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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I wanted to post this post so the next guy like me does not have to waste countless hours and fret about broken lug bolts.

This is my story - someone over tightened my lug bolts and I was stuck with having several lug bolts not releasing at all. When I used a breaker bar that only ultimately lead to me twisting off the 17mm head and leaving me with just a metal shaft and then the seat. As you know the design of our lug bolts are such that there is the seat and then a extension shaft and then the 17mm head. Well if that is torqued on too tight, when you go to take the bolt out the shaft twists and then the head breaks off! I have read countless discussions about doing all sorts of things to fix this problem - they include but are not limited to:

1) Before the head breaks off - soak the lug nut with penetrating oil (did not work for me),
2) Heat up the bolt and then try - do not do this! all you do is ruin your rim - I know because I did - look at the picture! (did not work for me),
3) If the bolt snaps off then you drill down the shaft and start off with a small bit and move up in bit sizes until you drill out the seat - harder than it sounds - you have to be dead center and you go through some bits and it is hard work (did not work for me I was off center - grrr),
4) Whack the bolt to shock it and then try to take it off (did not work for me),
5) Sit there with an impact gun in reverse and it will work its way off (did not work for me),
6) Go for broke - cut off the rim - DO NOT DO THIS - it would take a lot of heat to cut through those rims and you will damage more than just your rim with all that heat. The alloy rims transfer heat very well ruining abs sensor, wheel bearing. Also the magnesium in the rim could catch on fire and burn your car down (guessing) (I did not do this).

So here is the solution and it works without any issues - I wish I had come across this solution before I wasted hours trying all of the above (except cutting it off). Once you have the tools it takes about a minute to get the bolt off.

You need a bolt puller (Craftsmen makes a set - see picture), which is like a socket that has teeth on the inside and as you twist the socket on the broken shaft it digs into the shaft and goes on tight. Then you take your big breaker bar and a 3/4 inch socket and you apply some decent torque and they come off. The reason it works is because now the bolt puller socket is close to being tight to the seat of the bolt and there is no twisting so you can put sufficient torque on the lug bolt and break it free. When the bolt is out - you stick the threaded end into your vice and then turn counter clockwise to get the bolt puller socket off.

Once you have those bolts out you may want to go the route that I did and replace all your bolts with ones from Otis Inc La (RAD Lug Bolt 12mmx1.5, 39mm Shank, R12 Ball Seat, Hex 17). These replacement bolts don't have that long shaft that can twist and snap so you are good to go! I don't work for Otis - but Phil kindly helped me sort out the right bolts which are a fraction of the cost of what the dealer wants for new "upgraded" bolts (MB part number 2034010370). I have ordered from them in the past for other lug bolts and they have never let me down - so I recommend them.

I have attached some pictures to help you figure out what I am talking about.

Ask any questions you may have.

Cheers,

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very good, thanks for sharing. I try very hard to never let anyone else tighten my lug bolts.
I am usually pretty paranoid about that as well - but I got busy and forgot to check them after I brought it in to get the camber checked. Get some moisture on the bolt when putting them back and slap em in with an impact and the next thing you know you got troubles! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Are the Otis bolts the same length ABOVE the seat as the originals (i.e. overall length of 85mm)?
I ordered them yesterday so I will see when they come in - but I don't think they are the same overall length. so that will mean that the bolts are not flush to the outside of the rim. That is OK with me - but it may be something others don't like.
 

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I got the Craftsman bolt extractors yesterday ($32 w/tax). I had some hope that they would work, but alas, they never really bit on the end of the broken lug bolt.

I chucked on my 3rd black 9/16 Dewalt 2X hole saw and began what was to be the final assault on the seat collar (one third of the collar left). After about 10 minutes of sawing, the seat popped back onto the shank of the hole saw. Success! I had figured on consuming/using 4 hole saws, but the last saw must have been a little sharper than the first 2.

Upon inspection, the saw only bit minimally into the rim's aluminum seat surface.

With the other 4 lugs and stuck seat off, all I had to do was wriggle the wheel's lug nut hole past the merest remnant of the seat. Which proved difficult as the lug hole in the rim is a naturally tight fit to the bolt's shank. It took another 10 minutes to guide the rim's lug hole past the seat remnant. Finally it was free and the lug hole seemingly none the worse for wear. If I had used the 3/4 inch saw that the tech at MBoT had advised, the rim would have never come off the shank remnant without sawing it down to the size of the shank.

All that remained was to remove the cross threaded lug from the hub with vice grips and a long section of pipe. Heat helped.

Now all I have to do is replace the whole knuckle upright with the used spare I bought on eBay and the car will be back to normal again.

Thanks MBoT for the wonderful experience.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience. Last year when I was replacing my thermostat one of the bolts holding the thermostat housing had fused to the housing with time. It did not break on me but got rounded as I was trying to unscrew it with a wrench. I used the same type of bolt puller as you used and that did the job.
 

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I used a REVERSE DIRECTION DRILL BIT on a front end massive bolt that I stripped the head off of.

So I am busy drilling into the bolt and suddenly I noticed the bolt was spinning out !!

10 Minutes done !! no damage to anything ! Bought a five star bolt to replace it and I was done!


OH also rather than cooking the assembly

USE DRY ICE :) gets that heat and shrinks the bolt. Just place directly on the bolts and it will shrink the bolt !!

Used many times on a 1958 Corvette Convertible !! TOTALLY works 1!
 

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These long lug bolts are IMHO one of the FEW cases where a rattle gun is better than a long wrench to remove or install. Course once mine were off, they stayed off and regular shank lug bolts replaced them. MB doesn't even sell the long shank versions anymore.

1) torque is applied on axis rather than on and off axis that you will get with using a long wrench by hand
2) by using Areokroil penetrating lub and a moderate torque with a rattle gun the vibration can get the penetrating oil into the places it needs to be. then let it soak, and keep increasing the torque. The vibration helps release the bolt.

Other than that case, a rattle gun stays away from lug bolts unless you have torque stick extension to limit the torque to the specified torque. Which BTW are amazingly accurate. I was sceptical at first but after using them then checking with a torque wrench, they will limit torque to very close to the value stamped on them. And they are available in 10ft/lb increments.
 

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Thanks Eric. I'll keep that tool in mind. I've gotten to the point that unless I see a tire shop use a torque wrench I will loosen them and then re-torque them when I get home

My only issue is the non-factory lug bolts you got to replace the originals. I have heard that it is critical to get matching or should I say compatible? bolts for the wheels. Perhaps this is just hearsay but I have heard of problems when people get different wheels and use the original bolts.

Personally I would get a new set of factory bolts and make sure they are torqued properly. Never had a problem in 25 years of Mercedes ownership.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Eric. I'll keep that tool in mind. I've gotten to the point that unless I see a tire shop use a torque wrench I will loosen them and then re-torque them when I get home

My only issue is the non-factory lug bolts you got to replace the originals. I have heard that it is critical to get matching or should I say compatible? bolts for the wheels. Perhaps this is just hearsay but I have heard of problems when people get different wheels and use the original bolts.

Personally I would get a new set of factory bolts and make sure they are torqued properly. Never had a problem in 25 years of Mercedes ownership.
Well I will see shortly when I get new tires and try out these new bolts - I don't know how they would make much of a difference - the seat is the same and they have the same thread length. But if something is amiss I will come back and let everyone know :).

Cheers,

Eric
 

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My only issue is the non-factory lug bolts you got to replace the originals. I have heard that it is critical to get matching or should I say compatible? bolts for the wheels. Perhaps this is just hearsay but I have heard of problems when people get different wheels and use the original bolts.

Personally I would get a new set of factory bolts and make sure they are torqued properly. Never had a problem in 25 years of Mercedes ownership.
MB wheels are radius seat, most after-market wheels use a taper seat.
Bolts should match the wheels both for seat and length. :smile
 

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When this happened to me, it was an hour with the torch to obliterate the bolt and the wheel. That and a big sledge hammer got the wheel off. It was damaged anyway, so I didn't care about destroying it with the torch. No problems with anything from the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When this happened to me, it was an hour with the torch to obliterate the bolt and the wheel. That and a big sledge hammer got the wheel off. It was damaged anyway, so I didn't care about destroying it with the torch. No problems with anything from the heat.
I brought out the torch without a lot of thought and really it was a bad idea - the paint on the rim blistered quickly and then the swearing began. Not sure what I thought was going to happen - I just reacted - need heat - DOH! not good.

I got the rim re-painted and brought back to factory so in the end all is good.

That is the thing with this car - I love it - sure it can treat me bad once in a while but the smiles per mile are pretty high with this one so I take the good with the bad.
 

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Renewing an old thread here. It doesn't look like OTIS still make the (improved) extended lug bolts (at least I can't find them on the web site)

However, I see that LA Wheel do provide chrome plated extended lug bolts which appear to be the correct length (both above and below the 'ball'). Also, the portion between the head and the ball is clearly thicker than the threaded part below the ball - presumably this makes them less likely to break off than the original OEM bolts.

Anyone got a set (or any other after market solution that gives you the 'flush' bolt heads on the later 560SL wheels?). I'm kind of surprised that there aren't bolts made that just have a very 'deep' 17mm hex section (so there is no thin part above the ball), or perhaps even 'deep' lug nut covers.

(Yes - I'll admit it - I'm going for the cosmetics here, but also want to try to avoid having a bolt break off in the future).

-Steve
 

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I have an issue now...lug bolts.
Went to the tire store, bought 4 new tires. Tire shop seen a crack in one rim spoke. So, looked for another rim. No luck, even posted on here in the sale classifieds. Ended up buy 4 used rims from a 2005 230 SL500. Going on my 2002 SL.
Had a shop do the dismounting and mounting....shop backs the car out of the garage and...click click click click....shop used the original lug bolts which are longer and went through the hub and of course got caught up on the parking brake assembly!
Had to use the Sears craftsman's bolt extractor to remove 5 lug bolts!
Had the shop install one shorter correct size lug bolt on each tire just to hold the tire on and called a tow truck and took the car to another shop...not giving the screw up shop a second chance!
So, having new parking brake assemblies installed! And correct size lug bolts.
Screw up shop is paying the bill and towing.
 

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Renewing an old thread here. It doesn't look like OTIS still make the (improved) extended lug bolts (at least I can't find them on the web site)

However, I see that LA Wheel do provide chrome plated extended lug bolts which appear to be the correct length (both above and below the 'ball'). Also, the portion between the head and the ball is clearly thicker than the threaded part below the ball - presumably this makes them less likely to break off than the original OEM bolts.

Anyone got a set (or any other after market solution that gives you the 'flush' bolt heads on the later 560SL wheels?). I'm kind of surprised that there aren't bolts made that just have a very 'deep' 17mm hex section (so there is no thin part above the ball), or perhaps even 'deep' lug nut covers.

(Yes - I'll admit it - I'm going for the cosmetics here, but also want to try to avoid having a bolt break off in the future).

-Steve
You gave the shop shorter lug bolts and they didn’t use them?!
[/QUOT
You gave the shop shorter lug bolts and they didn’t use them?!
The shop said they would take care of the lug bolt issue....however....one hand did not talk to the other and the tire tech reinstalled the original lug bolts.
 
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