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Old 02-17-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


I know this is going to sound like a completely stupid question
Is there any secret to getting lug nuts off with a lug wrench?
Out of 10, I was able to crack 3... Using brute force seems just to strip the bolts. And yes, they are well sprayed down with an anti-seize spray...

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Old 02-17-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


Quote:
Using brute force seems just to strip the bolts.
Ayuh,... Your lug wrench is junk or worn out...

A socket, breaker bar, 'n length of pipe will pop 'em off....

Personally, my air impact does a 'ell of a job....

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Old 02-17-2011, 02:39 PM   #3
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


The secret is to always use anti-seize when installing lug nuts. But, since it's too late for that, you could try using a 4-way lug wrench, if you're not already. The next thing would be an impact wrench, either pneumatic or electric.

What vehicle are these on? Some older vehicles (Ford for one) used left-hand threads on the left wheels and right-hand threads on the right side. Their thinking was that the wheel's rotation would tend to keep the nuts tight.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


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The secret is to always use anti-seize when installing lug nuts. But, since it's too late for that, you could try using a 4-way lug wrench, if you're not already. The next thing would be an impact wrench, either pneumatic or electric.

What vehicle are these on? Some older vehicles (Ford for one) used left-hand threads on the left wheels and right-hand threads on the right side. Their thinking was that the wheel's rotation would tend to keep the nuts tight.
its a 2001 neon... hmmm... that might be a reason, one side I couldnt budge a single one, might of been just tightening them more
but yeah, I think my lug wrench is crap... its just one of those L-shaped ones, too much pressure on the handle and it has a tendency to screw...

Is the average electric impact wrench good enough for lug nuts?
I pretty much thought only pneumatic would have enough power...
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


you could try spraying pb blaster all over them and let em sit for awhile, I used a long pipe with a half inch socket when I did my boat trailer that I bought, broke 7 out of twenty...broke 5 before I used the pb blaster on em
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


oh yeah, I used a plain ole propane torch to heat them up...took about 10 minutes a lug, but it did work.....whenever you think you have heated it long enough, keep the torch on it....you almost want it to be red hot and glowing
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:22 PM   #7
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


well, sounds like you have wrong lug nuts installed. stupid it may sound. i had a Ranger with same issue.
lug nuts should roll on nice and easy, then gently tightened and torqued to about 90 f/lb
unfortunately, there's so many different style nuts, and various thread pitch and size, that sometimes life happens.
otherwise, you have bent studs. the only way i see it done is either damage to hub/studs, maybe due to some curb driving or such, or lug nuts were loose when wheels were installed last time, and simple wobble in the wheel on studs damaged them.
studs are not that bad to replace. IF YOU HAVE ACCESS WINDOW FOR IT IN DUST COVER. or hub is not covering heads, then hub has to be removed, and replaced. on some front wheel drive cars there's no way to remove studs otherwise.

oh, and i vote fro breaker bar and long handle extension with 1/2 inch head and proper socket. 600 f/lb power tool will not even undo regular, well fitting nuts. not many electrical ones go higher. you are looking into 1200 pound and higher impact wrench and a very good compressor to make it work. drive to a tire shop and ask them to break them loose for you.

Last edited by ukrkoz; 02-17-2011 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:22 AM   #8
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


yeah, normally I wouldn't suggest the breaker bar idea, I only suggested that because I think he's already broken several of them...and if he breaks a few more, it wouldn't matter. He's probably going to have to pull the rotors anyway to replace the ones he broke.

He probably can't drive to a tire shop being that he can't get the remaining lugs out and as I said, I think he's already broken a few.

In my case where I did as I said, it was a boat trailer that was used in the ocean where the salt water corroded it horribly...and whoever had it before me, didn't use any antiseize. There was no way to get them off otherwise
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


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Originally Posted by phantasm72 View Post
Out of 10, I was able to crack 3... Using brute force seems just to strip the bolts. And yes, they are well sprayed down with an anti-seize spray...

hey, phantasm, why don't you clarify this? as there's concern about BROKEN studs, not just stripped. for a Neon, it'll drive around to a tire shop on 3 per wheel.

stripped threads=wrong thread lug nuts forced on some time in the past.

btw, those are not alloy wheels, by any chance? those are notorious about sucking lug nuts into rims and them getting jammed. they have special lug nuts for alloys, regular ones will get stuck to the point of snapping studs. unfortunately, alloy lug nuts are expensive, so some cheat out of this using regular lug nuts.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:57 PM   #10
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


A couple of thoughts...
I can get most lugnuts off with an electric impact wrench rated at 240 ft-lbs. Those I can't get off with that I can get off with a 25 inch long, 1/2 inch breaker bar (plus 200 lb me standing on it). I've never been able to get all the lugnuts off with just the L shaped tool that comes with the car.

Be careful using heat on a wheel with an inflated tire on it!! They can get hot enough to start burning inside the tire and literally explode. This happens more often on large trucks with multipart rims, but can happen on a car tire too. Be sure to deflate any tire before put a torch on a wheel.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #11
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


In most cases, the lug nuts were installed and tightened with an impact wrench. I am a mechanic and I NEVER tighten lug nuts with an impact wrench. I run them up and slightly tighten them EQUALLY. Then I go back and hand tighten each nut and sometimes use a torque wrench.
I would recommend removal with an impact wrench.
On a regular type lug nut, with taper, notice the surface area of the taper and you can realize why they are hard to remove. You must overcome the friction contact of the taper, plus the flex of the steel rim, if that be the case.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:53 PM   #12
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


Use a six point impact socket. 12 point sockets are going to round off the nuts.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:22 AM   #13
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


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Use a six point impact socket. 12 point sockets are going to round off the nuts.
If you round one off, you have then entered a whole new dimension of suck.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:43 PM   #14
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


The secret is not having them put on too tight. Make sure wherever you take your car for service that the lug nuts aren't put on with an impact wrench. If you don't have one, invest in a nice torque wrench and do it yourself

I've never used anti-seize on my lug studs and was told in High School auto shop that you shouldn't ever do that. I know a lot of people swear by it, but it's not recommended. Do a google search and you'll find dozens of threads telling you NOT to put anti seize on your studs because you can overtighten your lug nuts. I do put anti seize around the axle flange but never on the studs.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #15
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secrets to getting lug nuts off?


It doesn't matter if you use anti-seize or pixie dust on your lug nuts, they won't be over-tightened if you use a torque wrench.

If you're afraid of using a speck of anti-seize (that's all it takes, by the way) at least use a dab of grease on the wheel studs.

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