I want to replace the rotors on my '06 Grand Caravan, but the stock lugnuts have that metal cover on the nuts and either my impact socket is worn or ? and I've ripped the cover off. I peened the remaining metal off the flats and tried a smaller socket, but that rounded off the nut corners. With my alloy wheels, the nut is back in the wheel's counterbores, so no visegrips there.
Any suggestions? I'm taking it to the shop this week for a "medium emissions collection leak" and they can do it, but I like to do what I can myself.
If you can cut a notch in the end of the nut facing you and use an impact chisel to spin it, that'll get it off. Or, sacrifice a socket thats one size too small - hammer it onto the lug, spin it off, put the socket in a bench vise, and punch the nut out.
I just replaced all my lug nuts with solid stainless steel ones. $30. Plus $100 in labor, by the shop that wrecked them on one wheel so bad they had to use a torch and chisel on 3 of them.
The last penny they got from me. I didn't mind buying new lug nuts to replace them all after they torqued them on so badly I had no chance to remove the buggered stock ones. Miffed, but I'm angry they then charged labor. Took 3 hours.
I might be wrong to feel that way, but the wheel whose nuts were worst was the driver's front, which they wanted to change the wheel bearing for $500. I told them I'd get back to them, didn't have the funds that day ( true ). When I went to look at it myself, 3 of 5 nuts were tighter than 200 foot pounds and I had loosened one fine but #2 was wrecked. That's when I brought it back, upset. They initially blamed me of using a 12 point socket & being an idiot. Nope. I used proper tools and my buddy, a licenced School Bus mechanic.
They had so over tightened 3 it took them hours to fix!
The standard nut breaker tool won't work on my alloy rims.
I suggest strongly replacing all the OEM nuts. To pay someone else is your choice.
I also had to beat the rotor off with a sledge and a block of wood.
That's after they did the lug nut job. They had convinced me not to trust them with the wheel bearing change.
I used Lubriplate on all mating surfaces to prevent everything freezing solid.
I know that ( from looking it up after a previous thread here on using assembly lube or never -sieze on lug nuts ) the manufacturer calls for dry. Bull. I live in Salt rust central. I've never had a problem when I used never-sieze. And have had to use sledge hammers to remove wheels when I didn't lube them myself. ( when they & other local shops changed wheels for rotation, or new tires )
I have to admit, I'm torn on using anti-seize on lug nuts. The torque spec provided is with them clean and dry. Then in the real world the rust in place. Any lube you apply will significantly alter the clamping force for any torque spec. This can, and does lead to broken studs and warped rotors.
Any shop that hammers them tight with an impact wrench should never be visited again IMO. I would much prefer them using the German gutentight method with a breaker bar.
Both my cars have fairly new rotors and both are warped and now need replacing, since I'm trying to sell them. On this Dodge, to get the others off, I had to stand (250#) on my 30" breaker bar to move them.
To be clear, I used Lubriplate because my buddy the professional had it. I normally use Permatex brand anti-sieze silver. A dab on every lug nut, and I paint it on the locating ring on the hub to ease rotor removal. And every mating surface that freezes solid from the hub-out. If I had tires changed, I would go home, Jack it up, and remove each wheel to apply my magic elixir.
You can tell it's the best because it won't come off your hands!
Oh it will move to any clothing or clean surface in sight, but magically your hands won't wipe clean on a mundane shop towel!
But for a year, illness and injury excuses, I just let the shop do all the work and have paid dearly for my laziness.
I've been using anti-seize on studs for eons. I've never damaged a wheel, stud or had one come off. I also use a torque wrench and use 70 - 75 ft./lbs of torque. In fact I rarely put nuts or bolts on dry. It's either loc-tite or anti-seize. I really hate galling! The smoke wrench makes a mess!
I often got called on the wrecker truck to a car with a flat that couldn't get a lug nut off that was rounded. I had old sockets in a box. I would hammer on a socket that was too small and use a breaker bar instead of the impact driver to remove the nut after they signed a damage waiver. If it had more than one bad nut, I towed them to a shop. Let me look for a second and I'll show you the tool I never got around to buying. It is what I would use on my own:
You can find charts showing the holding force for a given size fastener at a given torque, with and without oil. Some give values with never seize as well. Summary is that the never seize only adds a few more pounds of pressure. You could calculate back what you need for a final torque to get the correct pressure.
Torquing lugs too tight can cause a wave type of distortion in the rotors. You normally find this from shoos that don't torque and just use the impact to tighten everything.
I called the shop that the day before had quoted me to replace the wheel bearing, and I declined because I didn't want to spend that much until next pay day.
The mechanic obviously hammered 3 of the 5 down so hard they couldn't remove them.
The pot metal capped lug nuts deserve their own rant. Special place in hell for the managers who chose to make cars with them. Oh, perhaps not for eternity. Just until they remove a few thousand over tightened, bunged up fake chrome capped lug nuts with their fingers and teeth. And a Chinese bad copy of a Crescent Wrench that you have to hold the thumb wheel to keep from spreading.
When I showed up at my buddies house, I spun the first lug nut off, normal. #2 wouldn't move. My buddy stood on his Snap-on breaker bar and bounced. No go. That's when I called the shop, and complained. The owner ( a normally nice guy ) told me I must have been using a 12 point & didn't know what I was doing.
When I got to the shop, he did apologize, said he didn't recognize my name ( a regular ) and everyone else was at lunch. So he came out with his big breaker bar, easily spun off the one I had already removed, then failed on the next 3, completely.
Just the one wheel the mechanic was told to just put back on & may have been annoyed at that but there is no way I or any AAA guy could have changed a flat or done any work on that wheel.
I too have had ham fisted jerks crank the crap out of them with an air impact. The first time I had a flat tire it was everything I had to break it loose. I always asked for a torque wrench after that, and I'd watch them!
Never used an impact gun, never will. I do 95% of any auto repair needed. If one of my vehicles needs tires, I remove the wheels and bring them to the shop. I've dealt with too many WAY over tightened lugs.
Being a professional, in a non rust area, I use used motor oil on the threads. True manufacturers recommend none. Here we deal more with brake dust and fine crud.
I could wire brush the threads, but that usually cannot be done until after the wheel is off. Then the nut threads are loaded. So I give them a drop or two before removing.
I lived in the NE rust belt. I used a lot of neverseze there.
Stainless lugs bother me. You will probably need to avoid spinning them off with any impact wrench and clean and relube whenever you remove them. Stainless threads gall and bind together easily. I would keep the steel and neverseze.
Bolts and nuts work together by leverage and stretching and hold together by friction surface ramps of the threads. Stainless threads do not have near as much of a stretch threshold before they crack and fail compared to steel.
Any place you have a tire removed in the future be sure to warn them of the stainless lug nuts.
I little Kroil works wonders. Not including a link so pick it up at your choice of vendors. Was pulling some upper control arms out once and even with the portapower wasn't having it. Kroil, overnight, and literally one side came out by hand. Usually 5 minutes on a bolt will suffice.
I was looking through my chemical tools, to see what I needed to replace or refill. I'm out of anti-seize, good on loctite blue, and still have half a tube of Torque Seal (yellow).
Pretty sure the anti-seize got "loaned" so I'll get fresh. I still have a stick of the spark plug version.
My philosophy is "if I want to remove it, anti-seize. If I don't want it to fall off, loctite."
but there are exceptions.. ARP engine fasteners & studs get ARP lube as directed. Aviation AN fasteners get "best practice" per FAR or Mil or sometimes " we know better". ( which could be hubris or updated chemistry ) Some of the specified chemicals are no longer available in the evil version that worked, and the eco-friendly stuff doesn't. ( gasoline just ain't the same as 1964 )
Happily, some eco-friendly chemicals are far superior than the old stuff. Fabric covering airplane stuff has come a long way from WW1 stuff, ( many folk poisoned ) And the latest is safe to use in your living room without a mask. But don't mix systems unless you know what you're doing, or it can kill you later.
Don't get me going on paint!
And I have used a lot of key ring type safety pins on aviation bolts where the old diaper safety pins may snag & come off. That's not just my experience, it's also decades of accident analysis. ( unlike most activities, skydiving and hang gliding publish accident reports in their official magazines. Learn from other's mistakes is a harsh but important thing. I made sure my relatives didn't see those issues. )