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Old 10-21-2015, 08:27 AM   #1
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Broken Wheel studs and loose lugs nuts

I recently replaced all 4 Dexter Nev R Lube hubs on our 2002 HR 5th wheel. We've owned it since new and the play had exceeded Dexter's recommended amount.
I also replaced all 4 Aluminum wheels with zero offset steel trailer rims. Since the Aluminum were slightly offset, Dexter wouldn't honor warranty on new hubs if failure occurred.
I reused the original chromed long lug nuts which came with the trailer.
We left on a trip intending to stop at 50 and 100 miles to recheck torque. This always worked in the past and never presented any loose lug nuts or no more than one on each wheel loose. Never made it that far. One wheel was lost somewhere before 28 mile mark, the other was smoking due to loose lug nuts. Pulled over and found the other wheel gone and stud broken flush at hub. Couldn't find the wheel anywhere.
I used the same torque procedures as in the past; Snug wheel up to approximately 25 # wheel off ground and then progressively torque to factory recommended; 90-120#
BTW, both wheels occurred on the drivers side. The passenger side were very slightly loose, but only requiring 1/8 -1/16 turn to retorque.
One thing I did differently was used a little anti-seize on threads and hub surface. Couldn't find anything conclusive stating to not use anti-seize. I do understand that can result in erroneous torque settings.
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:45 AM   #2
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I believe that your new wheels were thinner than the original aluminum and the lug nuts bottomed out on the shoulder of the stud rather than against the wheel itself. This allowed movement enough to wear the new wheels around the stud. With just a little movement, the steel wore quickly and the rest is history.
Couple of questions: Were the NevRLubes the 42mm or the 50mm? I think Dexter has an allowance for offset on the 50s. Why did you change from the original aluminum to the steel? The NevRLubes provided service for 13 years (assuming original bearings) and it seems logical to continue with the same setup. And, where did the the offset measurement come from?
I am currently running 0.025 offset on the 8k/50mm bearings (0 offset wheels + Centramatic balancers). Not that it won't cause a problem at some point, but if I were to get 13yrs use, that would be phenomenal. I have used NevRLubes on a TT and now the Suites, not a problem with wear, but I did arbitrarily change them before a trip to AK, then upsized the axles from 7k to 8k. First set went 6yrs, not a wobble. 2nd set 2yrs/20kmiles, not a wobble, but upsized axles, so on 3rd set of bearings.
Edit: with only 6 lug studs, you must have the 42mm bearings...
Joe
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:55 AM   #3
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The original wheels were chromed steel, rusted away after 6 years. I replaced them with Aluminum rims which had a slight offset; .008"
So when I replaced the hubs (42mm Nev R Lube) I replaced the rims. The studs are all threads. I've contacted Dexter to see if they have a problem with the studs.
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:08 AM   #4
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Every manufacturer that I am have worked with, say no lube or antiseize on the studs. I think that may have been your problem. Ask Dexter about this. Please let us know what you find out. That is how we learn things.
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:41 AM   #5
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I had this issue on an old van once. found out the rims where only rated to be mounted as hub centered, not stud/lug centered.

If this was your issue, the problem is the lug nut is not holding the wheel in place as you drive, there is constant movement that will wear the lug nuts through the rim as it flexes.

Only a thicker rim will hold torq in this case as what you had with the aluminum wheels.

Also, the lug nuts have to have the taper to fit the lug hole in the rim to hold it tight. Trailer wheels are introduced to more side load stress than the towing vehicle.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:05 AM   #6
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I will update when I hear back from Dexter. Note; The new steel rims are trailer from E-Trailer.com. The lug nuts were the correct degree angle. The original rims were steel, same thickness as the new ones. The Aluminum were thicker. Used same lug nuts for all 3 sets of rims.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:37 AM   #7
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When you say you replaced the 'hubs'--do you mean the bearings in the hub/drum, or the entire drum/bearing assembly? The 'hub' is integral to the drum, so I am assuming you replaced just the bearings in the hub?
As I see it, the only thing that could have happened, is the lug nuts were torqued against something other than the wheel, or the wheel was not seated correctly on the drum/hub.
And, I also have heard not to use any kind of lube/anti-seize on the lugs either--this actually may be the basis of the problem--clean 'em good, but no type of lube.
Joe
You may get a definitive answer from Dexter about what went wrong, but I'll bet it isn't going to involve a 'problem with the studs.' Logic says that everything worked well until you did this change, then it broke badly. The items changed were the bearings and wheels--the bearing in the pic appears ok, that leaves the wheel as suspect and something did not mate up.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:53 AM   #8
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Correct, what I would call loaded hubs; new drums with new bearing and studs installed. Dexter parts. Reason for not replacing the bearings in original hubs was due to the overload caused (allegedly) by the wrong rims. I found references to this type of problem when trailer manufacturer installed non-zero offset on 42mm hubs. They offered replacing loaded hubs with new zero offset wheels or replacement axle not affected by the offset.
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:01 PM   #9
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Using anti seize on the studs and hub is not what caused your problem. I am a certified auto/light and heavy truck tech and a certified RV Tech (now retired) and have used anti seize for over 45 years on all types of vehicles, powered or towed. It looks like either the nuts bottomed out before putting enough pressure on the wheel and allowing the wheel to float and then cut the studs. This can happen several ways, if the new studs where longer than the originals, it only takes 1 thread longer if the nuts are close to minimum length, or even the treading on the new stud ends slightly farther from the hub surface, it can be very hard to see. also the threads in the nuts could have been corroded past the point that the old studs stopped and the new studs ran into that area causing then to bind enough to appear tight.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:37 PM   #10
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renegade probably has the answer--since the lug studs and nuts were the same, but the wheel different, I'll guess the wheel was thinner than the aluminum wheels and the lug nuts bottomed out against the END of the lug stud, not the wheel. The nut was torqued against the stud, not the wheel.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:32 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses and input. I too have used anti-seize for years with no problems. The issue pertaining to the thickness of the rim face is a interesting theory. I'll work with Dexter and Dexstar (Manufacturer of the new trailer rims) on this issue too. Since the original rims were steel, switched to Aluminum, not sure how this would have caused a issue when switching back to steel. However, looking at the hub it is apparent there is a small area at the hub face with no threads. Since all hubs were brand new and supplied by Dexter, these are (or at least no indication from Dexter) to work with trailer rims both Steel and Aluminum. In ordering replacement studs, I did find that dexter has 2 sizes, both appear to have the same spline length. It is possible the studs supplied to Dexter and installed are wrong. I agree this would cause a false torque setting and possible cause.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:27 AM   #12
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I think you forgot to torque the nuts on that side. That's not much of an offset. I found out I did that on mine when the rear wheel ran over the front wheel!
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:33 AM   #13
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I just thought of another possibility. The center hole in the wheel may be a few thousands too small, even too thick a coat of paint could be the culprit, not allowing the wheel to bottom against the hub, again it only takes a few thousands to cause this problem. If that is/was the case driving only a short distance could swage the center hole open enough to allow the wheel to fully seat and allowing it to then not be tightly held to the hub with the now loose wheel to wear into the studs. Another question is do you have 1/2" or 9/16" studs. Max torque on 1/2" should be 100 lbs/foot, if over torqued the studs can stretch and result in a loose wheel also.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:58 PM   #14
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Maybe I did not read things thoroughly but the wheel in the pic above is STEEL.
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