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Friday, May 29, 2020

Are your "Nuts" tight enough? Part 2

This topic of how to ensure your Lug Nuts are tight enough, but no too tight,  is a two-parter and this is Part 2.

The first part, if you missed it, covered the Science and Engineering behind the basics as I am expecting that there will be a number of people who will say something along the lines of "Roger, You are all wet. I've done it THIS way for years and never had a problem".

You are certainly welcome to ignore my advice and continue with the methods you have used for years. My target audience is those who are still new to the RV life and do not have years of automotive or mechanical background or training, and those that want to ensure they do not end up with a wheel coming off their RV or breaking a wheel stud.

OK let's jump in.

I am confident that no one wants a wheel of their car, RV, trailer, or dolly to come off while traveling down the road as seen in THIS video. Or maybe even worst to cause someone personal injury as seen HERE. (The man suffered a fractured skull and chest injuries). So what do we all need to do to prevent a wheel coming off one of our vehicles? It's easy. Just make sure all your lugs nuts are properly tightened and neither the wheel or nuts or studs have been previously damaged. Sounds simple enough but how do we do that?

First, you need to know how tight the nuts are supposed to be. This information should be in your Owner's Manual 

You can check out this YouTube How to Tighten "Nuts" - The Right Way. Note: I covered the sequence for setting or checking the torque depending on how many lugs you have on your vehicle in THIS blog post. One important point to consider. If you had service on your brakes or tires and someone else tightened the lug nuts how do you know they did the job correctly? Many of us have heard about or experienced an over tight lug nut so I recommend you set the torque your self as seen in the video. Then when you are doing the recommended "Torque Check" at 50, 100, and 150 miles you will know that you don't have a nut that is significantly over tight. Note if your owner's manual has different mileage for torque check follow your owner manual. If you find a nut that turns after the 2nd check keep an eye on it in the 3rd check and if still turning you need service as something is wrong.

Let's review the tools you will need and seen in the video.
Remember this info is aimed at owners of RVs with tires smaller than 19.5"So if you are in a Class-A you can read to understand what is happening to your "baby" when you call the service truck.

Torque wrench, 6 point socket of the correct size for your nuts, 2' "Breaker bar", 12" long 1/2" drive extension to allow you to get to your dual wheel nuts. Note Trailer owners may not need this tool.
You will probably not need to use these tools too often so top quality (expensive) is not needed so in those cases I head for Harbor Freight for low-cost tools.
Check these links:
1/2" Drive Torque Wrench. Harbor Freight    or  Lowes

1/2" drive extension     Harbor Freight   or Lowes

6 point "Impact" rated socket I recommend you not use a "12 point" socket as they are more likely to spin off or round off your nuts. You do not need to buy a set. You might want to confirm the size by borrowing a socked from a friend or fellow RV owner. Example 13/16"  Lowes
Note it might be better to go to Lowes or similar as you do not need a set, but be sure to get the correct size not something close enough or you can damage the lug nuts. Here is a 3/4" socket from Lowes.

Now how do you get the tight nut off? a 2' long Breaker Bar will make the job easier. This is what I use. and I can easily generate 200 Ft-Lb

OK so with all the tools you may need collected, How do you set your clicker torque wrench to the spec for your vehicle,
Here is a YouTube to help those who have never used a Torque Wrench.

Hope this helps and if these couple of posts help a few RV owners avoid problems we will be happy.


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