The main goal of No Money Motorsports is to find and share ways to save readers money – Whether that’s talking people out of stupid purchases, or finding cheaper sources/ways of doing standard things. It often means I’m acting as a test mule for my own money saving schemes.
ARP has a near monopoly on high performance hardware – their quality is proven, but their prices aren’t bashful: Figure around $120 for 16 wheel studs. Initially I was searching for a vendor with the best price, I figured there must be some source where they are more affordable. Spoiler: There isn’t. However, on my search I found “1320 Performance” studs listed on eBay. The ad is simple, VERY simple. The studs are listed as “Class 10.9 alloy steel, tempered and treated” without a whole lot more than that. However, with almost 33,000 bits of feedback and a 99.4% positive rating, I figured it was worth a try.
For my entire time in HPDE and my first couple years racing, I ran totally on stock wheel studs. I was occasionally changing out front hubs, but would just keep the studs they came with (Usually on the cheapest hubs/bearings I could find). When I replaced my rear hubs preventatively in 2019, there were multiple clues that they were the original pieces (on a car that was first raced in 2007). I didn’t have a single hub related issue during that ~7 year stretch of running whatever was already there. Even the time(s) I forgot to torque my lug nuts and almost lost a wheel, the studs held up without any obvious signs of extra wear.
I first started shopping for new wheel studs when I got a set of rear uprights as cores to rebuild. I was excited to reuse the extended studs they came with, but when I looked closer I saw the used studs were all in bad shape, with threads worn down where nuts would grab. At that point I had to buy new studs, and that’s when my search landed on the 1320 Performance units.
Since the first set, I’ve seen another set of rear hubs with similar studs worn the same way, from a totally different car/driver. I’m not sure the brand, but I haven’t been able to ID them or find them online.
Enough backstory, on to info about the 1320 Performance Studs:
The Product: 1320 Performance is a Speed Shop located in Elk Grove, California that also does a lot of business through eBay. Much of their focus is parts for Hondas, but they do cover some other cars as well (Miatas included).
I reached out to see if they would offer more technical information on the manufacturing process and materials in the wheel studs, but they weren’t very open with their manufacturing techniques beyond pseudo generic sales pitches. I’m not sure If A) I was just speaking to the wrong person B) They are wary of some random guy from the internet (me) asking about production information, and guarding trade secrets C) They just copied a popular design and sent it out for offshore production. The last 4 digits of ARP’s part number stamped on the back of the stud may be a clue though.
They did claim that the products are all tested with various cars and race teams, and these have been used on 850 horsepower drag cars. They claim to only make parts of the highest quality and rely on their reputation to be their largest selling point. To their credit, their eBay review score is outstanding, and my personal experience has been very good. So if there are issues with the quality, no one is complaining about it. Considering I had no issues running for years on the studs that came with $20 hubs, I was confident enough to try these.
The Price: As of now, the 1320 studs are listing at about HALF what ARP studs are. ~$30 for 8, vs ~$30 for 4 with the ARP. Since there are so many vendors for ARP stuff, you may be able to find them for a few bucks cheaper, but usually not by much (And sometimes they’ll get you back with inflated shipping costs). With the differences in vendor costs and shipping, the 1320 performance studs generally cost 50-60% as much as the ARP. If you’re someone like me who stockpiles and rotates spare prepped bearings/hubs, that can lead to pretty significant savings.
The Availability: As of September 2021 there is a big backorder on ARP studs. Some retailers claim they have a few lying around, but most are totally out and backordered. If you are desperately shopping for new studs, you may not even have the luxury of choice.
The Verdict: I’ve been running the 1320 Performance Wheel Studs for two seasons of racing Spec Miata, they still appear and function as new. The bull-nose makes starting new lug nuts especially easy. The extra length, while not really necessary in my application, makes me feel like there’s less risk of totally losing a lug nut. I don’t like the non-responses I got to my technical questions, and not sure how I feel about what seems to just be a copy of ARP pieces… but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy with their performance of the last two years. Maybe a little competition in the market could be better for everybody. In my experience they’ve functioned just as I’d expect the ARP to, at half the cost. I will be purchasing more in the future.
Note for Miata People: The front studs are the same for all NA/NB Miatas. NA 1.6 cars (90-93) came with the same studs on all four corners. Mazda beefed up the rear stud knurls for 1994 and up, so they are a different part number (The knurl is the part that holds in the hub, the threaded portions remain the same size/threads for all 4 corners). However, if you are buying replacement rear hubs, your rear hub knurl could be either of the two sizes (or even a different size with some cheap aftermarket replacements).
Here are a few different links for their products on eBay: They also sell in other quantities as well.
Note: After running these for two seasons and being happy with the results, I decided to write this post. I reached out to 1320 Performance for some more information on their studs. When I described the post I was writing, they graciously offered to send me a set to help use and photograph with the article. This did not affect my opinion of the product.
My questions for you:
Have you found any alternative sources for Wheel studs? What has your experience been? Have you run 1320 Performance Wheel studs? Let me know!