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Lug Nuts - Dry or greased/lubed
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By scsiguy - Friday, September 05, 2008 7:29 AM
The title says it all. I'm thinking that I read somewhere that DOT Regulations said that lug nuts should be put on dry. Is that right?
By MIKE WALLACE - Friday, September 05, 2008 8:56 AM
My Brother is a expert mechanic and he was told by a budd rep in the 70's only never-seize was to be used. not grease.

He used to work on trucks in the 70's-80's he now owns a two man shop that builds high performance race boat engines they range in price from 80,000 each to 125,000 each. so to me, his word is law:D


By mpowell - Friday, September 05, 2008 3:08 PM
Anti Sieze
By Bill D - Friday, September 05, 2008 4:33 PM
I agree Anti-sieze.  Grease does not hold up in wet environments like anti-sieze.  Also grease makes the friction between the nut and the stud decrease dramatically and if they are torqued to the proper amount on a torque wrench the nut is overtightened, which could stretch the threads.  I believe anti-sieze takes the extreme pressure of a threaded connection better than grease.  I don't believe in running lug nuts dry.  Nuts, studs and your impact will last much longer if coated with anit-sieze.
By Aaron - Friday, September 05, 2008 7:53 PM
Dry, NO anti sieze that just ruins stuff, it leaves a build up of gunk and you can't run them down by hand, the only time a thimble locks up is when some yahoo runs them all the way down the stud  with a wide open air gun then you lock them up on the wheel and streatch the threads the same with the outer nuts, I've put wheels off and on for 30 years and never used anything and have never had problems, no the boys in the east coast might have to do something because of the salt and such but they run wobble wheels.
By kblackav8or - Saturday, September 06, 2008 4:26 AM
ARP (hardware manufacturer) makes a special lube just for bolts that take a torque. Also I agree on the anti-seize, if you are running aluminum wheels, you need some to deal with the disimilar metals. I have never had any of the problems Aaron mentioned. Not saying they don't happen, just that I haven't observed those problems. I also slather some on the backside of the wheel where it meets the hub. Anywhere steel touches aluminum. My other favorite place is on dirt bike swing arm pivot bolts. Having dealt with one seized before, it is a royal pain to try and put a dirt bike sideways onto a press to get the swingarm pivot bolt out. Maybe anti-seize varies from brand to brand. I have always used the Permatex stuff.
By Dieseldoug - Saturday, September 06, 2008 6:32 AM
Let's back up here a minute.

If your running Dayton or Spoke hubs and rims. the hardware is assembled dry. If your running Budd wheels, there are a few things to consider, and these things will make a difference.

If the type of Budds your running are the "Ball Seat" type ( 11/2 in nuts w/square inners), a little, never seize on the threads is okay. You do not want any "lube' on the seat area of the wheel or hardware, otherwise they will not hold torque. Even on aluminum wheels.The centering and support of the load is through the ball and seat area. Lube in this area is not wanted, if correct clamping is to be obtained.

If you are using Hub Piloted type wheels (33MM nuts), they are supposed to go on dry, as they only clamp the wheels to the hub. The centering and support is through the hub. it is a common practice to put a little never seize around the hub seat, when using aluminum wheels, as this is an area that corrosion will take place and make removal difficult.

Please notice that I have hi-lighted LITTLE a few times. Most of us use way to much on things and it can create some unwanted issues. A little goes a long way.

Also, the torque on a Budd wheel is 450 to 500 ft lbs on both types, and 150 to 175 ft lbs on the Daytons. Per The TMC reccommendations. Also, you air gun ain't a torque wrench. I know you think it is. We've all seen what a lost wheel or rim can do. No one needs that heartburn.  

By scsiguy - Saturday, September 06, 2008 11:38 AM
Thanks for the replies. It seems like there is a little bit of disagreement. No big deal. I'll continue doing what I've been doing for the last 30 years. I've never had a wheel come loose or spun a Dayton.
What I'm really wanting to know though is: Is there a DOT Regulation that says that all lugs must be put on dry. Do I remember seeing this somewhere in the past, or is my mind slipping. It may be. I don't have a book of regulations, or if I do, I don't know where it is.
By Dieseldoug - Saturday, September 06, 2008 12:17 PM

In Direct answer to your question. No. There is no federal DOT recommendation.

BTW, my post is almost straight from the TMC recommendations for service on wheels and rims.

By scsiguy - Saturday, September 06, 2008 4:09 PM
Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. I guess my mind is slipping. No big deal.
By truckdog62563 - Sunday, September 07, 2008 6:56 AM
I've got dozens of old wheel catalogs from Budd, K-H, Motor Wheel, Accuride, etc.  All say that Budd style stud piloted rims are done dry with 450-500 psi.  Here's a good article on the subject.
By roadrunner - Sunday, September 07, 2008 1:51 PM
That is incorrect about nuts for hub-pilot wheels.  Motor-Wheel, Hayes-Lemmerz and Accuride recommend TWO DROPS of light machine oil between the nut and washer in order to OBTAIN proper torque/stud stretch.  Also recommend cleaning threads for both ball-seat and hub-pilot wheels to obtain proper torque reading. 
By Marc - Sunday, September 07, 2008 2:10 PM
On my old heap with Budds I use never sieze on the threads and if they don't spin on and off freely then I break out the wire brush and some solvent to get rid of the old gunk before remounting anything.  After all I'm not running a tire shop and can take my time.

Doug mentioned mounting hub piloted wheels dry, but don't forget to lube between the flange and the hex.  We've got an oil can with 30W oil in it for just that.  A couple of drops is all it takes and a quick spin to make sure it's free.  I use never sieze on hub piloted studs as well but to each his own. 

Has anyone noticed the neon green plastic pointers that some of the big fleets are using?  Waste Management is one I've noticed.  Might be they've been around for years but I just noticed them.  

By kblackav8or - Monday, September 08, 2008 5:38 AM
You can "torque stripe" your lugs with something as simple as some liquid paper. You can buy the fancy schmancy paint stuff they use on aircraft but liquid paper works just fine. Gives you a visual if any of your nuts are working loose. If you are really AR, you could drill or buy the hardware for safety wire. :D
By Tony Brown - Monday, September 08, 2008 5:49 AM
If you ride around in the sunshine 4000 miles a year dry would be OK.

 Here in the real world, you run it dry 140K, half are going to break when you try to remove it.  I put anti sieze on everything,  I never had 1, not 1 to come loose or break  and a lot less wheel cracking.

By dashby - Monday, September 08, 2008 6:31 AM
Oh boy!!   Safety wire.  Then we could all buy the twisty pliers.  Talk about FUN.  Just think about what DOT could do with this technology.
By kblackav8or - Monday, September 08, 2008 6:57 AM
I love my Milbar pliers. They're pretty nifty. :cool: I bet Michelle even has a set.

While I am at it, getting a catalog from Aircraft Spruce makes any tool or hardware nut a happy guy. Good for the "reading" room. :)
By glenn akers - Monday, September 08, 2008 9:55 AM
By Bill D - Monday, September 08, 2008 4:38 PM
Tony Brown (9/8/2008)
If you ride around in the sunshine 4000 miles a year dry would be OK.

 Here in the real world, you run it dry 140K, half are going to break when you try to remove it.  I put anti sieze on everything,  I never had 1, not 1 to come loose or break  and a lot less wheel cracking.

I'm with you Tony.  Try running concrete truck wheels without anti-seize.  If they are on for a year or more they are a bear to get off.  Also I like anti-seize on U-joints cups to make them removable at a later date, especially on concrete trucks.  The lime and water that concrete trucks are subjected to make it necessary.  I agree lug nuts should go on by hand and if they don't they should be replaced, and when in doubt replace them.  The cadmium plating on new lug nuts should help to stop galling, but a little anti-seize makes sure.  Just my 2 cents!

By Post from the Past - Tuesday, September 09, 2008 4:35 AM
I used to ger razzed about the way I have done things on some thigs I would use lock tight on others I used antisieze the one that really used toget me razzed wasin would use a tripple stack of bevele washers on an exhaust clamp on a cummins then oneday the same guy who always razzed me saw a Cat come into the shop with stacks and stacks of bevele washers on the exhaust system. He asaked me about them and I just said Hot and cold you figure it out.

 built a lot of equipment that I never wanted the bolt ornutto come loose so on thise things I use KAR-LOK washers they look like stacked meshing teeth go on and tighten up easy but unless you weld the 2 halves together you will break the bolt removing it.