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Old 01-19-2006, 03:40 PM   #1
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lug nut/bolt question....

Last summer I had a lot of tire trouble; first a break in one tire's sidewall which I was unaware of for 250 miles. This put a lot of stress on the "companion" and it gave out.

I had about 22,000 miles on these tires; they were the originals so I guess they were about 4.5 years old????

The dealer had always done the lug nut/bolt work (for bearing & brake service--2X) and I think used an impact wrench.

Anyway, I was out in CO in the wilds and had to do the tire changing myself.....the lug nuts are/were "stiff" all the way.....

Being accustomed to auto tire lugs, this was new to me. I mean I am accustomed to tight at the last tightening and on removal once loosened you can actually spin the wrench to get the nuts off.

My Airstream is tight on and off and all the way--and I do mean tight. Is this normal?
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Old 01-19-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Since you didn’t mention rusted or cross-threaded, I assume that it’s a very unusual situation. I changed a tire on my new AS and everything was normal. Also assume the JC factory used normal American hardware and not mixed in metric. Let us know ‘cause I’d also like to know why. Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2006, 05:49 PM   #3
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Hi, JStanley,

No not rusted and I don't believe cross-threaded. I can see one being tight, but all??????

I hope I don't have to buy new hubs, bolts, and nuts. Maybe I will have no more flats.

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Old 01-19-2006, 06:04 PM   #4
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You should have 1/2"x20 threads on ytour lug nuts. They should not be "hard" all the way on and off. You can go to your favorite auto parts store, and buy a single lug nut in the above thread and size, and try it on one of you studs. If it fixes the problem, you know what to do, If not, you may be looking at replacing studs.
Also, they can be tough to remove after an overzealous tire tech has tightened the lugs too tight. The place I work has gone to a "hand torque" policy with using a torque wrench to tighten lugs. It is a P.I.T.A., but keeps stuff like your problem from happening.
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Old 01-19-2006, 06:51 PM   #5
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Thank you Overlander 63, Terry,

I'll got to the auto parts store and get one lug nut and try. I almost can't do the on/off anymore, especially at the side of the road....even in the drive-way it is difficult. This has to be remedied before spring trips. I have arthritis.

Thanks again,

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Old 01-19-2006, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kistler
I have arthritis.

Thanks again,

Kistler
Welcome to the club, I don't know how much longer I will be able to keep doing what I do because of it. If you want to rty "cleaning up" the threads on the studs, thread dies are available singly. Just ask for a 1/2"x20 die while at the parts store. You can run the die down the stud, and maybe not have to replace them. I am able to save 4 out of 5 studs this way, providing the threads are not completely destroyed.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:05 PM   #7
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Wow, Terry, you are a real resource. My arthritis is in my right shoulder-rotator cuff area. I am becoming better at using my left arm and hand.

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Old 01-25-2006, 01:18 PM   #8
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OK, I now have a die (1/2" X 20) to "clean-up" my threads on the lug bolts. I think I had better buy new lug nuts--must I buy these from the Airstream dealer?

My trailer has the regular Alcoa rims installed by Airstream in 2002. The lug nuts have attached caps (for beauty )

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Old 01-25-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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I usually take my lug nuts off once a year, wire brush the studs and put "never sieze" on the studs.

Pep Boys has a "Goodyear Racing" branded 24 volt 1/2" drive impact wrench for $89.95. I just bought one. Works slick, and is capable of up to 170 ft lbs of torque. They make 1/2" drive torque limiting extensions to go between the wrench and socket, for aluminum wheels. I think NAPA, AZ and Advanced carries them.
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:47 PM   #10
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Thank you, Pick...... I am going to try using my old lug nuts; I called my local Airstream dealer and the nuts are $3.60 each. At (6) nuts for each wheel this is getting expensive (24 lug nuts=$93.91 plus UPS charges unless I drive across town) so I think I'd better start with one lug bolt and test it with an old nut.

I would never have electricity available to me for an impact wrench; I live in a "controlled community" and am not allowed to do mechanical work in the drive-way AND the storage yard has no electic available either

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Old 01-25-2006, 02:25 PM   #11
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My car is similar to this when I get it back from the shop. I swear those knuckleheads always use their air ratchets to tighten without any idea of the proper torque settings.

I re-torque it all correctly after I get it back and regularly check the torque of all the lug nuts. A good torque wrench should be a part of everyone's tool kit.
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Old 01-25-2006, 02:41 PM   #12
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Would their over-torqueing (sp?) cause this problem? I mean every one of the suckers (24 total) are really tight ALL the way on and ALL the way off???

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Old 01-25-2006, 03:03 PM   #13
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Kistler, the impact wrench I spoke of is 24V BATTERY operated. Great for changing tires on the road. It is actually very quiet compared to an air impact.
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:15 PM   #14
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Aaaah, I re-read your post I C

But don't you think I should try to loosen these suckers up, in any case? --whether or not I impact or manual labor it.

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