Following on some threads a little while back about things like easiest repairs that turned out bad, or hardest ones that turned out easy - and stuff like that - the thread on the Mini Cooper with the lost cam (or crank?) bolt got me to wondering…
As I’ve gone along through my “development” as a DIY, I’ve occasionally had shops tell me that “you shouldn’t do that yourself” - whatever “that” happened to be. I had one shop even tell me I shouldn’t change my own oil. I always just gave them the old “yeah, right” look and left it at that. But I think I’ve been seeing more and more where it might be coming from. I have to assume that professional shops frequently see the aftermath of hack DIY “repair” attempts. And I have to imagine that some of it truly inspires some “WTH?!” exclamations.
So I’m wondering what stories folks might have of some of the most messed up, mind boggling WTH? experiences when getting the “aftermath” of botched up previous work.
I’m partly thinking of this because at the end of last summer I bought a 2001 Dodge Neon from some kid on craigslist. The story is really long, but I only paid $450 for it. I just needed a spare beater. It started, ran, and drove, but the brakes were basically inoperable. So it really cost me about $525 by the time I had it home by tow truck. As I have been putting things in order with it I have had more than one WTH?! experience with it. Here is a relatively mild one that came from doing the rear brakes:
- I pulled the wheel covers to find that one rear wheel was held on by only two lugs. One stud was missing entirely. The remaining two were so mangled and rusted that there was no using them. They hadn’t been used in a long time. The other side - whew - well and least that one was held on by 3 lugs, with one stud missing, but the remaining one was still usable.
- When I tore down the rear brakes (drum), I found that one side had no automatic adjuster on it at all. On the other side, the adjuster lever was there, but the tab that engages the star wheel had actually been ground off of it. WTH? Luckily, I was redoing the entire rear brakes anyway because a leaky wheel cylinder was the cause of the inoperable brakes. But seriously?
I’m sure that for those of you who have turned wrenches for a living, that one is mild. I do have a worse one (not for safety, but for the WTH factor). But I’ll save it.
Any good ones?