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Old 13th May 2006, 15:35   #1
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Default A complete nut case

Having overcome the worries and frustrations, I decide to pen this down. Maybe someone might learn something from this experience of mine.

It started off with one of my family friends asking me if I would like to join their drive from Bangalore to Salem and back. I agreed to join them, albeit for a drive only upto Krishnagiri wherefrom I would take left towards Jwalarpet.

On a Saturday morning in the month of March, as planned, their Esteem and my Ikon 1.6 nxt sped off towards Krishnagiri. With breakfast en route, the drive, apart from being reasonably fast, was rather uneventful. Little did I know what was in store for the later part of the day? Having reached Krishnagiri the Esteem carried on towards Salem and I turned to proceed towards Jwalarpet for a better drive.

As I entered NH46 from NH7 the smooth NHAI highway lay in front of me. Marginal traffic, excellent visibility, good music, perfect conditions for a good fast drive. I pushed the accelerator, but not much, was just doing around 120-130 kmph. Life seemed great.

Suddenly, almost close to Jwalarpet, I noticed some large stones scattered on the road.

With multiple thoughts in my mind and realizing I could no way stop the car, I decided to slow down just a bit and try to swerve through the stones. I knew at that instant that I cannot avoid all of them.

Well, I managed to avoid about 4 of the stones, but was not lucky enough to avoid the fifth one. A loud “bang” was heard.

Expecting the worst, I stopped the car, parked it, and got out. With closed eyes, payers on my lips, went down my knees and slowly opened my eyes. Well, the inevitable had happened. MY LEFT REAR ALLOY WAS BROKEN, INNER SIDEWALL OF THE TYRE HAD A BIG CUT and of course, the tyre was deflated.

So there I was, alone, stranded in the middle of nowhere, under mid March scorching sun, having just bid the Esteem goodbye, with me pricey alloy wheel broken, my fancy V rated tyre cut on the sidewall. Brilliant!

Flashback…

Having bought the car in October last year, I had changed the tyres to tubeless 185/60/14 Goodyear GSD2 and fixed them on League (LG188) alloys. LG188 is a multi PCD alloy wheel that was installed on the Ikon (108 pcd) using “wheel nuts” that are meant for alloys. These are nuts of the same finish which needs to be opened using a “bit” that goes into the spanner provided by the car manufacturers. On a black car, the combo looked good to me. Fellow Bhpians would know the cost implications.


So, there I was, with one-fifth of my fancy combo being completely destroyed by the leftovers of some moronic truck driver who would have stopped on the highway, used the stones to change his tyres and never bothered to remove the stones once he was done.

Great.

So what do I do now? Of course, use the spare tyre wheel in the boot

The adventure begins….

I take out the new spare wheel, the new unused jack and the manufacturer supplied spanner. Try to figure out the way the jack needs to be placed under the body. Bring out the “bit”, insert in the spanner and try to loosen the wheel nuts of the punctured tyre. I am not built, but not fragile either. But with all my efforts to loosen the damn nuts, I just managed to sweat profusely and the nuts remained in exactly the same position, refusing to move a cm. Incidentally, I noticed, the head of the “bit” that goes inside the spanner is too small to “grip” properly.

Let me elaborate. Normally, these “bits” have a “head portion” that is precisely 1.3 cms. This portion goes into the spanner and the other end of the “bit” goes into the wheel nut. The spanner alongwith the inserted “bit” is then used to loosen the wheel nuts.

Well, the “bit” I was having was specially suited to be used with the spanner provided with a Ford Ikon. This meant, the head of the “bit” had a marginally narrower dimension to begin with and later widened. Hence, instead of the entire “head portion” (1.3 cms) that could have been inserted within the spanner of any other car, my special “bit’s” special “head portion” went into my “special spanner” by just half of that distance, that is a measly 0.65 cms. Special indeed, but clearly not adequate to apply enough force on the “bit” and thereby the wheel nuts.

Hence, despite my forceful sweaty efforts, the damn wheel nuts remained exactly where initially they were, in exactly the same positions, in the same punctured wheel.

And I kept struggling with all these over almost 30 minutes (felt like ages), slipping n number of times, sweating profusely, using choicest of innovative multi-lingual profanities and wondering what to do next. At that point of time, my family was about 130 kms away from where I was, no human soul in sight (barring some passing trucks), no sign of a nearby petrol pump.

I gave up. Loaded the spare wheel and the accessories back in the car and decided to drive in that condition to any ubiquitous tyrewallah

Thankfully, did not have to try that far. Within half a km, found a typical tyrewallah. A teenaged guy came rushing in. He did not speak Hindi, but understood the situation. He went into his shop and came back with his spanners to do the needful.

Soon I realized, my misery had just got prolonged.

The spanner he brought obviously needed the same stupid “bit” I was carrying. But the only hope I had was that he, being an expert, would easily loosen the nuts. It appeared, I was terribly mistaken. He fumbled, slipped, sweated and then stood and watched the damn tyre with hands on his hips. At that point I was at my wits end.

Well, sun does come up and nights do end.

Luckily, age old physics came into rescue. This lad came back with a long hollow metal pipe. He inserted one end of the spanner inside the hollow pipe, asked me to hold on the junction where the “bit” was inserted in the spanner and then he put pressure.

With much joy and great relief, I saw the wheel nuts turn.

The rest was simple, but not over. While I was trying to collect myself, thank my stars and putting things back into the car, I heard some loud noises.

Damn it, the bugger was trying to repair my punctured tyre. He was mercilessly hitting the alloy (the way they do it normally) to bring out the tube within the “tubeless” tyre. Forgetting all his effort I felt like hitting him, but restrained myself. By that time, a small crowd gathered. These were apparently people who treat that place as a gossip centre and never in their lives have encountered a tyre that does not have a tube. They asked my in Tamil, Kannada and possibly all South Indian languages to cross verify. I could not understand a single word and used the sign language to convince them to let me go.

Well, the matter ended there. I drove back at reasonable speeds considering that instead of a repaired wheel, I had a punctured tubeless tyre with a broken alloy in my boot.

[FONT=Arial]After returning to city, I went to see the accessories shop that had sold me these alloys. Told him the story and handed over the tyre and alloy for repair. Thankfully the alloy got repaired. However, nothing could be done to the cut tyre. Fitted a 15 inch tube in the tyre and mounted that on the repaired alloy and kept it as spare wheel for emergencies.

As I write today, I have replaced my alloys to 108pcd HR alloys with just four wheel nuts (not multi pcd). Have bought a spanner which has a fitted “bit” that is long enough to loosen these specific wheel nuts, with ease.

Believe me, I have tried this myself.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/iipcache/29741.jpg
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Old 13th May 2006, 16:01   #2
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Slightly scary, your situation. Though I am not clear as to what the "bit" you spoke about was. Is it something like and allen key? If it is, I understand your problem. I do a bitt of cycling apart from my driving, and my bicycle has some allen bolts which are difficult if they jam from neglect and the allen keys are so small, you hardly get any leverage.
Anyway, all's well that ends well. Happy driving.
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Old 13th May 2006, 16:22   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S Pathak
..
Damn it, the bugger was trying to repair my punctured tyre. He was mercilessly hitting the alloy (the way they do it normally) to bring out the tube within the “tubeless” tyre. Forgetting all his effort I felt like hitting him, but restrained myself..
...

Awesome man(not your ordeal but the post ) and hilarious too .
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Old 13th May 2006, 16:24   #4
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Quote:
Luckily, age old physics came into rescue. This lad came back with a long hollow metal pipe. He inserted one end of the spanner inside the hollow pipe, asked me to hold on the junction where the “bit” was inserted in the spanner and then he put pressure.
This is quite a popular trick. I knew this since i was a kid when i watched people changing truck tyres. The kind of torque needed to tighten those bolts is humongous. Two men stand on that hollow pipe to get the wheel nut turn.
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Old 13th May 2006, 17:37   #5
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This is the "bit" I am talking about. The left side is the "head" that goes into the spanner and the right end goes into the nuts.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/iipcache/29745.jpg

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Old 14th May 2006, 00:29   #6
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This "BIT" is called "TOMMY" ... even i had to purchase this while getting the alloys fitted ... The one i bought was for 150Rs and it included a steel rod that went inside the tommy perfect fitting and it works like a charm. And the sidewalls on these FANCY tubeless tyres are weaKkkkkkkkkkk ... my potenza GIII was torn just reversing over a manhole cover :( ... ended up buying a new tyre
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Old 14th May 2006, 09:39   #7
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aZa, I too now have the right euipment for my new set of alloys. This includes the "bit/Tommy" and a spanner that is suited to use this "bit/Tommy". The manufacturer provided spanner is now useless. With the new one, no problems now.

Same experience with Potenza GIII ?! Sad indeed.
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Old 14th May 2006, 11:24   #8
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Wow! That must have been a scary and frustrating experience. That's the deal with cars. One moment we are king of road, next moment we are at it's mercy. Some of you may recall the similar accident I suffered on Mysore road recently. In my case I got off with less, just a broken oil filter and cancelled trip.

Pathak, did you change the entire alloy set? That must have been expensive.
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Old 14th May 2006, 11:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Wow! That must have been a scary and frustrating experience. ...... In my case I got off with less, just a broken oil filter and cancelled trip.

Pathak, did you change the entire alloy set? That must have been expensive.
I do remember your case and hence I stopped the car and went beneath it to check other damages, if any. Thankfully, there was not a scratch on the underbody, just the alloy had cracked. Got this rechecked at a Ceat Tyre Shop at Koramangala and no scratch on the underbody was found. I must say, I was at least lucky to that extent.

Indeed I changed my entire set of alloys. Now don't ask about expenses, I am trying to forget. Actually the League set was also resulting in minor steering vibrations while applying brakes at high speeds (no relation to this incident). After reading this forum on a similar topic, I got brake pads/rotor and balancing checked for a full day at Metro Ford. Must say the guys were extremely helpful. After test drives, they changed back the entire combination to OEM (i.e. the alloys and tyre combo that comes with the Zxi version) and no vibration while braking at high speeds was noticed. They put back my combo, perfected the balancing, cleaned the brake pads at my insistence, but still minor vibration remained. By that time I was convinced that it was not a brake pad/rotor issue but had to do with the set of alloys/tyres I was having. So I was not entirely happy and went ahead with changing the entire set of alloys.

So far, no vibration noticed under similar circumstances with the new set.
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Old 14th May 2006, 15:32   #10
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You mentioned Repair... How exactly was your cracked alloys repaired??
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Old 14th May 2006, 15:36   #11
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Hey, good to know you got out safe.

Just curious, which accessory shop did you buy these wheels from? And how did he 'repair' the broken one?
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Old 14th May 2006, 21:25   #12
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Kb100 & Vip3r,

I bought these LG188 set from Car Fancy, Koramangala (Thouqueer). When I took the broken alloy to him, he told me about someone (apparently only guy in Bangalore) near the ITC Hotel, Windsor Square, who does repair alloy wheels.

The crack was taken care of beautifully and the curve restored. No gaps, etc. But marks were there.
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Old 15th May 2006, 00:03   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb100
You mentioned Repair... How exactly was your cracked alloys repaired??
As they are Aluminium , alloys need a specialised equipments called AC/DC Tig machines and Pulsed / Synergic Mig Welding machines , to weld them together. Usually found with high precision fabricators of Aluminium / Al alloys who work for Aerospace / Defence industry.

The method is to fill the crack with molten Aluminum filler using these machines , fuse the broken parts together and then grind off the excess to get the finish / shape.. ofcourse it is very difficult to get a colour match to the original.

These machines are relatively expensive and hence few are installed.There are some excellent guys in Peenya , Rajajinagar who weld aluminium..but they are usually overloaded with high value precision work.. and dont do one offs...

Last edited by w 12 : 15th May 2006 at 00:09.
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Old 19th August 2006, 03:15   #14
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Default Do you have a number or address of this guy?

Hi Pathak,

I have Ford Ikon 1.3 fitted with R13 Aura Alloys that look almost similar to the ones that you have on ur Car(from the pic u posted).

I am usually a long distance driver and have got into few problems with these alloys..

During 1-2 such long distance drives i ended up going thru few potholes at 100-120 kmph and got few humps on the inner side of these alloys.

Now my steering starts shaking once i cross 80-90 kmph and the wheel alignment guy who checked this gave me a advise of clearing those r replacing the alloys altogether.

I live on Hosur rd near Madiwala in Blore and was looking for a contact who can mend this Alloys back to its normal shape.

Do U by any chance have a number r address of this guy who did the trick similar to what i am requesting for you?

Any help wud be greatly appreciated.

Rgds,
Koolncrazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by S Pathak
Kb100 & Vip3r,

I bought these LG188 set from Car Fancy, Koramangala (Thouqueer). When I took the broken alloy to him, he told me about someone (apparently only guy in Bangalore) near the ITC Hotel, Windsor Square, who does repair alloy wheels.

The crack was taken care of beautifully and the curve restored. No gaps, etc. But marks were there.
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Old 9th January 2007, 09:50   #15
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Thouqeer can be reached at 9845004858.

Sorry for replying this late.
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