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2017 Outback, 2.5L, Auto; 2018 Forester, 2.5L, Auto (for Mama); 2005 Baja, 2.5 Turbo, Manual
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697 Posts
Have had no problems with wheel studs on my Subarus. But...
Before her Forester, my wife had a RAV4, bought from Toyota dealer with only 14K miles, all dealer service. This was 4wd, and like the Subaru wheels get rotated at oil change. First time we had the job done one stud broke - mechanic we used for years who hand torques the wheels. Took it back to the dealer and they replaced the stud. Then, just cuz I'm "that guy" I retorqued wheels at home, and broke two more studs (one on each of two wheels) before reaching spec torque. Back to that dealer and ranted till they agreed to replace all studs. Obviously the trainee they have for "simple" jobs like oil change doesn't have a torque wrench.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,706 Posts
One important issue I learned about on the Forums (I'd give credit if I remembered who) is, when REMOVING lug nuts with an impact, DO NOT let it 'ride' the nut on the end of the stud. It will make the next install more likely to cross thread as the end of the first thread is damaged. I now try to get off the trigger and pull back on the pressure the moment the nut spins free.
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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738 Posts
One important issue I learned about on the Forums (I'd give credit if I remembered who) is, when REMOVING lug nuts with an impact, DO NOT let it 'ride' the nut on the end of the stud. It will make the next install more likely to cross thread as the end of the first thread is damaged. I now try to get off the trigger and pull back on the pressure the moment the nut spins free.
Never thought about it but that is what I do, No need to waste the air once its spinning I know from time to time I have had to finish just using my hand...never really thought about it much. Of course I always start them by hand and turn them down a few thread, for safety.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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3,263 Posts
Oh, that's good to know. I picked up a used Milwaukee 2767 on eBay - it has a bolt removal mode that detects when the nut breaks free, triggering it to slow to a crawl. Works well.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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1,826 Posts
front or rear the lug bolts are easy to get out

1. set parking brake if it is a front wheel
2. chock wheels on opposite end of vehicle of where the broken lug is
3. jack rear of car up if it is a rear wheel or the front if it is a front wheel.
4. support with jack stand
3. remove wheel
4. turn wheel slowly until lug is at bottom (no, you are not going to kill the awd)
5. hammer lug out and it will fall out the back of the hub.
6. insert new lug and place a stack of washers on it.
7. using a lug nut, draw the stud into the hub.
8. reinstall wheel. lugs tight enough so that wheel is not wobble on hub
9. remove jack stand
10. lower car
11. Torque lugs to spec
12. if it was a front lug, put car back into park
13. remove chocks.

and yes once you cross thread those bad boys they are more prone to snapping
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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738 Posts
Thinking more about how I remove the lug nuts. I have a air impact gun, I do this in the driveway on jackstands. I put the car on my left side, bend at the waist, so my right elbow rest on my right knee, hold the impact gun kind of upside down. Seems to put the gun at a good straight line off the lug studs. My knee supports the weight of the gun.

I'll have to make a point to watch how I do this when I do the snow tire change over in a few days.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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1,826 Posts
when installing lugs put them on by hand and after you have threaded them on then use the impact to zip em down and then a torque wrench to do the tightening
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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6,358 Posts
I have an even simpler set of rules:

Installation
1. Hand thread the nut
2. Hand run it down (and yes, I have a brace in the ratchet set for doing this easily).
2. Hand torque with a calibrated torque driver in the prescribed pattern.

Removal
1. Hand break the torque.
2. Hand run it off the stud (again I use the brace and bit).

It's easy not to mess things up when you don't use power or air tools.

Over 50 years of doing it this way, I've never broken anything or had to replace a stud or nut.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,406 Posts
I have an even simpler set of rules:

Installation
1. Hand thread the nut
2. Hand run it down (and yes, I have a brace in the ratchet set for doing this easily).
2. Hand torque with a calibrated torque driver in the prescribed pattern.

Removal
1. Hand break the torque.
2. Hand run it off the stud (again I use the brace and bit).

It's easy not to mess things up when you don't use power or air tools.

Over 50 years of doing it this way, I've never broken anything or had to replace a stud or nut.
What is a brace?
 

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Really! In all my years of working on my vehicles, accumulated over a million plus miles, and I have NEVER broken a lug. I hand torque to spec. on top of it!

I was removing the lug nuts to rotate the tires and one got stuck. It cross threaded itself and then broke off. WTF? So now trying to het the rotor off the front, which is stuck, to replace the broken lug bolt.

Why is the parts guy not surprised? Are the metals used in Subaru parts sub standard? I have already had both rear hubs replaced due to bearing failure. Fits the substandard metals theory. And it is all not acceptable!:surprise:
Yup substandard metal. Outside of Subaru, studs on other cars never break when cross threaded. Better sell it now.
 

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I have an even simpler set of rules:

Installation
1. Hand thread the nut
2. Hand run it down (and yes, I have a brace in the ratchet set for doing this easily).
2. Hand torque with a calibrated torque driver in the prescribed pattern.

Removal
1. Hand break the torque.
2. Hand run it off the stud (again I use the brace and bit).

It's easy not to mess things up when you don't use power or air tools.

Over 50 years of doing it this way, I've never broken anything or had to replace a stud or nut.
It's easy not to mess things up using air as well- just a little common sense.
 

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2011 outback 3.6R LT. 2015 Outback 2.5 (white) eyesight, tow pakage, skid plate, moon roof
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450 Posts
I've since invested in torque bars and use a half inch impact to tighten the lug nuts down.

Still no issues with the lug studs on the Gen 5 although some did go bad recently on the Suburban.
Torque bars work!
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,406 Posts
Only when used correctly. (Hint: Do not use them with a breaker bar.)
I couldn't get a clear answer if I should use thread locker, anti seize, or nothing.

So I split the difference and anti seize two lug nuts. Then I thread locker two. Then I just leave one alone.

:D
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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So I split the difference and anti seize two lug nuts. Then I thread locker two. Then I just leave one alone.
Ah, yes. The worst of all the available choices! :) If in doubt, follow the Subaru manual: clean, dry threads.

I once had a bizarre discussion with the Service Manager at a big-name (not Subaru) auto service shop. He insisted that it was impossible to overtorque a threaded fastener when using a torque stick ... that any excess torque somehow disappeared as it propagated down the shaft. He claimed that the same effect applied when using ordinary extensions ... the longer the extension, the greater the torque loss ... except that they weren't individually calibrated like torque sticks. I could never convince him that under steady-state conditions the torque at both ends of a straight extension is always the same: torque input = torque output.
 
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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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For the engineers and geeks among us, here is a link to a really interesting tech article that discusses the effect of the "Nut Factor" in joint design using threaded fasteners: Dissecting the Nut Factor - Peak Innovations Engineering.

One interesting conclusion: The torque applied to a nut or bolt head is distributed roughly as follows:
  • ~50% is consumed by friction between the nut or bolt head and the workpiece
  • ~35% is consumed by friction in the threads
  • only ~15% is applied to tensioning the bolt/stud (i.e. actually clamping the joint)
The interesting point (to me, at least) is that the Nut Factor, and thus the effect of any anti-seize, only applies to the second term, thread friction.
 
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