Project SC300 Road Racer: Part 22 – I Missed Winter…
Hand writing on windshield with red china pen listing various tasks
You may have seen me do this before.

I use a China pen (not the country, the plates) to write on the windshield in front of the driver seat. This way it’s really, really, really obvious that there are still things left to do. Oh – bleed the brakes is already done! I can erase that!

 

Holding packet of Permatex anti-seize in foreground with wheel center and studs visible in background
Make sure to use a little anti sieze on your wheel studs.

If you are using aftermarket aluminum lug nuts on steel studs, it is vitally important to use a touch of anti sieze. Dissimilar metals have a tendency to do all kinds of bad things when they are in direct contact, and this is especially so for fasteners. Do yourself a favor and don’t forget this step.

 

Five stainless steel lug nuts lined up with first and last on sides and center three standing on end; m12x1.50 visibily stamped
Also do yourself a favor and get these amazingly awesome stainless steel lugnuts from Pegasus Auto Racing.

Yes, they are $10 each. But they are forged stainless. Do you take your wheels off and put them on a lot? Have you tried to do that with cheap aluminum open-ended lug nuts? Yeah, they get mangled pretty quick. These things are not going to get mangled, and they’re not going to corrode. They’re also pretty tiny so they will fit a wide range of wheels. Lastly, they have the proper seat.

Look, think about it this way: you will probably buy this one set once and your car will fall apart around them.

 

Tie rod end's rubber boot very close to brake rotor's inner surface
You probably want to heat protect the tie rod ends.

We noticed this when we were buttoning things up. The LCA and the tie rod end come very close to the brake rotor. It’s not explicitly a problem because all of the parts stay in relatively the same orientation to one another throughout the range of suspension travel.

However it will be a problem for extended runs where the brakes get to high temperature. A little heat shielding tape around the tie rod end will help quite a lot. Granted this is radiant heat from the rotor across air which is a pretty decent insulator. But in an endurance setting it could definitely become problematic.

 

Sparco NS-6 twin-spoked wheel and Hankook tire resting on wheel studs with rotor and caliper visible in background
Alright, it’s time to get the lug nuts on, the wheels torqued, and get this girl on the ground for a test run.

Since the alignment is guaranteed to be a gigantic mess, I left my ancient tires on the other wheels on so that I wouldn’t wreck my sexy new Nankangs. Let’s just say that I might have had the rear lower control arm eccentric set wrong. With nearly positive rear camber and likely a lot of rear toe out, even driving at 15MPH in my neighborhood was quite enlivening.

Let’s get this car aligned ASAP and see what it will do!

StopTech Brakes

Figs Engineering

CV Source

Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies

7 comments

  1. I would add one thing about bumpsteer. I learned a lot about bumpsteer on a wet AutoX track (the hard way), that I had no idea was happening in the dry. (The bumpsteer came from swapping Upper Control Arms on a EG6 Civic from Driver/Passenger sides in an effort to increase Caster, which is a horrible idea, and totally creates massive bumpsteer.)

    If you can drive under wet conditions in a wide open parking lot with cones (ideally, not during an AutoX), I would highly recommend that you do it. Because, dry tracks can mask a lot of ‘issues’ that only reveal themselves under non-ideal, slippery driving conditions. Anyway, it’s better to learn about the effects your suspension/handling adjustments in a controlled environment, rather than during a race.

    Don’t be like me, and don’t learn the hard way. Just sayin’.

  2. Yes, they are good lug nuts but they are milled not forged, not a big difference in 304 stainless though. Even at 10$ the margins are pretty small, cost of production is something like 4.50 so once you get through tax and shipping the profits are like 1.25$ for the producer and 2.50$ for the dealer. Really good lug nuts though, and way more concentric than forged and capped standard lug nuts, puts less stress on the rim.

  3. Stainless lugs nuts? Strange concept to me considering stainless is known for how easily it galls. Certainly not something I would think to put on a race car where the wheels and tires will be on and off frequently. Also, because race car wheels and tires are on and off so frequently corrosion is really a non-issue. I’ve always just gone for cheaper open ended hardened steel racing lugs.

    1. The MSI lug nuts have been in service on my Subaru BRZ since 2015. I have been using with Dorman wheel studs and have yet to run into any issues with them or my wheel studs. My BRZ has seen about 300 ish wheel changes in those 4 years due to it is an autocross car and I swap wheels at or before events and after.
      With that said i use a Beta Tools hardened impact socket and a Milwaukee Tool impact for every change. These lug nuts take a beating and look no worse for their time in service.

      I used to buy muteki SR48 lug nuts but I also had to replace the every year due to galling and they couldn’t handle the impact socket. This is part of reason why why the MSI lug nuts are hands down the best bang for the buck motorsports lug nut on the market.

    2. Stainless only galls on stainless, even then, only some grades of stainless. Stainless lug nuts on Steel studs with aluminium rims wont gall.

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