What a (wheel)STUD

There’s more of that innuendo–you can’t get enough innuendo my English teacher might have said at some point if I’d have listened. A thorough reading of the NHRA rulebook states that the wheel studs must penetrate through the lug nut at least as far as the wheel stud is thick. A half inch wheel stud must have at least 1/2″ of thread in the lug nuts. The lug nuts must all be open ended as well. I missed the boat on this when I ordered the Moser spool and axles and only got a 1 1/2″ wheel stud in the axle. Another thirty-some dollars to the good folks at Moser Engineering and they sent me 3″ wheel studs with the necessary .625 knurl for their axles. Yes, I looked for Chinese knockoffs–there weren’t any at the time.

For the front axle I’m still running factory rotors, and they have a 7/16″ wheel stud with a .564 knurl. Note: for you front drum brake F-body guys ignore this, you guys have a different size knurl. I wanted to run 1/2″-20 wheel studs so the front and rear lug nuts would be the same. You’d think someone would have this but if they do, it’s well hidden. So what I found is that wheel studs for a Ford Edge have a ‘close enough’ knurl size of .560, are 2.3″ long, and have 1/2″-20 thread. The knurl comes through the rotor just a smidge but most people’s wheels are going to cover that gap easy. Also I found that having Ford parts on my GM product didn’t slow it down too much so it’s all good.

I went to the local hardware store and bought some grade 8 nuts and washers to pull the lugs in. I was able to pull 8-10 wheel studs with a single grade 8 nut before it started showing real signs of thread trouble. I threw an old socket over the wheel stud, followed by some washers with some grease between them, then cranked the nut on and pulled. It went very well, no problems to report.

Since I had to pull the front rotors off and GM carries the bearings in the rotors on early disc brake cars, I took the opportunity to replace the front wheel bearings and seals. Ebay to the rescue (again).

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