Over the last two weekends, we have been helping a buddy address several issues with his car. When we got the car to our house a couple of weekends ago, we noticed immediately that the left rear wheel spokes were creaking/clicking.
Thankfully, Iíve spent enough time on this Forum to know that creaking/clicking spokes isnít a good thing that cannot be ignored and it needs to be addressed. I thumped them and shook them real good, noticed nothing alarming, and decided they were ok for what we were doing, but knew we would address them before returning the car to my buddy.
The last two weekends, weíve managed to get the car running and have taken it for test rides.
This morning, I went out to look at the left rear wheel. To my stunned amazement, two of the hub bolts were missing. The nuts were inside.
I have no idea when the wheel jettisoned the bolts. I cannot believe that I would have overlooked missing bolts when I shook the wheel. I can only imagine that they came loose and dropped out of the wheel when we were test driving it over the last two weekends. We avoided a very serious problem.
The bolts have been replaced and all is good now.
Just a reminder to everyone . . . Regularly check, double-check, and triple-check your own work and the work of others to make sure your cars are safe.
I suspect the ends of the bolts were not peened sufficiently to keep them from falling off. If replacement of the bolts fixes it, you are ok, but if it were mine, I would check for looseness every time you take the car out. Also if it was not done at the time the two bolts were replaced, check that all the bolts are peened
I suspect youíre right, Norm. Trust me . . . I will be checking all my wheels on all my cars before I drive them.
I think Norm's right, the nuts couldn't have come off had they been peened. A time or two, even though local wheels hadn't left the vicinity in forty years or more, I found wheels laid by that had loosened up either through cycles of winter/summer temperature extremes, or further shrinkage of the wood - they seemed OK until run a ways, when we found them to be loose. Tightening the hub bolts was all that was necessary.