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Dog-faced pony soldier
 
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Confessions of a 944 Wrencher...

Boy did I screw myself on this one and while it's embarrassing to admit, I have to share so maybe a few of you guys learn from my foolishness...

I just rebuilt the calipers on my '89 which I'm preparing to be my "winter beater". Took everything apart, cleaned, polished pistons, new seals, paint on appropriate surfaces to protect (and look good), etc. While in there I removed and upgraded the coil-overs with a set of Konis I had sitting around. All well and good. Bolted up the new calipers including REALLY having to crank down one of the bolts on one to get it in, etc.

After doing all this I found out that my nice new braided SS brake lines don't have swivel-able threaded ends. What this means is that the brake line cannot be attached to two fixed points (hard line connector and caliper). DUH! So now I have to unbolt the calipers, screw the SS brake line onto it and the rotate the whole assembly (line plus caliper) to thread the end onto the fixed hardline in the fenderwell. Of course now the stubborn caliper bolt won't break loose and there's no way to get a socket on it easily since a mounting bracket on the Konis (which is not present on the stock coil-overs) impedes it (I used a box end wrench to remove/re-install). So now I have to cut away the silly bracket just to get a breaker bar on the bolt to (hopefully) get it off again without busting the head off it (which would mean new spindles probably), to attach the infernal brake line, to reattach the caliper.

Grr. I ought to know better and pay attention to detail! If I'd noticed the new SS lines had no swivel ends I'd have prevented all this mess and probably be done.

Amazing how forgetting to take literally 5 seconds to notice something turns a relatively easy, 2-hour job into a PITA 2 weekender.

That (hopefully) fills my "dumb things" quota for this project!

Share 'em if you've got 'em. Fess up guys - we've all done dumb things like this!

Old 10-21-2011, 04:49 AM
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White and Nerdy
 
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My last "Dumb Thing" was not checking the gap for the fly wheel reference stud when I replaced the clutch on my '84. The flywheel manufacturer had a list of things you should check, and that wasn't on it, so I "assumed" they'd set it correctly...

Well, that was a bad assumption, had to tear down all the way to the clutch again to fix it. I'd also when doing the clutch job installed a aftermarket header that has to be removed to get the bell housing off.

I took the monkey fix it approach, and replaced a lot of other stuff over a period of a few months before realizing that my issue was that little stud. Most of what I replaced needed to be done eventually, but I could of been driving the car. >_<

I also while the tranny was dropped, decided to tighten a nut on my shift linkage, gearbox is from my parts car in Boston. Never buy a 944 from Boston, wrench turned easily, too easy, and hit the floor. Rusted stud and nut came off together = new shift linkage. Then, in a hurry to get done before the weekend was over, I didn't seat the slave cylinder ball end in the clutch fork's dimple...

Last week I redid the brakes on my neighbors E-350 van, fortunately didn't do anything crazy like I did with my own 944 this summer/fall.

Last edited by Tervuren; 10-21-2011 at 05:16 AM..
Old 10-21-2011, 05:12 AM
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White and Nerdy
 
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Oh yeah, I forgot, at one point I'd pulled a fuel injector wire to put a NOID light on. I'd also pulled off a plug wire at the distributer and plugged in an old plug/wire to see if I was getting spark.

Naturally when I tried to crank the car several weeks later nothing happened...hehe. I then notice NOID light. Plug in, go back to crank car, nothing happens. I go back out, and notice I have a plug wire going to no where. Felt pretty stupid on those two.
Old 10-21-2011, 05:19 AM
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I thought my car needed motor mounts so I began what I thought would be a 3 hour project. 1 solid weekend later I had a car that still vibrated like it did before. I adjusted the idle to around 1000 rpm and it was silky smooth.
Old 10-21-2011, 06:11 AM
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Boston/the NE is the worst environment imaginable for cars. Seriously. I wonder why manufacturers don't do testing of new models here since it's SO terribly harsh. If they can survive here, they can survive anywhere.

Temperature extremes - 90-95+ in the summers with 85%+ humidity, lots of rain, teens in the winter, a mix of every possible corrosive agent on the roadways (salt, calcium chloride, etc.), sand/grit that sandblasts protective finishes off, weeks of near-freezing temperatures which add freeze-thaw cycles to things, etc. And the road conditions are horrible. As is the traffic (all the stop-go of L.A., all the time).

I echo the sentiment - never buy anything from here. I won't ever other than a disposable beater that I don't really care about or a screaming deal (which this '89 was). The cars I really care about (my Mercedes and 911) I absolutely, positively DO NOT EVER keep them outside, nor do they drive from the first snowfall until we've had 3-4 good solid rainfalls in the spring to wash every last trace of salt/crud off the roads. This is the ONLY way to ensure that a vehicle survives in this climate. Don't drive anything you care about in the winter - ever. Some people will claim that spray-washing the undercarriage every couple of days works but I don't trust even that level of obsessiveness/paranoia - there are always places salt and corrosives can get kicked into that a spray washer will miss. I don't trust this climate and what it can do to my "keeper" cars - not one bit. I won't let my guard down for a second on it.

I'm looking at possibly getting a 968 next year and won't even consider cars from this part of the country - galvanizing notwithstanding. I'll buy one from AZ or CA or NM or TX and drive it here, then put it in the "summer only" rotation to keep it from turning to a pile of brownish dust.

I'd much rather be doing upgrades and tuning than bodywork or fighting with corroded connectors/fasteners. I feel your pain.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:15 AM
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I did the whole TB and WP and front engine seal, took my time and did everything by the book. I removed my PS reservoir to allow for some more room to do something, I cant even remember what, but anyway when I bolted back up to the bracket I somehow bolted it up too high. How did I know it was too high...when I closed my hood, it made a nice dent in an otherwise perfect hood.

If this was supposed to make me feel better it didn't
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:50 AM
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White and Nerdy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfanazini View Post

If this was supposed to make me feel better it didn't
The purpose is to keep others from going through what we did.
Old 10-21-2011, 09:09 AM
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Kfanazini... I did the same thing a month ago.
Old 10-21-2011, 10:12 AM
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When pulling the cam housing on my race car I had placed the bolts near the battery tray.

During reassembly a few weeks later
I started to put the bolts in and got to 14 and couldn't find #15.

I looked high an low, pulled out a borosope, looked into the cam housing -- no luck.

I pulled back off the cam housing and searched and shook the cam housing to
see if one had fallen in there when I had removed it the first time.

I was about to rip my hair out when I finally say #15 lying under a battery cable.

Two things dummy -- put the dang bolts in a baggy and count them then!

Before putting the cam housing back on -- count the bolts again!

Mike
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:09 AM
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Okay, I'll play your silly game.

Keep in mind this was over 15 years ago! The first job I ever did on my 83 944 was the FOES. I got lucky in that I had a savvy friend helping me out, but he wasn't able to save me from myself when I, thinking I'd flush the head and stressed beyond belief & not thinking straight, stuck the good old garden hose in the #1 spark plug hole and gave that piston a good bath.

Yup... Luckily the piston was at TDC so there wasn't much room for water. No harm was done. That motor's got at least 300,000 miles on it and when I had the head off 4 summers ago everything was fine, but talk about a moment!

That was my WORST and my first.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:17 PM
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I found an oill filter wrench tht looked like it ould fit easily on the filter. It did until you turned the filter then it tore h small hose to the heater tube, doh! Fixed it. Took it to the shop to be checked before I tried DE again. Get a call, there is a puddle under the car. It was leeaking again.. New hose. A couplle weeks later go out to garage flip car around to check tirees on passenger side and fill if neede. Look down see small line of coolant! Miss DE, new hose with a dab of sealant this time, good now. Filter wrench donated to my brother for use on his truck.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:13 PM
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I found an oill filter wrench tht looked like it Would fit easily on the filter. It did until you turned the filter then it tore the small hose to the heater tube, doh! Fixed it. Took it to the shop to be checked before I tried DE again. Get a call, there is a puddle under the car. It was leeaking again.. New hose. A couplle weeks later go out to garage flip car around to check tirees on passenger side and fill if neede. Look down see small line of coolant! Miss DE, new hose with a dab of sealant this time, good now. Filter wrench donated to my brother for use on his truck.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:29 PM
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[QUOTE=ddbach;6324203]I found an oill filter wrench tht looked like it ould fit easily on the filter. It did until you turned the filter then it tore h small hose to the heater tube, doh! Fixed it.

The only filter wrench that work at 100% either on early or late cars is this one.Lol can't even remember when I bougth it. Btw lot easier if you remove the coil wire & put it aside when using it.

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Old 10-21-2011, 04:30 PM
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apologize for double post fighting with a new tablet touchscreen typing not going well.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:56 PM
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Ernie, that is one spit shined motor. What gives?
Old 10-21-2011, 05:52 PM
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"Dude! You kicked my car.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djnolan View Post
Ernie, that is one spit shined motor. What gives?
Have you seen the rest of his car? I wouldn't be surprised if his whole undercarriage looked that clean. lol

Seriously Ernie you have a beautiful car. And good call with the oil filter wrench that's the one I always use too.

Anyways here's my story; Last spring I finished up my top end rebuild on my engine. And after sorting out a few small problems here and there I figured I was in the clear after driving my car for about a week. Then I got my new Dansk exhaust in the mail and immediately put it on. So at this point of course I'm giving the car a proper thrashing. You know redlining first and second and letting it whined down while I slow down (which btw made a really badass double pop from the exhaust). Then all of a sudden I see the big "!" warning light go on and I look down to see what's wrong. I realize I lost oil pressure completely. So I call my friend and he helps me tow it back to my house. It turns out I forgot to properly torque the crank bolt and the pulleys back off enough to stop spinning the oil pump.
Old 10-21-2011, 08:02 PM
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doing a water pump on the turbo in one day. finishing up and tensioned belts and then figuring out that I put the crank gear on backwards.... lol tensioned the timing belt like twenty times before the D'OH moment... lol
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:23 PM
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Added too much 134a, or it could have been old rubber, but the high side hose from the compressor to the condenser blew out. Not a big deal, $30 fix including 134.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:53 AM
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I was rebuilding my '88 turbo. I was confident, but had never worked on motor like this before. I was torquing the lower crank shaft cradle when a buddy of mine came by with a beer. "Break time" he said. So we start dreaming of the day when we could fire her up. My buddy says to me "shouldn't there be a gasket here?"

He was referring to the back of the engine where I had forgotten to put the 'loctite sealer'...thank you Russ! Easy fix while on the engine stand!!!

Could have been a nightmare.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rick13 View Post
I was rebuilding my '88 turbo. I was confident, but had never worked on motor like this before. I was torquing the lower crank shaft cradle when a buddy of mine came by with a beer. "Break time" he said. So we start dreaming of the day when we could fire her up. My buddy says to me "shouldn't there be a gasket here?"

He was referring to the back of the engine where I had forgotten to put the 'loctite sealer'...thank you Russ! Easy fix while on the engine stand!!!

Could have been a nightmare.
Haha nice! Saving the day with beer.

Old 10-23-2011, 05:12 PM
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