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Old 01-02-2012, 12:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

Started the year off right, went for a drive in the bronco right?... and well, had me a close call, turned off the highway and noticed something wrong *bumpabumpabumpabump* WTF?! felt like my rear end was binding when I went around the corner. Pulled into the parking lot where I was going anyway and *WHAMN* scisssssh... Tire falls off and I skid to a halt halfway into a parking stall. W. T. F!.

drivers side front. Chewed up the holes on my rims, scrached my wheel cylender from the pressed in studs kicking back into the drum/pulling out of the mounting plate, busted the pressed on drum loose from the hub, and (I think) warping the drum (It now skuffs, and gets louder when I turn) Borrowed some tools from the auto parts, bought some lug nuts, and with the help of some nice people, was able to limp home (even though I forgot to get the item I came into town for!).

I know that last time I did anything with the rims I tighened everything down with a lug wrench good an tight, and 3 miles before this I had glanced at the rim when I made a stop and didn't notice any nuts missing (I am running new aluminum rims with 31 inch tires and chrome acorn nuts).
I went through and rechecked all the other rims when I put broke out the lug wrench to fix the one that fell off, and found a couple sprinkled through the other 15 lugs that took a 1/4 turn, give or take (nothing eye openingly loose or anything, the rest had at least 100ft lbs trq on them)
but I had 4 or at least 3 lugs fall off by themselves in just a few miles on ONE wheel (drivers side front) only and then had one stud torn out of the hub and another knocked loose.
I had an issue with this hub before of loose lug nuts, I thought that it was just a fluke that I had forgotton to fully trq the bolts after spinning them on with the lug wrench, but am now wondering if there is an underlying issue on this hub.
When I took this drum off today I noticed that the inner wall of the drum had rub marks on the wall as if the shoes were too wide. Perhaps this is creating a vibration that rattles the nuts loose? I have no idea
this is a 1968 U15 with a dana 30 front axle with 11 inch inner diamiter brake drums. drum surface is 2.03 wide and the shoes are like 2.01 wide

But this is very concerning to me, there was a very real chance of a rollover or some other serious accident here, I can't put this back on the road if the lug nuts are going to keep backing off!
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

Are the wheels lug center or hub center? Make sure you have the right lug nuts for the wheels. If the lug nuts are not open all the way through make sure they are not bottoming out on the lugs.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

As for the cause, also think about where your vehicle is stored. On my truck, I recently found 7 lug nuts loose on one wheel & the lock still torqued to 100 ft. lbs. The vehicle is stored outside, & crime is increasing my neighborhood. If you don't have locks on your wheels, might be a good idea. Also, be sure you are using the correct style lug nuts for the wheels you have.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

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Originally Posted by arnoldtx View Post
Are the wheels lug center or hub center? Make sure you have the right lug nuts for the wheels. If the lug nuts are not open all the way through make sure they are not bottoming out on the lugs.

Not sure what you mean by lug center/hub center.

I am pretty sure they are not bottoming out, but I will double check.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

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Originally Posted by secport View Post
As for the cause, also think about where your vehicle is stored. On my truck, I recently found 7 lug nuts loose on one wheel & the lock still torqued to 100 ft. lbs. The vehicle is stored outside, & crime is increasing my neighborhood. If you don't have locks on your wheels, might be a good idea. Also, be sure you are using the correct style lug nuts for the wheels you have.

Good point. I live out in the sticks though, so it could be anyone/anything. I park in a carport/shop with no doors.

I am pretty sure I have the right lugs, but I will post some photos later.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

Torque wrench. Torque them to 80ft/lbs. After a short drive, retorque them. After you do something such a replace lug studs or put NEW aluminum rims on a couple or retorques for safety would be advised.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

Just a thought! Make sure the rims are seated to the hub good.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

Many wheels are lug centric and do not require the use of a centering ring. They are typically found on truck and SUV fitments. On these applications, the center bore of the wheel is larger than the vehicle hub diameter to allow for various hub/axle configurations that may have been an option from the factory. These wheels need to be installed with the wheel/tire assembly off the ground when the lug hardware is torqued. This allows the lugs to properly center the wheel and secure it on the mounting surface of the hub.

Hubcentric wheels have a hole at their center that fits closely over a round feature on the hub, serving to center the wheel on the axis of the spindle, as well as bear the vertical weight of the vehicle. The wheel bolts or studs then serve simply to hold the wheel onto the hub, and are loaded only in tension, where they are strong.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

update. I looked at all the studs and NONE of them were stripped out, and I only found ONE lug at the area of the failure (and the lug still had threads) the stud that was pulled through was not pulled out with the nut. So it must have been right at the end of its threads...?
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

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Originally Posted by pass1over View Post
Many wheels are lug centric and do not require the use of a centering ring. They are typically found on truck and SUV fitments. On these applications, the center bore of the wheel is larger than the vehicle hub diameter to allow for various hub/axle configurations that may have been an option from the factory. These wheels need to be installed with the wheel/tire assembly off the ground when the lug hardware is torqued. This allows the lugs to properly center the wheel and secure it on the mounting surface of the hub.

yes, these rims are lug centric and I snugged the nuts before lowering the bronco onto them. (snug until the wheel starts to turn and then I lower and give em a goodtigtening)
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

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yes, these rims are lug centric and I snugged the nuts before lowering the bronco onto them. (snug until the wheel starts to turn and then I lower and give em a goodtigtening)
"goodtighening" good spec !! how many times have they meet that spec over the years ?

studs may have been tighten way over their yield and can no longer hold TQ without stretching.

How much thread is pass the wheel ?
Acorn nuts , thats been coverd . use standard nuts at first , then the fancy stuff

Last edited by DanH; 01-02-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

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"goodtighening" good spec !! how many times have they meet that spec over the years ?

studs may have been tighten way over their yield and can no longer hold TQ without stretching.

How much thread is pass the wheel ?
Acorn nuts , thats been coverd . use standard nuts at first , then the fancy stuff

I was only using hand tools to tighen.

There is 1/2 to 3/4 inch of threads for the nuts to catch.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

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Originally Posted by redtail View Post
I was only using hand tools to tighen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redtail View Post
give em a goodtigtening
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Originally Posted by Ggrahn View Post
Torque wrench.
Hmmmmm........... Anyone else seeing this?
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

I've never had lug nuts loosen on any of the thousands of car's I've worked on, albeit not all had to have the wheels removed, so I'll restate that to the many hundreds of brake jobs. It is a genuine curiosity to me why these would work loose.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Wheel lug nuts backing off. my tire fell off!

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Originally Posted by Ggrahn View Post
Hmmmmm........... Anyone else seeing this?

I put the trq wrench on after I tightened them like I usually do, and they were all over 100 ft lbs.

I have never drivien on a set of these new rims before, and in looking around the lugs do have a tendancy to come loose before they 'seat'. So I suppose it is my fault for not rechecking, but it is just freaky to me that none of the other rims were even beginning to be loose when this one fell off. If I didn't trq them down corectly, I would think that the other rims would have started to come loose as well, don't you agree?
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