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Starfire Lugs...


Guest dstaton
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Guest dstaton

Is there a trick to getting the lugs out of the axle? These came on a replacement axle from eBay with lugs 3/4" too short for my wheels.

I have PB Blasted and WD-40ed these guys for a week followed by smacks with an 8 lb maul. I am concerned about the wheel bearing holding up. But mostly amazed that they seem unphased by my efforts. YouTube vids show them tapping out...

post-76074-14313875922_thumb.jpg

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Guest Jim_Edwards
Is there a trick to getting the lugs out of the axle? These came on a replacement axle from eBay with lugs 3/4" too short for my wheels.

I have PB Blasted and WD-40ed these guys for a week followed by smacks with an 8 lb maul. I am concerned about the wheel bearing holding up. But mostly amazed that they seem unphased by my efforts. YouTube vids show them tapping out...

I think I'd be a great deal more concerned about totally screwing up the differential! Not a good idea to be smacking anything attached one way or the other to an axle. It is not an on the car replacement sort of thing unless you don't give a damn about the ring and pinion gears. Even if you were to "smack" them out just how do you figure you're going to be pressing in new ones?

Since you didn't mention which year Starfire you are working on, I'll assume it is of the '61-'63 era. If you will look at the appropriate section in your shop service manual you will find the axle has to be pulled and the lugs pressed out.

The problem you have is not the lugs being to short it is the wheels you want to use are too thick!

A bit of a hint: If you don't have access to a shop press the press for removing and installing ball joints on a mid '90s era Ford Van might just work. But you will still have to pull the axle to press in new lugs even with that tool and an impact wrench.

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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The lugs are almost certainly swaged into the axle flange. Using a BFH is almost NEVER the correct way to disassemble anything (at least, not anything you care about). Not only will you damage the bearing, but you'll likely bend the axle flange. One thing you will not damage is the differential, since the axle shafts are splined into the diff and cannot transfer load. In any case, the correct replacement procedure is to remove the axle shaft, machine the swaging off of the stud, and press it out with a press. Simply pressing without first cutting the swaged lip will damage the hole in the flange, making it too loose to properly hold the replacement stud.

Do NOT ask my how I know this... :eek:

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The lugs are almost certainly swaged into the axle flange. Using a BFH is almost NEVER the correct way to disassemble anything (at least, not anything you care about). Not only will you damage the bearing, but you'll likely bend the axle flange. One thing you will not damage is the differential, since the axle shafts are splined into the diff and cannot transfer load. In any case, the correct replacement procedure is to remove the axle shaft, machine the swaging off of the stud, and press it out with a press. Simply pressing without first cutting the swaged lip will damage the hole in the flange, making it too loose to properly hold the replacement stud.

Do NOT ask my how I know this... :eek:

Joe, when you say "machine" the swaging off the stud, can you be a little more specific? Can this be done with a grinder or cutoff wheel? - also, do you know the best way to remove the front lugs without damaging the drums?

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OK, to be clear, the swaging is on the front (outboard) side of the hub. The reality is that it's very difficult to machine these out without proper tooling, so the alternate method is to drill out the heads of the lugs on the backside (as shown on the photo above) then push them out from back to front. The replacements are supposed to be swaged in place. There is a special Kent-Moore tool for doing this, but it's basically just a piece of pipe with the lower end sharpened.

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Guest Jim_Edwards

Right way, wrong way?

We've all found times when the manuals presented methods of doing a repair inaccurate, more time consuming than we want, or requires tools we don't have. In this case there are two good reasons to follow the manuals. The first is you don't want to screw up a drum or a combination drum/hub to the point a new lug stud will not be securely held in place. There are only two solutions to a messed up stud hole. One is to drill out to good metal and use a greater diameter lug stud. But of course then you may have problems with the lug stud being of too great a diameter for your wheels. The last thing anyone needs is to have a flat and suddenly discover on the side of the road a lug stud is rotating and you can't remove the wheel with the flat on it. Second is the necessity to replace the drum or drum/hub assembly or a rear axle because the flange is totally screwed from disregarding proper procedure. Lastly, the idea that one can properly press in new lug stud by simply tightening a flat bolt against a drum or flange is only increasing the likelihood of creating a loose lug stud situation before you even get a wheel on it and lug nuts fully tightened.

We can find all sorts of "jackass" lug stud replacement videos on the web and discussions in various forums with methods similar to seen in the videos, usually brand specific and more than likely from some yo-yo that has never looked at a shop manual for the specific car involved.

In the case of any car over 40 years old and with over 80K miles on it, it probably is not a bad idea to pull the rear axles for inspection of the spline condition anyway. They do wear, particularly for the wheel that is always nearest the shoulder of a road, and they do at times require replacement.

Do it right or it's probably best not to do it at all!

Lastly, there is a reason why there is a torque specification for tightening lug nuts. That reason being over torquing can lead to spinning the lug stud. Doesn't take much to ruin the friction fit of the stud, especially with an impact wrench.

Personally, the elective use of a wheel that the car was not designed for is simply not worth the huge possibility of getting into replacement part hell on an older vehicle. New drums and/or axles may not be exactly easy or cheap to come by.

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