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Discussion Starter #1
While snooping under the truck to try and locate an oil leak (see my thread "Where is the Oil Going"), I saw something pretty disturbing. It looked lke the bolt holding the lower front shock mount hadn't been tightened all the way, and if fact it was showing at least 1/4" of thread. Evidently whoever installed these shocks found them difficult to tighten, and decided he didn't really have to.

Well, they were hard to tighten, but really, if you're going to work on cars, you have to resign yourself to doing these things properly or find someone who will. After removing, cleaning and tightening the bolts, I moved to the other side to check those. They were tight, but there seemed to be a foreign object trapped inside the spring. It turned out to be #2 Phillips screwdriver with the handle broken off. Evidently it had been in there a while and had jammed itself in place under the shock.

I now know why this truck had an odd, side to side motion on the road. It's gone now.

I do a lot of work on classic cars, mostly Triumphs, for myself and others, and I think fully 70% of my time and effort is spent in fixing the mistakes of previous "mechanics". Here's another example. My rear wiper didn't work. It didn't work because the motor had been removed. Not just disconnected, but removed entirely. Now, who would go to the effort of removing the motor without spending the extra $25 (I don't think it cost me even that at the pick and pull) and 15 minutes to install a good used one while he was in there? I just don't get it.

Do the rest of you have similar experiences with used cars, or am I just unlucky? What's the craziest thing you've seen from your DPO?
 

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I bought my landy with just 19k miles on it so little chance of a DPO but like you I do lots of work on triumphs, Austins MG's etc and one of my best was someone who didnt want to pull the engine and box together from an MGB so cut the cross brace out of the chassis to do it and then reinstalled with no cross member. you could feel the car twitch as you accelerated. I welded plates on the cut ends of the chassis and bolted in a cross piece
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
...someone who didnt want to pull the engine and box together from an MGB so cut the cross brace out of the chassis...
I can't beat that. That borders on criminal incompetence. Closest I can come is a friend that brought me a TR7 with a stretched timing chain and 8 bent valves. The root cause was a previous mechanic installing a new water pump without properly distancing it, causing it to bind on the cover and put undue stress on the chain, which eventually stretched so far the tensioner fell out. That $2 error caused the hapless subsequent owner a $1500 valve job and timing chain replacement.

Although I think the guy who forgot to tighten the RH rocker assembly on my current Disco also deserves an honorable mention. That little misstep caused the shaft to break and loss of compression on that entire bank. It's the reason I own the truck today, the PO gave up on it at that point and sold it as a non runner at auction.
 

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I know quite a few people who wont touch the TR7 water pump - saw one a few weeks back where they had tried to lever the cover off it with a short wrecking bar without clearance and managed to mangle the carbs when they slipped!
Its quite incredible what people get up to! I saw this picture recently on the MG forums, the guy had rebulit the engine with a post 74 head but had the short rods so he screwed the valve adjusters all of the way in and then tack welded them when he ran out of thread

just incredible

he then sold it to someone and didnt even tell them. I mean probably $1500 to rebuld the engine and then did something like that for $50 worth of valve push rods
keeps me amused for hours
 
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