Topics of Significance for all T3 Owners

Lug Seat Profiles

Lug nuts and bolts come in a variety of different seat styles and sizes. The three most common lug seat profiles that we as Vanagon owners deal with are small ball seat, large ball seat and conical (often referred to as a "cone" seat). With many of you upgrading to Mercedes or modern Audi/VW wheels, and with the popularity of the Mercedes, Audi and VW replica wheels, it can get very confusing and difficult to know what profile lug is appropriate for your application. Here is a general guideline that may help you chose the correct lugs.

Almost all modern OEM Audi/VW wheels use a small ball seat profile

 Almost all OEM Mercedes wheels use a small ball seat profile, but some use the large ball seat style

Aftermarket wheels could use any of the available lug seat profiles

Still pretty unclear, right? If you have any doubts about what type of lugs you need, please contact us with a picture and/or part number, plus a description of the wheels in question and we would be happy to help you out.

You may be asking, "Why do I need the correct seat profile for my wheels? Won't my stock lugs work just fine?" True, your stock lugs may indeed work perfectly for your new wheels, but then again, they may not. Wheels are designed to have a certain amount of contact between the lug seat in the wheel and the mating surface of the lug nut. The mating surface interface creates a certain amount of friction between the two that aids in keeping the lug nuts tight and the size and shape of the seat profile helps distribute the load through the wheel properly. If, for example, a large ball seat lug is used on a wheel designed for a small ball seat lug, the contact surface between the wheel and the lug can be as little as a 0.50mm wide ring of contact. That's not much! This lack of sufficient contact has been known to lead to lugs loosening over time. Oh sure, there are people who will report that they have been running their wheels that way for years with no problems, but is it worth the risk? Not in our opinion! We have dealt with so many customers over the years who have had their wheels loosen up, and even fall off, due to the use of incorrect lugs, to prove that this is truly a more common problem than you might think and it's an issue that everyone would be aware of and one that everyone should take seriously.