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Old 10-12-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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2005 25' Safari
rochester , Minnesota
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lug nuts / wheel remove

Have searched the topics....need advice, new to me (2nd year) last fall tried to remove wheels and clean repack w/brgs.....with out success as i could not get the lug nuts broke loose, would like to do this soon as we will be leaving on winter trip South in a few months, my fear is twisting off lug stud and finding the grease and bearings in good shape shooting myself in the foot.......secound a flat tire on the road would not be very much fun as my immpack wrench did not do the job....last resort is the 3/4 drive ratchet and socket which will surely break the stud if the nut does not let go....what do ya think, anyone else find this problem first time around....2005 safari..thanks a million

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Old 10-12-2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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Use the bigest wrench available,if you are going to break lugs,it`s better to do it in your driveway,than along an Interstate in the rain.Then torque back to specfications.Dave

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Old 10-12-2009, 05:33 PM   #3
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Have you tried spraying down the lugs w/ PB Blast? Maybe apply heat with a blow torch...I can't believe a impact wouldn't move it. Frustrating I'm sure. Once you get it off be sure to put anti sieze on your lugs so it will be easier down the road. Good luck...
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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I agree with easyride - Break it at home - not on the road. Remember - they are torqued down pretty heavy. I don't know about yours but 110 ft. lbs on my 71 Overlander.

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Old 10-12-2009, 05:48 PM   #5

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If your lugs are the same as our classic they have a chrome cover, you might try carefully cutting them off the effected lugs and apply a good penetrant oil, GM Heat Valve Lubricant is pretty good stuff. Just keep applying and be patient, work the nut both ways with a breaker bar. I have tapped the flats of the lug with a brass drift punch, the shock will sometimes break the rust bond, be careful.

Consider replacing the cheepie's with solid chromed aftermarket.

FNO...keep the studs clean and apply a little anti-sieze and torque to specs.

Good Luck...


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Old 10-12-2009, 05:58 PM   #6
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The force (breaking torque if you will) required to remove the lug is typically greater than the installation force (torque). This is because of corrison and crud that creates a bond of some value as the joint remains in tact over time. As such it requires more effort to remove the said lug nuts/studs. If the lugs were installed by some un-trained yahoo with a impact wrench, there is no telling what installation force was used.

If you have aluminum wheels I would strongly suggest you avoid the use of heat, as most aluminum alloys do not respond well to heat. Unlike steel, aluminum does not show you any sign of overheating. It simply melts away in an instant.

Use a corrosion inhibitor such as PB Blaster, Kroil, or whatever suits your pallet. I would not get to aggressive with the spray since you are working in close proximity to the brakes. Give it a day before attacking the lugs again. You may need to use a cheater bar for more leverage, but as the others stated, if you're going to break some studs, it is better to do it at home instead of the middle of no where on a dark cold night.



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Old 10-12-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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Try this - Heat up the nut with a propane torch and apply candle wax to the exposed threads. The capillary action will wick the wax in between the lug and the nut breaking it free. This is the same principle as sweating copper pipes for plumbing. Good Luck!
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #8
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you can also try a slight bit of tightening force to break it free. i bet you could change the studs in less time than trying to break them free.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
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It's the "Bigger Wrench" thing...

When we had our shredding blowout, I discovered how firmly all the lug nuts were torqued and settled in.. I went to local hardware store and bought a 2' length of black iron pipe as a "wrench extender" that fits over end of 4-way lug wrench.. That provided enough leverage to loosen the nuts, which an impact wrench would not have done... The solvent is a good idea as well, but more leverage and steady pressure is key..

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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I agree with others who have said to go ahead and do what you have to to get these suckers off at home and not wait until you are stuck on the road.

Worst case, if you do have to replace studs, better to face that problem at home.

I'm not sure about the Airstream, but generally, studs that i have dealt with have just been a press fit into the hub (they have a spline) and you can quite easily drive them out with just a dumpy sledge.

I doubt that you will have problems with the studs though.

I would treat the lug nuts with some sort of penetrating oil for a few days, then go to Harbor Freight (or simiar) and buy a good long breaker bar - probably one to fit 3/4" sockets - they are not expensive. I'll bet that will bring them off!

I carry such a breaker bar with me on our travels!
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:48 PM   #11
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I have been known to stand on a long piece of pipe over the 3/4 breaker bar while someone pounded on the pipe to break loose (or more usually) twist of the stud to get a really rusted wheel off. Once you find the right replacement stud, it is easy to reinstall and properly torque the new one.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:02 PM   #12
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We call it a " cheater". Get a long enough pipe on the end of your pull handle and apply enough pressure and something WILL move. Hopefully it will be the lug. Seriously, I work on tractors and equipment on my farm and I keep a long piece of pipe in the truck. Lots of rusty nuts and bolts need a little persuasion. Once you get if off, spray with a good lube and torque with a torque wrench.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:19 PM   #13
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Pop the center cap, pull the cotter pin, spin off the nut and pull the wheel and hub as an assembly. You COULD repack the bearings, replace the seals and reassemble...
Of course you are just beggin' to have a flat...
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I have done this just to get a trailer to the house but I know how bad my luck is so I didn't push it.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by billiards View Post
... i could not get the lug nuts broke fear is...
many reasonable suggestions to help get the nuts OFF...

BUT if they really are OVER TORQUED, i would replace them AND the studs NOW.

because very likely the THREADS have been stretched and the stud shafts are stressed.

i replaced 24 or 36 studs (and all of the nuts) last year after some1 OVER torqued 4 of 6 wheels...

the signs of stretched threading or a stressed stud are subtle...

but the consequences of NOT addressing the STUD once the NUTS are OFF is significant...

and there are PICTURES n MORE of the story, in the july 22, 2006 bee-log entry here...

not that i wanna feed your FEARS or anything...

but the info and LINKS in the linked thread above are useful.

for added reading and a little FIREY posting these are related threads...


i guess these are threads on threads...

but know your nuts and torq'em proper!

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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