Rants, Recipes and Ramblings

Why you say NO to “special” lug nuts

This evening an electrician took my (unattended) Server center down.  So I rush over to bring the servers back on line.

I pull in the parking lot and there is a guy sitting in his car on his cel. Trunk open and battery cables lying on the ground.

I ask, “Need a jump?”  Nope he has a flat tire and can I help him.

I then noticed that he has a crippled left arm so of course I jump in to get the tire changed for him.

Hmmm…. Who put this monster wooden box which huge ass speakers in your truck that has to be removed to get to the stupid ass don-nut spare and jack out of your car I wonder to myself as I remove said box.

Get jack under car and get it partially lifted.  Remove cover on the wheels to get to the lug nuts.

Lug wrench is way to BIG for the lug nuts.  I reached in to feel the lug nuts (I forgot to mention he parked in just about the darkest part of the parking lot) and they felt “weird”.  They are “kinda” rounded with slots running down the length.  The guy remembers that he has a special tool for the lug nuts and gets it’s out of the glove box along with a barely useable flash light

You have about 3/4″ of an inch access to the lug nuts.  The special tool is about 3″ long and the standard lung wrench fits onto it (although pretty sloppy fit).  That means that the leverage force you are applying to this 3/4″ lug nut is about 5″ out in space.

Managed to massage four of the lug nuts loose.  The fifth however… Someone had been a little eager with their impact wrench.

Downstairs from the server room is a full service sign shop that a friend of mine owns.  I have the keys to the building so I’ll grab some tools.  I take one of the lug nuts with me and discover that this a 16mm socket is just a hair to small and a 17mm socket is just as much too big.  Same with trying standard sockets.  Can’t get enough purchase or angle to try and use a crescent wrench.

Ended up putting his stuff back in the trunk and helping him call a tow truck to take the car and drop it off at a tire store.

Moral of the story.  Special lug nuts are not worth it.  I would rather have some steal my wheels then to have my “anti-theft” solution leave me stranded on the side of the road and unable to replace a flat tire.