Hey Sherman. It appears that the OEM black wheel bolts that you sell don't have the loose cone washer like the stock bolts. Has anyone with the clicking noise tried these bolts and had that solve their problem? What about greasing only the cone washer (between the washer and the bolt itself) and not the threads?Wow, what a systematic approach and huge amounts of patience! Nice job. ?
It sure seems that the greased lugs played a part in eliminating the squeak. There are people more qualified to write on this so I'll just bring up one related topic: There seems to be a general engineering agreement that a lubricated bolt/nut will yield more clamping force with the same torque setting than an unlubricated bolt/nut at the same torque setting. So perhaps the squeak disappeared because the wheels were on reeeeeal tight?
In other words, even at identical torque wrench settings, a lubed bolt will hold the wheel tighter than a dry bolt, but this over-torquing might also stretch the bolt.
One of the reasons many people don't over-torque their wheels is that they do not want to put so much strain on the bolt that it deforms. Imagine a rod made of playdough--as you stretch it, the center portion will get skinnier. A metal bolt acts the same (but obviously it takes much more to stretch it). And when the center threads get thinner (even if just a bit), it will then be easier for the bolt or outer threads to work themself loose.
A ton of info can be found on Google, here's three to start:
- Wheel and Hub Failures (Long article so search for the keyword "clamp" here)
- It's Really All About Lug Nuts - Tire Review Magazine
And here are some pictures to illustrate (not all are wheel bolts):
And just to counterpoint myself, I've read that lot of people do lube their bolts without problems.
I'm not drawing any conclusions, just adding to the discussion. And I certainly appreciate @chauncythecat's impressive data logging.