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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rays Engineering imitators

This may not be news to some of you, but it was bad news for me. There is a brand of lug nuts out in the market right now, and they are replicas of a very well known brand: Rays Engineering. I had thought imitators who made replica car parts had the decency to at least brand them with different names, but these imitators tried to make the product look as real as possible. Sadly to say, I fell for their trap because I thought it was real.

Rays Engineering is actually aware of the replicas floating around in the market, and they have a public service announcement which, because of how fast information travels over the internet, is now shared through many blogs and automotive forums. I know I am a bit late into the game, but the more exposure the better, so spread the word. On the plus side, I have had these lug nuts in my possession for about an hour, so I also had time to document the details.

I purchased the 50mm extended lug nuts. The regular 35mm lug nuts come in a different packaging. However, both the 50mm and 35mm replicas have near identical packaging to their real counterparts. The replica lug nuts cost around $80-$100 while the official Rays Engineering lug nuts cost around $200-$250, so if it seems too cheap, it's because it is too cheap.

The 16 lug nuts on the left have a different sheen compared to the 4 lock nuts on the right. I don't have the official lug nuts in my possession at the moment, but I am pretty sure Rays Engineering's quality control would not leave that as is.

Another quality control sign: The "RAYS" logo is off center and the laser etching was not complete.

This tip is from Rays Engineering themselves: Look out for the inside of each lug nut. If the paint is not complete all the way in, then it's a fake.

This tip is also from Rays Engineering. However, all I could see is that the inside of the lock key is a different color from the real one. I won't be able to tell the difference until I get the official ones though.

That is what I got for now. When I held each lug nut, they were definately lighter than the stock STI lug nuts. They are probably made out of aluminum, or some other light weight metal. However, because they are replicas, you can be certain the makers of these cut tons of corners to save on costs. The question is, "Do you really want to save a hundred dollars just to be a poser, look cool and possibly risk your life?"

Personally, I wouldn't risk running replicas on my car, but to each their own. Hopefully this information will help you guys avoid this product.

Incase you were wondering, yes, I got a full refund.

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