5250 High Performance Dyno Shop Blog

More power, more responsibility | Performance Wheel Studs

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM / by Mike Wiener

upgrade wheel studs ColoradoStronger Wheel Studs | As we turn the power up on a vehicle, added stress affects almost every component of your vehicle.

To prevent premature failures, we often use stronger hardware made with stronger materials than the stock parts. A very common example of this are the bolts used to attach the engine head to the block. Not only ares these studs 3-6 times stronger than the stock bolts, they are reusable.

A part that is often overlooked when it comes time to strengthen things up, are wheel studs. In fact, most people never even think of the part until a lug nut get’s seized or a stud breaks off while changing wheels.

Wheels studs are probably one of the most imports pieces of hardware on your vehicle. They attach the wheels to the car and hold the brake rotors in place. If the wheel studs fail, the wheel falls off and may cause a major accident.

Performance Upgrades | Why should I spend more money on upgrading wheel studs?

The wheel studs that came equipped with your car were designed to work with the forces and weight of a stock vehicle.

As you modify your car, you significantly affect the stresses applied to your wheel studs. Increased power and handling mods apply increased rotational and lateral forces on the studs.

Larger wheels and tires are heavier than the stock setup and often require wheel spacers to fit properly. Wheel spacers move the wheel further away from the hub, increasing the lever arm effect on the wheel studs. Wheel spacers also reduce the amount of thread engagement with the lug nut, increasing the chances of stripping or pulling the threads off.

Wheel spacers often require that an adapter plate be used, which has it's own set of studs installed in it. On a vehicle with 5 studs per wheel, that's a total of 40 nuts hold the wheels to the vehicle, and only 20 of them can be checked with the wheels installed.

  • That means 20 lug nuts could be out of torque and you wouldn't know unless you remove the wheels and check or a failure occurs. Wheel adapters are a bad idea and should be avoided whenever possible.

These scenarios don't even mention the number one killer of wheels studs... over-tightening. When a lug nut is overtightened, damage to the stud occurs. The metal will actually deform and stretch.

  • This can cause the lug nut to seize on the stud or the stud could snap off. Your wheels can also be damaged from over tightening. If a stud is only slightly stretched, it will function, but be severely weakened.

A pothole or speed bump could cause the stud or studs to fail and you wheel will fall off. Make sure whomever is working on your car uses a torque wrench AND that it is set to the proper torque for your vehicle. An impact gun of any kind should not be used to tighten the lug nuts, even with a torque stick. Torque sticks are usually improperly used and very inaccurate.

Performance Upgrades ColoradoMake wheel studs part of your upgrade plans. Just like your head studs, significantly stronger wheel studs are also available.

Unlike head studs, wheels studs do not require much disassembly to be installed. They are available to fit almost any vehicle and in varying lengths.

A longer wheel stud allows you to choose from a greater variety of wheels and they allow you to use very thick wheel spacers safely. The stronger studs are much more resilient to accidental over-tightening and a higher torque spec can be used than stock for extra safety under demanding conditions.

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Topics: High Performance Shop, Brake Upgrades

Mike Wiener

Written by Mike Wiener