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Old 06-22-2022, 10:42 PM   #1
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Loosening lug nuts

I have a 2022 30ft FBB with dual axle aluminum rims. Specs say to tighten the lug nuts to 110 ft/lbs and to do so every 25 miles for the first 100 miles and then every 500 miles, etc.

I did all that and now have about 3,000 miles on the trailer. The problem is that at every stop for gas, I go and check the torque. On the left side everything is perfect. On the right side, I always have 1-2 nuts on each wheel which have loosened. It seems to always be the same nuts. They aren't loose per se, but they do move about 1/8 of a turn when I reapply the 110 ft/lbs.

I did go to 125 ft/lbs on these nuts (just to see if it helps), but they loosened as well after about 150 miles.

The trailer tracks perfectly, I don't see unusual tire tread wear or any other signs of problems. Can anyone theorize on why this is happening? And is it cause for concern?
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:31 AM   #2
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I'd stick with 110 psi. I'd continue to check them and torque them tight as needed. I think the issue will resolve over time.

In fact, I check mine on a regular basis even after thousands of miles.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:43 AM   #3
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Might be a good idea to inspect the lug nuts, the wheels, and the studs.

Any type of a deformity which interferes with the lug nuts making full contact around the hole in the wheel can affect the ability of the lug nut to stay put. Also check for any type of damage to the threads or contamination from oil/grease.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:44 AM   #4
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mbronto,

Might be interesting to pull that wheel and inspect the cone of the lug nuts, wheel cone and threads for signs of what's that syndrome. Might want to do a temp mark of lug nut to wheel for this went with that one for inspection purposes.

I've seen on fleet vehicles a lug nut flag that shows where it was pointing and here's where it is now. Not saying do same but can you make a sharpie ref mark and watch position.

Sounds like you're being observant.

Gary

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Old 06-23-2022, 05:33 AM   #5
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I've always torqued to 125 (per an email from the Mothership) and always re-torque at 50 miles. Frequently some need to be snugged up. I check again after another 50 or so they are always fine. Something is amiss on yours. Do what Richard says.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:53 AM   #6
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I torque mine to 110 lb/ft. I haven’t seen anything about 125 lb/ft. I also check mine after the first 50 miles or so and there are usually a few that need to be tightened. Once that is done, I periodically check them and rarely find anything loose.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:00 AM   #7
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I would put a straight edge on the inner mounting surface of the wheel to make sure that part of the wheel is not bent. I would also take the wheel to a tire shop to put it on a spin balancer and ask them to make sure the whole wheel is true.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:03 AM   #8
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I would put a straight edge on the inner mounting surface of the wheel to make sure that part of the wheel is not bent. I would also take the wheel to a tire shop to put it on a spin balancer and ask them to make sure the whole wheel is true.
Thinking about this a bit more, I would also put the straightedge on the hub mounting surface.
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:35 AM   #9
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45 year mechanic here, wheel on the balancer-good idea. For the hub face you really want a dial indicator to measure runout of the face. Yes, inspect all parts and make sure all sufaces are clean. Crazy thought, perhaps 1 or 2 of the lug bolts were not fully seated when installed. Your torqued nuts are trying to finish that job. We often replaced damaged lug bolts by driving out the old and pulling a new one into place with a nut. Interestingly, we never asked customers to come back to check their wheel torque, but also, maybe we never knew. The quality of almost all machine parts is questionable these days. Keep in mind, one of the biggest reasons for proper wheel torque is to provide even stress on all parts, especially brake discs if you have disc brakes. Not quite as critical on drums but still important.
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:45 PM   #10
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Another seasoned mechanic here. One of the reasons to torque a bolt is to not overtighten it. In the 70's when I worked at a VW dealership, we were getting a lot of warped drums in the shop and VW sent out a bulletin to start torqueing the lug bolts. 75lbs on 5 lug wheels and 95lbs on the 4 lug ones. 110 on AS is higher than what Dexter recommends but then again most charts say 90-120lbs on a 1/2"x 20 nut. Personally, I use 100# and use never seize on the threads ONLY, but that's another can of worms. A bolt stretches when you torque it properly.
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:50 PM   #11
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I’m no mechanic, but I’ve worked with a bunch over the years. These are the guys you want to listen to. The invisible guys who keep it all moving! Mad respect.
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:05 PM   #12
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Personally, I use 100# and use never seize on the threads ONLY, but that's another can of worms.
John Ware,

Please provide a manufacturers service manual citation for your recommendation to USE never seize, grease or oil on conical seat lug nuts. This is conical lug nuts only, not the two piece flat face design used on dual real wheel applications.

I searched my 2007 Airstream manual and found no recommendation to use any lubricant on lug nut threads.

This is a clip from a 2005 Dodge Ram pick up FSM page 22-12.

"Never use oil or grease on studs or nuts."

Regards,

Gary
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
John Ware,

Please provide a manufacturers service manual citation for your recommendation to USE never seize, grease or oil on conical seat lug nuts. This is conical lug nuts only, not the two piece flat face design used on dual real wheel applications.

I searched my 2007 Airstream manual and found no recommendation to use any lubricant on lug nut threads.

This is a clip from a 2005 Dodge Ram pick up FSM page 22-12.

"Never use oil or grease on studs or nuts."

Regards,

Gary
Highly controversial subject. On a forum in the bus conversion world there has been an ongoing debate about this for a few months now, with people adamantly in favor of their own opinion.

The truth is, in parts of the country where road salt is used, this is a common practice in spite of manuals and manufacturers recommendations to the contrary. Just a few months of travel on salted roads can make lug nuts extremely difficult to remove without large power tools. Here is Wisconsin, the mechanic (with 40+ years' of experience) who worked on my bus always used anti seize when putting on lug nuts. There are others who would never do that citing manufacturer's recommendations.

That said, I'd think that very few of us are pulling out trailers anywhere near road salt, at least if we can help it. The only possible situation where this could be needed IMO is trailers seeing life near the ocean where corrosion is a real thing.
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:34 PM   #14
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Richard,

My Dodge FSM applies to the entire US market including the rust belt (lived there) and everywhere else in-between. And we're only interested in Airstreams. Class 8 trucks, OTR busses and farm equipment is not a part of this discussion.



Airstream manual stating apply XXX type of lube on conical lug nuts?

Automotive factory service manual citations to apply lube on conical lug nuts anyone?

Gary
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I torque mine to 110 lb/ft. I haven’t seen anything about 125 lb/ft.
I should clarify I have 16" wheels.
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:40 PM   #16
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Next up…the grammar police…

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Richard,

My Dodge FSM applies to the entire US market including the rust belt (lived there) and everywhere else in-between. And we're only interested in Airstreams. Class 8 trucks, OTR busses and farm equipment is not a part of this discussion.



Airstream manual stating apply XXX type of lube on conical lug nuts?

Automotive factory service manual citations to apply lube on conical lug nuts anyone?

Gary
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Old 06-23-2022, 02:02 PM   #17
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As I said, "another can of worms" and I use it on my personal stuff and only on the threads. I've torqued thousands of nuts and bolts both dry and lubricated. An SAE chart will have specks for both and the lubed ones will be lower because of lesser resistance to the stresses that stretch the bolts. When the OP said the nuts moved 1/8", how does that equate in foot lbs.? 1/4,1/2,3/4, more? Not enough for the wheel to fall off. AS has chosen the middle of the span of 90 to 120 lbs at 110. By the way, in the 55 yrs of using lubrication on lug nuts and bolts, I haven't lost a wheel yet. Go by the book if that's all you know, but which book is better, the one written vicariously or by one who's been there?
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Old 06-23-2022, 02:47 PM   #18
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Sorry, I misquoted the OP in that it should have read 1/8 turn, not 1/8". Still not enough to worry about IMHO.
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Old 06-24-2022, 07:26 AM   #19
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I should clarify I have 16" wheels.
Got it, thanks. Mine are 15 inch.
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Old 06-24-2022, 07:40 AM   #20
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Your trailer is new. Could it be that the studs were not fully seated? When installing wheel studs in an axle flange, I always use two washers lubed with oil and draw the studs in with my impact wrench until the nut stops turning. You might try removing the wheels and inspecting the back side of the axle flange to see if the heads of the studs are contacting the flange. But if this is the case, they will stop loosening as soon as they are fully bottomed so you could just wait and see if the trouble stops after a couple of re-torques.
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