Never saw this happen before

gary__March 29, 2008

Driving home the other day there was this on coming chev pu. Then I see this tire rolling down the road towards me along side this pu. I think WTF and stop. Tire launches itself off the road 100' or so in front of me. PU drives by in his lane in a nice straight line less the left front wheel...the entire assembly. The rotor, hub, spindle, caliper, it had none of it left. Looked like it was dragging on a circular shaped cast iron part on the road as it went by, sparks flying. Truck pulls off on the shoulder a couple hundred feet behind me. I assume this truck must have had a one piece bearing/spindle assembly like my dodge 4x4 and corvette has, and it must became unbolted somehow. I don't know how that could happen all of a sudden.

I was amazed that this sudden loss of such large and important components at hwy speed didn't result in a total loss of control of the vehicle. I wonder how often this happens. That integrated bearing/hub/spindle idea raised a red flag in my head the first time I saw it years ago.

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Seen this a few times.It's called " lack of maintainance
by the idiot vehical owner that should never have been given a drivers licence". The reason the vehical didn't lose control is taught in grade 8 physics.Don't have the time to get into that now. Give me a brake. Does this brain
dead driver not feel a vibration,a wobble,a shake ?
Maybe the steering feels funny ? Actually it happended to
me. A friend of mine and myself were screaming down the hyway and i felt the car shake real bad them nothing.
No big deal. I then saw a complete tire and rim pass us on
the side of the road. We were doing 60 and the tire passed us at 70. ( go figure ). It was our tire.( wasn't my car )
Wait till you see a rear axle and tire come out after it
" eats " the fender and quarter panel and whips itself out
of the axle tube. Now that is something to see. Ever seen a hood come open and off at 100 M.P.H. ? Now that is funny.
Mind you you don't want to be behind that guy. Ever seen a guy put his convertable top down at 60 M.P.H. ? That is
a bloody laugh riot. I've just about seen it all. If you
see other funny stuff let us know. This forum needs a light side.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 8:31PM
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Since I wasn't in the vehicle I couldn't say if there was anything to feel or hear before this happened. If it's like the hubs on our vehicles, there's really nothing to maintain. You can't repack the wheel bearings. Didn't look like a bearing failure. More like all the bolts fell out. Could have been he had the front hubs replaced and someone didn't tighten the bolts properly. First ones shake out, last one shears off. Don't have enough info to say the owner could have or should have done something different to prevent this.

I've seen the rear axle routine many times. Almost always someone with a 1/2 ton trying to haul a camper or firewood that would require a 3/4 ton or better.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 10:50PM
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1959 or 60 I was eastbound out of Salt Lake City on I-80 on that long upgrade going about 50 mph. A car passed me with no right front tire - just driving on the rim. Left a double line on the concrete.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 11:07PM
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While driving in to work one morning, I was on a 40 mph, 4 lane boulevard. There are other commuters who wished to do 50 mph or more. I see an older car about 1/2 block in front of me and then it happens! His left rear wheel begins to extend out from the car, axle and all, just like a trick clown car in a circus. The fellow behind this vehicle had quickly pulled into the left lane to execute a pass and was too close to see the wheel assembly. The entire wheel and axle scoots into the left lane and the passing car runs over it - BIG BUMP. The car that lost the wheel and axle scraped on the pavement and came to a controlled halt; I saw the right front wheel of the passing car completely compress its suppension to the stops and the front of the car took a little hop, then that car wobbled to the side of the road. Its driver was angry! This happened so quickly - maybe within 3 seconds.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 11:53PM
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I saw a guy drive over his own drive shaft. Almost pulled the read end completely out. He did rip out one of his
coil springs though.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 12:27PM
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I watched a commercial box truck in front of me pull into a left turn lane at a red light .. when his right wheel/axle started coming out there. Pretty as could be. No extra sounds.

I walked up to his window and told him he better not turn left for a while, and explained. He didnt know the town and I sort of made a lot of rights to lead him to the dealerships gmc/chevy truck repair shop that was only a mile away had he continued and turned left ... but probably took us three times that to get there with all right turns.
He wanted to drive there if he could, and it worked for him. Was riding low so he had a box full of weight, probably had just gotten off the interstate three miles down the road.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:40PM
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Your drive shaft story reminded me of another drive shaft mishap. The one was seen by a friend of mine who was out in noon-hour traffic. There was a guy horsing around in traffic in a Camaro with a respectible engine. He was peeling rubber when traffic opened up in front of him. he took off from a stop, was laying rubber when the front U-joint broke. The drive shaft stubbed in a pothole in the pavement and jacked up the rear of the car. Then, the rear joint tore loose and the the car came down impaling itself on the drive shaft. The car came to a halt in the street with its drive shaft sticking up through the car and through the rear window. It was still spinning as the car came to a halt. The drive was a white as sheet.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 1:43AM
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Here's one my Dad told me that he saw. After 60 years he was still laughing.

About 1900 in Minneapolis there were probably 12 cars in the whole town. There was a really snoty snooty obnoxious SOB owned one of em. Pop said that as he drove by one day the flywheel came off and went rolling down the street and this guy jumped off his car and went running after it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 12:39PM
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I still tell this one to this day. A friend of mine, myself
and a few others were coming home from his girl friends one
afternoon. This guy's car was a 1954 Zepher. It was held together by coat hangers and hose clamps. Including the exhaust system. We went over a set of railway tracks and the muffler fell off and Terry drove over it. It was still in good shape according to Terry so he made an emergency
stop on the side of the road and ran over to it. Do i need
to say more ? Yes he picked it up with bare hands. That was the wildest and funniest dance i ever did see. Yes he
got 3rd degree burns to parts of his hands. He put the muffler back on later. Then there was the time Funky the Junky, ( we called him that for obvious reasons ) got pulled over for no speedometer. He had a 32 essex body on a 1953 Auston frame. His speedometer was a Big Ben alarm clock with the little hand missing. The cop shook his head
, laughed like hell and told us we have 1/2 hour to get that thing home and off the road.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 1:57PM
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RE: the fellow who chased his flywheel down the street.

Perchance was his car a Maxwell? The early Maxwells had an external flywheel on the front end of the crankshaft. The flywheel had spokes cast as fan blades and a heavy outer rim. It could be a hazard if the flywheel ever came apart.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 6:02PM
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I saw a car at about 30mph lose both front wheels almost at the same time and the car dropped to the road. I stopped and the guy was fuming. He had just had new tires put on at the garage up the street. Come to find out, the danged wheels just don't stay on too well without the lug nuts;-)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 9:01AM
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I recall Dad's story had much more detail including make/model etc but its all lost now. 50 years since I heard it.

He, of course, saw the beginning of it all. Had lots of stories. I remember a very few. Wished I had em all now.

One I remember he was on a country road with a Ford Model T - top down. The gas tank was between the engine and the cab. Something caught fire. He slapped it into reverse to keep the flames from the tank and drove backward fast to a farm where there was a water pump in the front yard. Used his hat to throw water on the fire. You'll have to imagine what was burnng - I've no idea.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 10:53AM
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