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With previous experience with an F-250 4x4 (now a true Toyota fan) it is recommended that you do not use any lube on your lug nut studs (mind you that the lug nuts are not completely covered on the older Fords). I am arriving to the conclusion that adding some anti-seize compound to the threads will allow for more accurate torque and less damage to the threads.
I don't see any adverse problems with adding a bit of anti-seize. Thanks in advance for your comments.
 

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I suggest not putting ANYTHING on threads if it acts as a lubricant and the required torque is high. Having said that, I use anti-sieze compound on spark plugs.

I once worked with an engineer whose previous job was writing software for a "bolt tightening measuring whatsit" to be used by NASA. The intent was to measure the tension forces on a tightened bolt by measuring the lengthwise stretch of the bolt as it was tightened. The method was ultrasonic transducers, microprocessors, and software. It worked nicely.

What developed from their research was that the relationship between the torque applied to the bolt and the lengthwise tension forces induced thereby is highly dependent on the condition of the threads. For example, if the threads are dirty and/or rusted, it can require a high torque just to turn the bolt, much less tighten it. The problem with anti-sieze compound is that it lubricates the threads, which can result in a very much higher tension in the bolt than the torque used to tighten it would provide with clean, dry threads. So, if you put it on your lug bolts and tighten it to the recommended 83 ft-lbs of torque, you could break the stud, or the wheel, or both, or you could warp the brake drum, the hub, or the disk.

I understand the desire to use anti-sieze compound on lug bolts. I once broke a lug off while taking a lug not OFF because it siezed up. Since then, I've made sure I have clean, dry, rust-free threads before putting a lug nut on, and I've never had a problem since.
 

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I pull my wheels off and on a LOT and I always have. If you do this you MUST check the torque on the lug nuts at least a couple of times after putting the lugs back on.

I can only say what I've seen in my personal vehicles over the past 25 years . It works for me until I see differently. I've been using the same hi-temp anti-seize that I use for my spark plugs. I'll do that at least one or two times and then you don't need to use it for a couple years. I'll wipe a pretty good amount on studs with my finger and wipe the lube into the threads well. Put the nut as far onto the lug as you can by hand and then back it completely off. Then put it on again. Make sure all the threads are lubed. It's kind of a pain getting the anti-seize off your finger though.

After you do it once don't do it again until I feel the lugs sticking again which could be years later. You can feel the difference right away when you do it a lot.

I've even experimented with filling the lug with some WD-40 and then dumping it out onto a paper towel (so I could throw the excess away) before I put it on the lugs. Thread it off and on a couple times to make sure the threads are well lubricated. This works too, but I still use anti-sieze at least once to coat the threads. I've even tried white grease but I think that's too thick and too slick. I definitely don't recommend that.

Could be the dumbest thing to do in the world. Could be the smartest if you're careful. I don't know.... It works for me and I do it the first time before I let a shop take off the wheels with an impact hammer since you can break semi-seized studs pretty easily that way too. With some anti-seize on there, it has never seized on me. I use just enough to get a nice aluminum looking coat on the threads and wipe any excess off the threads with a paper towel.

What DJ mentioned is definitely true so I only have the lugs torqued to 80 pound on an aluminum rim. I've done this with both taper seat lug nuts and flat seat lug nuts and it's been fine for me. I'm more comfortable with this than breaking studs. I've never broken a stud that I've lubed. But I have when I haven't - even when brand new. That's loosening......

I guess I could check the delta in actual bolt tension by putting a lug through a 1x piece of wood and seeing the difference in compression for the same torque. If there's a big delta in compression then the lube makes a huge difference in tension, but I've never seen deformation of my rims with 80 pound of torque. And that includes taper seat aluminum rims which are the easiest to damage by far.

But of course, any time you put lugs on you should check the torque again after a mile or so of driving. And then check again a couple weeks later to make sure that nothing is coming loose. I've never had an issue but you still have to check - it's crazy not to whether you lube the lugs or not. But I think it's a much bigger deal not to if you do since the threads are not going to lock.

So that's my experience. You can try it or not. It seems to definitely reduce the amount of force needed to break the nuts free. Anti-seize seems to definitely reduce static friction while not adversely affecting the dynamic friction - at least not that I've seen. One thing I do though is to under torque first, then the snug it up a little at time to just make 80 pounds so I'm measuring from static friction vs dynamic. Could be if you do it all at once that you do overtighten. I'll always loosen after seating, then tighten it back up to 80 pounds (on an aluminum or magnesium rim which is all I've ever bought).


Alan














SnowTruck said:
With previous experience with an F-250 4x4 (now a true Toyota fan) it is recommended that you do not use any lube on your lug nut studs (mind you that the lug nuts are not completely covered on the older Fords). I am arriving to the conclusion that adding some anti-seize compound to the threads will allow for more accurate torque and less damage to the threads.
I don't see any adverse problems with adding a bit of anti-seize. Thanks in advance for your comments.
 

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porshe

my first job out of high school was at a place called the "911 shop" as r/r labor. that was the first time i had ever heard of putting anti-seize on a wheel lug bolt. turns out that certain models of porshes use magnesium lugs and require anti-sieze to keep them from siezing onto the studs or drums. THIS APPLIES ONLY TO MAGNESIUM LUGS ON PORSHES.

as for your toyota, keep the threads clean.
 

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I sprayed silicon lubricant lightly after cleaning the thread. No problem on both personal or fleet vehicles.
 

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I can definitely see the argument against lubing and I started doing it before I knew about the possibility of overstressing a bolt. In fact, now that I think about it, that is over 30 years ago. Maybe ignorance is bliss, but I've been doing it for so long now and I like the results I get with doing it vs not doing it.

Now I put at least a little squirt of WD-40 on just about any screw I put back in - especially if it's going to be there for a while. Either that or I'm putting threadlock on it which will do the same but lock it in. I even occasionally put white grease on the screws I pull when I change the oil on my Tundra (not the oil plug though - that's naturally lubed).

I'm kind of particular about the condition of the nuts and bolts on a vehicle and I've swapped out a lot of fasteners just because they've gotten rusted and I've thought about what it's going to be like to pull that 20 years from now. Fix that issue now while I've got it out.

I guess I have a different perspective because I've got some vehicles that are 20+ or 30+ years old and digging out broken bolts are a major pain. Most people don't have this kind of experience. But I think about things 20 or 30 years down the road (even though it may not be my road).

If you lubricate the threads, frozen bolts are almost guaranteed not to happen. And the more exposed that something is to the elements or severe heat, the more likely I'm going to use anti-seize over a wd-40 type product to avoid freezing.

My main fear initially with putting anti-seize on the wheels was that if I torqued them they would some how loosen since the metals definitely don't lock together. With *any* pressure, metals will bind/weld to each other over time and that's in addition to any rusting which causes metal expansion and consequent locking. But over many years I've found that when I tighten something it stays just as tight over time. It's the loosening that is much easier because you don't get locking of materials.

So until I see something that was properly torqued come loose, I'll keep lubing threads to avoid freezing and keep to the low end of the acceptable torque specs when tightening. It's worked for me.

Alan






P07r0457 said:
I'm gonna go with "not a good idea"
 

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akauth said:
[...]

It's worked for me.

Alan
To say "It's worked for me" means that your wheels haven't come off, your studs haven't broken, and so on. It's hard to argue with 'lack of failure", but I wouldn't call it "success".

My engineer colleague stated that their research showed an increase in the tensile stress in the bolt by a factor of more than FIVE as a result of lubricating the threads with light oil compared to clean dry threads, using the same tightening torque in both cases. Of course, any given case will be different, depending on the lubricant used, the thread pitch, and so on. But, you could be using up nearly all your safety margin and not know it. I hope your luck holds.

I'll stick with clean, dry threads. That's what the torque specs were made for and, as you say, it's worked for me.
 

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I'll have to do some research on that for my own FYI. But as I said, works for me and it doesn't lock excessively (nor loosen when not wanted) no matter how long I go - so I'll keep doing it. I've never seen damage over quite a long period of time so I'll keep doing it.

Though of course there is the concept of work hardening which will only make the bolt stronger (to a point of course). 5 times is a bit much, though.

I'm kind of a "it ain't true unless I see myself" kind of guy. So I'd have to know the parameters of the testing.

I'm going to put a bolt through a piece of wood though to see some of the effect of lube.


Alan



DJ said:
To say "It's worked for me" means that your wheels haven't come off, your studs haven't broken, and so on. It's hard to argue with 'lack of failure", but I wouldn't call it "success".

My engineer colleague stated that their research showed an increase in the tensile stress in the bolt by a factor of more than FIVE as a result of lubricating the threads with light oil compared to clean dry threads, using the same tightening torque in both cases. Of course, any given case will be different, depending on the lubricant used, the thread pitch, and so on. But, you could be using up nearly all your safety margin and not know it. I hope your luck holds.

I'll stick with clean, dry threads. That's what the torque specs were made for and, as you say, it's worked for me.
 

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Not sure about oil but I personally don't think a light squirt of silicon lubricant will cause problem.

I have done this since '80s from personal cars/light trucks to medium duty.

Never had a broken/loose nut/lug/stud when properly torqued.

That's my experience from 1.5+ million logged miles.
 

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I do not know whats better in theory but I have been using never-sieze on all my lugs for the past 23 years with nothing but good results(meaning they all came off only when I wanted them too)...Thats my $.02
 

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akauth said:
I'll have to do some research on that for my own FYI.

[...]

I'm going to put a bolt through a piece of wood though to see some of the effect of lube.


Alan
Try putting it through a piece of steel. Make sure it fits the hole quite well, use hard (grade 8) washers under the head and the nut, and make sure the mating surfaces are flat and burr-free. Make sure the bolt is only slightly longer than necessary, perhaps two threads or so.

Then, use a micrometer to measure the length of the bolt at a given tightening torque on the nut. Lubricate the threads and do it again. The additional stretch of the bolt with the lubricant on the threads is a sign of additional tensile stress on the bolt.

If you want to have even more fun, look up the strength of the steel bolt, compute its Hooke's Law constant, and compute the additional stress in psi. Finally, measure the decrease in thickness of the steel the bolt goes through and take that into account.

That's what the project I talked about did, over and over. I wasn't there -- I heard it 2nd hand. Their goal was to tighten the bolt to a specified stress, which they determined by measuring its elongation. They found that they could not depend on the tightening torque at all.

Ain't engineering fun?
 

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redman733 said:
I do not know whats better in theory but I have been using never-sieze on all my lugs for the past 23 years with nothing but good results(meaning they all came off only when I wanted them too)...Thats my $.02
My concern is not that the anti-sieze would cause them to come off. My concern is that they bolt and hub are overstressed way beyond what they were designed to be used at.
 

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DJ said:
My concern is not that the anti-sieze would cause them to come off. My concern is that they bolt and hub are overstressed way beyond what they were designed to be used at.
Try removing your wheels after a Pa. winter with all the salt they use on the roads here and you'll be an instant fan of anti-seize
hirschg
 

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hirschg said:
Try removing your wheels after a Pa. winter with all the salt they use on the roads here and you'll be an instant fan of anti-seize
hirschg
Could be. Twenty six years in Missouri was bad enough.
 

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It's going to be easier to measure compression in a manufactured wood material (as imperfect as it is) and work backward from there (action=reaction) then to actually measure any actual micro changes in the metal since obviously this is huge dollars since to do it right really requires dynamic analysis with lots of sensors to determine deformation zones.

Actually a better item would be to compress against springs with predictable compression rates. With known compression force you have to have the same tension in the bolt.

But I'm not talking about cranking something to 500 ft-lbs either. I'm talking about 20 to 80 ft-lb ranges.

My "acid test" on whether something is too tight is when you see thread deformation or damage (stripping). As long as I don't screw up threads, I'm really not that concerned about exerting the maximum tensile strength of a bolt. Screwing up a thread often is worse than even breaking a bolt in the hole.

I've never even come close to having a problem with lubing threads and then being able to take things apart later. I grew up in the rust belt and it's often a huge headache to remove what's left after you broke something that was frozen. I still do the same thing in California because it works. At the very least I put on something that's going to displace moisture (like WD-40 or the like.)

Too, having been in engineering I realize that a spec is only as good as the motives of the designer. Could be the reason that something is specked a certain way is only because of rule of thumb or an arbitrary value that was in an appropriate range for the fastener size.

But you're right engineering is fun. It's all about figuring out how to get from point a to point b successfully and with safety factors built in for errors in design calculations and errors in actual application. Rules of thumbs go a long way though. They became rules because they work over time.


Alan












DJ said:
Try putting it through a piece of steel. Make sure it fits the hole quite well, use hard (grade 8) washers under the head and the nut, and make sure the mating surfaces are flat and burr-free. Make sure the bolt is only slightly longer than necessary, perhaps two threads or so.

Then, use a micrometer to measure the length of the bolt at a given tightening torque on the nut. Lubricate the threads and do it again. The additional stretch of the bolt with the lubricant on the threads is a sign of additional tensile stress on the bolt.

If you want to have even more fun, look up the strength of the steel bolt, compute its Hooke's Law constant, and compute the additional stress in psi. Finally, measure the decrease in thickness of the steel the bolt goes through and take that into account.

That's what the project I talked about did, over and over. I wasn't there -- I heard it 2nd hand. Their goal was to tighten the bolt to a specified stress, which they determined by measuring its elongation. They found that they could not depend on the tightening torque at all.

Ain't engineering fun?
 

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akauth said:
[...]

My "acid test" on whether something is too tight is when you see thread deformation or damage (stripping). As long as I don't screw up threads, I'm really not that concerned about exerting the maximum tensile strength of a bolt. Screwing up a thread often is worse than even breaking a bolt in the hole.

I've never even come close to having a problem with lubing threads and then being able to take things apart later.

[...]
A wheel stud is a particularly hard bolt. A hard bolt can break from brittleness long before the threads strip. Again, my concern is not that you can't take it apart later or that it will come loose, it is that it could break, without deformation, because of being overstressed.

Part of this comes from an experience I had when I was about 16. I was driving my mother's "second car" (which my two brothers and I all drove as our "first" car). A rear axle seal began leaking and I had it repaired at the local Sears shop. The buffoon who put the wheel on used a 4-way lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts. He put all five on finger tight, then put the lug wrench to one and just cranked on it until the lug snapped. To say that I ate his arse out is an understatement. He repaired it at no expense.

The amazing result was a clean break through the stud just inboard the nut. The stud itself was clean and dry, and I simply unscrewed the lug nut from the snapped-off piece. So, there was no deformation of threads under the nut, just a clean overstress of the stud until it broke, and he did it just by cranking on a lug wrench.

So, with lubricant on the threads, it takes a whole lot less torque to put the same stress on the bolt. Do you see my concern? It's your backside at risk, not mine, and you really don't know just how much additional stress it puts on the bolt in your case. So, the fact that it hasn't failed looks like success, but I wonder what your safety margin is? Perhaps the risk is small, but perhaps it's not. Absent real measurements, it's not engineering, it's just guesswork. That's why I said that I hope your luck holds up.

With only a couple of exceptions, I've done all my own service and repair work since then. This episode is the reason why.
 

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akauth said:
It's going to be easier to measure compression in a manufactured wood material (as imperfect as it is) and work backward from there (action=reaction) then to actually measure any actual micro changes in the metal since obviously this is huge dollars since to do it right really requires dynamic analysis with lots of sensors to determine deformation zones.

Actually a better item would be to compress against springs with predictable compression rates. With known compression force you have to have the same tension in the bolt.

[...]
I think you're going the wrong direction. You would not be simulating the condition that occurs on the vehicle.

The idea is not to produce the same tension in the bolt with less torque, it is to produce higher tension in the bolt with the same torque. If the higher tension can lead to thread deformation or shear, then the simulation has to work at that higher tension, not lower tension. Your suggested simulation leads away from that, not toward it. That's why I suggested using steel.

It doesn't take any expensive equipment, just the steel, the bolt, nut, and washers, the torque wrench, oil or anti-sieze, and a caliper or micrometer to measure the length of the bolt.
 

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DJ said:
I think you're going the wrong direction. You would not be simulating the condition that occurs on the vehicle.

The idea is not to produce the same tension in the bolt with less torque, it is to produce higher tension in the bolt with the same torque. If the higher tension can lead to thread deformation or shear, then the simulation has to work at that higher tension, not lower tension. Your suggested simulation leads away from that, not toward it. That's why I suggested using steel.

It doesn't take any expensive equipment, just the steel, the bolt, nut, and washers, the torque wrench, oil or anti-sieze, and a caliper or micrometer to measure the length of the bolt.
Deformation is a pretty complex subject. There is no way that I'd have the tools to accurately measure where the bolt was deforming - if it actually did (which is a huge assumption). I'd actually think that it would/should not except temporarily. If it does to a degree that I can measure with the crudest of mechanical measuring tools then I'd have an issue. Unless I used a bolt that was 10 times longer than the actual use length so that any stretch would be exagerated time 10. Deformation is non-linear so I'd have to be able to track it in all the zones as it happened.

But then again, I'm not concerned with deformation, I'm just comparing tension A vs tension B with corresponding torques. I don't need to know the tension if I know the resulting compression. One has to equal the other.

But your experience of the snapped stud is pretty common and I have seen the same thing. I'm not sure if they case harden the studs. I would imagine they do. I do know they do it for many type of bolts after cold rolling the threads. They usually don't just cut threads in raw material and call it a day for technical applications.

In general, you don't want brittle material for structural members subject to shock where you don't have to - for example it's NOT good to use a class 8 bolt where a class 6 would be fine. Sure the former will be stronger in absolute terms, but they'll be more prone to catastrophic failure as in your stud example. Whereas a class 6 would just stretch.

I'm not sure of the equivalent class of bolt for the studs, but that would tend to describe it's behavior and I'm sure the manufacturers could say what they were.

I'm more along the lines to see what what kind of pressure is generated with dry threads vs lubricated thread by examining the reaction in another material since it would be too hard to do it directly (and be as accurate as I would like to be). Wood might be too soft but it would exagerate the pressure difference. Not sure how much squeeze 80 lbs in a screwing motion would exert.

As I think about it, I could try it on a brass plate or washer since the deformation rates would be more predictable. Steel might be too hard.

Any test I can do at home is going to be more subjective than objective and I'm not kidding myself about that. A whole lifetime could be spent on accurate measuring and testing and people do exactly that.

All I'm looking for is equivalents and determine base "rules". I do the same thing when I extend my oil intervals. I extend because I'm able to determine my own rules for *my* oil usage - regardless as to what the manufacturer tells me to do. I'm happy with my results and I'm the one that's going to have to live with them, not the manufacturer.

For example: I believe that if I were to measure the number of turns of a nut to get to a 60 ft-lb torque, it would probably be different if did it "all at once" (completely dynamic friction) vs snugging to 50, then to 55, then finally to 57 and then to 60. Maybe it's the same, but due to static and dynamic friction differences I think there would be a measurable differerence. In the end the number of turns should be exactly the same regardless as to which method you use, but I don't think they would be.

So how you get to a torque is as important as the absolute value. Certainly if I'm deforming there is difference because now time comes into play. It may be a while until I get to a steady state and any deformation ceases. That could be 24 hours, maybe longer. Could be 24 milliseconds.

Actually, now that I think about it, tightening on a brass plate should give me a pretty accurate sample of equivalent torques. Equivalent deformation should give me an indication of equivalent torques to get to the same deformation (of the brass). I would hope any deformation in the fastener (if any) is purely from normal elastic behaviour.

If the ranges vary by as much as 5 times as your buddies found out, then I'd be comparing apples to oranges since permanent deformation is occuring and the whole test is useless (other than to find out I'm comparing apples to oranges. There has to be some extremes coming into play that you didn't mention to get that kind of a difference.


Alan
 

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akauth said:
[...]

If the ranges vary by as much as 5 times as your buddies found out, then I'd be comparing apples to oranges since permanent deformation is occuring and the whole test is useless (other than to find out I'm comparing apples to oranges. There has to be some extremes coming into play that you didn't mention to get that kind of a difference.


Alan
I think the situation is a whole lot simpler than you do.

Part of the torque you apply to the nut overcomes friction between the nut and the threads, and the rest of the torque produces tension in the bolt by stretching it. Remember Hooke's Law?

The point is that the oil or other lubricant on the threads reduces the friction between the nut and the threads, and so, if there is a lubricant on the threads, then a given torque on the nut will produce more stretch of the bolt and so a higher tension in the bolt. The "extremes" is simply the tremendous reduction in friction between the nut and the threads that the lubrication can provide. The surprise is not that the lubrication makes a difference, rather the surprise is that the difference it can make is so large.
 
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