Gorilla Automotive Wheel Locks: The System
October 17, 2016
I’ve never had a set of tires and wheels stolen, but plenty of folks have. External and easy to remove, thieves don’t need to enter your locked truck to take them. Acquaintances that frequent Baja Mexico, and points further south, can make strong arguments for locking tires and wheels. Though one friend who is an editor of a leading overland travel magazine and routinely ventures south-of-the-border had his tires and wheels stolen while staying in a hotel in Prescott, Arizona. Not Mexico. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” —Benjamin Franklin.
The depth and amount of engagement between a Gorilla key and lug look and feel superior to the McGard wheel locks I’ve also used. Not having a key for a lock is a problem, so I always buy spares. Two ride in different locations inside the truck, and a third lives in my shop toolbox and sees regular use.
A decade ago I started using Gorilla Automotive Products’ locks on my 4Runner, and this was about the time I started testing several light-truck traction tread designs. So the locks have been on, off, and torqued many times more than a typical user who rotates tires every 5,000 miles. Gorilla doesn’t recommend using an impact gun, but after manual loosening I’ve used an impact to spin them off, and have repeatedly run them on (gently) with an impact; they continue to function normally after a decade.
Years ago I bought a 20-lock kit, “The System”, and used a few of the extras on my off-highway trailer and swing-away tire carrier so one key would work on everything, but I have never used more than one lock per wheel. For my current Ram/Cummins project I decided to embrace The System from Gorilla fully, using a complete set of replacement lug nuts. Incorporating the key instead of only a regular hex socket adds a little time to my frequent wheel and tire R&R, but not too much. Few folks outside of tire shops dismount and mount sets of wheels as frequently as I do, so the extra work required to use The System is likely of little concern for enthusiasts. Again, I break the nuts loose with a breaker bar, and run them off with an impact; on too, but just snug. A torque wrench is always used for the tightening, and rechecked frequently.
Don’t leave home without Gorilla Locks—you won’t need your American Express for new tires and wheels.
Gorilla Automotive: gorilla-auto.com, 323-585-2852
Copyright James Langan/RoadTraveler.net