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Old 08-25-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Lug nut covers

The first time the front wheels came off the bus for balancing we quickly discovered that there are covers over the actual lug nuts. The cover takes a 21 mm (13/16") socket, the actual nut a 19mm. After the mechanic had hit all of them with the impact, most of the covers would not stay on any more. I wrapped all the lugs with a turn or two of electrical tape and then the covers all stayed on fine. Except I lost one over the course of 10k miles. Then the wheels came off again when the mechanic was putting on my Koni shocks. He hit them with the impact wearing a 21 mm socket (different tech this time so he did not know, and I did not think about the fact that the wheels would be coming off so I did not remove them myself or warn him). He put new tape on when he put it all back together ... but apparently did not go quite as thick as I had because I lost two more covers on the way home. That's when I realized they had had the wheels off and what had happened.

How is everyone else dealing with these silly things? If I could buy a finished looking lug nut that did not need a cover I'd be ordering up 20 of them in a heart beat (actually I'd order 22, always good to have a couple of spares).

Barring a coverless lug, anyone have a good mail order Alcoa supplier to replace the covers I am missing?
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:58 AM   #2
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If you look at the lug nut covers closely, you'll notice that every other side has a dimple on the flat which is designed to reduce the size internally so that the cover will stay on the lug nuts. If you decide to replace them with finished lug nuts, you're actually need 24 as I believe since there are six per wheel.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:23 AM   #3
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Replace the lugs with these...if the covers are useless.

Bob
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:08 AM   #4
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If you decide to replace them with finished lug nuts, you're actually need 24 as I believe since there are six per wheel.
Nope. 20 is right, along with four locking lug nuts. Having your rims stolen because some crackhead wants to sell them for their aluminum value would suck big time.

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Replace the lugs with these...if the covers are useless.
Amazon says they don't fit my 2011 Sprinter (2012 Interstate). Did Airstream replace the lugs when they replaced the stock Sprinter rims with the cast aluminum ones?
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:21 AM   #5
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Nope. 20 is right, along with four locking lug nuts. Having your rims stolen because some crackhead wants to sell them for their aluminum value would suck big time.



Amazon says they don't fit my 2011 Sprinter (2012 Interstate). Did Airstream replace the lugs when they replaced the stock Sprinter rims with the cast aluminum ones?
Pro,

Give Mcgard a call, they may be able to help if you have style, size & pitch.

Bob
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:45 AM   #6
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Pro,

Give Mcgard a call, they may be able to help if you have style, size & pitch.

Bob
Protag, if you or anyone else does call Mcgard, please post results here as I'm sure a lot of us would be interested. I know I am. Thanks
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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I don't bother with "locking" lug nuts because the only person they slow down in wheel removal is me. You can buy a lug nut lock removal tool anywhere, and they work easily.

Check the second half of this short video.

Removing Stuck Lug Nuts On Your Wheels - YouTube

doug
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:22 PM   #8
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Yeah, I don't put any faith in wheel locks either. They only keep honest people from getting your wheels off, thieves can get around them in no time. Besides, there are plenty of easier targets out there than our 8k lbs plus RV's and the black market value of our wheels is marginal compared to many other more plentiful vehicles. Now if you have a suburban/yukon/escalade with 20" wheels on it, be careful where you park 'cause those will be gone in a heart beat.

The problem with any conventional lug like the ones Bob mentioned are that we need a shouldered lug for our sprinters.

I had noticed the dimples that Shark mentions, but once someone puts a 21mm socket on them and twists the lug off with the cover still on it those dimples are pretty much useless. Perhaps there is some special tool or technique to re-crimp the dimples? I'm all ears.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:40 PM   #9
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Perhaps there is some special tool or technique to re-crimp the dimples? I'm all ears.
Tighten a small piece of rod or pipe that will fit inside the cover in a vise. Put a couple of layers of electrical tape on top of the rod or pipe and then slip the lug nut cover over it. Now using a small pin punch, tap on the dimple with a hammer and the punch. Repeat for the other two dimples in the cover.

BTW, I agree with the others on the viability of the use of locking lug nuts. That's why I earlier recommended 24 vs 20 plus 4 locking lug nuts.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post

Tighten a small piece of rod or pipe that will fit inside the cover in a vise. Put a couple of layers of electrical tape on top of the rod or pipe and then slip the lug nut cover over it. Now using a small pin punch, tap on the dimple with a hammer and the punch. Repeat for the other two dimples in the cover.

BTW, I agree with the others on the viability of the use of locking lug nuts. That's why I earlier recommended 24 vs 20 plus 4 locking lug nuts.
I had the same problem with them becoming loose after a few removals and re-installs.

My mechanic showed me a little trick by just using a pair of pliers and crimping them slightly around those dimples.

They haven't come off since.

I do agree the should be chromed and not caps. But the chrome ones do rust the minute a lug wrench is put on them and 'breaks' the chrome seal.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:18 AM   #11
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Gorilla brand chrome lug nuts are high quality, similar to McGard. Both are top shelf products.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:24 AM   #12
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^
x2

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I do agree the should be chromed and not caps. But the chrome ones do rust the minute a lug wrench is put on them and 'breaks' the chrome seal.
Not Mcgards'....on-off every Winter for 11 Seasons, not a mark on them.

Bob
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:23 AM   #13
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^
x2

Not Mcgards'....on-off every Winter for 11 Seasons, not a mark on them.

Bob
They look very nice.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:17 AM   #14
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I don't bother with "locking" lug nuts because the only person they slow down in wheel removal is me. You can buy a lug nut lock removal tool anywhere, and they work easily.

Check the second half of this short video.

Removing Stuck Lug Nuts On Your Wheels - YouTube

doug
Unless he using quill shafts w/ his impact wrench, he oughta be taken to the wood shed.

Like you said, locking lug nuts just keep the honest folks from stealing your wheels.
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