Fixing a Broken Wheel Stud on a 5th Gen Honda Prelude
- Prepare new stud
- Remove wheel
- Remove brake caliper & bolt holding the brake line
- Remove rotor
- Handlesplash shield
- Hammer out broken stud
- Hammer in new stud
- Put everything back together in reverse order
Muscles don’t mesh with nuts and bolts.
I had the displeasure of having to replace a front stud on my 5th gen Prelude last weekend. I overtorqued it, and when it came time to take the lug off, it was too tight and snapped right off. Tons of lessons here, but number one is this: use a torque wrench and torque your lugs, nuts and bolts down to the factory specs. You will be glad you did!
In case you haven’t already Googled it, lug nuts on a 5th gen Prelude should be torqued to 80 ft-lbs. Bought a torque wrench from Harbor Freight, which cost me about $20. I hear they go on sale a lot.
1. Prepare new stud
Buy a few studs just in case you have to do this more than once. Of course, buy extra lugs as well. Also, you’ll want to buy an angle grinder or something to cut metal. I picked up an angle grinder from Harbor Freight for about $18, and a pack of thinwheels for it, about $7. I bought the electric kind because I don’t have an air compressor.
What you need to do is cut the head of the stud almost in half, so that it fits when you’re ready toinstall it. Start from the inside and cut it so that it lays flat. I don’t have a picture of mine, but looking at the head from the top down, it should look something like this:
Please wear gloves and safety glasses!
Not only can you lose a finger, but the stud will be hot when you are cutting it. Get some heavy duty gloves to be safe.
2. Remove wheel
Jack the car up and take the wheel off.
3. Remove the brake caliper and the bold holding the brake line
Actually, do that in reverse order. Unscrew the bolt so that you have more slack in handling the caliper once it comes off. Then, remove the two bolds securing the caliper.I used my floor jack to hold the caliper up, but you should probably use a block of wood.
4. Remove rotor
Grab a philips screwdriver and remove the screws in front holding the brake rotor in place. This may be pretty stiff and hard to remove. I couldn’t get mine off without jarring it loose with a rubber mallet. This is important for hitting that broken stud all the way through the back.
5. Handle splash shield
I say “handle” because you pretty much have to do what you need to do to get it out of your way. Best case scenario, you unscrew it (you’ll need a short philips) and remove it. In my case, i could not remove it and ending up bending it back. Eric the Car Guy actually cut the one he was working on, and bended it back, in this video. I bent mine back in place after the job, and of course, it doesn’t look the same. So, “handle” your splash shield.
6. Hammer out broken stud
Grab your hammer and hit the broken stud out. At this point, you have a few options. The stud will not come out smoothly because there isn’t enough room for you to take it out without taking apart this assembly. Some have hammered it out until it stopped, and then used their grinder to cut the bolt in half to remove it. If you have the right tool and the right amount of room, I recommend this. In my case, I hammered it all the way out, and it rubbed quite a bit before finally falling out. See the image below.
7. Hammer in the new stud
Now that the broken stud is out, you can put your new stud in place and hammer it in through the back. The last few millimeters are tough to get through, so you can either use brute force, or screw a lug nut on and tighten. The latter is suggested by the same video I referenced above. I did not do this because I didn’t want to risk breaking another stud.
8. Put everything back together in reverse order
Now that the new stud is on, put everything back together. Last but not least, torque your lug nuts back on at 80 ft-lbs of torque, and no more!