Wheel Bolt Torque

ddev

New member
Time to get new tires for my 2003 Leisure Travel. The Sprinter Operators Manual indicates that the wheel bolt tightening torque for steel wheels on a 2500 vehicle is 177 foot pounds. Can someone verify that I am reading this correctly. This seems like a lot of torque for the size of these wheel bolts. The tire shop has a torque chart that indicates 140 foot pounds for all sprinter 2500's. No mention of steel or alloy wheels.

Thanks,
Dan
 

photogravity

Former Sprinter Wannabe
177 foot pounds is what the steel wheel T1N Sprinters use and don't know about the allow wheels. I remember because I needed to get a new torque wrench since the one I had wouldn't read apply or read torque settings that high.
 

jdcaples

Not Suitable w/220v Gen
This thread:

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6144

Has 2004-2006 owners manuals attached.


At the time I couldn't access the owners manuals for 2002-2003.

From the 2004 owners manual

Tightening torque for 8,550 lbs (3,880 kgs)
(vehicle type 2500 C/HC/SHC):
Steel wheel – 177 lbf.ft ±7 lbf.ft (240 N.m ±10 N.m)
Light alloy wheel – 138 lbf.ft ±14 lbf.ft
(190 N.m ±20 N.m)


The Service (not owner's, but SERVICE) Manual can be downloaded from the link cited here:

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showpost.php?p=292319&postcount=2

Which is in this thread: "2003 service and/or shop manual"

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26431

-Jon
 

white whale

Member
Just did first tire swap to get the winters off - self change. Based on previous issue, I don't torque to those nutty numbers.
If you had to do a field change for a flat, strong chance you'd never get them off. True? don,t the German type wheel mount self tighten , or stay tight as the tire rotates? I've learned to bring a 3 ft lever pole to add to my 2 ' 3/4 inch breaker just in case.
I busted the puny one that comes with the van. Also, any fix for getting the bottle jack to re- tract fully once done? I needed to pry up with crow bar to get low enough to remove.
 

photogravity

Former Sprinter Wannabe
I keep a toolkit and a torque wrench in the van just in case I get a flat. :) I probably should get a better jack too.
 

Boater

New member
Also, any fix for getting the bottle jack to re- tract fully once done? I needed to pry up with crow bar to get low enough to remove.
Assuming you are on a hard flat surface, leave the valve open, grab the bottle near the base and pull it towards you - the base is curved so it should move and the ram will retract a little bit.

How to stop the smaller ram extending again after I tighten the valve up for storage is a complete mystery to me though! :idunno:
 

david_42

New member
How to stop the smaller ram extending again after I tighten the valve up for storage is a complete mystery to me though! :idunno:
Leave the valve slightly open, otherwise normal movement of the van will pump the ram out.

I had a tire slashed Saturday night and it took a 20 lb sledge to get the bolts loose. I did not make the mistake of smacking the wrench hard though, just a series of "light" taps.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
This will be likely be treated as Sprinter heresy by the purists.

I've been burned a couple times by too tight wheel nuts or bolts. Even when they claimed to use torque sticks. Now when someone else installs my wheels, once home I jack the vehicle and R&R the wheels. I always apply heavy duty wheel bearing grease on the threads and on the hub/wheel center hole. Again, a couple times with wheels rusted/stuck to the hub has taught me that is worthwhile.

When I tighten the lugs I do it as I have been doing for over 40 years. I use the same X wrench which I carry with me to first snug up every other fastener to seat things, and then a couple rounds to final tighten them every other as I always have. I use the same wrench in case I need to change a tire on the road where tools are limited.

I've used that method with both steel wheels and alloy wheels on many different vehicles without any issues.

I'm not trying to convert anyone to my method. I just want to point out that if you always use the same tools to install as to change on the road then you'll avoid many problems.

vic
 

TTMartin

Member
This will be likely be treated as Sprinter heresy by the purists.

I've been burned a couple times by too tight wheel nuts or bolts. Even when they claimed to use torque sticks. Now when someone else installs my wheels, once home I jack the vehicle and R&R the wheels. I always apply heavy duty wheel bearing grease on the threads and on the hub/wheel center hole. Again, a couple times with wheels rusted/stuck to the hub has taught me that is worthwhile.
There is not problem doing this for hub centric wheels like the Sprinter has. Just be aware that greasing the back of non-hub centric wheels (ones that rely on the lugs for centering) can be hazardous as can put too much shear force on the lugs.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
There is not problem doing this for hub centric wheels like the Sprinter has. Just be aware that greasing the back of non-hub centric wheels (ones that rely on the lugs for centering) can be hazardous as can put too much shear force on the lugs.
Yep. But then greasing the hub is not required. As an example, the good old Type 1 and Type 2 VW wheels come to mind. They had no concentric hub.

Grease/anti-seize on the lug bolts or lug nuts also may affect torque values. For me that has never been an issue because I use the X wrench manual tighten method.

vic
 

Rock Doc

Member
Time to get new tires for my 2003 Leisure Travel. The Sprinter Operators Manual indicates that the wheel bolt tightening torque for steel wheels on a 2500 vehicle is 177 foot pounds. Can someone verify that I am reading this correctly. This seems like a lot of torque for the size of these wheel bolts. The tire shop has a torque chart that indicates 140 foot pounds for all sprinter 2500's. No mention of steel or alloy wheels.

Thanks,
Dan
After a lot of time looking this through with a tire shop, what it appears is that there are some wheels attached with lug NUTS, which torque to 140 lb-ft, and other wheels are attached with lug BOLTS, which are torqued to 177 lb-ft. The manual rather casually mentions these two numbers, but to my mind it really doesn’t seem to make an effort to emphasize this, and it’s a subtlety that I think is very easy to gloss over and find confusing. (Like I did, for example!) :rolleyes:

Rock Doc
2014 Pleasureway Plateau TS in 2013 Sprinter 3500
 

Gabe Athouse

New member
177 is really high! I torque everything to 100 around my house. I guess I should up the van a little higher, but I doubt it makes a difference.
 

Patrick of M

2005 T1N 2500 (NA spec)
Fwiw I just torque them hard around 150-175 ( by feel) but I do a walk around torque after 300-800 miles....and occasionally I find a slight turn is necessary on one or two. I do the 300-800 check with all my vehicles. I think it is something with alloys, I never remember finding looseness with steel rims.
Like others here , if a shop puts on a wheel I ask them to take it easy then re torque on my own time. Especially with cars, they all love to hammer away on those little wheel nutts with the impact driver and pretend they know what they are doing. The wife’s car is spec.ed at 75ft/lbs or something low like that. I had a guy put on some wheels, I could not loosen the nuts by hand, needed my impact driver because I was afraid by hand I would sheer the bolts (wee little things) . Went to talk to buddy about , he was all “ No, I did it right, I used my torque stick and everything” I asked to see which t stick he used, an old abused 125 ft/lb stick
 

nutterbutter

2004 LTV Free Spirit T1N
I also had to purchase a new torque wrench just for the Sprinter wheels a few years ago. It lives in the Sprinter, along with the extra deep socket. Regular socket runs out of space and causes the long torque wrench to touch the tire.

I keep an extra 2 bolts.

Several people here have had the wheel bots explode off the van, and I personally know someone who had their bolts explode off one at a time on the freeway. He said it sounded like a gun shot.

Get the torque correct on every one.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

Several people here have had the wheel bots explode off the van, and I personally know someone who had their bolts explode off one at a time on the freeway. He said it sounded like a gun shot.
...
Do those several people have RV conversions? I'm not saying that properly tightening wheel fasteners isn't important, but most of the lug T1N Sprinter bolt/nut failures discussed over the years were from RV owners reporting in. Many RV conversions are close to, if not over GVWR.

:2cents: vic
 

Gabe Athouse

New member
Do those several people have RV conversions? I'm not saying that properly tightening wheel fasteners isn't important, but most of the lug T1N Sprinter bolt/nut failures discussed over the years were from RV owners reporting in. Many RV conversions are close to, if not over GVWR.

:2cents: vic
If they are dually, then they aren’t bolts they are nuts on studs. Which I much prefer!
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
If they are dually, then they aren’t bolts they are nuts on studs. Which I much prefer!
3500's having studs vs bolts is true. I'm not convinced studs are necessarily better, but I have no strong opinion for either. Some German vehicles have used bolts forever.

My recollection was that Doktor A called someone out for complaining about wheel bolt failures. Doktor A had already warned him about his overloaded 2500 conversion.

:cheers: vic
 

nutterbutter

2004 LTV Free Spirit T1N
The other van owner I personally know was a 2500 (single) driving from Oregon to Las Vegas for a convention. NOT an RV conversion.

If you hear a gunshot like noise, particularly in the back of the van, two possible causes:
1. Wheel bolt breaking off. You really want to pull over and look. Sprinter wheel bolt is unique--although I have read reports of people purchasing the wrong bolt from auto parts store and driving slowly to a dealer to purchase the correct ones.

2. Rear parking brake catastrophic failure. Something must have fell apart of the freeway, and when a piece gets stuck in those small spaces, BOOM. FYI I never used the parking brake. I have a wheel chock for hills.
 

Gabe Athouse

New member
3500's having studs vs bolts is true. I'm not convinced studs are necessarily better, but I have no strong opinion for either. Some German vehicles have used bolts forever.

My recollection was that Doktor A called someone out for complaining about wheel bolt failures. Doktor A had already warned him about his overloaded 2500 conversion.

:cheers: vic
Putting wheels on a studded hub is infinitely easier than lining up bolts. That much I know.
 

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