Why are my wheel bolts tightening themselves?

  1. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    269
    south london
    I've just had to drill out an alloy wheel bolt because the head sheared off it...
    I'd torqued them all up to the correct spec, and even checked that I could undo them easily. I usually do them up tighter just going by feel with my breaker bar! Anyway I torqued them up and came back a few days later and they were all ridiculously tight. I had to jump on a scaffold pole over my breaker bar. One sheared and I had to destroy the wheel in order to get it out.

    What could cause this? I put some copper grease on the bolts a while back, perhaps this has had an effect?
     
  2. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    3,978
    Location:
    NE London - UK
    Never grease bolts you want to tighten, unless it's specified. You've over torqued them.
     
    123hotchef, Ruffian, Brad93 and 3 others like this.
  3. roofman

    roofman Purveyor of fine English buckets and mops

    Messages:
    6,121
    Location:
    North West
    someone has been there before you in the past and stretched the bolts with a gun...normally a pimple faced 18 year old in ATS or Halfords
     
    fizzy, Seadog and eLuSiVeMiTe like this.
  4. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,380
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    Is it a Jaguar? They seem to be developing a habit of snapping.
     
  5. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    269
    south london
    It's a chrysler voyager. Brand new wheel bolts.

    I know about the overtorqueing with oil/grease, but it doesn't make sense that I can get them off immediately after, but not a few days later. Could the grease be drying up?
     
  6. Nell#2

    Nell#2 Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Warwickshire uk
    Friction welding/pitting
    Difference in metal alloys sticking themselves together over time.
    Brakes get bloody hot
    Are we talking just days :confused:
     
  7. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    269
    south london
    A week at the most.
     
  8. mr haynes Member

    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    uk
    Bolts must be made of chinesium cheese. What torque figure are you using? Around 100Nm?
    You don't have a local unfriendly scaffy pole owner do you?
     
  9. DaveB Member

    Messages:
    139
    North London
    When was the torque wrench calibrated ?

    Was it left at a torque or fully backed off in storage.
     
  10. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    269
    south london
    100lbft. No idea when it was calibrated. It's an old snap on one, it's not mine but it was backed off when I found it. Just to check, I tried to remove the wheel bolts after torqueing them up and they came off easily. I usually do them up tighter with a breaker bar and I've never had a problem with doing it that way.
    A week later I tried to get them off and not only did I have to put a scaffold pole over my breaker bar, I had to jump on the bloody thing! Almost broke my neck when the first one gave.
     
  11. jsf55

    jsf55 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Sunny Swansea
    You are allowing the wheels and brakes to cool off before undoing them, the heat maybe expanding everything ?
     
    doubleboost likes this.
  12. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    269
    south london
    Yep, stone cold.
     
  13. jsf55

    jsf55 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Sunny Swansea
    I would be degreasing the threads and giving it another go, false reading on the torque wrench from the extra lubrication ?
     
  14. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    269
    south london
    It's only 100lbft. I'd have to be putting in some serious force to tighten it like this. But yes, I agree with degreasing it.
     
  15. chris pruteanu Member

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    ROMANIA
    Never heard of that issue however i do take off dozens of alloy wheels that are overtorqued by garages just before the cold season sets in (winter tyres are mandatory here) and the salt corodes the bolts to the alloys... Many safety bolts do break due to salt corrosion and too much torque being applied so out comes the welder!
     
  16. Eric the chicken

    Eric the chicken Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    North Beds, UK
    Some bolts are specified to 'lightly oiled' before torquing others recommend dry, clean threads. Couldn't agree more with comments regarding garages and windy guns. The your own torque wrench with you if the garage hasn't got one!
     
  17. daedalusminos Member

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Norwich
    Do the wheel bolts have a slip washer?
     
  18. ibrooks Member

    Messages:
    947
    UK Lancashire
    It's not the alloy corroding against th brake disc is it? - as it corrodes it expands and therefore tries to push the wheel off the hub which the wheel nuts/bolts are preventing. The face and spigot of the wheels should definitely be copper-greased.
     
  19. armalites Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Herefordshire
    I theory if they are tightening themselves there has to be some movement and that action would only happen on one side of the vehicle as on the other side they would naturally try and undo themselves
     
    mr haynes likes this.
  20. mr haynes Member

    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    uk
    Only likely explanation, to my mind, is someone is tightening them up.
    If correctly torqued originally, can't see how else can happen in space of a week
    And no threadlock involved?
     
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