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Vehicle repair DIY disasters................

Biffo

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
North West
Messages
333
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Location
Lancashire
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288
First Name
Jim
Elgrand
E51
Region
North West
#1
So, come on folks, what disasters have happened to you whilst doing your own DIY car repairs?

I'll start with welding the sills up on a Rover SDI.

The 3500cc Rover SDI that I had, the sills had gone where the front wheel arches meet the sills at the bottom, I'd put the front of the car up in the air on axle stands, removed the front wheels, and was working on one side at a time. I'd made pieces of metal to fit, held each in place with 1 pop rivet, and was about to start welding it. At the time I only had oxy-acetylene welding gear. I decided to do the most awkward one first, so there I am, in a small gap between the car and the house, with my legs underneath the car starting to weld the plate in place. Suddenly the engine starts to turn over trying to start, well I've never moved so fast in my life! cursing as I quickly extract myself from the precarious position that I'm in, partly under the car, shouting "Who the F...........g hell is trying to start the car?" When I get out, I'm greeted with smoke billowing out of the open car window , the bloody car is on fire inside! Luckily enough, I have a garden hose permanently attached to an outside tap nearby, After a minute or so of playing at 'Trumpton' I'd put it out.
I opened the car door to find the floor carpet well burnt, lifting that up, I found a birds nest of burnt, bare, melted wires. They'd obviously shorted out and kicked the starter into life. Every wire for every electrical component in the car went through that location, Engine loom, lighting loom, Radio, speakers, etc. It was just a black molten mess.
I cut the 'nest' of wires out as a lump, cutting through all the wires where the loom went through to the engine bay, where they went up behind the dashboard, and where they went to the back of the car. Lifting the nest of molten wires out as one. I then went to the local scrapyard, found a similar car and cut out the nest of wires in just the same places, also acquiring the replacement carpets.
It took me 2 days to individually solder and heat shrink each wire in the new 'nest' to the appropriate one in the vehicle. With fingers cross, I turned the key, Wow! I'd got it right! everything worked! Carpets down, and we're all done.
The plates got pop riveted on and fibregalssed over, you could get away with that in those days....................
 

Robbo

Active Member
E51 Owner
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257
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315
Location
Sydney/Forster - Australia
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442
First Name
Robert
Elgrand
E51
Region
Rest Of World
#2
I replaced the gearbox in my Focus with one from a Mondeo (taller gearing) whilst I had the engine out to replace. I chose one from a breaker as I knew it had an LSD already fitted. I did a lot of other work at that point and then put it back together. When I drove it 2nd gear whined like a bastard. I was so peed off.
The breaker gave me another box as he couldn't be bothered looking to fix the existing one but I still had to swap it over myself, including swapping the LSD from the whining box to the replacement.
I found whoever had fitted the LSD had used too much silicone sealing the box up and a chunk of it blocked the oil feed hole in the end of the 2nd gear shaft. So much work because of excess silicone. I know what workshop did that too. Would never have them turn a spanner on my car.

I did kill the car myself once also. Another wire story. I was fitting the power wiring for my amps, there's a big grommet thing for the main wiring loom to go through the firewall and I put a drill through the side of it to run the big power cable. Damn drill bit grabbed and pulled itself in, ripping a bunch of wires in the process. That was a mongrel to fix..... Stress!!!

Many years ago I had a Datsun 1600 which I was modding up. I decided to fit a centre console from a Datsun Sunny to make the inside a better and more practical place. In mounting the tunnel bracket I drilled through the tranny tunnel and into the rear brake line. Had to find another one, fit it and bleed the brakes. On the up side, the console fitted beautifully, looked like it came with it installed.

I'm sure if I thought hard there'd be others, I've done most of my own work for a long time. What about things you broke driving like a git?
 
Last edited:

Snoopy11

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
North West
Messages
921
Likes
1,657
Location
Bolton
E-Bucks
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First Name
Mark
Elgrand
E51
Region
North West
#3
Modifying a wolseley 18/85 in particular fitting fuel injection.
Didn’t tighten a Jubillee clip on a fuel line from the electronic fuel pump to the injectors. Promptly dumped loads of fuel all over a freshly painted engine bay and freshly painted components. It made a right mess of it
 

Parentalnightmare

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
Midlands
Messages
489
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852
Location
Coseley, Wolverhampton
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First Name
Paul
Elgrand
E51
Region
Midlands
#4
Years ago I helped rebuild a Morris minor. We striped it and rebuild the car from the ground up. Rebuilt the engine and gearbox and fitted back I to the car. Finished off a bit of wiring and took it out of the garage to start it and test it.
New battery on, got in and turned the key. It turned over great and turned over and turned over but wouldn't start but would back fire nearly all the time.
After another 3 days of checking the obvious and still nothing we were about to give up.
Opposite us was an old bloke who we knew well and he was sitting on his wall watching us and chatting. After around an hour of watching us trying to start the car again and actually towing it and trying to bump start the bloody thing he got up and came over to us and said, "you've got that distributor in backwards lads".
We looked looked at each other and thought it couldn't be that simple. We turned the distributor 180 degrees and it fired first time, lol.
He could have bloody told us 4 bloody days ago.
 
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