Q: I torqued the axle nut on my 1996 BMW 328i to the spec of an M3 and want to know if I may have damaged the axle in some way.

asked by on March 19, 2018

To whomever this may concern,

I have been working on overhauling the rear right side of my car (axle, bearing, rotor, caliper, brake shoes, etc.) for the past few weeks. Last night I was finishing up when I over-torqued the axle nut to the spec of an M3 instead of the spec of a 328i (221 ft/lbs vs 184 ft/lbs). Only when I double checked the torque specs this morning did I realize my mistake. The car was driven 50 ft up the parking lot to another space very very slowly (slowly because my breaks weren't bled and I was using the parking break to stop).

If fixing this is as easy as replacing the axle nut with a new, properly torqued one I wouldn't mind. My biggest worry is that the new axle threads or parts of the hub/bearing get damaged. If damage is probable, would I be able to tell if I remove the axle nut and look at the axle threads? Or am I over-worrying about something with an easy fix? Thanks in advance for your help on diagnosing the degree of my mistake.

Best, Marvin

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi Marvin. Thanks for contacting us today. The main cause of over-torquing is using an impact or air wrench. However, the majority of damage occurs when the torqued component is in use, develops heat then cools. In your situation, catching it before using the vehicle should not cause damage - especially at the range you’ve described. If the stud or bolt in question was aluminum, that would be more of a concern. You should be ok.

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