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Brown trouser moments in your shiting career


Dave_Q
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Just receieved a new toy today, a Chinese special clone of an Abrites commander which is mostly a key/immo programming thing. 

I wanted to program some new keys for my van and the kit didn't cost much more than getting a man to come do it. 

Anyway I popped out earlier to read the immobiliser PIN code from the van. 

Software starts doing it's thing, the wipers start going which I think is part of the process to keep the computers awake. 

Progress bar for a minute or so then - nothing. Error message, van has gone stone cold dead. Not a light on the dash nor anything happening when you turn the key to start. 

The error message said to rerun the command if the vehicle wasn't working properly, tried this several times and nothing.

By now I was pretty close to shitting pant. This is the nightmare scenario for knock off diagnostic kit, you brick some expensive bit of car and have to call a grown up to come and put it right for you at a cost of about a thousand pounds. There are options to bodge it with second hand bits but either way I was looking at serious coin to fix my fuck up and a period off the road. 

Luckily I was able to google up a cure and reflash the BSI with a non-broken file, and I even got the immo PIN in the end and managed to program my new key. 

Anyway it got me thinking, what are the brown trouser moments in your shiting career?

Broken something expensive, run out of talent, nearly got crushed from an inadvisable improvised axle stand?

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I had a fairly ratty series 3 Land Rover, on which I had worked through a long list of small fixes and improvements. 
 

Exhaust, battery, wipers, service and...tracking.

I put it into service for a tip run. I drove through the town centre, up a very steep hill to the tip. Came back from the tip down a very steep hill into and through the town centre and back up another steep hill. 4 mile round trip, 20-40mph the whole way.

I reversed into my lock up and as I straightened the wheels, the steering wheel came clean off the column...

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Having had some so-called "professionals" change the brake drums on my Beetle way back in 2005, I was approaching a busy roundabout at about 40, when the brake pedal went all the way to the floor, with absolutely none of the Bug's already fairly pathetic stopping power being applied.

"Oh bother, this is something of an unfavourable development" I said, or a string of four-lettered words to that effect. Started to apply engine braking, but I couldn't get the speed down fast enough. Still doing about 20 going into the roundabout, straight across three lanes of traffic - had to accelerate again to get myself out of the way - and managed to get my exit, which mercifully was uphill. Gravity brought me to a stop in a conveniently placed petrol station. After shoehorning a turtle's head the size of a baguette back up my arse, I tried to find out what had happened.

Brake lines were finger tight, and had allowed all of the fluid to escape. I'd only been driving for a year, and it was at this point I learned a valuable lesson about never using Kwik Shit for anything, and about checking professional repairs for yourself. I tried to raise it with them but despite having a receipt they denied having ever even seen the car. Haven't been back since.

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Back in 2000 I had a Saab 9000 Turbo which I drove down to Grenoble to visit my parents who were living there at the time.  On the way home, I lost all braking on the Paris périphérique, and ended up driving from Paris to Norwich in an automatic Saab with no brakes.  That was interesting.

A little more recent and a slightly shorter distance - I'd bought a Morris Special (based on a Minor but 2-seater with '30s styling).  I recovered it home but the next day I had to move it across the car park, so I got in and fired it up.  I knew the footbrake didn't work (handbrake was fine), I knew the driver's seat wasn't bolted down and I knew the steering wheel wasn't bolted onto the column.  What I didn't know is that the clutch slave cylinder was sticky.  So I put it in first gear, started to come off the clutch, nothing.  Came off a little more, still nothing.  Little more and suddenly the slave unstuck itself, the clutch engaged and the car shot off.  The driver's seat, with me on it, fell over backwards, the steering wheel came off in my hands, and there I was driving across the car park on my back with my legs waving in the air, and no way to steer or stop the car.  Fortunately it was a big car park and I had time to scramble for the handbrake and yank it on, but it must have been quite amusing for anyone watching.

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12 minutes ago, Soundwave said:

Having had some so-called "professionals" change the brake drums on my Beetle way back in 2005, I was approaching a busy roundabout at about 40, when the brake pedal went all the way to the floor, with absolutely none of the Bug's already fairly pathetic stopping power being applied.

"Oh bother, this is something of an unfavourable development" I said, or a string of four-lettered words to that effect. Started to apply engine braking, but I couldn't get the speed down fast enough. Still doing about 20 going into the roundabout, straight across three lanes of traffic - had to accelerate again to get myself out of the way - and managed to get my exit, which mercifully was uphill. Gravity brought me to a stop in a conveniently placed petrol station. After shoehorning a turtle's head the size of a baguette back up my arse, I tried to find out what had happened.

Brake lines were finger tight, and had allowed all of the fluid to escape. I'd only been driving for a year, and it was at this point I learned a valuable lesson about never using Kwik Shit for anything, and about checking professional repairs for yourself. I tried to raise it with them but despite having a receipt they denied having ever even seen the car. Haven't been back since.

I call BS on this. There's no way a beetle has ever done 40!😄

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11 minutes ago, Soundwave said:

Brake lines were finger tight

I believe a certain member of this parish attracted unfavourable criticism in a YT video for doing up the clutch cable adjuster in his 2CV merely finger tight "because no tools".

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Doing the cam belt on an AX 1.4D

 Failed to tighten the bolt for the tensioner.  Turned it all over by hand, suddenly realised I was turning the crank.but not the diesel.pump or valves. 

I actually lay on.the garage floor and had a cry. 

Spent the next 3 hours putting it right. 

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Aged 19, I spunked all of my student loan on a then 9 year old Pug 306 GTI-6. To further prove my wisdom, I decided to bin the standard 15” cyclone alloys that suited the car perfectly and that I had re-clad in Goodyear F1s, for some mega rare 17” anthracite coloured alloys that were an option on the (then) brand new 206 GTI 180 that I saw on eBay. So I spent £600 on them and a further £fucknowshowmuch on a set of tyres (after storing the rims in my room for a month as I couldn’t afford tyres as well which made my mum well happy).

I decided to fit them myself, using the factory jack. Said jack took half an hour to raise the car 3mm, so I only jacked it just enough to get the 15s off the ground. I failed to anticipate that the 17s would have less clearance and as a result, cross threaded every single fucking wheel nut, after tightening them up with the wheel half dragging along the ground.

I had to ring a man to come and fix it. Then once I had sold my kidney to pay for this, I wrapped it round a kerb and bent the rear beam.

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Many years ago I borrowed my brothers D reg Astra van to drive from Wallheath to Stourport-On-Severn via Bridgnorth to collect some mk2 escort parts.

After driving the van in the manner only a 17 year old hot head would,  I pulled into the breakers yard in Stourport (Roy Nunns) and there was a loud bang as the steering column popped out of the pinch bolt fixing that held the column to the steering rack. How this didn’t happen when I was doing 80 plus down the rabbit run I will never know, although if it had of I probably wouldn’t  be here to post about it.

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I remember coming home one evening on the A18 in my slightly rust Mk I Panda doing 50 - 55 mph. As a lorry went the other way the bow wave caused the rusty front of the bonnet to part company with the latch that was supposed to hold it down. 

It's at that point, when the bonnet flips up and totally obscures your view forward, you realise that Fiat engineers knew the shiteness of their cars and had installed a grill in the bonnet so you could see forward just in case.....

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Driving a Talbot Horizon Automatic fairly enthusiastically (or at least as enthusiastically as 1442cc and 85-ish HP can be driven) I discovered that the brake fluid in the car had probably never been changed.  Instant brake failure when the gallons of water it had adsorbed boiled.  No brakes, no engine braking and a very fast approaching hedge.  Slam it into 1 and hoik the handbrake up so hard I thought I was going to snap the cable.

Let it cool off for 10 mins, then drove it very gently home, and on opening the front brake bleeder, a jet of black fluid shot out with steam billowing off it.  Not brilliant.

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I had a Fiat Panda Bianca with bull bars from a 4x4 one, but it was a basic 2wd one. I took the bull bars off to save weight and improve fuel economy and handling. 

On the way home from work the handling/steering went a bit funny and wandery.

I limped home and found both front wheels were pointing outwards. Yes, the bit the bull bars bolted to was structural! 

Bolted back together and all was well. But could have been so much worse. 

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18 minutes ago, busmansholiday said:

I remember coming home one evening on the A18 in my slightly rust Mk I Panda doing 50 - 55 mph. As a lorry went the other way the bow wave caused the rusty front of the bonnet to part company with the latch that was supposed to hold it down. 

It's at that point, when the bonnet flips up and totally obscures your view forward, you realise that Fiat engineers knew the shiteness of their cars and had installed a grill in the bonnet so you could see forward just in case.....

Had an almost identical incident in London with a Seat Marbella I'd just bought!

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After installing a 1300 in my 950 MK1 Fiesta, it used to get a bit warm thanks to the standard rad. Rather of going to the trouble of changing it, I used to leave the bonnet unlatched for extra cooling (possibly). After all, it was front-hinged. I came unstuck doing an indicated 80 MPH over a humpback bridge, got all four wheels off the ground just as the bonnet flipped up, blocking my vision. Thankfully the force of the air slammed it shut again, but just for a moment I was literally flying blind

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38 minutes ago, tul66 said:

I call BS on this. There's no way a beetle has ever done 40!😄

It was slow to accelerate, but it could do a decent speed if you were patient. Actually, I'm pretty sure any time I took it over 60 counts as a brown trousers moment, it was NOT a motorway car. :D

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I have  had hydraulic brakes empty themselves twice in my life, both times I was going downhill...

But luckily both times were empty country roads within a mile from home so it wasnt as scary as it could have been.

I would say looking up between short bursts of welding and seeing the entire bulkhead of a landrover engulfed in flames was my biggest crap in the pants moment.

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While at college me and a mate as passenger, cruising in my rough as fuck 1974 VW Camper. 
 

Cruising till the steering wheel came off going round a major roundabout in Leicester City Centre. This sent the horn into demonic mega screaming mode, which both highlighted the situation  to a busy city centre, and pissed me off as the horn never fucking worked with the steering wheel attached.

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Late one evening in lincolnshire in the 1970s, returning from a holiday in Scotland on my Peugeot BBCT moped with my friend getting inreasingly bored following on his Honda SS125 as we pottered along at 27MPH on a back road, the cloud cover cleared to reveal a bright full moon.  In  a move of such logic that afflicts the young, we both of course switched off our lights.  About a minute later something almost had a head-on crash with us at great speed. It was a scooter rider doing exactly the same in the opposite direction and not restricted by a pathetically slow moped.  It's surprising how many young people survive.

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Bought a Pug 106 years ago, (used to sell loads of them), went to pick it up, old man ready to drive it back.

Get about 1 mile and headgasket blows on said 106. On the M42. Luckily I had a straight bar in my car, a V8 Range Rover Classic.

If you’ve ever towed a 106 with a Range Rover there’s two things to remember. You won’t see the 106 in the rear view mirror, 3ft away on a pole, and you won’t feel the thing when driving. 
 

Forgot about the old man after a while. 
 

Think I heard him scream when I hit about 90.

 

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Have many stories of my tomfoolery.

But one that sticks in my mind. Coming back from Crail Raceway one weekend. 

As a passenger in a pal's Cavalier. Going back home, we came to a sharp bend which happened to be a particularly greasy after a warm day and then showers... 

The car kindly started to kick the back end out. 

We both became passengers and slid over what was an already demolished stone wall. 

Somehow the car wasn't damaged bar some bent wheels and we got the car pulled out. 

Luckily we had two spare wheels. But needed three, Que pal beating the ever living fuck out of an alloy with a crowbar to straighten it. 

As we had to get the car home, because we were stuck in the middle of nowhere and absolutely no other way of getting home. 

But we got it done and drove home fine. 

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1 hour ago, Soundwave said:

Having had some so-called "professionals" change the brake drums on my Beetle way back in 2005, I was approaching a busy roundabout at about 40, when the brake pedal went all the way to the floor, with absolutely none of the Bug's already fairly pathetic stopping power being applied.

"Oh bother, this is something of an unfavourable development" I said, or a string of four-lettered words to that effect. Started to apply engine braking, but I couldn't get the speed down fast enough. Still doing about 20 going into the roundabout, straight across three lanes of traffic - had to accelerate again to get myself out of the way - and managed to get my exit, which mercifully was uphill. Gravity brought me to a stop in a conveniently placed petrol station. After shoehorning a turtle's head the size of a baguette back up my arse, I tried to find out what had happened.

Brake lines were finger tight, and had allowed all of the fluid to escape. I'd only been driving for a year, and it was at this point I learned a valuable lesson about never using Kwik Shit for anything, and about checking professional repairs for yourself. I tried to raise it with them but despite having a receipt they denied having ever even seen the car. Haven't been back since.

Eerily similar to when I got Catford Kwik Fit to fix* the brakes on my '64 Beetle back in 1990. They made noises about it not being easy to work (it is Beetle ffs) and after a couple of delays the bloke said he'd got it as close as possible to being fixed (never have worked out what that meant, but hey I was 17 and you just trust people, right?)

He recommends a test drive so I can see how it was. I cannot remember how far we got nor did the growing rumble particularly trouble me, but it certainly caused enough alarm for the Kwik Fit mechanic* to scream in no uncertain terms that I needed to stop and stop quickly.

Unfortunately the front wheel decided to fall off before any evasive action could be taken. We rapidly, and quite literally, ground to a halt while the now free wheel rolled on ahead in some kind of slapstick motoring comedy. However, this wasn't the end of it. Oh no,  as, and I kid you not, there was a police car behind us containing two somewhat bemused coppers.

What must have greeted them was an obviously concerned, although not concerned enough to fess up mechanic*, and a wide eyed and rather naive 17-year-old. I don't know what mechanic actually told them as I was busy retrieving the rogue wheel from the side of the South Circular, however, they advised me that I quickly find a jack and put my car back together quicker still. Luckily,  after knocking on a couple of doors, a jack was procured, the wheel nuts located and the wheel put back in its rightful place. 

Anyone with any kind of maturity would have read the Kwik Fit bloke the riot act, but not wet behind the ears me. No, I decided to nurse the Beetle back home, but not before settling up and putting a tenner in the Kwik Fit Christmas box.

In the end my Dad fixed the Beetle's brakes with me (as he had suggested before I took it to Kwik Fit). As well as the still duff wheel cylinders we also had to sort out a bent backing plate and a stub axle that was short of one of its three bolts.

I never have quite forgiven myself for being such a twat.

 

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9 hours ago, ETCHY said:

I had a Renault 5 automatic. The throttle stuck open when i was doing about 60mph.

I had to reach down and pull the pedal back.

I recall my arse twitching somewhat..

Had a similar incident when I borrowed my brothers old merc and the throttle pedal stuck whilst driving through Aberdeen shity centre. Redlining and coming sideways out of a junction wasnt planned...

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