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Help! Need Left Hand Threaded Lug Nuts


TexRiv_63
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I am trying to mount a set of 17 by 9 alloy wheels from a 95 Impala SS on my 63 Olds Starfire. They fit fine and clear everything but I'm having trouble finding the right lug nuts for the drivers side with the left hand thread wheel studs. I found the RH thread versions, 1/2" 20 size with a 60 degree wide conical seat, see pics. GM used the LH threads up through 1963 and 60s Mopars used the same size studs and nuts, does anyone know if a left hand thread version is available, if so point me in the right direction - thanks.<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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Guest Jim_Edwards

GM used left hand threads on the driver side drums of many cars for many years before the 1960s. Unless Dorman is still selling them they will be just as scarce as the lugs they screwed on to. A lot of people will give me hell for suggesting this, but the easiest solution to this situation is to pull the drums and have someone with a press remove those left hand thread lugs and put in new right hand thread lugs of the proper length. (don't try to beat them out you'll likely crack the drum)

FYI the theory on the left hand threads on the driver side of the car had to do with someone's idiot notion that wheel rotation would be less likely to loosen the lug nuts. Obviously just a notion!

Certain model Jeeps up to 1971 had a like arrangement and one can buy closed nuts for them but I don't know if they are of the correct thread cut for your Olds. 1/2 X 20 is the same thread for most Fords for more years than I can remember.

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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I switched the left hand side lugs on my 62 Pontiac to rt. hand threads. That is a much easier solution.

Pardon my bias here, but don't you thing those wheels detract from the looks of your Olds. Makes the car look like it's on steroids??? The wheel house and body style is not designed for them.

Don

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They are still made.

Check eBay - heaps of different shapes and sizes.

Mopar Charger Roadrenner Coronet Duster RH.LH Lug Nuts | eBay

If you want to venture off into Mopar-land, you can probably find some listed in an ad in Mopar Action or Mopar Muscle, but they'll be "correct restoration items" rather than the more generic ones you might desire. But if you get a complete LH and RH set, probably nobody will notice. I suspect the main Mopar restoration vendors will have them.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

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Pardon my bias here, but don't you thing those wheels detract from the looks of your Olds. Makes the car look like it's on steroids??? The wheel house and body style is not designed for them.

Don

Don, no pardon needed, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Jim Edwards does not like my choice either but I am still glad to see his comments. I happen to like the look a lot and since this is mainly a driver I'm not too concerned with originality - although I will not be getting rid of the original wheels and hubcaps.

Wait a minute - I say I'm not concerned with originality but here I am working to leave those friggin' left hand thread lug nuts....

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Update - I have contacted NAPA, looked online and called both Gorilla and McGard - apparently the nuts I am looking for are no longer manufactured due to lack of interest. (This seems to happen to me with every car I buy!) This fact combined with the fact that the the stock lugs are kind of short for the aluminum wheels and only allow the nut to cover about 5/8" of thread is leading me to head in the direction of new longer studs all around as well as RH thread all around. This leads me to another question for someone who has already done this conversion - how do you handle the front lugs which are a special design that is staked into the composite front brake drums? These drums can't be replaced and I want to make sure I don't do anything to screw them up - help!

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Guest Jim_Edwards

The front drums should be the same on all full size Oldsmobiles from '59 thru '63 and they are available from Kantor. A bit pricey but nonetheless available. Probably plenty of them on parts cars good enough to turn for a lot less.

As for removing the pressed in lugs, as I mentioned before it is no big deal to safely push them out with a press and install new right hand thread studs of the proper length for what you want to accomplish. Once you know how long they need to be and the diameter of the whole in the drum check out Dorman on line to get the correct part number and take it to any parts house and if they don't have them they can get them likely overnight.

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Thanks Jim, you have finally given me an excuse to do my Kantor rant. As you know, the drums on the 60s full size Olds cars are the composite type - a pressed sheet metal outer drum with a cast iron wear surface ring bonded to the outer edge. When I got my car the brakes were messed up pretty bad so I did a full brake job and as part of that wanted to replace the drums. No one listed them as available except Kantor so I ordered from them. What I got was four full cast iron drums which weighed a ton, they physically fit on the car but that was all that was right. The center section was at least 1/4" thicker than the stock drum, when I mounted a rear wheel it only left about 1/8" of thread contact for the lug nuts. the front drums had a large outer band cast into them that would not allow the stock 14" wheels to even seat. I called Kantor to complain and they said to send them back for a full refund which I did - unfortunately their idea of a full refund did not include the very costly return shipping! My further complaints fell on deaf ears, they still list those drums as being correct for my car which is BS. I wound up salvaging my drums and they were able to be turned within specs so I quit looking.

I'll check Dorman to see if they have the stakeable studs for the front hubs - has anyone else actually done this stud replacement?

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Guest Jim_Edwards

Don not a blasted one of the '62 Starfires I have has those basically stupid composite drums, implying that somewhere along the way they were replaced with traditional cast drums. Now you are going to make me pull a wheel or two and see what casting numbers are on those things and who made them. The one thing is a a fact though, they have those dumb left hand thread lugs so whomever produced them saw fit to conform to that part of the original specs. I have no stud length problems with those using steel wheels.

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Jim,

It does sound like your drums have been replaced. The composite drums on my 63 remind me of the same drums I had on two fullsize 64's I used to have, I remember their distinctive bell shape, see pic. I also attached some pics of the Kanter cast drum showing the giant lip on the edge which the 14" wheels would not fit over. I just looked at my shop manual and it does cover lug bolt replacement saying that the drum should be peened around the new bolt with a special tool. Not only do I not have the special tool but I would bet the new studs I could get would not match the ones I have now anyway. Nothing is ever simple...

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My '62 Starfire had a bad drum and a good hub on the passenger side, but my spare drum had a bad hub. We pressed the studs out of both assemblies and separated them, pressed new studs into the good hub (but not into the drum) and now I have a good drum that is removable on that side. Brakes can be inspected without fooling with the wheel bearings. Next on the agenda is to do the same to the driver side, and switch over to standard studs and nuts.

Paul

Edited by Oldsfan (see edit history)
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Guest Jim_Edwards

Paul, did you find it necessary to increase the lug hole diameter in the drums to make it easier to reinstall the drum when pulling to replace linings?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest 907OLDS

I have a 55 Olds 98 with left hand studs on the left side. I ordered my new ones from Fusick Automotive. I believe they were less than $10.00 for 5

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  • 1 month later...

I just wanted to follow up with the final decision on this. I decided I did not want to replace all the wheel lugs so I did not use the big alloy wheels. I wound up with a set of 15" cop wheels from a 95 Caprice with 235-70-15 BFG Radial T/A's and a set of 1960 Buick wheel covers. I like the look, it reminds me of the 70s. Check out my post in Our Cars and Restoration Projects for more pics.

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