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Ask Me Anything: Lug Nut, Bolts and Wheel Locks!

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
I've been throwing around the idea of this post for a while now and I hope this can be a helpful resource for the forum.

If you're not familiar with Reddit, /IAmA is a subforum on Reddit where people with interesting life experiences, occupations or specialized talents can answer questions. I don't think I'm interesting, but I do have a particular set of skills, skills that might be helpful to people like you. HERE WE GO!

I'm Jon, and for the last 8 years my job has been to learn everything about lug nuts, wheel locks and hub rings, and how these parts relate to wheel installation and fitment. AMA!

Normally this is where someone would post proof they are who they are, and I'm not sure how to do that without just posting a picture of my desk with a bunch of lug nuts on it. If anyone has any ideas for verification let me know.


There is a lot of confusion and misinformation on the internet about products that are critical safety fasteners, possibly the most important ones on the whole car. Your wheels connect you to the road, and if they aren't installed correctly, you're gonna have a bad time.

The most important advice I can give is that if you're not familiar or comfortable with wheels, tires, lugs, etc. that you find an installer you trust to help you. There are professional installers out there that will make sure you get the right parts, make sure they are correctly installed, and that your car is safe to drive.


****DISCLAIMER****
This is not a post about the company I work for or the products we make, and I have no intention of promoting or advertising my brand. At the same time, my statements here are not statements made on behalf of the company I work for. This is that legal grey area where my statements aren't official or direct recommendations or endorsements, so use this information at your own risk.

That said I'm going to share as much information as I can, more than I would in a professional capacity because of liability. I will not answer a question I'm not 100% sure of the answer, but if I have a resource that I can use to answer your question I will. We might all learn something then, and I'm all for that!

EDIT: Dammit I can't even get the title right! MODS can you pluralize "Lug Nuts" for me :(
 

odessa.filez

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
okay I'll play, thanks in advance.

stud conversions:

I'm thing about a stud conversion. Would like to go to a m12x1.5 stud (studs would bolt into the hub with m14x1.5 ends). Hoping it would make wheel mounting easier and accomodate most if not all 5x112 wheels.

Is it possible to use 12x1.5 ball seat lug nuts for vw wheels, for mercedes wheels, and conical lug nuts (or tuner lug nuts) for aftermarket?

wobble bolts:

any experience with these? Thinking this is an alternative to my stud conversion idea. It would open the door to many many 5x114.3 / 5x114 alternatives.
 

AtlantaDad

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Cumming, GA
Yeah, I got a question. Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?

Seriously, though. Awesome idea. Sub'd for learning. [emoji482]

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
okay I'll play, thanks in advance.

stud conversions:

I'm thing about a stud conversion. Would like to go to a m12x1.5 stud (studs would bolt into the hub with m14x1.5 ends). Hoping it would make wheel mounting easier and accomodate most if not all 5x112 wheels.

Is it possible to use 12x1.5 ball seat lug nuts for vw wheels, for mercedes wheels, and conical lug nuts (or tuner lug nuts) for aftermarket?

wobble bolts:

any experience with these? Thinking this is an alternative to my stud conversion idea. It would open the door to many many 5x114.3 / 5x114 alternatives.

First victim, woo hoo! :D

I'd never personally recommend or run a 14mm to 12mm stud conversion. I know why you would want to do this, but on it's surface you're losing strength on that fastener. On top of that, the companies I'm familiar with that make that step down conversion studs *MIGHT NOT* use the best materials or have the best QC processes. That could compound issues of strength. Those are parts made for convenience, not because they're a good idea. Show car, maybe, street or track car, never.

On top of that, I'm not sure a 12mm x 1.50 thread ball seat lug nut with the correct R13 ball seat is readily available. I'm 99% sure that a Honda lug nut in that thread size is not an R13 radius, it's either something Honda specific or an R12 which isn't a compatible seat for an OEM VW wheel.

I am 1000% fine with wobble bolts. I'd run them myself, but here's the major issue. The one company that makes wobbles I would buy (Bimecc) has a seat that is 28mm wide and a lot of aftermarket wheels don't have lug pockets wide enough to accommodate that. If they did, I would definitely have 9" or wider 5x114 wheels on my car right now.

Some stud bores in wheels might not like that offset either, if they are originally designed for a 12mm stud for example, but that's much less common.
 
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flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
Yeah, I got a question. Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?

Seriously, though. Awesome idea. Sub'd for learning. [emoji482]

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

I wish I had that classic style.

And I knew this should have been an AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything) :D
 

odessa.filez

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
thanks again op.

As an alternative to the stud conversion. any experience re-drilling Mercedes to accomodate m14? What questions need to be asked of someone who provides such a service?
 

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
Hoping it would make wheel mounting easier and accomodate most if not all 5x112 wheels.

Follow up question, what about a 14mm x 1.50 stud conversion would make accommodating a wheel easier? Do you mean for lug nut choice because of the lug diameter or something else?

I highly recommend a wheel stud conversion for people that track cars, or for someone who wants to swap wheels easier in general, but I don't recommend them for everyone.
 

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
thanks again op.

As an alternative to the stud conversion. any experience re-drilling Mercedes to accomodate m14? What questions need to be asked of someone who provides such a service?

Thanks for the question!

You would definitely want to find a shop that does that so they can answer your questions there, but typically opening up a stud hole a few MMs so the stud fits isn't a massive issue. Fills/redrills for bolt patterns are where I'd get a bit more skeptical.
 

odessa.filez

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
Follow up question, what about a 14mm x 1.50 stud conversion would make accommodating a wheel easier? Do you mean for lug nut choice because of the lug diameter or something else?



I highly recommend a wheel stud conversion for people that track cars, or for someone who wants to swap wheels easier in general, but I don't recommend them for everyone.
I autox so wheels get changed at least twice a month, and changed back.

I have considered a 14x1.5 stud conversion as well, but wondered about mercedes with m12 (there's a particular 13lb forged mercedes 16" I might go with as an autox wheel).

If not stud conversion, I plan to at least buy some extra wheel hangers (I only use one now).
 

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
I autox so wheels get changed at least twice a month, and changed back.

I have considered a 14x1.5 stud conversion as well, but wondered about mercedes with m12 (there's a particular 13lb forged mercedes 16" I might go with as an autox wheel).

If not stud conversion, I plan to at least buy some extra wheel hangers (I only use one now).

I get what you mean now, I thought you meant there was something that the thread size was holding you back from mounting. Like I said, I'm all about stud conversions for tracked cars. It makes a world of difference.
 

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
A common mistake. How do you feel about the movie Rampart?

ITT: Redditors.

I haven't seen Rampart, based on the plot I'm going to say it's an alternate universe prequel to season 1 of True Detective. Might say I'll watch it, but never actually watch it.
 

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
Titanium bolts, negatives?
One member mentioned galling.
So far over 2 years no issues.
Is anti seize an option? How does this change torque value?

I LOVE titanium as a material for lug bolts, lug nuts, studs, all that. Strong, light, no iron so it won't rust, it's perfect. Except for the cost, but if you've already got them you know that haha.

I'm not sure about galling as I have no direct experience selling or using them, but I'd think as long as you keep everything clean and debris free you're fine for a very long time. Galling is a much bigger issue with softer metals like aluminum, which I do have experience with. Same recommendation there, clean threads will make the threads last.

We/I don't recommend anti seize or any type of lubrication on studs or lugs. That will give a false torque and ultimately stretch the threads. Dry, clean threads, that's all.

My dad was a tech for GM for 30 years and did a lot of the ASE courses. In a course on steering and brakes they did a quick test on a brand new truck where they marked a lug/stud after confirming torque spec. They removed the lug, applied a drop of trans fluid and re-torqued. The marks no longer lined up, and got further and further apart with each installation and removal, even after the threads were cleaned. Was a great example/lesson from my pops.
 

odessa.filez

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
okay another one :)

I use an impact with an 80ft lb torque extension. Then I take the torque wrench to it and usually get 5-10 degrees before a click.

Does this make me a bad person?

 
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