Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline January 2015
Technical Tip
Things I’ve Learned About My LBC
Knockoff Wheels
by Denny Hale

I thought I‘d share another thing I’ve learned about our little cars with knockoff wheels. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got wire wheels, or Minilites, if you’ve got a knockoff style mounting, this applies to you.

We’ve all heard about the rotation of the wheels either tightening, or loosening the knockoffs, so let’s think about that. As viewed from the driver side, when the car is going forward, the wheels are rotating counter clockwise (anticlockwise some would call it). When viewed from the passenger side, the wheels are rotating clockwise. That’s why the treads on the knockoffs are right hand thread on the left side of the car; counter clockwise wheel rotation tightens knockoffs, and the threads of the right side of the car are left hand thread; clockwise wheel rotation tightens them. So, normal forward motion of the car always tends to keep the knockoffs tight.

We’ve all heard the stories that if your car gets towed backwards, the knockoffs get loose, and the wheels could fall off, because you’re rotating the wheels the opposite direction of normal. The thing I’ve learned in addition to that is that if you’re going forward, and you brake abruptly, it tightens the knockoffs abruptly. I’ve had it happen to me three times in the last few years. After dinner one night on a FAT Run in Bonnets Mill, I locked up all 4 wheels and sent tire smoke billowing into the air, to avoid hitting a deer. On another FAT Run a few years later, I topped a hill with some speed, and came upon a group of cars at a stop sign. And this year, at the Lake Garnett GP Revival, a corner came up on me sooner than expected, and I had to lock up all 4 wheels to stay on the track. After all three events of breaking hard and locking up my wheels, my knockoffs were extremely hard to remove; probably would have been impossible to remove on the side of the road with my little Thor copper hammer.

This points up two very important issues; 1) every winter when the driving is finished, or after an emergency breaking event, you should loosen the knockoffs, and then re-torque them to the proper spec in the comfort of your shop, and 2) make sure you put anti-seize lubricant on the hub threads so you can get the knockoffs loose, in addition to grease on the splines so you can get the wheels off.

1. Backwards rotation loosens knockoffs

2. Forward rotation keeps knockoffs tight

3. Abrupt breaking in a forward direction tightens knockoffs, tightly

4. Grease the splines, and put anti-seize on the threads of knockoff wheel hubs regularly

5. The side of the road is not the place to discover you can’t get a wheel off

Reprinted from the Kansas City MG Post Newsletter of the Kansas City MG Car Club

Welcome New Members!

The officers and members of the Chicagoland MG Club extend a cordial “MG Welcome” to the new member who has joined our club in recent months. We wish you “Safety Fast” and hope you will avail yourself of as many club activities as you can.

Bill Howarth Barrington IL1954 MGTF

Note: To any member whose name does not appear above, your application may have missed our deadline.

If you don’t see your name next month, call our Membership Chair, Victor L’Heureux at (847) 533-3912 to verify

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