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View Full Version : What to do if your wheels wont come off...



Collin9338
02-07-2013, 01:02 PM
I have been to two shops in the last two days and noone can take my front or wheels of... i had to change my control arms and axel wit the wheel still attached... i really want to get the rest of my control arms on and get an alignment. does anyone know of any way to remove the bolts out of the wheel if they are not budging??? ive even tried PB blaster[headbang]

nynoah
02-07-2013, 01:11 PM
Buy a breaker bar and a cheater pipe and jump on that shiznit

Lornnn
02-07-2013, 01:32 PM
Buy a breaker bar and a cheater pipe and jump on that shiznit

Yeah, get a pipe from Home Depot or something, put it around the lug-nut wrench that came in the trunk kit and get it that way. Seriously a 3 or 4 foot pipe.

You'll need to get new lug bolts, though.

Mad Cow
02-07-2013, 01:52 PM
Buy a breaker bar and a cheater pipe and jump on that shiznit

That's my go-to strategy for stuck lug bolts/nuts too, 9 times out of 10 it'll come loose within 2 or 3 hops. If they're that stuck though you better have a big rubber mallet or something to hit the rim without damaging it because your wheels will probably be very stuck to the hubs.

98A4TurboAWD
02-07-2013, 02:03 PM
2 shops couldn't do that? It wasn't a beauty shop was it?

There has never been a lug that I wasn't able to get off, unless it was stripped, in which case you use a smaller socket and hammer it on, but a breaker bar will effortlessly pull them off.

I don't use a ratchet for bolts that are tight like that. I did the rear brakes on my Audi the other day and the lugs were on there to where my impact couldn't get them off. Use a ratchet that doesn't have a ratcheting mechanism, as you could end up breaking that. Go ahead and use the handle of your jack as a breaker bar. It will come off easily.

Collin9338
02-07-2013, 02:48 PM
Buy a breaker bar and a cheater pipe and jump on that shiznit


That's my go-to strategy for stuck lug bolts/nuts too, 9 times out of 10 it'll come loose within 2 or 3 hops. If they're that stuck though you better have a big rubber mallet or something to hit the rim without damaging it because your wheels will probably be very stuck to the hubs.


2 shops couldn't do that? It wasn't a beauty shop was it?
There has never been a lug that I wasn't able to get off, unless it was stripped, in which case you use a smaller socket and hammer it on, but a breaker bar will effortlessly pull them off.

I don't use a ratchet for bolts that are tight like that. I did the rear brakes on my Audi the other day and the lugs were on there to where my impact couldn't get them off. Use a ratchet that doesn't have a ratcheting mechanism, as you could end up breaking that. Go ahead and use the handle of your jack as a breaker bar. It will come off easily.

4 foot breaker bar didnt work even tried some sockets that are supposed to grab and break them. we got two off on each of the front wheels and the rest are starting to get rounded off, im thinking of getting an air hammer and jabbing at it with some more pb blaster... this is very depressing the shop that last put my wheels on are trying not to take responsibility, ended up saying theyll go half on the bill if i have to go somewhere that can break them off...

blacka4
02-07-2013, 02:52 PM
Holy shit, only supposed to by torqued to 90 ft pounds. Just think if you had a flat. You would ne screwed

Collin9338
02-07-2013, 02:55 PM
Holy shit, only supposed to by torqued to 90 ft pounds. Just think if you had a flat. You would ne screwed
exactly why im thankful that i have nearly brand new tires on there... if i dont find a way to break them off and get new bolts, i may take legal action and make this their problem... i cant even install my control arms, and there is no point in me ordering the coilovers that i was looking at now...

blacka4
02-07-2013, 02:59 PM
That's nuts. I do feel your pain though. I had that problem ONCE. I ended up using a torch and some time to get the wheel off. Heated the bolt from behind and that freed it up. Ended up using a 3/4 impact as well. I usually only put then on with a 3/8 and then used a torque wrench to make sure it's only 90 ft pounds.

Collin9338
02-07-2013, 03:05 PM
That's nuts. I do feel your pain though. I had that problem ONCE. I ended up using a torch and some time to get the wheel off. Heated the bolt from behind and that freed it up. Ended up using a 3/4 impact as well. I usually only put then on with a 3/8 and then used a torque wrench to make sure it's only 90 ft pounds.

i may have to try that, how did you heat them from the back tho and how long did i hold it there wouldnt want to mess up my breaks or sensor, and using an impact gun was my next step... The shop just said and i quote "Well its not really your fault or ours the bolts are really corroded so we cant really do anything" i want them to atleast buy me new bolts if and when i break them off (hopefully tonight)... any idea of how much theyd cost for the stock 16 in sport wheels?

blacka4
02-07-2013, 03:07 PM
Try the impact. Get a big one. It was tricky. Had to heat the rotor, and whatnot. Getting to the back was tight but possible if you have a small torch head

Collin9338
02-07-2013, 03:22 PM
Try the impact. Get a big one. It was tricky. Had to heat the rotor, and whatnot. Getting to the back was tight but possible if you have a small torch head

just realized we tried an impact gun they told me to use one thats for big rigs or something (dont know where i could find one of those...)

walky_talky20
02-07-2013, 03:28 PM
You need to be careful not to round the heads off. Then the job gets even harder. You can do some things to help loosen them before you even put the socket on:

1 - Heat. Generally you want to heat the part that the bolt thread into. That will make the hole expand, loosening it's grip on the bolt threads. If you can only get to the bolt head, you can heat that and wait for the heat to soak in and transfer down to the the threads a bit. In your case, it's not so much the threads which are stuck, but it's just over-torqued. So heating the bolt itself will cause it to expand (lengthen), which will help out as well.
2 - Violence. The bolt heads should be dimpled in the center. Perfect place to put a punch and hit the thing. An air hammer would be good as well. If you can, try to hit it to the side a bit. This will apply a slight stretch to the bolt, which will aid in loosening it.

If all else fails, you can use the aforementioned dimple in the bolt to put a drill bit and drill the head right off.

andyrew
02-07-2013, 05:05 PM
You should be soaking it in PB baster every night.

Im afraid if you use to much heat you snap the bold inside the hub.

I think its time you got a 10 ft extension. Go to a local metal supply shop and ask if there was a way you could buy then return a 10' section of thick walled round tubing, (1.5" or so DOM would be good), As long as you dont have to cut it they should let you return it.

If it doesnt come off with that and a little heat, then its time to take off the wheel and hub as an assembly and take it to a machine shop.

sa_seahawker
02-07-2013, 05:32 PM
I'd be prepared to have replacement lug bolts, wheel hub, and/or bearing readily available. Chances are high that you're probably gonna snap something off.

But I still say the impact is you're set bet. With a breaker bar, you pretty much WILL wind up snapping them off.

crazexr7
02-07-2013, 07:01 PM
You have to watch out for repair shops that over torque wheels. Most places use impact wrenches on your wheels and easily torque it to 150 ft lbs. If I ever have to have a shop take my wheels off I immediately loosen my lug bolts and torque to 84 ft lbs. It's really easy for stuff like this to happen if you don't watch out.

BlackLock_A4
02-07-2013, 09:31 PM
^ Once it's been to 150 ft lbs, I feel like the damage has already been done... And you loosen them to 84? - I though it was supposed to be around the 94's? lol

I would at least threaten of taking legal action. This situation is ridiculous and no way should they have been torqued that much (sounds like a ton more than 150).

crazexr7
02-07-2013, 09:54 PM
^ Once it's been to 150 ft lbs, I feel like the damage has already been done... And you loosen them to 84? - I though it was supposed to be around the 94's? lol

I would at least threaten of taking legal action. This situation is ridiculous and no way should they have been torqued that much (sounds like a ton more than 150).

My bad should be 89 ftlbs. My parents have dealt with this sort of situation before on their mkv jetta. The dealer ended up torquing the bolts so much that my grandfather who's 6'4" and a pretty heavy guy could stand on the breaker bar and extended pipe with all his weight and not even budge it. He ended up even bending the breaker bar as well. We took it back to the vw dealer and had them remove the bolts for us. I still have no idea why people find it necessary to use that much force on wheel lugs.

Collin9338
02-07-2013, 10:00 PM
You should be soaking it in PB baster every night.

Im afraid if you use to much heat you snap the bold inside the hub.

I think its time you got a 10 ft extension. Go to a local metal supply shop and ask if there was a way you could buy then return a 10' section of thick walled round tubing, (1.5" or so DOM would be good), As long as you dont have to cut it they should let you return it.

If it doesnt come off with that and a little heat, then its time to take off the wheel and hub as an assembly and take it to a machine shop.


You have to watch out for repair shops that over torque wheels. Most places use impact wrenches on your wheels and easily torque it to 150 ft lbs. If I ever have to have a shop take my wheels off I immediately loosen my lug bolts and torque to 84 ft lbs. It's really easy for stuff like this to happen if you don't watch out.


^ Once it's been to 150 ft lbs, I feel like the damage has already been done... And you loosen them to 84? - I though it was supposed to be around the 94's? lol

I would at least threaten of taking legal action. This situation is ridiculous and no way should they have been torqued that much (sounds like a ton more than 150).


My bad should be 89 ftlbs. My parents have dealt with this sort of situation before on their mkv jetta. The dealer ended up torquing the bolts so much that my grandfather who's 6'4" and a pretty heavy guy could stand on the breaker bar and extended pipe with all his weight and not even budge it. He ended up even bending the breaker bar as well. We took it back to the vw dealer and had them remove the bolts for us. I still have no idea why people find it necessary to use that much force on wheel lugs.
they said its corrosion and its noones fault, and that if i bring them a bill that they would pay some(probably half) of it, even this does not seem enough... i didnt even feel like dealing with this by the time i got out of class today... im gonna see what i can get done this weekend and definitely monday night if nothing budges im gonna start pricing the bolts nd stuff... for the record a 4 ft breaker bar didnt work and they are starting to round off..

BlackLock_A4
02-07-2013, 10:04 PM
^ I clicked on your link to "My Cougar Project" and was disappointed that it's a car. lol

Then suddenly became interested and finished reading the entire thing. Are you going to spend some time on the interior too, or just stick with the motor for now?

crazexr7
02-07-2013, 10:11 PM
they said its corrosion and its noones fault, and that if i bring them a bill that they would pay some(probably half) of it, even this does not seem enough... i didnt even feel like dealing with this by the time i got out of class today... im gonna see what i can get done this weekend and definitely monday night if nothing budges im gonna start pricing the bolts nd stuff... for the record a 4 ft breaker bar didnt work and they are starting to round off..

I guess it's possible for corrosion to be a problem but I'm not buying it. Good luck [up].


^ I clicked on your link to "My Cougar Project" and was disappointed that it's a car. lol

Then suddenly became interested and finished reading the entire thing. Are you going to spend some time on the interior too, or just stick with the motor for now?

Hahah I'm actually leaving the interior as is for the most part (My dad reupholstered it before it was put in storage). The most I'll do is clean up the instrument clusters and the bottom portion of the dash. Come spring I'm going to pick up a new distributor and hopefully fire it up for the first time in forever.

sa_seahawker
02-08-2013, 03:45 AM
^ I clicked on your link to "My Cougar Project" and was disappointed that it's a car. lol

Then suddenly became interested and finished reading the entire thing. Are you going to spend some time on the interior too, or just stick with the motor for now?

[>_<] LoL

...but strangely, I did the same exact thing! [:/]

redline380
02-08-2013, 06:38 AM
op if you really want to get your wheels off for cheap, find a good ole' boy diesel shop close to home. if their 1/2 impacts won't take the bolts out, the 3/4 will. and if that won't the 1 inch definately will. just make sure the bolt head isnt rounded and the socket is pretty good. most 3/4 impacts will do about 700 ft/lbs backing off, and most 1 inchers will do 1000 ft/lbs taking off. if you find the right shop, they might charge you at most 50 bucks. then just have them run the bolts back in and torque to 100. a 1 inch impact is about my favroite tool, besides a lull and my, well you know

98A4TurboAWD
02-08-2013, 07:38 AM
op if you really want to get your wheels off for cheap, find a good ole' boy diesel shop close to home. if their 1/2 impacts won't take the bolts out, the 3/4 will. and if that won't the 1 inch definately will. just make sure the bolt head isnt rounded and the socket is pretty good. most 3/4 impacts will do about 700 ft/lbs backing off, and most 1 inchers will do 1000 ft/lbs taking off. if you find the right shop, they might charge you at most 50 bucks. then just have them run the bolts back in and torque to 100. a 1 inch impact is about my favroite tool, besides a lull and my, well you know



This seems to be the best option for you. I am just having a hard time seeing how it is possible that a breaker bar cannot get them off. Even if they were torqued to 150 pounds, that is easily overcome with say a 3 foot jack handle as a breaker bar. It's not even imaginable for me, even if they coated each bolt with red lock-tite it should still come off.

flynnr
02-08-2013, 08:08 AM
physics. force x distance

if a 4ft breaker bar didn't work, try something longer. if that doesn't work, try something even longer. you are running into the problem of not having enough force. in order to increase force you need to increase the length of your breaker bar.

same applies to the air impact driver. if the 3/8 doesn't work, you are lacking the force to take it off. try a 1/2. if that doesn't work, 3/4. then 1" .

contrldsub
02-08-2013, 11:30 AM
all this hammering and heating, buy a wheel bearing. even if you dont break a bolt or ruin the threads, that bearing is taking a beating.