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Old 03-26-2014, 02:56 PM   #1
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Wheel spacers on bigger tires?

Does using wheel spacers become a hazard when moving up to wheel sizes like 35 and 37? I would think all the extra weight and pressure on them might cause more stress. Just curious

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Old 03-26-2014, 03:06 PM   #2
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Yes...there is a reason why spacers are outlawed in several states...lots of threads about spacers on here. It's more expensive to buy wheels with the proper backspacing...though spacers might be more expensive in the long run. A lot of people use various justifications for running them, but I would never even consider putting them on my Jeep.

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Old 03-26-2014, 03:27 PM   #3
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I've had spacers and 35's for over a year now no problems. I do re torque every time I rotate. But never had any loose or anything like that
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:37 PM   #4
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No, it's a simple matter of physics. The spacers put no more stress on the axle hub then an aftermarket rim with reduced back spacing does. The effect is the same.

A separate issue is the need to re-torque them or to make sure to use Lock Tite when installing them. Most problems I've seen reported come from either improper installation or using both an offset wheel and spacers.

I'm curious as to which states have bans, as I haven't seen any actual laws banning their use.

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Old 03-26-2014, 10:02 PM   #5
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I've had spacers with my 35's for quite a while now and have had no problems. I also had them on my TJ's and never had a hint of a problem.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:16 PM   #6
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Here are 3 out of 5 of our jeeps. From 35" to 37" all with spacers. We have ran them for years....to the mall and off road. Get some spydertrax spacers and be done with it. I just can not believe that there are still today close minded people out there that have NO experience with them but knock them down. I guess that is why they call this the internet......
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:24 PM   #7
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Spacers do change things. The move the wheel attachment point outboard 1.5 inches. But bigger tires, different wheels, lifts, etc. change things too. Spacers won't change things enough to matter but they do change the geometry of the system and they do apply slightly different forces on some components.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:15 AM   #8
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No, it's a simple matter of physics. The spacers put no more stress on the axle hub then an aftermarket rim with reduced back spacing does. The effect is the same.

A separate issue is the need to re-torque them or to make sure to use Lock Tite when installing them. Most problems I've seen reported come from either improper installation or using both an offset wheel and spacers.

I'm curious as to which states have bans, as I haven't seen any actual laws banning their use.

Mike
This is a common misconception. Check your basic Suspension Engineering diagrams. The spacers are not 100% equivalent to changing the backspacing. Backspacing is selected by design. It's not just some random pick of draw value based on appearance. The load is transferred from the tire to the rim at the rim bead seat. In turn the load is transferred to the rim mounting surface via the rim disc. When you change backspacing the disc moves within the rim, when you add spacers the whole wheel gets pushed outboard. The loading on wheel studs and bearings is impacted as well as the scrub radius.

The change wheels spacers introduce may not be as detrimental as the change caused by poorly designed suspension lift kits, and few complain about those, but there is a difference. I myself have run quality spacers but owners should make an informed decisions for the modifications they introduce to their Jeeps.

Based on owner input, there seems to be at least 3 states that prohibit spacers even though DOT doesn't regulate them: UT, PA and NH. In addition, many tires shops refuse to install or service vehicles with wheel spacers including the forum popular Discount Tire shops.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:25 AM   #9
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Well explained...to further this ask yourself when the last time you walked into a shop and saw them use a torque wrench to install tires was. A properly torqued hub centric spacer is essentially no more or less hazardous than a properly torqued aftermarket wheel...which us not hazardous at all. The bad rep for spacers came from two sources. 1 the old school washer style spacers used to cleat 295 50 15's on a delta 88 and from shops that don't use torque wrenches.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:41 AM   #10
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Here are 3 out of 5 of our jeeps. From 35" to 37" all with spacers. We have ran them for years....to the mall and off road. Get some spydertrax spacers and be done with it. I just can not believe that there are still today close minded people out there that have NO experience with them but knock them down. I guess that is why they call this the internet......
Yup. I used to be one of the close minded people too, before I got the spidertrac's. But you still have a choice beyond the ever growing arm of the government BS!
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:44 AM   #11
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This is a common misconception. Check your basic Suspension Engineering diagrams. The spacers are not 100% equivalent to changing the backspacing. Backspacing is selected by design. It's not just some random pick of draw value based on appearance. The load is transferred from the tire to the rim at the rim bead seat. In turn the load is transferred to the rim mounting surface via the rim disc. When you change backspacing the disc moves within the rim, when you add spacers the whole wheel gets pushed outboard. The loading on wheel studs and bearings is impacted as well as the scrub radius. The change wheels spacers introduce may not be as detrimental as the change caused by poorly designed suspension lift kits, and few complain about those, but there is a difference. I myself have run quality spacers but owners should make an informed decisions for the modifications they introduce to their Jeeps. Based on owner input, there seems to be at least 3 states that prohibit spacers even though DOT doesn't regulate them: UT, PA and NH. In addition, many tires shops refuse to install or service vehicles with wheel spacers including the forum popular Discount Tire shops.
discount tires WILL rotate them in Colorado, Arizona. They have however gone back and forth due to liability of improper installation from the vehicle owner etc
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:51 AM   #12
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there are all kinds of arcane laws on the books, many because they have not been challenged or they are buried so deep nobody cares about them. I think it is still illegal to drive a horse drawn buggy over 10mph on city streets lol.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:03 PM   #13
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there are all kinds of arcane laws on the books, many because they have not been challenged or they are buried so deep nobody cares about them. I think it is still illegal to drive a horse drawn buggy over 10mph on city streets lol.
lol
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:05 PM   #14
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I'm curious as to which states have bans, as I haven't seen any actual laws banning their use.

Mike
Utah Code 41-6A-1630:
(b) Except for original equipment, a person may not use spacers to increase wheel track width of a vehicle.

From the Spidertrax website:

"Wheel spacers and adapters fall in a gray area under current legislation as the Department of Transportation (DOT) does not regulate this type of product. No existing federal law says wheel spacers and adapters are illegal for on-road use, however local inspection offices do have the authority to say otherwise.

In either case, due to the nature of products that we sell, all products Spidertrax Off-Road designs and manufactures are intended for off-road use only." End Quote

Good luck with your insurance company if you get in an accident.

From Expedition Portal: "I had a failure on my old Jeep Rubicon. Rear wheel came off causing me to roll totaling the Jeep. All bolts were torqued correctly when installed. I assume they loosened because 2 studs were sheared off and the other 3 were stripped. It happened when I left Moab heading back to Texas. I had done Prichett Canyon the day before, which I assume loosened them up. It felt like a ujoint failure was happening so I was slowing down to check so luckily I was only doing around 40 when the wheel came off. Even luckier that it happened before I got to I-10...I wouldn't trust them again myself but I consider what happened a fluke. I think proper rims are a better choice.
One thing to consider is when installing spacers you now have 20-24 extra nuts to routinely check."

Another from Expedition Portal: "I run 1.5" spacers on mine. I had an issue that was kind of a freak accident, I was in a huge hurry to get done and may or may not have torqued them all down. My wheel fell off at about 30 mph and I slid or my rear driver side rotor for about 50 feet. I jacked the truck up, bolted the wheel back on and drove home. I took it to a shop and they gave everything the once over and said I was fine."

From a review on Amazon: "Update: So my wheel fell off today!!! I did everything by the book, I bought a torque wrench and torqued them to the specified pounds, I used a whole bottle of locktite on the nuts/threads. I checked them weekly for over two months, but in the end one of them worked itself loose. you haven't lived until you come crashing to the ground and see a giant wheel bouncing down the road in front of you into oncoming traffic. BE CAREFUL!!! I took the remaining off and am going to buy tires with a bigger offset."

Just because something is not illegal does not make it a good idea. But of course, everyone with spacers jacks up the vehicle and pulls the wheels regularly to check the torque on their spacers. Personally, I prefer to spend the extra money for properly backspaced wheels...which I just did even though I really liked the stock Rubicon rims. Your life...your choice.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:39 PM   #15
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I would bet all install issues and in that case you can not fix stupid. I love the "I was in a huge hurry and may not of torqed yada yada" I don't buy the checked weekly for two months if done correctly one either. I agree tho it is good we can all make choices.
On jk forum there is a long thread where they did scientific lab distructive testing and the spidertrax proved much stronger then stock rubicon rims which have a great reputation for being strong. Every year 100's of people without spacers loose wheels maybe we should outlaw wheels.....
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:26 PM   #16
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Every year 100's of people without spacers loose wheels maybe we should outlaw wheels.....
This is a great point. It's kind of like dogs with a bad reputation. In most cases it isn't the breed, it's the owner.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:08 PM   #17
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This is a great point. It's kind of like dogs with a bad reputation. In most cases it isn't the breed, it's the owner.
X2. I've watched a front wheel come off a PT Cruiser while driving down 35w. I have never seen anyone say they had problems with wear & tear because of spacers and only know that most shop won't mess with installing wheels & tires on vehicles if the have the cheap autozone spacers that slides over factory studs before wheel is installed causing the lugnut to have less stud to be threaded on. In my opinion they should outlaw that crap from being sold. I run 1.5 spacers w/ offset wheels to keep 40s from rubbing as bad when turning. No issues here on & off road
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:44 PM   #18
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The debate continues lol
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:02 PM   #19
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Utah Code 41-6A-1630: (b) Except for original equipment, a person may not use spacers to increase wheel track width of a vehicle. From the Spidertrax website: "Wheel spacers and adapters fall in a gray area under current legislation as the Department of Transportation (DOT) does not regulate this type of product. No existing federal law says wheel spacers and adapters are illegal for on-road use, however local inspection offices do have the authority to say otherwise. In either case, due to the nature of products that we sell, all products Spidertrax Off-Road designs and manufactures are intended for off-road use only." End Quote Good luck with your insurance company if you get in an accident. From Expedition Portal: "I had a failure on my old Jeep Rubicon. Rear wheel came off causing me to roll totaling the Jeep. All bolts were torqued correctly when installed. I assume they loosened because 2 studs were sheared off and the other 3 were stripped. It happened when I left Moab heading back to Texas. I had done Prichett Canyon the day before, which I assume loosened them up. It felt like a ujoint failure was happening so I was slowing down to check so luckily I was only doing around 40 when the wheel came off. Even luckier that it happened before I got to I-10...I wouldn't trust them again myself but I consider what happened a fluke. I think proper rims are a better choice. One thing to consider is when installing spacers you now have 20-24 extra nuts to routinely check." Another from Expedition Portal: "I run 1.5" spacers on mine. I had an issue that was kind of a freak accident, I was in a huge hurry to get done and may or may not have torqued them all down. My wheel fell off at about 30 mph and I slid or my rear driver side rotor for about 50 feet. I jacked the truck up, bolted the wheel back on and drove home. I took it to a shop and they gave everything the once over and said I was fine." From a review on Amazon: "Update: So my wheel fell off today!!! I did everything by the book, I bought a torque wrench and torqued them to the specified pounds, I used a whole bottle of locktite on the nuts/threads. I checked them weekly for over two months, but in the end one of them worked itself loose. you haven't lived until you come crashing to the ground and see a giant wheel bouncing down the road in front of you into oncoming traffic. BE CAREFUL!!! I took the remaining off and am going to buy tires with a bigger offset." Just because something is not illegal does not make it a good idea. But of course, everyone with spacers jacks up the vehicle and pulls the wheels regularly to check the torque on their spacers. Personally, I prefer to spend the extra money for properly backspaced wheels...which I just did even though I really liked the stock Rubicon rims. Your life...your choice.
Just because it's a law doesn't make it right! Pit bulls are outlawed in Denver (back to the owner aspect mentioned above). If you forget to torque down wheel studs or retorque after 50-100 miles it's extremely dangerous. Same with tie downs. You ever tighten them down after a few miles? They always stretch. No matter what quality or type- cinch or ratchet!
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:17 PM   #20
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Some folks are just nanny state lover folks.

It's like the old saying.....

Do not waste time on teaching a pig to sing...
It only irritates the pig and is a waste of your time.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:27 AM   #21
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Some folks are just nanny state lover folks.

It's like the old saying.....

Do not waste time on teaching a pig to sing...
It only irritates the pig and is a waste of your time.
Are we supposed to search for something worthwhile in your post or is it just another brainless, infantile personal attack so often found in internet forums when the poster has absolutely nothing of value to contribute?
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:58 AM   #22
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Are we supposed to search for something worthwhile in your post or is it just another brainless, infantile personal attack so often found in internet forums when the poster has absolutely nothing of value to contribute?
Actually I don't find anything remotely infantile or in the way of a personal attack there?! It doesn't appear he quoted you, but you quoted/attacked him...

Unless of course you're a nanny state lover, and RKracing is a mind reader!?

I haven't heard that saying so I learned something today. Furthermore, I've learned a lot from your posts too Moabite.

It is Monday or something?
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:26 PM   #23
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Actually I don't find anything remotely infantile or in the way of a personal attack there?! It doesn't appear he quoted you, but you quoted/attacked him...

Unless of course you're a nanny state lover, and RKracing is a mind reader!?

I haven't heard that saying so I learned something today. Furthermore, I've learned a lot from your posts too Moabite.

It is Monday or something?
I read it the same way as you. LoL.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:29 PM   #24
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there are all kinds of arcane laws on the books, many because they have not been challenged or they are buried so deep nobody cares about them. I think it is still illegal to drive a horse drawn buggy over 10mph on city streets lol.
I agree there are even laws on the books about having sex in your home, however that is not the case here.

These are new laws and regulations that have been added most likely because there has been a notable incident rate caused by poor quality or poorly installed and maintained spacers. Shops care because there is an increase in liability.

A lot and I do mean a lot of vehicle owners do much more questionable mods than using spacers. Like what you ask? Something as simple as using HID bulbs in the stock enclosures when driving at night at on 2 lane curvy highways.

Jeep owners should make informed decisions so that one day if they are merrily driving the down the highway on a sunny afternoon with the top off and suddenly one of their own wheels cruises passes them they can understand the cause.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:29 AM   #25
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Wheel spacers....my 2cents. Should a catastrophic failure occur and result in an accident more than likely due to no maintenance, or just making sure spacers are properly "torqued" My bet is any insurance company would walk away leaving the wheel spacer vehicle owner flapping. And insurance investigators know all about loose wheel spacers so do accident attorneys. The liability alone should be enough to stop anyone from even considering them.

One national tire chain (DCT) locally that I know of won't sell them or service a vehicle with spacers installed. The bean counting numbers must reflect liability issues with spacers that owners have installed and forget to maintain. There vehicle owners who don't take time to check the air pressure in there tires...maybe here within lies the issue.

I admit I have never owned a set, and don't want the liability headache or the extra care required that comes with owning a set. Just personal preference....FWIW.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:35 PM   #26
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Obama says there no good ! So they must be okay. I say go for it just don't be lazy. It don't take long to check them. Make sure proper TQ and check ever time you rotate your tires.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:48 PM   #27
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Are we supposed to search for something worthwhile in your post or is it just another brainless, infantile personal attack so often found in internet forums when the poster has absolutely nothing of value to contribute?

Sad dude....real sad.

Have you ever had spacers on a newer Jeep? Well, have you? No? Then from what experience do you speak from? Internet hear say.

We have had FIVE Jeeps with spacers....That there is my experience. Real hands on experience.

The OP asked about them and I replied from my experience. Not internet hear say.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:07 AM   #28
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Damn Monday's. Btw I love the commando green 2 door on 37s with stock wheels.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:49 PM   #29
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Damn Monday's. Btw I love the commando green 2 door on 37s with stock wheels.
Thank you, that one is my wife's..........With spacers...LOL.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:34 PM   #30
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Just had mine rotated today at discount tire as watched them check TQ on spacers myself. All looked good. Spacers haven't had issues

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