Lug nuts–made of titanium on a street car?
"Ti" lug nuts are mainly used in various forms of racing. They're also quite popular amongst the sport compact enthusiast set.
We're going to just ignore what the sport compact people do because, when you start looking on the web for what they use, you see titanium nuts which are long and have that gun-metal-silver-turns-into-blue look that some ti parts have. Problem with those are, once you make a lug nut real long, you defeat the key practical purpose of a ti lug nut which is weight savings. The pretty slivery-blue is all show.
A lot of Ti lug nuts are for sale on eBay for ridiculously low prices. Titanium is an expensive raw material and it's costly to machine, so remember: you get what you pay for and: if it's seems too good to be true, it's probably either untrue or not very good at all.
Our pals at Katech, Inc. who share some of the hardcore ideas about performance and weight reduction we do, just came out with a high-quality, reasonably affordable titanium lug nut (PN KAT-6882) for the 12-mm x 1.5-mm thread used on Corvettes since 1984. They are made of 6AL-4V titanium alloy which is 90% titanium, 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium. Katech's Ti nuts weigh 16-grams, far less than the stock lug from a '12 Z06 which weighs in at a portly 54.5-g. The Katech nuts even weigh slightly less than a similar Ti nut from another vendor which weigh 16.4-g and have a smaller, 16-mm head. Finally, Katech's other goal was to offer a ti lug nut at a reasonable price. Katech seems to have hit the mark with a $6.99 price point. While they are about twice the price of a good chrome aftermarket nut like a McGard, we were astonished when we called a Chevy dealer parts department and found that the stock lug nut for our Z06 is $8.44. Clearly, when compared to stock parts, Katech's Ti nuts are affordable. They are, also, available with two finishes: "natural" titanium and black which is coated with "Tech DLA."
So–why do we want ti lug nuts on what's primarily a street car? Well, I guess the "less weight" excuse is pretty weak considering we could just cut beer out of our diet for a week and drop the 1.7-pounds we saved by putting Katech's titanium lugs on our Z06.
But, sometimes, you just can't ignore the "cool" factor. And...cool they are. CNC-machined, forged 6AL-4V Ti with a 17-mm 12-point head. I like the minimalist, high-tech look of them. Further rationalization is that they're only seven bucks each compared to some other Ti lugs which are as much a $400 a set.
Installation of the Katech Ti lug nuts requires no special procedure and you torque them to the same specification used for stock lug nuts.