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Old 09-08-2019, 04:30 PM   #1
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This 5-minute check could save you major heart aches

I've been following the thread "are you really ready for a flat tire"?. I've checked all the pressures both car and trailer. I've made sure that I have an adequate selection of sockets and I'll be using a three-quarter inch Craftsman Ratchet handle that weighs about 15 lb along with several different extensions. I verified correct sockets. I have a pressure gauge and a small 12 volt compressor. I've got a bottle jack, platforms and two jack stands. I even went through the process to discover where on Earth is my spare tire on my Town & Country minivan. I had no idea where it was and I'm really glad that I learned the process. It's complicated and the Mickey Mouse tire that wanted 60 lb only had 20.

So you would think I'm pretty well prepared but I ran into a situation that would be absolutely horrible If you experienced it on the road. The lug nuts on the brand new trailer tires were not put on by a 900 pound gorilla, they were put on by King Kong. My 15 pound, 3/4 inch ratchet would not even begin to turn the first lug nut. So I found an old satellite dish arm and used it as a leverage extender. It's a 2-inch pipe and with 6 ft of Leverage I still couldn't move these lug nuts. So I brought my compressor over and used a fairly stout impact driver. Not a chance.

Can you imagine a flat tire on an interstate highway and you have lug nuts that are impossible to take off? Tomorrow morning I will be going to my local tire store and letting them use their professional equipment to loosen these lugs and I will hand tighten them. May I suggest that if you want to be prepared for a flat tire on the road, be very sure that your lug nuts can be removed with manual tools. Better yet, watch them when you put on tires and specify that you want them to be only enough torque to be safe but still able to be removed on the highway. This could have been a huge problem with a total blowout on a busy interstate.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:39 PM   #2
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I'd like to meet King Kong....LOL
I always use a torque wrench and torque to around 100 - 110 ft/pd.
I check them every once in awhile (maybe every 1000 miles or so).
Good post and good advice. Thanks!~
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by alexcomp View Post
I've been following the thread "are you really ready for a flat tire"?. I've checked all the pressures both car and trailer. I've made sure that I have an adequate selection of sockets and I'll be using a three-quarter inch Craftsman Ratchet handle that weighs about 15 lb along with several different extensions. I verified correct sockets. I have a pressure gauge and a small 12 volt compressor. I've got a bottle jack, platforms and two jack stands. I even went through the process to discover where on Earth is my spare tire on my Town & Country minivan. I had no idea where it was and I'm really glad that I learned the process. It's complicated and the Mickey Mouse tire that wanted 60 lb only had 20.

So you would think I'm pretty well prepared but I ran into a situation that would be absolutely horrible If you experienced it on the road. The lug nuts on the brand new trailer tires were not put on by a 900 pound gorilla, they were put on by King Kong. My 15 pound, 3/4 inch ratchet would not even begin to turn the first lug nut. So I found an old satellite dish arm and used it as a leverage extender. It's a 2-inch pipe and with 6 ft of Leverage I still couldn't move these lug nuts. So I brought my compressor over and used a fairly stout impact driver. Not a chance.

Can you imagine a flat tire on an interstate highway and you have lug nuts that are impossible to take off? Tomorrow morning I will be going to my local tire store and letting them use their professional equipment to loosen these lugs and I will hand tighten them. May I suggest that if you want to be prepared for a flat tire on the road, be very sure that your lug nuts can be removed with manual tools. Better yet, watch them when you put on tires and specify that you want them to be only enough torque to be safe but still able to be removed on the highway. This could have been a huge problem with a total blowout on a busy interstate.

Can you post a pic of the wheels and lug nuts? The reason I'm asking is that sometimes on the aluminum type wheels, if you do not use a thin wall socket, it's not really that the lug nuts are tight but you are really stuck in the wheel stud hole with a thick socket. The socket itself cannot turn, not the lug nut.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:49 PM   #4
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Put one of these in your toolbox.

Breaker Bar

I was able to generate enough torque with this bar alone to remove a trailer ball. It’s very short (24”) but works AMAZINGLY well. $23.

I too carry an impact wrench but couldn’t budge it. As I re-read your post, I saw that you used a 6’ pole for leverage. Sounds like you may have a different problem.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
Can you post a pic of the wheels and lug nuts? The reason I'm asking is that sometimes on the aluminum type wheels, if you do not use a thin wall socket, it's not really that the lug nuts are tight but you are really stuck in the wheel stud hole with a thick socket. The socket itself cannot turn, not the lug nut.
I will check this first thing in the morning. I was using a 6 point socket and I think that it was small enough to be able to rotate but I cannot swear to it it did seem that I was putting enough force on that it should have moved I had all kinds of Leverage and although I am in my 70s I go to the gym regularly and I weigh over 200 lb so I was putting a lot of force on it
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by alexcomp View Post
I will check this first thing in the morning. I was using a 6 point socket and I think that it was small enough to be able to rotate but I cannot swear to it it did seem that I was putting enough force on that it should have moved I had all kinds of Leverage and although I am in my 70s I go to the gym regularly and I weigh over 200 lb so I was putting a lot of force on it
Ok thanks. We use the kind of leverage you stated when we need to snap a stud off, as when a lug nut is frozen/cross threaded. That's also why I'm thinking there may be something else involved....as in too thick a socket, or maybe even a center cap that is close to the socket to keep it from spinning.

And don't take this the wrong way, but you are turning lefty loosey, righty tighty?
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:40 AM   #7
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If they are on that tight it is possible that the threads have been "stretched" and the studs/lug nuts might need to be replaced. I have had that happen.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:42 PM   #8
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Tight Lug Nuts

That's one of the main reasons I have AAA. The wheels on your tow vehicle / truck are just as hard to handle.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:33 PM   #9
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My last incident was the lug nut holding on my spare was stripped. Last shop put it on so tight when the tire shop tried to take it off it just spun around. They could not do anything about it. Said I would need to take to a shop that could use an angle grinder to cut the bolt off, which I did.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:42 PM   #10
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Watch for the "L"

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
Ok thanks. We use the kind of leverage you stated when we need to snap a stud off, as when a lug nut is frozen/cross threaded. That's also why I'm thinking there may be something else involved....as in too thick a socket, or maybe even a center cap that is close to the socket to keep it from spinning.

And don't take this the wrong way, but you are turning lefty loosey, righty tighty?
He did say a Chrysler Town&Country minivan, right?

Does Chrysler still use left-hand thread on the driver-side hubs?

Hint to the OP: If there is an "L" stamped on the end of each lug bolt, you need to turn them to the RIGHT to loosen, LEFT to tighten. The manufacturer believes that if they weren't that way, normal driving would cause them to loosen. Ford and GM are disbelievers.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cabranch47 View Post
If they are on that tight it is possible that the threads have been "stretched" and the studs/lug nuts might need to be replaced. I have had that happen.
↑ This.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by alexcomp View Post
I've been following the thread "are you really ready for a flat tire"?. I've checked all the pressures both car and trailer. I've made sure that I have an adequate selection of sockets and I'll be using a three-quarter inch Craftsman Ratchet handle that weighs about 15 lb along with several different extensions. I verified correct sockets. I have a pressure gauge and a small 12 volt compressor. I've got a bottle jack, platforms and two jack stands. I even went through the process to discover where on Earth is my spare tire on my Town & Country minivan. I had no idea where it was and I'm really glad that I learned the process. It's complicated and the Mickey Mouse tire that wanted 60 lb only had 20.

So you would think I'm pretty well prepared but I ran into a situation that would be absolutely horrible If you experienced it on the road. The lug nuts on the brand new trailer tires were not put on by a 900 pound gorilla, they were put on by King Kong. My 15 pound, 3/4 inch ratchet would not even begin to turn the first lug nut. So I found an old satellite dish arm and used it as a leverage extender. It's a 2-inch pipe and with 6 ft of Leverage I still couldn't move these lug nuts. So I brought my compressor over and used a fairly stout impact driver. Not a chance.

Can you imagine a flat tire on an interstate highway and you have lug nuts that are impossible to take off? Tomorrow morning I will be going to my local tire store and letting them use their professional equipment to loosen these lugs and I will hand tighten them. May I suggest that if you want to be prepared for a flat tire on the road, be very sure that your lug nuts can be removed with manual tools. Better yet, watch them when you put on tires and specify that you want them to be only enough torque to be safe but still able to be removed on the highway. This could have been a huge problem with a total blowout on a busy interstate.
Actually he said the lug nuts on the brand new "trailer" tires were tight.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
He did say a Chrysler Town&Country minivan, right?

Does Chrysler still use left-hand thread on the driver-side hubs?

Hint to the OP: If there is an "L" stamped on the end of each lug bolt, you need to turn them to the RIGHT to loosen, LEFT to tighten. The manufacturer believes that if they weren't that way, normal driving would cause them to loosen. Ford and GM are disbelievers.
No but I had a 59 Buick that did
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:32 PM   #14
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I always ask tire shops to do the final tightening by hand, not with an impact wrench.

Most shops don't know what the impact wrench is set to, and it is cranked all the way up in order to facilitate removal.

They usually grumble a little and then comply with my request.

I ask them if their wife or girl friend could change the tire with it that tight.

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Old 09-09-2019, 04:00 PM   #15
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I have never seen any tire shop use a torque wrench for removing a wheel. Most good shops will use a impact wrench to remove the wheel and a torque wrench set to the vehicle specs for the final hand tightening of the lug nuts when putting the wheel back on.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:54 PM   #16
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Chrysler Corp, stopped using left-hand threaded lugnuts and studs in the early 70's. And those late 50's/early 60's Buicks also had left-handed threads, but were even more disturbing for a 16year old helping a friend with a flat at the Dog 'n Suds after sundown.....I thought I had ruined his brake drum, when I took the lugs loose and removed them, the entire STUD came out!! Turns out, they had lugnut BOLTS that threaded into the finned brake drum.....scared the pants off of me!!! (VW's were the same, just right-hand threaded....)
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
He did say a Chrysler Town&Country minivan, right?

Does Chrysler still use left-hand thread on the driver-side hubs?

Hint to the OP: If there is an "L" stamped on the end of each lug bolt, you need to turn them to the RIGHT to loosen, LEFT to tighten. The manufacturer believes that if they weren't that way, normal driving would cause them to loosen. Ford and GM are disbelievers.
I have a 2014 T&C and it does not, all the same, right handed.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by FleckDreher View Post
I always ask tire shops to do the final tightening by hand, not with an impact wrench.
And I ask them to use a torque wrench.


When Americas Tire did put my new trailer tires on, they used a torque wrench without being asked. That's their normal procedure.



I carry a torque wrench with me on the road.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:26 AM   #19
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Cordless impact wrenches have come a long way. I have carried one for years. Dewalt with Lithium batteries, holds a charge forever.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:38 AM   #20
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Problem solved. Thank you for all the useful responses to my post, even the one about righty tighty lefty Loosey. Really?

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It wasn't complicated. It was just cranked on at the absolute maximum that a tire store impact wrench could deliver and nothing that I could do with my tools was going to get it off. Took it to the local tire store and they got it off with their high power impact wrench at which point I manually tightened with my tools.

During this process I learned a couple of things. Number one if I had a four-way wrench I might have been able to generate sufficient torque particularly with my pipe extension but there is no way I would have been able to make the wrench fit the lug nuts. My lug nuts are recessed (see pic) and a 4-way wrench always is too large around the socket end to fit in The recess. There are lug nut extensions or basically longer lug nuts/bolts which would fix this problem but why spend the money when properly tightened lug nuts will work with the tools in hand.

The second thing I learned from my friend the tire store manager is that my system of going from a 3/4 inch Drive through a adapter to 1/2 inch and then a half inch extension weakens the torque as you go through several connections. Again that wouldn't matter if the lug nuts had been properly tightened originally.

It was a hassle but the victory that I take from this is that following the thread about being prepared 4 a tire situation on the road led me to discover a problem that would have absolutely ruined my day if I had been unprepared.
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