Check those safety wires!

Jim Craik

Lifetime Supporter
Frances and I were heading down Skyline to Alices for dinner last night and something in the rear end felt a little funny......

I pulled over to check, the right rear safety wire had broken and the knock off had started to losen up.

I did not have a hammer in the car, but a big rock got us home ok.

Guys be sure and check your safety wires often!

I have put a lot of miles on P/2264 and never had a problem so I did not check them as often as I should have:(

I have now added the lead hammer and some safety wire to the door pocket.
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Good catch Jim

I know you have lots of miles on that car how many now?

Do not forget to recheck the "rock tightened" wheel as you may not have had the rim fully seated when you were at the side of the road

Ian
 

Scott Calabro

Supporter
Jim, you got lucky!

I always laugh when I see "car guy's" try to wire!

I've seen incorrect safeties by race mechanics on ALMS cars, you'd think they know how :(

Buy a pair of safety wire pliers.

Buy a roll of aircraft stainless wire of .041 diameter.

Use these two things and learn how to wire correctly and you will NEVER have a wire fatigue and break. If you do it's because it was wired wrong.

Search here for how to correctly wire like an A&P.

AC 43.13-1B - Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair [Large AC. This includes Change 1.] – Document Information
 
Last edited:

Jim Craik

Lifetime Supporter
Scott,

I used .041 and safety pliers from Summit Racing, installed correctly.

The wire broke as it looped behind the spoke (BRM)

Perhaps a street car with thousands of miles on less than race track smooth roads has different dynamics?
 

Scott Calabro

Supporter
You had too many twists per inch then or your wire quality sucks.

My BRM's had a wire hole drilled in one of the spokes webbing.

Search the 43.13 and buy good wire from an aircraft supply.
 
Yikes, Jim, I'm glad everyone is OK. You may wish to pull off the wheel and see if your drive lugs are to spec. If the diameter is worn, there might be play that might have popped your safety wire. I also find that I never really get my wheels tight without anti-seize on the spindle. Also make sure there is not a hairline crack in your spinner.
 

Bill Musarra

Supporter
Or, another possibility is that the wheel in questioned wasn't torqued down adequately to begin with, and/or there was some slack in the safety wire. Constant off and on strain of the wire from it"s looseness could fatigue the wire.
Curious, what is the gauge/thickness of your safety wire????

Bill
 

Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
Supporter
Scott,

I used .041 and safety pliers from Summit Racing, installed correctly.

The wire broke as it looped behind the spoke (BRM)

Perhaps a street car with thousands of miles on less than race track smooth roads has different dynamics?
If you don't want to drill a hole for the wire in your rim and want to prevent the wire from chafing the wheel spoke, use model aircraft fuel line as an insulator where it loops around the spoke.
 

Jim Craik

Lifetime Supporter
I checked, the wheels had been on the car since i painted the wheel centers, July 2013, 6,000+ miles I checked the wires fairly often when first installed, but as I never noted any change, l checked less. My bad, I won't make that mistake again

We were lucky that it was a winding road, the slight wobble (approximately 1 turn loose) was very noticeable, had it been a highway, I might not have noticed it until too late.

I checked the other wheels, all tight, changed the other wires, but all looked good.....
 
Last edited:
Jim, you're lucky to have felt it and caught it before damage to car or driver/passenger. Good to hear nobody hurt.

I was bombing down the road one time with my brother when I was about 17 or so in an old MGB doing about 50mph. "hey, do you feel something?" and then we see the one of the rear wheels roll and bounce up over the edge of the road and go rolling into a field. A field full of cows, who were quite surprised to see a wheel rolling at them. One of us forgot to tighten the spinner (obviously, my brother....) after messing with the brakes. Upon closer examination, the wire wheel had maybe 50% of its spokes intact/not broken. We had good luck that day too (nobody hurt).
 

Jack Houpe

GT40s Supporter
Dang that would have been nasty, at least you didn't start your thread "Wheel came off!", that kind of stuff that starts flashing through your head at 150mph, gives me nightmares. Good you caught it!

I forgot what size bailing wire I used. :laugh:
 

Attachments

Mike

Lifetime Supporter
Seems like safety wire might encourage complacence. I don't wire and just give them all a tap each time I take the car out. If I did wire it would be towards the front or loose side. Any slack would show they had moved.
 

Jim Craik

Lifetime Supporter
Yikes, Jim, I'm glad everyone is OK. You may wish to pull off the wheel and see if your drive lugs are to spec. If the diameter is worn, there might be play that might have popped your safety wire. I also find that I never really get my wheels tight without anti-seize on the spindle. Also make sure there is not a hairline crack in your spinner.
Pat, those are good thoughts, I did use anti-seize, but a check of the pins and spinner are a good idea, thanks.

I have to wonder that passing cars thought of me banging away on that beautiful car with a big rock?
 

Bill Musarra

Supporter
I keep a small what I call a mechanix bag that I got at Harbor Freight for those things that I think are going to be roadside emergencys, tire plugs, fuses, mini compressor, fix a flat etc. along with a few "instruments". Will add safety wire and a hammer to the mix.

Bill
 
Sears dead blow hammer in the right door pocket, never leaves the car. I guess it could move to the luggage box now that I have one. I've never had a problem with the stock 15" wheels even without safety wire.

On the other hand my 17's have been nothing but problems. The 17's were on the first time I ever drove the car and almost lost two wheels. And that was within two or three miles. It turned out they machined the inside of the wheels incorrectly. Even after "fixing" the problem I still check the wires.
 

Attachments

Jim, just happy to hear nothing bad came from this and that you were experienced enough with your car to notice the odd feeling coming from the rear. Good omen for all of us to check the spinners.
 
Top