Jul 19, 1997
RAY: We'll spare you any additional --
TOM: We're going to dive right into the answer, or the new Puzzler.
RAY: The new Puzzler. You ready?
RAY: Here it is.
TOM: What is it?
RAY: No, this is actually a pretty simple Puzzler. It has to do with spare tires.
TOM: Oh, no. Not again.
RAY: Well, in the spirit of spares here's another Puzzler. You are going on a very long trip.
TOM: You mean like 50, 60 miles?
RAY: No, no. Hundreds. You're driving up to the wilds of Canada where there are no places to stop and you're driving the Trans Canadian expressway there, whatever that's called.
TOM: The Iditarod.
RAY: No, going to Alaska and you're driving all through Ala -- anyway you're going to be driving for thousands of miles and you can't stop at all.
TOM: Take a coffee can, will ya?
RAY: And you get a flat tire.
TOM: Not again. We just had a flat tire. Yeah, OK, I got it.
RAY: And you open up the trunk and lo and behold there is a tire in there that has air in it, except it's one of those stupid little space saver spares.
TOM: Right, that you took off your kid's little toy push cart.
RAY: And it has a diameter that is significantly smaller than the diameter of the other three tires. Not the fourth tire which of course --
TOM: Is flat.
RAY: So you have to put the space saver spare someplace. You certainly don't have to put it where the flat tire came from.
TOM: Certainly not.
RAY: The question is, does it make a difference where you put the space saver?
TOM: There's three parts to this question.
RAY: I'm getting to them.
TOM: A -- is if you have a front wheel drive car --
RAY: I was getting to that. No, no. That's an exercise for the listener. I will let the listener explain whether you have a front wheel drive car --
TOM: Oh, you don't want to make it into A, B and C?
TOM: All right, fine. Fine, fine! I'm not going to argue with you.
RAY: So part A.
TOM: Part A, yeah.
RAY: I forgot what part A is. You have to put it someplace. Does it make a difference where you put it?
TOM: That's A.
RAY: That's A.
TOM: What's B then?
RAY: Why and how come?
TOM: See, I was going to make it into part A, if you had a front wheel drive car where would be the best place to put the tire?
RAY: That's part B.
TOM: Part B, if you had a rear wheel drive car where would be the best place to put the tire? Part C, if you had a four wheel drive vehicle where would be the best place to put the little tire? And part D, if you had none of the above where would be the best place to.
RAY: I would go to the first rest area and swap with some guy that had --
TOM: Steal a car. That's the way out.RAY: -- tires your size.
RAY: It should be on someone else's car, but assuming it's going to be on your car, if you have a front wheel drive car you want to put it on the back. If you have a rear wheel drive car you want to put it on the front.
TOM: And if you have neither rear or front wheel drive car then it doesn't matter where you put it.
RAY: If you have a four wheel drive car --
TOM: You're done for.
RAY: -- they don't give you those little Mickey Mouse spares with four wheel drive cars but if you have a front wheel drive car the reason you want to put it on the back, and the reason you want to put it on the front if you have a rear wheel drive car, is you do not want it on the axle where the driving wheels are, in other words, the axle that has the differential, because when you have tires that are two different sizes it causes the side gears, or the spider gears, in the differential to actually turn, because when you're going along on a straight line those gears hardly turn at all. Every once in a while you make a little dip fake to the left or a little turn to the right and those little gears will --
TOM: A head fake, just a head fake.
RAY: Right, or you might think of passing somebody. Those gears will turn but very, very little. When you have tires that are two different sizes all the way across Canada those spider gears are turning like crazy and what will happen, because they're not designed to take that kind of abuse, is they will burn up.
TOM: And you will get the classic rear end hum.RAY: Oh, yeah, you'll get it. You'll have it before you make Manitoba.