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Author Topic: Using never-seize on lug nuts  (Read 12980 times)
Barn Owl
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« on: March 07, 2007, 08:19:01 PM »

In the topic “Time for an impact gun”(http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=3503.0) a discussion started on using never-seize on lug nuts. I thought that it would be worthwhile to drag that out into a new topic so everyone could benefit. I subscribe to Fleet Owner Magazine and find that many of the topics apply to busses also. Back in Oct. 06 they had an article on just this subject. I hope this helps.

Here is the article, and the link to it appears below:

FleetOwner

Debunking a myth

BY KEVIN ROHLWING e-mail: kevinrohlwing@comcast.net

Oct 1, 2006 12:00 PM


From time to time, I'm going to use this space to dispel a myth about the truck tire and wheel industry. It will usually be a practice or procedure that “everyone does,” in spite of the fact that very few actually understand the reason or the effect. The bottom line of the myth can range from an unnecessary expense to a matter of life and death. In the case of anti-seize compounds, both of those criteria are met.
The age-old practice of using anti-seize compounds as wheel system lubricants has never been approved or endorsed by a wheel, hub or fastener manufacturer. It hails back to the day of stud-piloted or Budd wheel systems when the inner and outer cap nuts were constantly “freezing” together during the removal process. Someone figured out that by coating the threads with high temperature anti-seize compounds the fasteners would come apart. The inherent rust inhibiting properties appeared to be an added bonus.
But nobody asked the question: “Why do inner and outer cap nuts freeze together in the first place?” The answers are typically things like worn or damaged threads, excessive corrosion or uneven torque between the fasteners. The use of anti-seize compounds on stud-piloted wheels keeps bad fasteners in service longer. When they freeze together, it's usually a sign that the threads are either worn or about to wear out. Anti-seize makes sure they come apart so they're put back on the vehicle. Brilliant.
If that isn't enough, stud-piloted wheel systems require a dry torque, so the use of a lubricant like anti-seize will result in more pounds of clamping force per foot-pound of torque. Among the results are accelerated rates of stud fatigue and ball seat wear. So anti-seize decreases the service life of both the stud and the wheel.
Since the people who use anti-seize are creatures of habit, many of them adapted it to the newer hub-piloted wheels for the same reasons. While they could be considered correct from the lubrication standpoint, the torque setting for hub-piloted wheels is oiled.
Once again, none of the wheel, hub, or fastener manufacturers even mentions anti-seize, and all of them agree the only acceptable lubricant is 30-weight oil, with 2-3 drops applied to the threads on the end of the studs and 2-3 drops between the flange and the nut body.
Substituting the 2-3 drops of 30-weight oil with a couple globs of anti-seize is going to reduce the amount of clamping force per foot-pound of torque. When any variation of the word “reduction” is used in association with the key component of wheel retention, everyone owning or operating a truck should pay special attention. Anti-seize on hub-piloted fasteners leads to wheel-offs and the evidence remains on the wheel end in question following the accident. It's a slam-dunk for the plaintiff's attorney.
Take a walk through your maintenance shop and look for cans of anti-seize. They represent an unnecessary expense no matter what the tire guy says. Then take a walk around your yard and look for evidence of metallic (usually silver or copper) residue around the studs and nuts. If you can see it, so can the lawyer. Whoever is responsible for installing your wheels must understand the anti-seize myth is costing them money and exposing everyone to unnecessary risk.

Link:
http://fleetowner.com/equipment/tiretracks/fleet_debunking_myth/index.html

« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 09:15:56 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 08:42:22 PM »

Wow!!! Barn Owl, thanks for screaming "wake up and smell the lawsuits" for me! Wow again, whew guess what I've been using on wheel studs for yrs! I got started doing it yrs. ago when an old man I learned tons of wrenching secrets from told me. "Take it from an old man, use anti seize on any and all big truck wheels and you won't have the problems with rusted/frozen lugs/studs, or striped or broken studs!" So I've been doing it his way for yrs! Not any more! Wow thanks again for opening my eyes again Barn Owl! BK  Grin
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 09:33:20 PM »

I agree with the article up to a point. That point is the reason for rusting and seizing threads. I think the main reason for this is going many years between wheel removal and operating or storing in very wet conditions. The only thread problems I've ever had were under these conditions.

Of course if you force a nut back onto a damaged thread it will be very hard to remove and proper torquing will not be possible, but almost everyone should know better than to do this.

I use anti-seize between wheels and between wheel and drum to keep down the rust. I also use a very small amount on stud threads, the op words here are "very small amount". So far I've never had a nut loosen much or come off. Maybe I've been lucky.
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 09:40:36 PM »

Not many things are as financially dangerous as a lawyer needing to make a boat payment.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2007, 06:24:07 AM by Barn Owl » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2007, 05:31:35 AM »

But, is there any evidence of there ever having been a lawsuit against a company or individual specifically for using lubricants on the threads of wheel studs?

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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2007, 05:54:49 AM »

Or any evidence, other than theory, that it causes wheels to come off.  I doubt it.  Using never sieze is common practice in higher corrosion areas, like the Northeast.  Regarless of what the article states, rust does cause lugs nuts to sieze up.

Ross
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Happycampersrus
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2007, 06:35:30 AM »

http://www.wheel-check.com/wheelacc.html

"ODI says, approximately 1,000 accidents annually result from wheels falling off commercial vehicles. Left-side wheels are more likely to hit another vehicle and generate an accident report than right-side wheels, which often run off the road without causing notable damage. In some instances, however, loose right- side wheels seriously injure or kill pedestrians, sparking multi-million-dollar lawsuits against motor carriers."

I would be afraid that a good investigation could reveal the use of never-seize contributed to the wheel coming loose. A good lawyer would make the case that faulty or IMPROPER (this case)maintenance practices caused an accident. Also a good lawyer/prosecutor and his team of "expert witnesses" could make a good enough case that you might loose more than a wheel. Money & freedom come to mind.

For example:
http://www.kobtv.com/index.cfm?viewer=storyviewer&id=4719&cat=HOME

http://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2001/5thDistrict/June/Html/5990494.htm  Second paragraph.

These folks my win the appeal because the evidence was spoiled or discarded, but I would still be worried.

 
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Stan
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2007, 07:00:59 AM »

I agree that this is one person's opinion without any bio to give us his background knowledge and experience. Look at his statement: 

quote "Substituting the 2-3 drops of 30-weight oil with a couple globs of anti-seize is going to reduce the amount of clamping force per foot-pound of torque." unquote

I have not heard of antiseize being used to reduce torque (although it does). That is not the reason it is used,  and compared to using oil, does it affect torque more, less or the same. To make the statement that this author does, I would expect a reference to the torque reduction numbers for both products.

In addition, lubricating the threads will increase the clamping force, not reduce it, which he says himself in a previous paragraph

quote "...if that isn't enough, stud-piloted wheel systems require a dry torque, so the use of a lubricant like anti-seize will result in more pounds of clamping force per foot-pound of torque" unquote.
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2007, 07:37:25 AM »

To win in court beyond a reaonable doubt thier lawer would have to prove that using never sieze caused the wheel to come off.  If you come up with 100 people that say it's bad, I can come up with 100 that say it's good.  Basically, unless there is a legal president or a DOT case study, anything regarding never sieze causing wheels to come off would be purely opinion.

He also refers to "globs" of never sieze.  It shouldn't be used in globs.  If you apply some to the stud, then wipe off as much as you can, you will have enough.  Just enough to prevent corrosion.

Ross
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lloyd
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2007, 07:45:20 AM »

I worked as a mechanic in the trucking industry for 20 years, and we always put never sieze on the innner and outer nuts on stud piloted rims. I never heard of any of our wheels coming off. Hub piloted on the other hand we only put a couple of drops of oil on the flange of the nut no never sieze, there was no need for it, and it would affect the torque applied to the nut. The biggest issue with hub piloted rims is retorqueing the nuts after a few hundred miles, that is why wheels were coming off the hub.
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Happycampersrus
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2007, 08:24:23 AM »

"To win in court beyond a reaonable doubt thier lawer would have to prove that using never sieze caused the wheel to come off.  If you come up with 100 people that say it's bad, I can come up with 100 that say it's good.  Basically, unless there is a legal president or a DOT case study, anything regarding never sieze causing wheels to come off would be purely opinion."

I don't believe you could come up with 100 engineers and wheel fastener manufacturers that would advocate the use of never-seize. If you could, never-seize would be called for by every maintenance manual regarding wheel installations and this discussion wouldn't be happening.

I have been an expert witness in a wrongful death lawsuit and a semi-truck accident and trust me it doesn't take much for you to lose, ESPECIALLY when proper maintenance practices haven't been followed. The guy that lost the lawsuit is still working odd jobs for cash, because he still owes the family a couple million for killing their child. He can't do much until the debt is paid.

When you take it upon yourself to try to "out think" the engineers and manufacturers, then you are playing with fire. The law of averages is on your side though. Will you loose a wheel and cause death or injury?? probably not, but I personally wouldn't risk it.




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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2007, 08:56:25 AM »

Just to clear up one legal misconception.  In a civil trial the jury (or judge, not all civil trials have a jury) is charged with coming to a verdict based on a "Preponderance of Evidence" as opposed to criminal trials that require a verdict be "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt".

Quote
Preponderance of evidence: Greater weight of evidence, or evidence that is more credible and convincing. Refers to the amount of proof required to win a civil case. It is that degree of proof that is more probable than not. It is a lower standard than that required in criminal a case.


This is how so many nonsense lawsuits are won and civil trial lawyers get rich.  Civil trial juries are very unpredictable and often award outrageous amounts in the most rediculous cases.

While I tend to agree that never seize has been used widely in the trucking industry, I sure would hate to be at the defendant table in a civil trial and have the plaintiff's attorney bringing the issue in front of the unpredictable, non-expert jury whose emotions are being swayed by the injured party's suffering or their survivors.
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2007, 10:13:25 AM »

You can go here= http://www.alcoa.com/alcoawheels/catalog/pdf/HDSM022004_en.pdf
they recommend lube, unless its all new hardware.
They even list different torque's for lube or non lube
« Last Edit: March 08, 2007, 10:16:04 AM by Ednj » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 08:02:04 PM »

WOW after a lifetime in the trucking industry I whole heartedly believe that if you loose your wheels, the is a lot more wrong than a lube situation! I think this topic came up when we were discussing removing wheels by hand in an emergency situation. Early in my career, Superman and I tried to change a flat roadside on an old KW. With a flagpole for a cheater pipe, we could not break loose one lug nut, and they were not "frozen", just normally tight. I pull the head bolts on a 855 cummins 280 ft lbs with a 6 foot long 3/4 drive torque wrench and that is pretty damn tight. On our thread we were discussing removing wheels for service work at home or on the road in an emergency by hand. I like boat trailer wheel bearing grease, (It will stay in a year on a Seattle truck in the rain). I suggested a trip to the tire shop to get them broke loose, reinstall by hand, torque to 250 lbs by hand with boat trailer wheel bearing grease, a retorque at a couple hundred miles and visual walkaround inspection per DOT every time you stop the unit. For those of you who think 250 foot lbs is light, My torque wrench is available for your use, and you will be tired by the time you get 10 inner and outers that tight. However you will be able to use the same wrench to take them off in an emergency if you have the energy and time. I have several years ago traded Superman for Mr. Ingersol Rand and we are very happy togather! The grease will stay as I know beyond a doubt that I only replace a percentage of the stripped studs on my fleet that I used to. I firmly believe in a walk around inspection every time I stop a truck or a bus and I try to look at every lug nut every time. If you don't do your walk around inspections every stop, (Its your responsibility), where are you going to be when they all go flat?
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 08:33:18 PM »

Wheels fall off for all kinds of reasons, the only one I ever lost was a broken trailer wheel, the disc wheel itself broke around the hub. Luckily, we were empty.

I think the real myth is that just because it gets publiished in a trade magazine it is gospel! These things go on for years because nobody bothers to check it out since it was written by "experts".

"ODI says, approximately 1,000 accidents annually result from wheels falling off commercial vehicles. Left-side wheels are more likely to hit another vehicle and generate an accident report than right-side wheels, which often run off the road without causing notable damage. In some instances, however, loose right- side wheels seriously injure or kill pedestrians, sparking multi-million-dollar lawsuits against motor carriers."

What does this have to do with using anti-seize??
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