Lotus Elan

Nader Nuts for Alloy and Steel Wheels

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:02 pm

After acquiring my Plus 2 and dealing with wheel balance issues, my very careful tire shop tells me two of my steel wheels have a great deal of runout and should be replaced. In talking with Famous Frank, I discovered he had a set of Brand Lotus Alloy wheels and we struck a deal to solve my problem in a far more elegant and expensive way :D :D

Then in preparation for my trip to the tire shop, I looked at my fixing nuts of the octagon "Nader" type and they are clearly marked "For Steel Wheels Only". I had never heard of this restriction before so I searched this forum and found that there are Alloy only nuts as well and that some say there is no discernible difference. Then I find that alloy wheels, at least the Panasport variety, must have a steel insert to not come loose. Now I am totally confused and have the following questions to which I hope to find DEFINITIVE answers:

1. Is there a difference in the Alloy or Steel marked nuts that matters?
2. If so does anyone have a set of Octagon or eared fixing nuts for Alloy wheels? Pleas note that I did NOT ask if anyone has Alloy nuts :oops:
3. Does the Brand Lotus Alloy wheel require steel inserts?
4. If so, where does one find these?
5. Does the black paint on the mating surface for the nut need to be removed in any case?
6. Should I have my head examined?

Thanks in advance for any and all help on this!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:57 am

Ross Robbins wrote:1. Is there a difference in the Alloy or Steel marked nuts that matters?
2. If so does anyone have a set of Octagon or eared fixing nuts for Alloy wheels? Pleas note that I did NOT ask if anyone has Alloy nuts :oops:
3. Does the Brand Lotus Alloy wheel require steel inserts?
4. If so, where does one find these?
5. Does the black paint on the mating surface for the nut need to be removed in any case?
6. Should I have my head examined?

Thanks in advance for any and all help on this!


1. I don't know about the marked ones but the original nuts for my Plus 2 alloy wheels have no marking on them
2. I believe, new nuts at least the eared one are available.
3.Yes there is a spun shaped strainless steel insert in my alloy wheels
4. I think Paul Matty sold new replicas of these wheels so they may know where to source the inserts
5. I beleive you should not be mounting the nut directly against the alloy wheel be it painted or not
6. Only if its gone soft with age and overheating

cheers
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:35 pm

Did my share of measuring and red paint on it for mating and this on both steel wheel only and unmarked nader nuts. This all on original alloy wheels as opposed to some that might be after market. Drove many miles on the steel wheel only ones with the alloys, then switched for consistency to the blank Nader nuts on the alloy wheels. As I indicated elsewhere the only problem I ever had was doing all the braking down pikes Peak in which case the short pegs that I believe go with steel wheels worked their way into the alloy wheel housing. You can see by the arrows on the Nader nuts that they're designed to tighten on acceleration so equivalent of about 40 miles of braking only took its toll. I since made longer pegs and continue to drive 100 miles a month or so, 75 on toolways and texas motor speedway laps and no problem. No spacers. Just preference. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:40 pm

Rohan, Gordon thanks to you both for your input.

Unfortunately I am still confused since Gordon implies that there is not a steel insert on his Brand Lotus wheels and that they are staying on just fine while Rohan says alloys MUST have the steel inset. And then, the Nader nuts aren't marked on either Rohan's or Gordon's car while mine are marked "For Steel Wheels Only". And, finally, Gordon had problems with the pegs in the alloy wheels, and that is another worry for me. Oh, and my head HAS gone soft from age and overheating...too many miles in a Seven in the sun.

Is there a definitive answer...I think not. I guess I should just do what Gordon did and try them. What could possibly go wrong????
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:12 pm

First of all, when the two instances of looseness I had occurred, it felt like a flat tire and and I pulled over and tightened the nut and limped home but of course some pegs were not there so I couldn't drive on. When I was doing my measurements one thing I was surprised about, was that both the steel and alloy wheel's centers have a space between them and the threaded portion of the hub. So basically the nut forces the wheel against the hub and the pegs keep it centered.(my nonengineering backgroung perspective) It's clear from my experiences that with some pegs missing you get the elliptical pattern because the bevel of the nut and the face of the wheel are not sufficient as a mating surface to keep the wheel from moving around if the pegs are not doing their job. So I could see a spacer being useful if it filled the clearance that exists between the threaded hub and the wheel center. But it seems that some of the spacer pictures show a face on the spacer that would actually prevent the nuts from engaging as many threads as they do when they're just screwed right down on the wheel. Others have said and I checked that the thread engagement is pretty much the same whether a steel or an alloy wheel. Finally, I don't think there really is an issue with "steel only" versus unmarked Nader nuts--when I switched them around and painted the surfaces and looked at engagement and contact. But you really do drive your cars a lot Ross so I can see why so much consideration. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:31 am

Serious subject whenever safety is involved! But let's have a moment of humor! This is one of the wheels as it arrived on the Elan I'm currently restoring. Now you know why I'm restoring this car and not leaving it as I found it. Who knows, evidently the previous owner must have had a wheel looseness problem also. Just don't do this as a resolution!!!!

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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:51 pm

OK Folks,

I am told that there is a slight but important pitch difference between the taper of the steel and alloy nuts, and that the steel inserts are necessary to avoid galling the alloy wheels.

Before I resort to Franks fixing method (Very funny and very sad at the same time Frank!) using a belt and suspenders so to speak, I am down to begging for anyone who knows what the steel inserts for the Brand Lotus alloy wheels looks like so I can have some machined. Or,if anyone has one or more (if you have four I will be all set) that you can loan me for a pattern.

Also, I would like to buy four ALLOY only Nader nuts in decent used condition. Here again if you only have one or two let me know as others may also have one or two. I am grateful for any replies.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:27 pm

there recently was a set on fleabay. i prepared mine for chroming, got em chromed and the entire set is waiting for some semi slicks - btw a brand weighs about 4,5 kg vs 5,5 for a steel (both 4,5" wide!!! if you want a picture and some dimensions let me know sandy 36 4982 - PS first registration here as a DHC even though it was a fhc!! --- i guess because both were imported and they didnt' notice the difference ---- so it's kept the wrong "MOT" data since she got here!! --- the paper-work actuallly said "OPEN with a Hardtop" 1965!!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:23 am

Forgive my dumb n00b question, but I assume that the reason they're called 'Nader nuts' has something to do with Ralph Nader, yes?
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PostPost by: prezoom » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:05 am

Corsairs were not the only thing that was "unsafe at any speed". Eared knockoffs and pointy hood ornaments were also thrown out with the bath water.
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:58 pm

Just to put a spanner in the works, I had a post on this subject a little while back. I've got two sets of lotus alloy wheels. Some have steel inserts, some don't. I bought a set of four nos inserts and found they were way too big to fit the holes the wheels that didn't have them. I've not investigated further yet but I suspect that there two types of lotus alloy - one with steel inserts, one without. Sorry I can't be more precise but my investigations will continue......
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:26 am

Ross Robbins wrote:OK Folks,

I am told that there is a slight but important pitch difference between the taper of the steel and alloy nuts, and that the steel inserts are necessary to avoid galling the alloy wheels.

Before I resort to Franks fixing method (Very funny and very sad at the same time Frank!) using a belt and suspenders so to speak, I am down to begging for anyone who knows what the steel inserts for the Brand Lotus alloy wheels looks like so I can have some machined. Or,if anyone has one or more (if you have four I will be all set) that you can loan me for a pattern.

Also, I would like to buy four ALLOY only Nader nuts in decent used condition. Here again if you only have one or two let me know as others may also have one or two. I am grateful for any replies.


Only just seen this, If you still need measurements Ross here's the dimensions of mine

Hope this helps

Robbie

The insert measures 84mm in diameter reducing to 64mm at the back and is 16mm deep. Pictures:
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wheel-insert-back.jpg and
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:44 pm

Thanks Robbie and Matt,

I have talked to memini on this site and he thought he could make some up and this will confirm the dimensions and material. Here's hoping I get this solved soon :?
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PostPost by: mariodschy » Wed May 11, 2016 6:59 am

My Sprint came with Panasport's fitted, the wheel's have a alloy bos fittet which can not be removed (see picture).
I want to go back to steel wheels and i have the same question:
Can i use my eared nuts directly on steel wheels or did i need something like a insert/spacer?
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PostPost by: mariodschy » Wed May 25, 2016 1:07 pm

mariodschy wrote:Can i use my eared nuts directly on steel wheels or did i need something like a insert/spacer?


No answer, but now I can give it myself: The eared spinner that i used with panasport wheels also fit on steel wheels without inserts or spacers. :D
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