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Old 05-19-2017, 12:44 AM   #1
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Lug nuts seized

I have a 2007 Focus SES hatchback 4 door that was given to me. The car is in excellent condition but needed tires. It appears that the last garage that put tires on used an impact gun. My mechanic broke 2 Snap-on tools last week and scheduled my car for a 4 hour block to torch the lug nuts off and change the lugs. Thankfully when it was in his shop yesterday he remembered that because of the wheel berings are torch can not be used. He broke 3 more tools yesterday and has a total of 5 hours of labor trying to change my tires. I have a friend that has sockets for stripped lug nuts and he couldn't get the lug nuts off either. My mechanic has only seen this once with a Jeep Cherokee and unfortunately the rims had to be cut off with a Sawzall. My car has aluminum rims. Any suggestions? My mother gave me this car and called the shop that put the tires on back in December. They could not get the lug nuts off either. They told me the lug nuts were rusted on. That is not the case. Clearly the garage that put them on doesn't know what a tork tool is.


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Old 05-19-2017, 12:52 AM   #2
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*Torque
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:55 AM   #3
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Someone also told me he could use a 1/4 inch drill bit, 3/8 inch then a 1/2 inch bit and drill the lugs right out of it to replace them. Would that heat up the hub too much and ruin the wheel berings?
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:51 AM   #4
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Torque plus rust maybe, torque alone won't make 'em too tight to remove.

Sounds like the Aluminum wheels are the problem, no-one has gotten a solid enough wrench on there to do the job. Enough clearance for a strong wrench and either the nuts come off or the studs break, solved either way.

Clearance is also the problem with the torch, exposed nuts with a steel wheel would be easy to cut. Can still do that it absolutely necessary, but it's a PAIN. Splash back from trying to pop a hole in steel that's too thick (straight into the lugs/studs) gets on the torch/into it's holes, messing it up. Cleaning that isn't fun either.

Too hot for the hub bearings isn't a problem given time to cool off between each stud done (alternate wheels to do it).


If you can't break them, I'd go with a die grinder & bit to cut lug nuts.

Did that with a similar situation (but only a couple locks that I couldn't get loose) and it works. Drilling goes through a LOT of drill bits/sharpening, grinding through a flat with a carbide bit let the nut come off without even damaging the stud. Aluminum wheels with tight access that I wanted to SAVE was the situation.
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:02 AM   #5
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Thank you! I'll have him try the die grinder and bit. It wasn't torque that got them on too tight. They obviously used an impact gun. Plus with the aluminum caps over the steel nuts corrosion might have helped seize them.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:08 AM   #6
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Any caps are stainless over steel, only corrosion effects there are to bulge the caps.

Those can be torn off for a better fit of the wrench when damaged.

Only 'cheap' way out is a solid six point impact wrench socket & enough torque to break the studs. Cutting/grinding is going to be QUITE expensive as a solution. Torch, grinder, doesn't matter - NOT cheap.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:22 AM   #7
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Great! I'll have a friend of mine try that since he's willing to. I just got off the phone with the Ford dealership and they charge $90 per hour and don't want anything to do with it.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:13 AM   #8
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We had this exact thing at my work a week ago, the aluminum rims let the lug nuts force their way in, then the lug nut is too far in the rim and the rims actually what's holding it so tight.

Torch/junkyard rim is what we had to do, after about 3 hours of drilling

No idea what the name is on these, but the things you can put into a drill that are meant to cut a hole. What if you had a size that was able to cut into the beveling? After that it would be easy to take out
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:27 PM   #9
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3/4 inch (1/2 inch min), 6-point, impact socket on a good breaker bar with a pipe extension, car on the ground w/e-brake, and two hefty men, WILL break the stud, or the nut comes off. The only problem I see with that is once you break two, you have to raise the car, or replace them and re-nut them, to get the other two off... be careful.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traymond View Post
Someone also told me he could use a 1/4 inch drill bit, 3/8 inch then a 1/2 inch bit and drill the lugs right out of it to replace them. Would that heat up the hub too much and ruin the wheel berings?
I've done this a couple of times. You don't need to drill the stud completely away. Just enough to weaken it.

Then you can attempt to twist it off and hopefully the stud breaks or use a cold chisel and hammer and break the stud. If done right your rims won't be damaged.

It works.
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