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What was your worst automotive "Blunder"? Share the pain.


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Ever wish you could have righted a wrong that was totally your fault?

Buying a real P.O.S., Selling a future Diamond,  Mods that could not be un-done, etc.

I myself have had many "Kick myself" retrospect moments.

Here is one of the worst:

Had a beautiful 69 Charger, TorRed with Black vinyl top. Decided I wanted it to be Black, then when it was in the shop I decided to remove the perfect vinyl top and trim. When it was done I regretted it big time.

 

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Back in 1980, just after my first wife and I split up, I bought my second Mustang. The first was a 71 302 Fastback. Second was a 72 Q code. Not knowing squat about these cars, but knowing enough that this Q code 4 speed was NOT a winter driver, I picked up a third 72 Mach 1, this time an H code that needed quarters fixed and painted. Drove this as my winter beater for 4 years. Back to the Q code. I decided to store it in 83 and did not drive it again till 1987, then parked it again until wife #2 came along and I sold the Q in 91 for 2500 bucks, all I could get for it back then. When I bought this car for 2 grand, it was in extremely good condition, but all the guy told me was it was a solid lifter engine block. It had crappy 2V headers on it and a Chrysler spread bore carb. All I really did with that car was drive the sh*t out of it, changed the clutch a couple of times, but little else. Man was that car fast! 

Now, here's the kicker. It was not until around 2016 and while I was at the shop where my current car was painted, a guy came in and we got talking about my Mustang, which I had with me. It turned out that he knew the person I bought my Q code off, they used to street race their cars. I asked him what he knew about the Q code and why the block had solid lifters. Now this is where I got really sick. The original block got cracked when it froze up, so he got and put a BOSS 351 block in it. I never even took the valve cover off, so no idea what was under there. It ticked a bit when cold, but after it warmed up, the tick went away, so I never really needed to pull the covers, kinda wish I had now. I came across this car for sale in 2005, but the engine was changed, I wonder why. It was also in sad shape!

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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Living here in the middle of NASCAR country we had lots of neat cars show up. I turned down Boss 429 cars for give away prices. During the gas crunch I should have bought and put in the barn. 
On car that I did love was a 1966 fastback 289 HiPo my now departed friend Larry Maxwell owned. It was of course a 4 speed was offered to me for $1,000 and now X wife said not was was I wasting $1,000 on that. It is now in museum in Tenn. 

One thing that was not Mustang I should have grabbed up while working in the race shop. GM had us build a Pontiac 303 engine for Buck Baker who was driving a 69 Pontiac Firebird in the the NASCAR version of Trans Am.. When they delivered all the parts they brought two sets of the Pontiac Ram Air V heads and intakes. That engine never went in a production car but NASCAR let it slip by. They were tunnel ports with intakes the size of a tennis ball or larger. We did not use in the build used Ram Air IV instead. Boss cussed the GM engineers and told them that no 303 CI motor could run with ports that large. Now they are hens teeth of course and sell for thousands each. Here is a pic of one with stock heads. Ford also did a tunnel port 302 while they finished up the Boss 302. It had to be wound to 8,000 to run so did not work out. If I remember right they had rocker shafts instead of individual rockers. We only had one of them in the shop ever. 

I would have needed an empty Wal Mart for storage if I had bought all the deals there out there back then. Side oiler 427 blocks were $300, You could get R model Shelby for couple thousand. And yes those fabled 427 mustangs were here also. I always wondered why for put the 427 in regular production 67 Cougar, over 100,  but very few mustangs. 

hppp_0903_19_z-ram_air_v-ram_heads.jpg

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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The first big regretful mistake:

I'd bought my first 4x4, an '85 Nissan 720 and absolutely loved it - lifted it, big tires, added all of the cool 'monster truck' accessories from the '80s-'90s, and wheeled the crap out of it. 

nissan010892c.jpg

About 3 1/2 years into it, the truck was coughing and puking when you first fire it up and let out the clutch in the morning, but would smooth out and run fine after awhile and not while it was warm during the day. After changing out plugs, wires, cap & rotor and timing the sucker, the problem persisted. Then I threw in some Split Fires, new coils, and bought a used carburetor, which my buddy Dave and I rebuilt and installed. No dice. So I get this idea to take the truck to the Nissan dealership. Lynn Alexander's Autoplex of San Angelo. Hey, I figured: Nissan Truck + Nissan Technicians = Problem Solved. Right? Wrong.  As I was paying the bill, I saw my truck coming into the service pick-up area, but no engine noise...it was coasting. They handed me the keys and I tried to start it - read, tried. Since it wouldn't start, I called the technician back - had to yell, he was running away too quickly. He finally came back, and tried to start it. He then copped a 'tude with me, so I then demanded that he fix it properly - I had just given them $185 for it to work and they had called me telling me it was fixed after all. He adjusted and tweaked and got it to run finally - with the idle at 2000 rpm! Uh-uh, no way. I was not happy. So I told him that I would bring it back down the next morning and they would fix it this time, and unless there were some new developments - I wasn't paying another dime either. They reluctantly agreed.  The next day, I dropped it off as promised. They called me in the afternoon and informed me that they needed to replace the computer - and for only $1500. "WHAT?! What are you people smoking?!" I think was my response. A new computer was something like $150, and all they had to do was pull out my driver's seat to change out the old unit - it's a plug-in affair, and no adjustments are available..it either works or not. There was no way I was going to allow myself to get screwed like that, so I told them to put it back together and I would come get it.  A good friend of mine, who is also a Jeep Guy, used the term "Awfulplex" to describe Lynn Alexander's 'Autoplex' dealership, and I'm afraid that it's stuck with me. And it's a whole lot nicer term to use than what I really think of them. So Yes - these guys suck, too.  After some more failed attempts, and a seeing an awesome-looking '78 K-5 Blazer for sale, I finally decided it was time to throw in the towel on the Nissan and traded it in for the Blazer - which I got majorly hosed on that deal - by a local used car dealership no less.  The ugly, ugly twist to this story is that I bumped into the kid that wound up with my Nissan, and he told me that he fixed the whole problem with some new vacuum hoses (makes sense - when it's cold, they contract and open up the cracks, then close back up once everything warms up - Dammit!). I was instantly sick and pissed at the same time. Plus, he had beat the piss out of my poor truck - cracked the windshield, broken some headlights, and there was now a big-ass dent in the driver's door. Not a good day for me.

Then, several years later, I took my Mom's '87 Nissan Sentra to the Auto Hobby Shop on base to change oil and service the transmission, so I picked up the necessary stuff to do all that (fluids, filters, etc.) and proceeded to do so.  When I went to back the car out, it wouldn't move.  WTF - all I did was change the fluids and filters.  Well, I wound up pulling the transmission, thinking I'd messed it up somehow and tore it apart and spent the next few weeks chasing down the parts needed for a transmission rebuild (bands, clutches, bearings, etc.)... and also picking my Mom up and carting her around to the various places she needed to go.  Got it all back together and ready toss back into the car, and went to get another filter and more ATF.  Before I did, I noticed on the bell housing, in yellow grease pencil no less, the words "1986 Sentra" scrawled.  Oh - OK, so it's not the stock transmission for the car.  So, I went back to the parts store and asked for the filter kit for an '86 Sentra - and it was completely different than the one I'd pulled out.  Then I asked to see one from an '85, and it was the same as the one for the '87, except the pick-up neck was much shallower.  Wow - so, the light bulb went on and I thought that the neck had bottomed against the pan and prevented the fluid from circulating.  I installed the '85 filter, topped off the ATF, and Bingo!  It worked like a champ.  So, basically the junk yard guys got the year of the transmission wrong, the transmission mechanic didn't indicate that it had been replaced, and I'd jumped the gun in assuming that I'd done something wrong just by changing the fluid and filter, wasting a perfectly good transmission rebuild and driving my Mom around for several weeks.

Eric

mach1sig2.gif

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I know I should not be saying this but.....Buying my 71 Mustang, turns out to be an open money pit, loads of welding needed, it's been worked on by a ton of so called Professional auto shops in the USA,  all I can say on that is the previous owners were ripped off!  Its a junkyard dog been patched up and sold on to unsuspecting buyers including ME

Everywhere I turn on the car something is wrong.    I let my heart rule my head when I bought it, I didn't think there was much rust but it was all hidden. Brittle plastic broken parts from the back of light fittings,  to brittle broken A/C heater box.......I could go on and on but I won't.   

Joined the UK Mustang club (which mainly seems to be for owners of Newer Mustangs, No tech help or offers of help).

Joined the local Surrey mustang club UK, again, club members don't seem to help each other out :(

The only good thing that has come of owning my mustang was finding the folks on this website. and the Tech help.

If you re a sheet metal worker have welding skills, mechanical knowledge and are good at auto wiring, then these Mustangs are the car for you.    If you don't have any of these skills, best thing to do is walk away or buy a car fully checked out by a qualified mechanic and body shop.

 

Probably the worst car I have ever bought and sadly it owes me a lot of money to break even, Im current down several Thousand Pounds.

Edited by 92GTS-R
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Sometime around 1999-2000 I had taken my Riviera out for a drive and spotted a nice old Pontiac for sale on the side of the road. Pulled over to take a look and turns out it was a '66 2+2. 421 tri power, 4 speed, 8 lug wheels, blue on blue and about 60k on the odometer if I recall correctly. Asking price $8,000. Pontiac's weren't my thing (and still aren't) but this thing was worth every penny. Lack of garage space was the only reason I didn't jump on it. Still think about that car with regret.

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Not totally my fault but, sold a 1970 Boss 302 wit a fresh engine and new tires for $1600.00 in August 1973. I left for overseas military service 2 days later.

Sold a 1969 Torino Cobra (428 CJ 4 speed) for $900.00 in 1979. I relocated out of state a week later.

The list is longer but I'll stop there. Chuck

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The 1970 428 4 sod shaker, spoiler, louver, Calypso Mach 1 for $4k restored in 1984

The 67 Gt350 for $2500 needs paint in 1986

The 69 390 4 speed Mach for $900 in 1985

The Boss 351 Trade for my blue car in 1983

I was always too short on money to grab one.  Those were the high school and college years.

kcmash

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In college (while driving my 69 Mach) a friend needed to sell his car and made me a terrific offer to buy his 69 Yenko Nova...which I turned down.

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Worst automotive blunder - not pressing the "Bid" button on the prototype 71 B302 when it was on eBay and nobody knew what it was. 

 

 

 

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My friend that does restorations got a new Nissian pick up couple years ago. it had issue after issue and finally the dealer bought it back they could not figure out how to fix it. Happens a lot today not build to fix. My son at BMW sees them crush brand new BMW because the factory cannot figure out how to fix them. My son had F-150 super crew and something in computer kept killing the automatic transmission and nobody could fix so he got rid of. 
When i worked in China we did most of the tooling for the frames on the Nissan and they were ran and assembled in Mexico. Then frames sent somewhere else to assemble.

 

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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Sure......... I wish I had all my old high school cars back.  Like most I thought I was trading up. Couldn't afford 2 cars so one was always traded in.  1965 stang vert. 1967 ss camaro 4 speed. 1964 vet. 1966 V.W bug .......my rides before I was 25 years old.  But this is about automotive blunders.

This happened to me 22 years ago.

I just was released from the hospital from a 2nd back surgery. Before I went in for that one the family (5 kids and wife) decided to buy a used camper and relax some with some camping. I was walking very slow and puttin down some pretty good pain killers. The kids asked if we could go camping the following day of my release. I needed to wire the plug to my f350 power stroke crew cab (7.3). I managed to get the camper onto the stinger ball and plugged it in. I pulled forward only to feel some resistance and saw the trailer tires locked up. Hum :classic_dry:.......well Ok. get out of the truck OUCH. Hobble my way back to the rear and look it over. Anybody that has a 7.3 knows that engine wants to go right. When I got out of the truck it didnt move forward its gotta be in park right? didnt even give it a thought. I reach down unplug the trailer and bye bye truck and trailer. Oh Shi$%^&. 

Im hurting really bad chasing down the truck trying to get into the driver door and stop the truck that has made it across the street and is now in the neighbors front yard. Its headed right for there house. I did manage to stop ( just 3 feet from going in) the rig but scratched my head and said what the heck just happened???.  By now you have figured out what I didnt think of and that was the the electric brakes locked due to being mis - wired by me. Unplug it and break the power......brakes let go. Neighbor came out and said what the hell you doing. The guy has No idea when it comes to mechanics and such so, I didn't even try to explain it to him. 

 

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