Wheel creaking issue


Special K

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Aug 23, 2016
1,664
Franklinton, LA
So weird: I put new tyres on my car at 5000 miles, did it myself, didn’t know anything about moly lube, so didn’t use any. I then put another 2000 miles on it, including the Big Bend race (120 miles averaging 150mph and hitting 170) and never had an issue. I’ve done the same with my GT500 CFTP - now at 13,000 miles and on its second set of tyres. Once again, no moly lube involved and once again, no issues. It strikes me that if wheel integrity relies on the application of moly lube, then there’s something wrong with the design, but the fact that it seems to be just Kevin’s car makes me think it’s an issue with Kevin’s nuts.....errr, that doesn’t sound right does it?
Got to love the British humor... 😂 but seriously, I’m not the only car. Another forum member’s (he can opine if he’d like) car has the same issue at the same dealership. My theory is more cars will exhibit this problem when they reach a certain mileage, especially if no one knows this procedure. My noises didn’t start until ~3500 miles.
 
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fjpikul

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Derry, thank you for your input. I really love your nuts. When people see them they are amazed and ask where I got them. I feel special telling them Ford GT stuff only.
 

nota4re

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Derry, I too have always liked your nuts... and you are the only guy that I've ever said that to.

Special K - can I summarize and you tell me if I have got it right?

1. The audible "click" that you hear is undoubtedly the wheel minutely moving under the lug nuts (not good, however small).
2. After a lot of back and forth, the offered solution is to use a dry lubricant on the lug studs at each re-install of the wheel
3. The only thing that a lubricant does is to allow a higher actual torque to be achieved (mitigates thread friction).

I'm guessing that the same results could be seen by not using the dry lubricant but increasing the torque spec from 150 to 160-165?
 
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BBRGT

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My car started doing the same thing this week during a track day at Area 27 , I also have titanium lug nuts .
 

Special K

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Derry, I too have always like your nuts... and you are the only guy that I've ever said that to.

Special K - can I summarize and you tell me if I have got it right?

1. The audible "click" that you hear is undoubtedly the wheel minutely moving under the lug nuts (not good, however small).
2. After a lot of back and forth, the offered solution is to use a dry lubricant on the lug studs at each re-install of the wheel
3. The only thing that a lubricant does is to allow a higher actual torque to be achieved (mitigates thread friction).

I'm guessing that the same results could be seen by not using the dry lubricant but increasing the torque spec from 150 to 160-165?
1) Yes, that is my assumption
2) The offered solution is to apply the dry-moly on the face of the Ti lug nut to prevent galling when torquing. It is my assumption that the galling is being caused by wheel movement.
3) I agree, but it could also mask movement of the rim in relation to the hub.
 

Special K

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Well, tough to misinterpret that. Moly dry lubes from what I know though can have different particle sizes and chemistry so I was just surprised they are not more specific. Ti does not yield like steel does so the 'stretch' of the joint that gives the tension is a bit different than with a steel nut. The metal insert in the CF wheel may be steel which would also give different torque tension relationship to the joint as opposed to an aluminum seat machined into an aluminum wheel. It would be interesting to know the target tension they are trying for at a torque of 150 ft. lbs. but I assume it is the same target as the steel un-lubed nut on an aluminum seat.
Thanks for the analysis, I’ve spent countless hours over the past few months thinking about the differences in yield, hardness, and unique characteristics of Ti and how it could relate to steel and softer alloys. It would be interesting to see engineering specifics like the target tensions of the various setups, but I feel that will be kept confidential. I’ve also given considerable thought to the techniques and obstacles to machining and threading Ti, along with the tooling lifespan. What is your opinion on the contact (galling) ring on my Ti lug nut? Specifically the width and location on the face in relation to the steel lug nut beside it. Another thing to note is the internal depth of the Ti lug nut is shallower by about 2mm than that of the steel, which is about the same difference between the contact rings on the two different lug nuts.
 

nota4re

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2) The offered solution is to apply the dry-moly on the face of the Ti lug nut to prevent galling when torquing. It is my assumption that the galling is being caused by wheel movement.
Ah, ok, I didn't catch that the first time. So, not to the threads of the lugs but to the contact taper of the lug nut. Got it.

Hmmm. It would be interesting... sometime in the future... to thoroughly clean the nut/wheel and then install and torque to spec (150). Then mark 12 o-clock position with a sharpie. Remove and follow the procedure and install/torque and see approximately how many more degrees of rotation you get on the nut. Not sure if that tells us anything... but would at least substantiate that you are getting a higher torque.

Keep us posted - especially if click comes back.
 
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Biginch Blake

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Nov 4, 2008
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Rockville, Indiana
I worked with high pressure pipeline stud bolts for 40 years. Working with both lub and non lub torquing specifications. This was for flat nut to flange surfaces not tapered like a lug nut. To achieve the proper torque valve a lubricanted nut is 10% to 20% less than a dry bolt up. My concern is that using a lubricant on the stud and going to the 150# specification could be up 180# of true torque. This is putting a lot of stress on the CF wheels with the tapered nut like driving a wedge in a log. Have never put lubricant on lug nuts/bolts.

It sounds like the noise is coming from the contact point of the nut taper and wheel taper. You may want to try applying a high temperature lubricant on the tapered part of the nut and the tapered part of the wheel. This will not affect the torque valve in the nuts.
 

DakotaGT

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You think the noise is from nut-to-rim interface, rather than rim-to-hub interface?

My McLaren front wheels start to make a god-awful clicking noise when turning at low speed, as some minor corrosion builds up on the central disc bell and hub spigot, where they interface with the wheel flange. Every couple of years, I have to pull of the wheels, and wire brush those areas, and then greenie pad, and then steel wool, and then apply a thin thin layer of lube, and voila! the noise is gone... for a while
 
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nota4re

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This will not affect the torque valve in the nuts.
But won't it? If the tapered surfaces are what are galling and preventing additional rotation of the nut, then lubricating this surface to alleviate the friction will allow the nut to turn more - thus increasing torque?
 

Special K

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Ah, ok, I didn't catch that the first time. So, not to the threads of the lugs but to the contact taper of the lug nut. Got it.

Hmmm. It would be interesting... sometime in the future... to thoroughly clean the nut/wheel and then install and torque to spec (150). Then mark 12 o-clock position with a sharpie. Remove and follow the procedure and install/torque and see approximately how many more degrees of rotation you get on the nut. Not sure if that tells us anything... but would at least substantiate that you are getting a higher torque.

Keep us posted - especially if click comes back.
Coincidentally, I was thinking along these lines yesterday and asked that they send the car back with steel lug nuts installed to take the dry-moly lube out of the equation. They have not responded yet if they will do it. I do know the noise subsequently returned after a few days of driving on steel lug nuts, which I believe was due to the previous galling. Another interesting thing to note is that all cars I’ve seen videos of (more are coming forward due to this thread) started exhibiting the noise on both sides simultaneously.
 

PilotMarky

Ford GT Team Alumni
Dec 11, 2018
31
Will any dry moly lube work, or is there a specific one to use? Definitely going to keep an eye on this one.
 
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Simon

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Porsche uses this for center locks

 
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Biginch Blake

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But won't it? If the tapered surfaces are what are galling and preventing additional rotation of the nut, then lubricating this surface to alleviate the friction will allow the nut to turn more - thus increasing torque?
Very good point. I was thinking more of the torque on the stud threads. Lubricant on the tapered areas will add some value to the pressure of the nut against the wheel but when you show 150# on your torque wrench you are measuring the thread friction. Lub on the center hub may be the first place to start or just go to the metal lug nuts.
 
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Special K

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Will any dry moly lube work, or is there a specific one to use? Definitely going to keep an eye on this one.
They have not specified yet.
 

nota4re

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Problems like this plague my small brain... In thinking more about this, it just almost seems impossible that wheel movement can be the cause of the clicking. All of the wheels are hub centric so there's virtually no shear forces on the lugs/seats - just the rotational force. And then you have (5) tapered lug nuts - any two of which should really be able to do the job, but we have 5! Then I started thinking about maybe the unique (CF) wheel is somehow flexing... but we all know that one of the greatest properties of CF is how stiff it is, so I doubt it is any kind of wheel flex. Finally, and further complicating the issue, we have the fact that messing around with the lugs and dry lubricant somehow eliminates the sound - at least for awhile. So, yeah, there's a lot of evidence that it is the wheel... and maybe it is,,,, but maybe which should also be looking elsewhere? I'm thinking about the rotors, and how much more likely it is the rotors that are making the noise. With the wheel torqued against the hat, I'm thinking that it could make the sound go away. As we have discussed, applying any kind of lube to the tapered surfaces and then torqueing to the same shown torque value will in fact apply MORE torque as compared to a dry surface. This higher torque can mitigate or eliminate the click in the rotors.

So, my small CPU brain is thinking that it may be more probable that the rotor is making the noise and not the wheel at all.

Have a look at this VIDEO of a rotor cooling...
 
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extrap

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Frustrating. The galling on the lug nut taper sure seems concerning, but just throwing it out there that to try to stop some clicking some mechanics put some anti seize lube between the hub and rotor, and between the wheel and rotor. I'm def no expert, but it sure seems counterintuitive to lubricate something that shouldn't move, ie the lug nut tapers ... he says, right after suggesting anti seize on joints that shouldn't move 🤷‍♂️ 😱 Boggling! 😵‍💫

Also, owners of other cars complain about clicking brakes. Any chance it could actually be that?

Good luck 🤞
 
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Special K

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Frustrating. The galling on the lug nut taper sure seems concerning, but just throwing it out there that to try to stop some clicking some mechanics put some anti seize lube between the hub and rotor, and between the wheel and rotor. I'm def no expert, but it sure seems counterintuitive to lubricate something that shouldn't move, ie the lug nut tapers ... he says, right after suggesting anti seize on joints that shouldn't move 🤷‍♂️ 😱 Boggling! 😵‍💫

Also, owners of other cars complain about clicking brakes. Any chance it could actually be that?

Good luck 🤞
I was told that the clicking brakes were not the issue on my car. I personally haven’t had it apart though.
 
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DakotaGT

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Problems like this plague my small brain... In thinking more about this, it just almost seems impossible that wheel movement can be the cause of the clicking. All of the wheels are hub centric so there's virtually no shear forces on the lugs/seats - just the rotational force. And then you have (5) tapered lug nuts - any two of which should really be able to do the job, but we have 5! Then I started thinking about maybe the unique (CF) wheel is somehow flexing... but we all know that one of the greatest properties of CF is how stiff it is, so I doubt it is any kind of wheel flex. Finally, and further complicating the issue, we have the fact that messing around with the lugs and dry lubricant somehow eliminates the sound - at least for awhile. So, yeah, there's a lot of evidence that it is the wheel... and maybe it is,,,, but maybe which should also be looking elsewhere? I'm thinking about the rotors, and how much more likely it is the rotors that are making the noise. With the wheel torqued against the hat, I'm thinking that it could make the sound go away. As we have discussed, applying any kind of lube to the tapered surfaces and then torqueing to the same shown torque value will in fact apply MORE torque as compared to a dry surface. This higher torque can mitigate or eliminate the click in the rotors.

So, my small CPU brain is thinking that it may be more probable that the rotor is making the noise and not the wheel at all.

Have a look at this VIDEO of a rotor cooling...


Plus, Kevin’s wheels are not CF.
 
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Special K

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Franklinton, LA
Problems like this plague my small brain... In thinking more about this, it just almost seems impossible that wheel movement can be the cause of the clicking. All of the wheels are hub centric so there's virtually no shear forces on the lugs/seats - just the rotational force. And then you have (5) tapered lug nuts - any two of which should really be able to do the job, but we have 5! Then I started thinking about maybe the unique (CF) wheel is somehow flexing... but we all know that one of the greatest properties of CF is how stiff it is, so I doubt it is any kind of wheel flex. Finally, and further complicating the issue, we have the fact that messing around with the lugs and dry lubricant somehow eliminates the sound - at least for awhile. So, yeah, there's a lot of evidence that it is the wheel... and maybe it is,,,, but maybe which should also be looking elsewhere? I'm thinking about the rotors, and how much more likely it is the rotors that are making the noise. With the wheel torqued against the hat, I'm thinking that it could make the sound go away. As we have discussed, applying any kind of lube to the tapered surfaces and then torqueing to the same shown torque value will in fact apply MORE torque as compared to a dry surface. This higher torque can mitigate or eliminate the click in the rotors.

So, my small CPU brain is thinking that it may be more probable that the rotor is making the noise and not the wheel at all.

Have a look at this VIDEO of a rotor cooling...
I’ve been racking my brain for months on this now! While the noise is definitely related to the rotation of the wheel, it could be the brake rotor in some instances. Another forum member had a broken spring in the rotor causing a similar sound, but was only coming from the affected side. My car along with others have noises on both sides that seemed to start simultaneously. The galling on my rims is definitely more than others I’ve seen. It also appears to affect alloy wheels more than CF, perhaps due to the harder steel inserts.