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  #1  
Old 07-22-2016, 11:52 AM
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Broken Gorilla

A first for me. While checking the lugnut torque after a rebalance, I noticed some that were loose, some that were just right and one that was immovable. Assuming it was over-torqued, I wanted to loosen and retorque properly. Apparently the locking lugnut was incapable of handling to force.

Was told the interface between the wheel and nut galled locking the two together rather than it being caused by excess installation torque. After using ever increasing force, the inevitable happened as seen in the picture below.

Ideas on how to remove the remaining piece would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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  #2  
Old 07-22-2016, 01:36 PM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

I had this happen on a vehicle years ago and it had to be drilled off
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:11 PM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

bad luck, sorry to hear!
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:35 PM
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That's very unfortunate; hope you get it fixed without too much trouble.

Now for the incessant questioning. Did you torque the head off by hand or with a power tool? Would hitting it with PB Blaster have prevented this from happening? How far could the vehicle be safely driven like this if the other four lugnuts were intact--could it be driven to a shop or would it need to be towed?
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:50 PM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

I could drive it this way until the tires wore out or until I got a flat as it's fully attached via the remaining threaded cone and the other 4 lug nuts.

It could have been prevented if the shop A) didn't oil the treads and B) he hand installed the lug nuts rather than used an air wrench with a torque stick. Though my wheels have been off and on a lot because of the vibration issue I had, there is no corrosion or other deformity that justifies the difficulty in removing that particular lug nut. It was over torqued because of the lubrication. If you lube threads you have to reduce the torque setting accordingly. He didn't.

I also don't think the Gorilla locking nut is defective, just that it couldn't handle the crazy amount of torque the guy used to try to remove it. For all I know he was tightening it at the time in order to rock it back and forth. He was using an air wrench when it broke. Before he did that I used a 24" breaker bar and stood on it - wouldn't budge.

Lesson learned? Either demand and pay for hand installation, or remove the locking nut and put on the OEM ones anytime I get wheel service. PITA, but I'm not sure what else to do to prevent this from happening in the future. Maybe a tiny dab of anti-seize on the cone with dry threads and a slightly conservative torque setting.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:11 AM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

I've never used lube or anti-seize on threads. With rotating tires every ~6K, the lugs and wheels come off frequently so I hope no seizing would ever occur. Crazy to see this happened. I have the Gorilla 20 lock system.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:54 AM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

That's going to be an intensive job getting that thing out of there. Does the tire store know about the problem yet? They should be expecting a bill for that boo boo.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:58 AM
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I was thinking less prophylactic use of anti-seize and more along the lines of using break-free to try to help free the lug nut in this scenario.

I use an impact *driver* for my lug nuts. It cannot torque the lug nuts to full spec torque, so they always need another quarter turn with the torque wrench. Very convenient.

I, too, remove my gorilla lug nuts before going to the dealer if they will need to remove the wheels. Doubly so after I saw how marred my oil filter cap was after they torqued it.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:12 PM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

I've been using this shop for more than 15 years and they've been great but on this one they ran away once they broke the lug nut. Blamed the wheel, cheap locking lugs, metallurgy, and physics. I could have forced them to fix it but when the next idea was how to get the tire off the wheel after we cut off the spokes, I thought it would be better for me to leave.

I'm hoping he was joking.

I've had a lot of vehicles over my life, and this has never happened. The Gorilla locks, I've been told, are high quality steel and forged and took a lot of abuse before separating. I attribute this to oiling threads and over torquing. Save yourself and make sure your tire-changer follows every car manufacturers directive. No lube on the threads.


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Old 07-24-2016, 12:45 AM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

After 6 hrs its off. Not an easy job to say the least but will write it up tomorrow just in case someone else as the issue someday. Learned a lot about things I never wanted to learn a lot about.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:36 AM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

I would of *carefully* hammered on a thin wall socket over the lug and then taken it off that way, thats how we did it when I worked at Discount Tire in my teens. If you are good, you won't hurt the wheel but it will destroy the socket and thats what warranties are for (craftsman, snap-on, etc)
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:04 AM
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Re: Broken Gorilla

After gaffer taping up the wheel I punched both the stud and the remaining wheel lock. That was my first mistake, being seduced by the thought of splitting the lock rather than drilling the stud. Why? It looked easier and I was warned that drilling that length of stud without a horizontal drill press would be impossible to keep the bit centered. “You don’t want to drill through your wheel” he said.

That bit of advice, as you will see, I could have done without.






Then I try a chisel, bad to worse…




Finally I realize drilling the stud IS the better way.




But it takes a lot of drilling with progressively larger bits to get there. You’ll notice the gaffers tape is gone and my wheel is now naked. Cutting oil dissolves gaffer tape glue.

So now I crush the remaining stud shell, re-center and continue drilling.




I see a little light deep inside the edge of the drilled hole so I put the remaining four lug nuts back on and lower the lift to finish the job.

Snap crackle pop.




But wait, the wheel lock is STILL stuck in the wheel! And yes, my beautiful PVD finish is scratched to hell but fortunately not quite as bad as this "pre-cleanup" image makes it out to be.




Though I suppose I could have done it without a lift, having it made a crap job a little less crappy. Nussbaum double scissor lift. 7,000 lbs. capacity, 4” drive over height, 7 foot lift height and very space and concrete floor friendly. If you have the ceiling height, I highly recommend.




Galling? Not sure but I’d guess if there was I’d see metal transfer between the cone and the dish. I don’t see it.

Bad hole:




Not bad hole:




Wheel lock:



I don’t see galling as the cause, but I do see the stupidity of thinking I could split that thing.



So what’s the cause? There seems to be a difference in seat angle, OEM versus Gorilla:




Could this combined with excessive install torque due to the oiled threads, drive the locking lug too deep into the wheel? That’s my guess as to what happened and therefore I am going Gorilla-less just to play it safe.

Other lessons –

You can’t install a new stud into the wheel hub without taking apart the parking brakes. Once you remove the shoes, springs, etc., you have to remove the 4 small bolts holding the backing plate, then spin it enough to line up a slot where the parking brake cable enters, with the hole. Once I got the stud in, I tried seating it with a C-Clamp to no avail. Ended up using an old 14M 1.5 castle nut with a small spacer to pull the stud in to seat it.

Getting the rotor off can be a challenge too, despite the car being only 2 years old. Once you remove the caliper and the o-ring just in front of the rotor, I found getting a decent sized sledge hammer the best option (versus a rubber hammer, though no harm in trying one first) and then whacking it from underneath where the caliper contacts the rotor. Hitting it lightly only dents the rotor multiple times as you progressively get firmer. One good manly whack does it. Leave two lug nuts on loosely to retain it.

After mixing up some of my special PVD touchup paint, all is back together. Factory lug nuts, no oil on the threads and just a molecule of anti-seize on the cone. I’ll run it 100 miles and check tightness to see if it maintains. Rotated while everything was apart.




This is perhaps the wrong location for this thread given how it’s evolved, but I’ll leave that to the moderators.
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