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Modifying your car? Please think carefully about what you're doing

Discussion in 'General car Chat' started by Country Bumpkin, 7 February 2010.

  1. Country Bumpkin

    Country Bumpkin Track Warrior

    Messages:
    735
    From:
    Norfolk
    Car:
    GTO T.T.
    We have had a car on one of the ramps in the workshop, it has been modified and it has won shows. I can't say what the car is, who owns it or anything like that except that it is not a GTO.
    It came to us for a mechanical problem which needed fixing.
    The reason for this post is just to get your brains working on the way you modify your pride and joy and to actually step back and think about things and their disaster potential.
    Here's a short list of some of the faults that we observed on inspection of the car, which in all fairness to the owner, he has been shown and has had them rectified.

    The front metal brake pipes were routed through a small hole drilled in each inner wing lower seam, there is not enough room for a correct size hole and grommet which would allow movement to prevent it from rubbing and wearing through. The flexi pipe to the brake caliper was not fixed on either side by a spring clip into it's locator, therefore it was loose, accentuating the movement of the metal pipe through the small hole drilled into the lower wing.
    The brake bias valve was just floating near the bulkhead as it was different than the standard one and wouldn't fit on the original locating point. Apart from poorly formed flares on the brake pipes, the bends were almost flat and the pipe would quite soon have chaffed through somewhere, causing the obvious loss of braking due to loss of brake fluid.

    The battery had been moved to the car interior, just behind the passenger seat. It had no form of security strap and was just sat on the floor. In fairness, it was at least a dry cell battery. It doesn't take much to imagine this car in an accident and that battery going through the head of the driver or front seat passenger, or an electrical short and a fire through movement of the battery during normal driving.

    The fuel tank has been changed to an aluminium one and now sits in the boot, the car is a hatchback and has no rear seats or interior.
    The fuel lines are braided but run through an un grommeted metal hole in the floor. The fuel tank neck had been J.B. welded, that means that it has not been welded just stuck together with a plastic metal and the cap didn't fit correctly anyway. The interior of the car stank of fuel, a lot !
    Hopefully i don't need to explain the potential problems associated with that lot.

    The engine oil cooler pipes were cable tied up but still contacting the driveshafts. The turbo oil feed pipe ran alongside the manifold. The waste gate actuator vacuum pipe was melted through as it had laid on the downpipe.

    Incorrect bolts were fitted everywhere, most were not even tight. The job card was a page and a half of safety advisories.
    There is so much more but i hope that by now you can see what i'm trying to get across to you.
    Ironically the owner had not scrimped on parts financially, the car has uprated everything, it was just fitted by Stevie Wonder.

    Please, if you are modding your car, do it properly. Think of the consequences of your actions not how cheap you can do it and that it must be o.k. 'cos your mate with the I.Q. of a hearth rug said it was a good mod. If you have doubts about what you are doing, stop and ask people who do it for a living with a good reputation to match or search the internet. There is a downsdie to internet based advice though, let's say for instance that the owner of the above car was giving the advice, how many people would read it and think it was the way ahead ? Most of the professional garages are happy to give you some advice but please be aware that they have a living to earn. So don't be on the phone every five minutes or try to get a complete car mod list in one phone call, as it may end in a polite decline to help any further.

    Trust me, i have seen worse than the above too. What is even more alarming is that some of these cars have even passed a M.O.T. in their modified state.

    Enjoy your car, enjoy modifying it but don't mod if you can't afford to do the job properly or don't have the correct knowledge and equipment.
     
  2. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,522
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    christ some of that stuff just seems scary
    things such as cable tying stuff to driveshafts, the fueltank im not even going to comment on
     
  3. speedy

    speedy Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    169
    From:
    uk derby
    Car:
    cordoba1.6
    re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    im surprized the car didnt fall to bits let alone pass an M.O.T. its a shame that there are many garages that do things on the cheap side just to get busniuss.its such a shame.:(
     
  4. obi_waynne

    obi_waynne Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    40,159
    From:
    Deal, Kent UK
    Car:
    A3 2.0 TDI
    re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    Wow! I shudder to think how many similarly badly modified cars are out there!
     
  5. RSmith

    RSmith Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    112
    Car:
    Smart Fortwo Pas'n
    re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    MODS! Can we have this story sticky-d or made into an article because I think everyone needs to read it. Best story ever.
     
  6. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,522
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    stuck
     
  7. prevtec

    prevtec Pro Tuner

    Messages:
    2,128
    From:
    ireland
    Car:
    prelude 2.2vtec jap
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    good story, and good advise people should take on board
    otherwise its a metal casket

    RIP
     
  8. Poddy

    Poddy Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    102
    From:
    N.Ireland - Portaferry
    Car:
    Kia Ceed
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    i don't understand how it could have won shows
     
    FloridaMan likes this.
  9. Country Bumpkin

    Country Bumpkin Track Warrior

    Messages:
    735
    From:
    Norfolk
    Car:
    GTO T.T.
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    Because judges at shows don't crawl around underneath cars looking for how it's all put together. To be honest i really don't understand how some of these judges come to the conclusions they do anyway, but that's another discussion.

    I have seen lowered cars where the springs have been gas axed, even in situ on more than one occasion.
    Some of the "modifications" are mind blowing on some of the cars out there.
     
  10. lutonmatt

    lutonmatt The Torque Meister

    Messages:
    1,954
    From:
    chatham kent
    Car:
    82 trans am kitt
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    i have seen some sites as well
    once had a merc in and had some big old wheels on it and did look wrong on the motor
    but to fit them he cut half the top ball joint nut and thread off with a grinder so he could fit the wheels
    and then wonderd why i would not pass the mot on it


    but as for the mot's on these motors half the mods people do to there motors dont come into the mot test is sily really as its all saftey

    seen a lot of cut down springs i always like that fail they do it to save money but really it saves nothing
     
  11. dpsubaru

    dpsubaru The Torque Meister

    Messages:
    1,796
    From:
    Scotland / Vietnam
    Car:
    Subaru WRX Turbo 04
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    these are crazy mods, certainly something to think about but cant understand what goes through some peoples heads - metal rubbing against metal, something is going to break sooner or later!
     
  12. rocketman

    rocketman Wrench Pro

    Messages:
    20
    From:
    united kingdom lancashire
    Car:
    peugeot 307 hdi dtu
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    thats good advice and i hope a lot of people read it safety first
     
  13. ans

    ans Wrench Kid

    Messages:
    13
    From:
    east sussex
    Car:
    406 coupe modded
    Re: Modifying your car ? Please think carefully about what your doing

    good advice,if you are going to do it do it right,dont cut corners
     
  14. gummy

    gummy Torque Master

    Messages:
    976
    From:
    england heathfield
    Car:
    skyline r34 gtt
    some people just think,that,ll do and they make do!without thinking about it or the consequences!!!.
     
  15. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,143
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    Well I'm certainly not one of them! ;) If the car needs it then it will definitely have it, simples! :)
     
  16. old-git

    old-git Moderator

    Messages:
    9,070
    From:
    Essex
    Car:
    Elan & Robin Hood
    Stripping Cosworths to sell has thown up some scary mods. I bought a Sapphire that had a Quaife ATB diff fitted. Hooned around for a week until the tyres hitting the arches drove me mad. When I got under the car to remove the rear axle I discovered that over half of the CV bolts were coming undone, a couiple were over 10mm out! I only used a ratchet on 2 of the 24 bolts!

    An RS Sierra I bought had all the correct bits - A1000 fuel pump fitted into a well made aluminium box, Aeroquip hoses and fittings everywhere - looked good. When I came to take the fuel tank out the union fitted to the tank was held on with araldite!!!

    Number one rule. If you buy a modified car, check it over VERY carefully before driving it.
     
  17. gummy

    gummy Torque Master

    Messages:
    976
    From:
    england heathfield
    Car:
    skyline r34 gtt
    yeah if its no good cutting corners,peoples life could depend on it!,the person bodging it would survive,an inocent person would be the casualty.
     
  18. BlueCruiser

    BlueCruiser Tuner

    Messages:
    55
    From:
    Wellington, New Zealand.
    Car:
    '97 Nissan Bluebird
    in new zealand, if a cop finds something wrong with your car the will put either a pink or green sticker on ur windscreen, pink is for a dangerous modification (worst one ive seen is a screamer pipe sticking out of the bonnet) and green is for something less serious like in adequate certification for exhaust noise. as for cut springs, thatd be a definite pink sticker.
    been in a car with cut springs, went around a corner and the spring in the front passenger side (i was the passenger) popped out and made a hell of a noise.
    have also seen a driveshaft fall out of a van on a motorway.
     
  19. capperz

    capperz Tuner

    Messages:
    53
    From:
    england petersfield
    Car:
    peugeot 106 XL
    This is certainly an eye opening post. I got lucky with my car as I brought it off a mate with only a few Mods and I got him to drive it to the garage I work at to have it checked before I bought it. And every mod I do I get the MOT guy at work to certify it as safe.
     
  20. gen2T3

    gen2T3 Grease Monkey

    Messages:
    3
    From:
    maitland
    Car:
    proton gen2
    thair are certanly dodgy people out thair my nomber 1 thought when buying a used car for any purpouse or reason is why are thay selling the car to beguin with luckly my car is new off the shop floor and safe thairs nothing wrong with a used car in general iv had manny an all have had thair miner issues but nothing that drastic
     
  21. RichiesTrucking

    RichiesTrucking Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    225
    From:
    Falkirk, Scotland
    Car:
    VR4 legnum
    repairs may not be much better. i had to have my rear diff replaced but it was replaced with an open diff which required longer drive shafts due to it being narrower as it doesnt have AYC. the garage first smashed both rear wheel bearings then told me they have bent the hub. i sourced a hub and hub carrier and took it to an engineer who is a mate of a professor of engineering that saw my posts and decided to take steps for me. this guy took the old hub carrier off and on tracing the ABS lead, discovered it wasnt plugged in as it just fell down then examined the work done and found a round metal bush was now oval with evidence of heat treatment. its was crabbing so badly that it took 3 attempts to get the car straight on his ramp and this was the reason for it.
    i now have a decent mechanic who is safety concious. he had major issues with the work he was tasked with when replacing my front wheel bearings and fitting the brembos but he will not do a half arsed job. he may not necessarily bother about MOT standard but he certainly will not allow someone to drive around in a death trap. he will only do work that will result in a safe car regardless of the trouble that may be or he just wont do it. for example, i suggested drilling my V6 discs to 5 stud as a temporary solution for a couple of days just to get the car on the road and he took them to an engineering company to ensure the holes matched up perfectly rather than do the drilling himself. he wasnt keen on this but he knew i would only be going to work and back then getting tyres fitted to the EVO alloys to enable him to complete the brembo upgrade. i got the car late thursday night and he got the car back on saturday night to fit the brembos and custom HEL braided brake lines
     
  22. R32gtr

    R32gtr Wrench Kid

    Messages:
    11
    From:
    midlands
    Car:
    skyline r32gtr
    Note to self DO NOT SMOKE in the hatch back bomb
     
    FloridaMan likes this.
  23. crowley

    crowley Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    154
    From:
    Grampian
    Car:
    MyBotchedHeap
    I very much liked the sound of the prize winning hatchback. However, I think I can beat it.[​IMG] This was a rad I had to fix a while ago.
     
    FloridaMan likes this.
  24. crowley

    crowley Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    154
    From:
    Grampian
    Car:
    MyBotchedHeap
    I'd like to see pics of any other emergency repairs anyone has done.
     
  25. crowley

    crowley Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    154
    From:
    Grampian
    Car:
    MyBotchedHeap
    I have seen a spring that someone had changed & it wasn't seated correctly & was bent. Presumably when the car was moving up & down, rather then compressing the spring must have just been bending.
     
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