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2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone use a small amount of anti seize on the lug nuts? I know a lubricated fastener will have a higher preload tension with lubrication for the same torque applied. But after 5 or 10 years of rust, the friction of the lug maybe alot higher than clean from the factory, and a little antiseize maybe closer to factory than a lug with surface corrosion.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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on 80s subarus I use to live daily with rusty rims,...and rusty lug nuts, ...no so much rusty studs,

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I use permatex aluminum type.
I brush it on the brake hub. and get a little bit on the threads occasionally and wipe it off with a napkin.

if you got rust or any lug nuts sticking on try a little bit of WD40.
(snugging them home tight,...driving around the block and tightening them again).

I have recently used some WD40 to get a lug started back on. (probably a little grain of sand in the thread that the wd40 lubed and let move along to a better place).

but usually I just try to keep the threads on the lug nuts / studs just plain clean as best I can. although a little antisieize may get on them.

I have never lost a lug nut, or snapped a stud.



last month I was rotating the tires on my nephew's forester. new to him. perfectly new brakes from where it came from (some garage in a south jersey is where his mom bought it). everything rust free. however.

one lug nut was on really tight. too tight to get off with my tools WD40 and 3 minutes later freed it though. same alloy wheel had frozen to the steel hub and needed WD40 too just sprayed it on top of the brake through the rim., (could not tap it off with a hammer,...but after a spray I could snap it free with shoulder and back strength).

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really sad: when I bought my last set of studded tires from the local little guy tire shop, they did not use anitsieze at all, none on premises.

and I could only imagine, all those cars that they swap tires on and off, fall and spring including cop cars. tapping those rims off with 3lb hammers.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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On the threads, yes. A little goes a long way.
On the tapered shoulder of the lug nut, no. Keep that clean and dry.
Use a torque wrench to tighten; not torque sticks.
Best to tighten in stages and without the full weight of the car on the wheels. I prefer to get the lugs all torqued before loading the tire/wheel.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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I wire brush the studs some w;ever I have the lugnuts off.

I also think and entirely new set of lugnuts might be a good idea every 70-80K miles or so - the seats get galled looking, and plating is coming off.

I also torque in stages; hand tight, arm tight, very tight, then drop to ground and final torque.

I also check torque after coming home from a tire store or a shop if the tires had to be removed.
 

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As we cannot directly measure clamping force, we use the indirect measurement of rotational twisting resistance as our guide. The 'system' baseline conditions assume clean and dry threads, so a certain base resistance to twist is assumed. If you wire brush the treads until they look decent, you've done enough. If they spin on easily by hand, they are ready to go. Clean and dry. Let me repeat. DRY. Do not apply a lubricant to either the threads on the seat where the lug nut contacts the rim. The surface between the lug nut seat and the contact spot of the rim is critical. The torque resistance here along with some stretching of the stud locks the parts together and keeps them from unwinding.

Torque in stages (every other nut) to help seat the wheel evenly on the hub (hub-centric wheels). I use a torque stick (low value - 65 ft lbs) and a gun on low to take the strain off my back, finish with a torque wrench. Oh, and always relax that wrench back to zero when you put it away.

I sometimes use a little anti-seize around the hub as I've had some wheels bind up and not release after the lugs were removed.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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I use the grey goo behind the rotor, on the rotor, and on the wheel face.
I'm not a nut about keeping it off the studs, but I don't put it on there, and the studs aren't rusty or gnarly looking but seem to have a small amount of antiseize contamination.
Seems to work out just right.
 

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2006 Outback Sedan LLBean
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627 Posts
Yeah, the rotor, and wheel face, but never lubricant on the studs. That's asking for problems. A wheel flying off at highway speeds ain't a good thing. I'd rather have to put a little more effort into getting my wheels off, than have them fall off.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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A wheel flying off at highway speeds ain't a good thing. I'd rather have to put a little more effort into getting my wheels off, than have them fall off.
Agreed. I've seen a wheel pop off at the track and take off through the pit area at ~80 MPH; everyone just cleared out of the way and let it go by until it finally hit something solid and stopped. The failure was at the outer spoke-to-wheel welds, which had broken - all of the bolts and the center mount and spokes were still intact on the vehicle. But I'm guessing the root cause was caused by lug nut / mounting stud issues.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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There's a saying a buddy of mine told me while finishing his master's in ME: "Engineers may preach, but practice speaks the truth".

Dry threads are the ideal system in this case, but in practice, maintaining optimal mechanical system operation can have massive expenses.

For systems that use an "open" lug nut (no cap and no wheel cover/hub cap), and that isn't touched for 7,500 miles in a high-corrosive environment? That lug nut is not coming off without bringing some part of the stud with it.

For a simple tire rotation, you snap a stud. On some vehicles, you can replace a stud without disturbing the rest of the systems like brakes, suspension, hubs, etc. However, on a great majority, you then have to disassemble several other systems to replace a single stud. My wife's gen 1 CR-V for example. The whole knuckle had to be removed and the hub pressed out to replace the stud.

In short, I'll put an extremely light coat on the lugs (and any other "exposed" bolt). The minor loss in system clamping force is a fair trade-off for not having to spend hours of labor and (potentially) hundreds of dollars.
 

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'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
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Not applicable to acorn nuts. Clean and dry, no lubricants.
 
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2006 Outback Sedan LLBean
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There's a saying a buddy of mine told me while finishing his master's in ME: "Engineers may preach, but practice speaks the truth".

Dry threads are the ideal system in this case, but in practice, maintaining optimal mechanical system operation can have massive expenses.

For systems that use an "open" lug nut (no cap and no wheel cover/hub cap), and that isn't touched for 7,500 miles in a high-corrosive environment? That lug nut is not coming off without bringing some part of the stud with it.

For a simple tire rotation, you snap a stud. On some vehicles, you can replace a stud without disturbing the rest of the systems like brakes, suspension, hubs, etc. However, on a great majority, you then have to disassemble several other systems to replace a single stud. My wife's gen 1 CR-V for example. The whole knuckle had to be removed and the hub pressed out to replace the stud.

In short, I'll put an extremely light coat on the lugs (and any other "exposed" bolt). The minor loss in system clamping force is a fair trade-off for not having to spend hours of labor and (potentially) hundreds of dollars.
I've never heard of a wheel lug/stud breaking off from the nut being corroded onto it. I have had some hard lugs in my day. Always in the flat tire in the rain scenario. It sucks. But a bit of standing on the wrench and that nut comes off. I've even had a flat in the rain with a CRV and as I remember, that lug came off with a bit of effort. Nothing corroded. I'm sorry, no lube on lugs. Never.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Do the more detail-oriented members of the no-lube tribe clean the studs with degreaser if any gets on there, or is a wipe of a rag considered sufficient?
If any what gets on there? For me, wheel removal involves no oils or any other liquids, so everything will always be staying dry.

If there is any surface rust, I wire brush it - that's all. I suppose if a penetrating oil were needed to help remove something that was stuck, I would then clean it with a rag, if that answers your question.

If you're really concerned, use a bit of acetone or Brakleen on a rag on the exposed studs, and then dry them with compressed air; that will remove just about every other chemical that might have been put on the threads in the past. And likewise drop the nuts into a pan with acetone or Brakleen, and similarly blow them dry.
 
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