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Last weekend I embarked on a 200 mile round trip to an Italian Auto Show. After a few miles I started to hear a sound eminating from the rear of teh car. I pulled over and checked the tyres and engine and everything loked fine. Continued on the journey and noticed it got louder the faster I went.

Sounded like I was driving with a flat tyre. So id ecided to abort the trip and drove home.

I jacked the car up to check the wheel. There was movement side to side and more movement up and down.. A friend also checked it and confirmed that the problem was probably not the wheel bearing which i had thought it was, but what looked like the 25mm spacer. After tightening more than reguired, the wheel stopped moving.

Seems like the thread had broken on the spacer which was made by Hill Engineering.

Called up Paul Hill at Hill Engineering to see if he had a a single 25mm spacer lying about that I could have. Paul was quite intrigued as he had never had a defective wheel spacer returned to him and invited me down to Hill Engineering HQ with the wheel, spacer and bolts.

Forty five minutes later I was showing him the wheel and other bits.

Checking the spacer and bolts confirmed his initial thoughts.......... the wrong wheel bolts were on the wheel. There was nothing wrong with the spacer. Instead of 355 bolts for the 355 wheel I had, they were all 348 bolts which were 3mm longer, which meant that the wheel wouldn't fit on the hub properly. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Purchased 10 new 355 wheel bolts for the rears and made my way home and checked all the other bolts. The other rear wheel had 3 x 348 bolts and 2 x 355 bolts.

The fronts I didn't check as they had 15mm spacers and bolts from Hill Engineering and were correct. However, on track days and Airfield days, I take the front spacers off and put the standard bolts on, so I checked the bolts I use on those occasions. Only 2 out of 10 were the correct size!!!

When I first got the 348, the 355 wheels were already on it as they were part of the deal. So as far as I know, I may have been driving for 3 years with the wrong bolts. Can't think of anytime when they could have been accidentally swapped and I certainly didn't swap them around.

Anyway, new bolts fitted to rear and no more wheel movement. Still need to take it for a test drive to make sure though.

Just like to thank Paul Hill for his help and time. Always nice to meet up with him. Great service from a great company.....and as usual ended up buying a couple of extra bits for the 348.

Below is a picture of the bolts. The shorter ones are the correct fitment for 355 wheels on a 348 or 355. Out of 20 bolts, 16 were the wrong size.

Just imagine the number of track days and Airfield days I've done with the wrong bolts over the last 3 years. Never occurred to me to check the measurements.


Just to confirm: 355 wheels on a 348 need 355 bolts. DO NOT USE 348 BOLTS!!!
 

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Thanks for the warning, you must be relieved to know everything is Ok now. Could have been a potential deathtrap if a wheel fell off at high speed.

If you were off to Stanford Hall, you missed a great day with the Top Gear boys, but good job you got yoir wheel bolts sorted.
 

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If you were off to Stanford Hall, you missed a great day with the Top Gear boys, but good job you got yoir wheel bolts sorted.
Yeah I know. Had all my camera equipment loaded into the car. Could have gone in another car, but was too lazy. :)
 

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What is the right Length?

Angelis,
I am awaiting delivery for my 1989 348tb that is fitted with 355 rims. Can you let me know what the proper length that the bolts should be?

I want to measure their lengths when my new toy is delivered to ensure the proper length bolts are on it.

If you had not posted this, I would have never thought that this might be an issue.

THANKS!

Greg
 

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Wow, sorry to hear about the wheel bolts. Glad that you and your car are ok :)

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Angelis,
I am awaiting delivery for my 1989 348tb that is fitted with 355 rims. Can you let me know what the proper length that the bolts should be?

I want to measure their lengths when my new toy is delivered to ensure the proper length bolts are on it.

If you had not posted this, I would have never thought that this might be an issue.

THANKS!

Greg
Information provided by Paul Hill at www.hillengineering.co.uk

348 Wheel (non late USA cars) F&R = 55mm under head

355 Wheels - 52mm under head


So Greg, you'll need the 52mm if you have 355 wheels on the 348.
 

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Many Thanks

I will check when my baby arrives.

I am very surprised that you ran your car for 3 years before any symptoms showed up.

You must live life well!.

Best regards,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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I have seen that video before. Awesome sound!

Chris
 
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