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Technical Death Wheels

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Six Ball, May 5, 2018.

  1. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,354

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    180414_0001 2.jpg
    A couple of weeks ago my friend and I nearly bought it. We were traveling on Highway 50 east of Dayton, NV at 60-65 mph. I had to pee so I pulled a couple of hundred yards down a dirt road. When I got out and shut the door the left front wheel fell off. If it had come off at 60 we might not be here. Saved by an enlarged prostate. :confused:
    All six lug nuts were loose inside the hubcap. This happened before almost twenty years ago, same pickup same kind of wheel on the left front. Then the studs all broke. I wrote if off to metal fatigue. I was wrong. The problem is using the wrong wheel.

    180505_0002.jpg

    The '51to ? Chevy pickups use the same brake drums up to '70 on the six lug GMs. (4x4) My '70 Blazer uses the same drums as my '53 3100. The front drums attach to the hub with 3 rivets. You can see them in the photo as three shiny spots between the wheel studs. The stick up about 1/8". Or they did. :rolleyes:

    180423_0003.jpg

    The proper wheel has indents between the studs so the rivets don't touch the wheel. You can see the indents in the bottom wheel and the three spots where the rivets contacted the one above. That is the one that did not come off. You can also see that the ring with the holes is deformed from the uneven seating.

    180505_0005.jpg

    This it the one that came off. I think this style of wheel showed up around '72 when the 4x4 GMs got front disc brakes but I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of is that they are all leaving here. Third time is a charm. :)
    I don't know how people got away with the flat white or chrome spokes that were popular several years ago. I just wanted to share this incase someone else was running these things. I'm still putting it all back together with all new studs. I found a leaky wheel cylinder and a questionable brake line. Putting on a new set of leaf springs with all new hardware. The day this happened all three of my drivers broke down. I'm afraid one won't make it back. Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance o_O
     
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  2. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 760

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    Good knowledge! I'd grind the damn rivet's an Carry-on
     
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  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,041

    squirrel
    Member

    we've been grinding the rivet heads off for decades....I guess you didn't get the memo.

    Maybe you'll help someone with this post....thanks!
     
    Six Ball likes this.
  4. My brother put a pair of slicks mounted on aluminum slots on his 57 Pontiac and didn't realize the 2, 5/16ths bolts were contacting the wheel like your rivets. He kept snapping off 1/2" wheel studs "till I told him about those pesky bolts...really not needed. Grind or chizel 'em off.
     
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  5. fordor
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 30

    fordor
    Member
    from Finland

    Thank you for the information.
    I have been driving my p-u for 9 years without problems, but i think its time to check my front wheels today!!!
    Peter
     
  6. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 164

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Last time I had to piss on Highway 50 I just stood in the middle of the road.

    Good luck with all the vehicles.
     
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  7. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,449

    oldolds
    Member

    You could also just drill holes in the wheels where the rivets are hitting. I usually just grind the rivets.
     
    Six Ball likes this.
  8. That's a new one on me, thanks for sharing.

    Back in my mechanic days, I had a customer pull his car into my bay for a front end check, it had a clunk. Pulls the car up, parks it and the upper ball joint stud pops out. That was close!
     
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  9. 36roadster
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,660

    36roadster
    Member

    Would this be the same as the 6-lug sedan wheels?
     
    Six Ball likes this.
  10. Thanks for posting.
    You'd think the truck would have been driving with a horrible wobble, no?
     
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  11. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,495

    belair
    Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Good info. Thanks for posting, glad no one was hurt.
     
    Six Ball likes this.
  12. The same can happen when the lug nuts dont quite fit the wheel.
    This almost happened twice to my sister in the late 1970s when using Dodge Cragars on her 63 Lark she overhauled herself, then took on a cross-country trip.
    NO WOBBLE, JUST A MILD GROAN ROAD NOISE EASY TO IGNORE AS ROUGH ROAD RAIN GROOVES.
    The nuts felt bottomed out tight, but the wheels were only lightly "clamped" because the curve on the nut didn't match the curved indent in the chrome 5-slot Cragars. The nuts only lightly clamped the wheels just as the nuts bottomed out against the studs.
    Everything felt tight, but during a long cross country trip, a very light hum or groan developed. Almost like a tired tire hum, or rain grooves.
    She caught it in time before the studs were chewed all the way thru, but you could tell they had been chewing for a while.

    This was cured by using fatter lug nuts than stock on the chewed studs and slightly chewed out Cragars until she got back where we could put in new studs.


    WHY BE ORDINARY ?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    Six Ball likes this.
  13. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,354

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    I've been driving this pickup in one form or another since 1975. It has had several different wheel sets on it from 16" truck split rims and big aluminum crap to "artillery" wheels and stockers. The first ones that did this was in 2000 when my boys were driving it to school. Luckily they were just pulling out of a parking lot when the wheel came off. Like I said earlier I thought it was caused by metal fatigue because that time the studs broke. This time the nuts came loose. The right wheel was too loose as well. I got this set of wheels from a friend a couple of years ago with a new set of tires on them and just put them on. It all looked good. No wobble no noticeable noise except a small clunk in a dire parking lot in Stagecoach about 10 miles before the event. I had a broken leaf on a spring and thought that was the noise. I live on 2 miles of pretty rough dirt road so I hear lots of noises but right up to the involuntary dismount, nothing on the highway. It is a wonder it didn't fold up when I made the right turn onto the dirt road.
    100_0115.jpg

    Leon Bee, The lonely part of 50 starts on the other side of Fallon. This is a 4 lane section and busy.

    36roadster, I don't think so. Pickups before '51 had a different style brake and the drums for those mounted to the back of the hub. The wheel mounting surface in flat and the drum tapers away from the wheel. On '51 and up pickups the drums are flat and mount on the front of the hub with the three dastardly rivets. . I think the cars before '49 were the same as the early style trucks with no rivets. In '49 cars went to 5 lugs and I don't know anything about them. The newest Chevy car I have owned was a '48 Fleetline.

    Peter, Thank a few minutes to look.

    Thanks to the rest of you. There are lots of solutions once you know there is a problem. My solution is the right wheel and keeping an eye on it. I hope someone can lear from my near death experience. :)
     
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,041

    squirrel
    Member

    Chevy changed from Huck brakes to Delco-Morrain brakes on pickups and cars in 1951, but they had rivets before that.
     
    Six Ball likes this.
  15. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,943

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Had a similar issue with 8 lug
    The mopar 8 lug wheels didn’t like the GM 8 lug hubs
    Hub pilot vs stud pilot
    Corrected before an accident

    This is a good reminder of a simple to fix safety issue. Now to go check and see if my shouldered mag lugs are loose again
    Thanks
     
  16. Wheel spacers have been known to cause this too. My daughter was lucky, she was running wheel spacers on a OT Corvette with wire wheels. She was just about to accelerate up onto a freeway when she felt a vibration. She pulled over just in time, doing about 5-10 mph her rear wheel came off and the Vette just sat down upon the tire.
    We shouldn't take such simple things as this for granted. There is a lot of stress on a wheel.
     
  17. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,354

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    A lady I worked with in Oakland in the 60s almost lost a wheel on the freeway on her way to work. She was driving a Triumph Spitfire with wire wheels. She said it was wobbling so I took a look. The guys at the tire shop switched sides with the wheels and knockoffs. Three were loose. That lady had a muffler from the car ahead of her go through the passenger side of the windshield and end up in the rear seat of the same car. Didn't get hurt but her husband had to bring her a change of clothes.
    We got out of sync when I worked in the tire shop at Wards in Pleasant Hill and sent a car out without tightening the lugs. He made it to the Caldecott Tunnel going into Oakland where he lost two wheels. No one hurt then either but traffic was a mess! Yes, little things matter.
     
  18. billsat
    Joined: Aug 18, 2008
    Posts: 411

    billsat
    Member

    My brother conned me in to riding our motorcycles from CA to NC a few years ago. We crossed Nevada on Hwy 50 from Reno to the Utah border and saw three cars the entire way. I came to the realization that UFO's hang out in Nevada because there's no one there to bother them.
     
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  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 14,945

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    I grind off the rivets. That opens up wheel choices.
     
  20. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,103

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Did you guys ride the Ta
    Did you guys ride the “ Tail of the Dragon” in NC? Bones
     
  21. billsat
    Joined: Aug 18, 2008
    Posts: 411

    billsat
    Member

    I was never brave enough to ride the Dragon. I did however ride the Pacific Coast Hwy in northern CA for quite a distance. I was scared out of my mind. I had puckered up so hard that I pulled the seat off of my bike the next time i dismounted.
     
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  22. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,352

    porknbeaner
    Member

    First off glad you are OK.

    Damned good info, non of us were born knowing this shit. :cool:
     
    RodGuyinCO likes this.
  23. That's funny! Too bad the Dragon is so crowded now you can't get a decent run without a bunch of traffic. I do know of a few others down that way that are not so famous.
     
  24. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,354

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Here is a '49 pickup drum/hub. I think the '48 and earlier were the same. 180507_0001.jpg 180507_0002.jpg
     
    squirrel likes this.
  25. Drove that road many a times between Carson and Fallon and Carson and Yerington,,,,, we used to get buzzed by the fighters from Fallon, I understand lonely cars on the road made for great targets,,, electronic targets.
     
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  26. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,312

    Malcolm
    Member
    from Nebraska

    Glad it wasn't any worse and you are here to share this info and story!
     
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  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,041

    squirrel
    Member

    apparently there was more than one design...

    drum.jpg
     
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  28. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,354

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Must be. I took the whole axle from the truck myself. I was happy because they fit my 19" wire spokes for my roadster. I think they fit. I'll have to give it a closer look now.
    100_1935.jpg
     
  29. Glad you are ok. Good warning to others
     
    -Brent- and Six Ball like this.

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