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Old 04-05-2014, 05:32 PM   #1
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Loose lug nuts?

I finally discovered why they want you to check the lug nut torque constantly on trailers...at least on my trailer anyway.

So the question in my mind has always been "Why does everybody want me to torque the lug nuts on the trailer frequently when my truck and car lug nuts stay tight for indefinite periods of time with everyday driving?"

Well sportsfans I figured it out today!! On my car and truck, the center hole of the wheel is machined to a very close tolerance fit to the vehicles axle hubs. So close in fact that a small amount of rust on the hub can make the wheel very difficult to remove. In this situation, the majority of the radial load on the wheel is carried by the outside diameter of the hub. The lug nuts essentially hold the wheel tight to the hub.

On my travel trailer, the wheel bore measures 3.19" ID and the hub measures 2.60" OD. This leaves a gap of 0.295" all the way around the hub ergo the entire radial load on the wheel is supported by the 5 lugs of the bolt circle. See the photo with the calipers which shows the gap.

With this fact in mind, it's easy to comprehend how loose lug nuts could cause problems, so keep those nuts torqued!!
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table and wheel 003.jpg   table and wheel 004.jpg  
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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I'm going to check my nuts right now!
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:11 PM   #3
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Checked my nuts earlier today and one was a bit loose. Tightened it up. Guess it's getting older.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:16 PM   #4
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Everytime any work is done with the tires, wheels,brakes on our trailer I always check the torque. Have found that more than once whoever does the work doesn't torque the lug nuts, and when I find it I call them and tell them about it. Sometimes I get a thank you and others I get a few choice words.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:13 PM   #5
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They say you need to torque them at a specific torque. How can I know if it's done right without professional tools? In the manual, they say you gotta torque them like 4 times in the first 100 km
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpaint View Post
They say you need to torque them at a specific torque. How can I know if it's done right without professional tools? In the manual, they say you gotta torque them like 4 times in the first 100 km
Go to Harbor Freight and buy a $20. torque wrench. Keep it in your rig so you can check them any time you need to.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:42 AM   #7
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Harbor Freight has torque wrenches on sale very often and for checking the lug nuts on your trailer they work fine. Get the 1/2" drive one and if you don't own a set of 1/2" drive sockets pick up a set while your there.

On the 23B the proper torque is 75 ft/lbs...my truck 150 ft/lbs. When I rotate the tires on my truck I have to get my gorilla son to break them loose with a 4 foot pipe on a 4 way lug wrench!!!

Norty1 beat me by 1 minute you rascal!
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Go to Harbor Freight and buy a $20. torque wrench. Keep it in your rig so you can check them any time you need to.
W*M has one for $20, too
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:07 AM   #9
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I never used a torque wrench on the lugs of my old trailer, but a torque wrench was one of the first things I bought for the Eagle. After reading McFarmall's post, I'm glad I did. Plan to do it when I de-winterize . . . still getting below freezing most nights here in Michigan.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:30 AM   #10
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I, once had a wheel come loose near Spokane on I-90 and I could feel it in the car. They were tightened and I didn't say "torqued" by the dealer just before I left Bellingham. That was just around 300 miles from the start of the trip.
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