OT - Lug nuts

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ddl@danlan.*com (Dan Lanciani) wrote in

you can buy sockets at Harbor Freight for removing wheel locks when you don't have a key.Just like you can buy "slim jims" at Advance Auto Parts for opening locked car doors.
--
Jim Yanik
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You can slim jim most cars, but I think it's a lot harder to get wheel locks off.
And the point is to stop the average lunkhead, not to stop the most well equipped, who won't go after 180 dollar wheels, but will want to take apart a 100G car they have stolen, and sell all the parts.
I was washing my car at a do-it-yourself car wash in Indiana several years ago, on Xmas, and I locked my keys in the car. I found a convenience store only 30 yars away and was asking her for a wire hanger, and a guy in the store offered to open the door for me. Tunred out he was a pro locksmith. Not only did he have the slim jim but an assorment of tools to pry the rubber away from the window a little bit to make it easier to use the slim jim. It took him from 5 to 10 minutes and he woudln't accept money, because it was Xmas.
Anyhow, if you need to break into your car this way, use the passenger door or the rear door. A friend locked himslef out and the small-town police came and did it for free, but the mechanism got diconnected in the process and he had to climb over the console for the rest of the day until we got to my house and I took apart the door and reconnected things.
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september.org:

You can be 100% certain your wheels DO have lug nuts; they are just covered up to make the wheel look prettier. Lug nuts have been required by law since 1968 (no I'm not kidding).
If you look closely, you'll probably find there's a plastic cover on the face of the wheel. This hides the lug nuts.
Your Owner's Manual will give this information in great detail, complete with diagrams and instructions on how to get the cover off.
What kind of car is this, anyway?
--
Tegger


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wrote:

You need to be concerned about the wheels falling off. Without lug nuts, there is usually nothing to hold them on. :(
All of the nuts that go on the studs are lug nuts, whether they use a key of whatever sort or just a regular lug wrench or jack handle. But some have either key locks or unsuaal shapes, which they also call a key. I had a set of unusual shapes, and I worried that I would lose the "key", but I think the set came with two. Then I had a flat tire and had a hard time engagine the key into the lug nut, and it wasn't even wet, and I figured next time it may be cold and raining and it may be much harder to do if the nut is wet and slippery, and I took them off. I see my next door neighbor has one on each wheel.
ON the other hand, way back in high school in 1964, in a suburban school district with no crime to speak of, a friend drove to school sometimes and one day his car would start but woudln't move. He found that it was jacked up and the rear axle was resting on a box and the wheel/tire was gone. This guy and his parents had only enough money to live nicely on, and didn't splurge on mag wheels or anything. It was probably a Chevy. I don't know why it was stolen. We didn't even have fistfights in this school.
Bub is right that it depends on a lot of things whether you need wheel locks, where you park it, how busy it is there, how special your wheels are. Are wheels still a popular item for theft. I've driven a convertible for 42 years (not the same one) and slashing tops used to be popular, and indeed, my top was slashed once (I patched it and then in the rough n'hood I lived in, they would push open the patch and unlock the door and steal it if I left anything at all in the car. But then convertibles became much less common, and not only did the manufacturers forget that you can't use a day/night mirror in a convertible, but the criminals seemed to have forgotten how much fun it is to slash tops. It's a piece of Americana, of folkways that seems not to have been passed down to the latest generation of criminals. We may be losing our heritage, but I like it. Now convertble tops became uncommon, but for some reason that never happened to wheels. But still, how common is it these days for wheels to be stolen?
What kind of car do you have. How much was the sticker price for the rims (wheels)?

99+% of cars used lugnuts from 1945's or earlier until 1968 and afterwards. Are you saying they outlawed for street use the one big nut in the middle, that one hit with a wrench to spin on or off, instead of 4 or 5 in a circle? What do you call that?

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mm wrote:

Heh!
I recently bought a couple of tires at Walmart. I watched the technician re-mount the tires and asked if he was done. "No," he said, "I've got to get the manager to re-torque on the lugs and sign-off on the job. Walmart doesn't want you to drive out of here and have your nuts fall off."
Presently the manager appeared with a torque wrench. Click-click-clickety-click, followed by: "Your nuts are good to go!"
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HeyBub wrote:

I think I'll stick with my local evil mom & pop tire place where they don't need to bring the manager out to verify basic service was done properly.
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George wrote:

I think it's a wise move to have another employee double-check a safety item.
Plus, here's a story from just today about how Walmart is involved in the fight to keep nuts from falling off.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32784197/ns/health-sexual_health/
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wrote:

I"m impressed that they don't just use an air wrench to put them on tigher than I can get them off. One time I had to drive a half mile to a tire store, on a flat, because even standing on the lug wrench, the bolts wouldn't ocme off. And girls have even more trouble, when I think a normal girl more than 5'5" ought to be able to remove a tire when the lug nuts are tightened by hand, but not if done by an air wrench.
Does any other chain use a manual torque wrench?

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they install the lug nets with air tools, but torque them to spec with a manual wrench. or they should. a bunch of lawsuits about not putting them on properly forced most large chains to do so.
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charlie wrote:

The air wrench guys are supposed to use calibrated 'torque sticks' between the wrench and the socket. Discount Tire does- they have a row on the wall, all color coded. Like the clutch on a cordless drill, they only let the nut tighten so far.
-- aem sends...
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And those sticks are calibrated for a particular output by the air ratchet. If the rattle gun is out of spec or set too high, or the wrong gun is used, the torque stick will happily allow (sometimes severe) overtorque on the lug nuts.
This is why you can end up with four or five wheel nuts all requiring vastly different levels of removal effort by you the next time you have to tackle them.
A manual torque wrench, properly operated, is the only way to go for final tightening.
--
Tegger


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wrote:

It's been a long time since I've had a tire put on by anyone, hmmm, except the guys I buy used tires, who do use air wrenches. I don't know if they are decently calibrated, because I think they are also the only ones who have taken off my wheels. Wait, once I took off a wheel to replace a left tie-rod end. It came off okay, after the tire guys had put it on.
That's for the past 7 years. It's hard to remember the previous car. Maybe the last few years were like these years.

That would be good.
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I'm not sure about chain store policies. I've seen some "torque limiters" which come in different colors. I've taken to carrying a 25 inch breaker bar, and a couple of sockets with me. The criss cross lug wrenches help, but not everyone carries one.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Tue, 15 Sep 2009 17:47:55 -0400, mm wrote:

I still have a habit of carrying a bit of hollow steel pipe in my vehicles that'll slide over the end of the lug wrench - makes life really easy if stuck at the side of the road in the cold and wet with a flat.
I actually bent a 2' long, 5/8" wide wrench in getting the wheel nuts off my wife's car (first time I'd pulled them off after she'd bought it) because they'd been put on so darn tight :-(
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The torque extender. An old trick, but still very useful. Most factory supplied lug wrenches just aren't long enough to be useful. Hollow steel pipe works better than solid steel pipe with no hole in the middle.
The four way wrenches, sometimes called star wrenches. Work nicely for me. I lean my left side against the vehicle. Put my left foot on the left side of the wrench, push down. Pull up on the right side, with one or both hands. Seems to provide some extra torque.
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Christopher A. Young
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A good idea.

I bent the standard 1960's GM lugwrench once, with my bare hands (while it was attached to a lugnut). It didn't work well after that, but it was more than made up for by the boost to my ego.

On Wed, 16 Sep 2009 09:22:34 -0400, "Stormin Mormon" wrote:

Actually, solid pipe was invented over 100 years before hollow pipe. It was intended for water supply but did not work. Four generations of the Pluterchius family worked on improving it, until the next to youngest great-grandson, Minimus Plutarchius, invented the hole.
He was apparently an idiot savant, because he was a failure in school and in other career endeavours. He was dependent on his father for support, and later on his brothers. His father had earned a modest income from royalties on the solid pipe, and Minimus might have received much larger royalties for his pipe improvement, but he was overly impressed by himself after his invention, and thought he could also handle the related legal issues. So instead of consulting with his brothers, he tried to do things on his own, and ended up getting nothing. He spent the rest of his life depending on the loyalty of his brothers for income.

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On Wed, 16 Sep 2009 23:26:35 -0400, mm wrote:

So I hear; they tried weaving big buckets with it, but just couldn't get the gaps watertight due to the poor manufacturing tolerances of the day.

The material removed when making the hole could of course be used to make smaller-diameter solid pipes, intended for supplying smaller sizes of water.
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Let us never say that people in olden days were stupid, or lacked resourcefulness.
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Christopher A. Young
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Les Schwab outlets (NW company) does it, air wrench and then manual torque. I have to call them to change a flat as even with a cruciform lug wrench I can't budge them. Last flat they had even cross trhreaded one lug nut and the lug had to broken off to get the wheel off. No apologies from the company when I complained and pointed out that carrying a spare was pointless if they were going to torque them so tight.
Harry K
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I thought nuts were in the grocery department with trail mix?
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Christopher A. Young
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