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The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

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  • The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

    For those of us that own cars, station wagons, vans and pickup trucks we all know about the main 4 wheels and many of us think of the steering wheel as #5 but how many of us remember to check wheel #6 and yes there is a #6 wheel that's important. Can anyone tell me about this 6th. wheel and where it normally is located? How about why it needs regular inspection? What is on this special wheel?

    Once people can tell me correctly some about the all important 6th. wheel then I have another interesting question and a good answer to it which I'll add to this thread.
    Last edited by Woussko; 11-07-2009, 04:09 PM. Reason: Typos

  • #2
    Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

    Originally posted by Woussko View Post
    For those of us that own cars, station wagons, vans and pickup trucks we all know about the main 4 wheels and many of of think of the steering wheel as #5 but how many of us remember to check wheel #6 and yes there is a #6 wheel that's important. Can anyone tell me about this 6th. wheel and where it normally is located? How about why it needs regular inspection? What is on this special wheel?

    Once people can tell me correctly some about the all important 6th. wheel then I have another interesting question and a good answer to it which I'll add to this thread.
    My vehical has seven wheels four on the rear and two on the front and a spare, not including the steering wheel.

    Tony

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    • #3
      Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

      The spare.
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      • #4
        Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

        Flywheel?

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        • #5
          Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

          I always though that this was the 5th wheel. They are kinda hard to mount in a trunk though.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

            Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
            I always though that this was the 5th wheel. They are kinda hard to mount in a trunk though.
            Easy to mount--tough to connect trailer!

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            • #7
              Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

              Maybe responsible drivers check their spare occassionally, but it's hard enough to get most folks to check their four main tires. I've seen countless late model, expensive cars and SUV's with severely worn tires and the owners are oblivious to their condition. National highway safety reports that when a tire tread is worn by fifty percent the tire has really lost much more than that figure in handling and other characteristics. Your life is riding on those tires, don't be cheap and wait until they are worn down to the tread indicators, get a new set before that time!

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              • #8
                Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                In my case the 6th wheel is the spare and it is very important to keep the spare tire properly inflated. There is an issue I have run into that most pencil/pen style tire gauges that would serve for checking your main 4 tires pressure have a range of 10-50 PSI but the spare needs to be normally kept at 60 PSI. For me it's no issue as I have a Service type tire gauge used on truck tires and it has a range of 10-130 PSI and a Dual Foot for checking duals. I keep it safe in my garage. I try hard to check the spare about once a month and the others every 2 weeks being careful not to allow much of the dry nitrogen they are inflated with to escape. If any read low, then I have to find a place setup for nitrogen tire inflating. In my area there are several local racing tire dealers that provide this service.

                I know most people used compressed air and in that case I recommend weekly pressure checks. As for any uneven wear, that needs to be checked out professionally and ASAP when spotted.

                The sad truth is that very very few people can be bothered to think about SAFETY and take some time to practice it. Anymore everyone is in a big race to their grave.

                For anyone wanting info on what a "Service" type tire gauge is like, please click this link. Besides ACME, Milton also makes some pretty good ones. If it's made over in China leave it behind.
                http://www.acmeautomotive.com/upload...s/Page%206.pdf

                Mine is the A540 and please keep in mind that the model A542 is for checking tire gauges and not measuring tire pressure. Some truckers will find the A541 head style to serve their needs better.

                You can get a nice smaller pencil type gauge normally used for bicycle tires and use it to check the spare. Please see this .PDF file.
                http://www.acmeautomotive.com/upload...s/Page%204.pdf

                Warning: VICTOR brand sold at Advance Auto Parts and other chains is KRAP at best. Please don't waste your $$$ on their products.
                Last edited by Woussko; 11-08-2009, 05:39 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                  "The sad truth is that very very few people can be bothered to think about SAFETY and take some time to practice it. Anymore everyone is in a big race to their grave. "

                  The problem is, at my age, I have a good chance of winning!

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                    The best car I ever had for requiring regularly checking the spare was my '68 VW Beetle. The air pressure from the tire was what was used to pressurize the windscreen washer tank. No air = no wash.

                    The easiest to check was the Ford Model A, as the spare was nice and handy hanging there on the back of the car.
                    Steve
                    www.MorrisGarage.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                      Keeping the spare inflated to 60 PSI is a new one to me. What's the reasoning behind that?
                      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                        Originally posted by smorris View Post
                        The easiest to check was the Ford Model A, as the spare was nice and handy hanging there on the back of the car.
                        Same idea when I had my Jeep. My first ride was an '88 Jeep YJ Wrangler, fairly stock and rusted out. I did a practical full gut on it and turned it into a show-vehicle-but-still-play-vehicle, as you can see attached. It was "My Baby".
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                          I just don't get the 'nitrogen fill' on tires. I think it's just silly. Air is like 75 or 80 percent nitrogen in the first place. What's the point supposed to be?

                          And why do I always need new valve stems? didn't I just get new valve stems the last time you sold me rubber? There is nothing wrong with those 2 yr old not-leaking valve stems.

                          And while we're on the subject... why am I rotating my tires to increase tread life? just how does this increase tread life? If my tires are wearing unevenly, and one corner gets funny, fast wear, and I'm too cheap to get the alignment fixed or the frame straightened or whatever... doesn't rotating my tires just make sure that all four will spend some time on the corner that wears out fast, so they all wear out fast together? how exactly is having 4 tires with the inside edge tread trashed better than having 3 good ones and one trashed one?

                          and how come, the one time I actually hit something, I find out my 'road hazard' insurance is pro-rated for remaining tread depth, and i'm getting credited less than the cost of it for my wore out tire. AND you won't sell me a used tire because it's not 'safe' to have different tread designs on the same car, and you won't sell me a single new tire because the miniscule difference in circumference from the new one not being worn down like the others is 'unsafe'.

                          Tire stores... BAH! authoritative dealers of bullshit like everywhere else.
                          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                          • #14
                            Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                            Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
                            Keeping the spare inflated to 60 PSI is a new one to me. What's the reasoning behind that?
                            Dave, It applies to the compact size space saving spares that anymore too many vehicles come with. If you have a full size wheel and standard tire, then it doesn't apply. Maybe you got smart and have a full size tire and wheel for your spare.
                            Last edited by Woussko; 11-09-2009, 12:49 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Forgotten 6th. Wheel (Automotive)

                              The spare is also really darn expensive to replace, at least new. On my Escort the spare went flat, and the tire store said they are basically throw away and more expensive than a real tire. The dealer wanted something like $150 for the tire (IIRC a full size tire for that car was about $50, and a rim was $35 or something). I ended up getting a used one from Medford auto-wreckers for $30.

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