Diesel Place banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched "loose lug nut" here and and found the one posted in early 2009. Didn't see a final resolution.

For several years now I have been having problems with lug nuts coming loose after as little as 500 to 1000 miles. These are factory steel wheels, not aluminum and all original nuts and studs. The first time it happened I had my tires rotated at a local tire shop before starting a 3000 mile trip. At the end of the trip near home I was turning a circle in a parking lot and heard a clicking sound. Found 5 of 8 lug nuts loose on the passenger front hub. I tightened them up and once home contacted the tire shop thinking that perhaps they might have missed torquing one wheel. They said not possible! They hand torque everything.

On subsequent trips the same hub had loose lug nuts. Now it has happened on every hub, front and rear and on multiple hubs at the same time. I just finished a trip and it happened on both back hubs, two lugs on one hub, four on the other. When on trips I now check every 1000 miles or so for loose lug nuts and hand torque all of them to 145 ft/lbs with a rachet torque wrench. Specs says 140 but I was hoping just a bit more might help, apparently not. A bit of a pain to deal with all the time. I have never calibrated my Craftsman torque wrench but it was new several years ago and hasn't seen much use so I guess it should be close. Most of the tire rotations and wheels off/on have been done by tire shops so who knows what they might have done. How do you calibrate a torque wrench?

I can't really tie this to a particular wheel or studs because I rotate tires/wheels every year. When on trips I am carrying a large slide in camper which puts the truck just above factory GVWR of 11,400 lbs. I don't drive the truck enough around town to know if it occurs without the camper. 92,000 miles on the truck now, all of them mine.

Any ideas on what the reason might be? How about a fix? I really do not want to replace six wheels and/or 32 nuts and/or studs.
 

·
Resident Gynecologist....
Joined
·
4,267 Posts
The only way to calibrate a torque wrench is to send it away to a calibration shop, but most won't touch a none brand torque wrench. If in doubt, buy a new one.

Only thing I can possible think off to do is this.

1) pick a wheel to remove. jack and support the truck (how ever you do this) remove the wheel.

2) clean the hub, studs, lug nuts and the wheel with a clean cloth and brake cleaner (or some degreaser)

3) check the the studs on the hubs, check the tapers on the lug nuts and check the actual taper face where the lug nut touches on the wheel for damage.

4) I am not sure what you guys call it over the pond, but we call it engineers blue. (You wipe in onto metal, let it dry and you mark out hole positions etc) you can use some paint or a black marker pen as well. put some of this stuff on the taper on a lug nut then put the lug nut into a wheel hole and turn it by hand then remove the lug nut and see how much of the marker was removed. Should have a clean distinct line on the taper.

5) next stand the wheel up and put a lug nut into a hole and see how much if any of the lug nut taper is sticking though the hole.

Only thing I can think of is the lug nuts are tightening up to the hub and not grabbing on the taper on the wheel rims (if that makes sense).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. All good info but these nuts are not tapered. They use a integrated washer to seat.

I have been talking with a long time retired heavy equipment and diesel mechanic I know and he suggested measuring the stud lengths to see if they have stretched.

I guess I will paint the end of one stud on each hub and use a clockwise count to identify and record which studs end up with loose lug nuts. If I can pin it down to a few studs and/or lug nuts I could replace those.

The only way to calibrate a torque wrench is to send it away to a calibration shop, but most won't touch a none brand torque wrench. If in doubt, buy a new one.

Only thing I can possible think off to do is this.

1) pick a wheel to remove. jack and support the truck (how ever you do this) remove the wheel.

2) clean the hub, studs, lug nuts and the wheel with a clean cloth and brake cleaner (or some degreaser)

3) check the the studs on the hubs, check the tapers on the lug nuts and check the actual taper face where the lug nut touches on the wheel for damage.

4) I am not sure what you guys call it over the pond, but we call it engineers blue. (You wipe in onto metal, let it dry and you mark out hole positions etc) you can use some paint or a black marker pen as well. put some of this stuff on the taper on a lug nut then put the lug nut into a wheel hole and turn it by hand then remove the lug nut and see how much of the marker was removed. Should have a clean distinct line on the taper.

5) next stand the wheel up and put a lug nut into a hole and see how much if any of the lug nut taper is sticking though the hole.

Only thing I can think of is the lug nuts are tightening up to the hub and not grabbing on the taper on the wheel rims (if that makes sense).
 

·
Resident Gynecologist....
Joined
·
4,267 Posts
Bugger, checked google beforehand too :)


Having thought about it, I would see if you can get some of these indicators that slip onto the lug nuts when they are tight and will tell you easily if they have undone



 

·
Resident Gynecologist....
Joined
·
4,267 Posts
Had a sleep on it. you know the washers on the lug nuts, are they loose and not taking the weight??? have they slipped up the lug nut?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,455 Posts
If you think your studs have stretched, replace them. I know its a PITA, been there, but studs are cheap in comparison to a wheel coming off at highway speed. I had to do the studs on my front bearings when I replaced them because the guy I bought them off of took them out when he did a SAS. No big deal, I pressed the old ones out of my old hubs in the vice. Took a half an hour or so a side and all was good again. Although, what condition are your rotors in? If they're getting close it maybe easier to do it all in one shot in a brake job all the way around.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top