Monday, January 20, 2014

Gorilla Wheel Locks

Okay, I admit - it's hard to get excited about lug nuts.  But if you've never given yours a second thought, I'm here to suggest that maybe you ought to.

Besides a lift kit, what's the most expensive thing you put on your Jeep?  For most people, it's the wheels and tires!  They can easily cost well over $1,500, and if you're simply reusing the original lug nuts, those wheels and tires can be stolen in under 10 minutes.

Most wheel lock kits come with a single locking lug nut.  You can buy wheel lock lug nuts direct from Mopar, or the typical Jeep lug nut kit includes 4 wheel locks, one for each wheel.  These are easily defeated with a wheel lock removal tool, however, and don't include a lock for your spare wheel.

Gorilla Automotive makes a full wheel lock kit listed for Jeeps that includes locking lug nuts for all 5 lugs, but the problem is that it only includes 20 lug nuts; it leaves your spare tire as vulnerable to theft as ever.  The trick is to order a set for 6-lug wheels instead of for 5-lug wheels: this gives you 24 locking lug nuts so you have 3 left over for use on your spare wheel, with one extra for if you ever lose or strip the threads on one.  Single wheel lock lug nuts deter casual thieves, but a complete set of locking lug nuts installed on every single lug substantially increases the time and effort required to steal your wheels & tires, so only the most determined thief would even consider targeting your Jeep.

Gorilla Automotive part number 71684N pictured above is what I ordered, and I found yet again that had the best price.  It includes five 1/2-inch locking lug nuts for each wheel, plus three more for the spare tire, one extra lug nut, and the wheel lock key (special socket).  Not pictured (because I don't need anyone stealing my wheels & tires) is a sticker with the lock's part number so you can order a replacement if you ever lose the lock.  The sticker should be placed inside the glovebox or under the hood, and the wheel lock key should be kept with the Jeep at all times for when you need to install your spare tire.

The new lug nuts are the same "acorn" style as the originals, but they are slightly longer and stick out a tiny bit more than the originals.  The original Jeep lug nuts use a 19mm socket while the new wheel lock key is 13/16" or 21mm.  This means that your Jeep's tire iron will not fit your new wheel lock key.  You should already have a 13/16" or 21mm socket in your tool kit that you carry in your Jeep at all times (right???) but if you don't then it's a good idea to get a Gorilla Telescoping Lug Wrench Set that includes two sockets with all four of the popular lug nut sizes - you never know when you'll need to help a fellow 4wheeler on the trail or a damsel in distress on the side of the road, so having this powerful and compact lug wrench stored with your jack in the back of your Jeep is wise.


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