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Old 11-12-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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Toad lug nut/bolt problem

I have a strange problem with my Honda Odyssey toad. Last night when we went to leave a friendís home in Dallas, the left rear tire was flat. When I tried to remove it, I was unable to removed one of the lug nuts as the nut (& presumably the bolt behind it) simply turns Öthe nut does not unscrew from the bolt. I used a very old small 12v compressor I have carried in in my car for many years to get enough air in the tire to get to a filling station that had air ($.75 to wake up the station's compressor). Happily (I guess), the tire was not punctured but went flat because the TPMS sensor was leaking. So I donít have an immediate need to get the tire off to repair it, but I would like to know I could get it off if we have a REAL flat tire!!

About 18 months ago, we had new tires put on in a Firestone store in Montana. Six months later when removing a front wheel I broke one lug bolt off and found two others on that wheel badly damaged/cross-threaded. I checked the other wheels but found no problems at that time. I had three lugs replaced on that one wheel. I am guessing this one was damaged at the same time, and is now turning freely in itís mount Ė on this Honda, the lug bolts are a press fit from behind the hub. I fooled with it some this afternoon, took all the other lugs nut off and tried to put some outward pressure on the wheel to get the lug to catch, but it didnít work. Any suggestions on how to break that lug bolt off, or otherwise get it out/get the wheel off???
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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Go to a hardware/tool store and get a nut splitter. Split the lug nut and remove it. You could also do this with a high speed die grinder with a cutoff wheel or even a cold chisel.

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Old 11-12-2009, 04:11 PM   #3
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Good ideas ...the possibility of a nut splitter came to mind a short while ago. It is a pretty hefty decorative lug nut compared to some GM ones I had on one of our kid's cars several years ago. They had a tin-can cover over an open-end nut, but these Honda nuts appeart to be metal and one piece. Guess I can do some banging on it and see what happens ...I do have a pretty large hammer... Wonder if my dremmel tool and a cutting wheel would do anything???
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
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Worth a try if you have a tube or two of the Dremel abrasive cutoff wheels. At least you'll find out how hard the lug nut is. You may have to cut 2 grooves 180 degrees apart to get enough relief to spread the nut with a chisel.

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Old 11-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #5
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AFChap, I had the same issue on my Suzuki Samurai front wheel. What you are referring to as a bolt, is a stud that is pressed or hammered in from the back of the hub. What worked for me was to grind away the lugnut on one side all the way down to and beyond the threads on the stud, then knock the remainder of the nut off with a hammer and chisel. I used a small hand held grinder with a stone that was purchased several years ago from Harbor Freight. I just started grinding on one of the flats of the nut, being careful not to grind into the wheel. Took only a few minutes. The stud is ruined anyway, and will have to be replaced in any case.
Sounds like the Firestone place you visited needs some new help!
Good luck to you.

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Old 11-12-2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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Once you get the damaged stud out, you will have top replace it with a different stud if you can find one that will seat in the rounded out hole. Kragen or Auto Zone will have a selection. You'll need one w/a larger spline O.D., and hopefully you will find the stripped out hole is concentric w/the original hole. Otherwise you'll need a new rotor to avoid problems w/an off-center stud.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:17 PM   #7
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AFChap,

The only practical way to get your wheel off is to grind the nut away. Then have the stud replaced as others have suggested.

I'm betting that your tires/wheels have been installed using an air impact wrench. The use of impact wrenches to tighten lugs is a major contributor to problems such as you're having with your Honda. It's easy to cross thread using air wrenches too.

The correct way to install lug nuts is to hand thread them at least two full turns to prevent cross threading. Then an air wrench can be used to only snug the nut. A torque wrench is the correct way to tighten.

There are torque sockets that can be used that will stop tightening at a preset torque value but they're expensive and most tire installers don't use them. Next time you're at a tire shop for tire service make certain they torque the lug nuts correctly and you will cure the type of problem you're having.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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I did some experimenting a little while ago. The lug nuts hold on the plastic wheel cover, so that really limits access to the nut ...the head of the nut barely sticks out beyond the depression in the wheel cover. The decorative nuts are at least twice as "tall" as normal lug nuts, and have a metal cap on the end. I did manage to split the nut back to the lug bolt with a large chisel, then had to move to a smaller one that didn't work too well and didn't get me much further. Tomorrow I'll check local hardware stores for a good small width chisel ...or just destroy the wheel cover to get it off if I can't succeed at enlarging that one lug hole enough to get it off ...actually that shouldn't be too hard as 2 or 3 of the 5 nuts on each wheel have a rubber "washer" on the bottom that is what holds the cover on. All I'll have to do is use the small chisel to reach into the hole and peel the rubber washer off this nut. The last wheel cover I replaced was apx $35 -- it was ripped off and destroyed when I ran through some deep water! Once I get the wheel cover off, I should be able to get to all of the nut with the large chisel or my stock of dremel cutting wheels.

The place that did the job on the lugs was Plains Tire Co in Sheridan WY. We had been having repeated tire problems with some Firestones and they had a sale when we had a problem while we were at an RV park there, so I replaced the crummy Firestones with Michelins that have been great. Only time I ever went there, or ever will...
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:31 PM   #9
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Got the nut off. It is a "decorative" nut apx 1 1/4 " deep w/apx the bottom 60% threaded. At the base is a rubber ring that holds the plastic wheel cover on. Cutting the first part of the nut with a large chisel was pretty easy on one side, but then before I could go deeper than the top of the lug bolt with my chisels I had to get the wheel cover off. I used a small chisel to reach into the hole and break up the rubber ring so I could get it out in pieces. Then I was able to remove the wheel cover by removing the other nuts that were holding it on (2 other nuts had the rubber ring on the base). After the wheel cover was off I tried my electric dremel with "heavy duty" cutting wheels. The nut seems to have two layers ...an outer thick layer chrome looking metal, and an inner thin layer of steel. The dremel cutting wheel cut the inner layer very well, but not so well the outer layer. Three cutting wheels disappeared in smoke and sparks before I finished the one side, and cut another groove down the other side of the nut. After that, about 10 blows with a big hammer & chisel and I was able to knock the nut apart. If I pushed the stud into the hub, it feels like it would go totally into the hub ...so I used a blob of silicone caulk around the stud to keep it from dropping back into the hub until I can deal with it further. I think I could get to the back of the hub after I take the wheel off, but no more time to deal with it today ...at least I know now that if we have a flat tire, I can get the wheel off to put the spare on ...assuming the flat isn't on another wheel and I don't find the same problem there!!! Watch out for those tire places that have over-zealous/uninformed/poorly trained impact wrench operators...
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:53 PM   #10
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knew you could do it. Hope the hub where the stud presses in isn't damaged too badly. If its going to be awhile before you replace the stud, I would not trust the silicone too much, sometimes brakes generate a lot of heat on the wheel studs. Were it me, I would opt to put on a small fuel hose type clamp around the old stud, or if not enough stud for that, a piece of tie wire.
Happy to hear you were successful.

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Old 11-14-2009, 12:03 PM   #11
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Small hose clamp is a GREAT idea ... but in attempting to remove the wheel cover to add it today I found I now have a second stud doing the same thing, on the same wheel. And a third nut is very hard to turn, so could join the crowd. At this point I am inclined to leave it alone until we get to Alabama late next week. (no need to drive it much between now and then). If I leave the new turning lug in place rather than splitting that nut also, at least it does help hold the wheel on. While visiting the kids in AL I can tear it apart, get a new hub & lugs, and start over. If we have a flat before we get it to AL, if I can't plug or otherwise repair it on the car I'll just rent a trailer and haul it all to AL. Then I can park it in my son's drive and have plenty of time and an extra vehicle to deal with it.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:17 PM   #12
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The gentlemen here are correct in how this happens. Even the torque sticks will not stop this problem. There is a procedure that has to be followed for each impact wrench and each air hose to obtain the correct torque with these. We did away with them and required all lug nuts to be torqued with a torque wrench.
I try to not allow anyone to install the wheels on my vehicles and if I can not avoid that I will as soon as possible loosen the lug nuts and torque them with a torque wrench. I've had too many problems in the past.
Somone mentioned problems with a Samurai. I had 2 different Samurais and had Wards strip the nuts on the studs, even after I told them what the torque was. They paid me to replace all the studs and nuts. Torque is only 55 pounds.
I even had a Chevy dealer tighten the nuts in excess of 175 pounds. This was a dealer that I sent work to almost daily.
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