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down tight, your metal punch will jump when you hit it because
you are not hitting a solid surface. You will also hear a distinct
sound different from when you were driving it in and when it
bottoms out against the hub. Reinstall the new lug nuts and
torque them to the manufacturer’s specs. Make sure you check
them often after replacement to ensure they are tight. Please use
safety glasses and gloves when doing this. One piece of metal
flying off that punch can ruin your day, or life.
QIs there any way I can be sure that the lug nuts on my trailer are going to come off in the event I have to change a tire? Guys at the ramp keep telling me to grease them,
but that sounds crazy because grease would make the lug nut
come off, wouldn’t it? Help! G. Giordas, Miami, FL
DUSTIN: Not exactly. The nuts stay on because they are
torqued against the wheel. Some manufacturers say that grease
can actually make the threads on the stud stretch during torquing, so for that reason, I would not put grease on them. I would
recommend using a rust-penetrating fluid on your studs before
and after removing them. This is not a lubricant like grease. But
even more important than preventive sprays is preventive maintenance. Take the lugs off once in a while and inspect things. Pull
one off at a time, spray the rust-penetrating fluid on the stud,
and replace the nut. Then do the next one. A few months later,
do it again. That way, you know they are in good shape and will
come off for you.
TED: Since we are dealing with boat trailers in wet and sometimes salty environments, my recommendation is to use a small
amount of a copper-based anti-seize compound. Most auto
mechanics would tell you not to lube studs, since they apply
a very specific torque rated for “clean, dry threads” so as not
to over- or under-tighten lug nuts. Without getting into details,
greased components will change the torque required. A common
mistake is that greased parts often get over-tightened, which can
warp components. So here is the conundrum — you’ll need to
tighten enough without warping the hub, but not too loose as to
have the nut back off. For any long haul (and periodic checks), I
always check to be certain lug nuts are secure.
QI’m putting new bunk car- pet on and the company I’m buying it from says I should
use stainless-steel bunk-carpet nails
(which are actually screws). It would
seem to me I’d get a better connection using stainless-steel staples since a smaller hole would
be the result and the carpet wouldn’t rip. What should I use?
V. Delonghi, Phoenix, AZ
DUSTIN: The stainless-steel staples would work just fine, so
long as they are industrial-size staples. The stainless screws could
be installed with a stainless washer and be better than anything
else. Just a preference call on your part. If I were concerned about
it lasting, I would go with the screws and washers.
TED: Either will do. I believe the theory is that carpet nails have
broader heads to hold the carpet more securely. I prefer staples
because they tend to come out easier when it’s time to replace
the carpet again, but I tend to use more.