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post #5 of Old 08-29-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter

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Lug Nuts

"What type of lug nuts do I need?"
That depends on if they're going to be used on OEM Honda/Acura wheels, aftermarket wheels, or OEM but not from Honda/Acura wheels.

There are 3 types of seats for lug nuts
  • Ball seat (also called round or spherical)
  • Acorn (also called tapered, cone or conical)
  • Flat (also called mag or flange)

Acorn/Tapered seat vs Mag seat vs Ball seat:

OEM Honda/Acura wheels have a ball seat which means you want ball seat lug nuts.

Most aftermarket wheels and many OEM wheels from other manufacturers such as Nissan and Hyundai use an acorn seat so you'll want lug nuts to match those wheels.

If you have aftermarket wheels, not only do you want lug nuts with a conical/tapered seat but you also want to make sure that they are tuner lug nuts.

Aftermarket wheels typically have lug nut holes that are small in diameter than OEM wheels which means your traditional stock lug nuts could be too big to fit through the opening. Tuner lug nuts are smaller in diameter and are specifically made for aftermarket (i.e. tuner) wheels.

"What size lug nuts do I need?"
For a Honda/Acura, you want a lug nut that's 12 x 1.5 in size.

What do those numbers mean? There are 3 parts to a lug nut.
  • Thread size
  • Thread pitch
  • Seat type

12 refers to the thread size in millimeters (mm). It's basically the diameter of the wheel stud.

1.5 refers to the wheel stud's thread pitch. It's the distance in millimeters between each thread.

Seat type refers to whether it's got a conical, mag, or ball seat.

Since Hondas have 12mm studs with threads that are 1.5mm apart, you want lug nuts that are 12 x 1.5 in size irregardless of the type of wheel you have.

"Will acorn/conical lug nuts work on ball seat wheels?"

Yes and no.

If you have conical lug nuts that you want to use with your OEM Honda ball seat wheels, you want to use an adapter/washer that sits between the conical/tapered lug nut and wheel.

What the washer does is it converts the tapered/concial seat of the lug nut to match the ball seat of the wheel (see picture below).

If you don't use the washer, the lug nut won't properly seat against the wheel when the lug nut is torqed down resulting in a wheel that isn't held tight against the brake rotor/wheel hub. Over time the lug nut could work itself loose.

You will also risk damaging your lug nuts (moderately damaged lug nuts):

Lug Nut Construction: Which to Choose

The most common type of materials used for lug nuts are:
  • Steel/Chromoly
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium

Steel/Chromoly lug nuts don't look as pretty as aluminum or titanium lug nuts, but what they lack in the looks/appearance department they make up for in strength/construction.

Steel is much stronger (i.e. more durable) than aluminum. It has a higher fatigue resistance than aluminum which means that it can withstand many and frequent removals and re-torquing. This is perfect, for example, for people who track their cars and/or swap wheels/tires frequently.

Steel lugs can rust if they're used throughout winter (road salt) and aren't kept clean.

Another perceived con of steel lug nuts, aside from their looks and ability to rust, is the weight. Steel lugs typically weigh 2 to 3 ounces (56.7 to 85 grams) vs the 0.8 to 1.0 ounce (22.7 to 28.3 grams) of aluminum lugs. Some people think the weight savings is important in terms of performance, but it's really not. If you're concerned about unsprung weight, you're better off getting light weight wheels.

20 steel lugs x 2 ounces each = 40 ounces or 2.5 lbs.
20 aluminum lugs x 0.8 ounces each = 16 ounces or 1 lb.

A 1.5 lb savings is not much.

Aluminum lug nuts come in many different colors (anodized), look pretty, and are light weight. Plus, they don't rust.

Manufacturers can use different grades of aluminum to make them. The most commonly used grade is the cheap/soft 6061 aluminum. These are usually the inexpensive aluminum lugs.

If you want aluminum lug nuts that are somewhat more durable, then look for ones that are made out of Dura aluminum (may also be called Duralumin or 2024 aluminum) such as those by Rays and Project Kics, or 7075 forged aluminum. But beware of cheap Made in China knock offs.

The downside to aluminum lugs is their poor fatigue resistance (especially the cheaper 6061 aluminum lugs). If they are frequently removed and put back on, the threads can be prone to stripping and , the chance of cross threading them increases, the exterior can become damaged/chipped, etc.

NOTE: Do NOT use an impact wrench on aluminum lug nuts. They can easily be damaged.

Aside from steel and aluminum, there's also titanium. Titanium lug nuts have properties of both steel lugs (strength and durability) and aluminum lugs (lighter weight), but titanium lugs are very expensive and are also susceptible to like aluminum lugs.

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