Mclaren Titanium Bolts That Give MSO A Run For Their Money....
Let's face it titanium wheel bolts for the McLaren are a 'nice to have' and not a necessity, the weight saving is reasonable for sure but not to the extent that as a driver you'd feel this on the road or track. That said every little counts and I like 'nice to have' bits on my car.
When looking for titanium wheel bolts for my own McLaren I found a mix, from the MSO option which bear an eye watering cost (£1,800), to cheap alternatives which I had to question quality, especially as titanium is prone to galling and can de-thread if not manufactured correctly.
MSO for sure exhibit the best quality and design with the two part structure but the cost and also limitation on length (preventing the use of spacers) was an issue for me.
The MSO option was not going to work for me, too high a cost, and no option for spacers. So an alternative was needed which matched the quality but had a fairer cost and could be sourced in a variety of lengths to match not only standard but also any other size to accomodate wheel spacers.
Rolling vs Cutting
Titanium bolts can be made in two ways, either by rolling or cutting the bolt threads. Roll threading is a process by which the titanium is extruded to form the threaded portion of a fastener, instead of being removed as in cut threading.
A cut thread is made by actually cutting or machining into the round bar and removing material from the bulk piece to create the roots and peaks of the threads. The disadvantage in this option is that cutting leaves behind tiny tears in the thread which can spread, potentially cause damage, but also cause galling where the thread can become seized.
A rolled thread on the other hand is not cut but rolled into form, therefore there are no tiny tears, in turn ensuring a stronger bolt due to them being hardened and compressed. The smoother finish aids installation but more importantly prevents galling and ensures a better contact on fixing.
Strength and safety are key for me so a rolled thread is the way to go when shopping for titanium Mclaren wheel bolts.
Two Piece Design
The other interesting part to the MSO design is the introduction of a two piece construction. The OEM bolts you get from factory are just one piece as standard but MSO improved this with their titanium bolt option.
By using a two piece design, MSO built in a style of washer, integrated as part of the main wheel bolt. This allows for a more precise and importantly even load distribution to the hub surface on fitting. One of the risks with single piece fixed taper wheel bolts is that they can gall if not seated correctly. By using a floating ball seat washer you can insure a more exact and even torque setting and load.
On my standard Mclaren spacer kits I used a similar design from McGard (see below) and when looking to source and manufacture a titanium wheel bolt option I was keen to do the same and leverage the two piece design.
Thankfully after a long time of researching and trying to find a suitable source I managed to find one from the USA. The end solution incorporated the two part design and made using the rolled thread manufacturing approach.
What was even better was that they came available in a scratch resistant black coating which in my opinion is a big plus and offers a nicer finish.
The other nice touch was the torx fitment which matches that you see on the MSO titanium bolts. This isn't just an aesthetic but also helps to provide a little more security vs someone trying to use a simple 17mm socket set to try and take your wheels!
Over the course of 2022 track season I've been testing these bolts with our spacer kit and can report they've done the job very well. They look and perform great! With that seal of approval I've now brought them into our product catalogue and can provide them to both UK and EU fellow owners in both OEM and other sizes to accommodate spacer kits when needed Click Here
Considering the cost of MSO OEM titanium bolts at near £1,800 our sourced Ti bolts for me match both quality and design of MSO but at a cost which is dramatically lower and much more fairer. Therefore giving MSO a run for their money ;)
Alias23 McLaren Titanium Wheel Bolt Set - Available Now