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Thread: Can you overtighten axle nuts? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-29-2012 07:27 PM
amc49 X2.

The torque is to ensure that the axle/hub/bearing/knuckle relationship stay solid as a rock. If torque falls off then axle begins to wobble and bearing comes apart early. Torque must be higher than any forces encountered by front end to loosen parts.

When you pull up the torque it is applying to both the race sets in bearing, two bearings back to back in there. As he said on threads, if you bottomed on them bearing would be torn up in 5 minutes.

Not saying it could happen here, but blown motors have occurred because oil overfilled. Crank whips oil into oil and then pump cannot pump air, oil pressure drops like a rock. You'll never see that with just a light, maybe not even with electric OP gauge. A mechanical one will show it instantly. Definitely no wives tale there.

I use the big FL1 filter, closer to a quart.
11-27-2012 12:58 PM
Grumpy You don't want the nut to "reach the bottom of the threads" (commonly called being "threadbound") because in the case of the Focus wheel bearings the nut would not be applying any clampup force which is what is required here. The torque applied (including what the torque wrench was indicating) would be meaningless. The torque value range specified is required to have the nut apply the desired clampup force.
As to the OPs original question......the torque values/torque procedures listed in the Owner's Manual, the Service/Shop Manuals, TBs or Tech Tips have not just been pulled out of thin air. The listed torque values such as in this application are determined by engineers who take the expected loads, the materials used, fits and clearances etc, into account. In the example of the rear wheel bearing/axle nut, obviously if you got really carried away and went way over the specified torque you could shear off the end of the spindle, or you could over stress it and you wouldn't know it until it broke off when you were driving along.
11-27-2012 05:29 AM
whynotthinkwhynot Capacities listed in the OM do not include the filter. Not that our filters hold 1/2 a qt anyway, but I've been putting in 5 qts every change since 05 when it had 5 miles on the odo. Nothing broke in 150k.

That was an old argument I had with people who were being silly worrying that they'd overfill and blow the rings out over 1/2 qt. I drove an old Datsun once with like 8 qts in it. Not my fault, but it happened. That's when I learned there are old wives tales, and old men's tales. Accidents like that are how I learned a lot of things.

The only reason for that much torque is to insure the nut has reached the bottom of the threads.
11-26-2012 07:35 PM
sailor Methinks our "space brother" mis-spoke, as I'm SURE he wouldn't be taking a torque wrench at 30lb. to the bearings in question...


To an 18 Wheeler, to "set" them while turning them, B4 backing it off & re-torquing to a lower number - yeah, I've done that....
11-26-2012 05:34 PM
amc49 Soooooooooooooo......................what planet do you hail from, space brother?

Here on planet earth tightening old school tapered roller wheel bearings is done in INCH pounds not foot, 30 ft.lbs. and you're walking home in five minutes. I usually use 15-20 in.lbs., but much of it is feel for looseness just disappearing. A torque wrench 6 inches long.

LOL...............IIRC indeed.

Right on the no need for exact torque thing, I use anywhere from 175-200 ft.lbs. now on all 4 of mine, I like closer to 200 though.

Dunno about the 5 quart in 4.5 statement. Zetecs have a shallow secondary pan, if the addition of the extra half quart filled enough to let some show through the slat holes of the upper pan reinforcement, then one could lose a bit of power there as crank started eating oil, could induce some air injection into oil too. Maybe tear up a motor under hard use? Not like earlier stuff with more distance there. Ford spent a bit of time designing that middle reinforcement to recoup a bit of friction HP loss.

I have not filled up a pan with 4.5 quarts to check level, but I will if motor ever comes apart, I like to know things like that. Problem is, I can't seem to break one of these. Not gonna disassemble a perfectly running motor like I would when I was young and stupid................

Maybe someone else can chime in.
11-26-2012 05:31 AM
whynotthinkwhynot Huh... I thought we were talking about fronts not rears for some reason. IIRC the rears had a torque as high as the fronts- or nearly so. When you're dealing with that much torque, then it's not holding a bearing in like would be the case on the front of a RWD vehicle. Those don't generally have more than 30 ft-lbs, and a cotter pin/castle nut is what holds it in place when properly installed.

Worrying about torque exactness when you're dealing with around 200 ft-lbs is as silly as worrying about putting 5 qts in an engine when the capacities in the OM state 4.5 qts. Without such worry there might be less of a call for things like Tums or BC (Goodys!) powder, so like move forward bravely bro! You are now qualified to remove VW Type 1 drums except that you might need a small glass pipe in addition to the long metal one.

To the OP and OP help: I'd put money on that spindle being spent whether the bearing spun or not. Use your best judgement, but be prepared to replace the spindle next time. We've had more than one FF have issues with new bearings that are due to a spent spindle.
11-25-2012 11:47 PM
amc49 Use a foot long piece of 2X4 and a baby sledge to remove tire/wheel, put the board on rubber not wheel edge. May have to go side to side, they always come off doing that. Antiseize on center raised pilot edge helps next time.
11-25-2012 11:40 PM
freemind Well I got the car in the air last night and, the drivers side rear was seized to the spindle. So I removed the drum with the spindle attached and put it in a vice and took the air-hammer to it. Bam, it released then. The brakes looked really good but needed adjusted badly. New drums with bearings=no noise.
11-24-2012 12:02 AM
amc49 I apologize.

Think about it, if metal expands when heated, if both parts are same metal, won't they both expand the same? Meaning no need to make up for it?
11-22-2012 11:34 PM
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
So what do we call you, Rip Van Winkle? Because you are about 20 years behind the times.

Your response, or 'a few sets', says it all, I've never used that many even on 5 cars put together.

There are different types of bearings, and they tighten differently based on application.
I went through a few set cause it was lifted with larger than factory wheels and tires on it, and I took it mudding all the time. Lots of cake in mud and water will eat through the grease, that and the added stress from the bigger tires will cause more than normal wear on suspension, bearings, and joints. Doesn't look like I was saying everyone else was wrong I was simply asking. Anyone will tell you metal will expand when heated up. Mybad for commenting on the internet, I didn't know you owned the place.
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