wheel studs

Submitted: Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 08:28
ThreadID: 98007 Views:2254 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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on a recent trip to the west we had the nasty experience of 5 out of 6 the wheel stud shearing off . Our ford ranger extra cab was fully loaded but not over G V M
I believe the issue was over tightening of the nuts when new tyres were fitted to the rear.

we were stranded in an SA wheat belt town for a few days and chatted to many other travellers .It seems ours was not an uncommon experiance .
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Reply By: Ross M - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:09

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 09:09
G'day Big Bird
I presume you mean 5 studs on the one wheel and not 5 distributed among the 24.
If left slightly loose the wheel/axle spigot is the only item bearing the load and the studs get hammered sideways which breaks them off.
The studs should clamp with sufficient frictional grip to hold the wheel securely against the hub face.
Overtightening does also stretch and damage studs and despite most people knowing the dangers of overtightening when new tyres are fitted, they still allow fitters with impact guns to tighten the wheel nuts.

If the vehicle is fitted with alloy wheels and the hub has been heated by braking, then the sudden cooling, like going through a river crossing will chill the wheel and make the studs slightly loose. Then they become very loose and usually the wheel falls off if the situation goes unnoticed or the stud tightness isn't checked after the chilling.

Was the vehicle used on rough roads at near GVM? If so, that will place unusually high sustained loading on components. You will probably break after a period of working at your personal GVM loading.

I regard GVM and max towing weights in the same category. It is the limit of, and not the normal operating condition which the vehicle should be used under. It is always wise to have a safety margin or a level of insurance.
Don't always believe the manufacturers claimed figures, they are competing against other manufacturers for sales. Something has to be pushed to the limit. I wonder what that could be?
AnswerID: 494844

Follow Up By: Big Bird - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:23

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:23
Thanks for you post Ross M
Yes the ranger has done may thousands of Ks on rough roads at near GVM
The tyres in question were fiited about 1200 Ks before the incident at an outback road house ,after we had suffered a shredded tyre.

Before this last trip I had checked the wheel nuts and could not easily undo them .
After a bit of brute strength was applied with a long lever to undo them they were all retightened to normal torque.


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Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:37

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:37
Big Bird
Had the same thing happen to my vehicle as well, sheared 1 x stud and 2 out of the remaining 4 were loosened.
I believe that the 1 that sheared off was overtightened and the other 2 not tight enough AFTER the vehicle had been at tyre repair shop.
As a reference I have alloy wheels fitted.
This happened halfway between Karratha and Newman on the Roebourne Wittenoom road, which is rough in places but not too bad when I was travelling.
I managed to arrive at Newman without major incident and replaced all studs on that diff in case the other side studs were stessed,and never had an issue since.
Have a strict practice now at tyre shops of refusing them to use a rattle gun on the tightening of wheel nuts on my vehicle, and tension them myself at home.
Some of those rattle guns can generate some pretty serious torque.
Cheers
Paul

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AnswerID: 494851

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 12:20

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 12:20
hi bigbird
rattle gun torque is adjustable they usually have 4 settings the problem is operator error they set the torque to one setting usually to suit a truck wheel and just use it on every vehicle at the same setting instead of changing it to suit each type of wheel or vehicle in other words the operator doesnt give a
sh-------the result being over or under tensioned wheel nuts right across the vehicle range
there is nothing wrong with rattle guns providing you know how to use one and you care about what you are doing
but most operators dont care all they want to do is get the wheels back on as fast and as easy as possible and get onto the next tire change job
turn over is more important than a quality job and your usually a long way from that place when the ultimate wheel nut/stud issue occurrs
as mentioned dont allow a rattle gun and then check them manually yourself just up the road if you know how to is probably the best bet
corregated roads play hell with wheel nuts and studs most of the time caravan/trailer and tug and you dont have to loaded to have trouble
cheers
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:51

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:51
We have one of those 12V "rattle" guns. I am always concerned about over tightening them. When putting the wheel nuts on, I go to one click and finish with the wheel brace.

Phil
AnswerID: 494853

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 16:31

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 16:31
I keep a spare set of studs and nuts, front and rear in the Patrol, it is common on GU's. Another problems are with aftermarket wheels where the centre hole in the wheel is not the same as the hub diameter, this is a common problem on trailers as well. The load is on the studs only!! Also as you mentioned, overtightening is a problem, best to loosen and tighten with a torque wrench after new tyres are fitted or if removed for wheel balance. Michael.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 16:39

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 16:39
Mick O also had a problem with some aftermarket rims having no chamfer on the stud holes to mate with the tapered nuts, so after some miles, the wheels became loose as the nuts seated into the wheels, creating a chamfer, leaving the wheel nuts loose. When clearance was sufficient, the wheels flooged the studs and eventually sheared them off.
Michael


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Reply By: Member - Sanantone - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 18:59

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 18:59
I have noticed that the tyre centers around me now use a Tension wrench as the final tightening tool? So something has happened.
Tony
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AnswerID: 494897

Reply By: mikehzz - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 19:20

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 19:20
I used to be a wheel stud. Wheely, ask my wife..:-)
AnswerID: 494900

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 19:51

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 19:51
"a wheel stud"

sure it's not a wheel nut (;-))
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 06:59

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 06:59
Touche :-) She would definately agree with that too.
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Reply By: splits - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 21:57

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 21:57
Big Bird

I keep a tension wrench permanently in my car. It is the only way to be sure they are as close to factory specifications as possible. You may find your problem is not solely due to nut tension. Just about every car in the country would have had its wheel nuts over tightened many times but only a tiny minority break. Most of these seem to be 4wds. It could be a combination of over stretched studs combined with load, speed and road surface. Stiffer aftermarket springs and larger diameter tyres don't help either.

Ross M is right about GVM and towing capacities. The advertised limits are for good conditions only and then not all the time. I remember working at the October Bathurst race in 1963 to '66. The cars were stock standard in those days but many suffered major mechanical problems after only a few hours of high speed driving. Some of the specially built EH S4 Holdens broke tailshafts and tore the centres out of their wheels. All of those cars would have gone for years in normal street use without any problems.

Your typical city based 4wd owner will have two weeks of school holidays so they will load the car to the limit or beyond then roll out of Sydney or Melbourne to see the Kimberleys via the Tanami track. They then wonder why things break.

I don't know what your circumstances are. Your problem may have been nut tension and nothing else but there could also be a lot more to it.

You may find the informatin in this link useful.http://www.caravanandmotorhomebooks.com/articles/why_wheels_fall_off.html
AnswerID: 494917

Follow Up By: Ross M - Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 22:34

Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 22:34
During my Automotive apprenticeship an older gentleman ( airframe engineer) taught me that to run an engine past 60 % of its revs it will not last. Also applied somewhat to loading and towing. Nothing left and no reserve capacity if near the maximum.

If operating near the maximum and rough or sudden terrain is encountered then the sudden increase in forces on wheel nuts and axles and suspension and chassis can be more than triple the rated capacity.

I use that concept to bend metal. Physics does too.
Motoring writers can't seem to have a grasp of the issue at all.
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Follow Up By: Crammo - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 09:54

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 09:54
Ross, what you say makes real sense.
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Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 11:33

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 11:33
"If operating near the maximum and rough or sudden terrain is encountered then the sudden increase in forces on wheel nuts and axles and suspension and chassis can be more than triple the rated capacity."


You never see that mentioned in magazines Ross. Maybe the writers and sponsors don't want to let scientific facts interfere with the sale of a good after market accessory. The weight on springs, wheel studs, tow balls etc is stationary weight only. The forces generated when the wheels hit depressions or humps in the road at speed far exceed that weight. You will soon get the idea if you hold a brick in one hand and drop it a few inches into the other or hold it steady and lift it up rapidly.

Off road is far worse than on road which is why manufacturers recommend reduced towing and carrying weights in rough conditions.
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