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I have a light-duty trailer that has sat in my driveway for too long. Both tires have rotted and I need to replace them. Unfortunately the lug nuts are rusted and don't want to come off for love or money.

Lack of torque is not the problem here. I have a lovely piece of pipe that slips over my tire iron, giving me a couple extra feet of leverage.

The problem is lack of friction: attempting to turn the nuts merely spins the wheel under the relatively low weight of the trailer.

Does anyone have any ideas how to attack these stuck nuts? I have a propane torch at my disposal. Would this help? Is it safe to use on trailer wheels?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

First is to soak them with a good penetrating oil like Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster or Sea Foam. If you have access to an impact wrench, electric might work but pneumatics tend to have more torque. If you don't own one consider renting one or purchasing one from a store with a liberal return policy. If that is out of the question slide a pipe, crow bar, large screw driver or similar device into a slot on the wheel and let it hit the frame while breaking the nuts loose. If it has serviceable wheel bearings and all else failed you can remove the bearing/spindle nut and take the wheel and hub to a garage and see if their impact tools can remove the lug nuts.

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+1 .. Spot on info. Which also puts you over 10k. Congrats. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 23 '14 at 1:39
The geometry wasn't quite right to use a pipe, but your suggestion inspired me to pass a heavy rope through the wheel and anchor it to the frame. With the wheel held fast by the rope the nuts came straight off. Thanks much! – andy holaday May 23 '14 at 19:58

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