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

Hugo Miller Hugo at aruncoaches.co.uk
Sat Sep 29 17:39:37 EDT 2018

Just a final riposte to close this discussion – those lugs nuts were loose enough before I bought the car that the previous owner had called the AA, who recovered the vehicle and (incorrectly) diagnosed a collapsed wheel bearing. So the lug nuts must have been pretty loose. The lesson I took away from this is that it is actually much more difficult than I would have thought to lose a wheel off a car. In fact, you never see it happen, do you? Another lesson I learned from this discussion is that there is often much more science than one would think behind the simplest bit of engineering design, like attaching a wheel to a car for example. You never stop learning in this business, do you? 

From: roboman91324 at aol.com 
Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2018 7:42 PM
To: Hugo at aruncoaches.co.uk ; virtualvairs at corvair.org 
Subject: Re: <VV> Fuel Leak - Now Lug Nuts, etc.


Maybe all the turns on the trip home were left turns?  :-)

Kidding aside, I don't know.  However, some possibilities come to mind.

1)  If you had driven further, maybe it would have come off.  Just because the sound didn't intensify, it isn't certain the problem wasn't approaching a critical stage.  The rocking of the wheel would get worse as the lug holes wore but not so much as the lug nuts passed a certain point.

2)  Perhaps once the lug holes were resting fully on the lug studs, mechanical precession ceased to be a factor.  This is doubtful because the wobble of the wheel due to making turns would have continued to bring the wheel into contact with the lug nuts.  Maybe as in point 1 above, you didn't drive quite far enough for it to become critical.

3)  Perhaps there are other more probable reasons but I am getting a bit tired of this topic.  I suspect other members of VV are as well.


In a message dated 9/29/2018 4:35:41 AM Pacific Standard Time, Hugo at aruncoaches.co.uk writes: 

  Ok, I’m going to take an aspirin and have a lie down now. But I just remembered an old car I bought on ebay for a friend. It had been diagnosed with a collapsed wheel bearing by the AA (=AAA). I decided it would last the 20 miles home so drove it for her. I thought it sounded and felt like the lug nuts were loose, but I couldn’t see them as it had a wheel trim covering the nuts. I stopped and tried to rock the wheel but couldn’t feel any movement with the weight of the car on it, and there wasn’t a jack. We got home ok, & I prised the wheel trim off to find that I was right – the ‘collapsed wheel bearing’ was nothing more than loose lug nuts. The reason I am relating this story now is that I was simply amazed that the car had driven twenty, maybe twenty five, miles with loose wheel nuts, without losing the wheel altogether. They were no worse when I got home than when I started (and it had presumably been driven a bit like that before being diagnosed in the first place). The wheel holes were worn, but the studs only sustained slight damage and were fine. I just fitted the spare wheel & that was it – job done.
  These were right-hand thread lug nuts on the left front of the car (front wheel drive at that). Why didn’t the wheel fall off?

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