Do I Need Aftermarket Lug Nuts?
July 10, 2020
Today, we will be looking at the factors that determine the right lugs you need to look at. Remember that nearly all aftermarket wheels require aftermarket lug nuts because the stock ones will not fit. The more you know about lug nuts, the more secure you and your wheels will be.
1. Do You Need Aftermarket Lug Nuts?
If you have aftermarket wheels, there's a pretty high chance that you're going to need to use aftermarket lug nuts. Most OEM lug nuts are not designed for use on aftermarket wheels since the seat type, thread pitch, and length could have changed.
There are two terms you need to know when talking about the right lug nut for your vehicle:
The term, size, refers to the right lug nut measurement and takes into account thread size and the thread pitch. To put it simply, thread size refers to the diameter of the stud the lug that will be fastened to. You can find the right lug size in your vehicle's manual.
The term, seat, refers to the area where the lug nut actually makes contact with the wheel surface there are three types of seating styles.
- The Conical Seat
This has a beveled 60 degree angled surface and is the most popular type for aftermarket wheels.
- The Mag Seat
This is a completely flat surface used with a separate washer.
- The Ball Seat
This is an inverted bowl-shaped seat.
2. Torque Specs
Next, we have torque specs. Make sure that after you have your new wheels on and your car on the ground that you go ahead and torque your wheels. Look in your owner's manual to find the correct torque specs for your vehicle and be sure to torque every single lug nut. After 50 miles of driving on your new wheels, be sure to retorque them again to ensure proper safety. We would recommend you let a professional take care of this.
3. Types of Lug Nuts
There are a few different types of lug nuts so let's talk about them for a minute.
- Conical Lug
We start out with the most popular lug nut in the aftermarket wheel industry which is the conical lug also known as the acorn lug. Conical lugs fit into cone seated lug holes and are incredibly easy to work with since that 60-degree slope actually self-centers the lug when tightened down. Conical lugs like most of the other lug types can come in closed, open, long, and short styles depending on the cap type. Be sure you know the cap type when ordering lugs so you don't get ones that prevent the cap from fitting properly.
- Spherical Lug
Also known as a ball seat lug, they naturally fit into ball seat lug holes because they match the ball-shaped hole perfect. The style of a ball seat lug will look similar to a conical lug so check carefully many European vehicles use the ball seat style and these are very easy to install like the conical.
- Mag Seat Lug
This is very different in a lot of ways. First of all, they have a handy extended thread design as well as a flat washer that's used to set them flush if there is a flat surface around the lug hole. These were popular when aluminum wheels first came out years ago, but now they're pretty rare.
- Flat Seat Lug
Similar to the mag seat is the flat seat lug which also was made to bond to a flat surface. The difference is that flat seat lugs have the washer built-in and do not have an extended thread design. They are also convenient since the washer is attached but not as easy to torque down as the mag lug. With its extended thread, you can find these on many semi-truck wheels and some industrial settings
- Extended Thread Lug Nut
Speaking of extended thread our last plug for this video is the extended thread lug nut or ET lug which has its own category. The extended thread lug nut has the conical seat with an extra shank to get more thread engagement. These lugs are for situations that call for more thread engagement on studs that may be longer than the thread of a normal one. With the ET lugs, the extra shank can go deeper into the lug hole and in some cases secure the wheel better. ET lugs are also easier to thread because you can grip them better and are preferred by many for that feature.