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How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 11:30 AM

I'm just curious how you all remove the lug nuts when you detail, and wish to address the inner barrels, etc. I was contemplating on buying a set of sockets from Griot's garage that are coated to avoid damaging the nuts, but then I got to thinking there has got to be an easier way. There is nothing I hate more than having the tires rotated, and having the mechanic ding the rim, or screw up the nut finish. Here is a link to the Griot's garage item I was referring to:
Protective Socket Set - Ratchets & Wrenches - Hand Tools - Tools - Griot's Garage
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 11:45 AM

I only do my own and only remove wheels to do brake work or rotate tires, but regular six point sockets seem to work pretty good.
I wonder how long the protective coating on the sockets will last.

One thing to keep in mind is the tightening of the lug nuts on reinstallation. They should be torqued to a recommended value. I think the aluminum wheels on both of our Pontiacs are to be torqued to 100 ft./lbs.
That's probably a common number, but I do know the tire shop I go to has a reference book that has those values listed. The guys there do look it up each time. Probably because the boss insists on it.
Personally, I wouldn't want to take the responsibility for damaging someone's wheels or possibly being blamed for an accident.



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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 11:50 AM

Thanks for the quick response, I have always used 6 point sockets, and torqued them correctly, but I don't have the ambition to rotate my own tires like you do. I saw a vehicle on the side of the road last night that lost a wheel while driving. Made me think I ought to check the torques on my own, thus the inquiry.
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 07:11 PM

I got a set of those from the cornwell guy. The teflon jacket works great when the socket and the jacket both fit in the hole. If they both can't fit in the opening then you can take off the jacket and you have thin wall impact. The only other thing about these is there is no protection for the lug. I'm not very sure they make a 1/2" anti marring lug. I know that snap-on makes smaller drives in the anti marring, but i hope you got the lube cause it's going to hurt (I know).
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 08:00 PM

Hello,

I remove all lugnuts with a good Snap-On 6 point impact socket and my 18Volt Battery Operated Snap-On 1/2 drive Impact. Whic if anyone doesn't have the space for a compressor this thing is a monster, it will take off anything that i have thrown at it, including lug nuts from a Case 580k.


   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 08:30 PM

Doe that have torque settings ? ^^


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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 10:40 PM

I always just loosen them with the impact, part of the way, then spin them off by hand. The coated sockets will still permannently mark the rims if they are spinning and come into contact with the wheel. Your best bet is to take time and care in removing them.

If this is for your personal car, ask the service advisor to write on the work order AND tell the mechanic (cuz its easily "overlooked") to remove and reinstall lugnuts by hand... and watch him do it. The tech will probly curse you, but he'll get over it.

If this is for customer cars, I'd skip removing rims. Too much liability, real or imagined.
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-20-2009, 10:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by G.T.Subie View Post
Doe that have torque settings ? ^^

I never worry about having my wheels torqued. If they are aluminum after i just did a rotate or anytime the wheel is off, i drive it a few miles and retighten.
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-21-2009, 08:31 AM

One way to try (not perfect, but cheap) is to wrap the nuts with tape. Thin enough to still fit the socket over, yet it protects (a little) from scratching.

I haven't done this, but I know of some who have. YMMV.


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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 07-21-2009, 11:43 AM

I torqued the lugs last night on my truck, and I just wraped the outside wall of the socket with a couple of wraps of black electrical tape. While this protects the wheel finish should it get whacked by accident, the lug nuts themselves could still be dinged or damaged by the metal to metal contact, and ultimately wear the chrome finish off the edges of the lug nut.

The sockets I linked to are available on several websites, and are certainly cheaper on some than others. They have a nylon insert on the inside to keep the metal to metal contact from occuring on the lug nut. If most of you don't use these, then I guess I am being too anal, and should just purchase new lug nuts once in a while when they start looking ugly. My biggest complaint isn't when I remove the nuts though, as I am always very careful. It is when I take it to a garage to have the tires rotated, or to have new tires mounted. I thought handing them a safer socket may ease the damage some. I like cartfan's idea of making them hand remove and replace the lugnuts. May try this next time.
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 08-24-2009, 08:48 PM

a friend of mine also uses that Snap-On 6 when doing wheel lug nuts replacement. he never had a problem with it, works perfectly fine without damaging anything of the wheel lug nuts.
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 08-25-2009, 06:39 AM

What ruins the chrome on the lug nuts is the impact gun I never use it on my wheels.
The reason that it is recommended that you torque the wheel is that uneven pressure will warp the brake rotor.
Anytime a wheel is removed it should be re torqued after 500 miles.
When I get new tires I drive home and loosen the lug nuts and then torque them because all tire shops will use a air impack and you will soon be paying for new rotors.

Last time I had a tire repaired I came home and checked the torque on the wheels he had used a impact gun and the lowest was at 30lbs and the highest was 130lbs.
NEVER EVER allow them to use air gun then drive it like that take it home and loosen and then torque to specs.
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 08-25-2009, 07:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by black bart View Post
What ruins the chrome on the lug nuts is the impact gun I never use it on my wheels.
The reason that it is recommended that you torque the wheel is that uneven pressure will warp the brake rotor.
Anytime a wheel is removed it should be re torqued after 500 miles.
When I get new tires I drive home and loosen the lug nuts and then torque them because all tire shops will use a air impack and you will soon be paying for new rotors.

Last time I had a tire repaired I came home and checked the torque on the wheels he had used a impact gun and the lowest was at 30lbs and the highest was 130lbs.
NEVER EVER allow them to use air gun then drive it like that take it home and loosen and then torque to specs.
Bart:
Sounds like you need to find a new tire shop.
The one I go to has some type of impact limiting extension that they use when first tightening the lug nuts with an impact. After using that, they hand tighten them with an impact wrench.
They sell hundreds of wheels and have signs all over the store about rechecking the torque on aluminum wheels in the first 50 miles. If you will stop by, they do it for you.
The incorrect tightening of lug nuts not only can warp rotors, it can stretch the lug bolts which can compromise their strength. Also the lugs may be so tight that you can't loosen them if you have a flat tire on the road. Tightening evenly and in sequence is important as well.
Using an impact should be done by someone that knows what they are doing. 250 to 300 pounds of torque is easily applied. Most of the time about 100 pounds is closer to what is correct. They do have a chart/book that gives the recommended torque values, but I don't know if it is from vehicle manufacturers or the wheel companies.



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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 08-26-2009, 01:09 AM

There are multitudes of factors that can wreak havoc on lug nuts and studs. Overtightening isn't as common as one would think. The extension talked about is called a torque stick and you can have the gun set to deliver 400 ft/lbs of torque and if you have an 80 ft/lb torque stick on it, it will deliver only the 80 ft/lbs even if you kept driving it and driving it. It basically works through vibration, but very effective. Even the most meticulous tightening practices can be fouled by corrosion. Seen it a million times (mostly on Chryslers) where the lugs are torqued perfectly and the lug nuts will absolutely not come off because corrosion has worked its way into the lug nut seat. So, one would automatically assume they were overtightened by the shop. Of course it happens as some guys just don't care or have the "feel". Most vehicles have torque specs between 65 and 80 ft/lbs. Not a lot at all really.
   
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Re: How do you remove lug nuts without damaging - 08-26-2009, 05:39 AM

I put a red shop rag over the lugs and use a 6 point socket to break them loose and take them off by hand after breaking them. Reinstall by hand and run them down by hand and cinch with 4 way and torque them down to factory specs. After driving a week, I torque them down again. Not only the issue of lugs backing off, but also warping the wheel. Just a precaution but worth it. Not only warping the wheel but also the rotor. I lot of heat gets dissipated here. Metal reacts to pressure and heat. Believe that.
   
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