Wheelie Confused…

14/09/2019: So, I’m not a mechanic. I’ve said this more than once already. I can, however, change a wheel. Or at least I thought I could! There’s a few reasons that I want to get the wheels off. I have the work to do replacing the ball joint and I need to take the shocks off to get them serviced. There is also the uneven brake wear to investigate and it’s probably time to upgrade the brake pads. I can’t get on with any of this with the wheel on.

I hadn’t really paid much attention to the wheels (other than noticing I thought they looked pretty cool) before I bought the car. This is what they look like:

I’m flummoxed! It looks like a centre cap covering the normal wheel nuts. However, it’s definitely made of metal, hollow and the large nut is on very tight. The smaller nut I can see inside is probably the nut on the end of the axle… I think.

If, as I suspect, this is a strange centre cap then it is the worst of both worlds. Other than looking neat, I’m still going to have to go and buy a large socket. I think it’s a 2 7/8 inch or around 74mm nut. I don’t have anything close to that in my tool kit at the moment. The sockets are pretty pricey too at around £120.00. Not normally a problem but this has been an expensive few months 😉

Nothing much for it I guess. I’ll have to get hold of a socket and have a go at loosening the large nut. I’ll report back.

18/09/2019: A quick update. I managed to find a socket from the States for £35.00 (including shipping and import tax). This is on its way. In the mean time, patience isn’t a strong suit of mine(!), I bought a set of adjustable pliers with a 75mm maximum jaw opening. They did the trick:

It’s just an unusual centre cap cover. To be honest, the large central nut offered no resistance at all and in fact it might have been too loose! I’m not sure having that cover (metal) spinning off while driving would be a good thing. I’ll still need the socket I’m importing to tighten the nut back up properly.

The wheels aren’t off yet because I was only nipping into the garage on the way past to drop the tools in. I’m busy with work this weekend but I should be able to close down this task one evening next week.

26/10/2019: Okay so that took a bit longer than I thought! I’ve been working away from home and then we had a few nice weekends so I’ve been driving the car not working on it.

I ordered a breaker bar (or is it breaking bar?) which was ideal for loosening the wheel nuts. I loosened the wheel nuts on the floor, jacked the car, and then undid the nut completely. Both front wheels were off in a matter of 5 minutes.

This job went so quickly that I found myself moving on with stripping the shocks out and having a look at the brakes.

It looks like copper grease has been applied to the wheel nuts. I’m not sure if this is normal so I’m going to check on the forums. Another question is how much to torque the wheel nuts up when putting them back on. I’m sure I read 90Nm into alloys. I’ll check this too.

But for now this task is done!

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