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I was at a stop light and decided to get on it to about 70. When I hit third I let off and as car was slowing to 60 the front end started to wobble. At first I thought it was a flat tire, but it actually felt like the front wheels were about to come off.

I pulled over and everything looked ok. However, when I checked the lug nuts, every one of them could be tightened by my fingers. Is this common? Is this what caused the wobble? Kind of scary if these lugs loosen that easily.
 

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FL Bowtie said:
I was at a stop light and decided to get on it to about 70. When I hit third I let off and as car was slowing to 60 the front end started to wobble. At first I thought it was a flat tire, but it actually felt like the front wheels were about to come off.

I pulled over and everything looked ok. However, when I checked the lug nuts, every one of them could be tightened by my fingers. Is this common? Is this what caused the wobble? Kind of scary if these lugs loosen that easily.
I think you answered your own question. Tighten the lugs to 100 ft pounds and you shouldn't have that problem.
 

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No they should continue to come loose. I believe whoever installed them last time did not torque them or just forgot to.

For peace of mind you could check them once a month till you are comfortable that they are not going to fly off.

Hmmm.... Reminds me of a story.

Along time ago in a far off galaxy I had a 68 427 Camaro and while I was in a Diner in Jersey. Someone had managed to loosen my wheels for the purpose of theft, but did not get that far. i got in my car and drove away. About 1/4 mile down the road I heard a noise and saw my left rear wheel PASSING ME :mad:
 

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FL Bowtie said:
Well they continue to come loose like that?
The can loosen up some over time but no where as loose as you had happen.

Always a good idea to check them every so often as IVOZ06 suggests. And I always do it before high speed runs on a track.
 

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The lugnuts have a specified torque of 100 ft. lbs

Torque the lugs in a star pattern in three steps: 30, 60 and 100 so as to prevent uneven torque and possibly brake rotor warp.



Wheel lug bolts should be tightened by torquing to one-half specified value in a star or criss-cross pattern. The final torquing should be done in the same sequence to the specified value. The bolt threads should be clean and free of rust. While it helps to lubricate the threads with light penetrating oil, never use a lubricant that leaves a heavy oil film or that contains a friction modifier. Friction modifiers reduce the friction between the lug nut and bolt and cause false torque readings. [Query] If I lubricate lug nut threads, does it make it more likely I may over-torque them? [Tip from Bendix] Yes. Torque values listed in shop manuals are almost always meant to be used with clean, dry threads. At Bendix, we recommend against using lubricants on lug nut threads, as do many vehicle manufacturers. We have two reasons:
1. Each lubricant may have a different effect on torque values
2. Heat may cause all but special-purpose lubricants designed for
brake applications to melt and run, possibly contaminating pads or
shoes and/or rotors or drums.
If you insist on lubricating lug threads, please be sparing and make sure to compensate for the increased torque likely to result. For example, one lubricant manufacturer recommends torquing nuts to only 85 percent of the factory specification when using their nickel-based anti-seize compound on threads.

Anti-Corrosion Advice.[Motor Magazine, Feb 04] If you live in the Corrosion Belt, your wheel lug nuts and wheels may corrode to the hubs, making them virtually impossible to remove. When replacing wheels, apply a small dab of common anti-seize paste to the threads and then torque the lug nuts to spec. While you're at it, remember to very lightly lube the wheel contact area of a shouldered or tapered wheel fastener. Whatever you do, use a lube that won't run out onto the wheels. Finally, get in the habit of cleaning and lubricating the center opening of a wheel before you reinstall it on the vehicle. A light coat of anti-seize paste or sturdy grease prevents corrosion from forming and bonding the wheel opening onto the rotor or axle hub. In snow-and-salt areas, aluminum-alloy wheels are prone to corroding themselves onto the hub. More than once I've watched a desperate technician try to dislodge a frozen aluminum wheel by beating on the inside of the wheel with a dead-blow hammer. The easiest way I know to loosen an aluminum wheel from the hub is to reinstall the wheel nuts or bolts finger-tight. Then lower the vehicle onto the floor, apply the brakes and start the engine. Gently rock the vehicle back and forth by shifting into Reverse and then back into a forward gear. Usually, this bit of fore-and-aft motion is enough to loosen the corroded wheels from the hubs without damaging anything. :z:

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IT L GO, very interesting information, but I really have to question the idea of "NOT" using a lubricant on threads. ARP recommends using a lubricant, although it's spec'd for a proper torque reading. I know when I worked for Caterpilar, their engine manuals recommended using motor oil on the threads of head bolts when torquing.
 

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jub jub said:
IT L GO, very interesting information, but I really have to question the idea of "NOT" using a lubricant on threads. ARP recommends using a lubricant, although it's spec'd for a proper torque reading. I know when I worked for Caterpilar, their engine manuals recommended using motor oil on the threads of head bolts when torquing.

This is what happened when I used a lubricant. I strongly recommend that the lug nuts be torqued on to the studs dry.

 
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