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Old 11-23-2009, 06:06 PM   #1
RGH
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Lug Bolt cover/caps

I recently replaced my wheels. Now the old lug bolts look very unfinished. Is there any reason, other than their appearance, that the old lugs should be replaced? If so, I will just purchase nicer looking bolts. Otherwise I will just buy covers for the old bolts. The problem is, I can't seem to find a set of caps that includes a cap for the locking bolt.

Does anyone sell lug caps that will cover the lock bolt? Or, do I need to replace it with a regular lug? (I'm not concerned about wheel theft as my car is always garaged at home or at the office.)
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:30 AM   #2
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There has been discussion on this subject prior to your message. I find the stock bolts quite unsightly and think they have an uncovered, unfinished look but that is just me. I,too, am not worried about theft so I replaced all of my bolts with chrome ones. This really spruces up the wheels and the bit of chrome does not offend me. The rear wheels have deeper wells than the front so the new chrome bolts are not as visible but can be seen if one looks. All in all I am glad I made the change. Trade off? No locking bolt. Up to you. You could also clean up your current bolts and spray them a nice bright silver which will make them a bit more decent but they will still look like an unfinished afterthought.

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Old 11-24-2009, 07:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen K. Littlefield
You could also clean up your current bolts and spray them a nice bright silver which will make them a bit more decent but they will still look like an unfinished afterthought.
I tried that. As soon as the wrench goes on them, the paint starts to disappear.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:20 AM   #4
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Soft socket?

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Originally Posted by clickman
I tried that. As soon as the wrench goes on them, the paint starts to disappear.
Clickman, you could use a soft socket. I use one on the chrome bolts as I don't want them marred and so far that has worked well.

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Old 11-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
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Have you considered a set of polished stainless steel lug bolts? They're pricey at $225/set, but you'll never have to deal with unsightly lugs again. The chrome ones will eventually rust; the cheapy Chinese ones, as most probably are, are guaranteed to take only 6 months to bloom.

Stainless seems like the ultimate solution to me. I'm gonna nail a set as soon as I have some spare change. I've only found one place that sells them:

http://www.maxspeed-motorsports.com/sslugs.html

The same company also sells titanium lugs for $775/set (gulp!) eBay. Another eBay from China's selling "titanium" lugs for $289/set with special gold color centers; sounds lovely.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen K. Littlefield
Clickman, you could use a soft socket. I use one on the chrome bolts as I don't want them marred and so far that has worked well.

AKL
That would take care of 80% of them, but not the locking bolts...
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
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Toss the locking lug bolt. Buy stainless. They're great.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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lug bolt caps

$29.95 at suncoastpart.com for a set of 20
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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The lug blot cover/caps are a great solution for covering up unsightly lug bolts. However, they don't make one that will fit over the locking lug bolt. Also, they can be a bit fussy to get on, and they often crack when doing so.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:03 AM   #10
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Chrome covers or caps are putting perfume on the pig and serve no useful purpose. I would strongly advise not using them since your lugs will be happily corroding and rusting underneath them while they shine.

Stainless would not be my first choice with Aluminum wheels because the galvanic numbers for stainless and aluminum are further apart than mild steel and aluminum and you will get galvanic action between them, the SS will turn the aluminum into powder.

The answer is to take your old lugs and have them chrome plated. It will solve the problem not just cover it up. Good paint is also a cheap solution for those on a budget.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:26 AM   #11
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Take this with a grain of salt, but keep in mind that Porsche put out a TSB indicating that only their OEM bolts should be used because they have those floating washer thingies on them that help retain the proper torque specs over time, and that using aftermarket wheel bolts without those "spherical collars" can result in bolts loosening after the driving the car, even if they were tightened to the proper specs. Apparently, they say that those collars were specially designed in an alloy that matches the wheel material. Whateva.

Also, there is a TSB that states in 2004, Porsche shortened the OEM bolt height by 2mm (the bolt head, not the thread), in an effort to further reduce unsprung weight. I just purchased a set to use when I put my summer wheels/tires back on. Should add at least 5hp!
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:01 AM   #12
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My wife has a 02' Beetle and we just picked up a couple of factory lug bolt covers from the dealer (Her Beetle was missing a couple). They were $1 each. I didn't get a chance to try one on my Boxster, but if they fit, I'll grab another 20 of them.

I ditched the locking lug bolts long ago. If anyone wants to steel stock 97' Boxster rims with worn tires, power to them.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:04 AM   #13
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I've used the lug bolt covers for years on an assortment of very expensive wheels. Granted, my vehicle is a "garage princess", however, I have never experienced any issues with condensation or corrosion. In fact, Porsche offers them as an accessory in their parts catalog.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:06 AM   #14
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If your problem is rust then covers are not the answer. If you just want shiny lugs then covers are fine.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by root_werks
My wife has a 02' Beetle and we just picked up a couple of factory lug bolt covers from the dealer (Her Beetle was missing a couple). They were $1 each. I didn't get a chance to try one on my Boxster, but if they fit, I'll grab another 20 of them.
One of the first things I tried when I got my car since I had the same VW caps in my garage. No luck. Would have been perfect.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:31 AM   #16
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Well, here's my 2 cents worth. Mine where pretty nasty, so I buffed and sanded them. Then I painted them using a Rustolem printer and finish painted with a silver caliper paint. Let dry for a few hours, then baked them for 3 hours at 350. Looks good and is holding up well. Now, you can also have them powder coated. Me, I just don't like caps.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteNunsOnDope
One of the first things I tried when I got my car since I had the same VW caps in my garage. No luck. Would have been perfect.
You can buy a set of these all day long on Ebay for around $20.00. Keep in mind, as Landrovered pointed out, if you already have a situation with rust or corrosion on your lug bolts its not a good idea to simply cover them up.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:58 PM   #18
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Can you install studs and then use Aluminum nuts from early 911?
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