Dodged a bullet

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Dodged a bullet

Post by WyldeBill66 on Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:41 pm

I was coming home from work last Thursday. Lots of traffic and everyone going 65-70 MPH. I get off the freeway, make a couple turns to head into my neighborhood. As I am coming to a stop at a stop sign, the car starts wobbling and the read starts to drop on the passenger side. I quickly turn the corner and get to the curb as it continues dropping. I thought the rear end had broken free of the mounts. Once I shut off the car and got out. I found that 4 of the 5 stubs had broken off. The 5th one had no nut. Once I managed to get the car towed home, I inspected it the next day to find that 3 of the 4 busted studs had been cracked for some time. you could see the rust inside the break. I have owned the car for 3-4 years, and since the tires were new when I bought the car, I have never had the wheels off. Although I doubt you could have seen the cracks anyway.

I changed all 10 stubs in the back, and will change the front ones this coming weekend. If any of you have never checked or changed the studs, do so. It's cheap insurance. If that had happened while I was on the freeway. Who knows what could have happened. Shook me up pretty good for a couple days. The what if...

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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by Mcarlo77 on Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:42 am

Whoa...I've never heard of such a thing happening with the studs like that. You were a lucky man, indeed.
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by WyldeBill66 on Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:19 am

I forgot to write that I found all four broken off studs behind the car, and one of them had a cross threaded nut. On the other side I found two cross threaded nuts and one bent stud. My guess is that the tires were put on with an impact wrench that was set too high and over torqued the nuts. Causing the breakage. Also that's why they didn't realize they were cross threading the nuts. They couldn't tell since the tool was doing the work and they didn't feel the resistance.

I was very lucky. I had also just filled the tank too. That's a lot of gas that could have been all over the place if the tank ruptured.

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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by bracketchev1221 on Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:30 am

I was going to say, that sounds like the studs weren't tightened correctly in the past and were loose. They don't just snap like that.
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:46 am

WyldeBill66 wrote:I forgot to write that I found all four broken off studs behind the car, and one of them had a cross threaded nut. On the other side I found two cross threaded nuts and one bent stud. My guess is that the tires were put on with an impact wrench that was set too high and over torqued the nuts. Causing the breakage. Also that's why they didn't realize they were cross threading the nuts.  They couldn't tell since the tool was doing the work and they didn't feel the resistance.

That's why they're supposed to hand-start the nuts, then use the wrench. I wouldn't go back to those geniuses anymore.
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by WyldeBill66 on Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:41 pm

I know. I put the new ones on and they spun on with no resistance at all. It was done by someone in Fresno,CA, where I bought the car. No idea who did it. Maybe even the guy I bought it from. He did a lot of half assed things to the car.

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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:12 pm

Oh, I thought it was some service place. Yeah, there's no telling what previous owners have done. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by pila on Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:46 am

In the 80s, I had a very nice '84 Buick Regal Limited, and had tires put on the rear locally ( Discount Tire ).
Almost immediately, I felt a strange wobble in the rear of the car when coming to a stop.
Turns out that they bent both rear wheels by an idiot with an impact wrench. They wouldn't replace the wheels, so I had to buy them myself. I sure passed the word around about those guys...
I have a few impact wrenches, but never use one on lug nuts for the final torque...

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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by thatfnthing on Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:09 am

pila wrote:I have a few impact wrenches, but never use one on lug nuts for the final torque...

Ditto, I'm a firm believer in hand-torquing them.
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by Hs1973 on Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:36 pm

When i had my first elcamino at 18. I had been on the first date with my now wife. I was taking her home after the movie, i feldt a wobble every time i let of the gas, we Got to about a mile from her house when the car started shaking Real bad.
Turns out all nuts one one rear tire had left the building. So we had to walk back to my parentes house i the cold and get my dad and a jack. I had luck in putting one more nut back on and limping the car home.

My date Got home to her parentes 2 hours late, and her dad was wery upset with me. Remember cellphones was not invented yet. He was not happy about the kid in the flat Black chevy in the first place, so Breaking her curfew was not good.

She must have seen something in me since we are still together going on 23 years. But then i learned the hard Way to not use impact wrenches on alloy wheels. We still laugh about that night, of course i was a gentleman and gave her my jacket and Walked home in my tshirt, even though it was snow and Real cold.
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by pila on Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:45 pm

Sounds to like you are still a gentleman !! Very Happy

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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by Hs1973 on Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:55 am

I was back then, now im more a grumpy old man. I still feel like 18 in my head. But i dont get the Music the kids hear now a days. And now im not driving and old beater but a classic car. When i Cruise around wearing my cowboy boots and hear loud rock and roll, the kids go. Tjek out the old guy in the old car. Guess im not cool anymore. You need a smart phone to be cool and i dont own one.
But hey i am enjoying myself. And im lucky to have a wife that puts up with my old cars and dont mind my craving for more.
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by McCauley5983 on Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:26 pm

Aluminum rims will cause the lug nuts to fall off from the aluminum expanding and contracting in extreme temperature changes
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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by knightfan26917 on Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:42 pm

Definitely lucky ... wow!


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Re: Dodged a bullet

Post by chevellelaguna on Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:29 pm

Aluminum wheels should always get re-tourqued after a couple miles of driving .
A friend of mine had an 87 Grand Prix, he wanted to ditch the 14 stockers for some 15" Pontiac rally's. They would only fit with a spacer, those chintzy slip on spacer rings. Well a couple months of driving the car without issue, he's on the highway and laughs to himself as he sees a wheel go flying past. Said to himself " some idiot lost their wheel!" He went to change to a slower lane, after slowing down to do so, the car dipped down,he loaded his pants...and, by the time he could slow down enough to get completely to the slow lane and pull over, his rotor had worn completely flat down to the hub. It was a half a rotor, looks like someone cut it in half with a band saw. He realized HE was the idiot that lost the wheel. He tossed me the spacers and went with my recommendation of bolt on spacers.
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Re: Dodged a bullet

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