyone watching? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/shades.gif)


Thank god not! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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