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Unread 05-03-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
manicjester3
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Ford 8.8 lug nut failure

So, I don't post a lot on here, but I figured I would share a little bit of insight that I learned the hard way.

First, a little background: I bought an 8.8 out of a 97 explorer with 247k miles on it for $100 from a yard. I installed it and got my Jeep back on the road this past weekend and drove around all weekend around town to make sure everything was alright. I got about 100 miles before one of my 35" tires decided it wanted to go faster and pass me. Luckily, I was going about 20mph and slowing down on a dirt backroad, so no one was around and no one/nothing got hurt (except my TJ flare). I found all the lugnuts had backed off. I grabbed the tire and my jack, put it back on with the one lugnut I found and one from each of the other wheels and tightened the crap out of it. When I checked the rest of the lugnuts on the other wheels, a couple on the other side rear wheel were starting to back off too. I tightened all of them and couldn't figure out why this happened, the same tires stayed on my dana 35 just fine.

I was talking to a buddy about it and the only thing we could think of is that most, if not all, Explorers came with aluminum wheels which have a thicker mounting surface than steel wheels like I have. The thicker wheel, coupled with dissimilar metals, created corrosion on the closest threads over the course of 247k miles and I was able to torque the lug nuts without them actually seating.

Just some food for thought for anyone doing an 8.8 swap. Could be a freak occurance, or it may be common. Learn from my mistakes, and make sure the studs are clean all the way to the base.

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Unread 05-03-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
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What wheels do you have?

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Unread 05-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #3
manicjester3
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Not positive. They are 15x10 steel wheels that look kind of like Cragar Soft 8s.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 01:51 PM   #4
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They shouldn't have backed off. I know if you don't tighten then in a star pattern the lugnuts might not seat well and give a false sense of being tight until the wheels start moving. I have a trashed stud on my 8.8 since I got it and I have never had a problem.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 10:52 PM   #5
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Torque'em down to 110-120ft-lbs, drive it 40-50 miles and retorque. Check torque every day until it stabilizes, then check fairly frequently. I changed my wheels and tires before going to Moab and checked them every day after wheeling. I always found some that were slightly backed off. They will set eventually and not need to be checked so frequently. BTW; I got my *** dropped several years ago when a newly installed wheeel came off at about 25 mph.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 11:08 PM   #6
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I had a wheel decide to pass me in my f150 going 55 in the rain. It was a '95 so I believe it was a full size 8.8. Freak occurrence on my part as well. I'll be installing new studs when I finally get around to tackling the 8.8 that's been in the shop waiting for install.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 12:12 AM   #7
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Happens with D35 too. You should always torque the lugnuts and then torque again after driving. Had this happen on my YJ when I swapped to 31s last summer. Thankfully I had the top off and it was nice and sunny. Something was making a funny noise, I thought I was going to be replacing a u-joint soon. Got out and checked and my right rear tire only had two lugs left and they were both loose. The noise I was hearing was the rim wobbling around on the studs. All of the other three were a touch loose. This was in the middle of the week after swapping wheels/tires on the weekend.


Not sure if this was because I went from steel stockers to some aluminum wheels with the 31s, all I know is my dad always told me to re-check them, and now I will never forget again.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 12:37 AM   #8
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were you running wheel spacers? very common occurrence when spacers are used is for lugs to loosen.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 01:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_breaker_5 View Post
were you running wheel spacers? very common occurrence when spacers are used is for lugs to loosen.
why?
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Unread 05-04-2011, 01:24 AM   #10
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did you use a torque wrench or did you do the "white knuckle-red face" technique? i only ask because you mention, "tighten the crap out of them."
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Unread 05-04-2011, 02:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castr8r View Post
Torque'em down to 110-120ft-lbs, drive it 40-50 miles and retorque. Check torque every day until it stabilizes, then check fairly frequently. I changed my wheels and tires before going to Moab and checked them every day after wheeling. I always found some that were slightly backed off. They will set eventually and not need to be checked so frequently. BTW; I got my *** dropped several years ago when a newly installed wheeel came off at about 25 mph.
some cheaper spacers have been known to need the above process to be more common place, that is why i ask. i have never used spacers nor do i intend to (anything over 1/2" is illegal in PA). however there a few threads with just the OP's scenario starting the thread with a pic of a broken and beaten spacer. i'm not demonizing the use of them i am simply trying to diagnose the cause of such a failure, and since i have read it has happened to others i thought i would ask the OP if he was using then at the time.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ti...ilure-1054227/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/wh...riving-212196/

like i said not demonizing them, properly installing a quality spacer might not have failed in either of these instances but just showing that it does happen.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 07:13 AM   #12
manicjester3
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No spacers or anything. I ended up replacing the studs that the wheel fell off on and chasing the ones on the other side with a die. Everything is torqued and I drove it 50 miles to work no problem. I will check the torque before I leave.

When I said I tightened the crap out of them, it was on the side of the road without a torque wrench or anything. The threads were really chewed up at the bottom and I had to put a lot of force on them to get the lugnuts to chew new threads.

This was really just meant as an FYI so other people don't make a dumb mistake like me. I usually keep a harbor freight torque wrench in my car for just such an occasion, but I needed my 3/4 socket for something else and forgot to put it back.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #13
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Problem is not axle specific.

It is common when the wheels are not torqued and then retorqued properly.
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