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Need forum help: How to get REALLY tight nuts off?

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I posted recently on this Harbor Freight front wheel bearing kit that I am going to try out.   Picked up the kit yesterday. 

 

Started on the job today and got as far as the front axle nut and I can't get it off.   Put a propane torch to it for about 5 minutes, doused it in cold water, (a 'trick' that I've used in the past with great success) put my trusty electric impact on it and it wouldn't budge.  So I put a good 1/2" ratchet on it with a piece of pipe and ended up breaking the end off the ratchet! (Aaargh)  I should also mention that I soaked it in Power Blaster for about 8 hours before I started.

 

I live in the boons, work on my own stuff, don't have a big air compressor, etc...

 

In applying heat, how long do you need to put the heat to it?  (I already assume that maybe this 5 minutes of propane torch probably wasn't enough) 

 

So, Forum Folk, let's hear all your tips on how to remove a really hard nut. (bolt?) 

 

Thanks,

UMT

Edited by UMT

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You need a good breaker bar and a really long pipe on the end of it. I use a 24 " breaker bar and I put a 3 foot long piece of pipe over the end and that typically takes care of anything I've had trouble with (axle nut, crank bolt, etc)

 

Get some good leverage and go to town.

I just had an idea too, but wait for others to chime in on whether it's a good idea or a bad idea

attach the breaker bar to the nut and lay the handle down horizontal toward the back of the car on a block of wood, maybe keep the handle as parallel as possible

Hop in the car, throw it in reverse and gently back up a bit. Just a thought in my head. This could be genius or stupid. You decide. :P

Good luck!

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Can't use a ratchet. Breaker bar with cheater pipe. Put screwdriver into rotor to keep it from turning.

 

I wouldn't use heat because of the bearings.

 

O.

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Can't use a ratchet. Breaker bar with cheater pipe. Put screwdriver into rotor to keep it from turning.

 

I wouldn't use heat because of the bearings.

 

O.

I'm replacing the bearings so I haven't been real worried about that part. 

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By the way, I edited my post:  I'm using a 1/2" ratchet...   Any huge advantage to going to a 3/4" ?

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Yes Jonas, I saw that... LOL

 

As for getting the nut off, your best bet has already been stated... I would try first with a 1/2 breaker bar and a pipe, if you cant get it (which you should at that point) then I would do as 175eya said, Ive used that trick once only I used it on a downhill and put it in reverse. If you are on soft ground it may not work, so put a board or a rock down where it will make contact...

 

If you don't wanna do that, you could stand on it... Make sure to use a good socket... 2 broken sockets later, I found out that the axle nut is on TIGHT and I should have used a 12.99 socket, not a 2.99 socket X2.

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Sometimes when you have a nut you just can't bust, you need to hire a professional to do it for you. :rolleyes:

Sorry, but I prefer to do my own nut busting.

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break tools until you get it. i would still refrain from heat...axles wont like too much of that ( i could be wrong, but id rather err on the side of caution). 

 

 

buy a GOOD breaker bar, they hurt when you stand on em and they snap and hit you in the leg. after breaking a couple hf 18'' units i bought a big, round headed one, with a real thick handle. i use that and my jack handle(both parts)....itll give. One more thing is to LIFT the lever. muscles pull, not push ergo use the ground and dont hurt yourself

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Good breaker bar + cheater is the way to go. Never thought of using the floor jack handle, good call. (I've got some 2"x4' galvanized pipe I usually use).

 

Not sure how well this would work, but you could also try; jacking up the car and putting the breaker+cheater on against the floor and use the weight of the car, or use a floor jack to push up on the breaker+cheater...

 

Crazy it's on that bad - when I took mine off a year or two ago my cheapo electric impact spun it off almost instantly.

Edited by nickb21

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In the junkyards I will use a breaker bar and hit the end of the breaker bar with a 4lb hammer.The shock loading tends to loosen up stuff pretty good.If that doesn't work I'll use as long of a cheater pipe as I can find  slipped over the breaker bar and stand/jump on it.You do have the cotter pin out of the nut right?

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you need a 3/4" socket wrench for the tough ones and some pipe.

 

After breaking several 1/2" sockets and breaker bars I moved up to 3/4" stuff with a 5 foot cheater. works ever time. 

 

+1 i have a 3/4 inch socket wrench and sockets entirely for axle nuts.

 

i have a 960 ft/lb 3/4" impact gun too and i've had axle nuts that it can't get off.  not sure why but the 3/4" hand wrench with a 4 foot pipe works every time as John said.

Edited by grossgary

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Thanks all! 

 

I have the nasty feeling that this is going to be a tough one so I'm going to break down and buy some 3/4" stuff.   I have a several repairs that are coming up where these might come in handy.  

 

Sorry for the inadvertent sexual slang.  I'll be more careful in the future knowing that some of you guys are still thinking first with your 'other head.'   Ha.      

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Sorry for the inadvertent sexual slang.  I'll be more careful in the future knowing that some of you guys are still thinking first with your 'other head.'   Ha.      

That might be hard, since you're from pound town! Ha, to your Ha, sir.

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T

I have the nasty feeling that this is going to be a tough one so I'm going to break down and buy some 3/4" stuff. 

 

good call. off it will be shortly then...don't forget appropriate pipe.

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My '03 drivers side was tough to remove, and I had about 4 feet of pipe.

 

The other side, a rear, and my wife's forester rear all came off with the electric impact.

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just gonna throw this out there...

 

did you pound out the outer edge of the nut where it is indented in a notch on the axle? if not, that WILL make it much more difficult to remove as it was meant to do...

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My '03 drivers side was tough to remove, and I had about 4 feet of pipe.

 

The other side, a rear, and my wife's forester rear all came off with the electric impact.

 

yeah, for me it's like one out of 10 or so are bizarre tight..it's like something causes it, they're not just a little tighter, they are way over the top.  one was one that i previously installed before and i certainly didn't torque it to 1,000 ft/lbs??

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HOW IT ALL TURNED OUT:  

 

Well, after trying everything under the sun to get this axle nut off, I finally broke down and visited a small local shop and asked if they wanted to do the work.   I told them about the nut situation.   They looked at it and quoted me a very cheap price.  The car was fixed and now drives like a new one. 

 

I asked the tech who did the work about the nut.   He said an impact wrench wouldn't budge it so he ended up heating it until it was cherry red with a torch to get it off. 

 

I sure wish I would have thought far enough ahead and tried to get this nut off before I ordered the parts and started the job.   Then again, I've not had that much of a problem in the past.

 

Thanks to all for the suggestions and those who PM'd me offering help! 

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