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      09-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
BenN
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Advice: Corroded Locking Wheel Bolt

Hi,

Just looking for abit of advice.

I'll be switching my summer wheels/tyres over for the winter set in a month or so's time, ready for the unpredictable UK winter

I bought my wheels and tyre set last year, along with some locking and regular wheel bolts - all from the same supplier. I purchased new lockers due to the winter wheels being slightly thicker and requiring slightly longer bolts in general. When i fitted the wheels last winter, the winter set along with the new bolts gave the same amount of thread hub-side compared to the original BMW M-Sport alloys and BMW bolts.

The problem is this, after removing the wheels last winter, i noticed corrosion had started to appear on the McGard locking wheel bolts that i had purchased specifically for the winter set. TBH, the locking wheel key is almost identical to that of the BMW original equipment (obviously the keyed bit is different), so to me, this suggested that BMW used McGard lockers. I wouldnt usually be bothered about corrosion on wheel bolts, as this is to be expected; however i have had bad experience with McGard locking wheel bolts on a previous car, similar thing happened and i ended up with the keyed bit snapping from the bolt on removal, meaning that i had to get the bolt drilled before the routine servicing could carry out. I was, at the time of buying the McGard lockers for the BMW cautious of this happening again, but i guessed with McGard being a fairly reputable company that this was a one-off and put it down to bad luck.

With the same thing looking to happen again, what would you do? I have contacted BMW about buying some slightly longer bolts for my car from them, but they insist all of the bolts on all BMW's are the same length

If i rememeber correctly from last year, the BMW lockers are slightly longer than the BMW bolts, and wondered, even though they are slightly shorter than my winter bolts, whether the BMW lockers would be ok to use with my winter set? I am more-so concerned about these bolts not seating all of the way into the hub and after torquing up to 140nm, that half the thread gets pulled (or maybe im just worrying about nothing).

Anyway, heres some pics of the McGard lockers, the corrosion surrounding the keyed chrome part and where this joins to the main bolt is where i had one fail previously, as this corrosion had got under the keyed bit; the bolts in the pics have been on the car for less than 6 months.

I have contacted McGard about this, but they are resistant to any sort of response. The generic OEM winter bolts that i am using have no rust or corrosion on them in any way.

Also, ive sometimes had a gold/bronze grease put on the end of bolts during a service, i wondered what your thoughts where about this and whether i should do the same when i swap the wheels this time?

What would you do? any advice would be appreciated...

Thanks, Ben

(Maybe someone can work out the bolt length difference from the McGard part number compared to BMW bolts )
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      09-27-2013, 05:15 AM   #2
ovekvam
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After 22500 km and one winter in Norwegian coastal climate with salty roads, our stock BMW lug bolts are still rust free.
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      09-27-2013, 06:05 AM   #3
BenN
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Thanks Ovekvam.

Since i made the original post, McGard have come back to me (2 weeks after i sent the initial email) to claim that a wheel cleaner has done that (i never use a wheel cleaner, just the usual Autoglym Body Shampoo and Conditioner that i wash the rest of the car with). They must think this isn't normal, as they have said they will send me out another set tho.

Eventhough i am getting a replacement set, i think i would rather just use the original BMW bolts.

Question: If i put a BMW locker and a McGuard Locker through my winter alloy and measure the difference in length, what would you say is a safe enough difference in length so that i can use the shorter BMW bolts?

Thanks,

Ben
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      09-27-2013, 06:30 AM   #4
ovekvam
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I would put the new McGuard lug bolts in, but put one (out of 5) BMW lug bolt in each wheel, just to see how they compare after one more year of use.

Ideally, I think the bolts should enter the threads about as deep as the diameter of the bolt.
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      09-27-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
orcomma
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I had the cloud protrusion on a McGard key snap off inside a bolt on a previous car

Apparently if you have the key number (I think it was a special date field, should be on a card that came with the nuts) then you can order a replacement key from McGard in Germany for about 25

I have a friend who worked at VW (who fit them) and he said there are only like 4 or 5 designs - and they have one of each in case a customer loses theirs.
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      09-27-2013, 11:28 AM   #6
BenN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orcomma View Post
I had the cloud protrusion on a McGard key snap off inside a bolt on a previous car

Apparently if you have the key number (I think it was a special date field, should be on a card that came with the nuts) then you can order a replacement key from McGard in Germany for about 25

I have a friend who worked at VW (who fit them) and he said there are only like 4 or 5 designs - and they have one of each in case a customer loses theirs.
Thanks Orcomma,

I didnt realise there was that few designs out there! In my previous case, it was the actual bit on the bolt that came off, so i had a bolt stuck to the car - nightmare! On trying to get it off, we had to weld another bolt to the existing bolt to get it off. Coincidence maybe, but once the bolt was off, the wheel bearing fell apart within the next mile of driving; and it looked like the intense heat from the welding could have caused the bearings to sieze.

Thanks,

Ben
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