RTH: Front Axle Nuts Stripped

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May 18, 2009
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I have a buddy who works at a tire shop and we went there after hours to do an alignment.

When we got it up on the lift, we notice a lot of play in the front left tire. We removed the tire and got ready to tear into the axle to see what was going on. To my horror, when we removed the caliper, the rotor just pulled half way off. :bang: Yes, you read this right, the only thing holding my tire in place was the caliper. :mad:

Both nuts look stripped. 43521

So, in order to get the rig back rolling and off the rack, we pulled one of the nuts off the right side and installed it on the left.

Local Toyota dealership can have a nut tomorrow. The problem is the rig is sitting in a parking lot in not the greatest of neighborhoods.

Questions:
- Can I safely drive ~10 miles on surface streets with only 1 nut on each side or do I need to tow it?

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FYI -
I bought the rig about 10 months ago and I've had the rig on the road for 6 months and this was my last thing to baseline.
 
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Nov 13, 2002
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I would tear down and inspect that entire front knuckle assembly. Spindle nuts don't strip easily. If they loosened up so that there was enough movement of the hub to cause them to strip, there is also a high likelyhood that other damage has occured also. The wheel bearings and/or trunion bearings as well as the spindle itself may have problems. I would also check the caliper bolts, pins and caliper ears on the knuckle since they were taking the stress of holding a loose wheel.
 
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I would tear down and inspect that entire front knuckle assembly. Spindle nuts don't strip easily. If they loosened up so that there was enough movement of the hub to cause them to strip, there is also a high likelyhood that other damage has occured also. The wheel bearings and/or trunion bearings as well as the spindle itself may have problems. I would also check the caliper bolts, pins and caliper ears on the knuckle since they were taking the stress of holding a loose wheel.

Just ordered the parts for a full rebuild including all bearings.

I'm searching now what to do for the brakes. Consensus seems to say OEM rotors and 100 series pads. Searching now for what to do for calipers.
 
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So here is the final diagnosis:

Previous Owner bent the lock washer tabs back (inward) only. Outer nut spun loose on its own accord and inner nut looked as though it was pressed out without spinning.

Calipers look ok.
Axle treads look ok.
Drive flange or cap looks ok.

Picked up 2 nuts from local stealership and the rig is good to drive home.

Ordered full axle kit w/ bearing from Cruiser Outfitters. Having the rotors looked at to see if they can be turned. Ordering some pads and caliper rebuild kit from CruiserDan soon.
 

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