Lug Nuts!
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Lug Nuts!

    I'm quickly working myself deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole with this - I need some help!

    Situation - I went to have a tire repaired at Wal-Mart this morning and they said they couldn't do it after having it in their shop. They said the lug nuts were siezed and couldn't get them off with their impact wrench.

    Some history - the last 2 times I had my tires rotated during service at the Ford garage they said they had a problem both times. About 1.5 years ago they had to replace 2 lug nuts after they were destroyed trying to remove them. Last time they said the tech broke 2 impact sockets trying to get them off.

    What I have - when my 2009 F-150 was new, I had a set of wheels/tires from my previous truck that I used as a winter set. Since I can't swap them out myself anymore I have been running them all year for ~4 years now. They are 18" OEM Ford aluminum wheels from a 2003 or 2004 F-150 that I bought used.

    When I bought these wheels I also bought a set of lug nuts to use with them - they were brand new OEM take-offs. They look like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here is a pic of my stock lug nut:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The reason I got the shorter non-chrome lug nuts is because these extra wheels have covers over the studs and figured the long chrome lug nuts would be too long.

    So...what is happening is that the lug nuts are tightening themselves on the studs. I asked at the Ford garage each time about proper torque and they assured me that they do it correctly. Even so - 150 ft lbs of torque just seems excessive but that is what is called for.

    After what happened today I had a thought. Maybe these lug nuts I bought (the short ones) are steel and I am having a reaction between the nuts and wheel becuase of being dissimilar metals. Is this possible?

    I haven't compared the face of each lug nut closely yet - but that might be irrevelant if the face on the different wheels are different.

    And my rabbit hole - the more I research the further I get into this. How can anyone who would buy aftermarket wheels know exactly what lug nuts were proper? Do they have different angles to the face for different wheels?

    My options at this point - the tires are down to 6 & 7 32nd. I was planning on running them down to as close to 3/32 as I could. I was just going to leave them be and fill the tire every other week when I go to town. But if I end up with a flat on the road I am screwed.

    I am 90% sure I can get the lug nuts off with my 4' breaker bar/pipe. Should I break them all free then put some anti-sieze on the faces? I have the feeling this is a no-no......
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

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    steveontheridge2's Avatar
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    At this point, I would buy new tires, put them on the original rims, and buy
    Motorcraft lug nuts.
    Basically go back to factory.

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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Dissimilar metals corrosion is a possibility, but I'm really curious about the torque. My F-350 only calls for 140 ft/lbs, it seems strange that your 150 would be higher. Check the owners manual and make sure that's right.

    It's possible that repeated over torquing could have stretched the lug studs, causing the nuts to be difficult to get off.

    The nuts are seizing to the studs or the wheels. A little anti seize on the face of the nut or the chamfer in the holes on the wheels would help if they're the problem. If you remove a wheel thread the nut on the bare stud and see if it goes easily.
    mjncad, DRobinson, pcabe5 and 4 others like this.
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    Official "Groovie" Dude
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    Wow 150 FT/LBS seems too much for a F150. I could understand 80-100 Max.

    My 3500 is like 56FG's at 140 FT/LBS.
    BigJim55, Drifterbike and em14 like this.

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    ddinham's Avatar
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    I agree with 56FG about the dissimilar metals. The later models do have a higher torque requirement. My 2011 F250 requires 165 lbs torque. However, this is for factory wheels. Any aftermarket wheels are possibly different. I suggest you find the proper lug nuts for each set of wheels and only use them for that wheel.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveontheridge2 View Post
    At this point, I would buy new tires, put them on the original rims, and buy
    Motorcraft lug nuts.
    Basically go back to factory.
    That is an option I might very well go with - and won't cost me a cent. I have my stock wheels/tires/lug nuts in the barn and the tires are only ~1/3 worn. I am just being obssessive about getting the most use out of this set before I have to retire them.

    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    Dissimilar metals corrosion is a possibility, but I'm really curious about the torque. My F-350 only calls for 140 ft/lbs, it seems strange that your 150 would be higher. Check the owners manual and make sure that's right.

    It's possible that repeated over torquing could have stretched the lug studs, causing the nuts to be difficult to get off.

    The nuts are seizing to the studs or the wheels. A little anti seize on the face of the nut or the chamfer in the holes on the wheels would help if they're the problem. If you remove a wheel thread the nut on the bare stud and see if it goes easily.
    I have verified the torque a few times both in my manual and with the Ford service department. I kept double checking simce it sounds pretty crazy.

    So with that said, they have never been over torqued - only myself and the Ford garage has ever touched the truck. But this is why I have to keep a 4' cheater pipe in the truck - there is no way I could remove the nuts with the factory wrench.

    Over the next couple days I will investigate by removing a couple nuts and see how things look. If the nuts thread easily all the way I may do the anit-sieze thing on all of them.

    I do remember when I have removed these wheels before myself. With the 4' breaker bar, there is a noticable loud "crack" when they break loose. I don't remeber this happening with the stock setup. This adds to my thoughts of corrosion on the seats.
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcabe5 View Post
    Wow 150 FT/LBS seems too much for a F150. I could understand 80-100 Max.

    My 3500 is like 56FG's at 140 FT/LBS.
    I found this info on-line:

    F150 (12mm stud) 1988-00 *100 ft-lbs
    F150 (14mm stud) 2000-08 *150 ft-lbs
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    steveontheridge2's Avatar
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    CT,
    Look into a small air compressor that plugs into your 12V outlet.
    They are slow but they do work, and are cheap. I've used one and
    may save you and your wife a headache someday. Just throw it in the
    rear somewhere and it's always there when you need it.

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    With the 4' breaker bar, there is a noticable loud "crack" when they break loose. I don't remeber this happening with the stock setup. This adds to my thoughts of corrosion on the seats.
    Sounds normal. I have experienced the exact same sound with various vehicles when removing lug nuts. Mostly with steel wheels.
    mjncad, glc, pcabe5 and 3 others like this.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveontheridge2 View Post
    CT,
    Look into a small air compressor that plugs into your 12V outlet.
    They are slow but they do work, and are cheap. I've used one and
    may save you and your wife a headache someday. Just throw it in the
    rear somewhere and it's always there when you need it.
    I've thought about this, but....I have an electric impact that is supposed to be good for 150 ft lbs and won't touch these nuts. To have something powerfull enough would get kind of costly. Also thought about these new cordless jobs the guys have been talking about which I think are good for 300-400 ft lbs but don't want to invest $400 into a tool for "just in case". I'll pay the fee for AAA before that.
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

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