ID Lounge Do as I say, not as I do.

Discussion in 'ID Members Lounge' started by Seth Bullock, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Premium Member

    I have always pretty much maintained my own vehicles. In fact I once bought an old Corvette and removed, rebuilt and reinstalled the engine and tranny. One of the things I have always done myself is rotate my own tires. Many professional tire shops just use an air wrench to tighten lug nuts, and I use a torque wrench to tighten mine to the manufacturers specifications. Anyway, the vehicle in question was a Jeep Cherokee, and the only place I had to do it was in my steeply sloped driveway.

    So, being a safety guy, I set the break, blocked the tires on one side, used a hydraulic floor jack to lift the rear, put a jack stand under it, lifted the front, another jack stand and then switched the tires from front to back. The first side went like cake. When I got to the passenger side though, I found that all of the lugs had been over tightened on the rear wheel, (by a tire store of course, after a recent flat) and wouldn’t come off.

    Now, as many of these stories of stupid deeds go, I had something I needed to do that day, and messing around with that last wheel had me running late. After using some WD-40 and a breaker bar, I had removed four of the lugs and snapped one off. I felt lucky it was only one. By now I was running really late and hurried to put the tires back on and get the car off the jacks. As soon as it was down I pulled the blocks and went to move it out of the way and as I started to back up I heard a loud scraping noise. I jumped out and looked under the car. In my haste to get it down, after putting the hydraulic jack back under the rear wheel, I had lowered the jack stand but forgotten to remove it from under the car! It was now jammed against the axle.

    By now I was very late and getting pretty angry, always a bad combination. I figured since the car was in park, and I was only lifting one wheel, I could just slip the jack under, lift the car a bit, pull the stand and let it down again. So, I climbed under the car, grabbed the stand with my left hand and used my right to pump the jack. What I didn’t realize was this vehicle had a type of rear end that locks the wheels in park by counter rotating them. In other words, once the right rear wheel was off the ground, it started to spin counter clockwise allowing the vehicle to start rolling backward.

    The position I was laying in had my head jammed between the differential cover and the gas tank. I immediately felt huge pressure on my head and neck as the entire weight of the car was on my head and neck. Luckily, my hand was still on the hydraulic jack and I immediately let the car back down. I crawled out from under the car thinking I was very lucky. I wasn’t hurt except for the very top of my head where the little button on my baseball cap had pressed into my skull. I blocked the tires, lifted the car again and removed the jack stand. Then went in to get ready for the dinner party we had planned and for which I was way behind schedule.

    Well I was wrong. As the evening progressed, I realized I was having trouble turning my head. By the time dinner was over, I couldn’t turn it at all. By the next morning, I was unable to use my left arm and was in considerable pain. A trip to the doctor was in order. It was determined that I had compressed all of the disks in my neck and had torn the muscle in my left shoulder in half all the way to my waist. The doc said that had the car rolled just a few inches further I would have been paralyzed from the neck down or killed outright.

    So, the morale of this story? Always remember that haste makes waste, and that safety always comes first.

    Okay, I showed you mine now you show me yours.

    [Edited on 7-18-2005 by Seth Bullock]
  2. kiwirobin

    kiwirobin Premium Member

    You were indeed a very lucky man seth.
    I'm a mechanic by trade, pit crewed a 454 Monaro top fueler for some years and have also had my share of mechanical close calls.
    Here's a tip...
    Don't only rotate front to rear, but also diagonaly.
    This allows for the camber related wear from each side.
    And good that you use a torque wrench, every good tyre shop should. If they don't don't go there.

    As for my stupidity...
    Playing around in the sand cliffs doing some jumps into the soft sand.
    Thought I'd go for the big jump from an 8 meter ledge.
    Had to jump out abit to clear the rocks but jumped too far landing on the hard on my rear.
    Compression fracture in my back and still troubles with it.
    Just glad I'm not in a wheelchair.

    Know that feeling of the moment of no return?
    That OOOOHHHH SH*T feeling.
  3. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Premium Member

    Sounds like a real pain in the a*s!! Sorry, had to say it. But glad your not in a wheelchair too. And I know the feeling you describe all to well.

    Well? Who's next?
  4. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    Never become a crash test dummy like I did....... I will leave out the details.......

    Lets just say.... playing chicken with a wall at 50 mph. I did not give up, but the wall won. Right Ankle broken in 6 places, 4 broken ribs, blown left kneecap, many cuts and bruises. In a wheelchair 8 months, another 10 months on crutches, cain for 2 months. 99.9% healed...... Lucky lucky lucky ........ Many valuable lessons learned...... ;)
  5. overrocked

    overrocked Premium Member

    Did become a crash test dummy- but my collapsible engine in Kia Sophia saved me-

    Hit a power ?transponder box at the end of a road 40mph. est. (at 3a.m.) no seatbelt or air bags. For some silly reason, I was looking for a baseball diamond in the area.
    12k damage to the box, and totalled my car.

    The only injuries were a greenstick fracture in my pinkie- and a small scar above my lip.
  6. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    I don't have my license yet so my daring story involves a bike,. it was much like jcmins story except my leg got impaled in a tree and i flew off my bike about 4 feet and i have a 4x2 inch scar on my leg cause it was right on my #@!&% and their wasnt enough skin to stich up
  7. MJAC

    MJAC New Member

    well here is a really stupid thing i did one day when i was working on our house that we were building i had to wire up a lot of light socketsand at the time it was raining but we had roof so i thought it was safe and also the power was out to the whole block and wasnt coming on until later that night, anywho i was just finishing when the power came on to the block and i was shocked with all 240v of power and fell off the ladder into the big puddle of water just under me and alone came the cable as well and even more electricution came luckly my friend found me and got me to a hospital i was ok after a few days rest at home and finished the home without any more trouble.
  8. GoneFission

    GoneFission Premium Member

    This is more about something smart I did rather than something stupid, but certainly was a lesson learned...

    This past sunday I went with a couple friends to a local state park to do some fishing. We're avid hikers, so that would be our normal mode of transportation, but since it was four miles from the trailhead to the lake and we really wanted to get in some solid fishing time, we decided to bike in. Unfortunately, I don't have a bike, but one of my friends was able to borrow one for me from a co-worker of his.

    The ride to the lake was pretty good, though exhausting due to the 1500+ foot elevation gain. The fishing was great, considering the overcast weather (bass tend to be finicky about the weather). We each caught three fish, which naturally we threw back (most of them were pretty small - we'll get them next year). Here's a picture of one of mine (sorry about the quality - it's hard to juggle a camera phone and a live fishing pole at the same time).

    The afternoon rolled around, and the fish stopped biting. We had to be out of the park by five anyways, so we started heading back. The ride back was intense, since all those hills we had to climb on the way in became roller coasters on the way out. We were topping 30 mph at a couple points. It was a blast. Alas, something had to give, and with 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to go, something did. I was going too fast down a hill, hit a bump, lost control, and ended up in a ditch. Face down in a ditch. A very rocky ditch.

    I was relatively okay - the bike wasn't. The rear rim was very bent, as was the front fork. The biggest shock came when I took off the helmet. There were a couple large gashes, which otherwise would have been my skull. Ouch. Because of the helmet, I walked/limped away with minor cuts and bruises and was able to carry to bike down the rest of the way, instead of having to be carried down. Best case, I would have needed stitches. More likely, I would have needed staples (fractured skull). Slight possibility that I would have been dead.

    I used to think helmets were just a nuisance, and I hardly wore one (when street riding, at least). After this experience, I will always wear a helmet when on a bike, whether I'm just going to work or cruising down a mountain.

    Now comes the most painful part - finding out how much it's going to cost to get this bike fixed. :(

    UPDATE: I just found out that the bike is totaled - the downtube was creased. Luckily, the gentleman won't make me pay for a whole new bike, but it's still gonna cost me $$$. I guess that's the price of having fun.

    [Edited on 4-27-2005 by GoneFission]
  9. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Premium Member

    Fine posts all! and definately lessons well learned!