I ditched the 4-way lug wrench a long time ago and picked up a long 1/2"
breaker bar with the exact 6-point socket to fit. Depending on how deep
your lugs sit back in the wheel, you might need a short extension too.
Since lugs are under a lot of torque, I bought a good quality Craftsman bar
and socket. Yes, they're expensive, but a $30-40 investment is minimal for
a vehicle. You don't want cheap tools that break when you're stuck on the
side of a lonely road somewhere.
One bonus of a breaker bar and socket is they are light weight and are easy
to store in your vehicle.
I have never needed a pipe on my breaker bar. Most times it is easy to
loosen the lugs by hand. However, on some occasions the tire shops really
over torque the lugs and the lugs are stuck after a couple years. I just
angle the bar parallel to the ground and stand on the end of the bar as
needed. There has never been a lug I couldn't get loose with this
technique. Of course, no harm done if you have room to carry the pipe too.
On Sat, 27 Dec 2014 16:54:37 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
Then there is always the "newfy impact wrench" Put the socket on the
nut with the breaker bar pointed at the ground in the direction of
motion required to undo the nut, bar end on the ground, and put the
car in gear. Guaranteed to do one of 3 things - remove the nut, break
the stud, or break the wrench.
I've done all 3 at one point or another. Have not managed to jack the
car up over the breaker bar yet but I guess that would be a 4th
I tried that with my '51 Chevy, iirc, to break the bead on the tire. The car
jacked up just fine. My memory is a little cloudy on the point but I think
the owner's manuals back in the day illustrated the technique.
Anyway, I let the car down and went on to some other scheme to break the
My current scheme with lug nuts is, if a tire shop mounts the tires, to
drive directly home, take the nuts off with an impact wrench if necessary,
and install them with a breaker bar. I have been known to use a torque
wrench but my fingers are well calibrated by now.
The tire shop I go to has a big window where you can sit and watch them
change and rotate the tires. They seem to use the torque tubes on the
impact wrenches, but give them a final check with the manual torque wrench.
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2014 16:54:37 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
I'm not sure how to explain it, but somehow the flex of the 4way wrench
is the cause of the NOT loosening the lugnuts. It appears that too much
of the energy applied to the wrench goes into bending (flexing) of the
metal in the wrench, and is not used on the nut itself.
As the OP in this thread, and after reading all the replies, I have just
left my half inch breaker bar and socket (7/8") in my pickup truck.
It's a mid 90's truck and does not have metric nuts. I'll buy another
breaker bar when I find one on sale at Sears or another quality type.
Because I want one in my garage tools, so I dont have to have to get it
out of the truck everytime I work on stuff. But that 4way wrench is
The truck was bought from a private party, and did not come with the
original wrench or a jack. I keep a small floor jack inside the cab
(which are usually better anyhow).
Yesterday I took the truck to a tire shop and had the bad tire replaced.
I then had the tire guy put anti-sieze on the lugs on that tire, and had
him put it on ALL my tire lugnuts. He has a power wrench and did all of
them in a couple minutes, rather than trying myself and fighting with
doing it by hand myself. He charged me $5 extra to lube all the nuts,
which was well worth it. While he was doing it, I asked him about the
4way wrenches and he agreed that 4way wrenches are not the best. Then I
asked him if the reason is because of the flex on them, and he said that
it's part of the problem, plus they often dont fit tight enough. He
said I'm doing the right thing by carrying a breaker bar and socket.
As far as you saying you have never needed a pipe on a breaker bar, I
have to say that I have needed a pipe more than not. But I drive older
vehicles, and I'm elderly myself. From now on, everytime I buy a new
vehicle, I am going to have him anti-sieze all the nuts as soon as I buy
the vehicle. I'm tired of having a tire go flat and not being able to
remove the lugnuts on the side of the road. That has happened far too
many times over the years. I still recall one time having to walk about
5 miles to buy a piece of pipe, then walking back to the car. It took
half a day to finally change that damn tire. Tires are made better now,
then they were in the past, but they all go flat sooner or later. I
know one guy who dont carry a spare tire. He said he never gets flats.
I told him that he's a fool!
I carry the usual donut in the car. I have another set of rims with mounted
tires but a real tire won't fit in the spare well which pissed me off.
I also carry a plug kit and a small 12VDC pump. That's saved the day a
couple of times. Summers, I'm usually on one of the bikes and you learn
early if you can't fix a flat 20 miles from East Moosenuts you have a
problem, so all the bikes have pumps and plug kits or tube patches. With the
DR, I throw in a spare tube for good measure. Of course, that goes for the
bikes with pedals too. With them, I carry a spare tube too.
I use the same method to remove crank pulley bolts.
It is one of many "zam-fixes" I learned while in Central Africa
(Zambia) teaching the automotive trade, which I later found werer also
used by our resourcefull East Coast latecomers to confederation.
After 45 years twisting the wrench I still use the torque wrench. If I
need to change a tire on the road I'll trust my "calibration" until I
get home and recheck with the torque wrench. I'm usually pretty darn
close - but I check anyway.
Have not had a tire failure on the road that required a road-side
change since about 1972? on my own vehicles. A few flat on the
driveway, and a few getting low by the time I got home or to the
garage - not counting removing the wheels on the 204 Peugeot several
times on the trip from Livingstone to Mbereshi over the
christmas/new-years holiday of 2003/2004 to straighten the rims after
hitting some awfull potholes. Thankfully NOT tubeless tires!!!.
On Sat, 27 Dec 2014 13:11:30 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have a cell phone and an auto club membership, as do my wife and
both daughters, so spare or no spare or flat spare, I'm covered.
I've used the auto club membership twice - bad transmission and bad
universal joint - both while driving across Michigan in Ford
In the last 34 years I've not had a tire go flat on the road except
for a bad valve stem in PEI, and even then I made it to a garage
before it went right flat - thankfully - because the car was PACKED
and getting to the spare would have been more work than changing it.
I've changed numerous wheels for others stuck on the side of the road.
On Saturday, December 27, 2014 4:02:13 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
That's my experience too. We've even stopped carrying a can of Fix-a-flat, which I kept in the trunk because there was no way my wife was strong enough to get lug nuts off anyway.
I think having to pass inspection annually means we buy tires more often!
On 12/27/2014 4:01 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Those little 12 volt compressors are ten bucks
or so at Harbor Freight. I think, worth every
penny. I have one in each vehicle.
One time a friend had a flat in the church parking
lot. Another man and I got the spare out, which
had no pressure. In spite of being a Ford Expedition
with 17 inch rims, my little 12 volt compressor
aired up the spare. Noisy little unit, and it did
take several minutes.
True nerds will correct me, the spare did have
14.7 PSIA, but I really needed about 50 PSIA to
keep the rim off the ground. Carry on, nothing to
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
Up here we don't have anual inspections - but I won't let an "iffy"
tire go back on at seasonal tire change - When I take the tires off
for changeover, if they are "iffy" they come off the rims immediately
so there is no temptation to get "a few more miles" out of them next
season. Tires are cheap compared to the alternative - an accident or
getting standed somewhere less than safe.
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