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Wheel stuck - can't remove it!

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by jordanthompson, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    I have had my roadster for over 20,000 miles and have (obviously) replaced tires on it several times. This is the first time the tire shop told me they could not remove the lug bolts!
    Needless to say, they didn't want to force them and I didn't want to have a discussion about them breaking bolts off (I'd rather do it myself and have only me to blame) so I took the car home.
    I sprayed some penetrating oil on all of the bolts and went inside for about an hour. I came out and loosened all of them with no problem (halfway home!)
    I then jacked the car up, and removed the wheels on the one side, cleaned the hubs and put anti-seize on them and put them back. Added a little anti-seize to the bolts and tightened the left side up (75% done?)
    The right front was no problem and I was able to repeat what I did there (85%?)

    The right rear is my headache...
    I have been able to remove the bolts, but the wheel won't budge.
    I loosened the bolts (about half a turn) and went for a 1/4 mile drive (hoping start and stop driving would jiggle the wheel loose) and tried again. This time I was able to rotate the wheel just enough that I can't get the bolts back in :-( I have generously applied penetrating oil, hoping that some will find its way onto the hub, but so far no luck.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #2 wiztecy, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
    I wouldn't put antisieze on your lug bolts. This is a problem waiting to happen. Just torque them down to their proper spec (77pounds) and check again after some driving. Someone most likely over-torqued them and they heated/cooled with the rotor and tightened even more.

    Putting antisieze on your lug bolts will cause the lug nuts to have unexpected results. First of all it can give you a false torque on your lugs, such as you think you're torquing them down to 77 pounds but really you've now torqued them down to 120 pounds which can cause warping of the rotor and also make it a pain to remove next time. Secondly, if the lug does loosen the antisieze will make it come out easier and faster since its a lubricant limiting friction. The hubs don't even need it, just lightly sand the hub where you see corrosion with fine grit wet sandpaper and wipe off.

    I do suggest your remove the antisieze off your lugs as well as what is now in the treads of the hub. Brake cleaner should work well and a rag.
    If you feel your lug nuts are indeed corroded to cause an issue when torquing / removing, I'd then go and replace them with new ones.

    As for the wheel not coming off, keep hitting it with penetrating oil. Let it sit over night, and then get you and some big assistant to grab on to the wheel, working it side to side, rotate the wheel 90 degrees and repeat. It should come off then. If not, recruit a larger assistant and have a big hearty breakfast beforehand.

    If that doesn't work, put three lugs in so they make a V and tighten them finger tight, then lower the car down fast. Jack up and try removing the wheel after the lugs are removed. Lastly if all the above fails, put all five lugs in finger tight, then drive the car a very short distance and hit the brakes very hard such as slamming on them. Jack up the car and see if it broke free. But use this one only as a last resort. I have not used this method myself, but have heard of others using it and it worked.
     
  3. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    I like the suggestion about the big hearty breakfast!

    I can remember when working on my car in the garage was a fun challenge. It has degenerated to a PITA. I guess that comes with age :-D

    I originally got the idea to put the anti-seize on the lug bolts from the SC I normally frequent in Boca Raton (as you know, finding anyone who knows their way around these dinosaurs is hard to find.) I would normally have agreed with you, but it was their suggestion. I happened to be on the phone with the local tire shop (resetting my appointment) when I was reading your response so I asked them; they agreed with the SC and said it was a good idea.

    I was able to finally break the wheel free by putting a 2x4 under the tire as a fulcrum and using another 2x4 as a lever, prying against the rubber, trying to get the wheel to rotate. It worked and I was able to wiggle it free using the same method you suggest.
     
  4. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #4 wiztecy, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
    I personally wouldn't care what the SC said. Ask them where its printed that Tesla recommends lubricating the lugs before putting them on and setting the torque? It would be only then once they've showed me official documentation by Tesla where I'd put it on. Reason being that was/is the way Tesla set the lugs from the factory and possibly how came up with the torque spec. But they were not. And even then, you'd have to ask what type of antisieze lube and how much?

    The amount of force needed is less when things are lubed vs dry, meaning your lugs will be over torqued with the antisieze as an end result. When metal gets over torqued, the metal gets stressed and bad things start to happen when unexpected stresses are then applied.

    Anyways, happy that you got the wheel off.

    Another link supporting not putting lube on your lugs:

    Anti Seize on wheel studs/lug nuts - Mechanical engineering other topics - Eng-Tips
     
  5. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    OK... read the article... scared the bejesus out of me... will have the anti-seize removed when I have the work done at the shop. Thanks for your input.
     
  6. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    #6 jordanthompson, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
    I was speaking with a friend of mine who is an aircraft mechanic and he said it is common practice to use anti-seize on bolts prior to torking them down. I'm up to three experts I personally know telling me the same thing. Now I'm leaning towards leaving the anti-seize on...

    Here is an interesting thread that supports the use of anti-seize on only the threads (as opposed to head surface that touches the wheel) of lug nuts/bolts:
    Use of Anti Seize on Vehicle Lug Nuts | Engineers Edge Forum | www.engineersedge.com
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Anti-seize on the threads only sounds like a good compromise... but I'm still not sure I'd do it. One thing for sure, I'd re-check the torque the day after installing them!
     
  8. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #8 wiztecy, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
    I'd run an experiment. Put on a bolt antiseize. On the threads. Find a flat surface that fixes the nut side so it won't move. Torque it down to a set number, say 50 pounds. Count how many turns you get in. Do the same on a dry bolt, count the turns. Then ask why are you getting more turns and where is that force going? Remember, with any action there is a equal action / reaction.

    Newtons Third Law

    Also what type of antisieze are your friends using? There is a friction based compound.

    I know I've never had any issues with my hubs / lug nuts if they were torqued properly when dry and properly cleaned when originally put on. Its again what the manufacturer has specified and how they came from the factory. I've grown up on the east coast where it snowed and the state used salt that made your car, suspension, undercarriage rust like crazy. Even then I never put antisieze on nor did I ever come across any stuck lugs. If it was binding and restricted coming off, I used brake clean, a wire brush, and a rag to clean up the threads. Reused them and torqued down to manufacturer spec without the lube. No issue.

    Lastly, why is Permatex who's the manufacturer of antisieze stressing to NOT put ANY of this stuff on your wheel lug nuts found in their FAQ below??? But its not my Roadster so you can do what you want to do. I know the safety of myself, my passengers, others on the road as well as the love and safety for my Roadster relies on how well and correct I maintain that vehicle. Again if you feel your lug nuts/bolts are corroded and concerned they'll be a problem to remove next time, buy new ones.

    FAQs


    Lubricants

    Does Permatex[SUP]®[/SUP] suggest applying anti-seize to lubricate lug nuts when installing or tightening the nuts?

    -
    Permatex[SUP]®[/SUP] does not recommend the use of any anti-seize product on wheel studs. Many people have used anti-seize for this applications, however, there is the potential for over-torqueing and therefore, higher clamp loads and potentially dangerous bolt stretch. Because of the lubricity of anti-seize, there is a tendency to over-tighten because of the ease with which the nut will bear down on the lug. For this reason, even if you try to torque the nuts to factory specs, the clamp load may become too high depending on the type of bolt, size and manufacturer.
     
  9. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    I've always used WD-40 on the threads after getting a rusted lug nut or bolt-it's too thin to mess up the torque much and cause a problem.

    Being an Auto tech for 30+ years in the salt dusted winter roads in Wisconsin, The easiest way I've found to remove a rusted rim from the car is to hit the inside of the tire hard with a wooden baseball bat. Just don't hit the suspension because it hurts like hell. It's a lot easier on a lift, but can be done on the ground on a jack stand.
     
  10. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    I tried hitting snot out of the wheel with a rubber mallet (from the inside) but it didn't do anything. I guess part of the problem was the angle as it was only on a jack-stand.
     
  11. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    I have decided to err on the conservative side (even though I tend to vote liberal) and remove the anti-seize from the bolts. The bolts are in no way corroded so I am going to keep the old ones.

    Wiztecy's incessant recommendations certainly have had an a affect :)
     
  12. Danal

    Danal electricmotorglider.com

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    Good.

    Torque specs are a very indirect way to obtain proper bolt/stud stretch. Torque is the most common "Field Expedient" way to obtain proper stretch; there are also specialty procedures, sometimes encountered in aerospace applications, where bolt stretch is so critical it is measured directly. For the rest of us, proper torque results in proper stretch. This is not opinion; this is fact that can be verified hundreds of places.

    Too much stretch massively weakens a bolt/stud. This is not opinion... yada yada.

    Reducing the friction between the nut & threads, and/or the nut & the contact surface on which it seats, will result in MASSIVE over-torque, and risk of the bolt/stud failure. Not opinion...​


    You made the right choice (opinion!!) :)
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    It is FAR easier to work on a car when you have a lift - from personal experience. If you can lift the car to an optimum position it's much easier to wail on something, lean into a wrench, or whatever is needed to break it loose.

    Of course for the Roadster you need to have lift adapters to raise it safely.
     
  14. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    You need a lot more speed than you get from a small mallet to create enough force to break it loose. The end of the bat is really moving if you swing it well. I had tried everything over the years, but the bat seemed to work the best. Hitting the tire is easier than trying to hit the rim with a mallet. You can concentrate on speed, not accuracy.
     
  15. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    Thanks for the words of wisdom Grasshopper :-D
    Unfortunately, there are not many shops that will work on this car on the rack because (as you may know) you need the adapter plates to lift it and I certainly don't have a rack at home (and I don't play baseball) so it it remained somewhat Earth (and tool) bound :-D
    Perhaps in the future we could try cricket bats? They are larger (more mass) than baseball bats? Of course finding one in this country would be a challenge...
    But (once again) I digress....
    thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I fought the tire battle and have won this round.
    To end the anti-seize thread, it was removed from the bolts and I plan to take the car back in another week or so to re-check the torque settings to confirm they haven't come loose.
     
  16. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    1. Did anyone read that entire page, started by the hysterical troglodyte OP? Note the last comment:

    > "You simply take care when tightening the nut." Too kind.

    If you know to derate the torque specs by ~15%, and to use anti-seize *sparingly*, you will do fine. And after 5 years of salt exposure, be able to ease off the same bolts without issue.

    2. The lug bolts an my 2.0 (764) have been 'snatchy' from day one. Dry (plated?) threads impossible to torque. Brush in a spare coating of copper based anti seize and problem solved. No longer living in The Rust Belt I do not anti seize all my vehicles, only those that exhibit snatchy behavior when tightening.

    3. Removing stuck rim: 25 lb sledge hammer against inflated tire (or rim thru a piece of 2x4). If no results use a 35 lb wood splitting maul. Finally drive with loose bolts on driveway apply brakes hard several times. This always works but buggers the rim holes somewhat.
    --
     
  17. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #17 wiztecy, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
    I think when the maker of the anti-seize say's NOT to use ANY, I tend to take that as the ultimatum to not even put a single drop on. Secondly where does Tesla say to put anti-seize for any of their models. Which model came that way from the factory? Unless Tesla sends me an official update to the spec in writing, not by word of mouth from some random tech, I won't go there. I've found a few discrepancies by word of mouth from the Tesla tech's. But its your car not mine.

    If your lug bolts are corroding that much, you have bigger issues unless you have a boat and you're talking about a trailer that gets dunked into the Ocean. Even then, I have a boat and still don't use antiseize and never had an issue with pulling off my lugs from my boat trailer used in the Pacific. I've also fished for quite some time dunking the trailer in the Atlantic which is saltier, again no issues. Note that I *maintain* my cars and trailers. So after I've used my trailer that's been dunked in salt water, I rinse the entire trailer, wheels, brakes, and lugs with water. I'll even coat the brakes, lugs (while still mounted) afterwards with WD-40 to minimize corrosion while it sits unused.

    I personally inspect my suspension and full brake system every year with all my vehicles, I'd never go 5 years without pulling off my wheels. I also don't recommend torquing the bolts down by hand and suggest to always use a torque wrench so they're set to the manufacturer's (Tesla) torque spec. Its too easy to overtorque, even undertorque the bolts, even if you have a good feel its not exact.
     
  18. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

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    Now that was a good read!!!
    Thank You all
     
  19. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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  20. Larry93428

    Larry93428 Member

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    Heat is very helpful when things are stuck together. Try to heat one item - gently of course - without getting the other warm. The difference in expansion may do the trick.
    ~Larry
     

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