<VV> Fuel Leak - Now Lug Nuts, etc.

roboman91324 at aol.com roboman91324 at aol.com
Fri Sep 28 07:41:43 EDT 2018


Both the coriolis effect and gyroscopic precession are miniscule and probably irrelevant in the situation we are discussing.  The fretting effect (mechanical precession) is the major issue.
What I believe is happening is there is cyclic compression and decompression of whatever material the wheel is made of as it turns.  The weight of the car is transferred to the wheel at the hub.  The weight is then transmitted across the radius of the wheel to the tire and eventually to the ground.  As the wheel rolls, the compression forces rotate as well.  On the left side wheel while rolling forward in a counterclockwise direction the force profile will compress material at the lug nut in a counterclockwise direction in waves repeatedly effecting each lug in turn.  This will tend to coax the nut in a counterclockwise direction if not held in place with friction.  Therefore, a left hand thread will resist this effect.  I would expect this issue to be more pronounced with a smaller lug bolt circle.  After working this out in my alleged mind, this may not be mechanical precession in the strictest sense.  Mechanical precession results from two circular surfaces of different diameters rotating together.  
The introduction of left hand threads "back when" could have resulted from mere observation and experimentation.  Loose lug nuts almost always occurred on the left side but rarely on the right.  The difference was the direction of wheel rotation left side to right.  They experimented with left hand threads on the left wheels and the problem went away.  
Your question regarding knock-offs with left hand threads on the right side wheels is a different issue.  This appears to be due to true mechanical precession.  If slightly loose, the hub's contact surface is smaller diameter than the knock-off nut/cap.  On the right wheel, this will tend to work the nut/cap in a counterclockwise direction.  in this case, you will want a left hand thread on the right wheels.  I imagine it might be a bad idea to tow a vehicle with knock-offs from its rear with the front wheels on the ground.
In a message dated 9/28/2018 2:04:03 AM Pacific Standard Time, Hugo at aruncoaches.co.uk writes:
Funny you should say that, as I was about to agree with you that it might indeed be the Coriolis effect at work. In truth I’m not sure what forces are at work that make wheel nuts do what they do, or more specifically why you are better off with a left-hand thread on wheels that rotate anti-clockwise. I’m even more surprised that somebody figured this out so early on in the days of motoring, since the whole concept of lug nuts didn’t exist before the motor car.
Now tell me why RIGHT-HAND knock-off wheels have a LEFT-HAND thread on the spinners Winking smile 
From:roboman91324 at aol.com
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2018 4:20 AM
To:Hugo at aruncoaches.co.uk ; virtualvairs at corvair.org
Subject: Re: <VV> Fuel Leak
Please excuse my last post.  Mechanical precession is exactly what is going on with left-side lug nut loosening.  I assumed you were talking about precession as it pertains to the dynamics of rotating mass.  I. E. gyroscopic precession.  I have always known it as epicyclic fretting.
By the way, mechanical precession is still a concern but the deeper tapered lug nuts added just enough friction to compensate.  In addition, the taper (acorn) itself, not just the added contact area, has been the solution to the issue in two ways.  First, the taper acts as a wedge which increases the applied force "N" in the frictional force equation.  Second, the taper allows for different diameters at different points of contact.  These interesting tricks of Physics were a game changer.
Again, my apologies,
PS:  I believe the rest of my posts to be accurate but you never know.

More information about the VirtualVairs mailing list