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· Geek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had my go-kart running for a few weeks now and I've had it out and about in the neighborhood a few times...

Today I was planning on making some changes to the fuel plumbing so I was preparing to jack up the car and take the right rear wheel off. To my chagrin I discovered that the lug nuts were only finger tight at best! Checking the other wheels showed they were all the same or worse - both front wheels had several lug nuts backed off a few turns...:eek:hmy:

I have had the wheels on for quite some time now, even before when I dropped the new engine in, so I had completely forgotten that I had never tightened down the nuts.

In my line of work, we would call this a "high potential near miss".

Warning to self and all - check, double-check, triple-check, and then check one more time everything that could go wrong!
 

· FFCobra Fanatic
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5,560 Posts
I've done the same thing, had the wheels off a month or so went by, backed out of the garage and went for a ride, noticed some clunking that went away when I hit the brakes. Pulled over and found loose wheels. So easy to forget when that much time goes by. Always remember to recheck after having the wheels off. Good advice and glad you found it before having a problem.

Mike
 

· Registered
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9,948 Posts
I had two mis-haps in my go-kart phase. I ran over the driver's seatbelt with the rear tire, pulling off the leather and then, while doing a powerslide in my gravel driveway I almost fell out when the (unbolted) seat tipped underneath me. :icon18:
 

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11 Posts
Can you trust your torque wrench?

A twist on this theme. I bought a Husky torque wrench at Home Depot for $80. Not the cheapest, but not high end either. First use was torquing lug nuts on our family car. Felt a bit light to me but I have a habit of over-tightening things so trusted the wrench. Next day my daughter called to tell me she was hearing some clunking noises. I suspected the wheels and took some tools with me. Sure enough, a wheel was loose and a few lugs on other wheels were little more than finger tight. Decided that since I have a build ahead of me I'd buy a better wrench that comes with a calibration certificate. Bought a Snap-On. Compared the two and the Husky was indeed off by a good bit. Torque wrenches need to be calibrated, even if new...and, while I'm at it, they should be stored on the lowest setting. Probably something you all know, but worth mentioning anyway.

Regards,

Kevin
 

· Junior Charter Member
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291 Posts
Before I take wheels off I lay my torque wrench on the driver's seat. If I get in the car and sit on it I know they haven't been torqued :001_smile:

Jeff
Exactly Jeff. If you are mocking things up and plan to tear it all apart again I could see finger tight bolts/nuts. I all ways say if it looks tight it is tight.
 

· Junior Charter Member
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2,071 Posts
Memory lane

Before I take wheels off I lay my torque wrench on the driver's seat. If I get in the car and sit on it I know they haven't been torqued :001_smile:

Jeff
Jeff has got it right. Leave your torque wrench and air gauge on the seat to remind you to check the wheels. A check list of items to complete is mandatory, I call it my TTD list, "THINGS TO DO" list. Anything that needs to be done later goes on the list, no matter how small. Also if you are waiting on some component that needs to be hooked up when you install the body for instance, I use a package of the bright flourescent cable ties you can get at Home Depot to remind me that a hose clamp on the fuel filler tube needs to be tightened or that type of critical step for instance. When you get it done take the cable tie off.

I have a rule about nuts and bolts and I always told my crew, "If you put a fastener on the car, tighten it down, you can always loosen it later if you need to, but you may not remember to tighten it later" On a street car a loose fastener can be an inconvenience, on a race car it can kill you. Well, hell, on a street car it can kill you too, come to think of it.


Ron
 

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938 Posts
Well, its funny to read that I'm not the only one who did the loose lug-nut experiment. My first gokart (proudly hosted on Youtube and posted here last year) was with finger-tight lug nuts too. Its the same story. You put the tires on to check for clearances or whatnot...and months go by and you forget you never tightened the lugs. You drop the car and go for the gokart...Its only when you go to take the wheels OFF after the gokart that you realize they were never tightened...

It was luckily a harmless lesson, but could have been very bad....Now I tape a list of Must-do's to my steering wheel so I have to do them before I can drive off.

I like Jeff's idea too...and I do that as well sometimes. I just put the relevant tool in the driver's seat to remind me that I haven't yet done X, Y or Z.

Good Post.
 

· Registered
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1,086 Posts
During my build I always put a piece of yellow electrical tape on any bolt that had not been tightened or torqued. That said, I did gokart with loose lugnuts???
 

· FFCobra Craftsman
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3,346 Posts
A White or Blackboard is your friend. I still use mine to keep track of the oil changes on our cars.

 

· Registered
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2,302 Posts
good stories. Although no loose lugnuts here, i have had my share of mishaps.
 
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