Podcast Questions: Pinch Tool? Do New Tires Always Go on Rear?

In a recent podcast, the caller is having great difficulty removing a wheel, can’t remove the lug nut b/c the lug nut and stud both twist when wrench is applied to nut. Ray suggested to use some sort of “pinch tool” to pull the nut outward, away from the wheel. This force then (in theory) would hold the stud in place, and allow the nut to be removed. Seems like a good idea, but I have no idea what a “pinch tool” is. Anybody here know what sort of tool Ray is referring?

Also in the same or neighboring podcast, the caller is complaining about hearing a thumping sound while driving. Ray suggests by the caller’s description it is probably some sort of tire noise. Caller admits the rear tires are badly worn, and past due for replacement. Ray suggests caller get some new tires. Both Tom and Ray seem to suggest the new tires should go on the front, and to move the front tires to the rear. This advice seems to go against the common advice here, which is to always put new tires on the rear. Explanation?

You need to remember, the calls we are hearing now are from the 90’s


Ah, I see, so the “new tires go on the rear” theory is fairly new? Wondering when that change to the recommendation occurred, and why? Radial tire related?

And the srguement continues.

A pinch tool would be a screwdriver, vice grip, chisel, etc. anything you ca get in there, if you have ever been in that situation, not necessarily with wheel studs. I haven’t but I think the suggestion is faulty. Maybe others will disagree but I thing the best and easiest is to just cit the nut off. The stud is obviously already pulled tight so not gonna get anything on there especially with the wheel on. A,so the splines on the stud are likely stripped so it will just turn. Cut the nut, drive the stud out and pop a new one in. What to cut it with depends on what you have on hand or even a nut breaker.

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Referring to vice grips as a pinch tool makes sense. But a screwdriver, chisel? Those don’t seem like they are for pinching. Prying, ok, but not pinching. I guess it depends on the definition of “pinching”.

Cutting the nut off w/a Dremmel tool & cut-off wheel (followed by the rest) is probably what I’d do if I was thinking clearly at the time. While listening to the podcast however I thought I’d probably drill through the stud length-wise, hollow it out far enough that I could twist the nut off. If the pinch tool method works pretty good though, that method seems faster.

Ray said one solution he had used for that situation before was to heat the nut & stud with a torch. But that method would be risky for caller b/c of alloy wheels.

Most of us put the four way lug wrench on there and break the stud. Sometimes it even works.

I have also loosened the other lug nuts so the wheel has some movement and then put a prybar or long piece of wood or whatever you got laying around and pull the wheel hard from the hub and that will normally work or it has for me anyway, but as the old saying goes there is always more then one way to skin a cat… You can either loosen it or tighten it to break the stud at that point…

On lug nuts that the ends are rounding off and you can’t get a good bite on, I will use an impact driver with a socket to loosen the lug nut, works with wheel locks also, when the normal way is not working…

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I had heard growing up that a blowout on the rear ws less dangerous than a blow out on the front. Sure I can see the logic of new tires on the rear, but never had an issue moving old from the front to the rear. Probably because I am a conservative driver, and never let the tread get low enough on my rwd cars to even worry about traction in the snow. All 4wd or awd cars now so 4 at a time is the new norm with 5k mile tire rotation.

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Around here we just use a cutting torch to blast the nut off. If course I have never owned a car with aluminum wheels.,

Typical lug nuts these days.


I was in the far left lane (5 lane) and a old truck (think of George) was in the center lane, the driver must of had tires blow out every other day cause his very tall sidewall left front tire blew out, I was looking his way cause I was about to move over a lane and saw it blow, his left arm was rested on the door with the window rolled down and right hand only on the steering wheel, He never flinched, wobbled, swerved nothing, he sated very calm and reached in and turned on his turn signal to start moving towards the right shoulder… He was going 65+ and did not slam on the brakes, just stayed very calm and moved over… I just kind of laughed cause he was a pro with blow outs… lol

I think it is more so the driver then the location of the tire, most drivers would freak out and jerk the wheel and then over correct causing a more dangerous situation… This guy stayed very calm and at speed calmly changed lanes to get off the interstate…

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With a front blowout you still have control.

With a rear blowout, you don’t.


A few months after I had gotten my driver’s license, I was piloting my parents in our '63 Plymouth when it suffered a blowout of the left rear tire. This took place on NJ’s Garden State Parkway, at ~60 mph, in the left lane. I guess that I must have internalized all of the driving technique books that I had read because I knew enough to NOT touch the brake, and to NOT make any radical moves with the steering wheel.

Luckily, the traffic (unlike nowadays…) wasn’t too heavy, and I was able to progressively steer us further and further to the right, while coasting and watching the rear view mirror. When we finally got to the shoulder, I continued to coast, and didn’t apply the brakes–gently–until we were down to ~25 mph.

I recall that my parents were very much impressed with my presence of mind and with my ability to keep the car under control under those conditions. And then–of course–it was my job to take care of mounting the spare. :wink:


The caller told Ray that was the case for his car. Ray said sometimes he had to cut a notch in the nut so the “pinch tool” can gain purchase for that configuration.

I don’t understand what you mean. It seems like it wouldn’t matter how much torque is applied to the nut if both the nut and the stud freely rotate together, as was the caller’s situation. I presume you are referring to the more common situation where the lug nut is stubborn & won’t budge, maybe put on too tightly, but the stud still remains locked in place. In that case w/enough applied torque either the nut begins to rotate or the stud shears off.

Still not sure what sort of “pinch tool” Ray is referring to.