Can't remove lug nut - rear wheel hub assembly toast?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by pingd, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Swapping out the summer tires for the winter set on separate rims.
    One rear left lug nut won't come off with a cordless impact wrench or breaker bar.
    Now when I use the breaker bar I can get it to rotate ... but it just makes that sound when you first break a lug nut ... kind of a cross between a grinding and cranking sound.

    It is NOT loosening the lug nut ... so I have to guess the part that anchors/seats the lug stud into the wheel hub assembly is broken and is allowing the lug stud to rotate?
    Or could there be another explanation?

    If it is a broken "seat point of the lug stud" ... I guess my only option is to replace the entire wheel hub assembly?
    Or is there some kind of welding repair or "oversized stud base" repair (maybe similar to an oversized oil pan drain bolt)?
    Plus how the heck can one get the wheel off if the lug nut won't come off?

    As Winnie-The-Pooh would say, "Oh bother!"
     
  2. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Using a Dremel with a metal abrasive cutter, cut off the closed end of the lug nut and then cut a slot down the side of the nut. This will relive the pressure around the rusted together threads of the nut and the stud.

    After getting the wheel off, the stud should be easy to drive out, since you have been able to turn it with the wrench.

    Clean the bore in the hub with a wire brush until shiny. This is a good place to use a steel enhanced epoxy like JB Weld to "glue" the new stud in place, since it would already be a close fit.

    This would have been a good place to have applied an anti-seize lubricant every time that the lug nuts have been placed and removed. This is contrary to those who do not believe in rustproofing and who will eventually pay the price.
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Member

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    Aren't you specifically supposed to not apply any lubricant to the threads to avoid overtightening?
     
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  4. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    You could reduce the torque value by 10%. For those not using a torque wrench 90 degrees angular torque after rundown is enough to tighten standard car lug nuts.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    I had that happen once, with another car. I put all the lug nuts back on, drove to dealership, and maybe $100 later it was sorted.
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Permatex Anti-Seize manufacturer recommends no reduction. OTOH, my Pocket Ref, Third Edition (by Thomas J. Glover) recommends 0.9, in other words 10% reduction (for "silver grade anti-seize").

    I usually brush Permatex silver anti-seize on the hub face, pretty much every time the wheels are off: a few dabs with the Permatex applicator brush then spread it very thin with an old toothbrush. Once in a blue moon, I'll go over the stud threads with the almost-dry brush, just graze them. That's probably all it takes. I don't reduce torque value, and it was a very light application.
     
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  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Using a Dremel with a metal abrasive cutter, cut off the closed end of the lug nut and then cut a slot down the side of the nut. This will relive the pressure around the rusted together threads of the nut and the stud.

    Just curious...does a Gen 3 alloy rim (assuming alloy rims since summer tires) have enough access for this? I've never actually looked at one. Would be great if it does.

    If not, what if they're galled from overtightening or from the threads not being clean? Rap it really hard with a BFH? Throw some heat on it? If you're not thrilled with the idea of a flame near the rims, maybe hit it with a welding rod on the end to get it really hot and then put the impact on it? I've put weld beads on a few things to do similar and it works extremely well.

    Heck, maybe a shop can even put a tack weld between the stud and hub to lock it in place to allow the nut to be loosened. All depends on access behind it.

    Or throw the other lug nuts back on and torque the hell out of them and then try to loosen the stubborn one again. Or in a last ditch effort...drive it to a tire shop where they probably have the right tools to deal with it?

    This is a good place to use a steel enhanced epoxy like JB Weld to "glue" the new stud in place, since it would already be a close fit.

    I don't know that I would want to risk going through this again in the spring. If you're lucky, the corrugations/ridges/splines (or whatever) on the stud stripped off and a new stud will solve the problem. If not, then a new hub would be the right answer.
     
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  8. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I would not apply heat to an alloy wheel. Aluminum starts to become mushy at 500 degrees F. Also, unlike steel, aluminum does not show color change when heated. It goes from room temperature to melting at 1200 degrees without a color change indication. Old school aluminum workers rub soap on aluminum. When the soap blackens, it's at 3-400 degrees.

    You would have to destroy the brake back shield to get to the stud at the back of the hub.

    JB Weld will be fine. It will "burn off" with a torch if you ever need to get the new stud out.
     
  9. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    My mistake for not being more clear about heat. Thought it was clear that I was talking about the nut, not the wheel. I'll work on being more specific.

    The original stud spins in the hole, and without knowing which part is damaged, you think slapping a new stud with some JB Weld on it is the answer?

    So, if you took your car into a shop to have this work done and they told you they did the JB weld repair you'd be happy about it?
    You go to but a used car and they tell you a wheel stud is JB Welded in place. You'd be ok with that?
    Seriously?
     
  10. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I am a consultant for the aerospace industry. You'd be surprised on how much of the industry has "glued" components together ever since the days of the DE Havilland Comet, the first jet airliner. Rivets create stress risers. Glues like epoxides spread the stress over large surfaces. I recommended JB Weld, because it is readily available to all. I have special Loctite sleeve setting compounds used in the aerospace industry.

    The "glue" is only a gap filler. The stud retains all of its tensile strength.

    More and more cars age "glued" even high end super sports cars.

    Carbon fiber and fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) are basically "glued" together fibers.
     
    #10 Georgina Rudkus, Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    This guy drills it out, through cap of the lug nut, with progressively bigger bits. This will work, won't damage the rim either (if you're careful. When you've drilled a large enough diameter hole, the remaining material of the stud is pushing outwards less too: if you then hit it hard-and-fast with an impact you might not need to completely drill it out.

     
  12. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    You'd have to use "cobalt" HSS drill bits that are hard enough to drill through the hardened high carbon 10.9 ISO grade steel.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Maybe my plan A?

    OP only has an electric impact: a shop with a heavy duty air impact may be able to jitter it loose, then with the wheel off press out the stud and so on.
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I know this isn't a suggestion for the current poster, but so far I find with my own that with twice-yearly tire rotation, my lug nuts are never anything but perfectly well behaved when I go to take them off. That's in Indiana, where road salt does happen.

    Only place I ever put antiseize is, with a little jeweler's screwdriver, a little dab in the gap between the base of each nut and its own captive steel washer. None ever gets on the wheel or the stud. The antiseize between the nut and washer means the washer stays nice and stationary against the wheel, not marring it, and the nut turns easily above the washer. Sort of what you hope a washer will do.
     
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  15. StarCaller

    StarCaller Senior Member

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    kinda odd, but true /
    I went all the years with the recommendation from the pocket ref book (& probably still will....) /
    permatex torque value.JPG

    refB.jpg
     
    #15 StarCaller, Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  16. pingd

    pingd Member

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    Final Update: Did not have time to work on this so drove around with all seasons in the rear and winters in the front for a few weeks.
    Handled decently with conservative driving.

    Ended up taking it to an independent garage who used a big air impact and the lug nut just came off without any problems.
    But when I put the log nut back on with the winter tire+rim ...found that the LUG NUT was stripped/cross threaded (i.e. misinterpreted grinding noise as striped wheel stud splines when it was in fact a stripped lug nut).

    As advised by Georgina and Mendel, put a little anti-seize on.

    Thanks to everyone for their advice - was tempted to drill it out myself but because it was the stock wheels with recessed holes - decided to go with the pros that had a tool like this if needed (1:30 in video):


    Next tool purchase must be a more powerful cordless impact - Dewalt DCF899P2 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2" Impact Wrench (700 ft-lbs of max fastening torque and 1200 ft-lbs of max breakaway torque)($189USD bare tool) - wow!
     
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  17. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    You are not supposed to use anything on the nut or stud.
    Things like this happen because the clown using the air gun has it at the highest setting
    and put a few hundred foot pounds of torque on the poor nut, melting it to the stud.
    I have a 2 foot breaker bar and 6 foot pipe I used to remove those. Usually having someone
    stand/bounce on it while smacking it with a hammer. I've never had to drill then out though.
    Afterward, both stud and bolt were replaced then PROPERLY torqued!

    Walfart is very bad at this. They air gun it down, then BOUNCE on the torque wrench 3 separate times!
    It usually takes over 300 foot pounds for me to loosen them so I can correctly torque them to 76ft#'s!
     
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