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View Full Version : Torquing of Lugnuts (Split from "Breaks My Heart")



Ralph LoGrasso
01-09-2006, 09:51 PM
And somting else I just thought of that would be good to bring up is lug nut's and studs, when you add after market wheels to your car, you are often times using much less of your stock leingth stud, as well I have seen many people take old rusty stock studs and brush them off. On the other hand ARP makes some very nice replacement studs that are much higher qualtiy than stock. It would cost less than 30 bucks to replace all of them on your car, I think it is money well spent, for wheels falling off can really mess up your day, and if it strikes some one, it can get you sued.

To simplify this even further, and go back to elementary car servicing, use a torque wrench to torque your wheels. I often see both people (and shops) using impact guns to torque wheels. An under-torqued (or over-torqued) wheel can be extremely unsafe (read: become dislodged), and a lot of people over look this simple factor.

A few months back, a guy over on LS1tech.com lost a wheel at around 65mph. He was okay, but there was some damage to the car. He had gotten some new wheels and tires just two days prior to the accident, and it was thought that the tech over-torqued his wheels with an impact gun, causing the studs to fail, and the wheel to fall off.

sinned
01-09-2006, 10:20 PM
A few months back, a guy over on LS1tech.com lost a wheel at around 65mph. He was okay, but there was some damage to the car. He had gotten some new wheels and tires just two days prior to the accident, and it was thought that the tech over-torqued his wheels with an impact gun, causing the studs to fail, and the wheel to fall off.
Not possible but neato theory. I agree that inexperienced people working on their cars should always use a torque wrench for just about anything. I guesstimate that I have run ~200 lug nuts per day, 5-6 days a week for the last 15 years; no, I don't use a torque wrench (well, I do on my own car but not for safety reasons). I know the news gets all over tire shops when a wheel comes off, but letís look at how many wheels are run on and off every single day by tire shops all over the country....now how many stories are there about wheels coming off? Very few in comparisons. I wouldn't worry too much about watching someone running lugs down with an impact, in all honesty a few guys are chime in with "I always do", or "my shop I always does, I watch them". No, you don't. What you do is witness is them CHECKING to see that final torque was achieved. It always is....by a bunch. When they walk up to the wheel and the wrench "clicks" right away, that is NOT torquing wheels. [/off rant]

Ralph LoGrasso
01-09-2006, 11:21 PM
I understand what you're saying, Dennis, and I agree with you. You're obviously very experienced and don't need the torque wrench, but think of how many younger techs (or just people working at pep boys, jiffy lube, etc.) there are out there who lack said experience. A guy my Dad's friends with had three of his wheel studs stripped, because the guy at pep boys didn't start the lugs by hand at all, just pushed the lug onto the stud and pressed the trigger of the impact gun. When all was said and done, pep boys replaced all three studs, and the guy was either fired, or simply got an extreme public lashing by his manager. Either way, experience is paramount, but it's not something everyone posesses. In the case of the guy on LS1tech, I'm pretty sure it was a kid at a national wheel and tire warehouse that installed the wheels.



Not possible but neato theory

So there's no way that over-torquing the lugs could've caused the wheel to come off?


What you do is witness is them CHECKING to see that final torque was achieved.

This is true and a good point; many people are probably fooled by this technique. It's not really a concern for me, as I don't farm out my work. I sit there and tighten the lug from start to finish with the torque wrench. I exist as emblematic of the concern for safety. Actually, I just don't want to take a chance in screwing up my aftermarket wheels. :lmao:

parsonsj
01-10-2006, 06:04 AM
Dennis, I'm not following. Over-torquing a bolt is no better than under-torquing. Do you use the color-coded impact wrench extensions? Otherwise, I don't understand how you would be able to precisely torque a lugnut with an impact wrench.

jp

sinned
01-10-2006, 06:20 AM
No precision involved John, they are not accurately torqued, simply tightened enough that will not fall off (I do have a few torque sticks, they are not very accurate). It is an unfortunate nature of the business, guys that actually go through the trouble of hand running lugs down and accurately torquing them do not last long in todayís shops. It is just not tolerated as it consumes way too much time. Given that most shops get anywhere from 15-20 dollars to rotate tires (if they don't do it free) and charge their customers a wide range depending on which part of the country but I'd guess an average of 90/hr, it doesn't take much labor to consume that 20 dollars.



No Ralph, overtorquing while not particularly good for the studs will not cause them to randomly break at a later time, they will either break and the point they over stretched or the next time some poor unlucky soul has to deal with them, not while driving down the highway (and defiantly not coincidentally all at the same time).

Ralph LoGrasso
01-10-2006, 06:27 AM
No Ralph, overtorquing while not particularly good for the studs will not cause them to randomly break at a later time, they will either break and the point they over stretched or the next time some poor unlucky soul has to deal with them, not while driving down the highway (and defiantly not coincidentally all at the same time).

I should've been more accurate in the post. All of the studs did not break at the same time, I don't think any of the studs "broke". However, the wheel became dislodged, and I'm pretty sure atleast one or two of the studs was damaged. It's been a few months since the incident, and I don't have that great of a memory. The situation was merely to serve as an example to my point of properly tightening wheels.

BonzoHansen
01-10-2006, 07:34 AM
My experience is that with newer cars if you over-torque lugs, you warp rotors. When my old shop switched to torque sticks, a lot of our vibration issues dissipated. Would I build an engine with them? No. Would I hammer wheels down all day with them? Hell yeah.

Iíve never seen an over-torque situation cause such mayhem, but I have seem them down so hard there was no way it was coming off on the side of the road, which seriously angers a customer, or they wasted the studs or killed the lug seat on the wheel (which I suppose could lead to failure; Iíve just never seen it). Iíve also never seen any too loose; that is not the same as forgetting to tighten them. That I have seen. Or the wheel was on cocked. But those cases rarely make it out of a parking lot.

Ralph, with that LS1 case, my guess is the wheels were not properly re-torqued. New aluminum wheels need to be re-torqued after 100 miles of use, every wheel vendor I ever dealt included that in their install instructions. Very few people ever do that, either the shop doesnít tell them to come back or the customer blows it off (young guys follow instructions? Sure. :rolleyes: ). The best part in the world is worthless if it is installed wrong.

Ralph LoGrasso
01-10-2006, 07:41 AM
Ralph, with that LS1 case, my guess is the wheels were not properly re-torqued. New aluminum wheels need to be re-torqued after 100 miles of use, every wheel vendor I ever dealt included that in their install instructions.

I forgot to include that in my intial post, good point. People not re-torquing their new wheels after 100 miles of use probably leads to more issues, than inproper torquing during the initial installation.

Damn True
01-10-2006, 08:08 AM
I dunno what he saying either but I'm rotating my tires myself from here on in.

MarkM66
01-10-2006, 08:26 AM
I'm following. If they're tight, they're not going anywhere. If you have compressor at 175psi, with a 550lb. impact, and keep on the lug for 10 seconds, yeah, you might be over doing it, ;) . But I think guys with experience know how to get them the range of where they need to be. If someone doesn't feel comfortable with this, then they should use a torque wrench.

I've never used a torque wrench on lugs. Haven't had a rotor problem or wheel fall off yet, :) .

parsonsj
01-10-2006, 10:31 AM
I think guys with experience know how to get them the range of where they need to be [with an impact wrench]I dunno ... isn't that assertion a bit "loose" for a safety thread? It seems to me that use of a torque wrench when putting on wheels when you're planning on going 140 mph is a no-brainer. Especially since it takes an extra 15 minutes, tops.

Maybe I'm just being too cautious, but I won't be using an impact wrench. I'll use an air ratchet and torque wrench.

jp

Damn True
01-10-2006, 10:50 AM
Now that I'm thinking about it. The last time I bought tires, the guys in the shop spun my lugs on with a speed wrench and used a torque wrench to tighten them. The did use an impact to remove them. I recall being rather impressed.

Rick Dorion
01-10-2006, 11:22 AM
I do it both ways, torque wrench on aluminum wheels and impact on steel and haven't had a problem in 30 years. However, for the purpose of a safety thread - how about guidelines and specs for proper procedures?

BonzoHansen
01-10-2006, 12:55 PM
I do it both ways, torque wrench on aluminum wheels and impact on steel and haven't had a problem in 30 years. However, for the purpose of a safety thread - how about guidelines and specs for proper procedures?

Iíll admit that was more general method of operation for years. But it was that pesky brake vibration that stopped me. And my own personal car convinced me. I resurfaced my front rotors 3 times in the 1st 30k miles due to brake pulsation. Steel wheels, I just gunned them on, and I didnít crush them or whatever. After the 3rd time, I started hand torquing them, based on a suggestion. Never had an issue again, even after switching to the toque sticks. Rotors were still on the car at 150k miles, above minimum specs. A1993 Honda Civic EX 5 speed I bought new (back when rice was a side dish :).

MarkM66
01-11-2006, 07:50 AM
I dunno ... isn't that assertion a bit "loose" for a safety thread? It seems to me that use of a torque wrench when putting on wheels when you're planning on going 140 mph is a no-brainer. Especially since it takes an extra 15 minutes, tops.

Maybe I'm just being too cautious, but I won't be using an impact wrench. I'll use an air ratchet and torque wrench.

jp

I guess I'm thinking more about daily drivers/street cars instead of performance vehicles that do or will be at high speeds.

I would definitally take your approach in that situation.

parsonsj
01-11-2006, 09:38 AM
guidelines and specs for proper procedures

That's a good idea. I know where ARP comes from on the proper use of torque wrenches: clean, lubricated threads, machine oil vs moly lube, etc. I can snag that information pretty easily.

Steve: does it warrant a paragraph? I'm happy to send you some text.

jp

TonyL
01-11-2006, 09:47 AM
as a tow driver ive seen the "wheel falling off after installation" problem many times. This is what happens.

The tech sets the rim up on the lugs, not actually mating the hub ring. The lugs get wrenched down in this cocked position. The car leaves the shop with the wheel wobbleing. How i know this is the situation is looking at the back of the wheel, the hub ring will actually leave a mark where it was pressed into the back of the wheel. This stresses the lugs, often times the wheel finally centers itself, leaving loose lugs, which then snap or warble the holes out to the point of failure.

Ive seen this at least 4 or 5 times, and have actually done this to my own car myself.

Beastus_Maximus
01-11-2006, 10:27 AM
My personal experince was losing a tire on a big block powered 1970 chevy 4x4 long bed, it was a 35x12.50R16 mudder tire I am glad it was on the rear and not the front, that could have been very very bad, I damn near rolled the truck when it came off, and I felt really stupid. I put those lug nuts on with an impact gun. I would later come to realise that rust on the hub that I had painted over crushed after driving, and caused the wheel to loosen, and it snapped a couple of the studs after the rest of the nuts fell off. I was lucky and had spares with me and was able to stick 5 of the 8 lugs back on. It goes to show, a job worth doing, is worth doing right.

Damn True
01-16-2006, 10:54 AM
Should we add to the conversation a discussion of wheel studs?

What size?
What method of installation?

sinned
01-16-2006, 05:22 PM
I like 1/2X20 cap screws threaded in from the back side and torqued to ~100ft lbs with red locktite.

Damn True
01-16-2006, 05:26 PM
So you drill and tap your axle flanges? Interesting.

wolfinator
01-16-2006, 06:10 PM
and if you have aluminum hubs up front, how do you tap the aluminum?

sinned
01-16-2006, 06:13 PM
Yes I drill (actually most holes for 7/16 studs are just about perfect to just tap) and tap my axles/hubs. Aluminum...no problem, use Helicoils.

CarlC
01-16-2006, 08:53 PM
I use the same as Denny. McMaster Carr has fully threaded 2" long screws that will work for most wheel applications.

Damn True
01-16-2006, 09:14 PM
What is/was the benefit or thinking behind the 3" long lug nuts that were commonly used on the old T/A cars?


https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif

Damn True
01-16-2006, 09:15 PM
Yes I drill (actually most holes for 7/16 studs are just about perfect to just tap) and tap my axles/hubs. Aluminum...no problem, use Helicoils.



Hmm, I think I'll have Tyler do that for me when I order my ATS spindles. Don't want to bugger that up.

parsonsj
01-16-2006, 09:18 PM
I like 1/2X20 cap screws threaded in from the back side and torqued to ~100ft lbs with red locktite.

The same here, except I use lock washers and blue loctite.

jp

sinned
01-16-2006, 09:27 PM
What is/was the benefit or thinking behind the 3" long lug nuts that were commonly used on the old T/A cars? They ran a different style wheel that requires the old mag style lug nut, the ones that have a shoulder that runs all the way through the wheel. The long nut on the shank gets the impact wrench away from the spokes to prevent damage when the socket spins away after loosening the lugs.

vanzuuk1
01-17-2006, 03:53 AM
Do the wheel studs run all the way up the three inch lug, or are they normal length?

sinned
01-17-2006, 05:55 AM
They run through as required by most tech inspections.

David Pozzi
01-17-2006, 07:05 PM
I made a set of Trans-Am "Penske" style aluminum long lug nuts out of hex stock, for a friend, he lubed them up with neverseez and used stainless steel washers against the wheels, these were the old style sholdered lug nuts not the taper type, they kept coming loose on him until he just used a bit of WD40 on the threads and used a steel washer. In talking to the SS washer vendor at Goodguys, he said they'd had problems with lugs coming loose.

6'9"Witha69
01-18-2006, 11:50 AM
I like 1/2X20 cap screws threaded in from the back side and torqued to ~100ft lbs with red locktite.
This is the size I have front and rear. My Wilwood Brakes came with this size in the front hubs, and when I had the rear end done I ordered Moser axles with 3" long studs. I did this (to answer True's question) to pass inspection at the drags. The NHRA techs want to see threads pass through open nuts. I know various racing sanctioning bodies require a certain amount of stud use. 3" is quite excessive, as 2" would would work fine, but I have not got around to it.

vanzuuk1
02-01-2006, 04:48 AM
???

sinned
02-01-2006, 06:01 AM
The 7/16" holes for your stock lugs are just the right size to cut 1/2" holes with a tap. Then thread 1/2X20 socket head cap screws in from the back side and your done.

vanzuuk1
02-01-2006, 04:32 PM
Thank you Dennis , thats what I will do.

vanzuuk1
02-01-2006, 04:33 PM
Also, I tried to order a set of aero wheels

Damn True
02-02-2006, 01:21 AM
What's an aero wheel?

vanzuuk1
02-02-2006, 01:29 PM
Aero are the black wheels you see in nascar.

CarlC
02-02-2006, 04:00 PM
You sure that's not a 5/8" stud?

vanzuuk1
02-02-2006, 05:37 PM
they can only be balanced on a balancer that uses lug nuts to locate the rim, not very common.

vanzuuk1
02-02-2006, 05:39 PM
They were also 23 pounds, dont know what a vintage wheels v45 weighs but i am sure its much lighter.

Damn True
02-02-2006, 06:44 PM
That's wierd. My Dad, through work connections, once got access to a Childress Racing test day at Lowes Speedway. He got to sit in the pits etc...very cool.

Anyway, he scooped up a couple of lugnuts from a pit stop and they could not have been any more than 3/4" ID if not less. I've got one of them around here somewhere.

Ralph LoGrasso
02-02-2006, 06:48 PM
They were also 23 pounds, dont know what a vintage wheels v45 weighs but i am sure its much lighter.

23 pounds isn't all that heavy. My 18x9s are 25lbs and they're fairly light for an 18" wheel (non-forged atleast). I'd bet the V45s (if you're talking about 17s) are right around 22-24lbs or so?

vanzuuk1
02-02-2006, 06:56 PM
True maybe they are larger now? They also didnt seem keen on the rims being used on a street car, maybe he b/sed me to get out of selling them. He told me I could get a ticket for using them on the street, not dot, but I couldnt see a cop "spotting my aeros" and pulling me over.

Damn True
02-02-2006, 06:59 PM
Dig the pics of the wheels, those stud holes don't look to be 1" dia to me.

http://www.aeroracewheel.com/59series.asp
http://www.pitstopusa.com/detail.aspx?ID=19105
http://www.bassettwheel.com/1595_cup.html
http://www.bassettwheel.com/steel.html

vanzuuk1
02-02-2006, 07:09 PM
I just talked to zuperzport (scott, putting a camaro body on a nextel frame) on the phone , the guy at aero was either on the crizzack or just b.s.ing me. I am gonna call them and confirm what I find.

Bassett has a dot legal 15 by 8 with 4.5 backspacing for fifty bucks, that looks like my rim.

Damn True
02-02-2006, 07:12 PM
Just order one, if it won't work, send it back. If it does.....order three more.
My only concern would be the BS. They look to be pretty heavy on the dish.

vanzuuk1
02-03-2006, 03:22 PM
I spoke to aero today, the guy I spoke to said one inch lugs, not one inch studs. I am a dumbass, second time in a few months I have posted the wrong info.

Bassett was very helpfull , they had a few wheels in the fifty dollar range,they do need a specific balance machine but basset will direct you where to find one. They weigh about twenty pounds.

Damn True
02-03-2006, 03:29 PM
Too bad they don't come in 16" or 17" to clear big brakes.

Those would be perfect as a second set of wheels with some Hoosier slicks or something for auto-x and track days.

Why the requirement for a specific balance machine?

I can see it if you were running a stock car tire with that inner liner in it, but for a regular tire too?

vanzuuk1
02-06-2006, 09:03 AM
The balancer uses the lug nut holes to locate the rim, you have to bolt the rim to the balancer.

They had various offsets, I was going to try 4 3/4 offset on an eight inch rim, I have 4 1/2 now and its close to the quarter.

Damn True
02-06-2006, 10:01 AM
They only go to 15" dia though huh?

BonzoHansen
02-12-2006, 07:58 PM
Article on fastening lug nuts (http://www.moderntiredealer.com/t_inside.cfm?action=performancehb_det&storyID=1193)

parsonsj
02-13-2006, 07:38 AM
Interesting article. It recommends no lube on the threads.

jp

David Pozzi
02-20-2006, 01:43 PM
I'd stay away from 15" wheels mainly because it's hard to find good tires for them. You can get Hoosier TD's or such, but most NASCAR tires for 15" wheels are very tall, they put extra stress on the spindle and it flexes the stock spindle enough to knock back the caliper pistons. I'm talking about a Nextel Cup sized tire here, a Hooser TD would probably be OK.

A better way would be to get 17" wheels and some Kuhmo tires. It's easier to get a wider tire under the car with a 17" wheel.

Most NASCAR wheels are made for 5/8" wheel studs, and regular street aluminum wheels are hard pressed to accept studs that large. I have a set of Minilite-looking wheels that are now on the dangerous side because the prev owner modded them to fit 5/8" studs by putting steel inserts in them.

wendell
02-21-2006, 09:50 AM
Bart and Basset offer a 16 inch steel wheel for IMSA. I've yet to find a 17 inch steelie but when I do...