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Thread: Reminder to everyone: check your wheels!

  1. #1
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    Reminder to everyone: check your wheels!

    Was at Whiskey Hill last Friday and last session out was really putting the whip to the Atom. In turn 9 I heard what sounded like a tire snake whipping around the left rear…kind of a "whap..whap..whap..whap" noise. As soon as I was straight,no noise. I pulled into the pits…checked for anything odd..didn't see or feel anything..and went back out,slowly. Noise was still there but only in turn 9.(loads left rear heavily) Hmm. I brought the car home..thinking it may be a bad wheel bearing..or loose suspension bushing.
    I had lowered the back end over the winter and added heavier springs and the wheel to control arm clearance was close,so I assumed the springs must have settled in and the wheel had rubbed the control arm just a bit, as there were some rub marks on the edge. I added a 5mm spacer and took the car back to the track yesterday. I went out ..slowly... and sure enough the noise was still there. Brought it in and decided it must be a wheel bearing. A few others even looked at the problem and decided that the very subtle wheel movement that could be felt must be bearing related.

    I just removed the wheel bearing from the upright (Palatov design with 911 bearings) and could find no signs of wear or damage. I then decided to take a real close look at the wheel.

    It didn't take much to see the real problem:





    Two broken spokes..out of 4.

    How can something so basic, and easy to see, be overlooked?

    Because..I wasn't looking for a cracked wheel! I feel so stupid...

    These are 3 piece Keizer wheels..and the center is magnesium. I just got off the phone with Keizer...they were surprised to hear that a hub had cracked..however it has happened..but they do make a billet aluminum replacement, which is MUCH stronger. I ordered replacements for all my back wheels.

    The thought of that center breaking is not something I want on my mind..

    Those running the Keizer wheel and wide sticky rubber..if you have the magnesium centers..I would swap them out for the billet aluminum,at least on the rear wheels.


    Moral of the story..do not assume anything is unbreakable.When looking for a problem,look at every possibility, including something you think is unbreakable…and don't forget to check your wheels as part of a normal routine.
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; May 24, 2016 at 10:57 AM.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  2. #2
    Lepton
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    Yep, it's happened to others. Don't run Keizers if you care about safety.

    "You little punk bitch." -Wade Huisman, Keizer Wheels

  3. #3
    Electron
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    Wow!

  4. #4
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    After so many flex cycles all wheels will fail. I have had wheels fail before..it's part of racing/driving extreme.The wheel that cracked was one of my first wheels, which I purchased many years ago, and has seen thousands of laps and many autocross events,so it has seen a lot of action. Keep an eye on your wheels, and if you put wheels off track,check your wheels VERY carefully before putting them back into service. I have friends that carry crack detection equipment with them and check their wheels routinely.

    I'll be swapping out the magnesium centers for billet aluminum as they are many times stronger. They are about 12oz heavier than magnesium construction,but that is insignificant vs. the margin of strength the billet aluminum will provide. I hope in the future Keizer will not sell the magnesium centers to anyone using them on an Atom as obviously the Atom is capable of overloading them when driven hard.

    As the great Colin Chapman once said... “Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy.” – Colin Chapman

    For anyone interested in upgrading their Keizer wheel magnesium centers to billet aluminum centers, the price is $175 each.
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; May 25, 2016 at 09:07 AM.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  5. #5
    Positron cvjoint's Avatar
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    I also broke the magnesiums when I used them on the rear. Cracked every spoke in at least two places each. The replacement forged centers are working fine so far.

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