lug nut torque changes with AL wheel spacers?

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Feb 15, 2004
Left Coast, USA
I have a `94 with aluminum alloy wheels, but the lug holes have steel inserts, so the nuts tighten against steel, not aluminum. Therefore, the specs for my truck are 105 ft. lbs., not the 80 ft. lbs. for the later trucks with no inserts in the wheels (`95-`97). So when I tighten the wheel to the steel hub, I do it to 105 ft. lbs. However, I've now got aluminum wheel spacers from Marlin and those don't have steel inserts. So, do I now do 80 ft lbs. all the way around, or stick with 105. There are now two interfaces in question:

1.) AL spacer to steel hub (should I assume use the same torque as an AL wheel to the same steel hub?).

2.) Wheel with steel lug inserts to AL spacer.

I'm currently using 105 ft. lbs. both to secure the spacer to the hub and to secure the wheel to the spacer, but maybe this is over-torquing given the fact that I am no longer bolting steel to steel?


I think you have to have a recommendation from the spacer mfr on that one. That's a very serious issue that deserves a careful answer from the spacer folks as they should be well versed in the added forces on your hub from the spacer. That's only for the torque of the spacer.

For the wheel to spacer torque, I'd again ask them if they recommend a change from the original wheel lug torque.

FWIW, the instructions with my AL spacers says to torque ALL lug nuts (inner and outer) to factory specs.

I put locktite on the original lugs (vehicle to spacer) but none on the outer lugs (spacer to wheel). Good or bad idea?
not necessarily a problem for me -- I just ordered aluminum spacers from Trail Gear (I think they used to work for/with Marlin) with my 97 Their specs say to torque to 100 ft/lbs.

I now have aftermarket steel wheels with different lugs. The tire-monkeys have been torquing the lugs to 80 ft/lbs at America's/Discount Tire since I first got them. I've been following their advice and doing the same, however, I think they're simply following the guideline they have, which is based on vehicle, and not necessarily wheel type.

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