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Aftermarket aluminum wheels and shitty lug nuts

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by plumbid, May 8, 2012.

  1. What's the "inside scoop" on fighting lug nuts on/off when dealing with aftermarket aluminum wheels? I've owned a set of O/T "weld" prostars, and now the same thing with a set of AR torque thrust wheels. They were/are not uni-lug. I have greased the exterior and interior of the lug nut. I have installed them "by hand" until nearly "seated" and then I gently hit them with the impact. I have and do use a torque wrench. The other day, I used the impact to take them off and had a thread get "f'd" up on one of the studs - WTF? This car is brand new / never been down the road. I was cautious when I installed them, and still get a bad result when I removed it. Now I have to remove the rotor and buy a new stud, when I haven't even driven the freekin car yet. I've thought of "oversizing" just one of the lug holes because it seems that 4 out of the 5 go OK, just one is the "problem child". No, it's not the same one each time. There is no ryme or reason to this situation, just poorly manufactured products? Believe me, I don't think I'm doing anything wrong - I've removed/installed hundreds of wheels in my time. I just don't get it. Any ideas? Do I need to never use the impact wrench again, even to remove them? I think I really like steel wheels...........
  2. Old Tin and New Tin
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 301

    Old Tin and New Tin

    I have multiple sets of Halibrand wheels and found a long time ago if you don't use anti-seeze on the stud threads and mating surfaces between the lugs and wheels you can have a very difficult time getting them off. This goes for the surfaces between the knockoffs or hex caps and the center caps.
  3. FAST57F100
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 74

    from Washington

    I started chasing the threads on all new chrome lug nuts before I install them. A little dab of anti-seize and thread by hand then torque. The new lugs seem to have flakes of chrome or metal from poor quality control that jamb up the threads. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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  4. boogeracng
    Joined: Feb 13, 2008
    Posts: 343

    from Eureka,MO

    An overall decline in quality of not only the raw materials, but the production of the product, and the lack of quality control......short version...........OFF SHORE CRAP. Even some of the stuff supposedly produced here has quality control issues.

    My Real Rodders Wheels were perfect, as were the lug nuts that Pat supplied with them. The over length rear wheel studs from ARP were likewise. Now we come to the open end lug nuts.......Before even trying them on the studs, I ran a tap thru them, and knocked off all the boogers and machining residue. After seeing the crap that came out of them, I'm glad I did. And by the way, why are they packaged 4 to a pack?????????

    Never seize on the threads, on the shank where it goes thru the wheel......for the long studs, I use my cordless drill to run them down, then a torque wrench. I don't like an impact for mounting, but I will to remove them.

    Sounds like a lot of monkey motion to mount a set of wheels on the car, but these things weren't cheap, and I sure don't want to lose one at 1000 ft @ 120 mph..........

  5. Dog Dish Deluxe
    Joined: Dec 23, 2011
    Posts: 778

    Dog Dish Deluxe
    from MO.

    Run steelies and your problems are solved! :D
  6. I will invest in a bottoming tap for my new chrome lug nuts. That seems to be what has happened to me. As I blasted it off, it "chewed" onto the stud and destroyed the thread. I will also use anti-sieze. Live and learn, it just sucks buying new parts when you got zero miles out the parts you already bought! Cheap chinese Summit crap........
  7. I chase threads as well as chuck them up in a lathe and polish the shanks with some fine emery cloth prior to use.

    If you don't have a lathe at your disposal you can also use a drill press.

    That and anti seize as has been mentioned.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  8. FlynBrian
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 759


    I use McGuard lugnuts, had the same problem with the cheap summit and jegs brands. Thanks China! Haven't had a problem with the McGuards the chrome plating is alot better also. My 60 Falcon gasser sits out in the Florida rain and humidity and they haven't started to rust been 6 months since I changed them. The cheaper ones will damn near start rusting over night, in this climate. The threads are alot better on the McGuards. Downfall is price about a $100bucks. for 20 lugnuts.:eek:
    Oh and they only come in packs of 4 so you have to buy 5 packs to get the 20 you need.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  9. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,781


    The lug nuts I purchased from Jeg's seem to last about three years in the Florida weather.

    Let's face it everything appears to be made to last a much shorter time then it did years ago.

    I just had new set of tires installed here in Florida at a tire shop and the young kid who installed them started up the truck and drove it out of the bay into the parking lot and then came in and told me my truck was ready.

    I went out and did a walk around first and then went back inside the office and asked the owner if they were going to put the lugs back on the wheels on the passenger side of the truck.

    I could not believe my eyes he forgot to put the lugs on the Cragar Wheels!!!!!!!

  10. FlynBrian
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 759


    I went out and did a walk around first and then went back inside the office and asked the owner if they were going to put the lugs back on the wheels on the passenger side of the truck.

    I could not believe my eyes he forgot to put the lugs on the Cragar Wheels!!!!!!!


    Wow! Good thing you double checked his work.
    A buddy just had a brand new tube blow in one of his tires several hours after leaving the tire shop. When they pulled the tire off to see what the problem was, they found that the tire guy had left his dykes inside the rim which rubbed thru the new tube.:eek:
  11. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,129


    Just a word of caution about anti-seize. If it is used on the lugs of a big truck and the DOT guys see it on one of those roadside inspections, your truck gets parked. Most tire shops tell you not to put it on wheel studs. Friction is your friend.
  12. MedicCustoms
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,094


    Had it happen to me as well, Like you said Cheap Chinese Crap.
  13. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 814


    +1 on anti seize. Use a product like ARP ultra torque fastener assembly lube or, at worst, motor oil. The problem is that you can apply too much torque using anything else, damaging threads. ARP demo shows this clearly. Motor oil will not get you to the proper torque without retorquing. I have 2 containers in my garage and use it for everything that doesn't get loctite.
  14. pastlane
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,063


    McGuard, American made. Excellent quality and the price does reflect that quality. Don't need gobs of anti-seize, a little goes a long way.

    Another possibility are your rotors. How accurate is the machining on those?
  15. RDAH
    Joined: Mar 23, 2007
    Posts: 465

    from NL, WI

    Stacy David says Maalox works better than the grey antiseize. I use the copper antiseize
  16. I would say that your problem is cheap shit lug nuts.

    The most common cheap shit lug nut sold by Summit and Jegs are labled "Mr. Lug Nut". If you have these, use them for target practice.

    I use McGard Tough Nuts and never had a problem. These are made near me and "pastlane" in Orchard Park, NY U.S. of A.
  17. S_Mazza
    Joined: Apr 27, 2011
    Posts: 363


    I agree with this fellow. I think you are overtorquing the lug nuts because you have lubricant at every point of contact between the lug nut and the stud and wheel.

    I can see putting a little bit of anti-sieze or other such product on the outer face of the lug nut, just to make sure the aluminum wheel doesn't gall against the steel nut. But even that is iffy, and you shouldn't put it on the threads.

    You might be lucky and be able to use the rest of the studs. But I wouldn't assume that they will last too long either. I think the best thing would be to wash down all the nuts and studs with solvent to remove the grease. And since you will be into one corner already, you might want to replace all the studs on that wheel while you have it off.

    I wasn't clear on whether you were using a torque limiting bar with the impact. That's a good idea, if you have to use an impact. I never do. I use the clicker torque wrench and work my way up to torque in 3 or 4 stages.
  18. Jimbo,
    When I lived in Mexico it was common for the tire guy to hand you the lug wrench and say, "better check your saftey."

    Whenever I get tires mounted I always ask them to tighten my lugs by hand not with the impact. I had tires mounted once about 30 years ago and by the time I got home about 6 of the lugs were missing in random places around my car. Not loose and missing the studs were broken off.
  19. I forgot to mention that the McGard products are "lifetime" guaranteed.
  20. dayid
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 13

    from Central FL

    For some reason I cringe when I hear "impact" with aluminum. Most of the problems I've seen with lugs and studs on aluminum rims where from overtorquing. Heck, I've seen late-models overtorqued to more than double what they should be by the factory.

    How much torque are you putting on these just for curiosity?
  21. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    i have had the same problem the last few yrs.always hole #5.never could fiqure out if it was the wheels or i just give up. i start the nuts on all five studs. pull the wheel on to the nuts and go to town with the gun. ii know better but ive done it lately. i think its because i get mad before i even start.but the funny part is i havent had a hard time takin them off or messing up threads since i did them that way.
  22. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,486


    Just as a heads up, the reason they sell in packs of 4 is because you have 4 wheels.
    If you have 4 lugs per, you buy 4 packs.
    If you have 5 lugs per and want to use locks, you buy 4 packs.
    If you have 5 lugs per you buy 5 packs.
  23. It could actually be a combination of the two. I think it is a combination of wanabe metric and SAE.

    I have a set of US Wheels that I have slotted the holes slightly (about .125) because I went to put them on an S-10 and they wouldn't go on. The S-10 is metric and off from a 5 on 4.75 slightly. Steel wheels work fine but aluminum wheels with shanked lugs just won't go.

    My theory on what is happening is that the manufacturers are tryng to do a once size fits all deal and that just won't work with an aluminum wheel unless they build them to not use a long shank nut.

    There is a simple cure but most of you will not want to do it. Use drive studs. 11/16 studs and a flat nut and washer to hold the wheel on. It is more of a race look but it solves the problem.
  24. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,498

    from Oregon

    I use regular old Copper Coat antiseize and apply it to the threads and a little to the outside of the lugnut to make them go on and off easily.
  25. GirchyGirchy
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 223

    from Central IN

    Just curious, do you tighten the first lug nut you put on, or leave them all loose until they're all on? If you're having a problem with the last lug, then either you're not installing them straight or the BCD of either the hub or wheel's out of whack.

    I run all of my lugs down by hand first with a socket - not a ratchet, not an impact, not a wrench, just my hand. Keep the wheel against the hub and thread them down until they all just barely touch. Then, while rolling the wheel forward and backwards, I'll tighten as much as I can with the socket, going through all five. This beds in the lugs to the tapers on the wheel and ensures that everything's perfectly centered and nothing's bound up.
  26. He is talking about shank lug nuts not taper lug nuts. But your process is actually correct for either.
  27. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    I was going to suggest that maybe a closed end nut was runnuing out of threads. I have seen that before. Be careful about re-tapping the nuts. Taps are made in different classes(sizes) of thread fit. Assuming the nuts were made properly to start with, you don't want to remove material from the existing threads.
  28. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,456

    Atwater Mike

    Wheel torque should be 70 ft. lbs. for 7/16" studs, 80 ft. lbs. for 1/2".

    That is using a light film of anti-sieze.
  29. Been changing tires for thirty years and don’t think I’ve ever used a torque wrench, just get ‘em tight, in a criss-cross pattern, with the four-way. Never lost a nut or broke a stud. To elaborate on the info above, what’s the proper torque? I’m sure it’s different with steel, aluminum straight-shank, aluminum w/washers, etc., etc
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  30. marshallal
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 37

    from amherst ny

    Just hapend on to this page... My $.02 is i live about 30 mins time from mc guard. The last wheels i bought from summit, with mc guard nuts, and locks. On & off about 4 times. No problems yet. No power wrenches. I use the socket set on them, and a tourque wrench, 100 lbs... Re torque after 50 miles.....treat them like glass....marshall

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