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I've been a lifelong advocate of snow tires (Central New England) but was getting tired of swapping rubber on and off the stock steelies for the past several years. I found another set of used steelies last fall for $150 (with no good rubber) but they needed work. Here are some pics showing the steps and final product.

representative prior condition
138E230A-C056-4855-A78C-2EF6D1567A67.jpeg
wire brushed and sanded
6E0B71B8-4399-4E4A-805B-392305BD39E6.jpeg
three coats primer
8B11FACF-FEA3-4131-90CA-8E9ED7F21339.jpeg
three coats gloss black coat
101B51D8-6533-4B75-B7D8-7E25024348D0.jpeg
two coats satin clear coat (should have done semi-gloss)
E4F77DA1-0570-4104-B63E-AA4885D70739.jpeg

Final set up. Not sure if I'll keep the caps as is, paint them black (I have two sets), or just take them off.
7AB9E794-D4A1-44C2-8086-79E857F4DA37.jpeg
 

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Nice job on refinishing the wheels. Based off the pic your Pilot could be mistaken for an undercover or detective vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Nice job on refinishing the wheels. Based off the pic your Pilot could be mistaken for an undercover or detective vehicle.
Thanks... Yeah I didn't mention to the local shop that mounted up the rubber not to install the caps and as I drove up I thought the same thing: looks like a UC vehicle. I'll leave them for a bit, see how I feel about them after a week or so.
 

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My steelies came with a different set of lug nuts. I’m not sure if that’s just to hold the plastic caps on. I’m not sure if they are really needed. I could do a side-by-side picture of the alloy and steelie nuts for my ridgeline if it would be helpful.

Definitely paint the caps. I just used plasti-dip for all of it, but would have done the same as you if no tires were on the wheels. I’m pretty confident these are the exact same wheels. (245/70/17 general grabber were on them when I got them used and replaced one so far. Should be 245/65/17 to be correct size, but they seem fine aside from the speedo tracking up to 5 mph slow on the highway).

 

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Discussion Starter #5
My steelies came with a different set of lug nuts.
Interesting... I have one set of lugs (the original) as the second set of wheels came from Craigslist and had no lug nuts. I didn't notice anything special about them to hold on the caps, but that seems plausible. Having a second set of caps makes the painting decision easier, I'll definitely do it, just no hurry.

One reason I went for the full strip/prime/paint was to color that inside surface/ridge that is visible through the cut outs. Did you plastic-dip the insides as well?

The Ridgeline looks great, love that color.
 

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I'd try it without the caps, at worst paint the caps. Definitely get black lug nuts and if you run without the cap you need to paint the hub black that will be exposed in the center of the wheel.

You got me with the gloss black, lost me with the satin clear. I prefer glossy wheels, just my opinion which if you ask my wife is worth nothing.
 

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I'd try it without the caps, at worst paint the caps. Definitely get black lug nuts and if you run without the cap you need to paint the hub black that will be exposed in the center of the wheel.

You got me with the gloss black, lost me with the satin clear. I prefer glossy wheels, just my opinion which if you ask my wife is worth nothing.
Black lugs nuts is a good idea. This whole thing took so long between crappy weather, work restrictions, and having to get it done to get the snow tires off.... I'm just happy to have a finished something at this point.

The full gloss was definitely too much, and while I initially thought the satin went too far the other way, it matches the tone of the black body trim better than I thought. I still wish I had chosen the semi-gloss but it looks ok. As long as they clean up alright and don't collect dust and stain from water and mud, I'll be happy. I had a matte black painted bicycle frame that looked great new, but once I sweat on it a little it never looked the same... there were streaks that never really cleaned off and got it back to the consistent matte finish. That would be worst case scenario here but even then I could lightly sand them over the winter when they come off, touch them up where needed, and gloss them back up.
 

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I just bought 6 cans of plastic-dip like 8 years ago and spray the wheels a little more whenever I’m not happy with how they look. They never get washed, just more plasti-dip. Not worth the time to clean. Just more plasti-dip. Sometimes it peels off. I noticed one shiny lug nut yesterday actually. Meh.

I guess I will see if I can find my original alloy wheel nuts and pull a nut off my truck to show the difference. Don’t hold your breath though. Ideally my lug nuts would be in the box in a zip lock bag with my alloy wheels, but I’m a mess recently.
 

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The one with the washer closet to the wheel is the steelie lug nut. The one with the long collar before the washer is the alloy lug nut. These are for 5x120 (or is it 120.65? I don’t know). 7.5x17 et45 (I think) wheels that fit my 2006 Ridgeline, which I believe is a very similar platform to the pilot shown in post 1.

The steelie lugs seem to fit inside the circle on the plastic caps while the alloy one would scratch as it was going in. That seemed counterintuitive until I realized that the washer is a larger diameter on the alloy wheel lug nut, and it sits on the outside of the plastic cap, not inside like the steelie lug does. See blurry pic of steelie lug mounted.

Also, the washer is plastic for the steelie, and metal for the alloy wheel lug nut. There’s a bit more functionality there for the alloy wheels because the washer spins when pressed up against the outer hex side, but locks into please and doesn’t spin when pulled away from the hex side. I’m not sure how that works, or what it’s for, but can load a video if needed.







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Please please whatever you do when you go from Alloy wheels to steel wheels or the other way around replace the lug nuts with the correct version.

Alloy nuts will not hold steel wheels properly and steel wheel nuts will not hold alloy wheels properly.
 

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Black lugs nuts is a good idea. This whole thing took so long between crappy weather, work restrictions, and having to get it done to get the snow tires off.... I'm just happy to have a finished something at this point.

The full gloss was definitely too much, and while I initially thought the satin went too far the other way, it matches the tone of the black body trim better than I thought. I still wish I had chosen the semi-gloss but it looks ok. As long as they clean up alright and don't collect dust and stain from water and mud, I'll be happy. I had a matte black painted bicycle frame that looked great new, but once I sweat on it a little it never looked the same... there were streaks that never really cleaned off and got it back to the consistent matte finish. That would be worst case scenario here but even then I could lightly sand them over the winter when they come off, touch them up where needed, and gloss them back up.
I do agree that one of my first thoughts after thinking I'd prefer gloss was that it looks to match the sheen on the LX trim pretty well. Hopefully it holds up well! Grab a good sealant like Opti-Seal for them, that should help. I used that on some flat black wheels I had for my Tacoma and it really helped with keeping them clean and making them easier to clean.

The one with the washer closet to the wheel is the steelie lug nut. The one with the long collar before the washer is the alloy lug nut. These are for 5x120 (or is it 120.65? I don’t know). 7.5x17 et45 (I think) wheels that fit my 2006 Ridgeline, which I believe is a very similar platform to the pilot shown in post 1.

The steelie lugs seem to fit inside the circle on the plastic caps while the alloy one would scratch as it was going in. That seemed counterintuitive until I realized that the washer is a larger diameter on the alloy wheel lug nut, and it sits on the outside of the plastic cap, not inside like the steelie lug does. See blurry pic of steelie lug mounted.

Also, the washer is plastic for the steelie, and metal for the alloy wheel lug nut. There’s a bit more functionality there for the alloy wheels because the washer spins when pressed up against the outer hex side, but locks into please and doesn’t spin when pulled away from the hex side. I’m not sure how that works, or what it’s for, but can load a video if needed.







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
@Rocky beat me to it, see below.

Please please whatever you do when you go from Alloy wheels to steel wheels or the other way around replace the lug nuts with the correct version.

Alloy nuts will not hold steel wheels properly and steel wheel nuts will not hold alloy wheels properly.
YES. Just look at the tapered end, those are definitely not interchangeable lug nuts. I'm assuming @mknmike uses the proper ones since he's posting about it but important for the OP if he is going to buy new lug nuts to make sure he gets the appropriate one for the steel wheels.
 
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YES. Just look at the tapered end, those are definitely not interchangeable lug nuts. I'm assuming @mknmike uses the proper ones since he's posting about it but important for the OP if he is going to buy new lug nuts to make sure he gets the appropriate one for the steel wheels.
Yes. It seems that the alloy wheels have the special bolt-on setup. I think that the metal washer sits on a step on the alloy wheels and I wonder if they are intended to assure you don’t over torque the alloy wheels down.

I think it’s quite possible that the steelie lug nuts simply will not even work with an alloy wheel, or would present a bigger problem that what the OP has going on right now.

I think the worry with the OP’s situation is a decreased contact patch on the steel wheel and lug nut, potentially damaging both. I don’t really know though.

These look like ones for steel wheels:

These look like ones for alloy wheels:

I have yet to find anything cheaper than those prices.


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Discussion Starter #13
YES. Just look at the tapered end, those are definitely not interchangeable lug nuts. I'm assuming @mknmike uses the proper ones since he's posting about it but important for the OP if he is going to buy new lug nuts to make sure he gets the appropriate one for the steel wheels.
Thanks for chiming in here everyone I would definitely not have just swapped on any old lug nuts without some research but looks like you all brought this forward to me directly. I will proceed with caution here! Also likely to just paint the spare caps which will simply mean reusing current lugs. Thanks all!!!!
 

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Please please whatever you do when you go from Alloy wheels to steel wheels or the other way around replace the lug nuts with the correct version.

Alloy nuts will not hold steel wheels properly and steel wheel nuts will not hold alloy wheels properly.
thx for the heads up. Would not have know this independently, though it makes sense. My wife's civic has separate lug nuts for her winter steelies, now I know why.
 

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I've been a lifelong advocate of snow tires (Central New England) but was getting tired of swapping rubber on and off the stock steelies for the past several years. I found another set of used steelies last fall for $150 (with no good rubber) but they needed work. Here are some pics showing the steps and final product.

representative prior condition
View attachment 135104
wire brushed and sanded
View attachment 135105
three coats primer
View attachment 135106
three coats gloss black coat
View attachment 135107
two coats satin clear coat (should have done semi-gloss)
View attachment 135109

Final set up. Not sure if I'll keep the caps as is, paint them black (I have two sets), or just take them off.
View attachment 135110
Problem Solved.........
135188
 
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