David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/20/22 1:19 p.m.
feature_image

Does it matter what lug nuts you run? After all, they only secure your wheels to the car, right?

When we converted our BMW M3 from wheel bolts to studs, we splurged and added some quick-change coated lug nuts to the order.

[Project BMW M3: Installing Wheel Studs and Wheel Spacers]

Those parts all came from the BimmerWorld catalog, with each lug …

Read the rest of the story

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/20/22 3:42 p.m.

So, a related story. Several years ago, I was running at Roebling. While in the fast, long Turn 3, I started to think: Is everything that holds this car together up to spec and properly torqued? 

That can make you back off a bit. 

Gettingoldercarguy
Gettingoldercarguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/20/22 4:37 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

What're your thoughts and do you have any experience with titanium nuts?  I'm fancying the Titan 7 set a bit.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/20/22 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Gettingoldercarguy :

I have never run them, but let me ping someone who might.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/21/22 12:14 a.m.
Gettingoldercarguy said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

What're your thoughts and do you have any experience with titanium nuts?  I'm fancying the Titan 7 set a bit.

It seems an awful lot of money to save, what, a pound between all of them?  Especially since lug nuts are a consumable that gets replaced once a year (at least in a race car context).

My M3 has the yellow NASCAR-style lug nuts on it.  The color does make them easier to find when they roll under the car, and none of them have cross-threaded, galled, or seized onto the studs yet (I had one or two Gorilla nuts that did that on the Miata over the years).

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/21/22 12:44 a.m.

And here's an aluminum lug nut on the same scale:

What brand? I can't remember. I bet they're 15+ years old. Note that many of those years were spent stationary. 

Here they are in action. They sit a tick tall.

And a detail shot of the threads:

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/21/22 1:06 a.m.

Long as they are tall with a flange for frantic midrace flat removal, the weight is not what makes me slow.

Gettingoldercarguy
Gettingoldercarguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/21/22 11:18 a.m.

@codrus @bearmtnmartin

 

Yeah, it's a silly expenditure.  And I'm so free of talent it'll probably make me slower.  But I like them and I like throwing money at my car.  

BLRB
BLRB GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/21/22 11:24 a.m.

In reply to Gettingoldercarguy :

I bought a set of wheels and the seller included a set of titan7 titanium lugnuts.  I wouldn't have bought them myself, but they are very light and high quality.  I have removed them at least a half dozen times in the last 2 weeks and have been checking to make sure they stay torqued to spec and are working great.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/21/22 12:14 p.m.
Gettingoldercarguy said:

Yeah, it's a silly expenditure.  And I'm so free of talent it'll probably make me slower.  But I like them and I like throwing money at my car.  

There's nothing wrong with buying them just because they're cool. :)

 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/21/22 12:30 p.m.

They're challenge budget exempt, so they're worth doing. 

sobiloff
sobiloff GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/21/22 1:19 p.m.

Hmm, don't you want a little more thread engagement on that Miata? I always like to have at least a couple of turns showing past the end of the lug nut. Some ARP studs would go well with those ARP lug nuts…

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/21/22 1:27 p.m.

Yellow lug nuts are like racing stripes.  They add at least 15 hp to any car.  I would run them just because Yellow.  laugh

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/21/22 2:51 p.m.

Need? Probably not.

Many aftermarket wheels need the fancy lugs because of the size and angle.

te72
te72 HalfDork
9/22/22 12:04 a.m.

I've run aluminum lug nuts on the Miata for years. Apart from the fancy coating flaking off, no issues to report, and they're freakishly light. A whole handful weighs about as much as the lugs for one wheel worth of steel lugs.

 

Those lugs ended up on the Exocet, because Chapman theory. =P

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/22/22 12:31 a.m.
te72 said:

I've run aluminum lug nuts on the Miata for years. Apart from the fancy coating flaking off, no issues to report, and they're freakishly light. A whole handful weighs about as much as the lugs for one wheel worth of steel lugs.

FWIW, stock Miata lugnuts are 32 grams, the 949 aluminum ones are 25.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/22/22 7:51 a.m.

One should only use aluminum lug nuts if the factory studs have been replaced with longer ones that engage all of the lug nut threads. I once broke this rule and came in from a session with two of my four aluminum lug nuts missing. I was probably seconds away from disaster. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/22/22 9:17 a.m.
z31maniac said:

Need? Probably not.

Many aftermarket wheels need the fancy lugs because of the size and angle.

Just sharing this data point–maybe it will help someone googling for the answer: The Kosei K1 has enough room for a 21mm impact socket.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/22/22 9:22 a.m.

And here's the lug:

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/22/22 9:34 a.m.

I have these from Flyin Miata on my NB1. The car came with a nearly identical set, and when I saw that the threads were getting worn, I replaced them. 
 

previous owner said he used them since the aluminum threads on the nut would be easier to damage than the steel stud. 
 

Our Preferred Partners
VI6aOmBTdwhhts3Hg8mA3wXs3TwzMn7aBdwLGjvcQUIfx0LtZ0navKeGn4HO4ART