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1989 300te, auto, 200k miles
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, as the title says, the right rear wheel fell off. I was heading home from diner with the mom following me and doing about 75 on the highway. All of the sudden it felt like the wind blew the car just to the right and then it came back in line. A couple seconds later the back end dropped like a rock. I looked behind me and saw all of the sparks. Looked ahead again and saw the tire rolling past me into the woods. Had the car towed to a State Farm appraiser and waiting to hear back from them (hopefully in the morning) When I finally found the wheel the next morning (about 3 hours searching in frozen water haha) it still had the caliper, rotor, and nut for the axle attached to it. Made me laugh out loud. At this point it seems like the damage is limited to brake line, parking brake, dust shield, and bearing. The funniest part of it all had to have been watching the tire roll, veer right, jump in the air over an exit ramp then disappear haha. Ended up almost half a mile from where my drag marks on the pavement started.

Being a lucky retail denizen I haven't seen the damage in daylight yet. But by flashlight it looks like the bearing shredded (part of it cracked is still visible on the car and the rest is gone) and the nut backed off of the axle. Whats worse is just before diner I'd driven about 50 miles in ~35 minutes. The cars been the best I've owned so far, put about 6k miles on it since September. Never had any vibration, noise, howl, walking in the rear, nothing. Anyone else had something like this happen? Ideas on what it was/damage done?

1989 300te with unknown mileage. Odo broken at 208040.
 

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Premium Member
About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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Wow, you're lucky that you didn't lose control and that no other vehicle or person was hit by flying debris. From what you've said, the title isn't really accurate. It's a lot more serious than that.
It sounds like the wheel bearing failed catastrophically, splitting and breaking apart the knuckle. That's the only way i can think of that the caliper could still be with the wheel.
And no bearing drone, you say?
I wonder if the bearing was replaced by the PO and it was done incorrectly. Scary. Post pics!
 

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89 300E; 00 E320
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2,515 Posts
SOaB! You have got to be fu(*#<g kidding me. So you're just shaken, not stirred? Good

Xanax for the mom I guess.
 

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2008 E350 4M, 2016 Audi Allroad, 2019 Audi Q5
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My dad had a front wheel come off while driving 45mph once...

...Had it had come off 10 feet further up the road it would have shot across the road, over a mound, across a parking lot and right through the front window of the store I was working at the time...True story!

Scary!

I think you have more damage than it sounds, especially at 75mph.
 

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1989 300te, auto, 200k miles
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279 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Y'all said it. Everyone thats seen the damage has told me how lucky I am. But between beer rock salt and tools I had about 500lbs in the cargo area. The thing dropped like a rock and once it dug into the pavement I guess I was good to go.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the suspension. As of yet it hasn't leaked. But I traded my 8-8 tomorrow for an 11-11 so I can go start insurance paper work and finally see the car in light. As for the PO, I have no idea. Got the car from a charity and have no real back story on it. I've had one other car totaled by state farm (a 94 540i) and they did this: offer me 3300 and total the car or 2800, I keep it, and they won't insure it (me and the other person, not the car). If its totaled my plan is to take option two. Keep the car and see if I can buy a whole right/rear setup used. Either keep the car as a backup beater/hauler or part it out.
 

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'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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That happened to me in a '69 Bug. The LR wheel just went rolling on by for another 300 yards, across a very busy road and into a ditch. Comical, but freakin' scary at the same time.
 

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About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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Dave, option 2 sounds good to me. What colors is the car? Just curious. It's not like I *need* another parts car or anyting like that....
You shouldn't have any trouble finding used suspension parts for your car. The parts *must* be from a wagon though. They have different (bigger) wheel bearings and brakes than sedans.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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10,388 Posts
Hmmmmmm.....all this and I know my rear wheel bearing is loose/bad...planing a trip etc. I can't help but think if you had the rear up in the air and felt both your wheels for play, you'd have found some. Most of us take wheel bearings for granted, but I've seen too many of them fail. But as they say about hindsight....:rolleyes:

Kevin
 

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Immoderately Caffeinated/ Vintage Moderator
T5
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Pity it's not a *real* sls system like my old D series Citroen:p. You could pull a rear wheel off and drive flat out okay. The trailing arm would just tuck up under the guard and away we would go. Cornering bias at speed could be a bit eye-popping though:eek:.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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Pity it's not a *real* sls system like my old D series Citroen:p. You could pull a rear wheel off and drive flat out okay. The trailing arm would just tuck up under the guard and away we would go. Cornering bias at speed could be a bit eye-popping though:eek:.
Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder....the Citroen with all its suspension advances being one of the most ugly cars ever to have rubber tires.:rolleyes:

Kevin
 

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2011 GLK,2007 S550,2003 S55,2008 CLK,2009 C300,1996 E300,2005 E320,2002 E3
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What kind of insurance do you have with state farm that covers that?
 

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1989 300te, auto, 200k miles
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279 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Dave, option 2 sounds good to me. What colors is the car? Just curious. It's not like I *need* another parts car or anyting like that....
You shouldn't have any trouble finding used suspension parts for your car. The parts *must* be from a wagon though. They have different (bigger) wheel bearings and brakes than sedans.
Haha I'm only a couple hours from you... Its white over blue. Obviously pre f-lift. Trim is a bit gray but (except for the bumper now) in tact. Interior is in great shape, even the non-mb tex. Thanks for the parts tip. Certainly cuts out most of the in-town possibilities.
Hmmmmmm.....all this and I know my rear wheel bearing is loose/bad...planing a trip etc. I can't help but think if you had the rear up in the air and felt both your wheels for play, you'd have found some. Most of us take wheel bearings for granted, but I've seen too many of them fail. But as they say about hindsight....:rolleyes:

Kevin
Yea Yea haha. Having no garage and working retail is killing me. Tomorrow will be the first time in three weeks I'll be at home during the daylight. There was a list of about 20 things to do to the car, but.... haha.
What kind of insurance do you have with state farm that covers that?
Not sure, whatever mom pays for. Her dad started the policy in the 30s, couple wrecks and no ticket. Moms been on since 60, no tickets and one wreck that wasn't her fault. So they've been good to us. My first wreck was my fault (getting a handski) and they paid me 3k for the car. My one ticket was 88/65 in only raised our rates about $10 a month. We'll see what happens with this one...
 
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