Upgrading Triumph Spitfire Wheel Studs
One particularly good thing about these Freelander studs is that they have the same beveled/chamfered head shape and 5/8 inch head diameter as the Spitfire and GT6 studs. They are a perfect fit and will not cause any interference problems with the rear brake slave cylinders. However, in early 2010 a friend of mine bought some Freelander studs that came with the more common square-edged head shape found on many other studs:
My friend contacted Land Rover to inquire about the different head shape, and he was told they’ve changed suppliers (and apparently the specs for head shape too). If you receive a batch of these square-edged studs, then it’s possible to machine a chamfer to the underside of the head, even if you don’t have a lathe. One method is to carefully but firmly chuck each stud into a drill press (being careful not to damage the threads) and spin it while you carefully grind away a beveled edge with a grinder, Dremel tool or file:
It’s a good idea to machine this chamfer into the heads of the studs so as to avoid possible interference that can occur between the stud heads on the backside of the rear hubs and the rear slave brake cylinders as the wheels turn.
These Freelander studs should work fine with any alloy wheels on a Spitfire or GT6. However, if you find the studs to be too long for your application, like if you’re using closed-end lug nuts and they bottom-out on the ends of the studs before they seat on the wheel (possible with thin center section steel wheels but very unlikely with alloy wheels), there are some simple options. These include drilling-out the blind hole in each closed-end lug nut a little bit more, using open-ended lug nuts or just shortening the threaded ends of the studs a little bit before installing them. Also, because the shoulder of the Freelander studs is a bit longer than the stock studs, there will be about 1/16 inch of it exposed through the front hubs and rear drums (see photos below). If using steel wheels or alloy wheels with mag lug nuts, check to see that the nuts seat all the way. There shouldn't be a problem, but if there is, then drill-out the first 2mm of thread in the nuts. With alloy wheels that use cone-seat (i.e., acorn) nuts, there are no issues.
is simply a matter of removing the hubs, pressing or carefully
hammering out the old studs, and pressing in the new
studs. These studs are too long to fit them without removing
the hubs, and besides, installation is much better with the hubs off
the car. At
the front, unbolt the brake calipers and move them out of the way,
remove the center dust caps and the wheel bearing retaining nuts and
remove the hub and brake disc subassemblies. Then, separate
from the brake discs and carefully press or hammer out the old studs,
press or carefully hammer in the new ones, and reassemble
the rear, remove the brake drums and pull the hubs with a “Churchill”
hub puller to make it easy and to protect the hubs from
damage. Borrow one or consider purchasing one yourself (Canley Classics
and Rimmer Brothers
sell them). Once you’ve removed the hubs, you can
press out or carefully hammer out the old studs and carefully press or
hammer in the new ones--being careful not warp the hubs--and reinstall
the hubs on the car. A shop manual is good to have if you are
unfamiliar with all of this to help you out with instructions and
torque specs. Note that pressing the new studs into place
before reinstalling the hubs on the car is preferable to pulling each
stud home by torquing down hard on a nut and a stack of
washers. You don’t want to risk overstressing or
otherwise damaging your new studs, even though they are pretty strong
and a lot stronger than the thinner stock studs. Pressing
studs out and in is easy enough using a vise and some deep
With the new size studs, you'll need new, matching thread lug nuts too, and these are commonly available from wheel suppliers, auto parts retailers or specialty vendors like Lug Nut King. A good torque range for nuts on M12x1.5 studs is 66-86 ft-lbs (i.e., 89-117 N-m).
Enjoy your new studs on the road with confidence!