Seized rear wheel/lug nut

  • 2002 FORD RANGER
  • 4.0L
  • 4WD
  • 100,000 MILES
Hi there,
I am currently having trouble with my rear driver's side wheel. My engine starts and all three of the other wheels begin moving when I place the car in drive and reverse, however the rear driver side wheel remains stuck, even after revving the engine lightly. It rolls back a little but catches. I am suspecting an issue with the tire being seized to the hub, and am trying to get the tire off to have a look, however, the mechanics that last worked on my tires appear to have used an impact wrench to replace the lug nuts.
All five lug nuts are stuck fast, and even with the use of a cheater bar I have not been able to get them to budge, even using my feet for leverage. At this point, it looks like I would sooner strip a lug nut than get them loose. If you have any advice regarding either of these problems, it would be much appreciated. Thank you for your help!
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 AT 11:53 AM

1 Reply

This is why we are supposed to use click-type torque wrenches on all lug nuts.

My first thought is to take the truck back to the shop that did the previous service to that wheel and ask them to loosen the nuts, then properly tighten them. Next, it is not unheard of for us to have to use a high-quality breaker bar with a long pipe on the end for extra leverage. Place a block between the ground and the socket extension so all your force is transferred to making the extension rotate, not get pulled down at an angle. If you stand on a five-foot pipe, there is a good chance the stud will snap off if the nut will not come loose. We will discuss replacing studs later if necessary. Being so over-tightened, also inspect the curved mating surfaces on the wheel. Those must not be chewed up or deformed. It is the friction-fit that holds the nuts tight as you are driving. There should not be any grease on those mating surfaces either.

What kind of problem are you trying to solve? Due to differences in friction between a number of parts, it is typical for only one rear wheel to turn when the truck is raised off the ground. The exception is if you have any version of locking axle, commonly called "posi-traction" by GM and "sure-grip" by Chrysler. I am not sure what Ford's name is for theirs.

To verify there is nothing wrong, block the right rear tire from rotating, then you will see the left one start to rotate. Be very careful if you try that while the right tire is spinning. I typically use a long piece of wood, and some times the tire will catch it and shoot it out. It is safer to block the spinning tire, then start the engine.

You might get some more ideas from this article too:
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Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 AT 2:54 PM

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