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Old 06-03-2011, 11:56 PM   #1
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What the %*@#!!!!!!!!!! Double-check those lug-nuts!

Forgive the subject line, but this post rates it. Seriously.

So, after finally getting to the bottom of my electrical issues (viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7107), I took the SMB into the local Ford dealership today for some new front brake calipers. Then I went to my grandfather's memorial service. 92 years old, WWII Marine Corps vet (Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Okinawa). Navy Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart. Marine honor guard. Lots of community activities in his 60+ years here, and a guy known for his fun and wild and crazy ways. I shared the eulogy duties with my dad, and it was really more of a celebration than anything.

So anyway, after the service, I walked next door and picked up the van. I headed for home to pick up the dog and some stuff before heading to my grandparents' place for the post-party with the family. I made the stop at home, and about a mile back toward town and going 45mph, I got a funny wobble - I'm thinking flat, so I started to slow down. Then all hell breaks loose, the front end drops, I see my wheel heading down the road in front of me, and it's all I can do to keep it on the road.

Fortunately, nobody was coming the other way, and after 100 yards or so I was able to coax it to a stop without the van or the wheel hitting anything. The aftermath:







So then I'm on the side of the road, in a suit, chasing down a 33" knobby, and a lady from work drives by. "Do you need a ride?" "Nope, I think I've got it under control." Can you say state of shock?

First call was to Ford. Still open. Me to the service manager: "Dave, you have a problem..." Second call to my brother: "You won't believe this..." Long story short, Ford got the local tow outfit to me pretty quick, loaded up the beast, got a ride to Ford with my brother, tow truck delivered the van, and I just shook my head and held my tongue .

So I'm thinking the mechanic tightened everything up with the air gun and just forgot to torque the left front wheel. He test drove it and didn't feel a problem. I drove it five miles before the wobble, and then BAM! Interestingly, I found all 8 lugnuts within 100' of where the disc hit the pavement, so they all let go at about the same time.

I'll get a new wheel, new rotors, more new calipers, buff out the tire scuff on the side of the van, check everything, and they are going to install my new Quigley torque arms which are going to show up in the next couple of days. Plus of course they'll pick up the tow. We'll see what else. I was lucky. Someone could have been killed.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

Dude, scary stuff! Glad you're OK!! I believe some shops make two guys torq the lugs before they let a car go.. Dare I ask what Ford dealer that was in PDX?

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:08 AM   #3
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

Not in Portland. I'm on the coast. Having two guys torque 'em is a good idea.

Here's a final shot on the truck. I've known the tow truck guys (father and son) forever. I asked them if they really wanted to put a 9500 pound rig on there. They said, "Aww, we've hauled bigger stuff than that before!" Everything seemed to go fine. But they do have a couple of semi-haulers - I thought they would have brought one of them.

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:19 AM   #4
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

I always check the lug nuts myself when I get home.... But then i'm paranoid.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:36 AM   #5
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

Doesn't sound at all paranoid to me!!!
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, glad you're ok. Having owned a shop, I can tell you that dealerships usually get the best techs, so that sounds indicative of an issue with the entire shop. Its a numbers game, but that is ridiculous. Ford is going to want to hear that, I'm sure mentioning that to the dealer would make him pucker.

BTW, sorry about your grandfather. Sounds like he was a real hero. I had a few like him in the family. Their generation probably saved the world, any an all hyperbole is appropriate. At the risk of stating the obvious, we might not be talking about SMBs if he had not put it on the line like he did.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:48 AM   #7
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldercrest
Doesn't sound at all paranoid to me!!!
Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you!

Aldercrest, you deserve kudos for the save- on a curve no less.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

As had been mentioned, your grandfather sounds like an exceptional person, patriot, and hero. My condolences.

As for your van. I'd get it up on a lift or some sturdy jackstands and spend an hour giving everything a thorough inspection. I'd also be having a serious sit-down with the dealership service manager, and maybe the district service representative, and at a minimum, they should be picking up the original tab as well.

Glad you're OK.


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Old 06-04-2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

You have to check everything they do. The laziness/incompetence level in auto repair is staggering. I found a loose bolt after having my ball joints replaced and I had to refit the hub lock housing they left loose too.

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: What the F@#OIU@%)O&(T!!!!!!!!!!

Mechanic was prolly too busy texting

Now, I gotta quit "texting" on the Forum and go check my lugnuts
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