TIGHTENING OUR VW BUS 46MM AXLE NUT | SIDE OF THE ROAD REPAIR

by | 2018 | The Lills, VW Bus

On our way through a small mountain town in our VW bus, we suddenly heard a clunky, bumpy and familiar sound, coming from the back right side of our bus. This sound is often mistaken for a thrown wheel bearing, but we had been through it before, so we knew our 46mm axle nut needed tightening.

Volkswagen  Bus | Westfalia | Camper Van Mechanics Axel Nut Fix | The Lills

We went by a local car parts store and picked up a twenty five cent cotter pin and we borrowed a big 15″ crescent wrench from a new friend. Normally, we’d use a 46mm socket, breaker bar and extra pipe to reach the 250+ ft. lbs. of torque, but we were with limited tools and made due with what we had.

We popped the hub cap off the back passenger tire, pried out the old cotter pin and unthreaded the loose nut. We dusted off the stub axle and cleaned the threads, before putting the castle nut back on. We proceeded to tighten the 46mm castle nut, by fitting the big 15″ crescent wrench around it and using our body weight for torque. A little math got us close to the torque we needed, with the knowledge that 1 foot of wrench handle (from the center of the nut), times the body weight stepping down on the handle, would get us there. Hammering down on the end of the wrench handle gave us the extra torque to finish the job.

Alex Lara Lill | VW Bus Westfalia | Camper Van Mechanics Axel Nut Fix | The Lills

The two of us took turns, standing on the wrench and without the proper tools or going to a mechanic, we were able to make the fix and continue on our way. It goes to show that a little perseverance and innovation can save the day.

Before continuing West on our cross-country adventure, we had a few more little repairs and fixes to make to our bus, Moksha. Stay tuned for those tune-ups and more from our travels!

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