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4-Way Lug Wrench Socket Drive Adapter

Put all that lovely torque into other nuts and bolts.
  (+9, -1)(+9, -1)
(+9, -1)
  [vote for,

I have to take the front wheel spindle nut off my truck, and have been advised that I can borrow the 36 mm-sized deep socket that I need. But there seems to be an assumption that I have a big, manly breaker bar to torque the thing around with--but I don't.

What I do have in my truck is a 4-way lug wrench--one of those X- or cross-shaped things, which I have too often used to loosen stubborn lug nuts when changing a tire in the freezing rain. I like that tool--it keeps me out away from the nut, and lets me apply pure torque, rather than shoving up or down, because I can pull up on one side and push down on the other.

So what I want is a widget that slots into one of the lug-wrench sockets, and sticks out as a standard-sized socket-drive square shaft. Then I can use my lug wrench to drive any socket I already own or borrow.

(I may have seen a lug wrench that has a socket-drive square end already on it, but I can't find it again. I know there are T-handle drivers, but they don't seem to have the oomph, and I already own a lug wrench. I'd settle for a socket that fit the spindle nut on one end and the lug wrench on the other.)

baconbrain, Jan 19 2011


       (+++++$$$$$) Seriously, call Sears or Matco or Snap-On and get this made. I'm pretty sure Matco has competitions for new tools, I'd be surprised if the others didn't. Though this seems so obvious, you'd think someone makes it, but I couldn't find it.   

       You might run this by Kickstarter.com and see if you get nibbles.
MisterQED, Jan 19 2011

       [BB], this is BRILLIANT! I have run across the same problem with several rigs I have owned. I proudly bun [+].
Grogster, Jan 19 2011

       the tire iron is designed to bend before it breaks studs. This may not be enough torque for other applications.
WcW, Jan 19 2011

       Still good though. (+)   

       If there's one thing I've learned about working on cars, it's to use the right tools. If you've got a 36mm socket taking the whole wheel bearing apart there, then yes absolutely use a 1/2" breaker bar at least 18" long. Those tire irons won't even hold up to regular tire work, for non emergencies use real tools. I keep a cheap breaker bar in the trunk along with the 17mm socket for my wheels just in case I do have the misfortune of dealing with a tire situation, I thankfully won't have to deal with that silly + shaped peice of garbage and it's lack of any decent sort of leverage.
AutoMcDonough, Jan 20 2011

       I haven't noticed my 4-way being flimsy, but it is old and may be made of better metal. What I do like about a 4-way is that I can pull up on one side and push down on the other, which adds up to a pure turning force in the middle.   

       I have used breaker bars and cheater extensions many a time, and have noticed that they put a bending moment on the nut or bolt, not just a torque. When you are jumping up and down on one end of the bar, you might as well be jumping up and down on the nut or bolt. You are bending the bolt, not just turning the nut. Which leads to breaking, in my experience.   

       I should invest in a big T-handle, and an extension for it, I suppose. That way I get the leverage I like without paying for moving parts that I don't want in a breaker bar.   

       An adapter for a 4-way would have uses in jobs too big for a standard ratchet handle, but too small to tear up the 4-way, so I don't see claiming that the things are too flimsy to make this idea workable. I might not be able to get the wheel off my truck, but I could get the blade off my mower.
baconbrain, Jan 20 2011

       works better than the angled p.o.s. they give you under the guise of being a "tire iron".
FlyingToaster, Jan 20 2011

       "Tire irons" are a holdover from the old days of taking a tire off the rim, as is now only done on bicycles. They are nasty, and are only fit to be used in murder mysteries.
baconbrain, Jan 20 2011

       Get a floor jack and pump it up to the height of the nut. Put one end of the cross wrench on the nut and rest the other end in the grooves of the lift plate. Slip a 2' cheat bar over one of the remaining arms. Now you can turn hell over.   

       Even though a breaker bar is designed for the task, you still end up torquing the stud perpendicular to its axis. I've never broken a stud using the floor jack trick.   

       + for the idea.   

       I keep thinking about this. Maybe get an appropriate deep socket, find an old stud and bolt that doesn't fit your vehicle, Grind the head of the stud down to 1/2" square, and slip/screw it all together and weld it around?   

       Then you can weld it to one of the unused sockets on the cross wrench and it would never get lost.
nomocrow, Jan 21 2011

       good one, nomocrow.
FlyingToaster, Jan 21 2011

       I'm gonna bun this. I do want to explain that I use the 4 way wrench for the lug nuts and like it, though.   

       I step and bounce on it to break the bolt free. I think you can only do that with the 4 way wrench
Zimmy, Jan 22 2011


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