Lug Nut Removal


Precision Fit
Oct 23, 2009
Citrus Heights & Tahoe
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
OK Lug nuts are making me nuts...

Previous Owner(s) replace left rear with R thread nuts, left front are original L thread nuts. Go figure...
Have gotten all wheels off except left front (l lugs).
I'm assuming someone tried to remove before me not knowing about L/R nuts and just tightened way too much...

Have tried impact wrench, blaster, heat, strained back, etc etc....

I'm going to see if I can't get 6' braker bar this week.....
Any other secrets ? If nothing works is grinder my last resort?

Second part...should I replace L nuts with R's or replace L's where original...will be running w/original rims.

I didn't know there were L & R's.
Mine are all normal Lefties. I have a D53 rear, and a D27 front.
Greg how did you figure out the wrong studs? Letters on the end of the stud? I know old International trucks had left handed threads on one side and right-handed on the other. I'd put them all the same. Chuck
Well, here is what I've read on other forums on this deal. Apperantly a good number of the old Willys had the "wrong way" threading. The old theory was that by reversing the threading, it would help keep the nuts from backing off.

Some folks said that theory was proven wrong years ago, and to just go ahead and change it over to the normal lugs, and others said that rim design changed, and with the older rims, you needed to keep the orginal threading unless you wanted to be checking your lug nuts all the time.

This is just what I've read, I personally have no idea what the right answer is, but being as I plan to reuse my orginal rims also, I'm hoping some of the, more experienced members of this fine forum can shed some light on this.
One way to solve it would be to get a long cheater bar on your lug wrench or socket and, break the darn things off. Then replace with the correct ones (left hand on the left side, right hand on the right side) and keep it original. The idea is to keep in mind that to tighten, you always turn the nut towards the front of the vehicle no matter which side you are on.
The big rigs have the r/h, l/h setup as well. It does have to do with the rotation of the nut always going in the "tightening" direction.
That's my 2 cents worth on the subject.
I have a set of original rims on my truck. The PO put thousands of miles on the truck with no loosening of the nuts. They are all left hand threads.
As far as I know, there were not two sets of rims ever used. As in rims used specialy with right handed threads.
So if all original rims were the same, and the left handed nuts don't come loose, then I feel pretty comfortable about using them.

If this were an issue, we would all know about it by now. There would be stories all over the place were peoples wheels fell off.
IMO right handed threads is an accident waiting to happen. I would switch them all to LHT. Just my .02
Thanks for all the input. Querried the Power Wagon forum too and this is how they suggested I deal with the nuts. Looks like I'll be looking for a breaker bar this weekend...It's all about size I guess.


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If you put that much breaker bar on there, something will give, I was told that a 6' bar with a 200 lb man on it is 1200 lbs of torque, bar length x weight = torque. Just what I was told, don't know how true that is.
homewood4 said:
...It's all about size I guess....

I tried that once to get the lug bolts off of a VW Rabbit that had been put on by some tire shop with an impact wrench. I was using a craftsman socket wrench with a very long pipe. Instead of the bolt coming loose, the guts of the wrench turned to shrapnel... Took it to a different tire shop, who had 6 foot long breaker bar, and a 250 lb guy to use it. He lifted the car off the ground with the bar several times before they finally came loose...

Hi, Greg
Use a small drill bit and drill a hole in the center of the "web" of the nut, parallel to the axis of the stud. Be careful not to drill so deep that you drill into the wheel rim. Increase the size of the drill by increments, stopping when you get to a size that would nick the threads of the stud (If you intend to save the studs). In most cases, if you try wrenching the nut off at this point, the remaining web will fracture and the nut will come right off. If it puts up a fight, drill another hole on the opposite side of the nut.

Some folks will just use a coal chisel to split stubborn nuts (or an actual "nut splitter" ... sa=title#p). The chisel method is too much like work for me, though, and you would risk damaging the rim.

This drilling method work works great for stuff like getting nuts off cylinder head and exhaust manifold studs without snapping off or damaging the stud.

For stubborn nut/bolt combinations -- where you intend to replace the nut and bolt anyway:
From the nut side, drill the hole diagonally into the threads where the nut meets the bolt and across and into the shaft of the bolt. Don't drill too deep so you don't damage the part you are trying to remove, and keep increasing the drill size until you've sufficiently weakened the bolt to where wrenches will easily bust it off.

From the head side: Drill right down the axis of the bolt, increase the drill size until close to bolt diameter, and wrench it.

Used trick number two to get four big-ass rusted-up bolts off the front bumper to frame mounts of my '62 FC-170 just a couple of days ago. Sure beat crawling under the truck with a can of penetrating oil and breaker bars...

Good Luck!

1962 Jeep FC-170, Standard Cab
My bad, should have posted last week.
Great success with copious amounts of BB, a borrowed 5' breaker bar and a bit of weight on my part.....
Also got the Power Wagon's nuts busted free too..Also L and R threads

Now the wife is convinced that I've got some loose nuts too...