Identifying Willy’s MB & Ford GPW Lug Nuts

The USA calls them Lug Nuts and other countries call them Wheel Nuts but to all countries, these are a small but critical component of your restoration.

Lug Nuts on the left side of a Jeep are Left-Hand threaded and on the right side are Right-Hand or Standard thread.

There is a significant difference between a Willys MB Lug Nut and a Ford GPW Lug Nut. The MB Lug Nuts are not stamped L or R whereas the GPW Lug Nuts are stamped L & R.

These pictures of original Lug Nuts show the Willys Left-Hand Nut is identified by a small cut in the outer hexagon whereas the Right-Hand Nut has no mark.

Note: the size of the nick seems to vary across the years and this is probably due to different cutting tools.

The GPW Nuts are indeed stamped L or R depending on the thread and have no nick in the outer hexagon.

You will notice on all Lug Nuts the large flat top, typical of the specific manufacturing process for WWII Lug Nuts in that they are all machined from hexagon bar stock.  For those interested in the older manufacturing times these machines were called Bar Auto Lathes, today CNC machining centres.

The material used in machining Lug Nuts is usually of a higher tensile strength than ordinary Mild Steel to allow the nuts to be tightened without distortion and used repeatedly over their expected lifetime.

Some cold headed Lug Nuts do appear as reproductions, their tensile strength is questionable and invariably are indistinct in the GPW L & R stamping and if the MB type are offered they are missing the important identifying nick on the Left-Hand Nuts.

Finally, the subject of finishes, early GPW Nuts have been found as Cadmium plated, we have even seen NOS samples with original tags attached and they were Cadmium plated. Later production was the black Parkerized finish.

Willys MB Nuts appear to always Parkerized finish.

We recommend using original nuts where ever possible and NOS or good used Lug Nuts do appear from time to time.

We will in the near future list a collection of NOS Lug Nuts on www.mvspares.com 

Happy and safe Jeep restoring,
Darcy Miller

7 thoughts on “Identifying Willy’s MB & Ford GPW Lug Nuts”

  1. Excellent info, but on my ’42 GPW the lug nuts had been tightened so many times that the holes in the original wheel rims had become over-sized. I was lucky to source some dished washers from a classic Ford specialist in the US (I live in the UK) specially designed to counter this problem but had to do this while on a visit as they do not send abroad. Can MV Spares look into supplying these for owners whose vehicles have had a hard previous life ?

  2. great info ,I have one set marked “L” and one set with the cut in them the rest are blank and would love to complete the set for my gpw when available

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