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Check those lug nuts!!!

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  • Check those lug nuts!!!

    Changed the wif's struts this weekend and ended up shearing 7 wheel studs while trying to remove the lug nuts. I ended up changing out all the wheel studs just to be safe. The problem was the mechanic who put the wheels on previously, used an impact gun. The tapered cone of the lug nuts had an indentation of the rim it was tightened so hard.

    My point is this was an inconvience to change the studs. The car was parked at home, I had all my tools, auto store is down the street, etc. This would've been a big deal if I (or the wif) was on the side of the highway and the studs broke while changing a flat tire. No impact drivers on lug nuts-make sure they're torqued to the right specs!
    Last edited by gear junkie; 09-20-2008, 11:51 PM.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

    This is SO true. I have a friend/customer that has owned a tire business for years. They use impact wrenches also. And I've been to other tire shops....impact wrenches too. And they never make an adjustment on them.

    I guess at one time it was ok when all the wheels were steel. But today manufacturers have specific torques for the aluminum or alloy wheels.

    I've had one break off flat against the rotor.

    That's a real party drilling that S.O.B out.

    Torque'em right!

    J.C.

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    • #3
      Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

      Think of what it would have been like attempting to change a flat tire on the road side. Tire dealer and other mechanics need "The Steel Toe Boot" reminder that on today's cars you do NOT blast away for several seconds with a powerful impact wrench so as to tighten lug nuts to the point of stripping threads or wringing off studs. For tightening you must properly use human power and stagger tighten in several stages ending up using a good torque wrench. In an emergency try to guess a reasonable amount of torque and on a car it's not GRRRRUNT with a large crossbar wrench.

      Ben, Thanks for starting this thread. People should check the torque of their lug nuts now and then too, just like the need to check air pressure.

      JC, What really gets me (*&^%$ is when new car dealers use impact wrenches to tighten them. They are too lazy and because of the $$$ factor refuse to take a little more time to do things right.
      Last edited by Woussko; 09-20-2008, 09:33 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

        Excellent Thread! On some cars you won't get a good brake pedal if you don't torque properly, and the point of having to remove them in an emergency situation is very true. When I worked as a fleet mechanic for NY TEl we had no power tools and removing lug nuts tightened by contractors on the road took two men more time than you could imagine. Get the proper torque specs and consider putting a little anti seize on the threads.
        Last edited by Frankiarmz; 09-21-2008, 12:22 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

          In addition to the above tips on avoiding over-torqued lug nuts I remove all 4 wheel locks before having any mechanic perform service on my vehicle that requires wheel removal. They usually document the lack of a lug nut per wheel on the service ticket to cover themselves but I do not want my wheel locks impacted nor damaged by their impact wrench. I always re-torque my lug nuts after any service involving wheel removal to the proper torque.
          Last edited by reConx; 09-20-2008, 10:26 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

            Originally posted by reConx View Post
            In addition to the above tips on avoiding over-torqued lug nuts I remove all 4 wheel locks before having any mechanic perform service on my wheels. They usually document the lack of a lug nut per wheel on the service ticket to cover themselves but I do not want my wheel locks impacted nor damaged by their impact wrench. I always re-torque my lug nuts after any service involving wheel removal to the proper torque.
            Good thinking as the jack__s they hire will just use the impact wrench and blast them off one way or another.

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            • #7
              Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

              Any good auto service place is using torque extension sets to put those lug nuts on correctly -- first time, everytime. And torque extension sets are designed to be used with an impact. If you're not going to a place using torque extension sets, you're having your cars repaired by someone who is still in the middle ages. They're even color coded for correct calibration, it's now a no-brainer.
              Jim

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              • #8
                Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                Originally posted by JimDon View Post
                Any good auto service place is using torque extension sets to put those lug nuts on correctly -- first time, everytime. And torque extension sets are designed to be used with an impact. If you're not going to a place using torque extension sets, you're having your cars repaired by someone who is still in the middle ages. They're even color coded for correct calibration, it's now a no-brainer.
                Jim
                I'll grant you this. But the majority here do not. Even some dealerships the last time I was there.

                J.C.

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                • #9
                  Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                  Originally posted by JimDon View Post
                  Any good auto service place is using torque extension sets to put those lug nuts on correctly -- first time, everytime. And torque extension sets are designed to be used with an impact. If you're not going to a place using torque extension sets, you're having your cars repaired by someone who is still in the middle ages. They're even color coded for correct calibration, it's now a no-brainer.
                  Jim
                  Did you hear that Ben? I think he just told you that you should have taken your car to a pro
                  I love my plumber

                  "My Hero"

                  Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                    BTW-mrs.-you-should've-gone-to-a-pro, I torque my lug nuts with a snap-on torque wrench. So there!!!!!

                    I'll say your comeback for you to save you the typing:


                    WHATEVER

                    That's your color?
                    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                      Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                      BTW-mrs.-you-should've-gone-to-a-pro, I torque my lug nuts with a snap-on torque wrench. So there!!!!!

                      I'll say your comeback for you to save you the typing:


                      WHATEVER

                      That's your color?
                      Close enough!
                      I love my plumber

                      "My Hero"

                      Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                        There is nothing wrong with using a impact to tighten up the lug nuts,

                        THERE IS THIS LITTLE KNOB ON THE HANDLE OF THE AIR WRENCH AND ADJUST THAT DOWN SO THERE IS NOT 300 FT POUNDS AND YOU CAN SNUG THEM UP, AND THEN TURQUE THEM.

                        IF YOU DO NOT TORQUE THE THEM YOU WILL WARP THE ROTOR AS WELL,

                        But the little vans and cars you need to be careful and watch them as the wheel studs break on them actuly fairly often, my son has helped a number of people get there cars off the road with broken lug studs, Its not like in the good old days where if you 3 out 5 lug nuts you would get there.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                          Impact with torque sticks is OK - Torque wrench is best, but time is money and I understand why shops use them.

                          Impact without torque sticks - big no no. No one has that good of a feel and most industrial grade impacts on their lowest settings will exceed the recommended torque as well as being extremely inconsistent in the final result.

                          I told a tire store to let me know what my brake pads looked like when they put tires on one of my cars several years ago. They said fine. A week later when the pads were down to the metal, I had to use a cross wrench and a neighbor to get the lugs off and sheared several studs in the process. Been there, done that. I am just glad that I had the problem in my driveway, and not with a flat on the side of the road. Nowadays I buy all my tires from a one man shop who mounts them correctly, cleans the protectant off them, and sometimes even puts tire shine on them before they leave. I have checked him with my torque wrench at home and they are always within spec.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                            " I have checked him with my torque wrench at home and they are always within spec."

                            Please describe the procedure you use to check the torque with your torque wrench. From your short description I wonder how you know it is not over-torqued.





                            Many years ago wheel torque was not an issue, as has already been brought out here by a previous poster. We had stamped steel wheels (for the most part) and no disc rotors to worry about.

                            I worked in my youth for a fairly well known tire company (the one with the blimp) that did a fairly brisk business in tire sales (avg >200 tires sold and mounted a week). We did not worry about over-torquing back in the 70s with the std steel wheels. We were told not to over-torque, tighten in a staggered pattern, and make them tight enough but not so tight that a person could not get the wheel off with a lug wrench. Mag wheels were a different story and did get torqued, but they were the only ones as I remember.

                            Today its different. Steel wheels have gone away, partly for aesthetics and partly for weight savings. Times change.
                            Last edited by Bob D.; 09-21-2008, 10:25 AM.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Check those lug nuts!!!

                              Generally, I let the car cool down after I drive it home, as if I checked it hot the test would have no meaning. Then I set my torque wrench to the high end of spec or 5# over spec and run all the lugs. Typically I get a very slight movement of each lug that is very consistent. If the wrench clicks with no motion, I will loosen the lug 1/16 turn and then torque it. If it doesn't move after that one I know it was over! I know this is not the most scientific test in the world, but it makes me feel better knowing that they are not overtorqued and that they all seem to be even. Although I no longer work as a machinist, I am a machinist by trade and have a pretty good feel of what is happening between my hands and the tools.
                              Last edited by JTROANOKE; 09-21-2008, 10:37 AM.

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