Jeff Dork
Dec. 9, 2009 12:22 p.m.

The rt front on the RX has a stuck lug. I can't get it off. I've tried everything short of heat, and I'm not sure I want to try that with the Panasports on there. Oh, and the nut is now rounded compliments of my breaker bar with a 6 ft cheater.

Can anyone recommend a nut splitter that works well for wheels? This has been pissing me off for days now.

BTW, I broke a HF impact socket, it gave up the ghost early. My chrome deep well is fine (not HF). Can see why folks have mixed feelings about them.

aircooled SuperDork
Dec. 9, 2009 12:47 p.m.

Is there access to get a small cutting wheel on it? I have used a dremel cutting wheel in a similar circumstance. If the lug is sunk in the rim, this will not work obviously.

iceracer HalfDork
Dec. 9, 2009 1:08 p.m.

Good old fashioned chisel and a BFH.

Of course you can always get the sawzall out and cut the wheel off, like one fellow did.

Keith SuperDork
Dec. 9, 2009 2:02 p.m.

I've managed to use a plasma cutter to remove the bolt in a similar situation. Basically a more fun version of the chisel/BFH technique.

I do not like the term "nutsplitter". It makes me uncomfortable. That is all.

Don49 New Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 2:27 p.m.

NAPA sells a special socket for removing "locking" or rounded lug nuts. Basically it is a reverse spiral that bites into the lug.

Don49 New Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 2:27 p.m.

NAPA sells a special socket for removing "locking" or rounded lug nuts. Basically it is a reverse spiral that bites into the lug.

JeremyB New Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 2:37 p.m.

I've never tried it, but you might be able to drill out the stud. Just get progressively larger drill bits until the nut no longer has threads to hold.

Hopefully the stud isn't a tempered type of metal. Of course you'll have to deal with replacing the stud when you're done, but that has to be cheaper than a new wheel.

carguy123 Dork
Dec. 9, 2009 2:40 p.m.

I've used a hammer to break the stud and then replaced the stud after I got the wheel off. But that presumes you can get to the lugs. Some lugs are recessed.

Junkyard_Dog Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 2:44 p.m.
Don49 wrote: NAPA sells a special socket for removing "locking" or rounded lug nuts. Basically it is a reverse spiral that bites into the lug.

+eleventy-billion. I've posted this like 10 times over the years, we need to make a tool thread sticky.

Matco's are on sale right now $109 vs. $129

Toyman01 HalfDork
Dec. 9, 2009 5:05 p.m.

The last one I had stuck I ended up drilling the stud most of the way. Not wanting to chance drilling the hub by accident I strapped a 2X6 to the wheel and snapped the last little bit. Replaced stud and told my wife to never change a tire again. She had rounded the nut standing on the lug wrench, then had to call a wrecker to tow it home.

erohslc Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 5:19 p.m.

1) Get a cheap wrench, just big enough to fit over the lugnut (box end works best) 2) Place the wrench so you can get leverage on it 3) Weld the lugnut to the wrench 4) Remove and discard (or grind off the weld bead and save the wrench for next time)

suprf1y Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 5:22 p.m.

I had a car with those 'tuner' lug nuts. Every time you needed to take the tires off, 1 of the 20 would break, leaving the round head well inside the rim. I drilled the stud until it got thin enough to break off. It only took about 10 minutes.

Appleseed Dork
Dec. 9, 2009 5:44 p.m.

You could always cut apart the rim. Its common interwebz knowledge.

bluke1 New Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 7:32 p.m.

toyman1 beat me to it, but i would do what he said. if you cant get a wrench on it, weld a bolt to it and use the bolt head to wrench on.

bluke1 New Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 7:33 p.m.

In reply to bluke1:

oops! i was agreeing with erohsic! gotta give credit where credit is due!

Jensenman SuperDork
Dec. 9, 2009 7:58 p.m.

Ouch. Lug BOLT or lug STUD?

Either way, with a Panasport involved I would do what Toyman said: center punch the stud or bolt, drill a pilot hole, then start going with bigger drill bits. I saved a Mazda head and a Honda XR600R frame with that method.

Once it's off, knock the remaining part of the lug STUD out and drive in a new one. If it's a lug BOLT, you need to remove the hub, stick it in a fixture where you can drill accurately and then drill out the boogered part, then re tap the hole.

If it's lug bolts on a early RX7, the 'conversion' studs EMPI sells for Volkswagen hubs will thread directly into your hubs and then you can use 12 x 1.50 pitch lug nuts. BTDT.

Mazdax605 Reader
Dec. 9, 2009 9:39 p.m.

My guess is he has the lug bolts still,and that makes life a bit more complicated.

Shot gun,maybe??

914Driver SuperDork
Dec. 10, 2009 6:06 a.m.

Jeff Dork
Dec. 10, 2009 8:23 a.m.

It's a lug nut on a stud.

Since the welder is penciled in for the 1st or 2nd quarter next year, the welding options are out. I like the reverse thread thingy, if I can find one down here, I'll give that a try.

If all else fails it will be time to do some drilling. The nuts are 95% exposed, so I thought of drilling into those in two or three places and then hitting it with a chisel. If it had cheapo wheels, I'd use the sawsall .


Jensenman SuperDork
Dec. 10, 2009 8:35 a.m.

Were it me, I'd stay away from sharp things you have to hit, real hot flames or stuff that throws big sparks from an electric arc. Too much chance of damage to the wheel. And 914 is right: anti seize on reassembly. That stuff has saved me many tears.

914Driver SuperDork
Dec. 10, 2009 9:08 a.m.

Sorry I was no help, but were it me, I would drill it out and replace the stud.

Different (BFH) technique on a steel wheel


erohslc Reader
Dec. 10, 2009 9:45 a.m.

Should be easy enough to protect the wheel from welding sparks, a blanket, or canvas (or even a piece of cardboard) with a hole in it ought to do the trick. Beg, borrow, or steal the welder, shouldn't take more than a minute or two to lay a couple of beads down. It doesn't have to look pretty.

wlkelley3 HalfDork
Dec. 12, 2009 4:42 p.m.

On my F150 w/aluminum factory rims and those chrome covered lug nuts I rounded one off a while back. I took a small drill bit and drilled into the side of the nut and partially through down one flat. Then took a nut splitter (sorry Keith ) and split the nut and removed without damaging the stud. Had to take a cold chisel to the last bit of the nut though. Now admittedly there was room to get the nut splitter on the nut and use the splitter correctly, probably not work on smaller rims or rims with recessed lugs.

sachilles HalfDork
Dec. 12, 2009 5:00 p.m.

craftsman also has those spiral socket things they call them bolt outs. They work well. I've also seen folks hammer on a smaller socket.

Run_Away New Reader
Dec. 12, 2009 5:18 p.m.

All the fancy lug nut remover tools we have at the dealership I work at suck compared to a 20mm chrome socket (over a 21mm nut/locking nut). Hammer it on, use an impact to turn it off. The socket will just spin for a minute or two at first, but the lug nut soon heats up from all the friction, expands, and then the stud either snaps or the nut spins off.

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