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chefdave 01-07-2014 10:01 AM

worst job you have done on any car
starting thread for the hardest and most frustating job you have tackled on a car.
Mine is swop spark plugs on wife's 2002 subaru legacy 3.0. Dealer quote four hours to do job. thst should of set alarm bells ringing. after three days with cuts brusies etc on both hands and only doing five out of six plugs discover that sixth plug can only be changed by lifting engine two to three inchs. ummmm waiting now to borrow an engine hoist. nearest dealer is 300 mile round trip and my local super machanic has sold his garage for housing devlopment. :-(

Daox 01-07-2014 10:21 AM

Unbolt the engine mounts and use a jack to push it up. Jack on the tranny, not the oil pan. A buddy at work did his that way. It is a pita.

Worst job for me was probably doing brake lines on a 93 Taurus in the middle of winter. I had borrowed the car because my car needed fixing. Then the Taurus blew a brake line... Thankfully I had mine fixed the next day so I had a car. The Taurus needed a few new lines run. Not absolutely horrible work, but cold and just not fun, and horribly timed.

P-hack 01-07-2014 10:31 AM

While not the worst in terms of total effort, in terms of too much effort for the job, a starter on an older nissan, had to remove the intake manifold/etc to get at it.

CFECO 01-07-2014 10:55 AM

Putting a set of headers on a 68 Cougar with a 390 engine...two days, cut holes in car, blood, etc.

Frank Lee 01-07-2014 11:34 AM

That is a tough question; there are so many instances all vying for the worst. :mad:

Easily in the Top Ten Worst was replacing the clutch cable on a Starlet without removing the dash- OMFG! :eek: I don't think performing brain surgery would be any tougher or more inticrate.

Replacing the rear bank of spark plugs on Moon Unit while away from home in California without benefit of all the extensions and swivels and whatnot I have at home- OY. I had to remove the intake manifold to do it. Well, I'm not sure it can be done "manifold on" no matter what tools are available. Diagnosing and replacing the water pump on the same car ranks right up there too; everything was backwards and upside down. The t-stat is on the BOTTOM?!? The right front wheel and INNER FENDER must be removed to change the water pump?!? WTF????

Come to think of it, though, heater core replacements are usually even worse. Sometimes you have to lie upside down and turn inside out, and also have backwards flamingo joints in your arms and legs to maneuver down there under the dash or between the engine and firewall, all while putting your back and neck out of joint. Being a giant walrus of a galoot does not help either.

For sheer stupidity, replacing the failed oil pan gasket on the 3.0 V6 '98 Ranger has to take the crown. That was NOT one of Ford's better ideas! :mad: :mad: :mad: First of all, it had this funky spongy rubber gasket- of the likes I'd never seen before or since- with little metal spacers at each bolt hole to take the torque of the bolts. This brilliant design and material selection SPLIT the entire length of the gasket, so we're not talking about a little oil drip; when that thing let go the oil POURED outta there whenever the engine was running. :eek: Clearly a manufacturing defect, right? I brought it to the local Ford stealership and it sat in their lot about four months while we argued about who gets to fix it. Finally I decided that even if I did get them to do it, they would sabatoge it somehow so I brought it home to deal with it. Long story long, I had to remove the right front suspension and unbolt the engine and raise it up as far as possible without completely removing it in order to drop the oil pan enough to change the gasket. The thing looked like a model car kit all blown apart in my driveway, all for one lousy stupid gasket. :mad:

It is worth mentioning that living in the Rust Belt causes just about every "underneath" car repair job to be an adventure of twisted off bolts and other things destroyed by severe corrosion. Thanks for NOTHING, salt trucks! :thumbup:

It has just been -26 deg. F., and that seems to cause cars to demand service even more than usual. I have dropped gas tanks to replace fuel pumps is **** weather like this. I have replaced transaxle differential bearings out in the driveway in this ****, digging a pocket in the snow to work. Yeah, fumbling around with cold metal parts means lots of trips inside to warm up the fingers.

Oh well. I do it for the fun and joy of it.

California98Civic 01-07-2014 12:28 PM

Transmission swap, hands down. It was difficult. But it was fun. Overtime, I am sure the novelty will wear off. But I will also be more experienced. When I need to do it again, I will have a hoist handy.

t vago 01-07-2014 12:43 PM

Changing a transmission on a 1981 Dodge Aries, using nothing more than a 2 ton bottle jack, and hand tools.

user removed 01-07-2014 12:56 PM

With 60k hours of car work not including non customer projects, it would take the longest thread in Ecomodder history to relate the pains in the arse I still remember.

One was changing the dash light bulb in a 65 Lincoln Continental. Book says R&R dash. 90degree twist socket, could only touch it with two fingers, no thumb. I used a blindfold since my eyes were useless, hand cramps many times, had to quit, could'nt let the bulb drop into the abyss or I might never find it by touch alone, careful to not unintentionally disconnect anything, old tech wires and sockets.

Took an hour and a half.

Will post more as I think of them.

One of my techs, Nissan certified master, had the flywheel out of a 1991 300 so fast it was still too hot for the machine shop to surface it after a 6 mile drive to the shop.


CFECO 01-07-2014 01:33 PM

R & R, the truck 4 speed trans out of a 72 Blazer 4x4 by myself. While replacing, it fell off the trans jack I rented( after removing the trans by hand), trans landed on a 30' tape measure, which exploded. First and only time I ever "Saw Red".....

Fat Charlie 01-07-2014 02:46 PM

Front brakes on the Subaru. The caliper was seized, so I had to put it back together with mismatched old and new pads and drive to the parts store for a caliper. Took everything apart and found that the caliper was a bad listing. Put everything back together and drove to the dealer, got home and finished the job.

Subaru plugs are doable, if you have an assortment of adapters and extensions. After you manage to twist the coils around far enough to get them out, slip the spark plug socket in the well. Then cobble together an extension for your ratchet, stick that in and try to mate it up with the socket and then that with the plug. Every few turns you're going to have to take it out and remove one of the pieces in your homemade extension. Then do it all over again in the other direction with fresh plugs. When I did it, it took 2:45, most of the time spent wondering how to do it with what I had on hand.

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