New Tyres (And Pants!) Required!

Not long after I first got my 110 Land Rover, she was MOT’d and went through with flying colours.

Not long after that, she scared the crap out of me!

I was happily driving along a dual carriageway at about 50mph, which was pushing it with the old engine, when I heard an almighty slapping noise. It was a proper ‘slam the brakes on’ sort of noise.

I slowly made my way to the next lay-by and took a look underneath, expecting to find something hanging there.

Nothing.

A big hole where there should be rubber...
A big hole where there should be rubber…

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a big hole where a bit of tyre used to be. Sheesh! If that had popped, I think I’d have known about it, especially at that speed. I counted myself lucky.

You should be able to see from this photo that it’s just canvas that kept me on the road. Quite worrying, in the cold light of day!

I grabbed the wheel brace and prepared to change the wheel. The wheel nuts were a bit stiff. In fact, they were very stiff. I have no idea when they last came off, or how they were put on, but I’m guessing a MIG welder was used!

I trid everything and, in the end, the wheel brace resembled a boomerang in shape. I couldn’t believe what I was about to do; calling a breakdown company for a tyre change. Just how pathetic does that sound?!!

They sent out a guy from a local garage in a little van. His jack was the sort you get from Argos for £20. He actually tried it and it didn’t reach the chassis on full extension. Fortunately, I had something more substantial. What he did have, however, was a selection of torque wrenches, bars and hammers. Eventually, he got that wheel changed. Good man!

I decided then that, seeing as all the tyres looked to be about the same age, I shouldn’t risk it; I’d already replaced the burst one by now and took the plunge by buying four more. I was £600 out of pocket, but I’m not so worried about one disintegrating now. Old tyres might be fine for a bit of ‘fun’ off-roading, but they could kill on a motorway and I don’t want to die just yet. There are adventures out there to be had!

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January 2, 2013Permalink