Dealing with lugnuts and how not to have to

WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 1,307

I was busy today putting a new rear brake caliper on K's Dodge minivan and the usual lugnut hi-jinks raised it's ugly head. I know, it's a van and not a trailer, but I've had exactly the same issues with my trailer so I thought I'd post this again for those who didn't hear it before.

It seems that nothing is so simple that it can't be made worse by fiddling. Modern lugnuts are mostly found in 2 pieces. There is a solid center with the threads and cone, then for some reason, the industry feels the need to add another piece in the form of a stamped tin cover. For the life of me, I have never been able to figure out why, but it's what they do so we need to adapt. Here's the problem:

If you look closely at this suspect, you can see that it's crumpled at the points of the nut and it's also ever-so-slightly bowed (like a barrel) in the center. The bowing is caused by water getting into the space between the lugnut and the outer skin, then rusting. This causes swelling between the 2 pieces and makes the lugnut a bit larger.

One of the problems with that is when you slide the lugwrench/socket onto the nut, you'll think it's all the way on but it's not. I had to take a hammer to this one, pound the socket onto the nut and then remove it. If you don't notice that the tool isn't all the way seated, you'll round off and break the thin metal cover on the lugnut. As most lugnuts are recessed into the wheel, it's a mess to get off. Most of the time, one has to take a chisel, remove the outer skin of the nut, then find a magical weird sized socket to pound onto what remains so you can get it off. In the worst case scenario, you'll round off the lugnut and have to take a chisel to the whole thing, wrecking the nut, stud and possibly, the wheel.

Luckily, the answer is simple. Just go get some one-piece lugnuts like this one. I got these at Orielly for $3 bucks apiece. They come in lots of sizes and lengths. Just take in one of the old ones and they will find a suitable one-piece replacement, then replace them all.

While you're there, pick up a good, impact socket of the appropriate size and a breaker bar to go with it. Make sure you get a 6-sided socket, not a 12 sided (point) socket. The 6 point impact socket will be much stronger than you or I and is the best bet for getting lugnuts off without issue. Then do yourself another favor and throw away the stock "rounder-offer" lugwrench you've been carrying around before you're tempted to use it.

While you're at it, make sure and pick up a tube of this goop. Smear it on the back of the wheel and hub face to keep things nice and smooth.

I can't tell you to put a little dab of anti-seize into the lugnuts....... but that's what I do.....
Your results may vary......

WilliamA

"When I am in charge, Starburst brand fruit chews will get their own food group....and where are all the freakin laser beams? There should be more laser beams..."

2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
2017 [email protected] XL
Boyceville, Wi.

Comments

  • DaveBDaveB Member Posts: 101

    I don't put the anti-seize into the nut, I put just a little dab on the lug (male threads). My thinking is that the nut kinda winds down on it and pushes whats needed into the voids and squeezes the rest out adding a nice blob at the base. So far I have not had any issues with nuts getting locked in place, and as you stated I can't advise doing this....I do check/retorque all the nuts every week or two and only once have I found one coming loose.

    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Edge XL

  • GigHarborTomGigHarborTom Member Posts: 272

    Dang...I recently gave a whole set of the heavy duty black sockets, breaker bar and all, to my grandson. That along with my rollaway full of treasures. Bought my son one of those humongous Home Depot tippy toe Roll A Ways. Half full of tools I passed down over the years. The plan was to not get into the trailer and street rod repair and restorations again. Oh well off to NAPA we go.

    Gig Harbor Tom
    Trl '17 [email protected] Max
    TV 2018 Mazda CX9 Signature

  • Rick67Rick67 Member Posts: 14

    I'll take one for the team and recommend never seize. Been using that since 81 on truck lugs. Never had one loosen. Pretty much any bolt I've ever touched has it and are rustless.
    Wish it was used at the factory on all machinery to be used in the elements. Would save so much grief.

    2017 Tag XL

  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 1,307

    The guy I used to build custom cars for had a big tire shop. Never a lug nut left under his watch without anti-seize. I use it for most everything that has a torque spec.

    WilliamA

    "When I am in charge, Starburst brand fruit chews will get their own food group....and where are all the freakin laser beams? There should be more laser beams..."

    2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
    2017 [email protected] XL
    Boyceville, Wi.

  • BobandJoanBobandJoan Member Posts: 2

    Since I am new to Nucamp, about a month, and now the campgrounds are all closed down . Well I set here going over the trailer. 2019 Tag XL BD Edge. the reason I am asking here, is I would like to know the lug nut size since the trailer came minus a lug wrench. So I have a spare tire but could not replace a bad one if needed. My 2015 Ford edge is not the same size.

  • JamesDowJamesDow Member Posts: 504

    My lugnuts are 19mm on a 2018 [email protected] This is the same size that will work with the stablizers. I bought a deep socket one to have in my trailer tool box.

  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 1,307

    One of the things I did is get a set of deep well impact sockets (metric) and a long 1/2" drive breaker bar. The impact sockets are 6 point and plenty heavy duty for hand work. With a set, I don't worry about whether I have the right size. Makes you very popular when someone else needs a wrench too. They don't take much space and give me a lot of peace of mind. I think my set came in 13 mm-24 mm in the usual sizes. Came in a nice plastic case. I got them from Farm and Fleet for under $60 bucks for everything.
    WilliamA

    "When I am in charge, Starburst brand fruit chews will get their own food group....and where are all the freakin laser beams? There should be more laser beams..."

    2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
    2017 [email protected] XL
    Boyceville, Wi.

  • BobandJoanBobandJoan Member Posts: 2

    Thanks for your response. Seems like Nucamp would have provided a lug wrench. They did provide a spare tire but if you did not check for a wrench, when you need it you are screwed. We have owned every thing in camping from a tent to a 42 foot class A. Also fifth wheels and even a pop up. Traveled the whole country for 7 plus years when our home was a motorhome. Worked for Woodalls campground directories for 6 plus years inspecting campgrounds. All that said in our vast experience Nucamp appears to make a good product, and we have had a Winnebago product so we have seen the bottom.

  • EasternSierraRoamerEasternSierraRoamer Member Posts: 8

    Putting together my teardrop travel kit - what length breaker bar do you recommend (12, 14, 24, 30 in)? Thanks in advance for you assistance.

  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 1,307

    I think my breaker bar is an 18" or so. Longer is better as long as it will stow where you want.

    WilliamA

    "When I am in charge, Starburst brand fruit chews will get their own food group....and where are all the freakin laser beams? There should be more laser beams..."

    2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
    2017 [email protected] XL
    Boyceville, Wi.

  • EasternSierraRoamerEasternSierraRoamer Member Posts: 8

    Thanks, William. Picking one up today. Headed into the Eastern Sierra for the next several weeks to decompress, ramble, trek, and just be. Much thanks, fellow teardrop enthusiast.

  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 1,307

    Safe travels.

    Go.

    Do....

    WilliamA

    "When I am in charge, Starburst brand fruit chews will get their own food group....and where are all the freakin laser beams? There should be more laser beams..."

    2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
    2017 [email protected] XL
    Boyceville, Wi.

  • ButchButch Member Posts: 14

    WilliamA, could you please specify with enough detail so that I can order replacement lugnuts from ebay. I no nothing about lugnuts!

  • LuckyJLuckyJ Member Posts: 1,240

    I know about the issue of coverd lugnut. Fisrt vehicule with them for me was my 95 jeep wrangler that I got in 94. Never had isues with them but once up to this day.. 19mm socket is the secret. 3/4" even if it look close, it is not close enough.

    I also have tge log nuts that William as shown, and tge loose tge chrome and will spot rust.

    No perfect world. 🤔

    As for tge breaker bar, to take off a wheel, yep, longer is eaiser, but remember that if you use it to tighten the lugs back on, it will be very easy to over tighten and even snap a lug.

  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 1,307

    Butch,

    Given variations on wheels, hubs and brake configurations, it would be difficult for me to accurately "wizard" an answer for you. The best, easiest way to get what you need is take a lugnut off, take it to an auto parts store and compare. Most places have them available is sets or single purchase. I'll go out on a limb here and guess that the studs on your trailer are 1/2" x 20 pitch. This has nothing to do with the wrench size. That'll either be 11/16", 3/4", or 13/16". Make sure the wrench/socket is 6 point, not 12 point. One of the many annoying things about wheels is the minimal space between the wheel and the lug nut. Often, there's not enough room to get a good, impact socket or heavy duty socket in there. I use a high quality 6 point spark plugs socket and 1/2" breaker bar for my road kit. Don't be tempted to use an impact gun, electric or air, to loosen lugnuts. Use good old brute force and a long breaker bar. An impact gun will often break a non-impact rated socket.

    If you are like me and annoyed by the tight fit between the lugnut and wheel, you can get longer lugnuts. Just get the size right before you order them.

    WilliamA

    "When I am in charge, Starburst brand fruit chews will get their own food group....and where are all the freakin laser beams? There should be more laser beams..."

    2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
    2017 [email protected] XL
    Boyceville, Wi.

  • GigHarborTomGigHarborTom Member Posts: 272

    I repurchased breaker bar and set of the black heavy duty sockets. I cannot in all my heavy weight in body and strength break the lug nuts loose. Better store up on some magic fluids again. Recently had to downsize to the extreme. Had to part with shelves of the stuff one needs for the little and big jobs that come up.

    Gig Harbor Tom
    Trl '17 [email protected] Max
    TV 2018 Mazda CX9 Signature

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