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Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

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Tow Itch
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Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 2:08 pm



Help! Can someone tabulate the figures below they are a bit cramped together.

Dear All

It seems there has been a bit of a spate of Folding Campers losing wheels. At least two of these have been Dandy Destinys/6s.
It may also be that some were recently serviced.

I saw the old chestnut hawked around elsewhere that if you replace wheels then you should check the nuts after a number of miles so the fitter is not liable. Maybe so and checking is always good but lets look at some other reasons.



There does seem to be an opinion about the nature of auto reverse combining to make trailers with not fully released handbrakes easy to push. The slightly on brake then heats up the drum and the heating and cooling cycle helps to undo the nut. For whatever reasons this tends to happen on the near side.

I spoke to Indespension about the problem as well.
Now the chappie I spoke to at Indespension didn't cover this possibility.
I did ask about the type of studs and expected all studs to be of the rear insertion type rather than the screw in form, as thinking it over that is all I've ever seen on wheels. Apparently hubs are now produced with screw in studs. Now while that gives me the willies it doesn't apply to the age of stuff we're using which is all rear insert.
The other thing that was covered was torque settings for wheels. I don't know what size studs are used on the larger 13" wheels but the 10" wheels only use 3/8" studs very easy to over torque with windy guns.
It's a bit hard to ask non technical people to look at stud ends and asses how they broke but there can often be visual differences between an over torqued stud that has snapped and a stud that has been broken by a flapping wheel. The flapping will tend to bruise a stud and the break will be further out a sheered stud between the drum and where the nut would have been. I've not allowed for the thread stripping and the wheel subsequently striking the stud as I assume a stripped thread would have been noticed at the time.

Indespension's Listed Torque Settings
Nuts lbft NM
3/8" 42 57
7/16" 50 67
1/2" 56 76
5/8" 85 115

Bolts
M12 55 74
M14 60 81


Now I have seen some claims that aluminium wheels need higher torques. This is stated as for a number of reasons from aluminium's different rate of thermal expansion onwards. If you have alloys and get an answer from a reliable source please post and illuminate us.

One final thing if checking and tightening wheels.
If you take the wheels off just clean the threads (wire brush in drill, whatever) a low torque thread lock may be used. N.B. See "Filling The Gap" in a subsequent post Never, never, never grease or "copperslip" the threads. It changes the nature of any torque setting but more importantly it makes the nuts or bolts likely to unscrew. Copperslip is used on things where the need is to reliably fasten and unfasten an Item and that is the major consideration. Coperslip is not used on items where being securely bolted down is the primary concern.
Though if you have alloys do feel free to put copperslip on the face between the wheel and the drum. This stops electrolytic action welding the alloy wheel to the drum.


Last edited by Tow Itch on Tue 14 May 2013, 10:37 pm; edited 3 times in total
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mike
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Re: Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

Post by mike on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 2:15 pm

Are you saying there is more science to tightening wheel nuts than just doing it until you hear a creak Very Happy

Joking aside if nothing else make checking them part of your regular checks,and imo check them after someone else has fitted them.
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Nick
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Re: Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

Post by Nick on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 5:23 pm

well i probably massively exceeded the recommended torque for the studs when i wound them through.I will find out if i have on Saturday when i tow trailer for 1st time in 6months.
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Tow Itch
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Re: Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 6:45 pm

NickB wrote:well i probably massively exceeded the recommended torque for the studs when i wound them through.I will find out if i have on Saturday when i tow trailer for 1st time in 6months.

Nick

When you wound the studs through? I would have thought the studs were pull through ones.
Looking at a previous thread on studs the ones pictured are pull through studs.

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To clarify you can see the difference here. As I was talking about two types of studs I should have shown the pictures earlier.


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The first studs fitted by being screwed into the drum the second studs are the pull through type.
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Nick
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Re: Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

Post by Nick on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 8:18 pm

Kevin they are pull through type,but the new studs were fractionally wider across the splines,so i pulled them through using washers and nuts and then winding nut to pull the stud into place its fairly common practice although not the recommended way to replace studs.
I should really have got them pressed into place using a hydraulic press which i don't have access to.
I would imagine most replacement studs are made slightly wider so they bite into the hub.
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Helen
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Re: Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

Post by Helen on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 8:46 pm

I'm not sure of the size needed yet but we are considering getting some of these, you could probably find them cheaper but this is just to show what they are.

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Just looked again and they are cheap as the price is for a pack of four and not each Laughing
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Tow Itch
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Re: Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

Post by Tow Itch on Sun 28 Apr 2013, 1:18 am

Looking for something else I found this piece by Collyn Rivers. Now Australia is a far harsher environment than the UK for trailer use so some of the reasons are not as valid but one part of the piece is. (By the way I'm not sure I agree on part of the description of how a nut works) [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Tightening Wheels

The fastener industry and automobile industry emphasise that wheel nuts and studs must never be even remotely tightened by rattle guns (impact wrenches). The final tightening must only be done by using a high quality torque wrench of known accuracy - and to the vehicle manufacturer's specified amount only. They must then be rechecked and tightened further if necessary after 50-100 km, and again after 1000 km. But any number of tyre fitters 'know better' and use only rattle guns.

Be aware that rattle guns are very prone to overtightening - and that is counter-productive. This is because excess tension may stretch the stud to the point where its diameter is reduced whilst under such high over-tension - and thus increasing interthread spacing. In far from unknown extreme cases it may result in the stud eventually cracking and/or sheering off.

If a lubricant is used (and most authorities recommend against it) the tightening torque must be reduced by about 20%. Anti-seize materials must never be used for any but totally static applications. This is because one of their intended roles is to ease undoing.

Follow this sequence:

1. Clean the threads thoroughly and ensure the nuts spin freely, by hand alone, along the stud's full threaded length. Discard any that do not, and never use a nut or stud that is or has been corroded. The studs and nuts need to be totally clean, dry, and unlubricated.

2. Locate the wheel on the studs and finger-tighten using a diagonal sequence. Give the wheel a few wriggles to allow it to locate correctly.

3. Tighten the wheel nuts progressively and working diagonally.

4. Use a torque wrench for the final tightening. Torque only to the vehicle maker’s specifications. Do not exceed specified tightness. The only too common belief that more is better has no foundation.

5. Recheck after 50 km, and after a further 100 km. If further retightening is needed there is a very real possibility that whatever is being clamped is under-engineered and is progressively bending. (This occurred with the U-bolt axle clamping plates on early OKAs (including our own). If so this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency by an engineer.

If really concerned about loosening apply Loctite 290 after the final bedding down.

Insist on that torque wrench being used. Many mechanics wrongly believe they can ‘feel’ correct tension. They cannot. Personally observed research showed that over half of 300 (tested) experienced mechanics failed to gauge wheel nut tightness by plus or minus 30%. Some were out by up to 50%. Hardly any could repeat settings reliably within plus/minus 15%.

Insist beforehand that that you need the final tightening to be to the vehicle maker’s specifications and by a calibrated torque wrench. Never allow a ‘rattle gun’ to be used for final tightening as there is a very real risk of over serious overtightening. As noted in the main text, this increases the stretch, and may narrow the thread diameter, thus increasing the thread gap.

Ideally, have your own high quality torque wrench and insist on doing the final tightening yourself (I always do this).
This article was originally written and published around 2004. It is updated here (in mid 2012).

The need for shock absorbers on trailers is now more widely recognised - but many makers still believe their products are immune to the more fundamental Laws of Physics. And mechanics seriously overestimate their ability to tighten, correctly and consistently, by 'feel'.

And never, ever, use an anti-seize product for other than the static applications for which it is intended.

Collyn Rivers

Then found this somewhat less mentally demanding piece from John Wickersham.

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Why Things Work Loose

The threaded section of screwed fastenings is by necessity spiral. One side of the tightened nut pulls up on one side of the corresponding stud’s threads; the other side pushes down on the other side of that thread. The tightening force normally maintains these faces in tight contact and that, plus considerable inter-thread friction, prevents sideways movement between the nut and the stud (but clearance must exist to enable the nut to be able to turn).

As the nut is tightened, the stud or bolt stretches very slightly because it is in tension. Even when correctly tightened however, repetitive side loads not only can but do cause the thread within the nut to move very slightly from side to side. The thread being spiral and marginally stretched, such sideways movement momentarily reduces the frictional contact between the stud and the nut: this minutely and momentarily relieves tension in the stretched stud. The vectored forces thus act as a ratcheting mechanism that, in some circumstances, not only enables, but actually causes the nut to undo.

The above is not conjecture – you can actually see it happening.

Hold a large diameter and clean dry threaded stud and nut vertically downwards and you'll find the nut (restrained by interthread friction) stays where it is. But shake the assembly vigorously from side to side and the nut will unwind itself under the relatively minor downward force of gravity alone. A similar effect happens with a nut and stud under tension – excepting that the brief but repeated loss of tension more or less replicates what gravity does in that experiment. If repeated sideways movement exists, nuts will inevitably ‘ratchet themselves’ loose unless somehow constrained. It is not that they may do undo. They will undo.

Spring washers do less than helping - by adding elasticity they may make matters worse.

Nyloc nuts add friction and marginally limit sideways movement but in the more extreme cases are likely to work loose.

Castellated nuts and split pins prevent nut movement but accurate re-torquing is then not usually feasible unless new holes are drilled each time.

Double nuts help because the upper nut is virtually free of loosening forces.

Left-hand thread nuts (on left hand wheels) were used at one time as anything they strike whilst the wheel is revolving tends to turn them anti-clockwise and thus tightens rather than loosen them - as it would were they to be right hand thread. They do not however restrain loosening (as above). They dropped out of use when the main causes of fastening working loose became understood, but a few truck makers still use them (particularly with mining and quarry heavy vehicles - where direct impact is likely).

Of the above, only the Nyloc nut (partially) addresses the initiating cause. There are better solutions, either of which is effective. Used together (although my experience indicates doubling up is rarely required) it is probable that wheels falling off can be virtually eliminated.

A very effective approach however is by precluding or at least limiting sideways interthread movement at source. The male and female conical interfaces on a typical vehicle wheel are often seen as doing so, but are not - it does however reduce the effect of the impact forces involved (and is covered below).

Filling the Gap

The first approach is to eliminate the gap between the threads. If there’s no gap, there is no side movement and hence little likelihood of nuts undoing. This is how Loctite (and similar products) work. They do not ‘glue’ things together – but by filling the gaps between threads they preclude the sideways movement that causes the problem. Most such products are not however suitable for wheel nuts because wheels ‘bed down’ and need re-torquing at about 50 km, and ideally after a further 100 km. Any subsequent enforced movement destroys the effect of the product.

The specialised Loctite 290 product (only) is designed for things known to bed down and thus need retightening (e.g., road wheel and U-bolt nuts). It is a self-wicking fluid that works its way even between horizontal threads. It is applied only after a second or third re-torquing - and then only if that final retorquing required only a few per cent more torque.

As the product effectively precludes nut unwinding, further torque checks are (claimed to be) unnecessary. It must be reapplied after wheel changes. (It is used also on roller coasters etc to prevent loosening of fastenings that were they to do so, would result in a high risk of consequent catastrophic failure)

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Re: Check Your Wheels Check The People Who Fit Your Wheels

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