Tech Tip: Replacing Wheel Studs Is Easier Than You Think

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We needed to replace these studs with longer ones to accommodate a wheel spacer that’s being used.

For some people, the need to replace wheels studs might seem like a chore, but it’s actually a very easy process and we’ll show you here. If you’re adding wheel spacers to fit different wheels on your classic car, or if you’ve decided to remove the left-hand threaded studs with the normal right-hand threaded studs, you don’t have to take your car to the shop to replace the studs.

The first task is to make sure that you get the proper studs, and a replacement stud kit can be bought from most auto parts stores. We had to add a 1/2-inch spacer to our rear axle, and that meant that we had to get longer studs. We used a spacer, not an adapter, so we needed to make sure that our wheels studs would be long enough to still give us enough threads to grip the lug nut. You should have at least one inch of threads inside the lug nut for it to be safe.

We replaced the rear studs on our ’65 Plymouth, but the front studs can be replaced in a similar manner. After putting the car on jack stands and removing the wheels, the task of replacing the studs is much easier than you think. You don’t need to press them out, you simply use a hammer or a five-pound sledge like we did to pound them out. After pounding out the five studs, we rotated the axle to allow room behind the flange to get them completely out.

Pound out the studs, insert the new ones, then use washers and a nut to start pulling them through. The soft wood on the hammer won't damage the threads, but will give you enough leverage to tighten the nut and pull the stud through the flange.

With the studs removed, we again rotated the axle to allow room to insert the longer studs, and then we used a group of washers and a nut to pull the stud into place. You should not ever pound them into place, nor should you use an impact gun to pull them through. The washers allow us to thread the nut onto the stud without having to thread it all the way to the flange.

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Longer studs installed, without special tools.

After we started tightening the nut, we could see the stud pulling through the flange until it seated on the back side. A few good turns of the wrench, as if you’re tightening them down on the wheel, and you’ll be able to feel when it has completely seated. You won’t need to put all of your weight on it, just enough to pull the stud through. Using something soft, like a wooden hammer handle, gave us enough leverage to tighten the nut and hold the axle in place.

So there you have it: no need to take your car to a shop to replace the studs, nor do you need to have a press to install them. The stud kits cost about $10-$20 for ten of them, and if they’re too long they can be cut down to the length needed.

About the author

Michael Harding

Michael is a Power Automedia contributor and automotive enthusiast who doesn’t discriminate. Although Mopar is in his blood, he loves any car that looks great and drives even faster.
Read My Articles

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