Wheel Studs

Tech Question


P B, Imperial, CA, 1968 Dodge Charger 383

Hey Rick, I love your articles. Especially when you makesomeone say, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” But I’m the Schmuck with thequestion now. I have a ’68 Charger 383/2bbl with broken wheel mount studs onthe left rear axle (the infamous left hand threaded studs that brake whenyou try to remove lug nuts by turning them the same way as RHT.) I’m notsure what rear-end turns the wheels, but I know it’s all Mother’s. What’sthe cheapest, DIY way to replace the studs? I’m trying to do it myself withlimited tools and an even more limited budget. I’m afraid the entire axlehas to come out, but hoping there’s a way to do it without replacing sealsand gaskets, removing brake assemblies, buying special tools, and… did Isay spending more money? If I do have to pull the shaft, what are the partsthat have to be replaced? I’m getting conflicting stories about the bearingretaining collar. Thanks for all your help(your answers to other peoplesquestions have helpeded me a lot.) I’d appreciate any details, tips, and,advise that you can think of besides “Next time turn them clockwise!” My newstuds will be RHT(at your advice.)     -PB



The only correct way is to remove the axle and press in new ones. But thereis, sure, a sleazy, down-‘n’-dirty way.

Remove the brake drum. Using a large pin punch and hammer, drive out thebroken remains; if you’re going RHT beat ’em ALL out.

Slip the new studs into place. Put a stack of hardened washers on thethreads, maybe 1/4 – 3/8″ worth. Then oil the threads, and spin a hardenednut on and tighten it, as you torque it up, it will simply draw the stud’sknurled area into place on the axle. Stop when the head is flush.

Now, never let it be said that this is the the right way to do the job.There’s two pitfalls:

You can’t alway be sure that the stud’s head is flush with the axle.Depending on the fit, you may be able to easily feel the contact, maybe not.If it’s not bottomed, at some point later (pothole), it may move and havethe effect of loosening the nut.

The stud my have to be overtorqued (over, say 100 ft.-lbs) to pull it intoto place, weakening it.

Still, either alternative is better than the snapped studs you have now. Onepossible alternative is to slightly reduce the knurl’s OD with crocus clothto make it easier for the stud to slide home. If you do this, I’d add alittle Loctite at assembly.


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