Go nuts! Scale Lug Nuts

scalenuts

Want to increase scale realism and make your RC truck’s wheels better all in one shot? I bet you do. Many aftermarket aluminum wheels (in some case, plastic as well) use a separate hub that gets attached to the axle with the stock 7 mm nut. The wheel then bolts to that hub with six or so hex screws. This can be a bit of a pain as you have to remove as many as six screws and instead of one nut. Hex screws also don’t look all that realistic. Read on and I’ll show you a cool way to make it easier and look scale at the same time.

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Take, for example, these Integy aluminum wheels I have here. They are typical 1.9 aluminum wheels. While all aluminum wheels don’t mount this way, as described above, these (and many others) mount with an aluminum spacer/hub adapter on the back via the six small hex head screws seen here. If you ask anyone that has had this type of setup for awhile, they are likely to dread taking the wheels off. I’ll also point out that you can only really tighten these little suckers so much until you either strip them or break them. I can’t take exclusive credit for this. Others have done it too, but I wanted to highlight this cool solution that replaces the screws with realistic wheels studs and attaches the wheels with nuts.

 

 STEP 1

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First, get rid of those pesky little 2 mm screws. If they are stripped, don’t worry, you won’t be needing them anymore after this. If you have larger hardware, this idea still applies to you. Just remember to upgrade the hardware we will talk about next with the same size you’re already working with. I’ve even seen guys go as far as take wheels like mine with threaded 2mm hub threads and drill and tap them to 2.6 or 3 mm threads. The larger hardware is simply stronger. It may be a good idea for 2.2 wheels, but is probably overkill for 1.9 wheels.

 

 STEP 2

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In this build up I am using 2 mm threaded hubs and so I went for a trip to my local hobby store and visited the bulk hardware bin. There I was able to find long bodied (how long is up to you)  2 mm threaded set screws. I also used standard 2 mm nuts. If you can find nylon lock nuts in the correct size, they will work. The standard nuts work well and are arguably look more realistic. Another option is Duratrax nut bag (part no.: DTXQ0401) that comes with 10 2 mm nuts and 10 2.6 mm nuts. You’ll need at least three Duratrax nut bags to convert four six-screw wheel.

 

 STEP 3

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The great thing about using set screws for this is the ability to use a small hex wrench or hex driver to install them into the hub.

 

 STEP 4

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Using a small amount of medium strength thread-locking compound, install the set screws into the hub until they bottom out or are flush with the backside of the hub. This depending on the style you may be working with. These set screws are now functioning and looking just like real wheel studs.

 

 STEP 5

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Once the thread locking compound dries you can slid the wheel over the studs.

 

 STEP 6

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Using a small nut driver, you can now secure the wheels. This conversion helps prevent stripping because with the nuts you have more meat of the mounting hardware to grab onto. It also looks really cool.

When it comes to the hobby, using your imagination and trying different things is part of the fun. The bottom line is nothing is set into stone and there is no rule book. Try it out, you might like it. I know after running these wheels on a variety of rigs through out the past few years I really like this setup and find it much easier to install and remove the wheels when needed. There are more hardware options out there, but this one is fast, easy and inexpensive.

 

Links
Duratrax

 

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Filed Under: FeaturedRock Crawlers and ScaleTech

Christopher Oswald About the Author:

Christopher is our Senior Editor and a professional automotive technician by trade, he has been a RC enthusiast for over 20 years and has hobby store experience under his belt. He has closed off many racing seasons with top podium finishes. His favorite is the Canadian National Championship series. He resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Good old fashioned competitive racing, scale crawling and some Sunday afternoon parking lot bashing is just some of his favorite ways to enjoy RC. When he isn’t writing, racing or bashing, Christopher spends his time with his wife and kids. Christopher also finds time to contribute other articles and RC tech on a variety of topics around the web. Christopher has his own personal RC project showcase website “R/C Modz Full Throttle” where you can find some of his own personal custom rigs.

You can also follow Christopher on Twitter for up-to-date project’s and review notifications at @RCTrkStp_Chris If you ever have any questions or comments, email Christopher at rctruckstopchris@gmail.com

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  1. AlllanHepsler says:

    Thats a great idea, nice work Chris. i’ll have to try this on my next set of wheels. I still have regular wheels with a normal nocking nut on my crawler. This is cool.

  2. Thank you Allan, happy to see your excited for your next set of wheels and enjoyed reading the article. Like I said, I can’t take credit for the idea. But I wanted to share this great modification and how easy it can be to do.

  3. Wayne says:

    Really cool, I’ll have to do this on my Integy wheels. Your right Chris, those little screws are a pain. I pretty well bought out what my lhs had in stock as far as spare screws for these things go. Im going to see what they have to do this change up.

  4. Kasin Thomas says:

    What wheels are those used in the pictures? How do you get the adapters for the axles??

  5. The wheels used here are Integy 5 spoke alloy wheels. I don’t think they still make this style of wheel, but the wheel hub adapters came with the set. They still make the same setup though for different designs. This little change up can be applied to other wheels that use the same bolt on with multipal screws design. Different manufactures use different wheel attachment methods. This is just one of them someone can try.

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