No Maintenance, Just Fixes

For those who haven’t met me in person, I drive a blue Jeep Cherokee. It’s old, it’s rusted, it’s dented, it’s been rolled once and declared totaled, and I don’t do preventative maintenance.

I have about a five mile drive into work. Last Friday, about 3.5 miles into the trip I started hearing a thump-thump noise. My first guess was that it was a flat tire. I’ve had one of those before and rolled on it long enough to completely destroy it. Not wanting to repeat that, I pulled into a nearby parking lot to check things out.

Went around, checked all the tires, gave them all a good shove, etc. I couldn’t find anything wrong, so I figured it was just the Jeep making odd noises and decided to check it out later.

Well, apparently, that was the wrong choice. I made it the additional mile and a half to work, then about 2/3 of the way down our 300ft driveway: Klunk! My front left wheel falls off right there in the driveway.

I stopped (didn’t really have an option) and walked up to the security booth. I told the security guard that I had a problem and he got about half way through asking me what it was when he looked up and my Jeep siting there missing a wheel. He pointed a security camera at it and phoned the protection services office. They sent over someone with a floor jack.

I found four of the lug nuts right near the road and the last about 1/3 of the way down the drive. As best I can figure, the four came loose and all fell out of the sockets when I made the turn into work. The remaining threads on the fifth quickly blew out and the wheel came off. We jacked up the Jeep, I put the wheel back on with the four good nuts, went and parked.

After work I bought a few new parts and borrowed a tap and die set from work. Saturday, I took the wheel back off, cleaned up the studs, re-tapped the nuts and put it back on. Results: The Jeep is as good as new, or at least as good as it was. I did twist the front end a bit, so the door rubs when I open it now, but it’s not like things were properly aligned before…

I also noticed while the wheel was off that my left connection to the anti-sway bar was completely busted. I might be inclined to fix that sometime…

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About norconkm

I'm a person. I live in Grand Rapids, MI and work as an Electrical Engineer. My hobbies at the time of this writing are kayaking, skiing, archery, photography and maybe biking. As this is my personal blog, my hobbies are likely the primary topics about which you will be reading.

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