The wheel is one of the greatest inventions of all time. For automotive enthusiasts, it is something that has pushed the way vehicles have developed over time. With trends as of late, the style of wheels can stop you in your tracks, but there is more to them than just the looks.
What most people do not consider is how the wheel is attached to the vehicle. Wheels come in all shapes and sizes and with this, wheel studs need to be taken into consideration. With the help of ARP, we dove into the science behind wheel studs.
We reached out to Chris Raschke at ARP to find out more about how wheel studs play into recreational and racing applications. If you are looking to get through tech inspections smoothly, the last thing you want to worry about is the length of the stud.
Before setting up your vehicle, it is best to check the rule book for the sanctioning body. “Many times in racing, aftermarket wheels are thicker, or spacers are used, requiring longer studs,” Raschke explained.
We would need to use 24 of ARP's 3.25-inch, 12mm wheel studs on Project Storm Trooper.
ARP wheel studs are made from heat-treated 8740 chromoly, have cadmium plating for extra durability, and a tensile strength of 200,000 psi. For comparison, a traditional Grade 8 bolt has a tensile strength of 150,000 psi.
“Most sanctioning bodies have specific requirements regarding how much thread must be exposed out of the nut,” Raschke continued. “The general rule of thumb is that there needs to be enough threads showing as the diameter of the wheel stud, with half the stud being the minimum requirement.”
ARP’s wheel stud (left) compared to factory stud (right).
Swapping Studs For A Safer Ride
For Project Storm Trooper and the addition of its new wheels, we ran into the problem where the wheel stud was not showing any threads past the lug nut. We went with ARP’s 3.25-inch wheel studs (PN 100-7713) since we knew that we would eventually be changing out the lug nuts to upgrade from the OEM ones.
Installing wheel studs is not rocket science and can be done easily in an afternoon. For us, it took more time to disassemble the front end of the truck, due to Chevrolet’s design on the hub and rotor.
It took us more time to pull the hub off the spindle and unbolt the rotor from the back of the hub than it did for us to install the wheel studs.
The factory wheel studs can be pressed out or hit with a hammer until they pop out of the back side. Installation on the wheel studs goes the same way. With the new studs in place, they can once again be pressed in or (with a stack of washers and a lug nut) pulled into place.
The process of getting them installed depends on what tools you have or if you are able to take the hub down to the local shop to have them pressed. Once all six studs were attached, the truck was put back together and buttoned up.
Before (left) and after (right) comparison between the factory wheel studs and ARP's with our Walker Evans Racing wheels.
Riding Safely In The Dirt
With everything tightened up, we took the truck out to the dirt to test everything out. We considered it to be one of those things we do not worry about until something happens, but we are glad we swapped everything out before any damage was done.
The extra length on the wheel stud could be felt when we were tightening and torquing the lug nuts after replacing. Knowing we would not be losing a wheel while going through the whoops was a nice feeling.
“Most ARP wheels studs also feature a nut starter to make it easier to install the wheel and the lug nut,” Raschke said. “They have threads that are rolled after heat treat and come with a gold cadmium finish.” ARP offers these in four- or five-packs to make sure enough for all four corners.
For more information on everything that ARP offers, be sure to check out its website.