Wheel Lug Nuts

It is vitally important that the removal and replacement of wheel lug nuts is handled properly. The lug nuts themselves are tapered to mate with a taper on the rims of the vehicle. This taper serves to centre the rim on the front or rear axle of the car. If you don't do this correctly, you can achieve and miss-alignment that can cause all sorts of problems from pulsing braking to excessive tire shake.

We will start off with the removal of the stock centre cap. The vehicle manual will show you where your jacking points are on your car. Lift the vehicle slightly just enough to take some pressure off of the tire you are working on. Use a proper sized pry-bar or large screwdriver to pop out the centre cap. The finish on the rims is easily scarred or marred. For this reason, it is recommended that you try to protect the finish by surrounding your pry-bar or screwdriver with a cloth. Once you have popped out the cap, place it aside where you will not step on it, it is plastic and you could easily damage it.

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With the centre cap removed, the lug nuts will be exposed. Use a good socket or the lug wrench supplied with your vehicle to loosen the lug nuts while the vehicle still has weight on it. Don't loosen any more than 1/2 turn. If your vehicle has locking lug nuts, make sure that the lug key is seated properly or you may skin some knuckles when trying to loosen the locking lug nut.

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Once all the nuts are loosened, continue jacking the car up until the tire has clearance enough to be removed. The stock Goodyear Eagles are what is referred to a uni-directional tires. That means that they are only supposed to rotate in one direction. After 15000 miles, it is a good practice to move the front tires to the back and back to front after every 2nd oil change. This will prevent any feathering of the toe edges and will prolong tire life. Again, the left front tire can only be moved to the left rear and the right front can only be moved to the right rear. The same goes for the rear left moving to the front left and the rear right moving to the front right. This ensures that the proper tire rotation is maintained.

When replacing the tire/rim onto the front or rear axle, hold in place and put one lug nut on finger tight. Continue to add the lug nuts finger tight until the rim is secured in place. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern 1/4 to 1/2 turn at a time. This ensures that the taper of the lug nuts centres the rim on the axle.

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With all the lug nuts snugged up, lower the vehicle and take the weight off of the jack. You can now continue to tighten the nuts. NEVER tighten the lug nuts up with a air impact. This can over tighten the nuts and could cause premature failure of the axle studs or make it non removable later on. Use a hand held torque wrench, continuing to tighten in the star pattern. Referred to your owners manual for torque specifications or contact your local dealer. The 2002 manual specifies 95 Ft/Lbs or torque.

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Now that the lug nuts are properly tightened it is time to replace the centre cap. Align the spokes of the rim with the mating areas of the centre cap and snap the cap into place. This is best achieved by starting one side and using your fist or a rubber hammer to tap the other side into place. Always check to make sure you tightened the lug nuts before replacing the centre cap.

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DISCLAIMER

SAFETY is our number 1 concern!!! Always ensure the vehicle you are working under is supported securely with jack stands, wear appropriate clothing and safety goggles. Be weary of your clothing and appendages and their proximity to moving parts. If you are uncomfortable about attempting an installation, DON'T! Seek a qualified service person or facility to help with your installation. The articles contained in this site are, in addition to and an enhancement of, existing OEM specified procedures and practices. With regard to specifications and procedures, the OEM manual, procedure or practice shall dictate and govern.

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