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Old 10-01-2008, 11:40 AM
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heres a rodding tip

here is a rodding tip for everybody check your cotter pins on the spindles.i was driving straight down the road and my tbucket took a very hard left turn into the ditch at 35 mph i had no time to react locked up the brakes didnt seem to help much.my wife and i were thrown out of the car my wife landed about 5 ft from the car with the number 1 vertebrae broken i landed about 20 ft away on my head and not responding to anybody till i woke up in the trauma room at the hospital (NO WE WERNT WEARING SEATBELTS IDIOTS!!!!!!)i got my car home from the tow company 2 days later and i was surprised that there was very little damage.my gearhead friends and i tore the front end apart to see what happend what we found is the nut that goes on the spindle came off and there were no sign of a cotter pin and the nut had no signs of being sheared off from force becouse all the treads were in perfect condition on the nut and the spindle i dont know what happend to my cotter pin but it must of broke off some time before this happend this isnt much of a rodding tech but more of a rodding tip to check your cotter pins for signs fatigue or cracking becouse i sure will for now on!!
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Last edited by corenele; 10-01-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:07 PM
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Here's a rodding tip

Looking back at your past posts, you have had some misfortune. Luckily, on a couple trucks that I have put together, I have not had major catastrophe. This is because I follow a strict rule of checking everything twice. It's very easy to forget cotter pins. The excitement of getting it ready to drive...the well I will do that later is all to easily forgotten when building a vehicle. In my 73 El Camino build, I did that. I will put the zerks and the cotter pins in later. (before I drive it) I put it on the ground was going to pull it out and thought....Did I do "everything"? So I stopped and checked. Guess what. No cotter pins in anything in the suspension. Plus none of it was greased. However they were there on the spindles. (but I checked anyhow) They were installed before I put the dust caps on and made sure the bearings were lubed. So I went through for a 3rd time, checked to make sure that EVERY bolt was tightened, all cotter pins installed, and everything was lubed. But there's always something to be checked. Never take anything for granted. And for those of you that buy the cars that are finished or semi-finished, always check. You never know what the previous owner did before you. Never hurts to take some time and check EVERYTHING before you put it out on the road. Glad that you and your wife are okay.
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:31 AM
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"Never hurts to take some time and check EVERYTHING before you put it out on the road."

This is way too logical and takes way to much time..

It is a lot more fun (and dangerous) to just slam it together and complain when it falls apart.. Then blast the part maker for not having a string attached to your finger to remind one to check their car before driving it.

I expect in the near future every single part will require a connection to the vehicles' computer in order to not start, if one leaves it out or disconnected.

Maybe federal laws, making all parts having to be self installing, would make it much more better...we sure don't want individual people to have to make those decisions..
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:09 AM
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It also helps to have someone from outside come over and look at things before you start rocking and rolling. . Someone with knowledge that is.
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:53 AM
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Bummer dude..I feel your pain. .I hope your wife is OK too..C 1 vertebrae is brain stem bones. (C-1,C-2, C-3 is a bad place to get a fracture..T-1 is not so bad..)

I have alot of road rash from being pitched off off my motorcycles over the years. (I don't like riding on T bucket roadsters for just that reason, If I'm riding in one, I want to be wearing my helmet. )

I've never seen a cotterpin fail if it was installed properly. I guess anything is possible. Lots of possible reasons that your mishap occured, but like you said, periodic checks of the equipment would have saved yourself some pain.

One valid reason that I have actually seen : A guy installs a tie rod end with a cheesy loose fitting imported nut and cotter pin, overtightens the nut , and unknowingly partially strips it. He puts the cotterpin in and away he goes.


The stud eventually gets loose from the side action working the tapered stud back and forth in the steering arm.

This repetitive action gets the threaded end of the stud to start sliding out of the nut.
The nut shears the cotterpin off, and the tie rod falls out.

That was not my doing, a guy brought in a car to my shop with loose steering complaints, the mostly stripped nut was about 2 threads away from actually falling off, and the sheared peice of the cotter pin was still in the stud.

Fenderless cars are pretty easy to inspect.

When I'm doing any work on front suspension or anything that needs cotterpins, loctite etc, I fully tighten the nut, and put the cotterpin in right then.

If I know that I'm going to be taking stuff apart again before I send it out, because I'm mocking parts up before paint or whatever, sometimes I don't snug the nut down at all, just a couple of turns. That way I can see really easily that I'm not done.

Sometimes I'll put a peice of masking tape on the part with an unsecured fastener, that is my flag to let me know that it needs more attention before it goes out.


Later, mikey
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:05 PM
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these are all good tips but my car has been on the road for about 1 year now and it has about 500 miles on it.i put bigger tires on the back and i was calibrating my speedo.i dont know if i worked on the front end and didnt put the cotter pin back in or what but **** happens and i will always double check it for now on.i tore the front end apart this weekend and found my bearings were all rusted and lacking grease.powerrodsmike its the l-1 on the lower part of her back.i have alot of hotrod friend around here and not 1 of them said they do any 10 point check befor they go out and drive there car they kick the tires and pull on afew things here and there.to check the cotter pin you would need to pull the tire off and that tire hasnt been off since i blead the brakes before the car was on the road .OHD your telling me that you spend 3-4 hours aday before driving to double check EVERTHING befor you go out drive your car mabee you need to tear apart your engine everytime and check your rod bolts for wear and streatch becouse one can shoot out through the block and hit you in the head your an idiot
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:21 PM
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I'm glad everyone is OK. Fracturing L-1 will just make her have the lower back pain that everyone I know over the age of 15 has.

I do minimal periodic checking of my cars and motorcycles. Mostly I listen and watch for rattles and changes in performance, then check stuff.

Yes I have experienced things falling off because they are loose, but that still won't make me do a 1000 point check every time I use something.

Try to not call folks names here.

Later, mikey
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:11 PM
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Matter of fact, some of the engines I work on last maybe 2 mins, of full runtime, so Yea I tear them down every 1 mile or so..sometime 2 times in one afternoon/day......and still at 2500 to 5000HP they kick a rod or break a crank every now and then.. never had a cotter pin break or go missing tough.

Try using a pilots check list, DOT check list, or as suggested, make your own and follow it, you will learn how to do a safety check and spot problems before they become MORE serious....

Sometimes protecting people, from themselves, is the largest challenge...
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