Another Off-The-Wall Question.....This time about anti-seize compound.....

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1,527
Location
Southeast United States
Hi all. Here's the question. Is anti-seize compound safe to use on alloy wheels' lug nuts? I have read many posts on this subject, and there seems to be differing opinions. The pros say that it prevents galling of the wheel lug nut seats, and gives a more uniform torqueing. The cons say that it will make the lug nuts loosen up. What do you all think? By the way, I have used it for years on my alloy wheels, on several vehicles, with no ill effects. Am I playing with fire??? [Burnout]
 
Messages
37
Location
Bowmanville, Canada
For what it worth, I had a '93 Honda Civic Si a few years ago, and I used to tighten the wheel nuts to 40 ft/lbs (spec was 80 ft/lbs), with the studs lubed with white/marine grease. My thinking was to reduce the chances of rotor warpage. Any way, the wheels never came loose over 50,000 miles that I had the car.
 
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1,874
Location
Ocala, Florida
for what it's worth, had a guy come over, couldn't keep his ford wheel nut on as it kept backing off. he'd replaced it with a new one at the time he changed his cv joint. After inspection of this, found he had a moly coat from the cv joint compound and allowed it to back off. This is very common with any moly compound, so quite frankly, it isn't advisable to put a lubricant in areas such as that as a precaution. If they start to loosen, what first will happen is they will start to break off as they loosen up. This is one indicator, also, slight loose feel to the wheel, also, in tractor trailers if you ever spot any rust line coming from the lug nut, this is also an indication that the nut is loose and needs tightened.
 

Jay

Messages
1,613
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
quote:
Originally posted by Canuk: For what it worth, I had a '93 Honda Civic Si a few years ago, and I used to tighten the wheel nuts to 40 ft/lbs (spec was 80 ft/lbs), with the studs lubed with white/marine grease. My thinking was to reduce the chances of rotor warpage. Any way, the wheels never came loose over 50,000 miles that I had the car.
That 80 ft/lb torque spec is given assuming no lubricant on the threads. When you lube the threads the torque spec goes out the window because a significant amount of the torque comes from friction. Since friction is what keeps the nut from coming loose you shouldn't lube lug nuts.
 
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2,077
Location
Cordelia, CA
quote:
That 80 ft/lb torque spec is given assuming no lubricant on the threads. When you lube the threads the torque spec goes out the window because a significant amount of the torque comes from friction. Since friction is what keeps the nut from coming loose you shouldn't lube lug nuts.
This is correct. The threads should be clean and rust free, but no lubricant should be used, as the actual drawdown force on the lug would be much higher for a given torque with a lube or anti-sieze. Theoretically, using anti-sieze, a lower torque spec could be used to achieve the same drawdown force, but what would the proper spec be? I've seen no formula for computing this and I would not make the assumption that 1/2 is right. I would not use grease because it has no thread lock properties.
 
Messages
349
Location
Quebec, Canada
quote:
Just don't slop it everywhere (it should always be just a film anyway).
Aw, great! Now you tell me! I don't just slap it on though. I just happen to coat them a bit too much. But, I have yet to experience any lug nuts loosening because of it. Just remember...Anti-Seize is your friend...just like your trusty hammer and your trusty 1/2" breaker bar. [stretch] Oz
 

twb

Messages
65
Location
Bergen, NY
Okay, I agree that torque specs were "engineered" for clean, dry threads. But find me a wheel stud that is clean and completely corrosion free. Find me a taper that doesn't have those black varnish-like streaks on it. So, do all of speaking out against anti-seize compound fine tune your torque specs as the coefficients of friction change over time? In case isn't obvious already, I'm firmly in the camp that uses anti-seize compound on wheel studs (and now wheel bolts on my VW). In fact it's one of the first things I do to my cars. I wouldn't use plain grease, and definitely would avoid moly. And I'll admit that in this case it's slightly unfortunate that anti-seize comounds use an oil carrier. Just don't slop it everywhere (it should always be just a film anyway).
 
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30
Location
Champaign, IL
I autocross and therefore I change wheels frequently. I also use snow tires on the street vehicles. Here's what I do, based on knoledge gained from the autocross mail list discussions on the topic, plus my own personal experience. First, anti-sieze on the studs is a good thing. It reduces the chances of snapping a lug to near zero and speeds up your work. Second, anti-sieze on the mating surface is not recommended. I'm not sure why but it just isn't necessary in my experience so I just keep that clean. Third, for torque, I never heard of anyone having trouble using factory spec torque while using anti-sieze. The problem with warped rotors comes from overtorque or uneven torque. I've had both, and usually just re-torqueing cures it - its not permanent in my experience. The consensus is you can use less than factory torque, but there's no authoritative factor. Personally, for safety, if there's a range of torques specified, I use the lowest one to reduce the fatigue of frequent wheel changes. If there's just a fixed number, then I might knock up to 10% off of that, but this is purely a judgement call based on experience.
 
Messages
2,077
Location
Cordelia, CA
Not putting a lubricant on the mating surfaces of the lug would increase the friction there and help to keep a proper drawdown force. The torque that is given by the manufacturer is designed to produce a certain drawdown force. Example; 100 Ft-Lbs of torque with a clean, dry lug equates to 10,000 lbs of drawdown force on the wheel. With the same 100 Ft-Lbs applied to a lubricated lug and mating surface, you now have 20,000 Lbs of drawdown force, because the number of turns of the lugnut was higher for the same torque with a lubed lug vs a dry lug. With the same 100 Ft-Lbs applied to a lubricated lug and DRY mating surface, you now have 13,000 Lbs of drawdown force because the extra friction caused the lug nut to turn fewer times, before reaching the proper torque.
 
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