For all you yukksters out there, skip answers like, “Buying a Ford/Chevrolet/Dodge” that’s not the intention of this question. No, we want to know a screw up you have made while wrenching, racing, or just living as a gearhead. It happens to all of us and it always seems to happen during times when we least expect or need it to happen. We’ve all had situations where we accidentally drop something down the throat of a carb and fire an engine only to hear horrible noise and failure soon after. There’s got to be a few of those.
I’ll lead off the proceedings here. My dad and I had built a fresh engine for the Nova we raced together when I was in college. Motor in, starts up, runs good, life is perfect. We take it to the drag strip, I proceed to do my burnout, stage the car, mash the gas and there I go, rocketing down the track like a hero with our new, much more spiffy engine. Meanwhile under the hood. Things are not happy.
We had neglected to put the bolt into the small hole in the front of the block that is drilled all the way into the cavity where the fuel pump pushrod lives. At idle and low RPM operation this is no big thing. BUT, when you are roaring down the track with the engine spinning 6,000+ and its on the floor, this becomes a larger issue.
We hosed oil down almost all of the track and I was damned lucky that I did not get into said oil and wreck the car. That was pretty embarrassing.
Then there was that one time my buddy Dave at the gas station sent a customer home with no FEAD on the engine of their car…