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      06-05-2011, 10:43 AM   #1
R A W L S
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Wheel Came Off at Track Event!

Has anyone ever had all five of their wheel bolts brake between the wheel and caliper before? I take good care of my car and make sure my bolts are properly torqued so I was surprised (to say the least) when my bolts broke and my wheel came off while coming out of a hairpin turn this weekend. I guess the stock bolts are not up for track duty?? Beware. I'd like to learn as much from this as possible - your experience and advise would be appreciated.
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      06-05-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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      06-05-2011, 11:10 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear - that's really scary.

Could happen for lots of reasons. Not tight enough, over tightening. An improper mating between the wheel or spacer and the hub. Crappy bolts/studs. Bolts and studs fatigue over time.

I've seen it happen 3 times. The first two (same car) were because the torque wrench was reading too high, resulting in under tightened nuts. The other was because the studs were fatigued - owner didn't know they were supposed to change them out every couple of racing seasons.

It nearly happened to me when I was messing with wheel spacers on this E90. It's hard to find 10mm spacers that work well. I had an H&R set that did not seat correctly, which caused the nuts to come loose quickly while out on the track. I broke 2 studs on one wheel - it was pretty obvious something was wrong so I shut it down.
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      06-05-2011, 11:11 AM   #4
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The stock bolts are very strong. Your incident will spawn a long discussion about over-tightened wheel bolts, and while that's certainly a possibility, I think that it probably happened because they were loose when you entered the track. With loose bolts, the wheel moves against the hub and the stress on the bolts goes through the roof. Once one breaks, they all let go pretty quickly after that.

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Has anyone ever had all five of their wheel bolts brake between the wheel and caliper before? I take good care of my car and make sure my bolts are properly torqued so I was surprised (to say the least) when my bolts broke and my wheel came off while coming out of a hairpin turn this weekend. I guess the stock bolts are not up for track duty?? Beware. I'd like to learn as much from this as possible - your experience and advise would be appreciated.
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      06-05-2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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You should change out the bolts or studs every year if you are tracking and changing wheels a lot.
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      06-05-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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You should change out the bolts or studs every year if you are tracking and changing wheels a lot.
I agree. But these bolts weren't even a year old yet.

Last edited by R A W L S; 06-05-2011 at 05:49 PM.
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      06-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
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The bolts were only about a year old.
Are you checking the torque during the day?I had 1 set of wheels that would loosen up during the day and needed to be retorqued.
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      06-05-2011, 12:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead999s View Post
Quote:
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The bolts were only about a year old.
Are you checking the torque during the day?I had 1 set of wheels that would loosen up during the day and needed to be retorqued.
I check them prior to every track event and sometimes during the event. I did not check them immediately prior to the 25 minute session where they broke.

So it sounds like their breaking was a function of fatigue or being over or under torqued, or from both.
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      06-05-2011, 01:01 PM   #9
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Are you using factory wheels or aftermarket?
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      06-05-2011, 01:24 PM   #10
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Are you using factory wheels or aftermarket?
Aftermarket wheels - apex arc-8 with OEM bolts, no spacers
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      06-05-2011, 01:31 PM   #11
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thats insane, I was actually at the HRE open house yesterday and during the tour the guy from HRE was stating that they had a race car that was having the same issues with the stock bolts. They thought that maybe he had over torqued them or hadn't tighten them so they sent him another set same thing. Now they get a different material lug bolt from Italy for all their race cars and never had any issues from there on. You should contact Lon@HRE and ask him how you would go about getting the bolts.
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      06-05-2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFFRR View Post
thats insane, I was actually at the HRE open house yesterday and during the tour the guy from HRE was stating that they had a race car that was having the same issues with the stock bolts. They thought that maybe he had over torqued them or hadn't tighten them so they sent him another set same thing. Now they get a different material lug bolt from Italy for all their race cars and never had any issues from there on. You should contact Lon@HRE and ask him how you would go about getting the bolts.
Thank you. I will look into it.
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      06-05-2011, 02:00 PM   #13
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^^cool.
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      06-05-2011, 03:08 PM   #14
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I have the ARC-8s too.. I'm glad I switched to studs!
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      06-05-2011, 03:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R A W L S View Post
Aftermarket wheels - apex arc-8 with OEM bolts, no spacers
What is the offset and width of the wheel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R A W L S View Post
I check them prior to every track event and sometimes during the event. I did not check them immediately prior to the 25 minute session where they broke.

So it sounds like their breaking was a function of fatigue or being over or under torqued, or from both.
How many lbs of torque?
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      06-05-2011, 05:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
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What is the offset and width of the wheel?



How many lbs of torque?
18x10 et25 square setup

90lbs
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      06-05-2011, 09:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R A W L S View Post
I check them prior to every track event and sometimes during the event. I did not check them immediately prior to the 25 minute session where they broke.

So it sounds like their breaking was a function of fatigue or being over or under torqued, or from both.
I'm not saying that I know the cause of the lug failure but just so you know...Iíve always heard that you should check the lug bolts/nuts immediately before each and every session due to the stresses and heat cycling that can cause the bolts to loosen up. I've also been told to not torque them immediately after a session while they are still hot but wait until a few minutes before the next session. With that being said, an aftermarket set of bolts may still be a good idea as well.
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      06-05-2011, 10:20 PM   #18
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I check my lug nut torque before every session. I've had a couple of lugnuts come a little loose. The lateral movement of the car can loosen the lug nuts.
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      06-05-2011, 10:38 PM   #19
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yeah I always check mine since one day when i ran an event in my daily driver I noticed some vibration and when I stopped to check it out I found all five lug nuts finger tight on one wheel.
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      06-05-2011, 11:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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yeah I always check mine since one day when i ran an event in my daily driver I noticed some vibration and when I stopped to check it out I found all five lug nuts finger tight on one wheel.
I wish I had some warning, the car felt great, in fact I had just turned my fastest lap ever. There was a single poping sound mid corner, I assume one or two bolts breaking, then within a split second, another pop, assuming the remaining bolts breaking, then the rotor hit the pavement and I see my wheel rolling away.
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      06-06-2011, 12:43 AM   #21
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Ouch! Sorry to hear about this. What damage was done to your rotor and/or suspension?
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      06-06-2011, 01:38 AM   #22
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Ouch! Sorry to hear about this. What damage was done to your rotor and/or suspension?
Thanks, I don't know the damage and repair bill yet. Mechanically It will almost certainly need a new rotor and wheel. It may also need a new control arm, and who knows what else. Cosmetically it needs a new fender which the wheel broke while breaking free. I'll post more info in a day or two.
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