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Community Manager

Community Question: Most aggravating car part you broke?

The question for this week is about what car part you broke that really, really got under your skin.  You can't blame anyone but yourself for the part breaking! 


In my case, it might be the (junky) aftermarket headlights I was about to sell for a few bucks on eBay ... until I dropped one as I was putting them into the box for shipping.  It's not like I was dying to get that $25 back for these things, but now I gotta throw them all away. 😤 


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Pit Crew

I was taking my elderly mother to visit her cousin in my recently acquired '68 GTO convertible and in the course of conversation, she asked me what "synchromesh" meant. I replied that it meant you could put the transmission into any gear without double clutching or matching the engine RPMs. And then proceeded to demonstrate. We were coming down out of a canyon and were going about 60. I pushed in the clutch and downshifted the transmission into third, then second, and all was fine. As I attempted to shift from second down to first, there was some resistance, but I persevered, and when it finally went into gear, I was rewarded with a loud bang from under the hood. The clutch would no longer engage.

We were well over a hundred miles away from home, so I hitched a ride to the nearest gas station (this was in the pre-cellphone era) aand called AAA to have it towed to our destination.

I borrowed some tools and disassembled it in her driveway. When I removed the bell housing I got a face full of dust and debris. The clutch disc had disintegrated, leaving only the hub and a few bits of the marcel. Needless to say, I felt like a complete idiot.

To add insult to injury, when the tow truck driver clamped the steering wheel in place so he could tow from the rear axle, he bent the OE rallye steering wheel, breaking one of the spokes away from the hub. And wasn't that a treat to find a replacement!

New Driver

I’m wife had a 2000 Lincoln LS back in the day, & had a flat tire on her way home from work...

being the motor head, I met up with her w/ my floor jack & a 4- way to remove the wheel,

well, wouldn’t you know it, the lug nuts had a chrome trim cover, which even the factory lug wrench wouldn’t fit...

so it took about 45 minutes of pounding the 4 way on the nuts to get ‘em off!

needless to say I had a come “come to Jesus”meeting w/Lincoln dealer, & they replaced all the lug nuts...

Gotta say, even though I’m a Chevy guy, I enjoyed that little v8 LS, put almost 200k on it before selling it, without any issues!

(Probably because my wife didn’t let me drive it!)

Pit Crew

When I started driving back in 1965 I got a flat tire on my Plymouth Valiant, jack her up and proceeded to loosen the lug nuts, no one told me they were Left handed threads, broke off two lugs before I realized it, who knew. 

New Driver

Mine was a head light lens for my 36' Packard. Try to find another one of those!

New Driver

Not something that I broke,  but an aggravating experience of installing a water pump under astere repair conditions. The water pump decided to check out south after 3 years of ownership of my 1974 Capri V-6 4-speed. With the help of my dad, we changed out the water pump without pulling the radiator since doing so in an apartment parking lot would have been really messy. What was aggravating was that the pump involved 13 bolts, 3 different lengths, and 3 different bolt head sizes. I used the old cardboard pattern of the pump to assure the proper placement of the bolts. Job done. Then there was the failed clutch cable...and then later the failed and broken shift lever the morning before I traded her in for my 1978 Firebird Formula. About a year later,  Ford had a recall on shift levers, but alas, I ditched the repair receipt. 

Intermediate Driver

Rod bolt.

First race of the season. Riverside Int'l Raceway. Between the dogleg and T9 @ about 8100 RPM. Blew holes in both sides of the block, cut the oil pan in half, I spun in my own oil and backed 'er into the boilerplate wall still going Goodness Gracious fast. Shortened the car about three feet. The sudden stop jerked the engine off the mounts and punched the starter motor armature and bendix out through the cast aluminium end plate and it rolled down the banking. A thoughtful corner worker tossed it back into the seat.

The cherry on top.

And yes, I built the engine.

New Driver

It was the return outet on a carburator from my 76 FJ-40 LandCruiser. Fell from shelf during a engine rebuild.
Intermediate Driver

ALL of Humankind's various spoken languages employ a very special, in-reserve set of magical words, to be brought forth in specific circumstance. 

 Dealing with vehicular failures brought forth the Best, the Strongest of these, (Cursed Art Thou, O Vile Chariot, by Every God Knownst!) So: *&%$#@! - You! 

New Driver

When I purchased my 1939 Plymouth the dash glass over the instruments was cracked. This is a one year only part. It's flat with a raised dome over the speedometer. They are pretty rare.


I found an NOS one online, then sent it out be re-silk screened. When it came back it was beautiful.


I rebuilt the dash unit on the workbench, installing the glass and the instruments. As I installed the unit on the back of the dash, I kept checking the tightness of the installation by wiggling the speedometer. It kept wiggling as I continued to tightened the dash unit. Finally, I got my head out of the dash to take a break. I then heard what could only be the sound of glass cracking. Yep, I had forgotten to tighten the speedometer to the unit.


I have a new dash glass to install over the winter. Hopefully I'm smarter now.



Advanced the timing too far on a Pontiac with regular gas from the 60's with 10:75 to 1 compression will crack the ring lands one two pistons if they are cast. 

With a Ram Air 4 cam it sounds ok but it starts to push oil out the breather. 


Moral is buy Forged if you are rebuilding.