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Old 04-12-2021, 07:01 PM   #2
fdryer
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,208
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Wheel Lock Removal Tool

Can you take a snapshot or two of these wheel locks? Know what brand? Checked with the manufacturer for suggestions?

There are several methods used by repair shops as well as thieves for removing wheel locks legally and illegally. You may find several methods from a youtube search to find the one matching your wheel locks.

As to seized wheel nuts or bolts, you have nothing to lose by using any method for loosening them. Commercial air driven impact tools can snap off nuts or bolts if used indiscriminately (leaving the impact tool on too long to the breaking pint of fasteners ). There may be one too many wrench monkeys unfamiliar with pneumatic air tools and over tighten things without knowing anything about torque. Home pneumatic or electric impact tools may not have the higher torque required to loosen what wrench monkeys in repair shops do, over tightening wheel nuts/bolts. When this occurs, old school manual removal is needed.
Better equipped repair shops use torque sticks, a set of colored extensions with each one stamped for the foot pound rating. When a socket is attached and either pneumatic or electric impact tool is used, the torque stick automatically stops applying torque above its rated value. This makes it almost a n o-brainer to select the correct torque stick with maximum torque value and not exceed it when using impact tools. Of course, selecting a higher value stick (different color) can be as dumb as not using one and over torque fasteners. Knowledgeable people will consult charts from vehicle manufacturers for the correct torque values. Uneducated wrench monkeys are to be avoided.

If any nuts or bolts are broken, they're easily replaced. Studs are replaceable too. With a 3/8 or 1/2 inch socket and breaker bar, find a suitable length of steel tubing (electrical conduit tubing?) or iron pipe from the plumbing section of Lowes/Home Depot/loca hardware store. At least three feet is a starting point. Four or five feet is better as the longer the tube/pipe extension the larger the torque can be generated to loosen over tightened wheel fasteners.

If wheel nuts or bolt heads are rounded off, buy or borrow from Autozone a set of removal sockets having serrated teeth inside them. The hardened teeth bite into nuts or bolts to ensure positive aggressive hold while loosening them with manual torque applied by hand. Do not be concerned about breaking fasteners at this point. You have the choice of doing this yourself or have a repair shop perform this procedure. All they will do is whatever is necessary to remove wheel locks or over tightened wheel nuts/bolts even if they break things. Being experienced, they can anticipate worse case scenarios and have a plan no different from what's suggested here.
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