Post by roadtripper on Jul 18, 2018 14:20:08 GMT -8
It's late afternoon on the 4th and we are 600 miles from home rolling along at 50 mph when BAM! What was that? Oh NO, the wheel just fell off the trailer (driver side). I managed to safely stop and be mostly off the road. It really only took about 60 seconds to realize how much worse it could have been. Then a kind of amazing string of things happened. We were on a straight stretch of road and only about one car every 5 minutes. We were only 5 miles to our destination...a camp spot at one of my favorite fishing sites in Oregon. We had cell reception and got AAA. The tow/mechanic was from the tiny town we were headed to. They were there in 15 minutes. They made 3 or4 quick trips to town to cobble some stuff together and followed us at 10mph to the camp site. Time for a beer. My daughter was due to meet us the next day coming over from Portland. The mechanic came to the camp site and gave me a list of parts to text her and the name of a parts place to go. Turns out stuff was obsolete so we needed the works...axel to tires. The mechanic got on the phone with the parts counter and in 30 minutes all the stuff was in my daughters car. Next day she arrives, the mechanic (our hero by now) comes to the campsite and we re-built it all in an hour or two. Total time of under 48 hours wheel off till completely rebuilt. Oh, and no visible exterior damage. Wheel well trashed pretty good though. So, it had been a while since i'd checked the lug nuts. I will do that regularly now. (you should too) Also, what may have contributed...Back in the day, ( I just learned) some manufactures used 7/16" studs. I had bought new wheels..15" 6 hole from vts. All new studs and wheels now are 1/2". Possibly the slight undersize / improper fit got things wiggling around which caused the studs to snap. Back home safe and much wiser now.
I,m glad this story had a happy ending, as stated it could of been much worse. They stud diameter is not the thing to check. You should check how the taper on the lug nuts fit the wheel. If the taper is to small allowing the nut to contact the hub before it fully locks the wheel in place you have a problem no matter the diameter of the stud. Some times it is a simple matter of removing some of the material off the small end of the lug nut to allow it to tighten farther and some times it requires different lug nuts in order to attain the proper fit. This is a problem that is even over looked by many tire shops because their employees aren't trained to check for misfit parts. If you aren't certain how parts match up make certain you ask someone to check to make certain the lugs are the proper taper and diameter to match your rims. When custom wheels first became popular for cars a lot of wheels were lost due to improper lug nuts being used.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2018 10:03:01 GMT -8 by bigbill
a lot of wheels were lost due to improper lug nuts being used
My friend had a similar thing happen (short video). He had just purchased new racing wheels, and picked up some new lug nuts at a local shop. They sold him the wrong threaded nuts, but they seemed to screw on alright on race day. He tightened with a torque wrench which clicked at the proper set point (witnessed by an experienced racer, another friend of mine). He told me later that something felt funny, like he could have turned them further without much force, in hindsight of course he should have paid more attention to that detail. As you can see, as soon as he hit a turn, they popped right off.
He was able to put the factory wheels and lug nuts back on fine afterward, the lugs weren't stripped beyond the very peak of the threads. The shop ended up reimbursing him for his ruined (expensive) wheels, but he had to foot the bill for the body work.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2018 10:56:23 GMT -8 by oakback