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Old 08-24-2009, 06:21 AM   #11
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When I don't have air tools, I just stick a socket on a 6" 1/2" drive extension, hold the wheel square against the hub, and spin the nut on by hand. If you aren't trying to push the wheel on, it's quite easy to spin the nut (usually). Then crank it down at the end with your big ratchet or cheapo OEM lug wrench or spinner or whatever.

And for taking them off, it's the same deal- loosen four nuts, remove them with the socket-on-a-stick, then loosen the fifth and remove it while holding the wheel against the hub.

By the way if you do get an air compressor, you should put the compressor in your basement and run an air line (usually 1/2" for a 50-ft line) out to the garage. This will eliminate that obnoxious noise, and many of them are quite loud. Then to maintain pressure in your garage, plumb in one of those portable air tanks and use it as a pressure reservoir- that will easily hold a 15-second hit of a good-size air tool. You'll really want a $300 or $400 compressor for most automotive work, those small ones are good for nail guns and tire inflation.

If you don't have a garage or any of that, I've bought those 12V impact wrenches from J.C. Whitney (about $50 I think) which plug into your cigarette lighter. They work well and loosen some really tight nuts (just plan on replacing it every 3 years or so because they are cheaply made).

-BC
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:30 AM   #12
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Garage? In my dreams!

A friend bought a house recently and I'm so jealous. His basement is exposed at one end and there's a garage door. He could easily park 3 cars in it, and if he knocked down a wall he could park 5. I could probably put my camper in it!

I had one of those 12v wrenches once, it was worthless, but in past discussions I've found that my experience was not typical. Mine would spend 5-10 seconds spinning up, then go "dink" with one impact, then another 5-10 seconds spinning up.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:29 AM   #13
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I use a Chrysler lug wrench most often, the socket on the end is hinged, so I straighten the handle and roll it in my palms to zip the nuts off.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:57 AM   #14
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I usually break the nuts loose, then jack up the wheel and spin it while holding the tire iron. Works very well.

-Jay
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:03 AM   #15
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That's the same thing I do. I have pneumatic tools and the drill socket adapter, but I'm typically too lazy to grab them (usually on the other side of the house).
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
I usually break the nuts loose, then jack up the wheel and spin it while holding the tire iron. Works very well.

-Jay
Doh, forgot I do that quite often too.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:16 AM   #17
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Spinning the tire is another good one. You can even keep it spinning by pushing on the lug wrench.

I guess we all have different types of laziness...or maybe I just enjoy an excuse to use my drill.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:32 AM   #18
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Any excuse to use a power tool is a good one. I love my drill, and maybe I might try it next time, but last time I took a wheel off I didn't have that drill.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:33 AM   #19
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a $125-175 compresser is plenty for doing lug nuts. I have a 5 gallon pancake compresser. No you can't run the impact constantly but just moving between wheels is enough time for it to catch up enough to turn off. only time I wish I had something more is when I try to use a die grinder cut-off wheel but I'm a little old-school, still using ratchets and wrenches instead of air tools on every nut and bolt.

you shouldn't be impacting lug nuts on anyway. if need more than 2 seconds with a cheap impact gun to have the nut off the stud you're putting them on too tight. 80-100 ftlbs for most vehicles, 140 for trucks (still only 100 ftlbs if they have 19mm/3/4" nuts)
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:23 PM   #20
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New here but I use and carry 2 foot long flex head 1/2" drive breaker bar and a 2 foot section of 1/2" I.D. pipe for extra leverage because it'll either break them loose or break them off.
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