Avoiding V8 wheel nut damage

Jeff Ward (Flamenco Red 2375) a longstanding member from Northamptonshire has some good advice on how to avoid damage to the chrome wheel nuts on a V8. Jeff also adds a reminder of the need to centre the road wheels on the studs using a pair of tapered face or conical seating wheel nuts. (Aug 03)

Damage to the V8 wheel nuts can be avoided by the use of a Wall Drive Socket, sometimes called a Flank or Surface Drive, which exerts pressure on the flats of the wheel nut instead of the easily damaged corners- see the illustration. Sykes Pickavent used to market these as Speedline but they seem to have disappeared but the sockets are available from various manufacturers and suppliers. I managed to keep a set of wheel nuts on my V8 in pristine condition for two decades until a so-called MG specialist managed to chew the corners off every nut on the car by the use of a conventional socket on a compressed air tool. So if you take your car to a tyre fitters or a garage, even one run by an MG specialist, do stress to the fitter or mechanic that you do not want the nuts damaged and that they should use a Wall Drive Socket (it's a wise precaution to keep one in the glove box so it can be available at all times) and not use a compressed air tool.

Wall Drive Socket which exerts pressure on the flats of the V8 wheel nuts, not on the corners. (Drawing from an old catalogue )

It is worth reminding V8 enthusiasts that the V8 wheel nuts are sleeved and do not provide self centreing when the road wheel is offered up onto the studs and the nuts replaced. It is a poor design feature which can result in wheel balance problems. When refitting a V8 road wheel it is therefore necessary to centre the wheel on the studs by the use of two standard MGB conical seating wheel nuts acting as slave nuts on opposite wheel studs before tightening up two sleeved V8 wheel nuts on the other two studs. As the conical seating of the wheel nut presses onto the outer face of the stud hole, it has the action of centreing the V8 wheel on the studs. Once the two V8 wheel nuts are on, then undo the two slave nuts and replace with the other two V8 wheel nuts and tighten to the recommended torque.

This has been a standard routine for longstanding V8 enthusiasts (see V8 Workshop Note 138) for many years but is well worth drawing to the attention of newcomers to the model - both owners and some "more recent MG specialists". You can get hold of a pair of conical seating wheel nuts very easily - they are the type used on the standard MGB 1800 model (BHH1087).

Finally Jeff Ward has a V8 wheel nut information sheet he displays on his V8 when it goes in for a service or other work to ensure the mechanic working on the car is reminded of the need to take care with the chrome V8 wheel nuts! The Wall Drive Socket is taken from the glovebox and handed to the proprietor with a reminder he will have to buy a new set of V8 wheel nuts if any damage is caused! A copy of this information note is set out below which members may care to photocopy and use.


When removing and refitting the road wheels on this MGBGTV8 please ensure that you and/or any member of your staff:

Use only the Wall Drive Socket provided on the chrome wheel nuts fitted as standard equipment to the MGBGTV8
This avoids damage to the chrome plated wheel nuts, which are very easily damaged if ordinary sockets are used. The chrome V8 wheel nuts are expensive to replace - you have been warned.

Use conical seating slave wheel nuts when refitting the wheels
Because the standard chrome plated V8 wheel nuts are sleeved, the wheel must be centred on the wheel studs to ensure a good alignment and wheel balance.

When refitting the road wheels, use conical seating slave wheel nuts (BHH1087) or similar on two opposite wheel studs on each wheel in order to centre the Dunlop wheel fitted as standard equipment on the MGBGTV8 model. Then fit and tighten two of the chrome V8 wheel nuts on the other two studs. Finally remove the slave nuts and fit the other two V8 chrome nuts and tighten.

Note - the standard MGBGTV8 chrome wheel nuts have no self-centre facility and unless the above sequence is followed, the wheels will not be centred on the studs.

Please do not use compressed air driven devices on these chrome plated V8 wheel nuts.

Note - the torque setting for the MGBGTV8 wheel nuts is 60 lbf ft (8 kgf m)

ProTec your nuts! More