Sunday, January 29, 2023

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RV Tire Safety: Have a broken wheel stud? Here is what I would do…

I recently read a post about someone discovering a broken wheel stud on their RV. The wheel had been changed after there was a tire problem. The reported labor done at the tire shop is suspect. In my experience, studs get broken from car crashes or over-tightening of the lug nuts.

Here is a picture of the wheel with the broken stud at the 8 o’clock position.

From my 40 years of Endurance Sports Car racing and mounting hundreds of tires while doing evaluations as a tire design engineer, I STRONGLY recommend that all studs on that tire position are replaced and a HAND torque wrench be used to fully seat the studs unless a stud hydraulic press was used to install a full set of studs.

Continue checking wheel studs

Also, you should check all the studs at 50 miles, 100 miles, and EACH 50 miles thereafter until ALL the new studs have been confirmed to NOT need any additional turning of the torque wrench for two checks that the studs are fully seated AND the nuts are properly tightened. If you have had any studs break, it is probably evidence of improper torque in the past. This means the lug nuts are also compromised, so new studs would be appropriate.

NOTE that I said to use a torque wrench and NOT an impact gun with a “torque stick.” Doing this with hand tools will allow you to “feel” any movement of the stud or nut.

I believe so strongly in the importance of lug nut torque that I required our lug nuts to be torqued whenever we changed tires. In thousands of miles of racing, including winning six consecutive 24-hour endurance races, my cars NEVER lost a wheel due to a broken stud or loose lug nut.

Have a tire question? Ask Roger on his RV Tires Forum here. It’s hosted by RVtravel.com and moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.

 ##RVT1080

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A Pseudonym
1 month ago

At what venues did you participate in 24 hour racing? Daytona? Sebring? Le Mans? What machines were driven?

Roger Marble
1 month ago
Reply to  A Pseudonym

24 Hours of Nelson Ledges. These were basically Showroom Stock with only safety modifications (Roll cage belts etc) Tires were DOT and not supposed to be racing tires. I did run a two hour event at Daytona and finished 2nd in my first time on that track.

Roger Marble
1 month ago
Reply to  A Pseudonym

I also ran dozens of shorter 1 to 6 hour events at Road Atlanta, Mosport, Watkins Glen, Riverside, Lime Rock and others. There was a 24 Hour event at Mid Ohio too.

Ken
2 months ago

I often notice lug nuts with broken stud pieces at intersections (stop signs or traffic lights). Always assumed them to be over torqued and the added pressure from stop and start caused them to break. Never thought about an accident, excellent point.
Around the morning coffee table in town, the discussion on tire store use of impact wrenches is hot and heavy.
Lug nuts can be so tight that if you have a flat on the road, you could never loosen them with the wrench that comes with the scissors jack. A truckers 4 way wrench would be a workout.
Also, did not know Roger was such a car enthusiast, what a background. Thanks for your weekly articles.

Impavid
2 months ago

Wasn’t it fun in the old days when you changed a flat tire and just tightened the lug nuts until it felt right? I never had my lug nuts torqued and never lost a wheel. Only a master mechanic in a large garage or dealership would own a torque wrench back in my early days of driving. I would even put money (not a lot mind you) that in days of yore the Owner’s Manual didn’t even list a torque setting. Now I have a torque wrench in my truck that goes to 250 ft lbs as my F350 dually calls for 165 lbs on the lug nuts (which I always thought was ft lbs and is it now lbs ft?) and three in my garage (250, 150 and one in inch lbs). Whenever I have a wheel off for replacement I ask the tire shop to leave the torque at 5 ft lbs under specs. Also, I always leave the hubcaps off and that’s my reminder to re-torque the lug nuts. I expect the lug nuts to move minimally when checking them as they were initially under by 5 ft lbs and this also allows me to verify they weren’t overtightened.

Impavid
2 months ago
Reply to  Impavid

For anyone who wants to point out that some Owner’s Manuals did list a torque setting I will concede the point. Isn’t it just a little humorous, or sad, that fifty years ago my motorcycle manual told me how to adjust the valves and nowadays the Owner’s Manual tells you not to drink the battery acid.

Larry
2 months ago
Reply to  Impavid

Don’t drink the battery acid!………now you tell me

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