Torque Talk: Tightening the Axle Nut
Before your vehicle can move forward, it needs to have a proper set of wheels, lugs, and axle nuts. The axle connects the wheels to the vehicle's body and facilitates movement. To secure the axle and wheels together, you must have a properly torqued axle nut. Correct torque specifications must be used to ensure the nut won't come off or become loose. A loose axle nut may cause potential damage to the axle and wheel bearings. You can just torque the axle nut yourself to save money. We've listed the tools you need and the steps to follow in tightening the axle nut for your truck.
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools that you'll need:
- Socket wrench
- 24-inch breaker bar
- 1/2-inch torque wrench
- Spindle socket for trucks
Step 1: Park your truck on a level ground and place wheel chocks under all wheels except for the wheel with the loose axle nut. Loosen the wheel lug nuts using a socket wrench and a 24-inch breaker bar. Don't take off the lug nuts yet.
Step 2: Jack up the truck and secure it with jack stands before removing the lug nuts. Detach the wheel from the axle hub assembly. Take the cotter pin off the axle spindle and slide out the axle nut retainer. Next, position the spindle nut socket at the end of the axle nut.
Step 3: Using a torque wrench and socket, tighten the axle nut accordingly. Set the torque wrench to the correct torque specification and tighten the lock at the handle to secure the dial.
Step 4: Rotate the spindle nut socket using the torque wrench until you hear a click. This indicates the axle nut has been torqued to the proper specification. Reassemble the parts you removed earlier and do a test drive to ensure the newly tightened axle nut is working properly.