Anti-seize on the hub & studs.
Standard practice in salt areas to stop the galvanic action that occurs in
salt areas. I use it on everything I take apart so I can get it apart again
Even steel screws in the motor that go into aluminum manifolds, etc. . Those
small bolts snap off real easy.
I've seen a buddy have to beat the tires off his new Bronco with a sledge
hammer after one winter they were corroded on so badly.
If they won't come off by hand, loosen the lug nuts about one to two
turns from tight (not much!) and go take a slow and gentle lap around
the block. That should break the wheels loose from the hubs safely.
For the hub face and back of wheel, a thin coat of high-heat rated
barbecue paint is best to seal water away from the surfaces. No
grease, they aren't supposed to slide against each other. You will
have to repaint each time you take the wheel off but it doesn't have
to be a perfect sheen, nobody will see it - just make a rough drape to
keep the paint off the rotor face and spritz.
And you use anti-seize *sparingly* on the studs - doesn't take much.
A little dab will spread out a long way - too much and things could
loosen up on their own, which is very bad...
--<< Bruce >>--
Right, but the people who made that recommendation of 'dry only'
weren't living in the Rust Belt - that, or they weren't living in
reality with the rest of us... ;-)
A very small dab of nickel based anti-seize, and you'll be fine - as
long as you remember to grab a Star Wrench (or a torque wrench if you
"don't know your own strength") and check the torque on the lug nuts
after about a week, then every three months or so. If the nuts don't
back off quickly, they'll probably stay where you put them.
There's supposed to be an 'official' correction factor added to the
torque ratings with anti-seize on the threads vs. dry, but I don't
know it. I just give it an extra half-oomph with a calibrated arm.
If you slop on the anti-seize like it was onion dip on a chip, the
odds of a lug-nut backing itself off to disastrous levels goes way up.
--<< Bruce >>--
It remains that the nuts should be installed dry.... Common sense would
dictate that the studs and nuts be protected AFTER the fact. A shot of spray
paint... maybe some grease.... whatever. When us lay people start
overthinking the engineers, we might get into a bit of trouble.... Me? I do
it for recompense and can be held liable for my errors.... DIYers can injure
as many people as they please and say "I didn't know that...".
while we're on the subject:
I'm just a shadetree tinkerer, but for many years have rotated my own
tires because I got tired of the tire shop/mechanic over-tightening the
now that I'm a geezer, I looked for a little labor saving and got one of
those inexpensive home impact wrenches (VERY slick and works like a
champ). I use it to take the lugs off....and get them started back on,
but still finish with a torque wrench.
the owners manuals for both my new cars have dire warnings to never use
an impact wrench on aluminum wheels. can I assume that they just don't
want them over tigtened enuff to crack the wheels?
whether you would use the impact or a regular lug wrench, you're still
gonna wreck those cheap-ass nuts with the thin shiny covers.
the klcker is, no matter what FoMoCo sez, if I had the dealer do
anything to the wheels, they would surely use an impact --- and put them
on with about 300 pds/ft
Yep. Put a good strong 3/4 impact wrench on a wheel stud, pull the
trigger and let go when the nut stops turning - I guarentee you will
have cracks radiating out from the stud hole in the aluminum wheel.
Using an impact to spin down the nut is perfectly fine, as long as you
finish off with a torque wrench. But you have to have a very light
trigger finger - let go of the trigger when you SEE the nut approaching
the wheel, not when you FEEL it snugging the wheel.
My $0.02 on this,
A wheel stud is cheap and only a few minutes work to replace if
you have the hub off - and if your in the rust belt your well advised
to pull the hub anyway and regrease the bearings if the stud is rusted
enough to seize and snap off during disassembly.
Your best off in the Rust Belt to buy a vehicle with steel wheels with
ie: wheel covers, anyway, as the salt will destroy aluminum wheels
and make them look like hell unless you spend an inordinate amount
of time washing your car. Pull the wheel cover, put a couple drops
of motor oil on the exposed wheel stud threads, then use an impact to
spin off the nuts. If a nut seizes and the stud snaps, the stud threads
were too corroded to have safe holding power left in them anyway
and your better off replacing it. In any case, impacts usually don't
snap them off compared to the shadetree mechanic's 'impact substititue'
ie: the breaker bar with a 6 foot length of pipe on it.
Rarely have I seen a nut seize on a stud due only to rust. Much more
often it is excessive galling -plus- rust that does it, in short the threads
were already damaged and the rust just finished them off.
anti-seize compound is not a rust preventative.
One of the problems I think with rust belt is the prevalence of
"capped" wheel nuts that are used with aluminum wheels purely
for looks. If the stud on a capped nut corrodes, it's impossible to
get penetrating oil into the threads, the nut is likely going to seize
and snap off.
I don't know what goes on there these days, but 30 years ago
I clearly recall everyone running around 6 months out of the year
in Pittsburg (one of the worst for salting the roads) in snow tires
on steel wheels that most of the time lacked a hubcap, and
there was no epidemic of seized-on-the-car wheels going on
then, and nobody used never-seize on anything.
If your rotating the tires regularly and you have nuts, you won't
have a problem. If the wheels have been on for a number of years
then use PB Blaster or other penetrating oil on the studs.
When reassembling, wire brush the threads then wipe them off
with mineral spirits and retorque.
Never-sleaze introduces an unwanted variable. Yes, many thousands of
people use it without the studs loosening. But losing a wheel from a car
at highway speed is virtually certain death. Your safer having all 4 of
your tires shot out from under your car than loosing a wheel. And all
it takes is to be that 1 in 1000 person who DOES lose a wheel. You
can be pretty certain that the people who did lose a wheel as a result
of using anti-seize on the lugs aren't going to be around to tell people
it was a dumb idea.
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