Broken Boffin

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ScimiTom
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Broken Boffin

Post by ScimiTom » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:55 pm

Well, after seven happy years with my SE5a, disaster struck last week. Half a mile from home, I heard some concerning clunks and knocks from under the car, and the steering felt 'vague'. With no safe place to pull over, and so close to home, I planned to nurse it back. Then, an almighty BANG! I came to a stop and got out to find all four nearside front wheel nuts had parted company from the wheel, which had smacked up into the wheel arch, causing two large cracks...
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The AA were there within 20 minutes, got the car jacked up, and filed the damaged threads on the wheel studs while I retrieved two of the wheel nuts from back up the road. Borrowing one more from the rear wheel, we got the front wheel back on and I drove the quarter mile home. On the plus side, the inside of the wheel had supported the wheel hub assembly and brake disc from hitting the road, such that there is no damage around there other than a couple of wobbly studs. The centre cap, although completely mis-shapen, had also helped. On the downside, the bodywork damage is a real eyesore.

So, nothing for it but to start a project thread, to give me the incentive to sort this and make Boffin better than ever. The aim is:
1. Fit new wheel hub assembly and bearings, nearside and offside, for peace of mind (already ordered from Graham Walker at nearly £400 - with the owners' club discount!).
2. Identify a fibreglass repair specialist within reasonable travelling distance, to make a 'short term' repair (aluminium plates riveted behind the wheel arch to provide support, and body side taped).
3. Have car stripped back to the gel coat, repaired and fully resprayed, courtesy of Dave Speed (deposit now down for the next available slot, most likely in late 2020...!).

Other jobs (to be outlined later) will be done while the car is off the road for the respray. The plan is to have Boffin back up and running and pootling along happily in time for her 50th birthday in 2021.

I never imagined I'd be starting a project thread, but I'm doing it to keep myself right and to benefit from the expertise and experience of all you lot on here! Any advice or suggestions appreciated...

Tom


Current: 'Boffin' (1971 SE5a)
Previous: 'Sunshine' (1980 SE6b)

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Broken Boffin

Post by Rattling » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:04 pm

Well I think you've been quite lucky not to do more damage! Any obvious reason for the wheel nuts to try and escape


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Broken Boffin

Post by Elizabeth's dad » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:10 pm

Sorry to see that Tom. Did the wheel nuts pull through the hub? The backs come off them, it happened on mine, fortunately as I was tightening them.


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Broken Boffin

Post by ScimiTom » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:13 pm

You're quite right, Colin. I have to remind myself that it could've been worse. Five minutes earlier I was hurtling along on a dual carriageway... it doesn't bear thinking about.

I have been puzzling over the cause of the wheel nuts escaping, and I just don't get it. I had fitted those wheels just one week previously, in my usual way, checking each one methodically. They were all definitely on tight. I have since found all but one of the wheel nuts, within 100 yards of where I came to a stop, so it seems they all came off in quick succession.

One thing I wondered though... In the workshop manual, the wheel nut torque is supposedly 40-45 lb/ft. Surely that is not enough? When I checked the tightness of mine, I found I go for almost double that! What are you lot tightening your nuts up to (so to speak)?


Current: 'Boffin' (1971 SE5a)
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Broken Boffin

Post by ScimiTom » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:17 pm

Elizabeth's dad wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:10 pm
Sorry to see that Tom. Did the wheel nuts pull through the hub? The backs come off them, it happened on mine, fortunately as I was tightening them.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'pull through the hub', Jim, but maybe that was it. I have found three of the nuts, and all four of the rings they sit on, all pretty close to each other by the roadside.


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Broken Boffin

Post by Rattling » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:19 pm

60 I do mine to . I lost my old Volvo wheel nuts on one wheel but luckily it had a locking nut which didn't come off ,never figured out why the others escaped :D


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Broken Boffin

Post by efi_sprintgte » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:25 pm

ScimiTom wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:17 pm
Elizabeth's dad wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:10 pm
Sorry to see that Tom. Did the wheel nuts pull through the hub? The backs come off them, it happened on mine, fortunately as I was tightening them.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'pull through the hub', Jim, but maybe that was it. I have found three of the nuts, and all four of the rings they sit on, all pretty close to each other by the roadside.
Did the studs stay intact or did the whole stud separate from the hub?


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Broken Boffin

Post by ScimiTom » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:28 pm

efi_sprintgte wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:25 pm
Did the studs stay intact or did the whole stud separate from the hub?
Yes, the studs stayed intact on the hub. Two were still secure, but two (opposite each other) were distinctly 'shoogly' afterwards.


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Broken Boffin

Post by scimjim » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:33 pm

I once lost 3 wheelnuts (luckily near Don Pither’s Scimpart!) - I hadn’t touched them for weeks, so could only surmise that someone had been trying to nick my wheels!!!


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Broken Boffin

Post by ScimiTom » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:38 pm

Well, indeed, Jim... I have to admit that the misanthropic part of me does wonder about potential foul play... But that's me just finding excuses not to blame myself!

I've certainly been discovering that wheel nuts loosening themselves is not uncommon... A timely reminder for all of us gents to check our nuts! :D


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Broken Boffin

Post by Will Anderson » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:57 pm

Really sorry to hear about this Tom but it can all be repaired. The car is such a good example that you are approaching this the right way, don't let it dent your enthusiasm for Boffin.

(And I do my nuts up to 90lb/ft but the Brooklands manual does say 40-45lb/ft)


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Broken Boffin

Post by ScimiTom » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:04 pm

Cheers, Will - I appreciate that. When I got home and actually asked my wife, 'Can I get a hug?' (never before uttered!) before breaking down in tears, that's when I realised I was a bit upset. But now I'm feeling upbeat and motivated to turn this into a positive. An expensive positive, for sure, but worth every penny. :wink:


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Broken Boffin

Post by rebel alliance » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:56 pm

One wheel nut coming loose i can understand but all 4 on the same wheel, and then unscrewing themselves to the end of the stud at the same time....I would also suspect someone trying to nick the wheel.



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Broken Boffin

Post by halfpenny » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:55 am

Unscrewing of rh threaded nuts on nearside wheels is a well known phenomenon, and the generally accepted explanation is that flexing of the wheel centre causes a differential unscrewing torque to be applied to the nuts, which will unscrew if not tight enough. Once the wheel is loose the unscrewing effect is rapid. It's why spinners on centrelock wheels have a left hand thread on one side, and why some vehicles, such as Rolls Royce and early Ford Transit used left hand threads for the wheel nuts on the passenger side. I've had it happen to me on a model A Ford.



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Broken Boffin

Post by swoakes » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:16 am

Sorry to hear about this Tom. Good luck with the repairs :wink:


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