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Check your lugs!
#1177821 Fri Aug 12 2016 05:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 208
Shop Shark
I had been hearing a squeak/rattle in my '46 6400 for a few weeks. It sounded like something up front, but I couldn't find the source. Yesterday I was walking by the truck and noticed a couple of lug nuts missing on the right rear wheels. Upon closer inspection, the studs were also missing. I jacked up the truck and started to take off the tires to investigate. They were already loose, the studs all snapped, and the inside wheel has lug holes over an inch long! At first I was shocked, then very grateful that I didn't lose the wheels on the road.

As it stands, I need to find new studs to put in. Fortunately I have a spare wheel with a new tire on it. This could have been a catastrophe.

I had never had a reason to have these tires off the truck before and didn't ever check the nuts. From now on, checking lugs will be part of regular maintenance.

Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1177831 Fri Aug 12 2016 12:46 PM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,606
Unrepentant VW Lover
Glad nothing worse happened, Ed! Checking the lugs for missing/cracked nuts or studs, shiny threads or rust trails is great advice and part of a proper pre-trip inspection wink

(Along with a whole bunch of other things that not all of us do as diligently as we should ... )


Last edited by John Milliman; Fri Aug 12 2016 12:47 PM.

"There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes..."

'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1177832 Fri Aug 12 2016 12:47 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,146
When I was 16 before my first trip driving all by myself on the interstate I had loaded all my hit and miss engines on the back of a 1965 flat bed F350.
Filling it up at the gas station I heard a squeek as I pulled into the pump, just figured it was the rack/sides on the bed.

90 miles up the highway it felt like I got two flat tires at once on the left rear! I somehow got it pulled over real quick to find 5 of the 6 lug nuts and studs gone and one loose one remaining. The wheels were stud centered with a significant gap between hub and wheel center bore. So they staid sort of attached by that last stud and flopped around on the hub something terrible.

That's a trip I'll never forget.

1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals []
1948 Chevrolet 6400 [] - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup []
---All pictures []---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1177835 Fri Aug 12 2016 12:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,815
Beware of rusty streaks coming from the lug nuts in a pinwheel pattern. For some reason that's usually an indicator of a loose nut. When I was running the shop for a small trucking company we watched that pretty closely.

The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1177836 Fri Aug 12 2016 01:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,577
Shop Shark
Thanks for the word of warning Ed, and I am glad nothing real bad happened. As part of my standard pre-trip inspection, I have always looked for telltale paint chip marks indicating movement on all of my wheel lugs where they touch the rim. They have never changed and I was considering to quit looking...I think you changed my mind.

Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1177857 Fri Aug 12 2016 04:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 2,094
Big Bolt Forum Moderator
great reminder, thanks! Glad nothing too bad happened!


1955 Chevy 6400 ex-flatbed (no bed now!)
In the Stovebolt Gallery

1958 Chevy 6400 flatbed W/dump
In the Stovebolt Gallery

1959 Chevy Suburban Owned for almost 20 years, Daily Driver -- sold May 2016
In the Stovebolt Gallery

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof
Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1178046 Sat Aug 13 2016 11:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 308
Shop Shark
Lucky nothing real exciting happen!! What a close call. You may want to check and see if your wheels are piloted on the hubs correctly. The later wheels starting in 54 fit but have a .500" larger pilot diameter on the wheel. I had two on the front of mine like that and didn't notice it until I was changing wheels around. I made rings and pressed in the wheels when I moved those wheels to the rear. See Tech. Tips

Last edited by Chris's 46 / 515; Sat Aug 13 2016 11:39 PM.
Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1178101 Sun Aug 14 2016 03:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 208
Shop Shark
Thanks for the tip. The wheels were snug on the hub, just loose lug nuts.

Re: Check your lugs!
Ed Hotaling #1179045 Sun Aug 21 2016 02:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 104
Shop Shark
When I was a kid, I remember riding into town with my Grandmother, who had been tasked with taking one of our F700's to the tire shop for a flat repair. It was harvest time and the combine would be waiting with this truck out of the rotation. I was too young at the time to remember all the details of what actually was determined to have happened at the shop. I do remember riding along at highway speed a few miles outside of town when we were suddenly passed in the left lane by a wheel and tire with no vehicle attached to it. It changed lanes into our lane just in front of our truck, held the lane for a few seconds and then moved over into the ditch and bounced around as we passed it. Needless to say we were soon stopped in the ditch too, as it was our outer drivers side rear wheel. It could have been really bad news for us, or anyone around us to be hit by the wheel, or if the other one had made it off of the hub.

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