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Worse Home Mechanic F*ck-Up

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
I was reading about the stripped hanger story (and how he didn't want to pay for a replacement), so I want to hear the worse Home Mechanic mistake.

Back in the ancient days where aluminum frames were glued together (no joke), my friend insisted on building his girlfriend's Alan instead of the shop. Well, he put the seatpost in ungreased (I also suspect the seattube needed to be reamed), got it stuck, and ended up separating the seat tube from the lug.

He brought it back to the shop for them to resassemble, and never told his girlfriend he destroyed her frame. I actually told her 2 years later, when I realized he never did. Luckily she was not very serious, otherwise that frame would have folded on her.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
Mweh, I got nothin' interesting. Just a lot of people being retarded with stuff like 'Oh, I only slipped an allen key outta this hole twice, it's not too rounded..."

A good friend of mine superglued his dropout back into his rigid fork (pre-suspension days) every 3 hours for a whole week on a MTB holiday though, and he somehow didn't die. The weld cracked right on the join and the entire dropout became a weak inference fit in the fork leg. The stiffness of the dropout on the other side clamped to the hub mostly held it in place enough so he was lucky.
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
i haven't done any, myself, and can't think of any. i'm boring.

wait!

i stripped an ODI Lock-On bolt once. oh, and i situated the cables wrong on a road bike once. i felt pretty stupid. not sure how i managed to flub that up.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,878
3,701
Sleazattle
Friend of mine crushed his cannondale road bike by clamping the top tube in a work stand.

I crushed the steerer on an old quad 21 by overtightening a Syncros stem that had some ridiculous wedge clamping system.
 

Tenchiro

Attention K Mart Shoppers
Jul 19, 2002
5,407
0
New England
I stripped out one of the lugs for a water bottle screw by putting the screw in crooked...


That still pisses me off. :p
 

BikeGeek

BrewMonkey
Jul 2, 2001
4,407
56
Hershey, PA
Step 1: insert fork steerer tube in to head tube
Step 2: install stem, mark top of stem position on steerer tube
Step 3: cut steerer tube 1/4 inch below mark to allow for top cap and tightening
Step 4: swear and throw things because I forgot to install spacers when marking the cut line
 

BussaFrame

Monkey
Apr 19, 2005
198
0
BikeGeek said:
Step 1: insert fork steerer tube in to head tube
Step 2: install stem, mark top of stem position on steerer tube
Step 3: cut steerer tube 1/4 inch below mark to allow for top cap and tightening
Step 4: swear and throw things because I forgot to install spacers when marking the cut line
:stupid: I only had to make that mistake one time before I started measuring twice.
 

Dirty

i said change it damn it....Janet...Slut!!
Aug 3, 2003
523
0
When iwas working at a shop one of the other guys there somehow got a seatpost stuck in a Litespeed road frame. I think it was one of their lower end frames...but this was like 7 years ago, so it was still a $1000+ ti frame. Apparently they send along the wrong size post, but he was a dumb*ss and decided to force it in anyway. I think the solution ended up being a grinder to the back of the seat tube...
 

Spunger

Git yer dumb questions here
Feb 19, 2003
2,258
0
805
Hmm...I've done the lock-on grip thing. Stripped one bolt before I found out bikes were all metric. Had to dremel the screw off. That sucked.

Watching a bike be built helps heaps in this though. I got lucky and the first bike I watched be built was my DH bike. After seeing how lines are cut, brakes are bled, headsets pressed in and such it all makes sense.

I also have a Hope Bulb rear hub. I tried to convert it to 12mm TA instead of QR. The kit was suspose to "slid in". Well it didn't. I pounded on it and did everything in between and still nada. I had to cut the end of the axle off and pull it back out, send the wheel to Hope and have them do it. Man did that suck too. No more Hope hub conversions for me!
 

Grizzle

Monkey
Sep 7, 2005
216
0
La Crescenta, CA
I had a 13 year old asian kid come into my shop complaining of his brakes not working and they were squeaking. I stopped and looked at what was going on, and they had actually taken something like wheel bearing grease, and coated the rim with it in hopes of getting it to stop squeaking. I had to politely explain the mechanics of how brakes worked, and why you can't put grease on a rim. Stupid cheezemo chrome rims with cantilever brakes....
 

BrandonWatts

Monkey
May 4, 2005
192
0
raymond, WA
i was working on my fork and was taking the lower legs off and turn the allen at the bottom of the rebound cart the wrong way and snaped it. i was pissed. then i went and look at the manual for the forks. man did i feel like a dumbass
 

dhpimp

Monkey
Mar 23, 2005
151
0
MILFS BEDROOM
BrandonWatts said:
i was working on my fork and was taking the lower legs off and turn the allen at the bottom of the rebound cart the wrong way and snaped it. i was pissed. then i went and look at the manual for the forks. man did i feel like a dumbass
:stupid: I did the same on a Marz. Atom Bomb about 7 years ago. Felt even worse when i saw that the cartridge cost like 200 bonez!

I have also cut a steer tube too short. Quickly learned the Carpenter's Credo: Measure twice, cut once!
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,975
34
I worked in a few different shops in Berkeley. Many DIY cyclists would come in to have us fix their mistakes.


Oh the horrors.....!
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
Spunger said:
Hmm...I've done the lock-on grip thing. Stripped one bolt before I found out bikes were all metric.
Loc on bolts are very easy to strip. Soft Alu on soft Alu...

Oh and what I replied to say: S+M use 1/4" allen bolts on their Redneck stem. Only time I've run across imperial bolt sizing on a modern bike. Old shopper bikes and so on are imperial normally.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,975
34
Changleen said:
Loc on bolts are very easy to strip. Soft Alu on soft Alu...

Oh and what I replied to say: S+M use 1/4" allen bolts on their Redneck stem. Only time I've run across imperial bolt sizing on a modern bike. Old shopper bikes and so on are imperial normally.
Lots of BMX part are.
 
Apr 9, 2004
516
8
Mount Carmel,PA
I know a guy who cross threaded and totall stripped out his bb bracket threads on a brand new m1. also know a guy who had his frame powder coated and didnt tell them to cover all the important threads and holes and such, had to torch and melt all the pc away. I have the cut the fork tube too small not once , but twice. I work in a shop , you cant believe some of the "bailing wire,& duct tape jobs" I have seen!!
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,758
182
NORCAL is the hizzle
Here is a partial list:

Cross threaded and otherwise mangled bottom bracket cups and BB shells.

Ovalized head tubes and ruined headset cups, often from the old "hammer and a 2x4" trick.

Cross-threaded crank arms.

Over-tightend square taper crank arms - some very 'spensive Italian ones.

Crushed handlebars and steer tubes from overtightening.

All possible wrong spoke lacing configurations, a category that includes but is not limited to mismatched hubs and rims (like, 32H hub and 36 hole rim), wildly wrong spoke lengths, and just wrong lacing.

Whacky wheel dishing to make it "look right" in a bent or misaligned frame or fork.

All possible wrong bearing orientations (upside down and crushed in the headset, bb, wheels, etc.)

And, ever see a novice try to glue a tubular? Or a novice try to rebuild a sturmey 3-speed? Or...
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
Yesterday, someone came in and wanted a new wheel because his old one had some grindy bearings. After realizing the cost, he wanted to just replace the old bearings, but after he took apart the loose cone nuts, the bearings fell out onto the counter. We had to rebuild it for him on the spot.

Actually, I realize whenever someone wants to fix his own flat tire in the shop, I have ended up doing it for him, usually for free. It is almost comical to see these guys mess it up.
 
Over-tightened an LX crank, and had to cut it off!!! Installed a set of profiles(euro BB), w/o enough grease, and when I went to take them out later, The BB was really stiff, and ended-up tearing out the BB-shell threads(luckilly able to be re-tapped), BB-cups were replaced by warrenty(Then cracked arms, replaced by warrenty, and sold immediately after)!!! :p
 

kinghami3

Future Turbo Monkey
Jun 1, 2004
2,241
0
Ballard 4 life.
I once tried to seat the bottom bearing cup of my headset by cranking down on the top-cap. Stripped the first bolt. Had to get in there with a dremmel. Snapped the second bolt in half. Third time was a charm, but I felt retarded. I can't believe I didn't rip the star-nut right out of there. I've also gotten tri-flow on the disk while lubing the chain, stripped bolts, cross-threaded just about everything you can cross-thread. etc.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,758
182
NORCAL is the hizzle
Oops I forgot:

The old "Stripped out the threads on my crankarm because I didn't take the washer out before I used a crank remover" trick.

Stripping/ruining star-fangled nuts and headset top caps from tightening without loosening the stem.

Backwards forks.

Gear cables clamped in the kickstand. Ahhh the memories. :D
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
caputo1989 said:
Over tightent the clamp bolts on a QR20 and snaped it right off.
Yeah, well three of us at the shop broke qr20 bolts. I am glad Marz changed that design...
 

dhpimp

Monkey
Mar 23, 2005
151
0
MILFS BEDROOM
sanjuro said:
Yeah, well three of us at the shop broke qr20 bolts. I am glad Marz changed that design...
Those QR clamps must have been the worse designed cam ever. One broke on me while riding down a 20ft rock face.
 

SK6

Turbo Monkey
Jul 10, 2001
7,596
0
Shut up and ride...
Loosened wrong screw and release gas in rear shock. No one looking was irrelevant, as I had come to find out; most of the pressures are supposedly proprietary.

:think: I learned a lot that day….. :dork:
 

SK6

Turbo Monkey
Jul 10, 2001
7,596
0
Shut up and ride...
It's amazing how that feeling is only recreated when you do something similar, like the shock and ensuing silence, soon thereafter followed by pit in stomach, then of course, there is the denial period.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
maxyedor said:
as part of the usual hazing i told a newby mech he put the chain of backwards after an hour or so of trying to figure out the sram quick connecter he went home, don't know where he went after that
The worse in the shop was a guy who was trying to put a Shimano pin into a sram chain. After 20 minutes of struggling, I noticed his mistake. After struggling for another 20 with the sram master link, I came over and showed him how to do in 3 seconds.

P.S. This guy was also a paramedic.
 

be-radd

Chimp
May 31, 2004
96
0
O-town
Sticking to forks; before i was fork savey i rebuilt my judy sl with 10w30 motor oil in the winter being cheep and not buying real shock oil. I got about a mile out in the woods and it locked out and wouldent work untill i got the sun back on it. The other guys at the shop never let me hear the end of it.
 

MrCookie

Chimp
Mar 1, 2005
73
0
Bend, OR
I had a friend come to me because his BB was failing. I pulled the BB, and about 2 ounces of water followed it... gotta be carefull when washing bikes not to let water run down inside the seatpost, and down into the seat tube.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,975
34
be-radd said:
Sticking to forks; before i was fork savey i rebuilt my judy sl with 10w30 motor oil in the winter being cheep and not buying real shock oil. I got about a mile out in the woods and it locked out and wouldent work untill i got the sun back on it. The other guys at the shop never let me hear the end of it.

I opened up a customer's 98 Manitou SX because he said it "felt a little too stiff after his friend re-built it".

I found the damper had been completely filled with heavy automotive grease. Not shock oil, but grease.

I told him to fire his friend.
 

MrCookie

Chimp
Mar 1, 2005
73
0
Bend, OR
The other good one was the friend that was swapping out pedals without knowing that one has lefty threads. Needless to say, it was on there so tight, I had no chance of getting it off without getting midieval on it.
I ended up completely disassembling the pedal down to the spindle, removing the crank arm from the bike, grinding flats into the sides of the spindle, pinching the flats on the spindle in a bench vise (this is after losing the threads in some el cheapo vise-grip pliers), and sliding a pipe over the crank arm as a cheater bar. I did get the parts separated though.
 

Bearmntpicnic

Monkey
Oct 23, 2005
838
0
charlottesville
I sent my rear shock out to manitou and they lost some bolts. They sent it back without them. I sent it back and they wouldent replace them. It took about four months

Worst downtime ever
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
3,304
462
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
quick heads up there you should never send anything to a company that they did not make and do not need to accomplish the repair work, it's not that their being dicks at manitou they are in fact some of the coolest guys in the industry, they just don't have time to label your bolts.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
maxyedor said:
quick heads up there you should never send anything to a company that they did not make and do not need to accomplish the repair work, it's not that their being dicks at manitou they are in fact some of the coolest guys in the industry, they just don't have time to label your bolts.
Not exactly. Manitou does a fine job of repairing and servicing their forks. Considering 3 of the 4 big fork companies manufacture their forks overseas, they are all the same in terms of servicing forks they don't make at home.

However, leaving some bolts on a shock before shipping it out is a good home mechanic f*ck-up. You cannot expect them to hold onto the mounting bolts.
 

zedro

Turbo Monkey
Sep 14, 2001
4,160
0
at the end of the longest line
OGRipper said:
Ahhh the memories. :D
oh yeah? bet you havent installed brand new Zoke seals just in time to notice the bushing is still sitting on the workbench.....

and i never ever mount a new rear tire on in the proper direction no matter how hard i analyze it...