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#4571467 - 11/12/17 05:39 AM Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts
billt460 Offline

Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 3853
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
I know there has been a lot said on this subject one way and the other. I saw yet another example of why to properly lubricate lug nuts yesterday. My neighbor was replacing the tires on his pop up camping trailer. They were cracking and dry rotting from too much UV light exposure. I saw him struggling trying to get both wheels off, and walked over to see if he needed any help.

The lugs were so tight neither of us could move them with the small wrench he was using. He said he never had the wheels off since he bought it. I had some Kroil, and we sprayed all of them and let it sit for a few minutes. Same deal. They wouldn't budge. I had a 1/2" breaker bar with a 6 point socket, and told him it would either break them loose, or else crack them off.

With the breaker bar and a piece of PVC pipe as an extension they started to crack loose, but were snapping and popping for the first half a turn. Every time they did a puff of white corrosive dust came out from around the nut. I kept spraying and forcing them until we luckily got them all off without snapping any of them off. The studs and nuts were all bone dry. When he got back from having the new tires put on, I had a rotary wire brush and cleaned all the studs with my cordless drill. Then blew them off with compressed air, and coated both the threads on the studs, as well as the threads on the nuts, and the tapered seat that meets the wheel with a liberal amount of Loctite C-5 anti seize. They obviously went on much easier then they came off.

I always use anti seize on lug nuts, and have never had this happen. Not even in Chicago through slushy, road salt filled Winters. I've never had a lug nut come loose either. On the other hand, I have seen all but countless people struggle with seized up lug nuts like my neighbor did. So you can put me in the column that believes keeping lug nuts properly lubricated is a definite advantage over leaving them dry.

#4571485 - 11/12/17 06:32 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
fozzdesy2001 Offline

Registered: 11/22/13
Posts: 53
Loc: York, Pa
My biggest concern with lube on lug nuts is over tightening them, especially when they are tightened by a shop using air tools. I lube them but cringe every time I go in for inspection, front end work or new tires. I use as little as possible, less is better in this case. Damed if you do, damed if you don't.

Edited by fozzdesy2001 (11/12/17 06:33 AM)
2001 Subaru Forester S
Replaced with a 2006 Forester

2004 Subaru Forester XT
Death by deer. Replaced with 2003 Impreza Outback Sport (beater)

#4571491 - 11/12/17 06:47 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
eljefino Offline

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32224
Loc: ME
I use it on a stud-by-stud basis if the running torque is rough/high due to corrosion. Open ended lug nuts are worse than the capped ones for this. I make sure to keep it off the acorn surface which provides some of the friction to keep them from backing off.

I do 100% of my work and use a torque wrench (without adjusting for lubed threads). I've still snapped studs. I haven't lost a wheel.

#4571499 - 11/12/17 07:01 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
Driz Offline

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 240
Loc: northern NY
Theyíre on that tight because of a moron driving an air gun! Somebody hammered em on years ago likely. Iíve had one on so tight before I had to cut 2 nuts off with a torch. Try that one when itís recessed in an aluminum wheel. That moron stretched the threads so bad you could easily see them bent and I had to replace all the studs.
Iíve lubed all mine for decades and not one ever came loose. I used to use never seize but switched to whatever grease I have on hand. I found the rust belt road gunk seems to stick more to the neverseize and make it sort of waxy and thickened dirty. The grease seems cleaner and coats the threads better for me and cleans up easier with a couple quick swipes with a steel brush.
Of course I donít use much of either and wipe or wire em off each time before adding a bit more every time I rotate or change mine. Then unlike so many production pros spin mine on with the first setting on my Aircat. After that they get finished up with the breaker bar. So simple when you take a second to do it right.

#4571507 - 11/12/17 07:06 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
Slick17601 Offline

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 1509
Loc: Pennsylvania
In that situation maybe a tiny bit on the threads but never on the tapered seat. He better check them frequently if he tows it.

Edited by Slick17601 (11/12/17 07:08 AM)

#4571519 - 11/12/17 07:18 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
Bighorn2500 Offline

Registered: 05/24/16
Posts: 278
Loc: Michigan, USA
I use just a little and just snug them with the impact but final tightening is done with a torque wrench.
2012 Ram 2500 SLT 6.7L Cummins 4x4
2015 Jeep Cherokee 3.2L Latitude 4x4

#4571520 - 11/12/17 07:21 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
Miller88 Online   content

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12574
Loc: Onondaga County
I always lubricate lug studs/nuts. Generally with the cheapest grease within reach of where i am pulling the wheel off.
18 Forester 2.5I 6M
00 Jeep Cherokee
01 Ford F-350 XL 4x4 5M

#4571530 - 11/12/17 07:41 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
Donald Offline

Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20125
Loc: Upstate NY
Anti-seeze from my observation can get washed away by road spray. Marine grease would be better. But you can over torque the nut with either.

I typically only lubricate wheel lug nuts on my boat trailer.

The OP is lucky he did not snap any. I have snapped a lug stud and had to get a machine shop to get it out and install heli-coil.

Better would be to spray and use impact. If nogo, then wait a day and spray again and try impact. Impact less likely to snap than a breaker bar.
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)

#4571536 - 11/12/17 07:47 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
WyrTwister Offline

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1141
Loc: Texas
Heat ?

Best of luck to you all , :-)
God bless

#4571558 - 11/12/17 08:39 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
webfors Offline

Registered: 06/06/06
Posts: 4595
Loc: Great White North.. eh
I always lube my nuts.

Try to keep the lube away from the tapered seat as mentioned above.

I use anti-sieze or often just white lithium grease. I take off 5-10 ft-lbs on the torque wrench to compensate.

I worked on my parents car for the first time. They maintained it exclusively with a local garage. Not a drop of lube, grease or anti-sieze anywhere. What a pita.
17 ATS 2.0T AWD, Bulk 5w30, PF64 OF
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#4571564 - 11/12/17 08:47 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: webfors]
Kira Offline

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 4762
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
I find it funny (ODD funny not Ha-Ha funny) that with all the mechanical sense on this board the instruction, "Anti-Seize acts like a lube so reduce the torque 40% to 50%", isn't common knowledge.

What's the big mystery? Don't yell at me as that isn't the angle I'm coming from.

#4571567 - 11/12/17 08:53 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
WyrTwister Offline

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1141
Loc: Texas
I do not live in the rust belt , but when I remove a lug nut , I try to spray it & lube it again , when I put it back on .
Tightening it with a 4 way wrench .

Best of luck to you , :-)
God bless

#4571614 - 11/12/17 09:42 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
Ethan1 Offline

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1620
Loc: 'murica
Originally Posted By: billt460
He said he never had the wheels off since he bought it.

There's your sign. What does this have to do with anti-seize? I have a car that has had no anti-seize on the wheel studs for 50 years! But the wheels have been removed occassionally, so nothing is stuck...huh!

#4571615 - 11/12/17 09:43 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: eljefino]
billt460 Offline

Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 3853
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Open ended lug nuts are worse than the capped ones for this.

This is a good point. Acorn lug nuts keep dirt and water off the threads. Thankfully most cars and trucks have these type of lug nuts today.

#4571683 - 11/12/17 10:45 AM Re: Anti Sieze On Lug Nuts [Re: billt460]
2015_PSD Offline

Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 7100
Loc: SE Texas
In my early working days, I spent about 12 years in the heavy petrochemical world where anti-seize was the order of the day. Many of the environments inside some of the units within these plants was corrosive enough to cause stainless steel to rust and make a Michigan salt-laced winter seem like an oatmeal bath. During one particular maintenance cycle an older fellow and myself had to remove nearly 1,000 stud bolts and 2H nuts from equipment that had been running since the early 1960's (this was 1985 or so). Due to corrosion, more than 50% of the nuts did not have enough hex remaining to use a wrench or socket on them and we were forced to use small pipe wrenches. Smart pipe fitters of the day only applied anti-seize to a nut one side of the stud bolt allowing the other to "freeze" so that you were not unscrewing both sides, thereby speeding maintenance times. Every single one of the nuts that had anti-seize on them broke free with moderate effort and there was still anti-seize visible on the threads.

So when I read things like salt water will wash off anti-seize from lug nuts or the concerns about the over tightening aspect related to use of anti-seize, I find it more than a little comical. Good tire shops use a torque wrench to check the tightness of lug nuts and even with the reduction of friction, you will be fine. I have a metal bottle of anti-seize that I have had since the 1980s that I have always applied to my lug nuts--including those on my trailers. Never once have I twisted one off, never once has one magically loosened, and they always come off without having to use a cheater pipe. I say use the anti-seize and sleep well at night--but to each his or her own.
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