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Ballscrew Lugbolts

Title has been changed
  [vote for,

Edit: When I first typed this, I couldn't think of the term for what I was trying to describe. Drill bits aren't what I was going for. What I was thinking of is more a ballscrew assembly. So, here's how the idea would work:

Upon activating a switch, each lug bolt (which is actually a ballscrew) threads backward (inward), first out of the nut, then out of the wheel. All the ballscrews on each hub work in tandem. So all you would have to do to remove the wheel, once the car's jacked up, is position a dolly under the wheel to support it (to prevent damage to the ends of the ballscrews) and a pan under the dolly to catch the nuts (or just use a dolly with a pan attached), then flip a switch inside the car to retract the ballscrews, which then thread inward, until first the nuts then the wheel drop free.

Short and simple: Jack the car, position a dolly, flip a switch. Wheel is removed.

To prevent accidental or sinister activation while the vehicle is in use, a weight-on-wheels switch and accelerometer disable the mechanism while there is weight on the wheels or if the vehicle is in motion.

21 Quest, Mar 30 2009


       HOW DOES IT WORK? It isn't much of an invention unless you can explain how it works, more like a wish, or a pipe dream. Do you have any notion how hard it is to make functional rotary connections? If it was hard for you to remove the nuts it will be twice as hard for the studs to unscrew themselves.
WcW, Mar 30 2009

       EDIT: This anno has been edited. Sorry, I was having a brainfart, and got the term drill bit confused with ballscrew somehow. The post has been changed, thus this annotation was now out of context. See my next annotation for my answer to WcW's question.
21 Quest, Mar 30 2009

       If I get the idea then the title is misleading.
Do you mean drill 'chuck' lugnuts?

       no he really means that the studs (which turn with the wheel when the car is moving) are powered (how?) to turn counter clockwise "threading" out of the nuts and the wheel. "like a drill bit" isn't adequate to describe how this works simply because no drill functions in any way similar to this, nor would you find any analogy between a drill and this idea.
WcW, Mar 30 2009

       Ok, I thought a drill bit would get the imagery across that I was going for, and I couldn't think of the right term for the device I was thinking of. It's actually more like a ballscrew assembly. Each lug bolt is actually a ballscrew. Upon activating the switch, the studs retract, threading out of the nuts and wheel, as WcW put it. Once the studs retract far enough, first the nuts, then the wheel drop free. This would probably best be used with the wheel supported on a dolly to avoid damage to the ballscrews.

       WcW, while it would undoubtedly be complex, if properly constructed the whole assembly could be quite sturdy and run like clockwork. After all, several years ago, I guarantee mechanics would've thought half the technology we use today would never hold up to the rigors of frequent use.
21 Quest, Mar 30 2009

       ok, so how do you power it?
WcW, Mar 30 2009

       The usual method. Electric motor.
21 Quest, Mar 30 2009

       This is a very expensive solution to repalce the cheap screws. [-]
eight_nine_tortoise, Mar 31 2009

       I had big problems wrapping my head around the idea: This is due to the fact i never saw a car with nuts, all the cars i ever changed tires on (all european) had lugbolts, so the idea of them moving by themselves was hard to conceive...

       I think it would be possible, but i do not see the merits of making a very simple part so complicated. (I have to add that i am also averse to electrically heated mirrors and electric windows...)
loonquawl, Mar 31 2009

       //The usual method. Electric motor//
Stirling engine, shirley?
coprocephalous, Mar 31 2009

       Loonqwal, what do you mean the cars never had nuts? What the hell keeps the wheels from sliding off the ends of the lug bolts?

       //This is a very expensive solution to repalce the cheap screws.//

       Well yes, its expensive. So is nearly any luxury feature on a car. Look at power seats, power windows, and Traction Control Systems. But this would make it much easier for folks who struggle with the task to change their own tires, like most of the women I know (note: that's not meant to be belittling, but none of the women I know can change a tire. I've asked.) and the elderly. Jacking is easy, it's the manual removal of the lug nuts that'll break an old man's back.
21 Quest, Mar 31 2009

       Car wheels can be attached with loose nuts and threaded shafts which are integral to the hub, or loose bolts which screw into threaded holes in the hub. I suppose loonquawl's experience was with the latter.
Srimech, Mar 31 2009

       God, that sounds like it would be hard (and more time-consuming) to put a wheel back on. Bolts that are integral to the hub make it so much easier, all you have to do is line up the holes in the wheel with the bolts and slide the wheel on over the bolts. Once it's on, all you have to do is put the nuts on and torque them down. I admit I've never seen the latter kind.
21 Quest, Mar 31 2009

       [Srimech] got it. The axle protrudes a little, so the wheel can be placed on that, rotated so the holes line up, then bolted into place. I guess it's just manufacturer tradition, which way to go.
loonquawl, Mar 31 2009

       so these electric motors that are mounted in the hubs (unsprung weight)and have to have power delivered to them by means of a rotary connector (it has to spin, remember?) and can deliver enough torque to remove the studs. That also don't interfere with the suspension and brake systems. You've never looked at the back of your hubs, have you. How much space is there? a few cm? is it uniform? where does the rotary contact go? anyway, this is more fantastic than halfbaked.
WcW, Mar 31 2009

       Since when does a Halfbakery submission require a blueprint, WcW? There's no reason this couldn't work. I'm not suggesting it as a mod to existing vehicles (I do know how difficult that would be), but on a new vehicle the hub could be engineered to incorporate this into the design, or to install it on an existing vehicle you'd replace the whole hub.
21 Quest, Mar 31 2009

       //There's no reason this couldn't work.//
So what's it doing here?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 31 2009

       //So what's it doing here?//

       It's here because I have no plans to ever make it work. I'm a thinker, not an engineer, and couldn't actually build this if I tried. That's what makes it Halfbaked. Many of the best ideas on this site are completely doable.
21 Quest, Mar 31 2009

       //There's no reason this couldn't work.//
//So what's it doing here?//

       <smacks forehead>   

       //So is nearly any luxury feature on a car//

       how about instead of this the carmaker would include the "luxury" feature of a cordless electric impact wrench stowed neatly in the trunk. not quite as convenient as sitting inside and hitting a button, but they would have to get out in the mud to put the jack under the car anyway, and they would still need to manuever the heavy wheels onto and off of the hub, so at that point operating an impact wrench is the least of their worries.
ServoMan314, Apr 03 2009

       Nah... I like practicality in an idea, but that's a little *too* practical for the HB.
21 Quest, Apr 03 2009

       Somehow I don't think a ballscrew assembly would develop near enough clamping torque to stabilize and center the wheel.
RayfordSteele, Aug 25 2009


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