Wheel stud lubrication - good or bad?

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Yesterday was a semi-nice day, so I decided to catch up on some maintenance --oil and filter change (M1 the Puro 30001 sure works nice on a 4.0!), TB cleaning, new Puro air filter, front-end lube, powerwash engine and fenderwells, a quick run through the local car wash, the usual. Work is slow right now and I'm bored.

I later decided to go the extra mile and do a 4-wheel tire rotation and change out those el-cheapo OEM lug nuts with a good set of heavily chromed, forged steel lugs. While I had one side up in the air doing my thing, a neighbor commented on my practice of applying bearing grease to the studs before torquing the nuts down to 90 ft/lbs.

He claims that it's a bad practice, and that the lugs will loosen over time because of it. I politely disagreed, saying that it is the friction between the tapered nut face and the wheel that keeps everything tight rather than friction from fastener threadfaces, and that the only real way to get good, accurate, consistant torque is to put a TINY BIT of lubricant on the threads before reassembly.

I know this all sounds petty, but I'm wondering if anyone here has heard of mishaps that were the direct result of 'lug nut greasin'? I like knowing that the nuts will spin off easily many years later and won't rust up, no matter how much muck I plow through. And I make sure everything is cool to the touch before everthing gets tightened down --all pretty common sense stuff IMO.

Am I offbase here? Admittedly, this is 'old-school' technology, but it makes a lot of sense to me, much like 'priming' the engine after an oil change before actually firing it up. (Yeah, I do that too; I disconnect the crank sensor, then reset the MIL when I'm done.)

-JD

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Factory torque specs are for clean dry threads. Opinions on the web are strongly in favor of both positions. That said, I have always used antiseize so that they come off easier. The last thing I want to be doing in the middle of the woods is standing on a breaker bar swearing about a rusted up lug nut. I typically torque about 10 ft-lb less since less of the torque is being lost as friction, but this is just a guess on my part. YMMV

--
jeff



JD Adams wrote:
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JD Adams wrote:

I grease all threads, usually with never sieze, but often with grease.

I was taught that it was a sound mechanical practice and have never seen an issue due to the lube. This is especially important with dissimilar metals to prevent galling.

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You are damaging the studs by over-torquing them. The lugs could snap because they have stress fractures or the nuts could come loose because the lug is stretched so not stable any more.

The specs call for a dry torque of 90 to 115 not a wet torque. The wet torque settings are a lot lower. I don't know them because I would never use them.

We were told/taught 'never' to use any lube on the lug threads when I worked in garages way back when. Not just one garage either, but coast to coast in Canada.

Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's Canadian Off Road Trips Photos: Non members can still view! Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id !15147590 (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page)

JD Adams wrote:

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another downside to grease is if it gets too hot, it will carbonize and make them stick worse. Probably not an issue on off road vehicles but performance cars can get their discs (and hubs) mighty hot under serious braking. clean and dry or maybe a little anti-seize...

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Clay wrote:

I agree. I normally use anti-seize on everything else; it must have been a brain-lazy sort of day. I'll use AS next time around though.

-JD

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Hi All,

I was about to put an extra transmission cooler on the TJ, in front of the radiator, and realised that the cooler was too big to slide between the open slots. I did a bit of research on the internet and all I got was that I would have to remove the radiator and discharge the a/c system to be able to have access to the back of the grille. Does anybody know of an easier way to just remove the front of the grille (i.e. the grille cover). I don't want to remove the whole assembly (which is what requires removal of the radiator and the a/c condenser).

Appreciate your ideas in advance. I am also putting a temp gauge in between to measure the transmission oil temp.

Thanks TW --------- '01 TJ Renegade 4.0L Auto D30/D44 265/75R16 BFG Muds, JKS Quick Discos, OME 2.5" Lift, 1" MML, 1" BL

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Is there a way to slide it in from below? Seems like you could remove the flimsy splashguard under the rad pretty easily but I can't remember how much clearance there is.

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I have already had a look, but the bottom part of the grille frame makes is not open. Any other ideas?

Thanks TW

Is there a way to slide it in from below? Seems like you could remove the flimsy splashguard under the rad pretty easily but I can't remember how much clearance there is.

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I think you might have to resign yourself to taking off the grille.

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Looks like it that way. As soon as the rain stops, I'll start taking the radiator off and see if I can wiggle the cooler past the condensor without discharging the a/c system. I am just surprised that so few people actually run extra cooler on Wranglers for the auto transmission. There were tons of write ups on other Jeeps.

Thanks for your time (and replying to my question). TW

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Mike Romain wrote:

Ahhh yes, the camps are indeed split on this one.

I believe that what the Mfg. is looking for isn't a specific torque value, but rather the proper clamping force between wheel and rotor. By lubing the stud and torquing to dry specs, I agree that it's possible to stretch the studs too much.

Variances with prior galling, torque wrench quality and calibration, rusting and thread surface imperfections and relative temperature make exact tightening a crapshoot. I went with the low-end spec to avoid the stretch problem. I may drop them all down to 75 just to be on the safe side. I've never seen automotive studs break off from overtorquing, but I have defintely seen nuts spin themselves off from undertorquing, esp. when they're not rechecked after a few minutes of driving after being noodled with.

The anti-seize does sound like a better option than a dab of grease though, and it would not be affected by rotor heat.

-JD

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I live in the rust belt where everything rots long before it wears out and always go dry with capped nuts. With open nuts, I have used grease on top after it is tightened down.

I have antiseize and use it everywhere else, but still not on wheel nuts.

We just had to remove all my wheels a couple days ago and they came off easily. It's been a while since they were removed....

Anyhow, just be aware that antiseize is considered a 'wet' torque.

Mike

JD Adams wrote:

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OK, so I would assume that using lock-tite would be a wet torque as well. Are the (for example) motor-mount bolts I just torqued to 40 lbs too tight because I used lock-tight?

How much of an adjustment would you need to make in the torque when using a wet torque?

rufus

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rufus t wrote:

Someone posted a list here a while back. When I rebuilt my CJ7 I went about 30% less on the ones with antiseize and loctite on them. I didn't snap anything and nothing fell off. I have pulled apart a lot of things over the years and can sure 'feel' the difference when tightening up dry or lubed threads. I learned way back that I can snap off greased up bolts very easily....

I had to remove my spindle this week and all the nuts came off easy as well as the spindle popped out fairly easily. A couple thumps and out it came. The 5 or 6 year old antiseize was still in evidence.

Engine mount bolts are 'special' it would seem. I have heard of folks that just plain can't tighten them right so they always end up with snapped ones.

Snapped ones imply they were either loose so were subjected to vibration impact or they were over tightened and subjected to stretching fractures. I suspect the second due to cussing about even using thread seal on them....

Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's Canadian Off Road Trips Photos: Non members can still view! Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id !15147590 (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page)

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An old Polish farmer I did some work for recommended water on truck and tractor lug nuts. It acts as an assembly lubricant, and then evaporates before the nuts can back off. On some metals it leaves a protective coating.

If you live long enough, you will hear most anything.

Earle

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Earle Horton wrote:

Iron oxide (rust) *is* a protective coating

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On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 21:34:28 GMT, the following appeared in rec.autos.makers.jeep+willys, posted by Clay

Black iron oxide (ferric, IIRC) is semi-protective. Red iron oxide (ferrous) isn't; it's porous and the corrosion will just keep going.

--
Bob C.

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Bob Casanova wrote:

Well... I just had to google it. Lots of interesting info:

"Rust is really Fe2O3, a reddish form of iron oxide. Iron has another oxide, Fe3O4, which is sometimes called black oxide, black rust, or hammerscale."

Micaceous Iron Oxide Synonyms: Micaceous hematite, Natural lamellar hematite, Specular iron oxide, Micaceous iron oxide, Natural specular hematite ore Designations: Chemical Name: Micaceous iron oxide Chemical Formula: Crystalline *Fe203* Description: 1) A naturally occurring lamellar form of ferrous oxide for use in manufacturing paint coatings. 2) When viewed under an optical microscope by transmitted light, magnification X 200, the thin flake micaceous iron oxide particles appear as sharply defined red translucent platelets. 3) *Without doubt, it is the most important barrier pigment used in coatings to protect structural steelwork from corrosion. It has a 100 year record of successful use on many types of steel structures throughout the world.* 4) It forms overlapping plates like mail armor. It reflects ultaviolet light, allows water vapor to escape from the substrate, and is chemically resistant.

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On Thu, 23 Mar 2006 00:25:29 GMT, the following appeared in rec.autos.makers.jeep+willys, posted by Clay

You might want to consider that rust formed by corrosion of bare steel or iron might have properties a *wee* bit different from those of a protective coating containing oxides.

--
Bob C.

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