SOLVED! Freeing rusted-on wheels

Reprise

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I need to get my rear wheels off of the Voy in order to replace a bleeder screw and bleed the brakes as a result of replacing a brake line.

Have gone as far as taking an 8lb sledge with 4" wood blocks to the sidewalls, but they still won't budge (admittedly, I can't get a ton of leverage laying under the truck from the inside, and I hurt my back a few weeks ago swinging from the outside (and I don't wish to repeat that, under any circumstances)

Any other methods for freeing them up? I've tried the jack drop; no dice there, either.
I stripped the one bleeder screw trying to loosen it up with the tire on, so I want to get the tires off before I make things worse.

If I have to, I'll take it to the tire shop (I know they must deal with this stuff all the time). But I'd also have them replace the bleeders & do the bleeding, and I can do those for the cost of my time (already have the new screws).
Ideas welcomed. :thankyou:
 

Blckshdw

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:undecided: Hmm, well it's just a matter of getting enough torque to tilt the rim enough to break free. Maybe try jacking up one side, support the axle with a jack stand so the tire is off the ground. Slide a jack stand under the axle on the other side with as small a gap as possible, leaving the tire on the ground. Hip check the side of the truck over the lifted rim, and hopefully with the weight of the truck shifting slightly from side to side, will give enough force to break that bond. In theory if the rim comes completely off the rotor, the jack stand would catch it.
 

Reprise

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Yep - I've got the axle on stands (both wheels off ground, as I'm turning the wheel in question 90" after every few whacks).

Thinking I'm gonna have to take it in; I'll have them mount the tires on my steelies. From what I understand, aluminum wheels catalytically react with steel rotors / hubs. And I *did* put anti-seize on the surfaces the last time I had these off. :Banghead:
 

Mooseman

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I've heard of putting the lug nuts on loose, drive it and slam the brakes. ETCG goes to a parking lot and turns side to side to stress it.

 

Sparky

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I have never had aluminum wheels stick much to the hub requiring more than a couple kicks or shakes, even after a year of not being removed. The steel wheels on the Civic however required me soaking with pb blaster and beating on them with a deadblow for 15+ minutes to get them loose. Yes, I hit the face of the wheel directly with the deadblow, but any marks wouldn't matter since it has (crappy) plastic covers.
 

Mounce

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Have had to use the loose lugs method a few times at work. Finger tighten then back off half a turn or so then would just pull it in and out of the shop in a straight line checking the lugs ever so often. If you check the lugs and they're tight then you know there's been movement since they were loose when you started. If straight driving doesn't work then a couple turns get added here and there.

Funny enough, the only ones that have been stuck for me are new f150 base model work trucks with the silver painted steel wheels. However at a shop you end up with various different stuck rims.
 

Redbeard

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I haven't had this problem, yet anyways. But if you have a good size crow bar maybe jack the Voy up enough to slide a crow bar under the edge of the tread and see if you can add pressure both up and inward toward the vehicle. I have a six foot pry bar and if it where place just under the tire I would think something would come loose. And an old suggestion in regards to the bleeder screws: use a socket on them and not box wrench. For reasons I don't quite understand but in days of old often when using a combination wrench the bleeder screws would "just break off" yet when using a socket that rarely happened. I don't know if we unintentionally add some sort of extra side pressure when using a combination vs. a socket and ratchet or what.
Just my 2¢
 

m.mcmillen

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Also for the bleeder screws, spray some good penetrating oil on them and heat the caliper up in the area of the screw with a heat gun. Try not to concentrate the heat on the screw itself.
 

MRRSM

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To add to @Redbeard 's suggestion... I have have had PERFECT Success using a combination of the right size Flare Nut-Tubing Hex Wrench along with a Tiny Pair of Vice Grips. Place the Small Flare-Nut Tubing Wrench on the Bleeder Valve and since there is a Gap on One of its Hex Flats... when you apply the Vice Grips on the OD of the Flare Nut-Tube Wrench at a Right Angle... when it gently snaps closed... it will Squeeze the Hell out of the Bleeder Valve Fitting with enough Mechanical Advantage that it WILL Yield after applying careful, light pressure on the Flare Nut-Tubing Wrench Handle without Stripping, Crushing or Snapping the Hex Head off of that Bleeder Valve Fitting. You'll be amazed that you can get them out with too much additional effort after it finally Breaks FREE. Don't Overdo the use of the Little Vice Grips... Just enough of a Grip ...is Just The Right Amount. :>)
 

TollKeeper

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What I did was put the tire needing to come off in the air. Then using a bottle jack, and a 4x4, put the bottle jack against the tire on the opposite side, use the 4x4 to stretch from the bottle jack to the stuck tire, and start pumping the jack. Lugs hold the tire and rim on the one side, preventing damage, and leverage forces the other rim/tire off.
 
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We had a railroad tie on a dolly and 4 guys. It always came off. For the most part, a swift kick from the outside toward the ground has always gotten them off for me. Even my neighbors civic. If you really can't get it, the factory jack on the frame rail pushing on the wheel will. It's hard to bend a wheel
 

JerryIrons

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I've heard of putting the lug nuts on loose, drive it and slam the brakes. ETCG goes to a parking lot and turns side to side to stress it.

I have done exactly that (driven vehicle), more than once! Loosen up the nuts a bit so you can see a thread or two. Sometimes you can do it only a few feet and locking them up, like halfway out of garage. Other times I've driven it a bit, and hit the brakes a few times. You'll know when it works because the threads will no longer be visible! Sometimes a banging noise will let you know as well.

I've always been concerned I would mar the threads doing this, so it's always last resort, but haven't ruined any yet.
 

Reprise

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Well, I actually may try the 'drive on loosened lugs' idea. (I've tried the other suggestions, including the bottle jack... which I had high hopes for.)

Admitted defeat and took the Voy to the tire shop yesterday and let them have a go. They came back about 45min later and said they couldn't get the *lugs* off, even with an impact (and, of course, their compressor puts mine to shame).

Went in back and looked... they had one lug partially removed, and showed where the threads were being eaten off (prolly not the right description, but you get the idea). Of course, since they're a professional shop, they wouldn't just continue on (probably some sort of liability concern, were they to give me the vehicle back with less than the "spec'd" number of lugs fastened). I know two of the six on the one side were really tough to remove, but I was willing to drive home on four, if they ruined the threaded stud on one or two. And it's not like they couldn't put new studs in, once they got the wheel off.

When I asked them to work out a quote for replacing the studs / lugs, they mentioned it could run a couple hundred, per wheel. (the other wheel, which they didn't try, has no issues with the lugs coming off).

While I appreciate them not wanting to 'gouge' me... I'm back to square one, or find another shop.
First time I can think of that a shop actually begged off doing a repair, especially if it meant generating more revenue / upselling the job. Must be nice to be able to cherry pick the jobs your shop will work on. Not to mention risking that the customer won't (ever) return to your shop, because the job was more effort than you wanted to expend on their vehicle.

They also mentioned that I'd need a new caliper on the other side (the one that I stripped the bleeder on). Not just a new screw... the whole caliper. Even if not technically true, I suppose now's the time to do it, given the state of the rear brakes now. Since I'm now stuck here for the balance of the winter (my own fault), the Envoy is the truck I want to be driving during this time, and have the Sierra in the garage (both to upgrade, and to keep out of the salt). The Voy is my 'sacrificial anode', as it were.

Back to (my) garage... sigh. :hopeless:
 

m.mcmillen

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They also mentioned that I'd need a new caliper on the other side (the one that I stripped the bleeder on). Not just a new screw... the whole caliper.

I do a lot of side work. If I can’t get a bleeder screw out of a caliper easily, I’ll just replace the caliper. Generally, that is cheaper than me spending a bunch of time getting the bleeder screw out.
 

Reprise

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Yeah... I replaced one on my 'first' Sierra (or is that, 'My First Sierra' ... as if I were a toddler... LOL) That truck had so much rust, having lived in WI all its life... when I saw the bleeder screw on it (as well as the caliper in general), I didn't even try... went and ordered up a new caliper and swapped it out w/o issue.

On the Envoy, the service advisor made it sound like something was wrong with the caliper *besides* the bleeder (I had told them at the outset that I had stripped the screw and would likely need replacement.) I even had purchased new bleeder screws in advance, expecting that I'd put them in myself (this place won't install customer-supplied parts.). I can *see* the bleeder / area with the wheel on, and TBH, that caliper didn't scream "replace me" out to me. But I'm not a pro, and I might change my mind, once I get the wheel off & get a better view.


Although I have another independent shop I can go to, and I know he'll do it... I don't really like dealing with him (I don't mind good-natured complaints about how 'hard' a job is, but when it becomes an all-consuming attitude, no matter what the discussion, that's just a bit more than I want to deal with -- especially when I'm paying book rates for the work.) He's a good mechanic (which is also his business name, ironically), but I just don't want to hear him b!tch and moan about everything, the job that I brought him included. I do get some knowledge imparted, but at a high cost (I'm depressed enough without dealing with people like him. Yeah, that's 'my' problem. I ack that.) I'm also still a little sore about the last job he did for me (which I could've done,) instead of the job I asked him to do (which is a lot easier with the lift & space he has, vs. me on my back in the garage.)

Now I'm starting to feel like I'm the 'negative Nellie', here... Sorry. :frown:
The whole situation is just so frustrating, right now.
 

Reprise

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Finally, some good news to report. I got the one wheel off.
(so... 'half-solved' ? although I know I can repeat this on the other wheel, as needed) :celebrate:

In order to do it, I had to buy / use an 8" three jaw puller, and turn the forcing screw by hand, using a breaker w/ cheater pipe.

It actually 'popped' twice; a lesser amount the first time, and then the big enchilada when it finally broke free a few turns later. Had safety glasses on, JIC (prolly always a smart thing to do, anyway, when working with HF tools...lol). I've got some good experience, with that.

Looks like the area that was frozen so badly was where the wheel hub meets the rotor hub (the perpendicular edge, which is about 1/4" wide (?) on the wheel, and about an inch or so on the hub / backing plate surface)

Given that, I understand why nothing else I tried freed it (but there were some good ideas by all!)

I had suspected this was the case, but didn't want to take a screwdriver, pick tool, etc., to that edge, fearing I would gouge the aluminum edge of the wheel and cause issues with mounting it on center (I could give a rat's patootie about how it looked). But I might try that with the other wheel, once I get to that one (I'll be on the first one for a day or two; new studs arrive on Monday, and I'll replace them (actually wound up driving one out by accident; it's inside the drum hat now). Plus I'll take a wire wheel to both surfaces beforehand, to remove the rust.

Helpful tip: When applying anti-seize to the mating surface of rotor hub and wheel, make SURE to put some on the 'ring' area where they join.
That was my mistake - I had applied it all around the flat surface, adjacent to the studs, but none on the 'ring' / edge surface, perpendicular to that.

Tip #2: Even if your vehicle sits a lot, don't go a year and a half without removing the wheel, especially if you live in The North, and drive it during the winter. That's asking for trouble.

Now waiting for the PB to soak into the 18mm caliper bolts, which are also apparently frozen on. But I know I'll get those off.

It'll be satisfying to take the thing back to the tire shop and tell them, "ok, motherf#ckers... NOW you have no excuse... rotate those tires!" (which they have to do for free, as a condition of buying them). Then I'll take them somewhere else to swap out for the steelies I've had in the garage forever. No sense giving these guys any more cash :dielaugh:
 
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JerryIrons

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I always use antiseize, on just about all my bolts, especially wheel lugs. It can be a controversial subject, but anybody who lives in the rust belt learns this lesson pretty quick in their life. If you put on some between the rotor and the hub, remember to be very sparing with it, too thick and you can cause warping in your rotors.

It's easy enough to rotate your own tires. Plus, you can do extra stuff like bleed your brakes (helps prevent frozen bleeder screws), put grease in any zerk fittings, and look over your brake pad thickness. Just don't rush it, and plan on looking things over in your vehicle. And, you have the added bonus of not having a shop strip your lug bolts. Been there done that!
 

JerryIrons

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I do a lot of side work. If I can’t get a bleeder screw out of a caliper easily, I’ll just replace the caliper. Generally, that is cheaper than me spending a bunch of time getting the bleeder screw out.

Agree, if I have a caliper with a frozen bleed screw, I'll spend a little time trying to get it out, but it's usually a good sign to just replace the whole caliper. Usually the caliper is "sticky", things are rusty as hell, etc.
 

jmonica

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I've heard of putting the lug nuts on loose, drive it and slam the brakes. ETCG goes to a parking lot and turns side to side to stress it.

Damn I was finally going to be able to help someone by telling them to do exactly;y what you did. It works. Also, my envoy has two threaded holes in the rotors. You just thread a bolt in and it pushes against the hub and wallah!
I know this post is older. I just ran across it doing a search for my pedal to floor problem after rebuilding mine last night. Oh well, one day maybe will be able to offer someone real helpful;l advice on something hopefully. NO doubt it will be something that I learned directly from you!

Hey I'm still intending on signing up to support the site. Been having a small cash flow problem these past couple of months. Mostly due to buying new envoy parts. Just didn't want you to think I"m full of it. I'm not cheap, just low on flow at the moment I promise!
 

Mooseman

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TollKeeper

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No idea what you talking about. Bing bam boom, or bobs your uncle is what i say
 

jmonica

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Hehe I have no clue what I've done to anger my friend from the north but certainly it wasn't intentional. Merely trying to payback the community in what seldom and minuscule ways that I can.

So? I love a good inside joke as much as the next guy but can someone have pity on 7me and tell me what I've gone and done we8ng this time? Thanks@ 😥😟🤔 🥺😵=me?
 

Blckshdw

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So? I love a good inside joke as much as the next guy but can someone have pity on 7me and tell me what I've gone and done we8ng this time?

lol it may not look like it due to color formatting, but @Mooseman linked a thread in his last post, to a discussion about the word voila. That will explain the joke. :coffee:
 

Mooseman

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Nothing serious my friend. Just some friendly banter. :tongue:
 

TollKeeper

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Its all friendly... Until someone asks about the loose red wire by the battery LOL
 

Maverick6587

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My dad was helping me replacing the fuel pump. We were putting the fuel pump relay back in and he asked about that red wire ALL worried about it. I kept telling him it's fine and ended up having to explain it to him. He didn't believe me, so I had to show him MAY03LT's youtube video about it. :rotfl:
 

Reprise

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Nothing serious my friend. Just some friendly banter. :tongue:

Tell that to someone from France, and see how quickly they correct le laid américain... :laugh:

He didn't believe me, so I had to show him MAY03LT's youtube video about it.

Guessing your dad doesn't know how much you post on this site... :tongue:
 

jmonica

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Finally, some good news to report. I got the one wheel off.
(so... 'half-solved' ? although I know I can repeat this on the other wheel, as needed) :celebrate:

In order to do it, I had to buy / use an 8" three jaw puller, and turn the forcing screw by hand, using a breaker w/ cheater pipe.

It actually 'popped' twice; a lesser amount the first time, and then the big enchilada when it finally broke free a few turns later. Had safety glasses on, JIC (prolly always a smart thing to do, anyway, when working with HF tools...lol). I've got some good experience, with that.

Looks like the area that was frozen so badly was where the wheel hub meets the rotor hub (the perpendicular edge, which is about 1/4" wide (?) on the wheel, and about an inch or so on the hub / backing plate surface)

Given that, I understand why nothing else I tried freed it (but there were some good ideas by all!)

I had suspected this was the case, but didn't want to take a screwdriver, pick tool, etc., to that edge, fearing I would gouge the aluminum edge of the wheel and cause issues with mounting it on center (I could give a rat's patootie about how it looked). But I might try that with the other wheel, once I get to that one (I'll be on the first one for a day or two; new studs arrive on Monday, and I'll replace them (actually wound up driving one out by accident; it's inside the drum hat now). Plus I'll take a wire wheel to both surfaces beforehand, to remove the rust.

Helpful tip: When applying anti-seize to the mating surface of rotor hub and wheel, make SURE to put some on the 'ring' area where they join.
That was my mistake - I had applied it all around the flat surface, adjacent to the studs, but none on the 'ring' / edge surface, perpendicular to that.

Tip #2: Even if your vehicle sits a lot, don't go a year and a half without removing the wheel, especially if you live in The North, and drive it during the winter. That's asking for trouble.

Now waiting for the PB to soak into the 18mm caliper bolts, which are also apparently frozen on. But I know I'll get those off.

It'll be satisfying to take the thing back to the tire shop and tell them, "ok, motherf#ckers... NOW you have no excuse... rotate those tires!" (which they have to do for free, as a condition of buying them). Then I'll take them somewhere else to swap out for the steelies I've had in the garage forever. No sense giving these guys any more cash :dielaugh:
hehehe I can so relate to a few of the things you said. I can't stand that corporate attitude about not installing customer provided parts. Have them sign a waiver releasing you from liability if the part causes a problem.
I had a similar situation and I am not sure if they are afraid of being sued about a part the customer supplied failing or is it maybe that they won't make any money off of parts that way.

I would personally handle that situation by going back to them now that the wheels are off, and asking them if they can possibly replace the two stud that they ruined. I'd maybe throw in something like "I know that you guys aren't really equipped to take on the harder jobs and there's nothing wrong that. If a place can be successful doing only routine maintenance type stuff, more power to them. I think that's great.
OH how did I get the wheels off? I had the lady in the wheelchair at Jiffy Lube do it while she was waiting for the oil to drain.

Tip #2: Letting a car sit for an extended period of time, is the most destructive thing one can do. Recently brought mine out of an 18 month Hibernation and it was a HUGE mess, HUGE.
 

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