Wheel came off

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Just a note of caution (I had this lesson reinforced the hard way)

I had a wheel come of my Apache trailer when it was going down the road. I was lucky that it did not cause an accident other then the event itself. I had just put new rims and tires on about 300 miles before. I checked that the wheel bolts were tight after the first 50 miles and all seemed fine, but 250 miles later one came off. I immediately checked the other side but they were still tight. I had to replace the inner wheel well, fix a dent , and touch up the paint. It looks fine now, but I still have do some more checking to verify that my axle is not bent.

In my research to find out more about what could caused this, I came across the some information on a Dexter axle site about the problems with wheel fasteners not holding their torque and coming loose when fresh paint is under the fastener contact area. I understand you have to be very vigilant about checking the fasteners until you can be sure that the paint is no longer a problem and they are staying tight (good idea to check them periodically after that). I bought a torque wrench and was then able to detect the fasteners backing off slightly on my next trip when I checked them after 50 miles.

I wanted to pass this along in case it can help anyone avoid the problems I had.

-- John Adam (AdamJFDA@aol.com), December 19, 2003


A little bit of lock tight on the bolts will help also to keep them from coming loose on you.

-- Tim (tschaefer26@comcast.net), December 22, 2003.

Excellent idea tim, Be shure to use the blue and not the red. clean the bolts and threaded holes with brake cleaner then allow to dry. locktight needs a clean surface to work.

-- paul drescher (sensi3d@execpc.com), December 22, 2003.

John do you have left and right threaded bolts?

I am wondering if you have regular threads on both wheels and if so which wheel came off? The driver's side or the passenger side?

I think the reason for having left and right side bolts is to prevent the bolts from vibrating and loosening. Please let us know what type of bolts you have and what wheel came loose.

Thanks, Alan

-- ALAN W WEIS (alan_weis@hotmail.com), December 23, 2003.

At the time both wheels had right hand thread bolts. It was the driver's side that came off. This Apache has the factory Bendix surge brakes and the bolts have finer threads then the others I have seen such as the ones that hold on the spare tire at the back. The top threads on what I believe was the last bolt to pull out of the drum were slightly damaged. I found a place that sold new drums that came with studs and nuts, so later I replaced both drums with these. These drums both have right hand threads. I liked the idea of studs and nuts better, but I am not sure if there is any real advantage to them.

-- John Adam (AdamJFDA@aol.com), December 23, 2003.

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