Locking nuts

On Sunday, I spent several hours on my car. The weather seemed OK (no garage), so I set about some repairs.

Now. The handbrake needed adjusting, and the brakes were generally a bit average. So I needed to remove a wheel. However, the security locking wheel nut on this particular wheel was damaged, and wouldn’t come off with the appropriate key.

This is an issue I was aware of, so I was prepared. To be fair, I’d already dropped in to Kwik Fit, who advised that they really weren’t prepared to try because they didn’t have the kit to do it. To be fair, I think they really meant “We know what a stinker of a job this is going to be, and we really don’t want to spend our time trying”. So, I’d bought new locking nuts, and (thanks to extremely useful advice from www.jamesandtracy.co.uk) I had a set of tools designed to remove rounded-off bolts.

First thing, then. I replaced the other three locking nuts – to make sure they were actually going to fit. Success. Then, on went the bolt remover tool. Much pressure was applied, and movement. However, clever Toyota had clearly anticipated this, and they’d put a collar on the bolt. All that happened was, the collar came loose. Hmph.

Off came the collar, and on went the next size removal tool. This went on well. The bolt, however, would not shift. More pressure. Movement; and then <snap>. The socket adaptor sheared; the wheel nut remained on the wheel.

I didn’t have another adaptor, but because the manufacturer of the removal tool was clearly a good company (Irwin tools), they’d clearly anticipated this, and provided a six-sided shape for a spanner to fit. Out came my biggest spanner; 24mm. Guess what? The adaptor was 25mm. And I didn’t have that size.

So, as it was Sunday, it was a trip to Halfords, in Mrs B’s car. They had the right spanner, and it was a tenner. Ten quid for a spanner! No wonder they keep them locked up in cabinets. Half way home, it started raining.

I got home, got out the said spanner, hit it a few times with a rubber mallet, and… Success! Off came the wheel nut, off came the wheel, brakes were suitably adjusted, and it was done. Took about 3 hours. Should have been about 30 minutes tops.

So, the moral is; remember Murphy’s law. If it can go wrong, it will. Be ready for it!