"You picked a fine time to leave me, Loose Wheel." I
could not understand why the back of my car was
steering itself one evening. I pulled over and
discovered my right rear wheel pointing toe out, then
going toe in when I pushed it a few feet back.
Turns out the aft wishbone bracket fractured where it
was welded to the frame. The bracket had suffered low
stress/high cycle fatigue failure. The crack began
adjacent to the weld area on the frame. I had to be
towed home on a flatbed truck.
I was able to get all the pieces removed, and cleaned
up with solvent, then ground to bare metal for prep.
I fabricated a temporay clamp around the lower
wishbone and frame. Took the car to my friend who
happens to be a first rate tig welder. We spent 3
hours cleaning, grinding and welding numerous cracks
where the wishbones attached to the chassis. (mostly I
cleaned metal and put sharp points on the tig
electrodes, while he did the hard part)
The tough part is the bracket is 0.049" thick mild
steel, and the chassis bottom plate is 0.083" There
was good weld penetration on the bracket and almost
none on the chassis.
My recommendation is to put the car on a lift or
stands, clean the layers of grime and grease, and have
a careful look at all the suspension attachment points
on your 30+ year old car. Pay particular attention to
the shock towers, motor mounts and pickup points.
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 16:50:20 -0000
From: "Michael Geiger" <***@***.***>
Subject: Signs a wheel is about to fall off
Well as nothing bad happened I can joke a little about
the tell tale signs a wheel is about to fall off. 1)
getting a little loose. 2) Strange sounds emanating
from a wheel
well. So if you car starts exhibiting these
symptoms, pull over
carefully and check. Just remember, if the big nut in
the middle is
not tight, then knock on = fall off!
66 S3 Coupe' now with all four wheels nice and tight.
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