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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently, I installed new Wheel Locks. These are locking lug nuts that will not permit the wheel to be removed without using the provided unique lock key for your locks. Thus, each road wheel remains reasonably safe on the car irrespective of wherever you park.

To install these lugs, (mentioned elsehere under the thread Locking Wheel Locks, Revised), one must remove one lug nut per wheel and replace it with a locking version.

This simple act awakened me again to the fact that modern day autos, and this "C" in particular, have their wheels screwed on and torqued to 100 foot pounds (135 Meters.n). The simple fact is that these nuts simply cannot be removed by most persons using the OEM provided jack handle and lug wrench combination tool.

So I resorted to my trusty cross lug wrench, always carried in the trunk over the spare wheel, suitably wrapped in a towell, of course, so it won't rattle and/or scratch something, God forbid.

Even that tool would not break loose these nuts. So I tried to break them loose with a piece of pipe slipped over the end of the OEM jack handle for additional leverage. Again, no joy. These nuts just couldn't be budged. My car was delivered 4/29/04, so it's not as if the lugs were corroded yet.

So, I finally resorted to the piece de resistance, my 12vDC electric impact wrench which I bought 21 years ago when I first encountered the problem on a Benz. This wrench plugs into a 12vDC source in the car; its cord is long enough to reach each wheel. It made short work of removing the one nut from each wheel and helped me replace them with the locking nuts.

WARNING -- DO NOT USE AN IMPACT WRENCH TO TIGHTEN THESE LOCKING NUTS FOR THEY MAY OVERTORQUE AND MESS UP YOUR STUDS ON THE WHEELS.

So, beginning yesterday, the impact wrench is back in the trunk. I want to be able to remove a wheel anytime, anywhere without depending upon AAA or USAA, or whomever to show up at their leasure, if they are even available wherever I might be. The tool is available still at good auto stores for around $100 and worth every penny when you need it.

Torquing is another thing. Very few of us carry or even have access to a suitable torque wrench; so one needs to go to a service operation to get that lock torqued. And check it again after some driven miles to ensure it is still tight.

A CHALLENGE --

Just for the heck of it, how many of you have tried to remove a wheel lug nut? Try to remove just one and please let me know how you did. I doubt if most can remove any such nut torqued at 100 foot pounds with the OEM jack handle wrench.

Here's what to do -
Just remove the "hubcap" by prying carefully into the small slot on one edge of the cap's circumference, pull it off and place it aside. You'll notice it is about 99% plastic (as are the wheels so coated) and relatively fragile. Then try to loosen just one nut on any wheel using the OEM-supplied jack handle wrench. No need to jack up the car (but you should be familiar with how to do that, too).

IF you do get it loosened, then retighten it, (stop by somewhere and get it retorqued later). If not loosened, replace the "hubcap" carefully. Do so by placing the cap into its slots on the wheel and popping it on with the heel of your hand, nothing else. Be careful to bop around the entire circle because it won't always go into position and these things do come off and get lost. Someone ealier lost one at $45 a cap, as I remember.

Why bother with the wheel removal attempt? Well, our tires are marketed as puncture-resistant, not proof. Someone will get a flat. If you, do you want to sit around for hours waiting for help to change your wheel to the spare?

Lemme know, please.
 

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Yes, Miles is correct that attention should be paid to this area. Not only can overtightened factory lugs be an inconvenience in a tire-changing situations, but they can cause warping of the brake rotors. GM had a lot of problems a couple of years back with early rotor warping on the Corvette and they released a TSB on using proper torque specs - that means torque wrench or torque sticks, not just crank down or use an impact wrench till they won't go any more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Personally, I wouldn't want to be caught off guard otherwise. ;^))

But the important point is can YOU remove the wheel lug nuts when you have to do so with the equipment on hand?
 

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I never use my arms to unbolt. I use my legs to unbolt. They are far stronger than using your arms. Don't put the wrench to high because if it falls out you may scratch your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hdplasmas said:
I never use my arms to unbolt. I use my legs to unbolt. They are far stronger than using your arms. Don't put the wrench to high because if it falls out you may scratch your car.
I tried that too when I used the short length of pipe. Lug nuts are on there just too tight.
 

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This is really ridiculous guys but all too common. Most alloys require 80-85 ft-lb. I bent a lug wrench on my 300E and had to resort to a breaker bar to undo what the service morons did. I now check the torque in my garage whenever I have tire/wheel svc. In addition to all the problems associated with overtorque, the wheels are also prone to break (a friend had this happen on the freeway in a 328i). Wal-Mart charges $6.00 for rotation and is the only place I have been that documented the torque and told me to come back after 50 miles to have them re torqued! (did it myself). A local TV station went to the mall and randomly asked 10 people to loosen their lugs and no one could do it. This is scandelous. Btw, if you do your own oil change you will likely find the filter way overtightned. PS dont overtighten your spark plugs either, the ceramic center can dislodge with great force, I have seen it twice on my dad's cars and one was lodged in the distributor cap :eek: .
.
 

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I have not run into this problem yet with a cross wrench or OEM tool.
My standard method of loosening a bolt with OEM wrench is to put it on the
nut parallel to ground and step on it. Has never failed to break it loose so far.
Will try it on my C and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
SilverHemi said:
I have not run into this problem yet with a cross wrench or OEM tool. My standard method of loosening a bolt with OEM wrench is to put it on the nut parallel to ground and step on it. Has never failed to break it loose so far. Will try it on my C and see what happens.
I had tried that also on all 4 wheels and couldn't break loose any lug. And that's why I went back to my 12vDC impact wrench. I'm 165 lbs, 5'10". Maybe not beefy enough? :^))

Be interesting to see if you have success with that method.
 

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Pay attention to what Miles says about tapping the "hubcap" into place.
When I got home in my brand new car, less than 20 miles, for some reason I went around and hit each of these hubcaps with the heel of my hand. One of them was not set all the way on, it snapped into place!! I must be psychic. Something to do when you pick up your new car, check each one.
At summit racing there is a campbell-hausfeld 12v impact wrench for $49+handling, total of 58.94.
 

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One trick I was told - use the jack to loosen the nut. Same principle as stepping on it (but up instead of down), and less likely to cause injury or damage. If the jack can lift the car, it can loosen a nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Haven't tried that; in fact, hadn't thought of it. But will the next time I need to loosen a nut.

Wonder, though, about kickback should the jack slip? Would be very inportant to get the jack base on good firm, level ground.
 

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Lug nuts - you CAN remove them.

Miles:

Your starting post about lug nuts almost impossible to undo on the road, must have stuck in the back of my mind awaiting a solution.

Apparently Einstein had the same facilty, but in my case I wish the emphasis was more on the mind, and less on the stuck. :eek:

Anyway, yesterday at a local (Canadian) tool supplier I came across and bought a torque multiplying Lug wrench, designed specifically to overcome the highly torqued wheel nut problem. Because It comes without socket I recommend you find a deep socket to fit the lug nuts.

I tested it, and it's the bee's knees :D

The company is Princess Auto and if you guys and gals want one they say they will ship internationally US, Europe (for Jamoleh - probably Dubia too!)

They had about 30 units in stock when I bought mine yesterday.

It is on sale now at $24.99 Canadian (about $20 US) , good for 30 days. Regular price $36.99.

It's a good reliable company that I have bought much from over the past 5 years.

If you want one just phone them, and say "John and Bandit sent me", - Bandit is my buddy, er - I mean dog, a German Shepherd/Wolf cross. - Canada remember. The folks at Princess let me take him in the store with me, and they feed him treats - always a sign of good people. They know me well there, if you need some help PM me, I can email you a good illustration - image size about 1mb.

Princess's phone number is B.C. Canada (Pacific time) : (604) 777-0735
Fax: (604)777-0884 Open 7 days a week

The part number is 8006073

Web site link :
http://www.princessauto.com/_osn.cfm?CTRY=CAN&output=OSN&SRCH=1&SRCHAREA=OSN&T1=RATCHETING LUG WREN

just search "All online items" and scroll down to the part #8006073
 

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Wow. Lots of good info. Only nit is my service guy went back to his book, and said spec was 90ft.lbs. (300c W/stock wheels and plastic(!) covers.) I suppose at that level 10ft.lbs, isn't much, but could someone double check? 2 heads are better than one.
 

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WARNING: Princess Auto Kidnaps Car Nuts!

goddardzilla said:
Miles:

Your starting post about lug nuts almost impossible to undo on the road, must have stuck in the back of my mind awaiting a solution.

Apparently Einstein had the same facilty, but in my case I wish the emphasis was more on the mind, and less on the stuck. :eek:

Anyway, yesterday at a local (Canadian) tool supplier I came across and bought a torque multiplying Lug wrench, designed specifically to overcome the highly torqued wheel nut problem. Because It comes without socket I recommend you find a deep socket to fit the lug nuts.

I tested it, and it's the bee's knees :D

The company is Princess Auto and if you guys and gals want one they say they will ship internationally US, Europe (for Jamoleh - probably Dubia too!)

They had about 30 units in stock when I bought mine yesterday.

It is on sale now at $24.99 Canadian (about $20 US) , good for 30 days. Regular price $36.99.

It's a good reliable company that I have bought much from over the past 5 years.

If you want one just phone them, and say "John and Bandit sent me", - Bandit is my buddy, er - I mean dog, a German Shepherd/Wolf cross. - Canada remember. The folks at Princess let me take him in the store with me, and they feed him treats - always a sign of good people. They know me well there, if you need some help PM me, I can email you a good illustration - image size about 1mb.

Princess's phone number is B.C. Canada (Pacific time) : (604) 777-0735
Fax: (604)777-0884 Open 7 days a week

The part number is 8006073

Web site link :
http://www.princessauto.com/_osn.cfm?CTRY=CAN&output=OSN&SRCH=1&SRCHAREA=OSN&T1=RATCHETING%20LUG%20WREN

just search "All online items" and scroll down to the part #8006073
Damn, another thing to buy Goddardzilla! Now you've given me another excuse to visit Princess Auto.

There's no way to explain this wacky canadian business to our buddies south of the border. Let's just say that if you actually visit one - pack a lunch and let your loved ones know you'll be missing for a while. :)
 

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Northern Rider said:
Damn, another thing to buy Goddardzilla! Now you've given me another excuse to visit Princess Auto.

There's no way to explain this wacky canadian business to our buddies south of the border. Let's just say that if you actually visit one - pack a lunch and let your loved ones know you'll be missing for a while. :)
NR - is it the first or second word that keeps you there so long?
 

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torque

mileshoover said:
I had tried that also on all 4 wheels and couldn't break loose any lug. And that's why I went back to my 12vDC impact wrench. I'm 165 lbs, 5'10". Maybe not beefy enough? :^))

Be interesting to see if you have success with that method.

If you are standing on a one foot extenstion from the center of the fastener, you are applying 165 foot pounds of torque. If your handle/cheater bar/lug wrench is longer than one foot, you are putting more torque on the fastener, but I don't know the formula off hand, to figure oout exactly how much torque. Although the 12 volt impact may not be rated that high, the hammering effect can still loosen something that is torqued beyond its rating. Some one has over torqued or over tightened your lug nuts.
 
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