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I had had a tyre replaced after ripping the sidewall on my passenger front side. They sold me a cheap replacement and also rotated the other tyres.

What didn't happen was the driver side wheels nuts were not nipped up as I found all of them loose and some barely finger tight. I had used a long handled torque wrench on the passenger side as they were so tight.

I found this problem because I was changing the pads and that's how I found out about the drivers side. The torque wrench literally fell out of my hand when I tried to apply pressure. I checked the others with my fingers and found them loose.

Scary.:eek:

That apart, the pads were easy to change. Now all I have to do is bed them in. :)
 

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Be thankful it wasn't the passenger (LH) side not tightened - because they work their way loose very quickly. (No need to ask how I found that out..... :mellow:)
 

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Be thankful it wasn't the passenger (LH) side not tightened - because they work their way loose very quickly. (No need to ask how I found that out..... :mellow:)
G'day mucod,

Is that due to the rougher surface on the passenger side? Any clue as to why they were loose? :confused:
 

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I think it's due to the combination of the direction of the stud thread and the wheel rotation direction helping to undo the nut.
 

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Other than a service station not torquing down your wheel nuts at all (or, insufficiently, or forbid, to much), you should be aware that *all* aluminum/alloy rims require 2 or 3 iterations of re-torquing after the wheels have been worked on:

-re-torque the wheel nuts a few days after they were worked on;
-re-check the torque yet again a few weeks later.

*the above does not apply to steel wheels, just aluminum/alloys; however, just to be on the safe side, I check my steel wheel lugs, too, (on the Silverado) at the same intervals post-service

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Other than a service station not torquing down your wheel nuts at all (or, insufficiently, or forbid, to much), you should be aware that *all* aluminum/alloy rims require 2 or 3 iterations of re-torquing after the wheels have been worked on:

Cheers
G'day Dugway,

Right. I'm just surprised that they missed torquing it as they had rotated all my wheels.

When I win Lotto, I intend to visit Canada. I just bought "City of Gold" from your national film archive. It's about gold rush era Dawson city and that's the film that showed Ken Burns of The Civil War series the idea of how to pan and scan across still images. :)
 

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Other than a service station not torquing down your wheel nuts at all (or, insufficiently, or forbid, to much), you should be aware that *all* aluminum/alloy rims require 2 or 3 iterations of re-torquing after the wheels have been worked on:

-re-torque the wheel nuts a few days after they were worked on;
-re-check the torque yet again a few weeks later.

*the above does not apply to steel wheels, just aluminum/alloys; however, just to be on the safe side, I check my steel wheel lugs, too, (on the Silverado) at the same intervals post-service

Cheers
I've been behind the wheel for 40+ years now, and for the last 15 of those everything I own has had alloy wheels, - I've never had the need to retorque an alloy wheel - please note - never had the need, on the rare occasion when I have gone back to check, they were correctly torqued.

There was only one vehicle on which I've ever had a problem with the lugs becoming loose and that vehicle not only had steel wheels, but used lug bolts rather than lug nuts - lug bolts that screwed into threaded holes in the hubs, rather than threaded studs protruding from the hubs that you screwed a nut onto.

To make it clear - I've had vehicles with factory fitted alloys, vehicles to which I fitted after market alloys, vehicles with "lug centric" alloys and vehicles with "hub centric" alloys - none, not one, has ever given trouble with the lug nuts becoming loose and/or neededing to be retorqued.
 

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Hi Kev:

I'm glad you were able to actually find that 1957 classic documentary (our Canadian NFB is being gutted as I write!). I haven't heard many refer to this film in quite some time I have to admit.

I really enjoy Ken Burns' documentaries; we are able to see them on our HD TV without having to subscribe to costly cable fees (using my several element antenna to pull in FTA (free to air) digital broadcasts from across the US border) :) I remember either reading about (or, viewing on TV) a documentary on Ken Burns himself, describing his (Ken's "Ken Burns effect") visual style being derived from City of Gold...

Moderator:

My experiences with and my sphere of colleagues' (4x4ing) experiences with hub-centric and lug-centric aluminum/alloys:

This is a big issue entre those using *painted steel* wheels and/or aluminum/alloy wheels, where (apparently), aluminum wheels may have or develop a thin oxide film, and when the aluminum/alloy wheels are mounted to disk/drum(s), the "clamp-load" can be reduced or lost over time (either a short timeframe or longer), causing the lug nuts to come loose repeatedly. The bake painting on steel wheels don't by definition oxidize. However: In the end, its really important to make sure the back facing of the wheel and mating surface (i.e. your rotors or drums AND reiterating, the aluminum/alloy wheels themselves) are very clean of oxidation (both faces) before mating wheels to your vehicle.

Cheers, D
 

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Two points.

First - I've never seen (I'm not doubting that they exist, but they can't be very common) an alloy wheel that was not either painted & clear coated or powder coated - which would make oxidation of the alloy a "non-issue".

Second - one of the reasons aluminum and it's alloy are as widely used as they are, is not just the weight (or lack therof) but the manner in which they oxidize, and the protective nature of those oxides - aluminum oxidizes very rapidly, to the point where you cannot have aluminum in the open air without it immediately oxidizing and forming a protective layer preventing further oxidation - making oxidation a "non-problem".

Whatever the collective cause of your lug nuts running slack, I doubt that it is related to the oxidation of the alloy. Can you imagine the effect of oxidation of aluminum and it's alloys on the aviation industry if your theory were correct?
 

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Hi Fordem:

Perhaps aluminum rims vary in manufacture (not all aluminum/alloy wheels are made alike?): i.e. varying quantities of chromium, manganese, magnesium and silicon ? Wouldn't varying the aluminum (rim mix components) create perhaps some rims which form the (instant) oxide, and some that produce none/little?

Vis aircraft aluminum: aren't aircraft comprised primarily of anodized aluminum skins and other anodized aluminum components (for ulta-high corrosion resistance)? I.e. 2024-T3 aluminum (and, other variances on that theme) on various aircraft exteriors are mirror-like (i.e. not exhibiting any oxidation "out of the box") ?

Just to qualify: I am not a metallurgist :) Just want to learn from someone vastly more qualified. The aluminum/alloy lug nut loosening issue has been an interest of mine for some time. I'm very curious to delve deeper into this issue.

The "Theory" I seemed to float in an earlier Post wasn't mine; it was just a collective speculation among my colleagues over years of discussions as to why 5, 6 and even 8 lug (big floating hub assemblies) nuts were spontaneously loosening over various times On edit: on primarily aluminum wheels (most of the people I hang with do their own wheel work with torque tools)...

Cheers, D
 

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I'm not a metallurgist either - and anodizing, as I understand it, simply hardens the layer of oxide, perhaps making it more difficult to remove/less susceptible to damage, rather than inproving the actual resistance to corrosion.

With regards the use of torque tools on wheels, I carry a torque wrench in my vehicle for the express purpose of correctly torquing the lug nuts - not to prevent them from coming loose, but to prevent them from being "overtorqued", which causes the stud to stretch and can make it very difficult to remove the nut (the thread pitch changes as the stud stretches).

To be honest - when you mentioned the need to retorque the lugs to prevent them becoming loose, I did wonder if the problem related to the studs stretching, since that will actually have the same effect - elongation of the stud will cause a reduction of the clamping force.

It is entirely possible that my habit of correctly torquing lug nuts to prevented the studs from stretching and causing the nuts to bind, has prevented me from experiencing a problem with the nuts coming loose due to the stretching of the studs (yes, I have experienced the nuts binding on the studs and stripping the threads out and destroying both stud & nut during the removal).
 

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....nope. Always torqued to spec (have got some quality tools). Over-torquing on a non steel insert aluminum wheel can "lose the nut"; not a good thing for sure.

Stretched stud bolts are usually the realm of overzealous tire shops (and, many dealerships!) with air tools ;)

Cheers
 

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Found this on another thread, not sure if it is correct but it does make sense (at least to me) :)

The temperature changes that occur when driving from the brakes etc. causes the expansion/contraction of dissimilar metals. Most new wheels are made from aluminum mounted to a steel rotor. It is a good recommendation to re-torque them after driving it for a day. They can loosen up.
Also mentioned on another site was the fact that on steel wheels the hole where the lug passes through is "cupped out" causing a spring loading affect on the lug when tightened.

So it might not just be the materials but also the construction methods used for steel rims that keep them from working loose.
 

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Consider the following...

First - aluminum heads are bolted to steel blocks, the thermal changes there are signifcantly greater than at the wheel/rotor interface - it is customary to retorque cylinder head bolts after an engine rebuild, but that's usually done after several hunded miles.

Second - lug nut should be matched to the wheels - in fact, I'm starting to wonder if that's not the source of this particular problem - steel wheels take a domed lug nut, alloy wheels will have either a tapered seat or a flat seat. What are the odds that the source of this "myth" was a bunch of guys using a domed nut on a wheel with a tapered seat?

The internet & forums like this one can be a great source of information - or misinformation - when the actual cause of the problem has not been determined.

I've already shared my experience - 15+ years of driving cars fitted with alloy wheels, and never once had a problem with lug nuts running slack, maybe because I knew to use the correct nuts, maybe because I knew to torque the nuts correctly - so I know from personal experience that this one is a myth.

Alloy wheels do not need to be treated any differently from steel wheels as far as torquing the lug nuts goes.
 

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What are the odds that the source of this "myth" was a bunch of guys using a domed nut on a wheel with a tapered seat?
Fordem:

Interesting that you bring up this lug nut issue being a myth.

In my experience (On edit: and I hate to bring this experience thing up, but you had first): 4x4ing on 3 Continents (I was 4x4ing in Trinidad in the early '70s & paddling the Orinoco River in a kayak across the Gulf of Paria (met MANY a fine Guyanese there in Trinidad where I lived for a time); Panama; Honduras' Mosquito Coast region pioneering 4x4 there more than 20 years ago in a Mercedes Unimog: IMO this region is far more difficult than the Darien Gap driving); Belize; Costa Rica; the most rugged sectors of flat-land Yucatan, Mexico; 4x4ing through Chiapas Mexico during the Guerrilla war there in the early '90s; Moab, Utah; and many, many other locales...) :

-this ain't any urban myth or legend.

I've had the privilege of 4x4ing with aerospace engineers; surgeons; both diesel and petrol mechanics; aircraft pilots (both jet and turboprop); military personnel (both mechanics and other ranks); and regular ol' enthusiasts, and numerous have experienced this lug-loosening issue 1st hand.

I agree with one item you mention: there no doubt IS confusion over lug/mount pairing, however, this does not account for all wheel/nut loosening situations...
 

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Found this on TireRack.com - FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why do I need to re-torque the lug hardware on new wheels?

It’s very important to go back and re-torque your lug hardware after the first 50-100 miles of driving on your new wheels. The lug seats of the new wheels will slightly compress and loosen up under the lug hardware as you begin to drive on them. Once this initial breaking in period is over and you re-torque the wheels, it should not be required again until you remove the wheels for rotation or service. Failure to re-torque the lug hardware can allow the lugs to loosen up causing serious vibrations, and in many cases, damage to the wheels, lug hardware, and the vehicle.
Unfortunately another internet source :)
 

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I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree - you've experienced it, I haven't; the people you've wheeled with/talked to have either experienced it or heard about it - well, I haven't had a chance to raise it with the guys (I'm out of Guyana at present), but I will do so when I get the chance.

For now though - that one, which I've never heard before - goes with the other dire warnings and recommendations I've been given, that alloy wheels must be used with centering rings to prevent vibration - "lug-centric" alloys (which seem to be in the majority, at least in my neck of the woods) don't need centering rings, and whether or not they are needed with "hub-centric" alloys depend on the particular wheel and the vehicle to which they are being fitted - that alloy wheels must be used with washers under the lugs (and that from a competent machinist and off roader who should really have known better) - "lug-centric" alloys don't need washers, they need lug nuts to match the seats, "hub-centric" alloys need "shanked" nuts, which in my limited experience (I've only owned one vehicle with "hub-centric" alloys), have the necessary washers "captive".

You can see that both of those statements have some truth to them - so they are not myths, but they are also not applicable across the board.
 

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Hey guys!

Just to be clear, all wheels "should" be checked monthly for torque regardless of wheel material.

Aluminum wheels simply aggravate the issue. Aluminium conducts heat VERY well. Each time you apply brakes the wheel temps change significantly more on an aluminium wheel than on a steel wheel. These rapid changes in temperature over time cause the lug nuts to loosen from the expansion and contraction of the metal.

Again, this is true in ALL wheels but more so on aluminium.

This is why you will notice that commercial rigs have those plastic nut markers so that an operator can quickly spot a nut that has moved.

PS: Not from the internet, I am an Engineer.

Cheers!
 

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When this "discussion" on aluminum wheels needing to be regularly retorqued started, I was travelling in Florida - now that I'm home - I've asked around, and none of folks I've asked - professional mechanics, off road enthusiasts - they're all like me, they don't treat their alloy wheels any different to steel wheels.
 
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