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Old 02-07-2020, 11:03 PM
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Do not overtighten? How the hell do I know if I did?


I installed a new toilet today, and the instructions say for the mounting bolts "Do not overtighten".

How the hell do I know if they're overtightened or not? What qualifies as tight?

I ran into the same problem when I tried installing new shutoff valves for a sink. The instructions made it clear that if I overtightened the fittings on the copper pipes, I could damage the pipes and possibly lead to an expensive repair job to replace the pipes. I installed the valves, cranked them down tight, but could not stop them leaking. I called a plumber, and he just grabbed a wrench and really cranked them down. I could have done that, but I was afraid of making things worse.

So how the hell am I expected to know if I'm tightening things to the danger point or not?

Last edited by Patch; 02-07-2020 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:53 PM
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Hand tighten, and maybe a quarter turn with a wrench after that.

If the porcelain cracks, you've gone too far
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:53 PM
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The simplest answer? Practice - lots of practice.

It all depends upon what is being tightened - the material, the type of fixture, etc - there is no "one rule".

Car parts for example - like lug nuts or mounting bolts - will have specific measurements (tighten to x foot pounds) that you can use a tool (torque wrench) to help you measure.

As a general rule- tighten to hand tight (what you can get without putting muscle into it ) and then add a 'quarter turn' more.

Or until you hear it cracking - or you see the metal deforming - then STOP - but its already too late.

Thats where the practice comes in.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:16 AM
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Yeah, that's a horseshit tip. Because once you've over tightened it, it's usually worthless, and there's no going back.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:22 AM
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Perhaps pay someone to install it?

It costs money, but you have peace of mind.

Last edited by glee; 02-08-2020 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:51 AM
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For the first time in many years I had to change a tire on my car. I had my son do it; he'd never done it before.

The lug nuts didn't turn with the lug wrench, even after squirting some WD-40. I told him to gently tap the end of the lug wrench with a hammer while I held its socket in place. That didn't work. Harder. That didn't work. I started whacking with the hammer as hard as I could. Finally I got the nuts to turn.
Were the lug nuts too tight?
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:13 AM
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For any precision stuff, you use a torque wrench. Most of the cheap (but quality) ones are the click type where you set a max torque and then it will disengage once you reach that point.

For toilets and such you want to go hand tight, maybe a little more. You just don't want to wrench on it with tools as hard as you can. In most cases it's designed to be forgiving and you don't have a small window of safety.
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
The lug nuts didn't turn with the lug wrench, even after squirting some WD-40. I told him to gently tap the end of the lug wrench with a hammer while I held its socket in place. That didn't work. Harder. That didn't work. I started whacking with the hammer as hard as I could. Finally I got the nuts to turn.
Were the lug nuts too tight?
It is not evidence of overtightening per se. Road crud and grease builds up, etc.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:39 AM
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I once overtightened the bolts holding the toilet tank to the toilet bowl and cracked the tank in two. Much hilarity ensued as the float valve insisted on trying to fill the tank.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:52 AM
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With wheel-nuts, the usual problem is that some lazy fitter used a power tool to tighten them. Add in a few years out there on the wheel and they can be very hard to release.

Any time you take your car in for a tyre change, look up the torque and make sure that the fitter does it right. Some of them don't actually know how to use a torque wrench - a favourite is to make it 'click' once, and then again for luck.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:37 AM
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I always keep a 3 foot steel tube in the car next to the wheel wrench. You can slide it over the wrench to provide an extension that will give you more leverage. If that doesn't work, stand on the lever and gently jump up and down.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:59 AM
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I think these warnings are not actual instructions, they are historical clues. Somebody designed something inherently prone to stripped threads, bent or cracked parts, et cetera. When the warranty returns started, their reaction was to add this label, hoping people would tighten less and fewer products would be damaged.

They should cut to the chase and say, "We admit it. This design is a bit wrong. Tighten to ___ torque."

Or perhaps just say "Tighten less than enough."
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:13 AM
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Legend has it that the torque spec on the head bolts of a Harley Davidson reads, "Tighten it until it strips, then back it off a quarter turn."
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:00 AM
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How the hell do I know if they're overtightened or not?
Oh, you'll know.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:00 AM
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Legend has it that the torque spec on the head bolts of a Harley Davidson reads, "Tighten it until it strips, then back it off a quarter turn."
Only a knucklehead would say such a thing.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:23 AM
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With wheel-nuts, the usual problem is that some lazy fitter used a power tool to tighten them. Add in a few years out there on the wheel and they can be very hard to release.

Any time you take your car in for a tyre change, look up the torque and make sure that the fitter does it right. Some of them don't actually know how to use a torque wrench - a favourite is to make it 'click' once, and then again for luck.
It's not laziness. No garage has time to fool around with a lug nut wrench. They use air tools to mount tires, which, even when set properly, usually tighten the nuts to a point where they're difficult to remove with the lug wrench provided with most cars. That's why a lot of folks buy a 4-way wrench for their cars, which allows more torque to be applied.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
I installed a new toilet today, and the instructions say for the mounting bolts "Do not overtighten".

How the hell do I know if they're overtightened or not? What qualifies as tight?

I ran into the same problem when I tried installing new shutoff valves for a sink.
In my DIY achievements and travails I've found that a much more vexing issue with connections under water main pressure than other things. For toilet mounting as others mentioned, hand tight, and there's really not much downside if it isn't quite as tight as it could be without breaking anything.

For lines under water pressure I've often had your experience, you tighten up new fittings quite a lot...and they still leak. There isn't much choice then but to tighten them till they don't. And if there isn't a shut off valve upstream of what I'm working on but downstream of the main valve for the house, then I am still more inclined to call a plumber. Fortunately whoever completely redid our 119 yr old house's plumbing around 40 yrs ago put in a fair number of branch shut offs, and I've had plumbers put in more in the 25+yrs we've been here, to facilitate DIY'ing it next time. I'm OK if I break something and have to start over every once in a while...as long as that doesn't mean no water in the house meantime.

On car wheel nuts I do it to spec with torque wrench if I'm changing a tire or switching sets (summer and winter for one of our cars, other has all seasons). Of course like everyone else I find that nuts put on at a garage or even dealer under warranty are often *way* over torqued, but the automotive world goes on.

Last edited by Corry El; 02-08-2020 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:57 AM
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Of course like everyone else I find that nuts put on at a garage or even dealer under warranty are often *way* over torqued, but the automotive world goes on.
Once I bought new tires at a tire shop, and when I went to pick it up the car was missing a lug nut. The reason it was missing it because most of the stud was missing. No one at the shop said a thing. I was pissed off when I spoke with the manager. Look, I understand that wheel studs break, I have broken more than a few myself. But they are so damned easy to change why the hell didn't you do it? Did you really think that I wasn't going to notice?
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:04 PM
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Not that it excuses over torquing lug nuts, but they should be re-torqued after 100 miles to account for some stretching, and there's not one in ten drivers that are going to do that, so the installers may be figuring a little too tight is better than a lot too loose.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:49 PM
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I always keep a 3 foot steel tube in the car next to the wheel wrench. You can slide it over the wrench to provide an extension that will give you more leverage.
Excellent advice. I've had the same one since 1994. I love low tech.
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Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
With wheel-nuts, the usual problem is that some lazy fitter used a power tool to tighten them. Add in a few years out there on the wheel and they can be very hard to release.

Any time you take your car in for a tyre change, look up the torque and make sure that the fitter does it right. Some of them don't actually know how to use a torque wrench - a favourite is to make it 'click' once, and then again for luck.
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
It's not laziness. No garage has time to fool around with a lug nut wrench. They use air tools to mount tires, which, even when set properly, usually tighten the nuts to a point where they're difficult to remove with the lug wrench provided with most cars. That's why a lot of folks buy a 4-way wrench[/URL] for their cars, which allows more torque to be applied.
I've worked in a garage. It's laziness. The manager was always on us to get the torque wrench, and I was the only one who ever did. I had several "Good job!" notes in my file, because customers who knew one thing from another had mentioned what a good thing it was that I was getting the torque wrench.

Anyway, as to the directions that say "don't overtighten," I Google. You can often find specs online. They're not printed on the directions, because they change.

However, if you can't find any, the rule that you handtighten it until it's work, then one quarter turn more is what I would have said.

For car wheels, I can be more specific. 76 ft-lbs for Toyotas, including trucks. Otherwise, 100 ft-lbs for cars, 120 for trucks. Or for a car with very large tires 15, 16 or 17 dia. and drum brakes, 110 ft-lbs.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:22 PM
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Back in the mid-1970's, when flat tires were a lot more common and blatant sexism wasn't usually even called that, a friend and I had a flat on a back road and couldn't get the tire off. I know we jumped on the lug wrench. I think we put a cheater pipe on it and jumped on that. We eventually gave up, got to a phone, and called a service station.

The man who came out took one look at us and said (probably not these exact words, but certainly this exact sense): 'Hmmph. Girls! Of course you can't get the lug nuts off!'

It was worth paying to have the car hauled in to someplace with a power wrench in order to be able to laugh at him when he couldn't get them off either.
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:48 PM
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I always keep a 3 foot steel tube in the car next to the wheel wrench. You can slide it over the wrench to provide an extension that will give you more leverage. If that doesn't work, stand on the lever and gently jump up and down.
I've always used a car jack to break nuts -- just put the jack under the wheel wrench and jack up until the nut loosens.

Until the last time, when I was barefoot and didn't have any extra tools in the car. When I discovered that the supplied wheel wrench - only about 14 inches long -- was actually part of the supplied car jack, and no extender was supplied either.

And I didn't have my phone with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag Otto View Post
Once I bought new tires at a tire shop, and when I went to pick it up the car was missing a lug nut.
My dad picked up the car from the tire shop, and, after driving a while, realized that the jangling noise was a loose wheel nut rattling inside the hub cap.

Last edited by Melbourne; 02-08-2020 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:46 PM
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Also, remember the possibility of left-handed threads on wheel lug nuts...check which way the threads are going.....
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
In my DIY achievements and travails I've found that a much more vexing issue with connections under water main pressure than other things. For toilet mounting as others mentioned, hand tight, and there's really not much downside if it isn't quite as tight as it could be without breaking anything.

For lines under water pressure I've often had your experience, you tighten up new fittings quite a lot...and they still leak. There isn't much choice then but to tighten them till they don't. And if there isn't a shut off valve upstream of what I'm working on but downstream of the main valve for the house, then I am still more inclined to call a plumber. Fortunately whoever completely redid our 119 yr old house's plumbing around 40 yrs ago put in a fair number of branch shut offs, and I've had plumbers put in more in the 25+yrs we've been here, to facilitate DIY'ing it next time. I'm OK if I break something and have to start over every once in a while...as long as that doesn't mean no water in the house meantime.

On car wheel nuts I do it to spec with torque wrench if I'm changing a tire or switching sets (summer and winter for one of our cars, other has all seasons). Of course like everyone else I find that nuts put on at a garage or even dealer under warranty are often *way* over torqued, but the automotive world goes on.
Plumbers tape - use plumbers tape on the threads - it helps seal the connection and doesn't require to overtighten the connection.

But yeah - thats one of those that at times its "tighten until it doesn't leak" -
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:03 PM
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... remember the possibility of left-handed threads on wheel lug nuts ...
Googling suggests the last time this was in common use was the early 1970s, on Chrysler vehicles.

As for torque wrenches: much handier than the "traditional" version is a digital torque adapter - converts any ratchet into a versatile torque wrench.
  #25  
Old 02-09-2020, 06:58 PM
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Oh, you'll know.
That's what worries me...
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:25 PM
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Once I bought new tires at a tire shop, and when I went to pick it up the car was missing a lug nut. The reason it was missing it because most of the stud was missing. No one at the shop said a thing. I was pissed off when I spoke with the manager. Look, I understand that wheel studs break, I have broken more than a few myself. But they are so damned easy to change why the hell didn't you do it? Did you really think that I wasn't going to notice?
Not all wheel studs are easy to change. For my old 2002 Accord you either have to grind down one side and finagle it into the hub, which makes it a lousy repair, or you have to pull the wheel hub, which is such a cast-iron bitch that you essentially have to change the bearing, and by that point you may as well rebuild the entire steering knuckle.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:00 PM
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Only a knucklehead would say such a thing.
I'm sorry you felt the need to pan my post.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:09 PM
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I'm sorry you felt the need to pan my post.
Go ahead, shovel on the guilt.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:16 PM
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I'm sorry you felt the need to pan my post.
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Go ahead, shovel on the guilt.
Flat out uncalled for.
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Old 02-09-2020, 11:52 PM
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The evolution of this thread has taken an unexpected turn.

I got nothing more.
  #31  
Old 02-10-2020, 04:46 AM
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Not that it excuses over torquing lug nuts, but they should be re-torqued after 100 miles to account for some stretching, and there's not one in ten drivers that are going to do that, so the installers may be figuring a little too tight is better than a lot too loose.
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
I've worked in a garage. It's laziness. The manager was always on us to get the torque wrench, and I was the only one who ever did. I had several "Good job!" notes in my file, because customers who knew one thing from another had mentioned what a good thing it was that I was getting the torque wrench.
I used to be very scornful of tire fitters who just whaled on the air wrench, but after doing my own winter/summer tire changes for a few years I find that quite often a correctly-torqued wheelnut is finger loose when re-torquing.

If a busy tire shop or tire hotel does thousands of wheel changes every season, and maybe 80-90% of them never see a wrench until the next season, torquing to the right spec would seem statistically certain to have a wheel come loose now and then.

So I can certainly understand why someone might choose to simultaneously cut down on the risk of that happening while also saving a couple of minutes per car, even if it means screwing up the odd nut, lug or bolt here and there. It will piss off the odd customer here and there, but having a wheel come loose at highway speed will likely generate a lot more negative word of mouth.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:53 AM
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Decades ago a friend was driving across Canadia, when he got a flat tire. He put on his mini spare and bought a new tire at the next town. Miles later the wheel with the new tire fell off the car and rolled down a hill.

He hiked down the hill, retrieved his wheel, then put it back on the car, stealing a lug nut from each of the remaining three wheels. So, too loose is just as bad or even worse than too tight.

Also on that drive his windshield wiper motor died. He took the bootlaces off his and his wife's boots, tied them all together, and fashioned a manual windshield wiping device.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:54 AM
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Anyway, as to the directions that say "don't overtighten," I Google. You can often find specs online. They're not printed on the directions, because they change.

However, if you can't find any, the rule that you handtighten it until it's work, then one quarter turn more is what I would have said.

For car wheels, I can be more specific. 76 ft-lbs for Toyotas, including trucks. Otherwise, 100 ft-lbs for cars, 120 for trucks. Or for a car with very large tires 15, 16 or 17 dia. and drum brakes, 110 ft-lbs.
The owner's manual (generally sold with the car, kept in the glovebox) usually includes instructions for changing tires, including a tightening torque spec for the lug nuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Septimus
The lug nuts didn't turn with the lug wrench, even after squirting some WD-40. I told him to gently tap the end of the lug wrench with a hammer while I held its socket in place. That didn't work. Harder. That didn't work. I started whacking with the hammer as hard as I could. Finally I got the nuts to turn.
Were the lug nuts too tight?
If the last person to install the wheel was a professional mechanic who was out of your sight when he did it, then yes, it was probably tightened too tight using an impact wrench. Add in a couple of years in a northern climate for a bit of rust to set in, and those things can be a bear to remove.

I'll note that WD-40 isn't the best penetrating agent for loosening rusty nuts. A guy did a couple of YouTube videos with pretty solid tests of several penetrating agents and found that WD-40 was in the bottom half of the group in one test, and dead last in the other test. You can watch the entire videos if you want (they're interesting and well-made), but the charts of results can be found as follows:

Video #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUEob2oAKVs (go to 8:33)
Video #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st8dkGzJWtg (go to 10:01)
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:42 PM
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>> "Do not overtighten"

I typically interpret this as hand tighten it. Use it a few days. If it's too loose then it's under-tightened. So hand tighten it, then add a scosh more. Let it be used a few more days. If it doesn't come loose then it's good and forget about it.

>> Lug nuts

I put a very large wrench with a span of 1 or 2 feet onto these, then push like mad or even step on the end to loosen lug nuts. They're supposed to be very tight, like 75 to 90 ft-lb. So standing on the end of a 1 ft wrench with about half your body weight in order to loosen the nut is indeed what this means.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:02 PM
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I've always used a car jack to break nuts -- just put the jack under the wheel wrench and jack up until the nut loosens.
I need to remember that!
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:15 PM
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Not all wheel studs are easy to change. For my old 2002 Accord you either have to grind down one side and finagle it into the hub, which makes it a lousy repair, or you have to pull the wheel hub, which is such a cast-iron bitch that you essentially have to change the bearing, and by that point you may as well rebuild the entire steering knuckle.
I've done it on my 91 Ranger and a 2001 Hyundai Accent, both were easy. But my current daily driver is a 2001 Accord, which is one I haven't had the pleasure of a stud replacement. Thanks for the warning, I'll be careful.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:00 AM
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>> Lug nuts

I put a very large wrench with a span of 1 or 2 feet onto these, then push like mad or even step on the end to loosen lug nuts.
That sounds like hard work, I bought a cheap 36-inch breaker bar for the initial quarter-turn on stubborn nuts, does them one-handed. Then the rest can be done with a speed brace or electric driver, and a torque wrench for the last tighten.

One conclusion from all this is that the little wrenches and 4-ways you normally get in OEM car kits are pretty worthless. My wife is 5ft nothing and she is supposed to pop the wheel loose with a 1 foot wrench-jack-handle thing? I don't think so.
I got a reasonable quality extending wheel wrench with an appropriate socket for not much money and put it with the spare wheel.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:08 AM
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That sounds like hard work, I bought a cheap 36-inch breaker bar for the initial quarter-turn on stubborn nuts, does them one-handed. Then the rest can be done with a speed brace or electric driver, and a torque wrench for the last tighten.

One conclusion from all this is that the little wrenches and 4-ways you normally get in OEM car kits are pretty worthless. My wife is 5ft nothing and she is supposed to pop the wheel loose with a 1 foot wrench-jack-handle thing? I don't think so.
I got a reasonable quality extending wheel wrench with an appropriate socket for not much money and put it with the spare wheel.
There’s a certain conceit I think in that if all of the manufacturer’s instructions regarding maintenance, including tire rotation interval, published torque specs, proper lug nut and stud cleaning, and so on are followed exactly then the hand tools included in the spare tire kit will be sufficient for the average person. Despite there being no one place those are all called out as being essential to using the kit successfully.

A lot of late model cars have replaced the spare tire kit with an air pump and can of sealant, probably partially in recognition of consumer expectations regarding (in)ability to change a spare tire without add-on tools. The rest of the reason being cost and weight.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:11 AM
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I'll note that WD-40 isn't the best penetrating agent for loosening rusty nuts. A guy did a couple of YouTube videos with pretty solid tests of several penetrating agents and found that WD-40 was in the bottom half of the group in one test, and dead last in the other test.
To be fair, WD-40 isn't advertised as a penetrating agent, just a water displacing, general lubricant. In my experience of working on rusty, Maine cars, the best commercial product I've used is Mopar rust penetrant. Nobody knows rusty parts like Mopar.

https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Chrys.../dp/B00BV4DBAU

If you're feeling particularly handy, you can make your own solution using a 1:1 mix of ATF (automatic transmission fluid) and acetone. It's a little more trouble and a bit messier, but very effective.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:23 AM
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If you're feeling particularly handy, you can make your own solution using a 1:1 mix of ATF (automatic transmission fluid) and acetone. It's a little more trouble and a bit messier, but very effective.
Acetone/ATF actually scored pretty highly in the videos I linked to, bested only by Liquid Wrench and by heating with a torch.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:26 AM
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A flat tire is one reason we have AAA membership. If my car is in our garage with a flat, I'll use my floor-jack and tools to change it myself. If I'm out and about, I call AAA.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:38 AM
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There’s a certain conceit I think in that if all of the manufacturer’s instructions regarding maintenance, including tire rotation interval, published torque specs, proper lug nut and stud cleaning, and so on are followed exactly then the hand tools included in the spare tire kit will be sufficient for the average person. Despite there being no one place those are all called out as being essential to using the kit successfully.
That's maybe part of it, along with manufacturers experiences that it's an area where they can shave a couple bucks off a couple million cars without generating too many complaints. As well as....
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A lot of late model cars have replaced the spare tire kit with an air pump and can of sealant, probably partially in recognition of consumer expectations regarding (in)ability to change a spare tire without add-on tools. The rest of the reason being cost and weight.
I get the feeling that in the last couple decades preparations for a puncture have become almost vestigial, in that they really don't happen so much anymore. Modern tires are pretty damn good and punctures are a pretty rare and unusual event. So spare tires have migrated to ever more out of the way and inaccessible parts of the vehicle, shrunk, and the accompanying tools have withered into an almost token gesture.
To be fair to the manufacturers I haven't experienced a puncture in many many years, but I'm a bit obsessive since we live in in a fairly rural area where roadside assistance could take a while.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:54 AM
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A flat tire is one reason we have AAA membership. If my car is in our garage with a flat, I'll use my floor-jack and tools to change it myself. If I'm out and about, I call AAA.
About ten years ago I got a flat tire on the highway. Wife wanted to let AAA handle it, but they were going to take 25 minutes just to show up, plus however long it would have taken them to actually change the tire (or tow me to a shop). I changed it myself in about ten minutes and we went on our way.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:15 AM
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About ten years ago I got a flat tire on the highway. Wife wanted to let AAA handle it, but they were going to take 25 minutes just to show up, plus however long it would have taken them to actually change the tire (or tow me to a shop). I changed it myself in about ten minutes and we went on our way.
I've called AAA three times in the past twenty years. Once for a vehicle that just died. They arrived promptly and took the car and me to my mechanic. Once for a flat tire in below-zero weather and I didn't have a coat. The AAA guy arrived in ten minutes and changed the tire (I tipped $20). Once for a dead battery. He was going to jump start me but I bought a battery instead, as my battery was >6 years old.

I've never waited over ten minutes.

My gf called AAA once when she locked her only set of keys in her farm truck. He arrived promptly, popped open the door and was gone, all in a few minutes.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:51 AM
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Not all wheel studs are easy to change. For my old 2002 Accord you either have to grind down one side and finagle it into the hub, which makes it a lousy repair, or you have to pull the wheel hub, which is such a cast-iron bitch that you essentially have to change the bearing, and by that point you may as well rebuild the entire steering knuckle.
Ever changed a tire on a German car? lug bolts.

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Decades ago .... -snip-

his windshield wiper motor died. He took the bootlaces off his and his wife's boots, tied them all together, and fashioned a manual windshield wiping device.
If it really was decades ago, and his car was old at that time, I'm going to guess that he had a vacuum-driven wiper motor, not an electric one. I had one of those on my '61 Ford. The vacuum tubes get old, and either crack, or collapse, and then air doesn't pass through them, and the motor doesn't operate. It's far, far more likely for the tubes to go bad than for the motor to.
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Last edited by RivkahChaya; 02-11-2020 at 09:52 AM. Reason: image
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:06 AM
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Ever changed a tire on a German car? lug bolts.
I've never owned a German car, though I got close to buying a Boxster once. How are lug bolts superior? It seems like it's harder to align the wheel when remounting it. One common reason to change a stud is that a cross-threaded lug nut damaged the threads on the nut and the stud (probably the second most common after too frequent over-tightening of the lug nuts fatigues the stud, which just snaps off when you are removing the nut). If you cross-thread a lug bolt, you'll damage the thread in the hub, which is way more expensive to replace than a common stud. I don't see how lug bolts are better.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:48 AM
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I've never owned a German car, though I got close to buying a Boxster once. How are lug bolts superior? It seems like it's harder to align the wheel when remounting it. One common reason to change a stud is that a cross-threaded lug nut damaged the threads on the nut and the stud (probably the second most common after too frequent over-tightening of the lug nuts fatigues the stud, which just snaps off when you are removing the nut). If you cross-thread a lug bolt, you'll damage the thread in the hub, which is way more expensive to replace than a common stud. I don't see how lug bolts are better.
I have a German car. Although it is true aligning the wheel may be slightly harder (there is a little rod in the kit that screws into the hub to give an alignment reference if you want), if a lug bolt snaps off due to overtorquing and isn’t cross threaded it is easier to drill out or unthread the remaining bolt from the wheel flange than replace a stud. IMO, though, the differences between working with bolts and studs are largely equivocal.

Last edited by Cleophus; 02-11-2020 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:19 PM
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If it really was decades ago, and his car was old at that time, I'm going to guess that he had a vacuum-driven wiper motor, not an electric one. I had one of those on my '61 Ford. The vacuum tubes get old, and either crack, or collapse, and then air doesn't pass through them, and the motor doesn't operate. It's far, far more likely for the tubes to go bad than for the motor to.
I drove a 66 Bronco in high school. Engine vacuum decreases as you open the throttle, so when the snow was too heavy I would have to get off the gas to get the wipers going. The Bronco was way underpowered to begin with, so getting off the gas every 10 seconds or so slowed me considerably. I guess it was an unintended safety feature - you couldn't speed when it was snowing if you wanted to see where you were going. But the heater was as underpowered as the engine, so going slow just prolonged the freezing agony. And heaven help you if you needed to jump out and crawl underneath to fix the column shift linkage. Always had some baling wire handy driving old Fords.

Cars were much more fun back then. And you could turn on each wiper individually.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cleophus View Post
I have a German car. Although it is true aligning the wheel may be slightly harder (there is a little rod in the kit that screws into the hub to give an alignment reference if you want), if a lug bolt snaps off due to overtorquing and isn’t cross threaded it is easier to drill out or unthread the remaining bolt from the wheel flange than replace a stud. IMO, though, the differences between working with bolts and studs are largely equivocal.
After repeated tire changes the threads can get worn. When the threads on a nut get worn you can toss it and put on a new one. If you're screwing a bolt in over and over again and the internal threads get worn you have a lot of not very good options. You can drill it out and retap for a an oversize bolt, you can drill it out and press in a plug which you then weld in and drill and tap for the appropriate bolt, or you can helicoil the damn thing. The right thing to do is to drill it out and press in a plug, but that's a huge nuisance.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:35 PM
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I drove a 66 Bronco in high school. Engine vacuum decreases as you open the throttle, so when the snow was too heavy I would have to get off the gas to get the wipers going. The Bronco was way underpowered to begin with, so getting off the gas every 10 seconds or so slowed me considerably. I guess it was an unintended safety feature - you couldn't speed when it was snowing if you wanted to see where you were going. But the heater was as underpowered as the engine, so going slow just prolonged the freezing agony. And heaven help you if you needed to jump out and crawl underneath to fix the column shift linkage. Always had some baling wire handy driving old Fords.

Cars were much more fun back then. And you could turn on each wiper individually.
My '41 Plymouth had vacuum wipers. I always said that anyone who tried to drive uphill in the rain was just asking for trouble anyway.
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