VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
  • Mwerks and Fourtitude have rejoined VWVortex. For more info, see this thread.

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,317 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I bought my used ‘17 Alltrack the dealer replaced the old rotors and pads. I was psyched as they did it without me even complaining. However, when I went to swap on my winter wheels I found the lug bolts exceedingly tight. So tight in fact that I snapped and broke my pry bar. What were they thinking!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
VW actually says in the manual something like "do not lube the lug bolts". I think that's stupid, because it leads to corrosion and issues like this especially if you drive through salty roads in the winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Probably more likely that the tech just banged the hell out of it with his gun. I had the same problem with my e-golf when I foolishly asked them to rotate the tires (it was in for a SW update). Naturally, the locking lugs were only hand tight!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
"do not lube the lug bolts". I think that's stupid, because it leads to corrosion and issues like this especially if you drive through salty roads in the winter.
I would NEVER lube the lug bolts. I would much rather the bolts seize, then possibly work their way loose while I'm driving!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
Lube on the bolts also throws the torque spec off.

I live in Canada where salt and chlorine brine are put on the roads. I swap my tires twice a year (winter to summer and back) and have never had a problem a 2ft breaker bar could not fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Sames story for me. Torqued to spec. Swap winters and summers in my front yard every year. Never had a problem and never used lube or grease on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
I would NEVER lube the lug bolts. I would much rather the bolts seize, then possibly work their way loose while I'm driving!
I've been judiciously lubing lug nuts and bolts for ~60 years w/o EVER having one come loose. This has been discussed to death in other posts.

IMO, you're more likely to have a wheel come loose from not enough bolt tension due to dry, imperfect lug contact than from lubrication. YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
agreed on the 2ft breaker bar. I have a 3ft piece of ss tube from work and it will never be an issue. All dealers and not just VW dealers over tighten the bolts. My daughters KIA this year was stupid trying to change over to winter set up after coming back from the dealer. I use an impact to put them on but never to the level of a dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Yeah this has been beaten to death before on here before. If you never lube your lugs, good for you, if you DO, only use a TINY BIT. I always put a tiny dab of anti-seize on mine, never had a single bolt/nut come loose in 20 years now, swapping winters/summers on almost every car I've had and torqueing to ~90-96 lbf-ft

I just hate loosening dry lugs, when you snap your tools, or have that horrific PING! as they finally loosen up. My parents always went to tire shops WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER and they still use the impact to tighten to what feels like 200 lbf-ft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
Yeah this has been beaten to death before on here before. If you never lube your lugs, good for you, if you DO, only use a TINY BIT. I always put a tiny dab of anti-seize on mine, never had a single bolt/nut come loose in 20 years now, swapping winters/summers on almost every car I've had and torqueing to ~90-96 lbf-ft

I just hate loosening dry lugs, when you snap your tools, or have that horrific PING! as they finally loosen up. My parents always went to tire shops WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER and they still use the impact to tighten to what feels like 200 lbf-ft.
Wheel studs and bolts are way over-designed (usually by a factor 2 or more) to prevent them from being stripped or broken off from using way more torque than they're designed for (shop impact tools are the worst offenders in that regard). So I have always used a light lube like Cyclo Breakaway (C-10) and the nominal torque value given in the manual. Using a good torque wrench is a must.

As I said before, in >50 years of doing this on all of our cars, including my racecars, I've never had an issue with a wheel (or even a single lug) coming loose, and I have never stripped or otherwise damaged the bolts, lug nuts, or their threads.

I also have never had an issue getting them loose. I do carry a 10" piece of EMT tubing in the GSW to use as an extension for the OE wheel wrench, which is otherwise pretty marginal in the best of conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Wheel studs and bolts are way over-designed (usually by a factor 2 or more) to prevent them from being stripped or broken off from using way more torque than they're designed for (shop impact tools are the worst offenders in that regard). So I have always used a light lube like Cyclo Breakaway (C-10) and the nominal torque value given in the manual. Using a good torque wrench is a must.

As I said before, in >50 years of doing this on all of our cars, including my racecars, I've never had an issue with a wheel (or even a single lug) coming loose, and I have never stripped or otherwise damaged the bolts, lug nuts, or their threads.

I also have never had an issue getting them loose. I do carry a 10" piece of EMT tubing in the GSW to use as an extension for the OE wheel wrench, which is otherwise pretty marginal in the best of conditions.
The reality of it is that the factory specs are given for a dry fastener installation. Lubrication, in this case light oil, reduces the contact friction between the lug bolt and the hub, thus allowing for more rotation before reaching the same amount of registered toque (read where the torque wrench clicks or beeps). What's all that mean?

A lubricated lug bolt torqued to the same spec as a non-lubricated lug bolt will be stretched slightly more than that of the non-lubricated. Given the over design of the fastener (safety factor), we can assume the extra stretch is still in the elastic portion of the fastener (one didn't deform the lubricated lug bolt by putting too many uga dugas on it) and it actually has more clamping force than the non-lubricated.

So in reality, if you want to lube your lug bolts, by all means have at it. It's more important to use a calibrated torque wrench than to worry about if it's a dry or lubed installation. However if you must instal them wet, make sure it's ONLY the threaded portion with the lube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
...However if you must install them wet, make sure it's ONLY the threaded portion with the lube.
In order to get repeatable tension values, it's actually as much or more important to lube the tapered area compared to lubing the threads since the taper area has more leverage (larger radius) and being dry there will reduce lug bolt tension as much or more than dry threads. Torque is a relatively poor indicator of tension unless the contact surfaces are perfectly controlled or have some lube.

That's why, for instance, critical bolted joints are tightened to a nominal value and then some fixed amount of rotation to assure a slight amount of yielding, which is a much better predictor of tension. Of course, tightening to yield is not practical with things like wheel lugs, because they will be repeatedly used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,914 Posts
I've been judiciously lubing lug nuts and bolts for ~60 years w/o EVER having one come loose. This has been discussed to death in other posts.

IMO, you're more likely to have a wheel come loose from not enough bolt tension due to dry, imperfect lug contact than from lubrication. YMMV
This. I have been doing a small bit of anti seize for almost 30 years. Never an issue.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
In order to get repeatable tension values, it's actually as much or more important to lube the tapered area compared to lubing the threads since the taper area has more leverage (larger radius) and being dry there will reduce lug bolt tension as much or more than dry threads. Torque is a relatively poor indicator of tension unless the contact surfaces are perfectly controlled or have some lube.

That's why, for instance, critical bolted joints are tightened to a nominal value and then some fixed amount of rotation to assure a slight amount of yielding, which is a much better predictor of tension. Of course, tightening to yield is not practical with things like wheel lugs, because they will be repeatedly used.
I agree, albeit the torque provided in repair manuals is almost always a DRY torque in the case of lug bolts. I'm of the opinion you're better off cleaning the tapered/radius surface then lubricating. As you noted the stiction of the dry surface is hard to control, but lubing the taper allows for additional tightening before the bolts produce torque values to cause the wrench to register.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
I agree, albeit the torque provided in repair manuals is almost always a DRY torque in the case of lug bolts. I'm of the opinion you're better off cleaning the tapered/radius surface then lubricating. As you noted the stiction of the dry surface is hard to control, but lubing the taper allows for additional tightening before the bolts produce torque values to cause the wrench to register.
Lubing any of the contact surfaces, thread or taper/radius does exactly the same thing that I bolded in your quote. It's just a matter of how much the friction in each area affects the torque vs tension equation. And the taper/radius area, because it's at a larger radius, has the potential of having more effect on installation/removal torque required than the threads. So I prefer to lube everything lightly to make sure you develop enough bolt tension, plus help prevent corrosion and difficulty in removal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
I learned the if you want your lugs done right, you gotta do them yourself. Some times the tech torques them correctly. Some times they don't and it's a bitch to get off. I don't let anyone touch my nuts.
Still single?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,938 Posts
After spending my life taking wheels off and on (I probably do it about 5-10 dimes a day, I can tell you this. I have never seen a failure or wheel coming off due to lubed threads and lubed friction surface. On the other hand I've seen plenty of seized, broken and stripped studs/lug nuts/lug bolts that are dry. In all of my years in racing and doing pit stops, we had to lube the studs just due to us zinging them off and on. If we didn't do that, then it was problems with stripped threads or wheels coming off (which when the nuts are not tight, it just shears the studs off unless you can get it into the pits quick enough). Luckily, we now have graphite coated studs which alleviate the problem and thus become a maintenance free item.

One of the major problems is the breakaway torque. Thus dry fasteners in a dirty environment or corrosion environment, will be much higher than the application torque. Thus, I've seen cars with 80 ft-lbs application torque where it takes 140 just to remove them 6 months later. I can also tell you this, it takes about 220 ft lbs to pull the threads out of a hub on a VW. I tested it out with a wrecked car where we were curious as to what it was going to take.

My suggestion is to use anti seize on the threads and friction surface. Plus put some on the centering hub. People forget that and trust me, every day I get at least 2-3 cars where it takes a pry bar just to remove the wheels from the car because it's corroded on the centering hub. Thus, forget ever trying to remove that wheel when you have a flat out on the highway.

If you want the best wheel studs on the market, here's the place: MSI Racing Products
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top