Cherokee wheel lug bolts suck - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Cherokee wheel lug bolts suck

While attempting to remove my summer wheels to install the winter set I discovered that the stock wheel bolts are not hardened. It looks like there is a softer metal molded around the bolt. I managed to get one stuck in the socket and had to pound it out with a metal rod. :/



My jeep dealer wants $8 per bolt. I'd rather buy real steel bolts that will last. Can someone please tell me the thread pattern of the stock bolts? What is the best place to source high quality wheel bolts?

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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 12:46 AM
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Yeah, I had a bit of a similar suprise a few days ago when I installed my winter wheels as well. Did the job last year and everything was fine. I use different bolts for my winter wheels. I recently had warranty suspension work done on the Jeep, a few days before I swapped the wheels here at home. The two wheels that had been taken off for the suspension work were overtightened, my electric impact gun got most of them off but I had to use a breaker bar for a few of them. Two of them stayed stuck inside the 19mm socket (with impact gun). I was able to get one out by putting it back in with the wheel still on the hub, gave it a few impact jolts, reloosen and out of the socket it came. The second one I screwed back a few turns into the hub directly (no wheel), and just yanked on the deep socket until it popped out (I got lucky). Then I looked at the bolt heads that got stuck, thinking the tech had used the wrong socket (too big) and damaged them. Well, he damaged them alright, but not with a wrong sized socket ; he got only half the head and gunned it down, overthightening it at the same time, so I could see the damaged metal in the middle of the head, which is where my deep socket gripped. So now I have two damaged bolts and I'm not sure if I can salvage them. I think (as I write this) I'm gonna pay them a visit and ask for two new bolts... so stay tuned...

Now about the size . They are metric : M12x1.25 with a 28mm shank (27mm will do too), and with a conical seat.

For my winter wheels I got black tuner bolts from Amazon. Tuner bolts have smaller heads for wheels that have small lug holes, and they come with their own special socket. The ones I got are of course M12x1.25 with a 28mm shank and conical seat, they just have a smaller head which is fine. The wheels I bought didn't require tuner bolts but those were the only black bolts I could get on Amazon (I'm in Canada so a slightly different Amazon than the one in the US). These tuner bolts are not high quality : I could tell as soon as I got them off in the spring, they had a bit of corrrosion/rust at the tip. But I don't mind, I got them fairly cheap.
These are my tuner bolts (Amazon US) : https://www.amazon.com/CECO-Spline-I...rds=B00WFBZ3KO

These are some Otis zinc coated ones (dunno if they are any good) : https://www.amazon.com/Otis-Inc-Euro...rds=B005MMQFJ6

The OEM Cherokee bolts are likely made by McGuard : http://www.mcgard.com/index.php/auto...gory_pathway=0
(those have a shank length of a little less than 26mm so I'm not sure... They must have a fitment chart somewhere...)

Link to Otis site for maybe more info (same bolts as the ones on Amazon I think) : http://www.otisincla.com/index.php?r...roduct_id=1206
($40 for a box of 20 ain't bad...)

Edit to add, Just found some nice Gorilla chrome tuner bolts that may be of higher quality : https://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Autom...Q9ZWHM4X4QY27Y
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Last edited by Mark_; 11-23-2016 at 12:55 AM. Reason: typos again
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 08:25 AM
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That's odd. I just used the lug wrench that came with my Trailhawk to rotate my tires and it worked fine without damaging the wheel bolts.
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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 08:47 AM
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I have done three seasons worth of winter/summer changeovers with the factory supplied tools as well and never had an issue, although the winter wheels come with their own bolts and an adapter that fits the factory socket. I will soon be doing #4. I always oil the threads when installing the bolts to avoid seizing and have had no issues. Nice to see there are affordable replacements if needed though.

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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowcowbell View Post
That's odd. I just used the lug wrench that came with my Trailhawk to rotate my tires and it worked fine without damaging the wheel bolts.
Like I said up there, I had zero issues when doing the wheels myself. Problem occured after a visit at the dealership. I've had problems with them overtightening wheels before (one lug nut on the 2005 Liberty had to be drilled out).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipW View Post
I have done three seasons worth of winter/summer changeovers with the factory supplied tools as well and never had an issue, although the winter wheels come with their own bolts and an adapter that fits the factory socket. I will soon be doing #4. I always oil the threads when installing the bolts to avoid seizing and have had no issues. Nice to see there are affordable replacements if needed though.
Using impact tools (air or electric) does add a lot more risk for bolt/nut damage, when used improperly. In my case with the Cherokee, it seems a tech worked way too fast and did not slide the socket all the way in before tightening, so the middle of the bolt head got marked/slightly damaged, which causes a fully inserted socket to grip.

These OEM bolts do have a *soft head*. I know my Liberty lug nuts had a very thin chromed metal cover over them and they damaged very easily. These lug bolts don't seem as flimsy, but they are obviously not hardened through and through.
I read on the McGard site last night, after posting here, that their bolts/nuts are hardened and the head appears to be solid, not covered with a thin cover, so I'm not sure they are the same as OEM.
Gorilla say theirs are hardened as well.

At home I use a combination of tools for my wheels : electric impact to remove, and also to tighen but just barely. I tighten with a torque wrench, always (100 ft-lbs for the KL). I use only coated deep sockets of the correct size (I have metric and standard). The deep sockets I use with the torque wrench are regular sockets, not nylon/teflon coated impact sockets, but I apply a nice thick layer of fabric tape on them to protect the wheels.

I never apply any lubricant to wheels studs or lug bolts. Reason for this is I have read many times that torque numbers are caculated for a *dry* tightening. If you lube the thread, you will in fact be applying more torque for the same number on the wrench and that could cause overtightening problems (damage to wheel seats, warp brake components, etc...). I do however keep the threads clean by using a rag with brake cleaner to get any dirt or foreign stuff off of them before screwing them in.

When only done by hand, the risk of damaging the bolts or nuts is minimal. But we don't have any control over what shops do when we take our vehicules in...

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Last edited by Mark_; 11-23-2016 at 02:18 PM. Reason: yep, typos
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 01:33 PM
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I ripped out the stock bolts and put thread on studs so I could run lug nuts instead. Haven't had any issues at all, and they're a nice pretty red so they match the jeep nicely and look sharp on the black rim


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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 02:23 PM
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I ripped out the stock bolts and put thread on studs so I could run lug nuts instead. Haven't had any issues at all, and they're a nice pretty red so they match the jeep nicely and look sharp on the black rim
That's not a bad idea. Needs to be done carefully, with the correct hardware though (which I'm sure you did). More choices with lug nuts than bolts, for sure.
I thought I would hate lug bolts the first time I did wheels with them, but having done them a few times now (and we have some on the VW as well), I kinda like them. Aligning the wheel on the hub is easy when it's a hub centric fit.
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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_ View Post
That's not a bad idea. Needs to be done carefully, with the correct hardware though (which I'm sure you did). More choices with lug nuts than bolts, for sure.
I thought I would hate lug bolts the first time I did wheels with them, but having done them a few times now (and we have some on the VW as well), I kinda like them. Aligning the wheel on the hub is easy when it's a hub centric fit.


My only issue was aesthetic. I wanted red


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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 02:29 PM
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I had never heard of lug bolts until I searched to see what size lug nuts KLs have (checking to see if my Charger's black Gorilla lock lug nuts would carry over). Seeing photos with wheels off and no studs sticking out of the rotors looks so odd to me. LOL
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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@ Mark_ Thanks for the informative response.

I do use an impact gun to remove as well as install my bolts. When installing bolts I only use the gun to spin them in quickly, but do not hammer them in. I get one click, maybe two. I follow that up with a torque wrench and tighten until I get the click at 100 ft pounds. Then re-torque after a few days of driving to make sure everything is properly seated.

I decided to go with these:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ABN0R4LDL4BFC
  • All lug bolts are forged, not cut from bar stock. Forging allows for better mechanical properties and consistent quality.
  • Our threads are rolled (forged) onto the bolt, not cut. 60 degree acorn seat.
  • All lug bolts are made of 1045 carbon steel and heat treated to 10.9 grade. Carbon steel is an alloy known for it's very good formability, comparatively high strength, and a high luster surface finish.
  • All lug bolt finishes are corrosion tested using a 48 hour salt spray.
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Last edited by twar; 11-23-2016 at 05:25 PM.
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