Stainless Steel nuts for aluminum wheels | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Stainless Steel nuts for aluminum wheels

Discussion in 'Wheels/Tires/Brakes' started by Joey_Twowagons, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I picked up a set of aluminum wheels for a '92 Protege recently and want to try them out on my Escort. I want to get closed end nuts for them and my original steel wheel nuts are open.

    I like the idea of stainless steel nuts, and had no luck finding them until I searched Ali Express, who sells them directly from China. Has anyone used these nuts? I would like to know if the shoulders are the correct angle etc. for the wheels, since a lot of aftermarket wheels and nuts are wrongly made and have incompatible mating surfaces. Also the hex appears to be smaller than stock, and there is unfortunate logo on them, which I will try to buff out.

    Here is a link to them, while it holds up:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/M12...be94dad&transAbTest=ae803_2&priceBeautifyAB=0

    [​IMG]


    Thanks for any information.
  2. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    There is no way that I would trust lug nuts from Ali Express. Stainless steel isn't as strong as normal steel and being a Chinese knockoff makes it even more questionable. Just go with a normal chrome lug nut set.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  3. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Oh come on, what's the worst that could happen?

    :eek:
  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The lug nuts could be slowly loosening, allowing damage to the surface normally held snug by a tightened lug nut. Do you check the torque on your lug nuts once or twice, after the wheels have been removed/installed/changed? That used to be a worthwhile maintenance item on some antique car wheels.
    I also would not trust a lug nut that simply because it said it was stainless.
    But let us know how it goes for you.
  5. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Of course we all know the reputation China has for quality, but the fact is, a lot of the hardware we buy is from there, including high strength bolts, allen head bolts etc.

    I was hoping someone would have experience with these particular items to advise on their quality (or lack thereof).

    I have actually bought some items from China, i.e. bakelite threaded knobs with brass inserts, that are excellent quality. But then who knows, the next batch might be quite poor quality.

    I wonder where the chrome plated lug nuts I would buy at my local parts store would be made?
  6. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    [​IMG]

    A week ago today, I spent better than an hour standing at the top of a hill, warning drivers that a vehicle was stopped just on the other side.

    The Chevy Suburban 1500 was literally one lug nut away from loosing it's front driver's wheel, into the oncoming traffic. (one lane in each direction)

    It wasn't just a matter of slapping on new lug nuts, because all but that single stud, with it's lug nut already loose, was sheared off.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  7. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    I said "Chinese knockoff". There is a difference between a Chinese made product that is sold under a major brand name and one that isn't. You take a risk when you buy no-name or counterfeit stuff. For instance, there is no way that those are RAYS lug nuts.
  8. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I never heard of "RAYS" wheel nuts before, so did not think the Chinese stainless steel ones were those.

    And is the implication of the Chevy with only one wheel nut holding on a wheel that it is the fault of those Chinese stainless steel nuts?

    I was hoping that someone would actually have tried the wheel nuts I linked to, and give a first hand rating.
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  9. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    RAYS Engineering is a high end Japanese wheel manufacturer. They make RAYS, Volk Racing, Gram Lights, and a bunch of other brands of wheels as well as accessories such as lug nuts.
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  10. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    You asked what was the worst that could happen. *IF* they are knock-offs and not genuine, or even if they are genuine and the stainless steel isn't hard enough or is too brittle, that is an example of what may occur.

    In terms of specific feedback on that product or even another stainless lug nut, I can't. There's probably a good reason that stainless is hard to find. The durability of stainless would be my guess. It's not unusual for people to sacrifice a bit of safety for vanity, but there are manageable risks and then there are (hindsight) stupid ones. So long as you do your research prior to use, this risk can be a manageable one.
  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    It looks like it's up to me to review the crappy Chinese stainless nuts, or the really well made Chinese nuts, as the case may be.

    I trust that I have enough awareness to notice if the car's wheels begin to come off because the lug nuts have backed themselves off, although I don't really see why even crummy nuts would undo themselves.

    After looking into wheel nuts, I am surprised to see that one can buy aluminum ones. I can't see them holding up too well with many on/off cycles, but then I don't have first hand experience with them either.

    When I asked "What is the worst that can happen" I was attempting some ironic humour.
  12. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I used to have a 59 Lancia Flaminia coupe. Its lug nuts were made of brass. They supplied two lug wrenches. One long one would only loosen the nuts, with its ratchet action. The other one (which was shorter) would only tighten then.
  13. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I like the idea of the "tightening" wrench being shorter!

    I seem to recall reading years ago of one of the early Italian engine designers casting his own bronze cylinder head (at art college?) in his youth.
  14. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    I'd just jump up and down on the handle of the shorter one.
  15. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    Just an FYI but China gets a bad rap for it's products. China is great at knocking stuff off. The Japanese used to be the kings of knockoff but once all their engineers came back from the US colleges their engineering improved and surpassed the US's.

    When a Chinese part breaks due to quality issues USUALLY it's because that was the spec they were given to follow. When I was in the apparel business one of my buddies had a favorite designer T-shirt he would wear to clubs. He decided he wanted to knock off the fit so he sent his original shirt for them to copy. When they delivered the container he opened up one of the boxes and noticed there was a hole down around the hem in front. He checked a few more and they all had holes in the same place. He was pissed and called the manufacturer and chewed him out. He had to eat crow later when they sent him a picture of his original shirt. He had forgotten that the shirt had a cigarette burn on it. The Chinese just copied the cigarette burn.

    As far as the lug nuts I bought some from autozone and have not had any problems and they were made in China.

    John
  16. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    I'll bet they used 南京 instead of Marlboro.
  17. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    I do agree that specified tolerances make all the difference BUT the Chinese factories seem to let things slip when it comes to tolerances and QC if the company doesn't keep a good eye on them. Of course, for a no-name or knockoff products they cut a lot more corners. For instance, we ordered some reproduction steel rims for a Chevy Silverado, the same ones from the same autobody supplier that the owner's son got for his truck several years back for his snow tires. His fit and look just like OE. The ones we got vibrated going down the road even after repeated balancing. Come to find out the center bore of the wheel was stamped wrong, most likely because of a worn out of spec stamping die, so that it was too large to fit snugly on the hub center lip. Because of this and the fact that the lug holes weren't perfectly centered the wheel was at least 1/16" out of center when mounted on the hub. We returned the wheels and ordered another set with the same result. We ended up having to get a used set from a salvage yard and repaint them for our customer.
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  18. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    I do agree that there are contractors that do substandard work but if you're going to be manufacturing in China it's imperative you have an independent QC but I've seen product made in the US with the same QC issues as you described.

    John
  19. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    The nuts arrived and looked pretty good. So the testing began.
    They are magnetic. Maybe because they are (expensive) 400 series stainless?
    Clean water was placed in one, and left for a day or two.
    After pouring out the orangey-brown water, here is what it looks like:

    SS wheel nits, Renata 002.JPG

    SS wheel nits, Renata 001.JPG

    On the wheel they look okay:
    SS wheel nits, Renata 004.JPG

    Tecomaster, B&D saw, Used Vic items 020.JPG

    So I guess they are that particular Chinese variety of stainless steel that rusts.
    I am curious to see how the outside holds up over time. Luckily the colour seems to be very ephemeral as I prefer no logo.

    The threads feel a smidge looser than the originals and they thread on fine. The shoulder appears to be the correct angle for the wheels, and they don't have much runout. There is also lots of thread engagement.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  20. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    400 series is generally the cheapest grade of stainless. Its what OE exhaust systems are typically made of, it also won't polish up like 304. That said, those lugs look like they are chrome plated.

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