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:( i was changing over to my winter tires, and found one of the lug nuts was hard to loosen got it off with some elbow greese but found that it has stripped a wheel stud in my 98 Outback, it is not horrible but it wont take a lug nut. what can i do about this? i think installing a new one is pain, can it be fixed?
 

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The only proper fix is to replace the stud: accept no substitutes!
 
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Don't worry, you can drive with 4 studs for as long as you want. they are real easy to replace though, don't need any fancy tools to get the job done. just watch some youtube videos on it and take care of it when you have the time
 

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If you have 5 of something, you really only have 4.
If you have 4 of something, you really only have 3.

Keep a close eye on things if you decide to gimp around on 4 for awhile.
 

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I can't tell how bad it is but they're repaired all the time, it's no big deal.
It is true you can drive around on 4 all day long but the efficacy and liability of that raises alarm and questions so you are unlikely to pull that off - but let at least comfort you that you have nothing to worry about as you plan your repair strategy.

what can i do about this?
Chase the stud with a 12mm x1.25 die
get a new lug or chase the old lug with a 12x1.25 tap.

https://www.amazon.com/12mm-1-25-Metric-Hex-Rethreading/dp/B0007CNJ0O

i think installing a new one is pain, can it be fixed?
it's not that hard, they knock out and install in tight space but not hard. google it if you end up coming to that.

i would buy one from Subaru myself or just get a used one lying around in a yard, spare parts, etc.
 

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if you have a really tight one in the future, do this:

spray or give any kind of lubricant - WD-40, cooking oil, oil, ATF, etc.
1. loosen a turn
2. go do something else
3. loosen a turn
4. go do something else
wash-rinse-repeat until it comes off.

the breaks in between turns allow the metal to cool, not expand so much, and can mitigate damage and avoid shearing the stud as well.
 

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In NASCAR, you'll be fined, docked championship points and your crew chief (you) would be suspended for the next 3 weeks for a missing lug nut.

Next time, use that horrible silver Permatex anti-seize paste. Yes it gets everywhere and is messy, but it will prevent seized lug nuts and because you remove them regularly, you don't have to worry about the stuff drying out.
 

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They aren't that hard to replace. Take your caliper and rotor off and you'll find a spot or two on your hub where there is a relief for the stud to come out and the new one to go in.
 

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In NASCAR, you'll be fined, docked championship points and your crew chief (you) would be suspended for the next 3 weeks for a missing lug nut.
Why? Because 4 out of 5 wheel nuts installed does not provide a uniform tension around the wheel hub and can cause wheels to fly off at high speeds, killing people. The forces exerted on a wheel in a Nascar race are extreme - yes, but a set of rough train tracks or a severe pot hole can also send extreme forces into a passenger car wheel, enough to overstress the adjacent studs to the missing one.

Next time, use that horrible silver Permatex anti-seize paste. Yes it gets everywhere and is messy, but it will prevent seized lug nuts and because you remove them regularly, you don't have to worry about the stuff drying out.
Keep in mind that if you use anti-seize paste (not recommended BTW. Better to use oil, as it doesn't have any solids in it) your wheel nut torque setting will be significantly lower than the OEM spec. The fact that you have one stud and nut that was stripped means that at some point in time, someone tightened the nut so tight, that the stud stretched beyond its "elastic" yield strength and became permanently deformed (aka plastic deformation). Odds are that the other studs were subject to someone's "He-man" mentality as well. Studs are not expensive, or difficult to change.

Don't chase the stud threads with a die either. You will be cutting a new thread onto an already stretched bolt, which will possibly snap off anyway once you torque the nut to 90 - 95 ft-lbs.
The $65 for a set of 20 wheel studs is no comparison to your life, or someone else's, if your wheel flies off on the freeway. Don't be stupid or cheap in this case, just replace the broken one at the very least.

When I was in trade school, the rule of thumb was to replace wheel studs after max 5 tire rotations. And that is considering that the correct torque has been applied each time.
 

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Why? Because 4 out of 5 wheel nuts installed does not provide a uniform tension around the wheel hub and can cause wheels to fly off at high speeds, killing people. The forces exerted on a wheel in a Nascar race are extreme - yes, but a set of rough train tracks or a severe pot hole can also send extreme forces into a passenger car wheel, enough to overstress the adjacent studs to the missing one.



Keep in mind that if you use anti-seize paste (not recommended BTW. Better to use oil, as it doesn't have any solids in it) your wheel nut torque setting will be significantly lower than the OEM spec. The fact that you have one stud and nut that was stripped means that at some point in time, someone tightened the nut so tight, that the stud stretched beyond its "elastic" yield strength and became permanently deformed (aka plastic deformation). Odds are that the other studs were subject to someone's "He-man" mentality as well. Studs are not expensive, or difficult to change.

Don't chase the stud threads with a die either. You will be cutting a new thread onto an already stretched bolt, which will possibly snap off anyway once you torque the nut to 90 - 95 ft-lbs.
The $65 for a set of 20 wheel studs is no comparison to your life, or someone else's, if your wheel flies off on the freeway. Don't be stupid or cheap in this case, just replace the broken one at the very least.

When I was in trade school, the rule of thumb was to replace wheel studs after max 5 tire rotations. And that is considering that the correct torque has been applied each time.
Thank you for explaining all that for everyone: that’s the long-form of my original statement that the only correct thing is to just replace it! :wink2:
 

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The only proper fix is to replace the stud: accept no substitutes!
+1. Not sure why anyone would even suggest repairing a stripped stud.

If you decide to use anti seize....use it sparingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone for all the good info, defiantly will keep in mind the lubricate turn lubricate turn trick, but bought 2 new studs installed them with little hassle and all it good now winter tires are on and ready to go , Bring on the snow :p
 

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Don't chase the stud threads with a die either. Don't be stupid or cheap in this case, just replace the broken one at the very least.

When I was in trade school, the rule of thumb was to replace wheel studs after max 5 tire rotations. And that is considering that the correct torque has been applied each time.
Chasing a stud is not a big deal - each one clearly varies.

that being said - replacing it no big deal, i offer that suggestion as well. i do not pretend to know everyone's skill set or claim clairvoyance to see what happened and it's current condition. But they're usually easily repairable.

Lug studs are not at 99 percent capacity, rendering them completely useless with any damage. Anyone suggesting replace, without experience is just guessing and/or biased.

Mail me the stripped stud and I'll gladly install it and drive it 100,000 miles to show the process and document it. I've got a 100% success rate and there are specific mechanical and physical reasons why.

I've done it countless times on Subarus for decades now. And seen Subaru's driven for extended periods on 3 lugs, 4 lugs...and on and on.

They will not shear off, i can understand feeling it's risky, but to be completely closed and call people "stupid" with zero experience and having never, tried, tested, and specifically assessed and pushed the margins of lug studs for decades on the same platforms...is an interesting attitude.
 

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Funny thing about lug studs is i've noticed a common causative issue that I've never seen mentioned anywhere or by anyone.

The ends of the studs incur very fine damages and make the lug nut tight to start threading and this gets worse over time. And of course with rust, older vehicles, it'll be exacerbated.

What I finally realized is that it's caused by impact guns. The millisecond instant the nut is disengaged with the threads - the tool is still significantly spinning and easily within range to still contact the nut and stud even after it's completely disengaged for that brief fraction of a second. The tool is likely not perfectly straight and level and may have some force on it pushing it one way or another very slightly - and this last second of possible interference can cause the lug nut to impact the very tip of the lug stud. This causes minor imperfections on the tip of the stud that can cause problems later or immediately.

This is an instance where chasing studs is very helpful - particularly the top few percent that receives the largest brunt of that which i just described.

I say this, because I've paid detailed attention to many aspects of fasteners because when you work on cars you're dealing with them all the time, lug studs included - my suggestions about lug studs are a little tiny bit above "stupid", cheap, desperate ploys to hack a car back on the road.

There you go - call me stupid, i'm definitely the dumbest person on this forum, you shouldn't listen to anything I say. I'm really dumb. I seriously don't know anything and should probably be banned.

HA!
 

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I've done it countless times on Subarus for decades now. And seen Subaru's driven for extended periods on 3 lugs, 4 lugs...and on and on.
I'm pretty sure there is a reason the Subaru engineers designed the wheels with 5 lugs instead of 3 or 4.

I can't imagine any mechanic worth his salt suggesting someone drive around on less than the required number of lugs.

In some states having all the lugs in place is also an inspection requirement.
 

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Funny thing about lug studs is i've noticed a common causative issue that I've never seen mentioned anywhere or by anyone.

The ends of the studs incur very fine damages and make the lug nut tight to start threading and this gets worse over time. And of course with rust, older vehicles, it'll be exacerbated.

What I finally realized is that it's caused by impact guns. The millisecond instant the nut is disengaged with the threads - the tool is still significantly spinning and easily within range to still contact the nut and stud even after it's completely disengaged for that brief fraction of a second. The tool is likely not perfectly straight and level and may have some force on it pushing it one way or another very slightly - and this last second of possible interference can cause the lug nut to impact the very tip of the lug stud. This causes minor imperfections on the tip of the stud that can cause problems later or immediately.

This is an instance where chasing studs is very helpful - particularly the top few percent that receives the largest brunt of that which i just described.

I say this, because I've paid detailed attention to many aspects of fasteners because when you work on cars you're dealing with them all the time, lug studs included - my suggestions about lug studs are a little tiny bit above "stupid", cheap, desperate ploys to hack a car back on the road.

There you go - call me stupid, i'm definitely the dumbest person on this forum, you shouldn't listen to anything I say. I'm really dumb. I seriously don't know anything and should probably be banned.

HA!
I use an electric impact and make a conscious effort to keep the nut not bottomed in the socket the 'whole way off', so this can't happen. When I remove the nuts, the gun just keeps moving backwards and I take the gun off with the socket in the gun while the socket is still spinning.
The technique isn't hard, but I figure few things that require extra effort / focus will get applied at most shops.

Dinged threads right at the start of the stud are easy to fix with a file, at least.
 

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Why? Because 4 out of 5 wheel nuts installed does not provide a uniform tension around the wheel hub and can cause wheels to fly off at high speeds, killing people. The forces exerted on a wheel in a Nascar race are extreme - yes, but a set of rough train tracks or a severe pot hole can also send extreme forces into a passenger car wheel, enough to overstress the adjacent studs to the missing one.
The NASCAR reference was tongue in cheek. They actually started imposing this penalty in 2015. It's not that they discovered the hazzard 67 years after they started to sanction the sport, it's because teams do anything they can to shave 1 or 2 tenths of a second off their pit times. If pulling an air wrench away from a lug nut a little early saves 1/4 second, that could mean the difference of 1-2 places when pulling out of the pit stall.

Crew chiefs stretch the rules to the max. If a certain minimum dimension is 50" and there is a 1/2" tolerance, you can bet everyone is shooting for 49.500". If pit road speed is 55 mph with a 1 mph tolerance, everyone sets their tachs (now speedometers) at 56.0 mph.

They all know that their wheels can run safely with 3 lug nuts, but until a couple of years ago teams have been getting away with fewer than 5 lug nuts attached and the worst that would happen is if they get caught, they had to come back in to get the 5th nut back on or tightened. Almost every week at least one team has been fined, docked points and crew chiefs given suspensions for loose or missing lug nuts and it has gotten ridiculous.
 

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Funny thing about lug studs is i've noticed a common causative issue that I've never seen mentioned anywhere or by anyone.

The ends of the studs incur very fine damages and make the lug nut tight to start threading and this gets worse over time. And of course with rust, older vehicles, it'll be exacerbated.

What I finally realized is that it's caused by impact guns. The millisecond instant the nut is disengaged with the threads - the tool is still significantly spinning and easily within range to still contact the nut and stud even after it's completely disengaged for that brief fraction of a second. The tool is likely not perfectly straight and level and may have some force on it pushing it one way or another very slightly - and this last second of possible interference can cause the lug nut to impact the very tip of the lug stud. This causes minor imperfections on the tip of the stud that can cause problems later or immediately.

This is an instance where chasing studs is very helpful - particularly the top few percent that receives the largest brunt of that which i just described.

I say this, because I've paid detailed attention to many aspects of fasteners because when you work on cars you're dealing with them all the time, lug studs included - my suggestions about lug studs are a little tiny bit above "stupid", cheap, desperate ploys to hack a car back on the road.

There you go - call me stupid, i'm definitely the dumbest person on this forum, you shouldn't listen to anything I say. I'm really dumb. I seriously don't know anything and should probably be banned.

HA!
First of all, I meant not to imply that any one particular person was "stupid", rather, that attempting to confidently trust a stretched wheel stud was an act of stupidity in general. I apologize if you took offense to my statement.

Here is a good article that explains what I'm getting at....

Wheel and Hub Failures
 

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First of all, I meant not to imply that any one particular person was "stupid", rather, that attempting to confidently trust a stretched wheel stud was an act of stupidity in general.
the implication seems inherent as a secondary slight towards anyone who disagrees, which I do. but tis just a forum, i wanted to point it out, but it's just funny really.

i am splitting hairs, probably wasting time, and maybe it's only interesting to a very tiny part of the population - but i prefer an accurate picture of what's going on over simple platitudes and black and white thinking that never gets updated or informed. drilling down like that gets beyond learning and breeds understanding. i'm more than willing, and want to, constantly update and inform current understanding of many things. that's my pursuit and hey, it pays massive dividends.

I don't see anything compelling there regarding this exact issue of a Subaru lug stud with intact threads being cleaned up. Without real world examples of chased thread subaru lug studs failing - this is all guess work and doesn't add much to the picture - i'm an engineer so i do get all their fancy materials engineering lingo, been there, done that. i prefer a picture that's accurate and not black and white.

the obvious extreme is a stud that's barely damaged at all - or only the threads above the nut are damaged. that clearly warrants no concern.

It is my guess that basing safety decisions on the margin that a chased lug stud would create would be illogical. because that person would not apply those failure rates to other decisions about owning a vehicle. the failure rates are so minuscule, there's thousands of other much more probable ways to improve your chances of life over death than this. but no one would actually do them because safety doesn't always trump practicality and usability. don't tell me not to go 10 mph over the speed limit, it won't work even if you clearly state my chances of death will decrease - what a sad state us humans live in - we will obsess about benign margins and ignore clear ones!

a lug stud is benign chump change.

at the same time - it's also easily replaced and i totally think that's a great option and the one most people should choose. but i'm not one to make that assessment for someone when I can't see the damage or know how bad it was.
 

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I'm pretty sure there is a reason the Subaru engineers designed the wheels with 5 lugs instead of 3 or 4.
Agree.
Though no one ever said there wasn't a reason for 5 lugs.

I can't imagine any mechanic worth his salt suggesting someone drive around on less than the required number of lugs.
Agree - though no one was suggesting driving on less than 5 lug studs.

Maybe I confused this by not indicating that they are illustrations that lug nuts are not wildly shearing every time they incur minor points of compromise. That's not at all enough to go on, clearly. But it does suggest they have margin - and aren't magically flying apart and killing people every time there's one minor compromised lug stud.

I'm interested in that margin more than black and white one-size-fits-all answers.
 
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