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Old 03-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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Wheel spacers versus new wheels with 4.5" BS?

So I have a new 2014 Unlimited Rubi, and I was toying with the idea of bigger tires. I know from personal experience of installing 33x11 tires on my last JKUS that full lock turns caused rubbing on the sway bar. I thought about adding 1.5" spacers to accommodate for the wider wheel, but I have read that it puts more strain on the axle parts and causes things to wear out quicker. My question is, why is that any different than buying a wheel with 4.5" or less back spacing?

Secondly, is a 17" rim the smallest that will fit on the 2014 Rubi? Whenever I look at wheels, when I plug in the vehicle info, it only gives me the option of plus size rims, not minus. It shows no 16 or 15" rims as possible choices for the Rubi.

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Old 03-22-2014, 05:07 PM   #2
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There is no difference. Most 15" alloys will fit your JK. Discount tire has a list.

Most sites or your Tire chain will only list the factory size wheel.

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Old 03-22-2014, 05:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
There is no difference. Most 15" alloys will fit your JK. Discount tire has a list.

Most sites or your Tire chain will only list the factory size wheel.
So there's no difference between putting 1.5" wheel spacers as opposed to buying a wheel with 4.5" BS in regards to increased wear on the axle components? Does it increase the wear and tear on the axle seals or whatever? I can't even count how many times I've seen comments regarding adding wheel spacers causing parts to break sooner or axle seals to wear out faster. Logic was telling me that there shouldn't be any difference since the weight is still being pushed further out, but when you hear so many people say the same thing, I couldn't help but think I must be missing something.

Regarding the minus size wheels, I have used tirerack.com and it will give minus sizing options for vehicles, but not the 2014 Rubicon. When I had a 2010 Sahara, it would give up to minus 3 size or 15". If I check earlier year Rubicons, some years will minus size down to 16" and others will minus size down to 15, while the 2014 options are only OEM 17, +1 and +3. Nothing changed in regards to the brake caliper or anything did it?

Edit to add: I just checked Discount tire, and it's the same thing. They only give plus size options for the 2014 JKU Rubi.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:32 PM   #4
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brakes hubs etc are the same. I had 16X8 with 4.5" backspacing on my 13 and this time on my 14 I kept the stock rubicon rims as I like them and went with spidertrax 1.5" spacers. I really never understood the logic either of more wear or tear vs the =backspacing. I am sure compared to stock there is a little more stress but not sure it really would make the difference in a bearing lasting say 200,000 miles or 210,000 miles. Read a great thread on jk forum where a testing lab did destructive testing on the spidertrax and stock rims and the rims failed before the spacers did. If I did not like the new rubicon rims I would probably go aftermarket but the rims look great to me and fit the 285/75-17 tires I run so seemed better for me to go with spacers. If I were going to run a really wide tire I would want a wider rim.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:33 PM   #5
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There is a difference.

The difference lies in the location of built-in mounting flange on the rim. A rim with the proper backspacing moves the mounting flange inboard. A spacer moves the whole wheel outwards. In terms of clearance the net effect is the same but the loads are different because tire loads are transferred from the tire to the shaft via the rim flange.

In bicycle terms the difference is similar to lowering the seat vs installing longer crank arms.

However, it's no different than any other mod we make to our Jeeps. They all have some impact. It just depends how much you reduce the longevity and reliability of various parts. It's the name of game in building any vehicle. It's not a huge impact in this case but but there is an impact. Just make informed decisions.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:33 PM   #6
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Go to DT, Skip past "Jeep Jk" and type in your bolt pattern.
5x5 or 5x127
Contact DT to ensure fitment,

In most wheel spacers threads, somebody usually speaks the truth. There's no difference between running spacers and less BS'd wheels-Same outcome. Of coarse you put more stress on the driveline but it's not something to worry about.
The JK has crappy balljoints. Plan on replacing them around 50k regardless. U-joints are hit or miss. Unit bearings are actually pretty decent. Not many reports of failure
Those are the three main areas of concern.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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Might want to consider measuring the space from the inside of your current OEM wheels to the highest point of, say, your brake calipers? This might give you some idea of how much space you can work with.

I have a TeraFlex 4" lift and am running 37" MTR/Ks on OEM MOAB 17" wheels, with 1.5" spacers... I just haven't found anything that tickles my fancy yet WRT aftermarket wheels.

This is my second setup with the same hardware, my first was my 2010 JKUR and I ran it for 30000 miles that way, with no issues, other than the stock front drive shaft boot finally gave out.

I have a double cardon front drive shaft now on my 2014 JKURX.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinlock View Post
There is a difference.

The difference lies in the location of built-in mounting flange on the rim. A rim with the proper backspacing moves the mounting flange inboard. A spacer moves the whole wheel outwards. In terms of clearance the net effect is the same but the loads are different because tire loads are transferred from the tire to the shaft via the rim flange.

In bicycle terms the difference is similar to lowering the seat vs installing longer crank arms.
I am not disagreeing but this is always hard to get my head wrapped around. why wouldn't a hub centric spacer like spidertrax keep the load in the same place as stock? why is the load transferred if the hub bore is centric which supports the load and held fast to the rotor? I should have paid closer attention in physics
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:49 PM   #9
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What would the hub centric bore have to do with anything ? This is only to locate the wheel. There's not going to be a load bearing on the OD of the center bore. If there's is you have bigger problems
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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(Wheels) when switching to aftermarket wheels this means that you'll be using a wheel with a negative offset. Naturally, this creates room for a larger tire. There are downsides to a negative offset, including an increased turning radius and more leverage on the lugs, bearings, spindles, and axlehousing.

(Spacers)
Adding wheel spacers will have the effect of running a wheel with a negative offset. They give you room for larger tires, thus solving fitment issues. The downside is that moving the wheel away from the hub puts increased stress on the wheel bearings, spindle, knuckle, and the axlehousing itself, just like wider wheels. Also remember that because of the fact that the spacers bolt onto the hub and then the wheel bolts to the spacer, you now have two sets of lug nuts to torque and re-torque.

From
http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/wh...ing-etiquette/
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:03 PM   #11
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I guess I need a drawing for it to make sense. Like I said I am not disagreeing only having a hard time wrapping my head around why there is a difference in load. In my pea brain a spacer that is solid to a rim and also solid to a rotor/hub should not cause excessive load. Again not disagreeing just not smart enough for it to make sense.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinlock View Post
In bicycle terms the difference is similar to lowering the seat vs installing longer crank arms.
I don't understand this analogy. Why would someone opt for longer crank arms versus lowering the bike seat? And how does that relate with adding wheel spacers versus changing the back space to an equivalent distance? Longer arms aren't shifting the forces outward from the hub like I guess a wheel spacer is doing. Besides, longer crank arms would mean a poor bike fit because the down stroke would be further away from your foot, especially if they were used in lieu of lowering the seat.

Anyway, not wanting to change the subject or make the topic any more complicated or confusing than it already is, for me at least.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
(Wheels) when switching to aftermarket wheels this means that you'll be using a wheel with a negative offset. Naturally, this creates room for a larger tire. There are downsides to a negative offset, including an increased turning radius and more leverage on the lugs, bearings, spindles, and axlehousing.

(Spacers)
Adding wheel spacers will have the effect of running a wheel with a negative offset. They give you room for larger tires, thus solving fitment issues. The downside is that moving the wheel away from the hub puts increased stress on the wheel bearings, spindle, knuckle, and the axlehousing itself, just like wider wheels. Also remember that because of the fact that the spacers bolt onto the hub and then the wheel bolts to the spacer, you now have two sets of lug nuts to torque and re-torque.

From
Wheel Backspacing And Offset - Wheel Etiquette - Four Wheeler Magazine
so they are saying what I am saying? now I am really confused.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #14
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No difference ... If that's what you're saying ?

Oh... I tried to draw it out and No luck rofl

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