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Sajeev
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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51 REPLIES 51
hyperv6
Gearhead

I don’t break parts! They break me!

VolvoSleeper
Pit Crew

Cracked clear tailight cover on S 2000 Honda Roadster.  Have to buy the whole assembly for 620 dollars 

hyperv6
Gearhead

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. 

 

oldcardoc
Pit Crew

Boy do you have that one right.  LOL  Cars can be very expensive to repair and restore ,thats why I do all my own body and mechanical work  and thank the LORD  I can do it otherwise I wouldn't be doing  a restoration on mine thats for sure . 

 

Guitar74
Gearhead

It wasn't me, but my friend's older brother. He had a, I think '79, Buick Grand National that he bought as a roller (perfect body and interior sans turbo 6). He put a Pontiac 400 in it. We are all excited because he let us middle schoolers go cruising with him that night. So he gets to one of the turnaround spots and decides to show out and lay a patch. What happens? He annihilates the 10 bolt rear end. So the car revs up, lays two feet of rubber and has to get towed home. It was like watching Ralphie shoot his Red Rider for the first time and almost shoot his eye out. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

10 Bolts behind anything with torque is just asking for trouble!  The Grand National came out in 1982 (very rare) so it was maybe a Regal Turbo with a V8 swap? 

Guitar74
Gearhead

Just looked up the '78 Regal Turbo, that was it. It was a two toned bronze. I had a 10 bolt in my '79 Camaro with a 350 horse 327 built to quite a bit more than that. Of course it didn't have that poncho 400 torque, but it held up fine to 4,000 rpm clutch dumps.  Like I said though, it was not a 400 Pontiac in front of it. It actually held when the clutch didn't. 

Guitar74
Gearhead

Greg did the 400 poncho swap after he bought the car as a very nice roller.

Rob1
Instructor

Lug nuts on our soccer mom van those chromed metal sleeve over a nut that by the time you beat it heat it has no socket size except roughly round,Snapon does not sell a round impact socket.I have replaced all of them with solids but not before having to drill the studs out here and there and when torqued to spec when fall comes and time for winter tire changeover it seems as though they have been welded on the stud and I use liberal amounts of anti seize every time against the manufacturers recommendation lots of kind words spoken. Cheers
Rob1
Instructor

Ok new rant today our tried and true F 350 4wd King Ranch which serves only as a tow vehicle summers only I hardly ever see it as my dear wife hauls her Equines here and there arrives at home the wife says sounds like a rubbing sound coming from the front ARRRRG wheel bearing on its way out darn cassette bearings being a mechanic a good percentage of my life i just cant stand farming out the job but at 64 YO the thought of beating that hub off just grinds me bearings you use to grease lasted forever Ford of Kanada want 1 G note for the cassette brg yea like iam paying that, tomorrow in the shop 2 drink minimum. Cheers
427nova
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!)

TonyT
Instructor

We found out that a 10-bolt and a 12-bolt share quite a few dimensions, and that GM bored the carrier to accept the larger axles. While the bearings may be larger, the affected area is somewhat compromised. We were able to run a carefully assembled 10-bolt with premium parts behind a nitrous-assisted 440 Chrysler in a '71 Dodge Colt, with a 4000 rpm converter and 13 1/2" slicks for three years! No axle problems at all. Couple of engines, though...

Guitar74
Gearhead

That was one tough 10 bolt! The one I had in my Camaro survived quite a few clutch dumps with traction. Never hiccupped.

Miketheump
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. 

Guitar74
Gearhead

I had the same thing happen when I first got my '69 Sport Satellite. I swear mother Mopar wasted WAY to much money at the behest of little engineering "exploits" like left handed threads on the left side that centrifugal force would keep tight. Don't even get me started on the two different a833 transmissions, four different rear ends, etc. 

gyashko
Intermediate Driver

OK, your story reminded me of another one that's honestly more embarrassing than aggravating. It was the same '68 GTO convertible that I over-revved and exploded the clutch in, but a few years later after a frame off restoration. I got into a really ugly argument with the wife over something stupidly trivial (Which always seem to be the worst ones!) and I stormed out of the house, hopped in the Goat, laid a patch in reverse backing out of the driveway, and really nailed it taking off down the road. The cloud of smoke was impressively large and thick. Just as I'm ready to slam into second, there's a bang from the rear and it rolls to a stop without even a whimper. I realized that I still had the parking brake on and, with the non-posi rear, the driver's side rear tire had been half dragging while the passenger side had been spinning like mad. I'd shattered all four spider gears. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

But the worst part was having to go back into the house and face my wife!

Torino
Advanced Driver

' if it doesn't fit force it. if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway'. - old expression.

JimR
Instructor

Not long ago I was removing a wheel which had, among its five bolts, one of those keyed lugnuts that require a specific socket. A bit distracted by a sore back I didn’t bend over quite far enough to see clearly, slid the impact with a standard socket on to it and pulled the trigger. I think the technical term for the result is called a f&$#ing mess.

After breathing exercises using every naughty word in my considerable repertoire, I spent the next hour with a mini-file cleaning up the ribs of that special  lugnut so the keyed socket would go on and the wheel could be removed.
Both my back and pride are still a little sore. 

Guitar74
Gearhead

I hate those. I like the splined ones even less. 

audiobycarmine
Instructor

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! 

VTPete
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.

 

dykaar
New Driver
JimR
Instructor

In case anyone else didn’t know,  W210 and E320 refer to models of Mercedes Benz.

 

EmmanuelNY
New Driver

The accelerator cable on my 1970 911, litterally a minute before the state inspection, in France. Just found it on the ground, below the car, that... would not start. 
A bit of welding in the shop around the corner, and back on the road, with a clean inspection 🙂

Bit of luck, but cold sweat...

TomBrattin
Intermediate Driver

At the tag office (DMV to west coasters) in my new to me 2011 BMW 335i convertible, pulled into the lot and felt a little bump. When I came out, I could not back out of the spot.  The car seemed stuck. Rather than getting out and seeing the problem, I gave it more gas and backed out. I had hooked the front facia over a concrete bumper and tore it when I forced it back. I am so pissed off at myself I still haven't fixed it.

Guitar74
Gearhead

When I was in High School, I got mad at my ex girlfriend for "showing up" where I hung out and did the exact opposite. I started my car didn't think out of anger, dumped the clutch and burn out over two parking curbs. I drove for a block, got out, checked for damage. Thankfully, the only thing I hurt was my pride due to my stupidity brought on by a knee jerk reaction. Lesson learned.
Guitar74
Gearhead

I have two: The first is the back intake bolt on the 289 in my Cougar. When I removed the cast iron piece to put the aluminum intake on it, I twisted the head off. I bought a set of bolt extractors which got it out, but I was sweating every step of the way. The second was the crank snout on the 318 in my stepdad's Duster. When I pulled the balancer, the "snout" on the balancer puller buggered up the first thread. Again, an easy fix. But at the time, a major p.i.t.a. Wait, I though there were only two. On the same engine, the wet bolts that go through the timing cover were seized and I destroyed the timing cover trying to get them out. An hour drive and $20 later, I had a new one. Still, it was another inconvenience when trying to disassemble an engine. It's ESPECIALLLY true when you are making progress and don't want to stop to drive 30 miles into town to get a replacement.

 

I'm sure there are more, but those three really stick out in my mind.

HASCpres2019
Intermediate Driver

I bought an accessory Goddess of Speed hood ornament for our '40 Packard. It fell out of my hands while placing on a shelf for future installation and the glass wing shattered. A repro wing was purchased ,but it's not original !IMG_1266.JPG

OnScout
Pit Crew

A single bolt for the transmission pan on my 240Z. Reassembled it with a new gasket, hoping it wouldn’t leak, but (naturally) it did...
Ed_Turbo
Pit Crew

Spoiler
Dumb Mistake!

  I will tell you about a recent accident that happened to me. A month ago, I went to the junkyard and found some really nice Hella tail lights for one of my cars. These lights were in almost perfect condition. I purchased them without a warranty (which means you cannot return them for any reason). My day and luck were going well so far.

 

  Walk to my car carrying tools and parts, I tried to grab my keys until a tail light slips and falls on the floor. I just remember the sound of plastic shattering. This was such a foolish thing that I should have known better when it happened. 

Guitar74
Gearhead

We were helping my cousin restore his '77 Chevy pickup back in high school. We went to a pull apart junk yard to get a windshield. About the time I told him and my other friend to be careful, I hear a slight pop and watch the crack grow across the windshield. I already started to walk away when I turned around to see my buddy Mike (the second culprit trying to get the windshield out pretend to polish the windshield before they both started walking towards the exit with a look like the cat in the cartoons that spits out the canary feathers. I was in the car by this time laughing at the two of them uncontrollably.

PJJB
New Driver

My Mid-year Corvette has Knock-Offs put on with a lead hammer, and once tightened there is a lock pin (drift pin) that secures the knockoff wheel nut to the axle to prevent the wheel nut from turning.  Was replacing all the tires and of course had one wheel where I could not pull the drift pin out. Tried everything and also tried vise grips with a hammer...no joy!  Was necessary to drill out the pin which ruined the knockoff wheel adapter, and the wheel nut  That was a costly mistake ($300+).

 

 

gyashko
Intermediate Driver

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!

turquoisetom
Pit Crew

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

lohpilot
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. 

Guitar74
Gearhead

Ah, the Ford water pump debacle even exist on British v6 cars. It's no better on a 400 Cleveland. It will make you want to stab a loved one in the neck, and then buy a Chevy.

win59
Detailer

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.

tlittlehorses
New Driver

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

Speaking of headlights, I had a box full of T-3's that I had checked out to make sure they all worked. We were moving from one town to another and sure nuff. The box fell and most of them broke. I had them in my 64' Chevy Impala super sport and I was going keep them for spares. Most of them broke. Try and find them today. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

Oh no!  I feel your pain, at least the junk I broke was just that: junk! 

Greg_I
Advanced Driver

Ever completely bugger up the threads to the balancer bolt on an Oldsmobile V8? Ever try to find a balancer bolt, let alone a die to fix your buggered up balancer bolt for your Oldsmobile V8? Well I have and I am not proud of it. Clean your threads kids and you won't need to go on the world's worst hardware scavenger hunt.

toploader
Pit Crew

Mine was a water pump bolt that went through the timing cover to the block on my small block Ford. Had to tear it all back apart to fix. Lesson learned many years ago, buy all new bolts!!
farna
Advanced Driver

Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS). It just quit, I didn't exactly break it. But in a Jeep XJ it's hard to get to, and in my 63 rambler it's even harder!! Quit in the Rambler (with 4.0L Jeep engine). Had to have it towed home, luckily it wasn't far away. The speed sensor rotor in the AW4 trans I'm using in the Rambler is a PITA. Apparently it's lost its magnet, so no more speed sensor for the TCU. I have a manual shift box on it, have for the last 10 years or so. Can't seem to find that rotor new. I kind of like manually shifting with no clutch, so haven't taken the output housing off to see what happened...
Tinkerah
Technician

My worst wasn't a part so much as the entire car. Towing a rolling shell to a customer who had cash waiting the thing caught fire. No motor, no tranny, no fuel and no battery and this thing burnt to an unrecognizable crisp in fifteen minutes. So quick I almost didn't get it unhooked from the truck in time to save the truck. How you might ask? It started with a dragging brake caliper I didn't notice.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Now that is bad luck. You might win this round! 

NITRO450EXP
Instructor

1978 J 4000 Jeep truck.

Was going to restore it, until Every bolt in the 360 V8 manifold broke.

Sold for scrap.

 

Broken fasteners in general perplex me.

 

Nitro

jonZ
Instructor

This could be a long list. Every part I break, either breaks my heart or my pocket book! But hey....."That's the Breaks"

jonZ
Instructor

Just broke another part!! I'm sportin' a splint on my left BIRD FINGER. I did however save the starter motor from falling on the slab. Good thing I wasn't in Washington or I could have been mistaken for inciting a riot. LOL. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

Starters are certainly heavy, so I can imagine how, um, uncomfortable that moment was for you.  Sorry to hear this, I hope you feel better soon!