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#4543034 - 10/14/17 10:12 AM pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4838
Loc: Houston, Texas
So I only weigh 120 and frequently can stand on a lug wrench and not budge the lug nut, but if I grab it with my hands and pull upwards on it I can pretty much loosen it with ease. I got to thinking, is it because the threads are slanted slightly, so it's creating a wedge in between the nut and the mating surface? So when you stand on it all downward force and friction make it harder to spin off?
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#4543052 - 10/14/17 10:43 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
I'm no engineer but I think I have better luck pushing down. It's all about which one gives you better leverage, so if you get more leverage pulling up, do that.
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#4543054 - 10/14/17 10:44 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
RhondaHonda Offline


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 258
Loc: MO
It means you can deadlift more than your body weight.

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#4543064 - 10/14/17 10:52 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
There is a reason you step on the Lug Wrench on the side of the road to crack the wheel nuts. Pushing with weight behind it is far more effective than pulling. Unless it's some weird contorted position.
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#4543065 - 10/14/17 10:53 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
danez_yoda Offline


Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 460
Loc: texas
Its because the torque you generate depends on how far you pull away from the axis of rotation (lug nut). That's how cheater bars work. The same force applies further from the rotation point gives more torque.

The units for torque are ft-lbs or in-lbs. 1 lbs of force, 1 foot away from the rotation axis is 1 ft-lb of torque. move out 2 feet from the axis or rotation and apply the same 1 lb of force you get 2 ft-lbs. Stay at 1 ft from the rotation axis and apply 2 lb of force and you also get 2 ft-lbs.

When you pull you generally grab the end farthest away from the bolt. When you stand you tend to get more towards the middle of the bar to fit your feet.

That's also why a four-way wrench works better since you pull and push equal distances from the torque point so you double the torque.





Edited by danez_yoda (10/14/17 10:58 AM)

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#4543089 - 10/14/17 11:10 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16809
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Eat some cheezeburgers! Geez!
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#4543090 - 10/14/17 11:10 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
In certain instances: it's because you, personally, can apply more force with your muscles by pulling than you're capable of exerting just by bearing part of your body's weight on it. I weigh 160 and find plenty of times where I can get further with stubborn bolts by leveraging against something than just relying on my weight x leverage of the tool to do it.
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#4543092 - 10/14/17 11:11 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
NYEngineer Offline


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 1562
Loc: NY, NY
245 here

I can push or pull, makes little difference

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#4543111 - 10/14/17 11:33 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Rhymingmechanic Offline


Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 1325
Loc: VA
OP, my experience is pretty much the same at 160.

I think pulling up allows for more control than pushing down. The explanation above about where you hold the wrench probably has something to do with it. Also, pulling allows you to use your legs in addition to arms and back. I always try to use either a 4-way or a long torque wrench instead of the factory lug wrenches.

I have to say, I've never tried standing on a lug wrench. That seems like a sure way to ruin the nuts and wind up on the ground.

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#4543130 - 10/14/17 11:54 AM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5615
Loc: South Florida
You can probably lift 300-400 pounds using your muscles, which is obviously more than the 120 lbs you weigh.
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#4543154 - 10/14/17 12:30 PM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: bubbatime]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32628
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
You can probably lift 300-400 pounds using your muscles, which is obviously more than the 120 lbs you weigh.


Right, if you were to bend over and lift cinder blocks you're lifting most of your body (torso up at least) as well as the cinder blocks.

Doing the lug wrench thing, you're probably lifting with your back, which will make you a cripple, but is done in life because it's effective.

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#4543165 - 10/14/17 12:47 PM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Only a 120 pounds ? How is that even possible ?

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#4543169 - 10/14/17 12:51 PM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: Merkava_4]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10128
Loc: OH
He's a landscaper, smokes and isn't that tall.

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#4543179 - 10/14/17 01:06 PM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Traction Offline


Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 977
Loc: iowa
I remove, and install a lot of wheels. I Always pull up on the wrench to loosen, and push down to tighten.
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#4543187 - 10/14/17 01:16 PM Re: pulling up on a wrench gives more force than pushi [Re: motor_oil_madman]
RedOakRanch Offline


Registered: 11/10/13
Posts: 846
Loc: Central Coast California
Don't over think it, if you can do a pull up you can pull harder than you can push down.
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