The Worst Advice

We were cleaning up after an autocross in Stockton, and it was time to put Lucy’s street tires back on.

“Oh, let me do it,” said Gumbo Lambrusco (not his name), reaching for the jack. He changed all four tires, but he torqued the tires down while the wheels were still in the air.

I said, “Hey, shouldn’t you torque when the car’s on the ground? Won’t the wheels-”

“Katie,” my mother, the race car driver and couples counselor said. “Let him do it.”

Gumbo finished the job, and kissed me good bye before setting off for home in his own car, taking the torque wrench with him.

“You’ve got to stop bossing him around,” my mom said. “Let him be a man.”

I was next in a pay phone, after dark, in Castro Valley, calling AAA. The vibrating was too much.

“Crikey, all four wheels were falling off,” said the AAA man. “You’re lucky to be alive.”

I tried to explain to redeem myself, but he stopped me.

“Next time, lady, let a man do it.”

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About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
This entry was posted in Random Ramblings, This is nutso. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Worst Advice

  1. Mallie says:

    I stop by here fairly often, and generally get a a good laugh. But this one seriously almost had me spewing morning coffee all over the keyboard. So glad you’re OK, but that’s hee-larious!

  2. Pingback: Sex and Relationship Advice From My Mother » Keep Up With Me

  3. indi says:

    Wow, your mom let him get away with that? *She* should have know better–but wait, she was the one giving you bad advice!

  4. Dennis says:

    I bet it was Victor… come on, am I right? Fess up! OK, maybe he never drove your car, but it would be a good story!

  5. katiekelly says:

    No you are not right, and actually, he did drive my car once.

  6. CP says:

    Gender/pysch issues aside…

    The engineering issue here confuses me. Why torque on the ground? I coulda sworn I did it all sorts of ways, back in my E Stock days. I think my normal habit is to snug things up a fair bit with breaker bar with tire in the air, then lower car a little until tire touches some, then torque. Then lower car for real.

    And I probably just touch the tire because it’s a little safer. I don’t feel secure with a tire or two way up in the air, if I’m going to be yanking on things. (Not that I yank with my torque wrench, but, you know.)

    My only guess: wheels that aren’t hubcentric? Wheels without proper hubcentricity might be sensitive to this issue. Why folks live without hubcentric wheels, I won’t even begin that grumble.

    Another bit of wisdom I learned during my years of constant tire changing at events: it’s a one person job. Talking is not good. Sure, autox is half social, but tire changing, well, one person. Go away, talkers.

    I’m wondering if the things were even torqued, or the torque wrench was, you know, actually set. I’s pretty hard to goof this job up, even mildly firm on all four on a wee littul car like yours can hold fairly well. So I’m suspecting they just weren’t torqued, and I’m wondering who broke his concentration. (Let’s blame your mother.)

    Oh, and Miata front wheels, nothing stops them from turning, no engine, no parking brake, so torquing that properly with tire in air, that might be a challenge. But presumably, the parking brake was on and/or the engine was in gear, for the rear wheels.

    So, my question remains:
    a) Why tire on ground, engineeringly speakin’?
    b) why are my comments as long as your post? Sorry.

  7. katiekelly says:

    The problem is that he torqued the wheels before they were fully flush against the hub. I could have explained that part better. He didn’t tighten the wheels down with the breaker bar (or whatever it’s called). That’s the key detail.

    I don’t know the physics, I just changed tires just like how everyone else was changing tires, and I never ran into a problem. I even made it home from Topeka, KS, to California without a problem, so I know I was doing something right. Perhaps you could direct this to an autocross e-mail list. I’d be curious to know myself.

    You say some other silly stuff that I don’t feel like commenting on. You’re breaking my concentration.

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