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  #1  
Old 08-31-2003, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 259
Overtorqued the lug nuts?

I had my brakes inspected a few months back by one of those "brake shops" and the guy doing the work seemed to get a kick out of zipping the lug nuts of with his air tool. Noticing this, I asked him to hand torque the nuts when he put them back on. Of course, his answer was that this tool is set for low torque so I shouldn't worry about it. I still insisted that he hand torgue them.

Over the course of the next few days, I noticed a distinct shimmy at braking. It finally got bad enough that I decided to do a brake and rotor job-it was about time anyway.

I practically had to stand on my tire iron to get the lugs off-took me about 10 minutes to get wheel #1 off. I guess the jerk ran them way up then pretended to hand torque them and in the process warped the rotors. I guess they train them that way to create more work for themselves.

Your post implied that you had had some work done recently-I'd check to see if the wheels weren't over tightened.

J. Boggs
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2003, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,036
Re: Overtorqued the lug nuts?

Overtorqued lug nuts is a definite suspect in many rotor warpage cases.

Better tire and service shops have a policy of using a torque wrench to do the final tightening and in the proper sequence - star or every other bolt on a five lug pattern. The spec is in your owner's manual.

If you are considering contracting with a shop that does not use a torque wrench to do the final wheel bolt tightening, you should take your business elsewhere.

Duke
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2003, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 187
You are so right to be concerned about lug nuts.

About a year ago, on my prior Benz, Had lug nuts tightened too much. They literally had to blow-torch off the wheels, and then replace them. Costly, and extremely inconvenient. Especially if you have a blow-out and can't get the spare on, 'cause the wheel won't come off.

I was advised NOT to use anti-seize on the studs. That this actually can fuse the wheels on. And I completely agree with you about hand-torqueing. Very important.

Finally, this advice: try, if possible, not to work on a hot wheel. this will only make matters worse.

Consider this all the comments & advice of one who went through a horror story with this issue.
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2003, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,790
Lug Nuts

Properly torqueing lug nuts is the primary reason I bought a torque wrench. Once I started using it I was surprised how little torque (compared with how I used to put them on) was needed to secure the lug nuts.

I had the good fortune of working with a wheel expert. He knew everything there was to know about automotive and truck wheel systems, even had a number of patents. We had lots of conversation on wheel bolts and the importance of proper torque. Lug nut torque - at least for trucks - was best accomplished after putting two drops of oil on the threads. No more, no less. Antisieze compound was okay as long as you don't overdo it. We've seen instances where there were multiple applications of antisieze compound that had dried out horribly between applications. What a mess! it's best to refresh dried antisieze with a drop of oil, not more compound.

Run, don't walk, away from shops that use an air gun for wheel bolts without following up by handtorqueing.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2003, 03:59 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Sacramento, CA
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For what it's worth, I've found that sometimes it's easier to take the lug bolts off by pulling up on the lug wrench (or breaker bar + socket, which is what I use), instead of pushing down. This way leverages the muscles in your legs better, and you don't have to worry about collapsing onto the floor/fender.

-anthony
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2003, 04:11 PM
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Discount tire has these torque sticks, they have the right end on them for various different sizes of lug bolts and nuts. THey vibrate so hard that they wont tighten more than a preset torque of 80 ft lbs. I suppose they work pretty good.

Thats the best way if someone wants to use an impact gun on your lug bolts.

Then, use a torque wrench.

Pulling a tool toward you is always better than pushing. Avoids busted knuckles.

If you torque down hot wheels, they will loosen up.
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No Benzes in the stable at the moment, but itching for one again.

Former Mercedes in the Stable:
1983 300CD Turbo diesel 515k mi sold
1984 300CD Turbo Diesel 150 k mi sold
1982 300D Turbo Diesel 225 sold
1987 300D Turbo Diesel 255k mi sold
1988 300 CE AMG Hammer 15k mi sold
1986 300E Amg Hammer 88k mi sold
1992 500E 156k mi sold
etc.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2003, 05:24 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
I've seen the lug bolts so overtightened that they twisted and jamed in place (later cars with the long portion above the spherical seat).

The front wheel can be removed without using a torch -- remove caliper and hose. It won't come off, but it must be loose.

Pop center trim off the wheel, pry off the grease cap, use a chisel to unscrew the lock screw by driving it around with a corner of the chisel. Unscrew lock nut and remove wheel, hub, and caliper.

Drill out the lug bolts from the back side. DO NOT HEAT THEM. Drive twisted bolts out of wheel from the back.

Check wheel for runout, install hub with new lock nut and lock screw. Install caliper and bleed brakes, install wheel with new bolts.

Charge tire store 4 hrs labor per wheel.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2003, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 445
One dealer I know had a tech who would first use an impact wrench on the lug bolts and then follow with a torque wrench to make sure it was tight enough. He was so stubborn that he wouldn't change his way until the shop forman got involved and explained to him that that was not the correct procedure. The tech always did it his way at all the shops he used to work at!
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1982 300D Turbo
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2003, 10:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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He bent plenty of rims, too -- he must have been the idiot who put the front wheels on my old Dodge Aries -- the lug nuts were so tight the rim was distorted. Drove better after I replaced the brakes and installed the wheels properly...

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2003, 10:34 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
psfred

I would never admit to having owned a Dodge Aries.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2003, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,469
It doesnt matter what car you drive.

My friend drives a ford festiva because hes saving up for an Sclass or Gwagen, but for now I just put benz seats in his festiva.

You know he gets so many women its not even funny. I just have 4 mercedes instead.
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No Benzes in the stable at the moment, but itching for one again.

Former Mercedes in the Stable:
1983 300CD Turbo diesel 515k mi sold
1984 300CD Turbo Diesel 150 k mi sold
1982 300D Turbo Diesel 225 sold
1987 300D Turbo Diesel 255k mi sold
1988 300 CE AMG Hammer 15k mi sold
1986 300E Amg Hammer 88k mi sold
1992 500E 156k mi sold
etc.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2003, 12:33 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Manny:

Graduate school, the Audi died of rust, what's a guy to do?

Besides, other than being a cheapo (mine was an 82, the later ones were much nicer) it wasn't a bad car. 36+ mpg on the highway, 167,000 miles before the floor fell out (those three years in Canada were pretty rough on it!), went everywhere and the only work I did on it was the carb (vacuum line for the brake booster wouldn's stay in), the AC condesner perforated in Canada, the radiator fins corroded off (also in Canda), a fuel pump, a brake booster, three manifold pressure sensors, a starter, a timing belt, and brakes. Not bad for 5 years of ownership and 97,000 on it when I bought it.

Seats were for sh..., the doors leaked and and I nearly froze to death on a winter trip, but it ran and ran and ran. Made with any quality to the parts and decent seats, and I would still be driving it!

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2003, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 207
Not all impact wrenches are bad. I just bought a new Ingersoll Rand and verified that the lowest torque setting will tighten to 90 ft lbs, which is good for the lugs on all our cars.

Jerry
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85 300SD, 295K, anthracite gray
97 S320, 161K, black
00 C230 Kompressor, 202K, silver bullet
88 Dodge W100, 151K, 4wd beast
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2003, 11:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Matthews, NC
Posts: 1,356
I would recommend anyone doing their own work should get a "Torque stick" for the cars you will be working on. I use them in my shop all the time. At first I didn't believe they could actually work but after checking with a real torque wrench, I found they are very accurate. It doesn't matter which airwrench you use as long as it can supply the torque needed. I use cheap ($29.00) wrenches for day to day work and have a good Matco 600 ft/lb for when it is needed. I generally only use it to remove wheels put on by one of those tire jockeys at the tire shops. The torque adjustment on most air wrenches is only as accurate as the air pressure it receives, so I don't trust them. With a torque stick you just tighten until the lug stops turning. You can stand there for the rest of the day beating on it and the only change will be the head ache you develop from the noise.
Just remember, the torque wrenches only work when useing it with air wrenchs. Never use one with a breaker bar, you could twist it and make it unaccurate.
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