: Help! I stripped the fake wheel bolts. This is getting embarrasing



Vdrenaline
10-23-05, 01:41 PM
I didn't know about the appearance caps that screw onto the actual wheel bolts. I thought that all my wheel bolts were loose and tightened a few of the caps too much. Now those caps are stripped and stuck onto the actual bolts. My 19mm wheel wrench spins freely on them as does a 3/4 socket. I tried pounding an 11/16 socket onto one of them and it is now really stripped.
Any ideas on how to get these stupid things off? I felt like such an idiot for doing this but I guess I should really thank the genius who thought of this idiotic idea. Why wouldn't they just make a normal bolt like every other car company?
Thanks in advance for any help on this.
I'm just trying to change my front brake pads.
:banghead:

ctsvett
10-23-05, 04:20 PM
They are pretty flimsy material (you can bend them easily when they are off the car). I would suggest that you use some pliers and carfully (so as not to scratch the wheels) work it back and forth until you get it off. YOu may be able to spin in once you pull it out some.

I'm confused, how did you take off the lugs and no know that those were on there or did the lugs not come off yet?



Reed

Vdrenaline
10-23-05, 05:28 PM
Thanks Reed,
The lugs are still on. Yesterday when I was preparing to replace my front brake pads, I observed that almost all of what I thought were wheel lugs, were loose. So I tightened all of the caps thinking they were the actual lugs. When I found out that they were caps and tried to take them off so that I could get at the lugs, I found that 6 of the 24 were stripped. I tried to bang an 11/16" socket onto one of them and then free it, but that just deformed it. Then I tried using Sears pliers that work like vice grips and the cap deformed even more. I am really up a creek now. The one I have been trying to loosen is really frozen on there and is deformed and wrecked. I am afraid to even touch the others at this point. I cannot believe Cadillac would use such lousy parts and not just supply a quality lug like its competitors do. AHHHHHHHHH!!!
Any other ideas?
Thanks again.
Bill

BadCad
10-23-05, 06:17 PM
Try using a long-nosed Visegrip to hold the cap, then carefully drill a large-enough hole in the cap so you can insert a needle nose plier, don't drill too deep. Work cap loose with a plier.
Get new and better lug nuts here, you need 19mm: http://www.lmperformance.com/manufacturer.asp?manuf=100
Good luck.

tedcmiller
10-24-05, 11:33 AM
Many people do not like the wheel lug nut caps because they are an inexpensive alternative to chrome lug nuts. I personally like them better than chrome lug nuts. This is because, unlike chrome lug nuts, they normally do not get damaged when being removed or installed. My experience with chrome lug nuts is that they are easily and quickly damaged by air wrenchs and become ugly and rusty in fairly short order. Not knowing that the caps are there can become a problem. That is why, unless I can stand there and give specific directions, all my wheel work is done by the dealer. As they say a little knowledge (in this case a lack of knowledge) can be a dangerous thing.

Most of the instructions given in other posts to this thread will help with removing the damaged caps. However, I would replace the caps rather than buy chrome lug nuts.

cguthrie
10-24-05, 12:20 PM
Don't feel bad. Who would have known? I shared your same experience with my 99 STS. The needle nose visegrip will work well to remove the damaged caps.

I'd just pick up a new set from the dealer, and gently hand tighten.

I've also lost a couple caps, after a visit to NTB. Such is life!

CG

BadCad
10-24-05, 12:55 PM
I agree with the caps - I personally like them better then chrome lug nuts because those do get messed and then get rusty,etc. unless 'soft' sockets are used. I always remove the caps before I take my car in so as to avoid any damages to the caps or misplacements; cheap insurance...

6104696
10-24-05, 02:01 PM
yeah, I don't mind em. American car companies been doing it this way for years. My 91 explorer, as I recall, actually had chrome caps "pressed" over smaller nuts. They were not removable, yet they deformed quite easily and then you are stuck with em. Chevy/GMC trucks use plastic caps.

Prior to the SRT8, the V really had no competition (in the sub-5 second, $50K sedan category), so I don't see this as a "competitive" issue. If they are going to spend $10 more on building the car I'd prefer they put it into the rear differential, anyway.

Vdrenaline
10-24-05, 10:38 PM
You know, now that I have had time to calm down and think it over, the caps are probably a good idea. The bolts on my Audi S4 did used to get a little bent around the edges.
I just wish I had known ahead of time before I trashed some of them.

lasstss
10-24-05, 11:49 PM
They are pretty flimsy material (you can bend them easily when they are off the car). I would suggest that you use some pliers and carfully (so as not to scratch the wheels) work it back and forth until you get it off. YOu may be able to spin in once you pull it out some.

I'm confused, how did you take off the lugs and no know that those were on there or did the lugs not come off yet?



Reed

Most damage to lugs are because of impact wrenches and mechanics. Caps are good if you dont do it yourself, they are replaceable. After having one fly off and slice the paint on one of the wheels, I decided to dump them. I used gorilla locks, mount the wheels and lugs by hand and tighten with a torque wrench. It takes longer but you will never damage a lug. Its impact tools that cause damage on most cars. The factory knows that they will get beat up so they came up with the cap idea.My chrome lugs are as nice as the day installed.. Also the stainless oxidizes in time and has a dull finish. To each his own.

calicadi
10-25-05, 01:24 AM
I did the same thing. No plier would work for me. Fortunately I have a small 3/8ths chisel. It made quick work of the thin metal and was small enough I could work and not scratch the wheel. I made an incision, cutting along the side working in toward the lugnut. Then I used a screwdriver to widen the cut until the tension was off threads and it popped right off. I leave them all off now and pulled the centercaps, too. Looks more macho. ;-)

CTSVONFIRE
10-25-05, 09:24 AM
Use a 12 point 17mm socket and tap it onto the cover and use a ratchet to get it off. Happens all the time where i work at.

Vdrenaline
11-02-05, 02:24 PM
Use a 12 point 17mm socket and tap it onto the cover and use a ratchet to get it off. Happens all the time where i work at.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for that advice CTSONFIRE. The 12 point 17mm socket worked on 5 of the stuck bolt caps. The 6th cap was really bent so I went down to a 16mm socket. It came off easily. This was a really effective solution, and should be put in the FAQ.