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Always Double Check Your Lug Nuts …


It all seemed simple enough.  I’d pull off the front, driver’s side tire, pull off the front brake drum, adjust the brakes (The front right was pulling some on braking, so I needed to adjust the front left), and put everything back together … easy enough, yes?

Well, that was last night.  This morning, I hopped in the jeep and drove down to the local gas station to get some gas, before heading to the local home/garden shop (Zamzow’s).

As I exited the station, my pedal suddenly drops to the floor.  Hmm .. not good.  I jump out, lift the hood, and, sure enough my accelerator cable connector had come loose. I re-attached the cable and drove back home to more permanently fix the solution.

So, I’m back on the road, heading to Zamzows again. Life is good.  I drive about 2 miles and I start hearing a tinging; “an odd sound,”  I think to myself …. I listen more closely; “That is coming from the front left side.”

And then it hit me, “had I tightened the lug nuts from my brake work the night before?”  Crap, I couldn’t remember.

At just that moment, when the grip of dread descended upon me that I might have forgotten to tighten the nuts, I was looking down at the driver’s tire, driving about 35 mph, when a silver bullet shot from the wheel and landed in the grass divider (never did find it).  Holy shit!  That was a lug nut!  I pulled over into the median (it’s a rural road with a grass median) and checked out the situation.

After doing some accounting (yes, that MBA of mine really came in handy about now), I concluded the situation was not good.  1 lug nut missing.  2 lug nuts loose.  2 lug nuts holding on the rim.  0 tools … and 1 idiot standing there (yes, that would be me).

What to do?  Head back home very slowly.  Every 1/4 mile or so I stopped, jumped out, hand tightened the lug nuts, got back in, and kept going.  Drive another 1/4 mile & repeat.  You get the idea!

I finally did make it home, tightened everything back up, PACKED MY TOOLS, and took off again. No more problems the rest of the day … whew!

However, to add insult to injury, my adjustments still didn’t fix the pull to the right I have!  Just know that I won’t be forgetting to double check my lug nuts in the future!!


7 Comments on “Always Double Check Your Lug Nuts …

  1. Steve

    It is always good to confess in public for the benefit of the rest of us forgetful people………………

  2. Mitch

    You had to pull the wheel to adjust the drums? Use the slot at the bottom of the backing plate. Jack the jeep up, spin the wheel and adjust until the brakes slightly drag…Then back it off a hair…(I actually leave it to drag slightly) repeat as necessary….

    You know…you wouldn’t have a pulling problem if you’d just put discs on it to begin with…. 😉

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    Ok, so the reason I had to take of the drums was because I couldn’t remember WHICH WAY the adjuster had to spin (memory is a tough thing to lose). I had spun it both ways before deciding I’d pull off the tire and drum to see exactly which way I was supposed to spin it.

    Truth be told, thanks to Brian, I have most of the parts I need for front discs up front. I’m saving the discs for Version 2 🙂

  4. Brett

    Confessions of an idiot: just last week I was putting the boat away and I had the outdrive down to drain the water. I forgot and dragged it about 5′ down the driveway. Sounded horrible. Crazy how fast the thoughts of what the results will be! Thought I goofed up the prop and skeg. Just wore it down a little bit. Yikes!

  5. deilers

    Mitch: lol .. the pressure is on now 🙂

    Brian: thanks .. I really am waiting for some rebuilding this winter to make several changes. I still plan to use what you already sent me 🙂

    Brett: maybe I should create an anonymous confessions page that anyone can add too .. that could be pretty hilarious! There’s the time with my last jeep that I put in a new clutch plate, got everything together, only to find out that I had put it in backwards …

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