Ever have one of those days where everything seems to be going fine and then the wheels fall off?
Well, Oscar (the Pajero) and I had a bit of excitement on Saturday night. Coming back from Burnie doing 100kms, when one wheel decided it wanted to go on it’s own adventure.
I’d felt some shaking and thought it was a wheel bearing – but apparently it was actually just a loose wheel. In hindsight it was obvious, but that’s hindsight for you.
So suddenly with only 3 wheels attached, I had a bit of a wild ride. All things considered though, Oscar was very well behaved considering he was missing a wheel, and I was able to pull over without any major incident.
The guy behind me saw sparks go everywhere and pulled up behind me. I think he thought I was doing a runner, as soon as I’d stopped moving I jumped out and ran down the road to catch the runaway wheel before someone else ran into it.
I rang Turkey to come and pick me up (I wasn’t far out of Burnie) and waited for the RACT to come and collect poor Oscar. He wasn’t going anywhere on his own.
My RACT membership comes with 15kms of free towing, so Oscar was dragged back to Burnie and dumped in Turkey’s driveway.
Turkey then very kindly ran me home to Devonport and my other car.
Conveniently being a long weekend, I managed to get back to Burnie in the morning to check the damage in daylight.
The brake rotor has been flat-spotted, and the studs have been bent or entirely sheered off.
The bottom of the ball-joint should have a nut – but it’s all been entirely vaporised.
This is the other wheel, with the nut that should have been there.
So with some idea of what I’d destroyed, I headed to my mate’s place in Deloraine to steal a wheel off a donor car he was wrecking.
And then it was back to Burnie to set up a temporary shed to protect me from the rain. Turkey’s shed isn’t quite ready for occupation yet, but we could have used it – except with only three wheels there wasn’t a way to get Oscar from the driveway over the gravelpit into the shed.
It was miserable weather, but the gazebo kept most of it off while I got a replacement wheel assembly installed. It’s probably half an hour’s work for a competent mechanic – took me all day.
But Oscar has 4 wheels again. The replacement is not finished – I wouldn’t drive it any distance like it is, but he’s mobile enough that I can put him on a trailer to bring back to my place now.
So, that was my excitement for the long weekend.