RETorquing wheels

Mon Oct 14 13:26:29 EDT 2002

Ok, fess up time for me (subject line pun intended read on)....  Instructed
at the ACCNA even at Gingermann (MI) last weekend with the T44tqw.  Before I
left on Friday, I rotated tires F/R (235/45 17 HTRZII on17x8.5 Borbet C's,
Big Reds, 3ml spacer).  Torqued them down to 88ft/lbs, ran thru the usual
pretrack tech as well.  Saturday, at the track, I passed on a wheel torque

First run group, I had a marketing director of Michelin tires (a great guy,
cking out the "track" events for product input) in for a instructor ride.  A
couple of big guys in a big car, we ran thru the session without much more
than some agressive braking type shimmy.  At the cool down lap things got
much more shaky, by the time I headed to pit lane, it felt like a flat tire.
50 feet into pit lane, my left front wheel passed me (I was at 3mph at this
point), right when it fell, I hit the grass.  Hopped out, yup no wheel bolts.

No damage (other than ego, and enough ribbing to feed an army - Everyone got
to see the car pitting out), but the 10.9 wheel bolts had left slag in one of
the wheel hubs, no 14x1.50 taps within 30 miles (more on that), so I was
done.  Interestingly, I ****found**** ALL 5 wheel bolts (4 perfectly intact,
1 buggered) within 20 feet of where the tire fell, so I knew this was a heat
cycle phenom of some type.

Sunday, I casually mentioned to a former student standing by that I was
looking for a 14x1.50 tap.  "I've got that"!!!  The three stage type no less.
 Within 10 minutes I was back on the track.  I ran 15minutes of my 30 minute
run, and came back in to ck the torque.  Easily 20ft/lbs down!  15minutes,
down another 10.  Yikes!  Finally on the 4th retorque I was good for the rest
of the day on the left side.

Conclusion?  Not really sure, other than the combination of wheel aluminum,
spacer aluminum, aluminum hat and steel hub, steel bolts and cold weather
might have created heat cycles that backed out the bolts.  I was routinely
pulling the right side wheel off after every run to ck pad wear, and needed
to retorque the wheels per the above routine.  I had a race buddy that hated
spacers, I'm gettin there quickly....

Another driver had a wheel leave his car yesterday, stock M3 no spacer, on
track, he had to walk a lot further to retrieve his (insert more jokes at me
sharing my torque methods).  Michelins Mr. Green :)/, so those sumitomo

Moral:  You can't recheck torque on the wheels enough at a track venue, race
or marque event.  If you *don't* have a torque wrench, get one.  If you do,
use it often.

Humbled by the audi gods and well ribbed
Scott J
Newly ascribed member:  3 wheeler club
  Founded:  Mikkola/Hertz 1983 Lombard

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