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Old 02-23-2014, 05:40 PM   #41 (permalink)
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some great stories here.

my most loathed job was reinstalling the engine on an '82 air-cooled VW westfalia parked facing uphill on gravel. pushing the loaded engine hoist was a nightmare. that one is my fault though.

next was trying to replace a CV axle on the same van. it's a big enough PITA to start with, what with the allen bolts for the hub being so far inside the trailing arm. what made it worse was that the bolts wound up being a dreaded cousin of the allen bolt, the 12-pointed star bolt. i stripped almost every one until i finally got one out and managed to clean all the dirt off of it and see why the standard tool for the job fit perfectly but ruined each bolt. i guess someone thought the 12-pointed star bolts were an upgrade.

next would be any other job on that ****ing van, or any other VW i have had the displeasure of working on.

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Old 02-24-2014, 06:55 PM   #42 (permalink)
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The 12-pointed bolts were the stock ones. Most Bugs, Buses, and old Porsches used "triple square" bolts (note that the corners of the 12 points were 90 degrees!) for their CV joints, and some were used in a couple of other places. Like holding the flywheel of the wife's 911SC on.

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Old 02-24-2014, 09:25 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I did a head gasket on a 4 liter jeep. Overall it was an easy job, but we decided to bolt the exhaust manifold on after installing the head. That job takes two people. One to tighten the bolts and one to direct him where to go.

Swapped the transmission on my 93 camry. Decided to drop it out the bottom when it clearly was meant to come out the top with the engine.

Had the same spark plug problem with my 02 Subaru WRX the first time. Took 2.5 hours. Second time I did it was because it needed new valve cover gaskets. Still need to lift the engine, but it is so much easier it is almost worth taking the valve covers off just for the plugs.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:37 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I'm in the middle of a doozy at work. Welding flex pipes into an 07 passat. By the time it's said and done ill have the subframe in and out twice, the exhaust and driveshaft in and out 3 times to check fitment before finish welding. Gona be about seven hours or more. Terrible engineering.
Burn lean and prosper \\ //
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:27 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Had the VW Quantum wagon ( the one I used to have, not current) clutch pedal
arm literally break while parked at work.

A friend helped me locate one on another car to be taken to the crusher the next day.
I had to borrow a company truck, chase down, remove from other car, drive back to work. reinstall in my car which was a torture test for my body as I had to fight with it
for about 3 hours, hanging half in, and out of the car at weird angles until success at
about 11 PM.

Felt satisfied: my effort compounded by my 2 day away 5-7 state trip to be taken
with this car!!! WHEWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SLOW DOWN AND SMOOTH UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![SIGPIC]
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:29 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Twice removing and replacing the stock 150 pound iron intake manifold on a '73 Ford Galaxie 500 without a hoist after I'd sold the original Edelbrock intake and Holley carb on fleaBay. You see, Ford decreed that while a huge aluminum turkey pan was fine for the intake holes and such on the heads, you had to stick on a cork oil gasket on the front and rear edges of the block between the heads with gasket glue, with special attention and extra sealant to the gasket where it went under the aluminum turkey pan on the heads while following the curved end of the block. The first time I just sort of wrangled it up and then somehow managed to get it onto the engine while standing on the ground and leaning over the fender. I finished the rest of the job, torqued the heads and all the rest, only to discover an oil leak from the rear. The next day, I actually crawled up onto the engine, and holding the intake by the carb hole and the the egr valve, I dropped it gently straight down without dislodging the damned oil gaskets from the second intake manifold kit I'd had to buy and managed to get it to seat properly. Much cussing, smashed fingers and blood with the added bonus of a sore back from imitating an engine hoist.

I learned a long time ago that you'll never, ever do anything on an engine more complicated than an oil change without paying a blood sacrifice. There's always at least a bleeding scratch after the job's done.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:44 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Not as great as some of the others, but I had the timing belt in my Del Sol snap in the middle of an intersection and had to get a cheap tow. Decided to change the belt in my apartment complex parking lot and pray.

I don't have an impact wrench, and I spent about 5 hours trying to get the damned crank pulley bolt off - I'm certain it had not moved in 21 year ('92 motor). I snapped a broom in half trying to get more leverage, exploded a 19mm socket, and finally the ******* broke loose when I was sitting on my 36" breaker bar eating a sandwich.

Reassembled it and it turned out the belt was off a tooth.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:06 AM   #48 (permalink)
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this could be understood either way.
worst job Ive ever did was remove all interior from a dodge truck to change heater core. "what were they thinking?"
My worst performance was a Black enamel paint job I thinned too much and aerated while spraying.
That made a nice orange peel second coat. After many hours sanding I sprayed it again and there was still some effects in the paint even though it diddnt show during wet sanding.
SOLD as is lol.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:14 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Swapping 6.2 diesel engines out of a 82 GMC 1 ton dually 4x4, into a 84 Suburban 1/2 ton 4x4...in the dirt, by myself. The Suburban motor broke a piston I think, so I had the GMC which had been a ranch truck, parked up there for a few years, it always needed starting fluid to fire ( bad mistake, ALWAYS fix the glow plugs). I pulled the Suburban on to a slight hill near the swap area, drove the GMC ( which had been running rough and smoking which I thought was a bad turbo seal) to the Harbor Freight cherry picker. I get the engine out of the GMC and use a digging bar to pry the cherry picker around in the dirt till it was out of the way so I could push the GMC down the hill by hand, alone. If I didn't jump in and get the emergency brake on soon enough, the truck would go over a 500' hill into a ravine, so I could not mess that up. Then push the Suburban to the cherry picker, pull it's engine out, pry the hoist around drop engine, hook on "new" engine now sans turbo, because it had a "Bad Seal", pry hoist ( now with a bent support leg from prying it around in the dirt) with engine into the Suburban. Get it all bolted in, wired and fired it up and realize the smoke and rough running was probably a blown head gasket from all the starting fluid. This engine swap took a week, and almost became the end of my mechanic career-hobby. I wanted to set fire to the Suburban and push the GMC off the hill, but I didn't.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:57 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by justme1969 View Post
this could be understood either way.
worst job Ive ever did was remove all interior from a dodge truck to change heater core. "what were they thinking?"
Ahaha!--what year Dodge truck? I pulled the whole interior out of a 2005 Ram , but that was to install a new audio system back when I wasted money on such things.

Maybe not the worst job, but most memorable for me was on the same truck, changing the spark plug wires on a Gen 3 Viper engine without removing the intake manifold (the coil packs on that engine were moved to the valley between the cylinder banks from behind the block, where they were on Gen 2).


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