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Thread: Seized lug nuts on wheel studs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    3

    Default Seized lug nuts on wheel studs

    We experienced a blowout on the freeway and we were unable to remove the wheel due to lug nuts being seized on the threaded wheel studs. AAA couldn't help, but a good samaritan with a compressor and a
    cutoff wheel rescued us. We went to a tire shop to replace all of the tires on our rig, and several more of the lug nuts seized while trying to remove them. We ultimately replaced all of the wheel studs and lug
    nuts, and we learned from the service advisor at Lazy Days RV in Tucson that a chemical reaction occurs between the aluminum wheels and the steel studs that creates corrosion that can cause the lug nuts to
    seize. We will now be sure to use anti-seize compound on all of the studs to prevent a similar problem in the future.

    As a side note, we damaged one of the aluminum wheels when cutting off the lug nuts and had to purchase a new one. The local DRV dealer quoted $272, plus $50 crating plus $50 shipping. I did some
    exploring on the Internet and found a replacement wheel and center cap for $143 with free shipping (trailer-wheels.com). A local tire shop mounted the tire on the new wheel and said that the new wheel was of
    better quality than the one that came on the trailer. The new wheel has a steel insert at the base of the lug holes that will help to combat the corrosion issue we experienced.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Couldn't tell what model/year you have and what tire size you have, it would be helpful to know. Thanks.
    2008 3500HD LTZ CC 4X4 Duramax/Allison - Banks IQ with Economind tuner & Speedbrake -
    2013 MS 38RESB3 modified with ES stuff & Garnet Paint

    "The older I get, the better I was! "

  3. #3
    Gargoyle Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by corderm View Post
    we learned from the service advisor at Lazy Days RV in Tucson that a chemical reaction occurs between the aluminum wheels and the steel studs that creates corrosion that can cause the lug nuts to seize. We will now be sure to use anti-seize compound on all of the studs to prevent a similar problem in the future.
    In my experience I have seen a bigger problem with loose lug nuts and aluminum wheels. I have never heard of a corrosion issue between aluminum and steel, and can't find any real reference to it anywhere. I've haven't had steel wheels on anything since my early teens (that was a long long time ago) and I have NEVER seen or heard of anyone lubricating the lug studs.. What I did find was in the Alcoa Wheel Service manual that came with the aluminum wheels mounted on my tow vehicle (BART).
    It says :

    LUBRICATION
    Lubricants should not be applied to the cap nutís washer i.e. nut-to-wheel contact surface.
    Application of excessive lubricant to the threads of the stud and or nut can cause excessive torque.
    Over torque can stretch studs causing them to fail.
    Oiled washers can lead to over-torquing which can stretch studs causing failure of studs.
    Failed studs can cause the wheel to disengage from the vehicle, causing serious injury or death.
    Lubricants must be completely removed from the cap nutís washer i.e. nut-to-wheel contact surface if
    applied accidentally.
    Do not allow oil to contact mounting surfaces of the wheel, hub or drum. Do not use aerosol cans for
    lubrication of stud threads.

    It seems to me that lubricating the studs, nuts, etc would be counter productive. The two metals heat and cool at different temps, hence the need for the proper torque on the nuts. Over tightening can cause them to strip and be next to impossible to remove. I would be more willing to believe they were over tightened that "corroded" on. And I'm not sure I would ever lubricate the bolts/nuts holding a tire on.

  4. #4

    Default

    The military has thousands and thousands of vehicles with aluminum wheels and steel studs. I've seen some seizure but only when foreign substances are involved. It is normal though for the wheels to be removed on a regular basis then re-torqued to specs. I have had mine on my trailer loosened three times in the last year to be re-torqued. i would suggest you do the same in the future.
    John & Bonnie Mc Clun
    2008 F-450 King Ranch Dually
    2011 MS TKSB3 #5793
    http://drv-owners-manual.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Maggie Valley, NC
    Posts
    491

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    Over torquing the lug nuts and axle nuts has been a much discussed issue here. I would not add lubricant or material that might affect the torque pressure. The newer HWT wheels use what they call "clamping pressure" where the lug nut has a FLAT surface that mates with the wheel FLAT surface. I'd say that if any lube or grease like material came in contact with the flat surfaces the proper torque could easily be exceeded.

    I personally (on a previous rig) have had a wheel separate from my camper due to all studs shearing off. That tire was the only one removed for a repair and reinstalled by the tire shop. They apparently used an impact gun to tighten the lugs and had the wrong torque stick or none at all. What I'm saying is be very careful to have the proper torque. Purchase a torque wrench and know how to use it.
    David & Joyce Robinson
    2011 MS 38TKSB4 #5535
    Winter work camping Sebastian Fl.
    Summer in mountains of NC.

    Vanity slide, FP, vac, , level-up,
    thermo pane windows, dinette awning.
    240 volt dryer, residential fridge, roof
    satellite, Mor\Ryde pin box. Two bicycles
    on front, two kayaks on back.

    2008 F-350 4X4 Diesel CC LB H&S Tuner
    Pressure Pro(10 tires), fold-a-cover, train horns,
    34 gal fuel/tool in bed aux. tank, Trailer Saver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Burleson, TX
    Posts
    1,187

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    I have had aluminum wheels/steel studs on my '05 since '08--have never had any problem with loosening the wheels, or tightening them with a torque wrench. Something else has transpired in your case, I would guess. Have heard both pros/cons about lubing the studs--I don't.
    Joe
    2005 36TK3 #1869
    2009 F450 Lariat
    2007 F350 DRW--gone

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    194

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    I was there, stopped along the highway as the spare was about to go on. The issue appears to be the studs spun in the hub/drum and when you tried to
    remove the nut, the stud and the nut spun. It would not come off the stud, so after hours (4) of them trying to figure out how to get the wheel off, a service fellow driving by stopped to help. He had an air compressor and a cut off wheel he used to cut the stud & the nuts (2) off that drum. In doing so he also cut
    the whee face, but that is how they got it off. I live about 2 miles from where the incident happened and was heading home from shopping and stopped on the highway to see if I could help them. Once I saw the problem I said had I got here first I would have driven home and got the tools needed to remove the axle nut and pulled the whole drum & wheel combo. Then cut the stud off the back of the drum and installed new studs. I do believe the nuts were over torqued
    onto the wheels and that caused the studs to spin on the hub, but I may be wrong. As it was there was no way to remove the wheel with a conventional
    wrench. They then continued on to Tucson where further examination of the wheels/studs by the service folks found other wheels with the same problem.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Stacey & Gail
    E.W.I.G. (Ex-Weigh-It-Guy)
    '04 36 TK3 / SOITC #1341
    '99 Int'l LoPro MDT
    See Bill & Joan's New Adventure Weigh-It Portable RV Scales http://www.weighitrv.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    3

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    To answer a couple of questions and provide some additional info...our rig is an '08 32TK3 with Goodyear LT235/85R/16's, load range G. Regarding the seizure of the lug nuts, the strangest part occurred at the tire shop. The
    worker removed most of the lug nuts from one wheel, but one of them was seized. Knowing that we would be taking the RV back to the RV dealer, he started putting the removed lug nuts back on the wheel and two of them
    seized when only half way on the stud. They couldn't be tightened or loosened any further. As for the theory that the lug nuts were over-torqued, the DRV dealer was the last party to have the wheels off of the RV for the recent recall work. This work was done about two months before our problem, so I would hope that the dealership would have properly torqued the lug nuts when concluding their recall work on the wheels (since the proper torque was part of the recall issue). The seizing of the lug nuts at the tire shop when half way onto the stud cured me of my original belief that over-torquing was the issue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    54

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    Started 1 too many times with empact wrench.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Burleson, TX
    Posts
    1,187

    Default

    Very interesting description of the problem. Having a DRV dealer work on wheels does not insure they won't overtorque the studs, nor having it done at a tire shop--mistakes happen. But to not have the nuts go back on without seizing up is strange--almost like they were cross-threaded at some time.
    Joe
    2005 36TK3 #1869
    2009 F450 Lariat
    2007 F350 DRW--gone

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