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Old 07-24-2006, 12:47 AM   #29
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Lug Nut Torque

Hi, I see too much difference of opinion on this subject. In posts #2, #7, and #18 [#7 being mine]we seem to have read the same thing; 90 lbs on steel wheels and 120 lbs on alloy wheels. Although I feel confident that I read my manual correctly, I think we all need to take another look! Just to be safe. As for 110 lbs seeming quite high, yes it is, but my Navigator and newer F-150s are torqued at 150 lbs.

Bob
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:52 AM   #30
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hello ROBERTSUNRUS,

You are so right ,there needs to be a common rating of torque value .To
add somthing more ,the aluminum wheel will not deflect as in squish or
movement of the lug nut seat in the wheel ,steel wheels on the other hand will have some lug nut seat deflection as the steel will pull in as the nut is torqued down ,my point on the GM wheel coming up to torque value quickly.
The value of maximum nut torque will be different on the steel versus the
aluminum wheel .The aluminum wheel being of most importance as they
are more suspect to lug loosening ,but they should not be .And if the
aluminum wheels are newly installed ,mandatory recheck and retorque of
the lug nuts is crucial after a few miles of operation .Any good tire and
wheel shop will tell the customer exactly that .

Scott
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Old 07-24-2006, 07:47 AM   #31
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The discoloring of the failed studs is very disturbing.
In a former life at GM and Outboard Marine Corportation (as the materials engineer), I was involved in conducting failure analysis of a fair number of bolts and studs in product liability cases. Discoloration is an indicator of high temperature. Anything above 600 F can reduce the strength of the studs. Many US manufacturers are currently buying their studs and bolts from off- shore. In the reccent past, some have checked out not to be up to standard. From the pictures, I think the failed studs are part of the new disk brake assemblies. The disk manufacturer may not have the equipment or test their incoming parts. Now days, with trusted supplier lists and the drive to down the cost of incoming inspection. this is pretty common. (Think about Airstream last year and all those axles that came in improperly lubricated and Airstream simply assembled them into trailers and sent them out to fail.) If this were a class action suite or a personal injury suite, I am sure the lawyers would have a qualified metalurgical laboratory analyze the remaining parts to determine just why these studs failed. It is a pretty easy thing to do, if you have the proper equipment. If I were he, I would replace all the studs on the trailer immediately with certified Automotive grade studs (not obtained from the disk brake supplier) and worry about who is at fault later.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:50 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
I see on the 4th line of the chart it talks of rechecking torque after excessive
braking ,which is what was said was done ,I suspect excessive heating of the
rotor/hub itself ,one guy in the blog said "your rotors are red hot" he may
have been right .I will see if I can make a contact with Rich if possible .
those studs never should have that heated color ,and when bluish brown
like they are ,possible those disc brakes are working very hard ,someway
or another ,did not catch what type of nissan for tv either ..

Scott
Scott, this is really an interesting issue that you brought forth. What kind of temperatures are we talking about? In excess of 600 degrees? If so, then what about all the other components in contact with these brakes? Would there be other evidence within the wheel that would support this possibility? It's interesting that disc brakes are added for better reliability without heat fading, only to find out from a brake technique issue that you can overheat a disc brake and cause another problem. Wow this is sobering.

Jack
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:01 AM   #33
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Does starting over make sense??

Reading all this commentary makes me wonder whether it might be worthwhile to start all over torquing the wheels of our trailer. I thought the recommended torque was merely a suggested minimum, something like the suggested speed limit on highways--a suggestion rather than a rule as Newt Gingrich so famously suggested when comparing Americans with Germans, for example.

We have alloy wheels like most newer Airstreams and I am sure that the torque on the lugnuts exceeds the amount recommended in the owner's manual, which I believe is 110 foot-pounds (I don't have the manual handy right now).

So, what is the learned opinion on the wisdom of backing off all the lugnuts and retightening to the recommended amount?

Also, why should the torque be so critical on trailer wheels when it doesn't seem to be an issue on automobiles. I've had alloy wheels on all our cars, vans, and SUVs since the early 70's and have never had a failure nor have I ever heard of anyone else having a failure. I'm probably like most other people in that I just leave the lugnuts alone figuring that the tire shop did the right job manually or with their pneumatic wrench. I cannot recall ever having the torque checked either.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:29 AM   #34
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Last fall I had the tires replaced on my Cadillac Catera. I was assured by the manager of the tire store (Discount Tire) that they used torque sticks and that the lug bolts would be properly torqued. After we got to Florida, I began to develop brake pulsatation. Thinking that they many not have torqued the bolts properly, I tried to loosen them and found that they were extremely tight, probably over 300 lb ft. Broke an inexpensive breaker bar before we were able to get them all loose! Had to borrow a stronger breaker bar with an added pipe to get them loose! Apparently the tire store just ran them in with the air wrench, without using a torque stick, resulting in severe overtorque. Spec is 85 lb ft on chrome plated aluminum wheels.

In almost 40 years of trailering, I have never had a wheel bolt or nut loosen. I really think that the vibration when tightening with an air wrench and torque stick sets the fasteners better without overtorqueing.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:58 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Would there be other evidence within the wheel that would support this possibility? It's interesting that disc brakes are added for better reliability without heat fading, only to find out from a brake technique issue that you can overheat a disc brake and cause another problem. Wow this is sobering.

Jack
USUALLY you can tell you have brake problems by looking at other inicators, such as the smell of hot brakes, discoloured rotors, melted rubber and plastic pieces, etc. This is not always the case, but there will have to be some indication of brake problems. The brakes have to get hot enough to discolor the rotor before the rotor gets hot enough to discolor the stud. Heat has to travel, it can't jump from part to part without something conducting it.
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Old 07-24-2006, 12:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung
I thought the recommended torque was merely a suggested minimum,

So, what is the learned opinion on the wisdom of backing off all the lugnuts and retightening to the recommended amount?

Also, why should the torque be so critical on trailer wheels when it doesn't seem to be an issue on automobiles.
Glad to see you've seen the benefits of proper torque.

I think backing them off and re-torquing would be a good idea, but there may be the possibility that the rims or hubs if you torqued them on too tight regularly.

It is an issue with autos as well. Every manufac has torque settings for not only the lugs, but many locations all around the vehicle. You should always follow the suggested torque settings.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:39 PM   #37
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I'd really don't have a big torque wrench so I've always used the old "is it tight enough" method using my trusty lug cross wrench. I just go around putting muscle power to use, rather than the weight of my body.

Normally I might find a lug that just moves a tiny bit. I guess I might pony up and buy a big wrench to check this. I wonder what kind of torque I can apply using the lift on one side and push on the other side of the wrench, without putting body weight into it?

Jack
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:58 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I'd really don't have a big torque wrench so I've always used the old "is it tight enough" method using my trusty lug cross wrench. I just go around putting muscle power to use, rather than the weight of my body.

Normally I might find a lug that just moves a tiny bit. I guess I might pony up and buy a big wrench to check this. I wonder what kind of torque I can apply using the lift on one side and push on the other side of the wrench, without putting body weight into it?

Jack
Well, if you got a foot of wrench handle, then your body weight on the handle ( let's assume 200lbs) would be 200ftlbs..
If you pull up on the other side, you just migh tbe overtorqueing the lugs? You'd have to pull awful hard, though.
The only problem with your method is that by the time you're at wheel #3, your muscles will have fatiqued somewhat, and therefore the lugs won't be as tight as the ones you started with. Hence, a torque wrench is always a better choice. Even if it's a cheap one, at least you're in teh ball park, and the lugs are evenly tightened, which in my opinion is more important than an absolute correct torque.
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:11 PM   #39
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Quote:
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Well, if you got a foot of wrench handle, then your body weight on the handle ( let's assume 200lbs) would be 200ftlbs..
If you pull up on the other side, you just migh tbe overtorqueing the lugs? You'd have to pull awful hard, though.
The only problem with your method is that by the time you're at wheel #3, your muscles will have fatiqued somewhat, and therefore the lugs won't be as tight as the ones you started with. Hence, a torque wrench is always a better choice. Even if it's a cheap one, at least you're in teh ball park, and the lugs are evenly tightened, which in my opinion is more important than an absolute correct torque.
I don't put my body weight on the handle but I hear what your saying. I agree with the torque wrench. I guess I've been doing it this way for so long without a problem, you tend to get complacent regarding your technique. It's only after something like this comes up and we all stir the pot, you begin wondering if you are lucky, or if the fact that you watch things closely and at least doing a frequent check like I do, keeps me away from a bad situation.

Jack
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:40 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I don't put my body weight on the handle but I hear what your saying. I agree with the torque wrench. I guess I've been doing it this way for so long without a problem, you tend to get complacent regarding your technique. It's only after something like this comes up and we all stir the pot, you begin wondering if you are lucky, or if the fact that you watch things closely and at least doing a frequent check like I do, keeps me away from a bad situation.

Jack
I think that just the fact that you check them and keep them somewhat evenly tight is what keeps you out of trouble.
I have honestly never ran across a catastrphic failure like theirs before. Someone must have really put the torque to those lugs. Or, Kodiak had a batch of soft studs. To think that 5 of 6 would shear off, is disturbing.
If you do buy a click type torque wrench, make sure and turn it back to "0" after you're done. Most of them don't like to stay at 100lb selected torque, and go aout of calibration quickly when left under tension.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:10 PM   #41
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After reviewing the photos in Rich's blog, it appears that the wheel was loose for some time before separating. If the studs just suddenly broke, I don't believe that there would have been much or any damage to the wheel. If one lug nut was loose enough to fall off, the others were probably loose also.

The note about relieving the tension on a torque wrench is right on. All the manufacturers from Snap-on to Harbour Freight say the same thing.
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:08 PM   #42
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The note about relieving the tension on a torque wrench is right on. All the manufacturers from Snap-on to Harbour Freight say the same thing.
The only one I have not seen this note on is the digital torque wrench I have. It will save settings from previous uses, and not have to be turned down, but they are hard on batteries.
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