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Safety Reminder!! With pics

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Guys, this is a reminder to periodically check your lug nuts to make sure they are not frozen, it can save you a big headache down the road!

Story begins with me purchasing a 16 redfisher this morning in Land O Lakes, i fill tires to 50 PSI and go on my way. 10 miles from gainesville (my destination) the starboard side tire goes boom!

I figure no biggie, i change the tire and am on my way. First lug nut is no issue, now for #2, it sheared straight off! I ended up getting one nut off and breaking 3 studs. The final stud/nut broke loose in the rear not allowing me to turn the nut to get the wheel off. By now i figure im screwed and need to cut the thing off to get the wheel off, which i didnt have the tools for. After speaking with Allstate road side ***istance who said they could get me a flat bed, an idea popped into my head.

It may have seemed like common sense to some of you, but it didnt click at first. I realized i would need a new hub anyway so figured if i remove the hub then the wheel will come off with it. I always keep 2 pre packed hubs in the truck for easy changing so from there it was as simple as changing the hub and putting the spare on.

The moral of the story here is if the lug nuts had been greased/checked regularly it would have been a 10 minute job instead of the huge h***le, and to also always carry a pre packed hub in the vehicle! I made sure to put some marine grease on the threads before installing the new lug nuts so this will not happen again. Something as simple as checking and greasing lug nuts can be a big life saver, as well as keeping a spare hub

Now thats it done, i feel good because it was a learning experience and with me being alone on the road with the boat so much, it gives me confidence i can handle most things.

Some pics:


And the boat:


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Glad you made it home. This incident also speaks to the previous owners overall maintenance practices. Wonder the last times the bearings on the other wheel were looked at and re-packed?

This was one thing that was a little surprising. I pulled the caps off before i left and there was fresh marine grease, the guy had just totally serviced the motor himself, etc. I think the lugnuts are just something people overlook.

I was 30 seconds from calling the flatbed and was honestly lucky to have thought to remove the hub with the wheel. Changing a tire is easy enough, but i had never messed with hubs before.

Question: when you say packing the bearings are you talking about just pumping them with grease, or totally removing them and repacking them?

Another small tip for you guys is make sure you have tools that can not only change the tire but also remove the axle nut and other things. I picked up a little harbor freight toolbox and it has saved me several times.

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A couple things to note from this post:

1. Trailer maintenance should never be overlooked. Shane made some great points here in regards to greasing and carrying extra hubs!

2. Shane has now owned roughly half of all 16 redfishers produced. ;)

Haha! 2007 was a good year of 16 redfisher sales for MBC

When the first stud sheared i went from thinking id be gone in 15 minutes, to oh no this isnt going to be fun!

I also had managed to pull over in a sandspur patch or something because those stupid little things were everywhere!

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Get some rust proof chromed acorn lug nuts (like whats used on mag wheels)... they are not open on the end and cure that problem

x2 I have always used them and never had an issue. I still grease them however.

While checking/greasing your lugs do yourself a favor a lube your hitch on your truck if you always leave it on.

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Question: when you say packing the bearings are you talking about just pumping them with grease, or totally removing them and repackingthem?

It's a good idea to pull everything apart and look at it once a year or so. Not only can ensure your bearing cages aren't cracked or corroded too bad it makes you remove the wheel from the hub at some regular point in time hopefully avoiding what you went through on the side of the road. Kinda like pulling your prop every 50 hrs, you inspect for fishing line and anything els that can cut seals and it keeps it from seizing to the shaft.

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I've had a similar experience....frozen bolts...but, luckily it was only at the home base..

I routinely break the bolts and when I picked my skiff, I asked the owner to check them for me....e.g. break them and check air pressure...he did.

Key as mentioned is:

1.) break at least every couple of months

2.) apply anti seize or marine grease to the lugs

3.) get rid of the rubber air stems....change out to the stainless

4.) have tires balanced at a local firestone or other...

5.) Carry large piece of wood for changing tires on the side of road

6.) Carry extra hub and grease

7.) Carry a jack that can lift the trailer


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"Question: when you say packing the bearings are you talking about just pumping them with grease, or totally removing them and repacking them?"

Some times when you buy a hub and bearing kit the bearings themselves don't come pre packed. You would then need a tub of grease to hand pack them.

The best preventative is to just remove the wheels every year or so. I have seen rims literally fuse to the face of the hub. Sure you can beat them loose providing you have something to beat them with and your not laying in a bed of fire ants on the side of the road.

I have a truck with a tool box in the bed. It always has a spare hub, grease, all required tools, good hydraulic jack, good light and plenty of rags and a drop cloth. Always keep in mind you may not be changing this stuff out on a flat hard surface.

If you trailer enough your going to have an issue one day. You can never be over prepared for it.

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If you have a boat and do any type of wrenching on it, you should have some type of torch. Get a turbo tip and canister of mapp gas. Spraying anti-seize helps, but typically isn't necessary.

Heat and beat. If you heat those studs up with a torch and and give it a nice tap with hammer, you should be able to wrench them right off.


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You are so right Capt.!!! Nothing like sitting on Alligator Alley in the July - August heat changing tires and/or hubs!! Last time was a friends boat on US27 a few miles south of Alligator and it was no less than 250 degrees. Just so much fun......:)

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You can get the antisieze at your local NAPA store. I use it on the lugs and also place it between wheel and hub. Any bolt and nut you might need to take apart gets a dab, especially ss to aluminum

I highly recommend a spare tire carrier that is a spindle welded to a galv. channel. this allows for a spare hub and tire in one. That way a hub problem can be solved on the road with just a pair of channel locks.

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