How to Replace Broken Wheel Studs

Written by don bowman
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Broken wheel studs are not unusual. Wheel studs are made of softer material than lug nuts. The lug nuts tend to stretch the threads on the bolt when they are over tightened; when the lug nut is removed, it takes a large percentage of the threads with it. Another reason why wheel studs break is when the lug nuts are put on at an angle and the nuts immediately strips the threads off the studs. Taking lug nuts on and off too many times can also cause stripping.

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Things you need

  • ½-inch drive air gun and sockets
  • 6-inch long chisel
  • Hammer
  • Air-driven cut-off tool or grinder
  • Thick washer
  • Can of anti-seize compound
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stand
  • Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
  • Ratchet

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  1. 1

    Raise the wheel and support with a jack stand under the frame. Remove the wheel. Remove the brake caliper, caliper support bracket and the rotor

  2. 2

    Remove the broken stud by first turning the spindle until the stud is on top. Grind the head of the stud on the topside until there is a flat spot. Most vehicles--especially front wheel drive, have the studs installed before the hub is assembled. Removing a stud without splitting the hub allows less room for the stud to exit. The stud will come out of the hub, but the head of the stud will contact the centre of the hub. The stud will not angle enough to pass the hubby grinding a flat spot on the head of the stud, the flat spot allows the stud to pass the hub.

  3. 3

    Hammer the stud until it comes out of the spindle. Once it is loose, grab the stud with your fingers and turn it so that the flat spot is facing the hub, and pull it out.

  4. 4

    Grind a flat spot on one side of the head of the new stud. It will not effect the strength or performance of the new stud. Insert the new stud in the hole in the spindle from the backside and turn the flat spot on the stud toward the hub to gain enough clearance to get past the hub.

  5. 5

    Install the stud in the splines in the spindle and use the chisel and hammer to force it in as far as possible. It will not go in all the way in. Wipe anti-seize on both sides of a large washer. Install the washer over the stud and install a lug nut upside down with the flat part against the washer. Use the air gun and, with very short bursts, tighten the lug nut until the stud is drawn completely into the spindle. After each burst, check the head of the stud--stop as soon as the head of the stud touches the spindle. Do not over-tighten. Remove the lug nut and washer.

  6. 6

    Reinstall the rotor, caliper support and caliper. Install the wheel and lower the vehicle.

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