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Old 02-16-2011, 12:09 PM   #1
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Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

I took a trip to Lake Tahoe this weekend and on the way back a tow truck driver signaled me down and told me that my rear wheel "was about to fall off". I pulled over, removed the hubcap and this is what I saw....



The passenger rear lug nuts were loose also. Fronts were tight as a drum. Do these look like the correct lug nuts for alloy wheels? I think not. I bought this van used from Carmax last month. My Sportsmobile build is scheduled for April 26. If I would have lost that wheel going 70mph who knows what would have happened.

On a side note the citizens of Bishop are #1. Everyone from the tow truck driver to the guy who made me a sandwich were awesome. What a great town. I've always driven through Bishop but never took the time to check it out. Recommendations:

- Raymonds Deli. Excellent sandwiches!
- Rusty's bar. Friendliest afternoon drinkers I've ever met. One patron offered to put us up in his home if we needed to stay overnight.
- Mr K Automotive. Reasonable and fast service.
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:06 PM   #2
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

The first thing I noticed...are those holes dished out for that style lug nut?
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

Looks like the right lugnuts for the wheel. Probably weren't tightened properly, especially since the other rear was also loose.

Scary, scary, scary!!!

I think I'd be in contact with CarMax - or let my attorney contact them. They also dodged a bullet here.

Mike
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:11 PM   #4
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

Obviously something is not right. The studs should not come out like that, and I think they should be longer. The 2nd stud from the left looks snapped, but could just be a reflection. Also the gap's around the nuts that are still on look too much, as long as that's not a camera angle / wheel 1/2 off thing, then it's as if the bolt pattern for the wheel was incorrect and someone widened the holes. But maybe the wheel wobbling around caused that.
After talking to carmax and getting that sorted, I'd pull it all off and compare it to other wheels. But to your original question, the actual nut's look ok for that type of wheel. But they look like stock nuts, and with an aftermarket wheels you should really use nuts with a larger acorn. Since you are going from a hub & lug centric wheel (Ford) to a lug centric wheel (aftermarket).
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

The studs that came off snapped off at the base of the flange. They must have broken off when the wheel started wobbling. The reason the studs don't look long enough is because the nuts were very loose. When tightened there are 5-6 threads showing.

I believe the wheels were a stock option although I don't think they were original to my van.
Link here. http://www.originalwheels.com/ford-w...0rims-2006.php

I'll be making a visit to Carmax for sure. Right now I'm trying to gather as many facts as possible since my emotions are running high. I keep thinking what could have happened to my family and friends if.....

There are 2 possiblities in my mind:
1) The wheels were removed so they could be cleaned/polished and someone did not torque the lugs correctly when they were reinstalled. I've put 2,000 miles on the van since I bought it.
2) The steel wheels were exchanged for alloy's and someone did not use the correct lugs. My spare is steel not alloy. The mechanic in Bishop was not sure and I haven't had much luck researching this. My next stop is a Ford dealer.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:35 PM   #6
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapatio
The studs that came off snapped off at the base of the flange. They must have broken off when the wheel started wobbling. The reason the studs don't look long enough is because the nuts were very loose. When tightened there are 5-6 threads showing.

I believe the wheels were a stock option although I don't think they were original to my van.
Link here. http://www.originalwheels.com/ford-w...0rims-2006.php

I'll be making a visit to Carmax for sure. Right now I'm trying to gather as many facts as possible since my emotions are running high. I keep thinking what could have happened to my family and friends if.....

There are 2 possiblities in my mind:
1) The wheels were removed so they could be cleaned/polished and someone did not torque the lugs correctly when they were reinstalled. I've put 2,000 miles on the van since I bought it.
2) The steel wheels were exchanged for alloy's and someone did not use the correct lugs. My spare is steel not alloy. The mechanic in Bishop was not sure and I haven't had much luck researching this. My next stop is a Ford dealer.
If they are stock / Ford wheels, and it seems so, then the nuts look like the correct ones. I don't *think* Ford changes the nuts depending on steel vs alloy at the factory. So it would seem the most lightly cause is someone didn't torque them down correctly. Don't carmax cars come with a 3 month / 3k miles warranty or something? I would assume it all falls under that.

Glad you are ok, it could have been exceptionally bad for you. Can't say I have ever had anything similar happen, but did you feel anything?
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

Quote:
but did you feel anything?
It was extremely windy that day and the van was being blown around. Any wobbling or noise was attributed to the wind. To give you an idea there were water spots on Mono Lake!

Carmax offers a standard 30 day warranty. It's been 45 days since I bought it. They are a reputable company and I believe they will take care of the problem rather than risk reputation, especially when it comes to safety.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

When a van is ordered with aluminum wheels, it has a steel spare.

The inside of the wheel will have markings to indicate who made the wheel, if factory it will probably have a p/n.

Mike
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:28 PM   #9
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

The holes look like they need a shank style lug nut
to me...it's hard to tell from the picture. If those are the
right lug nuts, the hole size should be the same as the spare.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:13 PM   #10
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Re: Yikes! Close call, wheel almost falls off

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
The holes look like they need a shank style lug nut
to me...it's hard to tell from the picture. If those are the
right lug nuts, the hole size should be the same as the spare.
I would have to agree with DaveB
Shank style and or Mag Seat w/ Washer as pictured below

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