General Technical & ElectricalGeneral technical and electrical discussion for the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.
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Bizarre wheel stud/lug nut problem!!!! Read if you have aftermarket wheels!
Lug nuts: a no brainer, right? Not so, and I'm here to tell you! :p
Some of you may remember I had to buy a new wheel because I didn't tighten my lug nuts down enough, or thought I hadn't -- WRONG!!!
Two days ago, I started to get a creaking noise from my drivers side rear wheel, the opposite side from where the problem occured. It almost sounded like bad bearings. You could hear it whether you were rolling the truck, or just shook the wheel back and forth.
I jacked it up and started to take off the wheel -- but the lug nuts were on SO tight it was nearly impossible. For one, I had to stand on the wrench, and the stud SNAPPED! For one other, as I was taking it off the stud broke -- quietly in two.
So I'm looking at two broken studs, and all the nuts were hard to turn. Strange.
So, I'm thinking the morons at Ford overtightened them when they snugged them up after the last problem where they had to replace my damaged studs on the passenger side rear. I decided to take it in.
I explained my theory, and showed the manager my broken stud pieces and lug nuts and left them with him. He said they'd get on it.
What they found is this: the rear studs are so long my lug nuts weren't actually tightening down on the WHEEL, but the stud was bottoming out in the closed end, one piece chrome lug nut. It didn't happen in the front because the studs are much shorter. You can actually see where the stud dug into the top inside the lug nut on these.
Basically, the stock studs are VERY long in the back and if you get certain wheels, and have closed end lug nuts, this could happen. It just so happens that the lengths were such that the wheel was not loosy-goosy, so you'd know it was happening. It appeared to be tightened against the wheel, but wasn't really.
Furthermore: depending on which side of the vehicle it's on, the lugnuts have a tendency to either TIGHTEN or LOOSEN with the slight movement of the inadequately secured wheel. On the passengers side they loosen, on the driver side they TIGHTEN. So this is probably what caused my original loose lug nut problem on the passengers side, and has caused the drivers side to tighten excessively.
The good thing is that Ford's replacement studs are a full 1/8" shorter -- effectively eliminating the problem for me -- at the cost of having 5 more studs put in. The passengers side, which just had new studs put in, does not have this problem anymore.
So, I have them putting all 5 studs in new on the driver side rear. The remaining 3 studs that were there are actually BENT anyway. I have to give the techs at my local Ford dealer props for their detective work, and they showed me everything with the depth gauge and my lugs and all. They said 4 out of my 5 chrome lug nuts were reuseable, so I only have to replace one -- a small mercy.
Basically, I'm saying watch out with the M/T wheels which have steel inserts because they don't need -- and don't have -- much depth at the mounting whole between the lug nut and the brake drum. That would make them particularly sensitive to this problem.
It would be good to measure how much depth you need before ordering lug nuts! Had I done this simple thing, I would not have had these expenses!
I bought longer closed end lug nuts when I put my American Racing wheels on, but I didnt buy the long ones for the reason that John stated. I had to get longer ones because my lug wrench wouldnt fit into the recessed holes that the lugs tightened into to reach the short lug nuts on my particular style of wheels.
Well, that would mean that they would have to have the same size [larger] in the front as well. Hmm...and people take the Level II wheels and throw them on regular Rangers, so I guess I just proved myself wrong. :(
i have a bit of a creaking sound too. figured it was just springs. dang. i better check that. one thing though, i ground down the stock studs to put the adapters on. the adapter studs might be a problem though.
Just got it back and another problem was fixed by this: I was getting a bit of vibration on braking and that's gone as well. Must have been that rear wheel. They replaced the 5 studs on my left rear wheel, and chased the threads in one of the chrome lug nuts, leaving me with 4 usable ones. The 5th one was too damaged inside.
Total damages this time: $90.78 -- mostly labor. Even though it's the same repair basically as last time, it cost less. He said they felt like they could have caught it before (though I'm not sure why they would have looked for it), so they were charging me only for the stud replacement, not the "detective work".
So far, I'm quite happy with this dealer. I stil hate to spend the money though!
__________________ John Griggs -- Kennett Square, PA
2002 Ranger 4x4, SAS'd, with too many other mods...
I already did get THIS truck after trashing the LAST one! I don't know if I'm up for that experience again already, even for a 4x4! There was quite a bit of pain involved in the last time...
My wife's been a champ. Since much of this could in some senses be called "self inflicted", I was expecting some degree of complaining. Surprisingly enough she was actually sympathetic since she knows how much I hate making dumb mistakes.
Oh well, chalking it up to experience and being glad nothing worse happened seems to be the ticket.
Naw, I was just pulling your chain. Wouldn't wish that on anyone. I'm hoping for something like how my grandfather got out of his car once: a 30 foot sailboat fell on it! (He was of course NOT in the vehicle at the time!)
Yes, I know this probably doesn't apply to very many people. The "perfect storm" of happening to buy lug nuts and wheels that have JUST THE RIGHT dimensions to cause this problem is probably not real likely -- so of course it happened to me, lol!
Still, despite the money spent, I'm grateful it wasn't worse and if this post saves one person from a catastrophic failure, I'm happy. If not, consider it entertainment at my expense, lol! :p
You do have a point about dealers over-tightening lug nuts, though. I dropped my truck off when it was still under warranty to get the wheel bearings replaced, and a week later I went to rotate my tires. I had to use my 4+ foot floor jack handle to produce enough leverage to loosen them, and I have a 150ft-lb torque wrench that wouldn't do it.
I suggest if you drop your truck off at the dealer for something that requires removing the tires, take them off as soon as you can and re-torque before they settle in German torqued.
2000 Ford Ranger XLT
4x4 on 33s