Remove a rusted-on wheel with rust penetrant, a hand maul and a block of wood. Prevent rusting with anti-seize lubricant.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:July / August 2007
Spray a generous amount of rust
penetrant into each mounting hole.
Let it sit for five minutes. Rotate the tire
a half turn and reapply the spray.
Place the wood near the edge of the
wheel and give it a good smack.
Rotate the tire a quarter turn and hit it
again. Repeat until the wheel breaks free.
You were all psyched up for a quick
tire rotation—until you found a
rusted-on wheel. Here's how to “unstick” a
wheel and prevent it from sticking again.
You'll need an 18-in. length of 2x2, a
can of spray rust penetrant and a hand
maul. Jack up the car, support it with jack
stands and remove the lug nuts. Spray the
rust penetrant generously into each
mounting hole. Let it sit for five minutes,
then rotate the tire a half turn and repeat
the application. Screw one lug nut onto a
stud a few turns to prevent the tire from
flying off once it's free. Place the end of
the 2x2 on the outer edge of the wheel and
smack the wood with the maul, just
enough to create some breaking force and
vibration. Rotate the tire a quarter turn
and repeat the smack/rotate procedure
until the wheel is free.
Clean the rust penetrant and
surface rust from the mounting
surfaces. Then apply a light
coat of anti-seize lubricant.
This special lubricant stops rust.
Clean the mounting surface on the brake
drum/rotor or hub with a wire brush. Then
coat the surface (never the studs) with a
light coat of anti-seize lubricant.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
You'll need a lug wrench, leather gloves and a hand maul.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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