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Old 09-05-2015, 09:47 AM   #1
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How do you Re-torque your Lug Nuts?

I ran across this advice quoted below when I was shopping for Sendel wheels at Performanceplustire.com. I have never lifted the trailer off the ground or loosened the lug nuts before re-torquing my wheels, I always just recheck with my torque wrench after driving the required miles. Am I doing it incorrectly? Just wondering how others do this?


"Re-torque"

"While opinions on re-torquing vary, the best suggestion is to re-torque all wheel Lug Nuts after the first 50 to 100 miles, specifically after installing new wheels.

This is especially true of alloy wheels, since the initial Lug Nut tightening may result in a slight compression of the wheel material (at the hub mating face).

If a bit of material compression occurs, this will directly result in a lower torque value at the Lug Nuts, decreasing the clamping load.

The best approach is to initially tighten all wheel Lug Nuts to specified value, drive the vehicle for 50 to 100 miles, and then re-torque the Lug Nuts.

When re-torquing, raise the vehicle to lift the tires away from the ground (removing vehicle weight). Loosen all of the wheel�s Lug Nuts (in a crisscross pattern), then re-tighten in the proper sequence to full specified torque value."
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:52 AM   #2
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Get a cross wrench and snug them up every once in a while. You would need to be a gorilla to over tighten them by hand. Don't stand on the wrench. I think most loose wheel problems are because they were not tightened correctly in the first place.

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Old 09-05-2015, 09:56 AM   #3
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[
When re-torquing, raise the vehicle to lift the tires away from the ground (removing vehicle weight). Loosen all of the wheel�s Lug Nuts (in a crisscross pattern), then re-tighten in the proper sequence to full specified torque value."[/QUOTE]

That will work with a air wrench just fine. You will need tire contact, or activate the breakaway switch for a lug wrench
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:35 AM   #4
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I have towed travel trailers, including an Airstream with steel wheels and aluminum alloy for 44 years. I always follow "streamachine's" pattern exactly, give or take the next opportunity to pull off of the interstate safely. I don't trust the airwrenchs at the tire stores. I don't trust anyone else torquing my wheels.

After my AS has undergone a seasonal temperature change I check them again, and occasionally one nut will turn slightly. Many many years ago a trailer repair facility failed to properly tighten my steel wheels on a white box trailer and I almost lost a wheel and messed up the bolts. This and having tire pressure/temperature sensors on all wheels are a matter of religious conviction.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamachine View Post
I pull campers out of Elkhart IN. for a living. We have to check at 25, 50 and 100 miles for warranty to apply to wheels. Never jack up or loosen lug nuts, just set torque wrench on specified torque and check while on ground. Most new campers we pull have Sendel wheels and that is how they ( Sendel) tell us to retorque.

Then I'm doing it correctly. Thanks for your professional advice .


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Old 09-05-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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I believe if you have aluminum wheels you need to be careful to hit the specified torque. Over tightening can cause cracked wheels.
For the steel wheels on my trailers I just put the spinner wrench on each nut and using both hands I pull until the wrench doesn't move. Had it checked after that once and it was close to the 100 ft lb requirement. I do as suggested above, and tighten in criss-cross pattern. I always check at least once a year and if I have removed a wheel I re-tighten at 100 Km (67 mi) or close to the one hour travel time

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Old 09-05-2015, 11:40 AM   #7
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Wheels on the ground, Hand held torque wrench. Check before each trip and occasionally on the road. Never use air tools on my wheels, too easy to over torque and screw things up.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:48 AM   #8
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I re-torque the lug nuts after tires are changed/rotated using the recommended Airstream specs. for mileage and torque. I leave the trailer on the ground. I use a "beam" type torque wrench. I check them periodically when we travel.

Removing the weight from the wheels makes a little bit of sense but I can't imagine anyone really does this. Loosening the nuts and re-tightening does not make any sense to me - this methodology would mean you are re-starting the torque and re-torque sequence every time. Maybe I'm missing something but loosening and re-tightening defies any logic I can follow.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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Newer Airstreams come with lugnuts which have a false chrome cover. The cover can come loose making it difficult for one to loosen or tighten.

If this is the case, you should strongly consider replacing them with quality solid lugnuts.

See this forum thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ml#post1319898



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Old 09-05-2015, 11:49 AM   #10
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Quote: "I believe if you have aluminum wheels you need to be careful to hit the specified torque. Over tightening can cause cracked wheels."

I hope this isn't a dumb question, but how do you tell if you have AL or steel wheels? I just looked at the info that AS gave us and I can't see that it says anywhere.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:06 PM   #11
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Touch a magnet to the wheel (not the wheel cover). IF it sticks the wheel is steel. If it doesn't, it is probably aluminum. I have never heard of stainless steel trailer wheels, but certain stainless alloys are non magnetic. Best practice is torque according to A/S spec or that of wheel manufacturer.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:07 PM   #12
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If you are unsure, use magnet. If it sticks, you have steel wheels.


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Old 09-05-2015, 12:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
Quote: "I believe if you have aluminum wheels you need to be careful to hit the specified torque. Over tightening can cause cracked wheels."

I hope this isn't a dumb question, but how do you tell if you have AL or steel wheels? I just looked at the info that AS gave us and I can't see that it says anywhere.
Newer model AS have aluminum wheels. But to assure yourself, get a magnet and check to see if the rim is magnetic. Aluminum is not.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:11 PM   #14
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Remember, there are no dumb questions, we all start out at zero. You only learn by observing and asking. The easiest way to check the wheels, get a small magnet. It will stick to steel, not to aluminum.
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