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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Can't get wheels off. Want to do brakes. Help?



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      03-01-2014, 11:13 AM   #1
Agentphish
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Can't get wheels off. Want to do brakes. Help?

I've got my Saturday all set aside here to do my brakes and this is the first time I'm personally removing the wheels from this car since buying it a year ago...

I can't get the goddamn lugs off! My guess is they were put on with an air wrench of course and perhaps over-tight? I have a 19" breaker bar, 4" socket extension to clear the wheel and 17MM socket for the lugs and none of them will budge.

These things are so tight that one of the two 4" extensions sheared off when I put a ton of pressure on it trying to get the first lug out. I've had that extension for a good amount of time and done a lot of m

Any quick suggestions on what to do here? I don't really have a long pipe or anything here to get extra leverage on the breaker bar.

Thanks
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      03-01-2014, 11:21 AM   #2
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I've had this happen before. It's due to overzealous/careless techs. Just take the car to a tire shop and they'll loosen them for you. Get a torque wrench and torque them down properly when you're done and you won't have this issue next time. If a breaker bar isn't working don't force it or you could strip the lug bolts and then you'll have a bigger problem.
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      03-01-2014, 11:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentphish View Post
I've got my Saturday all set aside here to do my brakes and this is the first time I'm personally removing the wheels from this car since buying it a year ago...

I can't get the goddamn lugs off! My guess is they were put on with an air wrench of course and perhaps over-tight? I have a 19" breaker bar, 4" socket extension to clear the wheel and 17MM socket for the lugs and none of them will budge.

These things are so tight that one of the two 4" extensions sheared off when I put a ton of pressure on it trying to get the first lug out. I've had that extension for a good amount of time and done a lot of m

Any quick suggestions on what to do here? I don't really have a long pipe or anything here to get extra leverage on the breaker bar.

Thanks
Well there are lots of things you can try.

1. torch to heat the offending lug nut(s). Expands the metal.

2. a good soak with penetrating oil (liquid wrench)

3. beg/borrow/steal an electric or pneumatic impact gun


EDIT: And I guess I should mention this, but people should know this already---if using a torch (and this DOES work to loosen stubborn lug nuts by the way), be very careful. A good torch can put so much heat there it can ruin a wheel's finish if you aren't careful. Or more.
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      03-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #4
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Or of course you can take it to a shop as cmyk mentions. That's the least dirty method.
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      03-01-2014, 11:25 AM   #5
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That's crazy. Spray each with PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench, or something similar and let it set for 10-15 minutes. You can't use heat so if that doesn't work you'll need to have a shop use an impact wrench to get them off.
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      03-01-2014, 11:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
I've had this happen before. It's due to overzealous/careless techs. Just take the car to a tire shop and they'll loosen them for you. Get a torque wrench and torque them down properly when you're done and you won't have this issue next time. If a breaker bar isn't working don't force it or you could strip the lug bolts and then you'll have a bigger problem.
+1

Could be seized from weather too.
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      03-01-2014, 11:30 AM   #7
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Don't use an extension on the ratchet. If anything, I hope it's at least a 1/2" and not a 3/8".

I would just borrow a lug wrench from someone. I use my E30's wrench for this sort of occasion.
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      03-01-2014, 11:31 AM   #8
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Ok nevermind guys. I took the handle off my jack and used it as an extension. Can't believe I didnt think of that first. All good now. Thanks for the quick replies.
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      03-01-2014, 11:31 AM   #9
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Of course you can use heat. I've had to do it twice because of overzealous tire shop jockeys. I cheated and heated my lug wrench though, not the lug.
When I put on the lug wrench, I let it sit on the stuck bolt for a couple minutes, and let conduction heat the bolt. Then let it cool. The expansion/contraction broke it looser. Came off pretty easy after that.

EDIT: Good to hear OP.
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      03-01-2014, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJtoad View Post
That's crazy. Spray each with PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench, or something similar and let it set for 10-15 minutes. You can't use heat so if that doesn't work you'll need to have a shop use an impact wrench to get them off.
Would that penetrate as they're not nuts? It would have to get through the rim holes.

IMHO long breaker bar....
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      03-01-2014, 11:34 AM   #11
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If I was you I would take it to a proper tire shop and have them break it loose. Whoever put your lugs on didn't know shit about how much torque your suppose to tighten the wheels at and was most probably a rookie, and thought tightening your lugs as hard as he could was the right thing to do haha WRONG! BMW specs to torque the wheels at 90lb ft.
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      03-01-2014, 11:34 AM   #12
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Heat it real good, then spray PB on it. The cooling bolt will suck the PB down into the threads and loosen them. This is how I broke loose my tripple square crank bolt on my Audi. Thing had a good 600 pounds of torque to it, my 3/4 air gun wouldn't break it loose.

Only problem with heating a bolt... It's gonna rust after very quickly. You've changed the chemistry of the steel, it's now going to corrode quite a bit faster. I used this method on my tie rod ends, my right side one is completely rusted out now.
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      03-01-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Would that penetrate as they're not nuts? It would have to get through the rim holes.

IMHO long breaker bar....
It's not necessarily the threads, could be the lug bolt shoulder is corroded and binding on the wheel itself. Also, trying to use heat is dangerous since it would be very easy to screw up the wheel finish -- or worse.
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      03-01-2014, 11:42 AM   #14
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http://www.amazon.com/18-Socket-Wren...aker+bar+1%2F2

That's the problem even at 85 ft lbs this bar is too short, op had 19"
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      03-01-2014, 11:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJtoad View Post
It's not necessarily the threads, could be the lug bolt shoulder is corroded and binding on the wheel itself. Also, trying to use heat is dangerous since it would be very easy to screw up the wheel finish -- or worse.
Then how would you clean the lubricant out? Never lubricate lugs/ nuts. But sounds like he used too short of a bar.
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      03-01-2014, 11:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3SPKY5U View Post
Heat it real good, then spray PB on it. The cooling bolt will suck the PB down into the threads and loosen them. This is how I broke loose my tripple square crank bolt on my Audi. Thing had a good 600 pounds of torque to it, my 3/4 air gun wouldn't break it loose.

Only problem with heating a bolt... It's gonna rust after very quickly. You've changed the chemistry of the steel, it's now going to corrode quite a bit faster. I used this method on my tie rod ends, my right side one is completely rusted out now.
The only way out of this predicament is to get a Porsche with wheels that are removable
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      03-01-2014, 11:47 AM   #17
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Ok nevermind guys. I took the handle off my jack and used it as an extension. Can't believe I didnt think of that first. All good now. Thanks for the quick replies.
Yup, You'd be surprised the difference leverage makes. For me it been the difference of stripping the threads/tons of elbow grease vs not difficult at all. 20" worth of extension is not really adequate (won't hear that too often )
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      03-01-2014, 12:52 PM   #18
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Use a pipe over a breaker bar to increase leverage.

Use a pipe over a breaker bar to increase leverage.
(extend the length)
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      03-01-2014, 03:50 PM   #19
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Good to hear the OP got his wheels off.

Would not recommend using any sort of penetrating oil on lug bolts, and if anyone really feels a pressing need to do so be very careful not to get any on the brakes discs or you will contaminate your brake pads.

Back in the fall I had a related problem switching to my winters. I took all the lug bolts out, but damned if I could get any of the wheels off the hub. All four of them were seized on solidly. Pounding with a rubber mallet had no effect. Ended up putting the bolts back, but slightly loose, and taking it for a short drive to break the wheels free. I plan to use some anti seize (on the hub, not the lugs) when I put them back on - if spring ever comes LOL.
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      03-01-2014, 08:19 PM   #20
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Yeah I got the wheels off, but I ran into all sorts of other issues with the replacement pads I got that prohibited me from getting the job done.

I posted another thread in the Brake forum if anyone wants to give more advice. Thanks. http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=952745
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      03-01-2014, 09:05 PM   #21
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Get a17 mm deep socket and get a breaker bar which is a long bar to adapt to the socket. Then get a hollow pipe to extend the breaker bar and you can get anything off. Did it last night for my friends 5 series. He couldn't get his lugs off after he got a blowout. I used my torque wrench before I took them off to see what the tire shop zapped them on too and they were over 200 ft/lbs. that's crazy. I used to torque diesel heavy duty truck to 200 ft/lbs. some shops don't care!!!
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      03-01-2014, 11:22 PM   #22
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I kept the old L-shaped tire iron from my e46 because it allowed me to stand on it and use my body weight to remove a seized lug. Never failed me!
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