A problem with the Jeep’s wheels I’ve been quietly dreading goes away without a whimper…

Okay, the Jeep’s right front tire picked up a nail. Jacked up that corner and found the nail easily enough and decided to leave it there till I can take the wheel to town for a proper repair next Monday. I could probably repair it in a pinch – I have a tire plug kit but it really only works well on tires worn much thinner than these are – the smart money would bet on me making the problem much worse. A nail hole is too small for the tools to penetrate, I’d basically have to drill it out bigger before I could plug it.

But that’s not the problem I was dreading…

A couple of years ago I paid the local Ministry of Doing Idiotic Things to Customer Vehicles to replace all the Jeep’s worn and mismatched lug nuts. They not only installed the wrong nuts, far too short for the wheels, but then they nailed them down with an impact wrench like they were beating rivets on an ocean liner hull. No lug wrench I possessed could even get a purchase on them. I could just barely get a grip with a conventional socket but possessed no wrench long enough to break the nuts free and would probably just round them off trying. I determined that next time I was forced to take the Jeep to the local shop (always a frustrating experience but not always avoidable) I’d lean on them to break the nuts loose with an impact wrench and replace them with something more appropriate. In the meantime I prayed for no tire troubles, and that strategy worked adequately until yesterday.

The wheel has to come off, preferably at the Secret Lair, and so I had to get creative. I didn’t have much hope but I did have a plan…

…and to my vast surprise a long lever and a very gentle touch worked. The socket didn’t slip off either of the four short nuts. Don’t ask me to explain that fifth one; I have completely forgotten how it got there. But I’m taking it with me when I bicycle to town this afternoon and bringing home a bunch of proper lug nuts now that I know I can get the old ones off.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to A problem with the Jeep’s wheels I’ve been quietly dreading goes away without a whimper…

  1. Norman says:

    Might want to add “6-sided deep impact socket, 1/2″ drive” in the size for the correct lug nuts to the next Amazon order. Or, at least to your wish list. And, maybe a threading die for the lugs, just in case threads ever need to be chased, maybe a tap, too, or just use another nut.

  2. TK421a says:

    “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

    – Archimedes

  3. Mark Matis says:

    Of course, make sure the sockets fit the NEW lug nuts. While the thread on the stud will be the same, wrench size might vary…

  4. Joel says:

    They really do. Old ones 3/4”, new ones 7/8”.

To the stake with the heretic!