Planning to put a D44 into my '85 CJ soon. It's in the process of being rebuilt. So, I am trying to limp my AMC20 to the finish line. It's like some cheesy movie where the injured runner can't make it, so his kid comes out and props him up to help him cross the finish line...
Anyway, the brakes are in horrible shape, and I thought I had lost a wheel cylinder. Turns out it's gear oil leaking out the seal at a scary rate.
So, I pulled the rear driver wheel off and put some older pads on there because the ones in there were very thin and cracking.. I only need a few more weeks...
I buttoned it up, got distracted 2-3 times, and forgot to tighten the lug nuts!
So I drove a few blocks and WHAM the wheel came off. Did a tad bit of body damage which I bent back in with my foot. Cracked a chunk out of the drum and didn't do the backing plate much good. The backing plate was shot, but now it's worse.
My girlfriend went the few blocks home and brought me back a floor jack. Can you say keeper?
Nice guy drove up in a truck, I told him I didn't need any help but thanks, but he said "I have your wheel in my truck!" I thanked him and he said "hey man I'd hang out but I have expired tags!" Love that guy!
Anyway, first time I've done something quite THAT stupid working on a vehicle. Pretty embarrassing really. Fortunately a bit of body damage is the worst of it. I banged and bent the backing plate enough to get the drum back on, and was only out 5 lug nuts. Threads were still clean! Still hoping to limp this thing to the finish line.
A wheel flew off a Dodge mini-van a couple days ago outside our shop (yep, some dumbazz forgot to tighten the lug nuts). The flying wheel bounced off the building hard enough to cave in the front fender and buckle the hood of a parked car.... this was a small wheel flying off a vehicle traveling at under 35 mph!
Sorry if I come across like a prick, but this type of complacency endangers other people, not just yourself.
I'm glad your ok. and like you said if all it cost you was some body damage and not a lawsuit then you did good. i left some loose when i was 16 on my truck. i came home after a short drive and said to my dad... my truck feels like the front end is all over the place and it never did this before. he said go tighten your lugs and see if that helps!!! duh so i learned at a young age. i feel your pain. its never happend again.
When 16 my friend managed to not tighten his lugnuts well... it was one of those "I thought you did it" when he and his dad were doing something or the other... and I was driving behind him when his truck went into a sudden wobble. I watched his wheel come off, the bed slam into the ground, sparks fly, and the wheel pass him and eventually cross in front of him and bounce several feet into the air when it hit the ditch, fortunately missing all other vehicles.
Great story! Glad no one got hurt. That's pretty cool how the guy had your wheel in his truck.
The story reminds me of how I've seen the guys at some of the big tire stores (NTB and Discount Auto) use a lug wrench on each lug to manually check the tightness after using the air wrench.
Most big tire shops have that as policy. We even have it at the big-name truck stop I work at. We are required to hand-torque all wheels to specs, with another tech or manager as witness.. Same as spindle nuts and oil pan plugs.. I think it is a case of hiring too many "burger-flippers" as a mechanic and they don't know the proper way to do things, so the lawyers and insurance companies make them do it. Then if it happens, they can fire the offender and hire another one.
1978 CJ5 5.0HO/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass body, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy