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Help! 81 with AR Torque Thrust II's - potentially DANGEROUS situation


Aug 3, 2008
Tucson, AZ
1981 ZZ383, Weiand 177, steeroids, Van Steel rear
Hi all - thanks for everyone who's been kind enough to read/help with my numerous problems.

I put 17x8 AR Torq thrust II's on with 255/50/17's - love the look, rides great. Here's the problem - the other day I was driving around, heard a snap, saw something silver fly out from under my car. Stopped immediately, and it turns out that ALL of my lug nuts were gone from my driver's side rear wheel. The snap was the stud breaking out of the rotor housing. Had I driven a few more yards I'm relatively certain I would have serious damage to myself and my car.

All other lug nuts were tight. Flat bedded the car to a shop I trust since I was missing a stud. It really doesn't matter HOW it happened (i.e. foul play, loose lugs, etc.), but what they told me is as follows:

I have approx. 1/4" spacers on the rear wheels. They said that while the other rear lugs were tight, they were concerned that the mounting surface was way too small - they estimated 3/8". If this wasn't due to someone incompletely stealing my wheel or someone trying to kill me, it could just be that the spacers just don't work with this particular wheel.

I've already contacted the dealer (tire rack) but have yet to hear back. The shop told me that there are special lug nuts with tapered ends that allow it to be screwed in further past the wheel but they don't know who makes them. They also told me that they are not able to put in longer studs for whatever reason. I have stock studs (apparently only 19 of them now however).

Does anyone know of these special lug nuts, or is there any way around this problem short of removing the spacers?

Thanks for any help. This is frustrating.

Can you take a picture of the lugnuts you have right now? I don't think the problem isn't the rims you have but the spacers or the lack of studsurface.

Groeten Peter
Spacers put extra stress on the studs and because the lug nut doesn't go on as far, that just amplifies the problem.

Now there are spacers with another set of studs that bolt on to the existing studs and then the wheel goes on the spacer studs. Saw these back when folks were putting C4 wheels on Sharks.

Another problem when moving the wheel out from the normal mounting position is that it puts more stress on the wheel bearings. :ugh
Voodoo81, I'm in almost the same position as you since I just finished shopping around for 17x8" rims. AR makes the TTII's in the 17x8 size with various offsets & backspacing. And plenty of people here have them with no problems. It sounds like you have one of two issues here.
1) You don't have the correct TTII rim. If the offset is Zero, then that's not the correct rim. You need their rim with a negative offset. (After I post this, I'll check out their site and see if I can find what I believe to be the correct part number.)
2) You have the correct rim and thus you don't need the spacers. (If you check out my thread about "Who has 17's rims on their car?", you'll see I went into so detail about what I have/had going on.) The stock studs are not long enough to handle a 1/4" spacer. You'll only get about 5/16" thread on the lugnuts if I recall my last measurements. That's not enough as you unfortunately found out!

The only reason to get a spacer is if you can't find the rim you want in the proper dimensions. You'll run into clearance issues. Our cars don't have a standard/common offset, thus our options are fairly limited in the area of readily available rim choices.

Using what 73Shark has said...
Spacers put extra stress on the studs and because the lug nut doesn't go on as far, that just amplifies the problem.
From what I've heard, the studs are only as strong as their cross section or width. So if our studs are 7/16" wide, anything less than 7/16" of the lugnut threaded on it is bad in terms of the potential to snap a stud. Beyond 7/16", that's just more reassurance that it's less likely to spin itself off. (This is with the assumption that at whatever thread depth you get, it's flush with the rim.)

Now there are spacers with another set of studs that bolt on to the existing studs and then the wheel goes on the spacer studs.
These are wheel adapters and if spacers are "bad", then these are "evil incarnate". You really never want to run hub or "wheel adapters" for any reason. It's overall just bad bad bad. Do people use them? Yes. Does that make it a "best practice"? Absolutely not.
TorqThrust II proper wheel size

Here is the link to the TTII page. If you do a search in your browser window for 7861 and tell it to "highlight all", it will make your choices easier to identify.

I believe the part number you want is either VN405786142 or VN405786137.
The general part number you start with is VN4057861xx. The last two digits designate the offset and backspacing.

The VN identifies their Vintage line of rims
The 405 identifies it as a TTII rim
The 7861 identifies our correct stud pattern (5x4.75)
The last two digits represent the offset/backspacing combo.

(For additional at-your-leisure reading, here are my two threads regarding my quest for 17" rims)
Thread 1 (The Poll)
Thread 2 (The technical)

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