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#0922: In Space No One Can Hear You Strip a Bolt

Original Air Date: 05.29.2009

   Best Moment

This week on Car Talk, our favorite astronaut, John Grunsfeld, reports on his recent Space Oddity--busting an antenna and wrestling with calcified bolts on the Hubble Telescope, and why his next mission may be to Remedial Torque Wrench class. Meanwhile, Frank in Massachusetts is having trouble getting his '39 Cadillac Datemobile to start-- could it be time for a hit of Auto-Viagra? Also, we identify Ireland's most ticketed driver, a Jetta owner's love is tested by thousands of dollars in repairs, and a road trip to Mount Rushmore gets muy expensive. All this, plus a puzzler from deep in Rattlesnake Canyon, this week on Car Talk.

Review this Show | 7 Reviews | Need Help Listening? View Call Details

This Week's Puzzler

Why does the stream in Rattlesnake Canyon rise every fall? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

Using 2,3,4,5, can you form an equation that equals 26?

Show Open Topic

The worst driver in all of Ireland-- is Polish.

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Show Review - 870

by Anonymous

Show Review - 871

by dmytro

Re bolts in space: wouldn't the composition of the bolt and the threaded material, esp. if titanium or aluminum not make a difference, in that these can "meld" with time?

Show Review - 875

by grabowsky

The bent dust shield/wheel comment is for the Aveo caller

Show Review - 956

by Anonymous

recalcitrant bolts

by barberoux

I heard the astronaut, John Grunsfeld, discuss the stuck fastener that got stripped while trying to remove it. The problem as stated was that the first three fasteners were removed with no trouble but the last fastener required much more torque to remove. That last fastener was hard to remove because the preload on that fastener was much higher since the other fasteners being removed loaded up the last fastener. The same thing happens with lug nuts where the last lug nut is the tightest to remove. The solution is to reinstall and tighten the other fasteners then remove the stuck one. When removing the fasteners you untighten each fastener a small amount to avoid overloading the last fastener. Cylinder head fasteners are often tightened in a strict sequence where each fastener is torqued to only a percentage of the final torque value to avoid warping the head. Those fasteners should be removed the same way, in sequence, untorquing them a little at a time. I am perfectly willing to go up in the shuttle and help in removing recalcitrant bolts.


by grabowsky

Putting in an eight volt battery without modifying the charging system will only leave the battery poorly charged. The original regulator is an old points type one and maybe it can be readjusted to produce about 10 volts. This is about what is needed to charge a 8 volt battery.

re: chevy aveo

by grabowsky

Sounds like the dust shield behind the rotor is bent and scraping. Maybe the wheel is bent also. This would explain the shimmy.

Ireland's Worst Driver

Courtesy of the BBC, the case of a misunderstood repeat offender.

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