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Author Topic: Aluminum Lug Nuts
Jim Venable
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Has anyone used or currently using aluminum lug nuts? If so, what are the pros, cons or things to watch for?

Jim
"Nice Guy Jim Racing"

Frank Todaro
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The ones I tried were not Aluminum per see but some kind of alloy, I bought them from 949 racing. Light wt but I did not trust them. Plus you have to use anti seize on them. I felt they backed off more than the steel ones. I went with good old steel lug nuts.

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Frank
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Pros: A hair lighter than steel lugs
Cons: More prone to stripping. Using an impact gun is a no-no.

There are a lot of other places to lose weight. Lighter lug nuts don't provide much of a weight advantage and seem like more of a hassle than they're worth. And since the weight that steel lugs add are concentrated at the center of the hub, it has a low moment of inertia.

And the price for aluminum lugs is kind of ridiculous. I've seen them for $1.50 per lug ($24 for the whole car). I got 100 steel 17mm open ended lug nuts for $58.44 shipped, and I've barely used 1/3 of them in 2 years. As a side note, those steel lug nuts have a quoted ship weight of 7.5 lbs (120 ounces). If that's accurate, each lug only weighs 1.2 ounces.

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Rob Gibson
RJ Racing
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Rob Burgoon Verified Driver
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I use aluminum lugs and love them. No anti-seize, and I regularly use a 100ft/lb gun and frequently toggle between two sets of wheels from session to session for PTE and SM.

I especially like the length.

50 events or so and no issues whatsoever.

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

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I think that is the wrong place to save weight...

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Jim Drago
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Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Rob Burgoon:
I use aluminum lugs and love them. No anti-seize, and I regularly use a 100ft/lb gun and frequently toggle between two sets of wheels from session to session for PTE and SM.

I especially like the length.

50 events or so and no issues whatsoever.

You're using longer ones than in Rob G attached and have long studs?
J~

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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny D:
quote:
Originally posted by Rob Burgoon:
I use aluminum lugs and love them. No anti-seize, and I regularly use a 100ft/lb gun and frequently toggle between two sets of wheels from session to session for PTE and SM.

I especially like the length.

50 events or so and no issues whatsoever.

You're using longer ones than in Rob G attached and have long studs?
J~

Standard studs, long lug nuts. Makes starting the lugs much easier when you have the OEM studs.

The length also helps to give the impact socket enough engagement on the lug with certain kinds of wheels.

The model of aluminum lugs I use is the 949.

Looks like this:

http://www.mx5centre.com.au/images/949%20lug%20silver.jpg

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I like em.
But back ordered until July 10th.
http://949racing.com/forgedalloylugsblack12x15.aspx
J~

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go on a diet for crying out loud. loose two pounds and keep your wheels on the car. Jim is correct. 100%

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Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
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They are so light that I just don't trust them. The weight savings vs. the detriment to my confidence just wasn't worth it. I'm back on steel.

Irondragon
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Aluminum has lousy and unpredictable fatigue life.
Lose weight somewhere else.
Use real metal for critical applications.
Aluminum is not a real metal.
Bill Miskoe

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quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Dan:
go on a diet for crying out loud. loose two pounds and keep your wheels on the car. Jim is correct. 100%

I'm not the one looking for lug nuts if this was towards me.
J~

Rob Burgoon Verified Driver
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You guys worry too much [Smile]

I'll change my ways when I find a problem. Until then, light easy to use lugs it is.

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Irondragon:
Aluminum has lousy and unpredictable fatigue life.
Lose weight somewhere else.
Use real metal for critical applications.
Aluminum is not a real metal.
Bill Miskoe

+1

The good news is that they're really easy to start once the first few threads strip out.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

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The weight saving is negligable and since they are in the center of the wheel there is very little moment of inertia (MOI). Very little gain if any.

Open ended 17mm lug nuts that fit all wheels and long studs for $1 each. In stock. See below

Dave

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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Okay SM has reached a new level of competition when we start discussing and even arguing weight of lugs [Smile]

btw, I much prefer 19mm [Big Grin]

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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I like my 21mm lug nuts...nobody will walk off with my lug nut socket. [Smile]

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Keith Novak
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OMG 21mm???

You got a point with the lug nut socket for sure. But how do they work with Kazeeras?

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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There's quite a bit of room with the Kazeras I have using a 6pt 13/16th thin walled deep Craftsman socket. My TD wheels are a bit tighter but it fits. I had a few sockets that don't fit so I had to go socket shopping. The nuts came with the studs. It wasn't a planned thing. [Smile]

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Keith Novak
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Frank Todaro
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quote:
Originally posted by Eric Barbaric:
They are so light that I just don't trust them. The weight savings vs. the detriment to my confidence just wasn't worth it. I'm back on steel.

I am with you on this one, I just like the wt and feel of the steel lug, that little part plays such a big role in my confidence.

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Frank
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Ken SM-94 Verified Driver
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I only use them in qalifying and on the last lap of a race.

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Hmm, seems as though there are a lot of opinions and worries but little hard data. Anyone running aluminum lugs ever lost a wheel? Ran them for two seasons and still have the original 16 I started with and they are fine. Finger fit them then run them down gently with an impact. Torque to 80 with a reliable torque wrench. No problems. I have the ART lugs.

I think this is more a process question than a materials question...

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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I didn't know ART sold balanced and blueprinted lugs... Always one step behind [Frown]

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
I didn't know ART sold balanced and blueprinted lugs... Always one step behind [Frown]

-bw

Bought them a couple of years ago. Not sure if they still sell them.

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Then how much do you want for yours Casey, I need to out qualify Ken [Smile]

-b

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Bruce Wilson
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Jim Venable
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When I saw the responses from Frank and Rob earlier today I pretty much figured that would be the end of it. When I saw all the responses upon checking in late at night my response was WOW and appreciated. The intent was to hear the pros and cons so as to determine if there was a mechanical benefit or not and not to reduce weight. Until we have a totally competitive national caliber car with the driving to go with it I'm not concerned about weight. Our goal is to learn all we can about these cars, continue to improve the driving and put as safe a car on the track as possible for us as well as those we compete against. So again, thanks for the opinions.

As for Ken using aluminum lugs for qualifying and the last lap, perhaps he'll post one of his videos showing him changing the lugs while racing around the Portland track in the lead. It's definitely an "America's Got Talent" act worth seeing which Bruce can attest to. [Smile]

"Nice Guy Jim Racing"

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This is probably a bit over-geeky but for what it's worth, I found this interesting when I learned it...

Here's the thing with aluminum...it's always undergoing fatigue. Bend something back and forth until you get it to break...that's fatigue.

Many metals like steel can flex to a certain point with no degradation to the material at all. As long as things don't bend to where it permanently deforms, you can flex it forever and it won't fatigue.

Aluminum is odd and it doesn't do that. Any time it flexes just a little bit, it permanantly deforms just a little bit so it's always fatiguing and getting a little bit weaker. How many times have you seen an aluminum spring?

Fatigue isn't very well understood but it's all about repeated cycles of tension/stretching. A nut and bolt is a tension fastener.

Since aluminum is prone to fatigue, fatigue is caused by repeatedly putting things into tension, nuts and bolts create tension to fasten things...don't expect an aluminum nut to be reliable nearly as long as a steel nut.

I'll shut up now.

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

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Just stirring the pot.
The 949 lugs are made from 7075.

(I work in a machine shop and know this.)
McMaster Carr... Corrosion-Resistant High Strength Aluminum (Alloy 7075)
Exceptioanlly strong but still lightweight, this aircraft alloy has better corrosion resistance than Alloy 2024 due to the addition of zinc. Use for aircraft frames, keys, gears, and other high stress parts.

Also doesn't the studs expand when hot (metal expands) increasing the torque you put them on at?
J~

Frank Todaro
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Keith I think you "Nutted" it. I have learned allot on this topic. I think I am now going to qualify with just two steel lug Nuts. I will keep the other two in my paints pocket in case I need some extra "Nuts".

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Frank
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Dead nuts on Frank!

-bruce

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Bruce Wilson
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I've used the 7075 949 wheel nuts on several cars over the last two years. No issues whatsoever. I impact gun on and off, torque to 75-80 lbs. No special treatment. I like these due to the extended length - more thread engagement (3-4x) and easier to take on and off. I throw a dab of antiseize on the studs once in a great while but I did the same with steel nuts so not much difference there. I have a set of ART aluminum lugs from 3 years ago but have never used them as they are just too fragile looking to me and I'm not willing to hand install wheel nuts which seems to be a must with these. Cool looking but no comparison at all to the 949 units.

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Mark
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SCCA_Racer
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Has anybody looked at KICS lug nuts?

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Joshua Fine
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I use the ART aluminum ones with ART studs and have had great luck with them over the last year, crossthreading and stripping is a super easy fix as the AL lugnut always loses to the hardened steel stud.

motorrock
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The 949 Racing lugs are forged alloy.....strong like forged wheels

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Forged is good. It compresses the metal making it less prone to fatigue.

The question I would ask not knowing how they make them is are the threads cut or cold rolled and to what profile? Cold rolled threads are essentially forged. If they're cut threads, the tapping process removes the compressed metal goodness.

Cold rolled threads I work with have a different thread profile than cut threads even though the pitch is the same. Looking closely at them, a cut thread looks more like a triangle and a cold rolled thread is more domed with no sharp edges. If you mix and match SAE with NAS or MIL spec nuts and bolts, you're retapping them in the process, it strips out the benefit of the cold working process, and makes them much weaker.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

   

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