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Old 07-22-2006, 10:34 PM   #1
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Wheel Separation and broken lug nuts

I have been following Rich Luhr's Tour of America Blog, and he has just had a scarey experience with wheel separation and now has discovered other broken wheel lugs from over torquing. I don't know if anyone else out there has had anyone use an air wrench on their lugs but you might want to be cognizant that this has led to major problems. Thankfully the mishap did not cause injury but did cause damage.

Read the blog entires here

http://www.tour.airstreamlife.com/weblog/
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:45 PM   #2
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Carol, over-and under-torquing lugs is a major source of trouble for any vehicle, whether it be Airstream of tow vehicle. Undertorquing can cause the lugs to loosen, and the wheel to fall off. Overtorquing can cause the problem Rich is having, and can also cause distorted wheels, or even warped brake drums or rotors. The warpage can cause a lot of vibration while braking, and besides being uncomfortable for us, can cause flat-spotted tires from brake lockup, resulting in even more vibration, which can lead to more serious damage inside our coaches, like items shaken off walls, etc.
A less serious, but still potentially big problem, at very least an annoyance, is when the wheel is overtorqued, you may not even be able to get the lugs off to change a flat tire.
Most Airstream lugs should be torqued to 110 lb/ft.
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Carol, over-and under-torquing lugs is a major source of trouble for any vehicle, whether it be Airstream of tow vehicle. Undertorquing can cause the lugs to loosen, and the wheel to fall off. Overtorquing can cause the problem Rich is having, and can also cause distorted wheels, or even warped brake drums or rotors. The warpage can cause a lot of vibration while braking, and besides being uncomfortable for us, can cause flat-spotted tires from brake lockup, resulting in even more vibration, which can lead to more serious damage inside our coaches, like items shaken off walls, etc.
A less serious, but still potentially big problem, at very least an annoyance, is when the wheel is overtorqued, you may not even be able to get the lugs off to change a flat tire.
Most Airstream lugs should be torqued to 110 lb/ft.
Terry,

Is that figure for steel wheels, aluminum wheels or does it matter?

Bill
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
Terry,

Is that figure for steel wheels, aluminum wheels or does it matter?

Bill
Bill, there was only one figure for lug torque, there was no special torque for aluminum wheels.
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:10 PM   #5
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I have been carrying the lug wrench but is that sufficient, or should we all be carrying torque wrenches? We check them for torque at home. On the road I rely on our road coverage for wheel change as I have formerly spent some time jumping on wrenches road side without success of budging it. However it would attract enough attention to bring over a volunteer.

I'm thinking the shop sent him out like that and that worries me. People might get a false sense of security when the pros are put on a job. Recent personal experience however has taught me to be more cautious and skeptical, as I was sent out with an improper dual cam installation.

Overlander thanks for the information. I'm wondering if a Hensley masks road feel to the point of not knowing about excessive vibration. ?
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:50 PM   #6
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easy carol......
back away from the caffiene....

have a glass of cab or chard...

the hensley doesn't mask road vibration into the tv
but airstreams do ride smoothly enough
that one might not know a tire was flat or a wheel had been dropped..
rich was lucky to have seen the wheel roll out...
many don't know about flats till a scheduled stop....

i do carry a torque wrench...with the longer handle it helps loosening lugs
and the dial-in gauge allows for precise tighening...with sockets 2 fit the truck and trailer, the whole mess takes up less space than a 4 way lug wrench...

20-60$ from wally world, napa, sears and so on...
get one tomorrow

now go drink some wine!

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:56 PM   #7
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Lug Nut Torque

Hi, Lug nut torque may be different for different years and definately for different wheels. I have alloy wheels and I torque them at 120 lbs per my Airstream owner's manual. My owner's manual states to torque steel wheels at 90 lbs. I also carry a torque wrench and lug nut sockets with me at all times.

Bob
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:21 AM   #8
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Hope there aren't any more puppies at this Wally World
Fruit of the vine here I come.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:45 AM   #9
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For $12.99 from Harbor Freight, you can have contented lug nuts, secure and snug, happy in the knowledge that their owner cares for them, and will give them a little torque check before each trip.
This is what I use:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...itemnumber=239
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:40 AM   #10
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That is only a 3/8 drive wrench, but that is a great price. Too bad they do not have a 2/3 inch drive.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dwightdi
That is only a 3/8 drive wrench
No, it's a 1/2 inch drive when I look at that link, and when I bought the tool. There is a mention in the lower part of the screen that there is a 3/8th drive for even less money. I wouldn't use a 3/8ths drive for lug nuts at 90 ft lbs.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:31 AM   #12
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The torque figure I quoted was for the older coaches, but was repeated to me be a service center. Looks like the best advice in this case is to check your owner's manual, and if the figures differ from what I was told, be sure to use the figures in the manual.
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst
No, it's a 1/2 inch drive when I look at that link, and when I bought the tool. . . . Nick
Interesting regression.

1/2" for $12.99
3/8" for $19.99
1/4" for $28.99

Following that pattern, a 3/4" drive should cost $9.44! Gotta get one!
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:34 AM   #14
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Torque

My aluminum wheels (2005) specify 85 foot pounds torque. I carry a torque wrench and deep socket on all trips.

Quote:
i do carry a torque wrench...with the longer handle it helps loosening lugs
Please do not use your torque wrench for loosening lugnuts. That is no way to treat a precision tool! I carry a 4-way lug wrench. By slipping the pipe that goes with the chain hooks on my hitch over one leg of the 4-way, I have plenty of torque to easily loosen the tightest lug nut.
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