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Old 10-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
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Spacers...safe or not, best argument here...

Long story short, I'm considering getting spidertrax spacers for my 2011 Rubicon 4 door (stock other than 285/70/17 duratracs that rub rub rub despite Americas Tire Company that insisted they wouldn't - sorry to those here that said they would, I took the tire shops word over yours and I am paying for it).

I've read lots of arguments for and against them here and otherwise. Some say they are flat out dangerous, others seem to think that's silly, that they are perfectly safe. This is a DD and off roader that will regularly be carrying my family, wife and kids, on both road trips and off road.

...so, am I nutts to trust my family to spidertrax? If so, why? If I'm not, why?

All input appreciated!

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:33 PM   #2
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Happy reading! Link

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:35 PM   #3
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I would buy wheels with the correct spacing. That is the safest way to solve your problem.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:44 PM   #4
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I would buy wheels with the correct spacing. That is the safest way to solve your problem.
Ok, quick update here... Wife wanted wrangler as it's a four door suv convertible, I wanted to for that and off road capabilities and thus talked her into the rubicon...we both wanted the "extras"...now that we have it and paid for it, she's not in the mood to see mods for a while; enough money spent at this point already etc..I told her I had the tires upgraded, that's it, she is thus thinking it was a factory upgrade which of course it wasn't.

So, I know the better option is replacing the rims and i would prefer that and since I am in charge of finances in the family I would be the only one that knows and yes, we can totally afford to do that so it wouldn't be financially irresponsible, regardless though, she would kick my ass if I showed up with different rims, she would notice and I would be in the dog house for quite a while as a result...if anyone knows of good rims that look even remotely like stock that have the backspacing needed I'd love to hear from you; otherwise back to the spacing discussion.

Thanks though jk'n
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:51 PM   #5
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Happy reading! Link
I read that thread already :-) ... Selfish probably, but want to get a direct response/feedback so to speak and address/respond to things as they hit, for instance I read often "they're dangerous" without examples of the danger and/or "they are perfectly safe" without examples of 30k miles unchecked and zero problems etc...I will be diligent and check them at rotations, but if that is required to check them every 3000 miles (or have some have suggested every 1000), and they are NOT safe otherwise then to me thats not safe...thanks though!

By the way, the local off road shop (biggest most successful one in the area) swears up and down they are perfectly safe...?
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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One thing you may want to check is your state's laws on spacers. They are illegal in my state (MA).
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:08 AM   #7
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One thing you may want to check is your state's laws on spacers. They are illegal in my state (MA).
I do need to check that for sure, my calls tomorrow will be to the tire shop that installed the tires to ensure they will rotate them with the spacers without a problem and considering the local off road shop I would get them from does body work, lifts, etc all the time and they sell and install them I think they are probably legal here (Oregon), but I'll double check to be sure...it does concern me a bit that some states have outlawed them, but then I need to remember what politicians are like (morons and/or whores to the highest bidder) and that makes me realize the outlawing of them may not be warranted ... Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:44 AM   #8
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Are you just rubbing at full-lock during tight turns?
If so, just adjust your steering stops with a few washers. Safer than spacers, reversible, and cheap.
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I've been pretty vocal about my dislike of spacers.
1) they add mechanical complexity and potential failure points to the most dynamic area of the Jeep
2) they add unsprung weight to a vehicle that comes from the factory already undersprung & underdamped (imho)
3) they are illegal in many states
4) largest tire chain stores will not service your vehicle if you run them

Your 4 tires are your only contact with the road. Life is too dang precious and short to compromise with safety in this regard. Properly sized wheels are relatively cheap, can be lighter/stronger/better than stock.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:13 AM   #9
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Gotta vote for the steering stop adjustment too... Hubby wanted to keep his Moabs when he upgrades his tires too, till I called our tire shop and found out they won't mount them with spacers..... Kind of a pain in the hiney.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:34 AM   #10
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Be prepared to check and retorque all your lugs weekly as well if you do go the spacer route.
It's your wife and kids that will be in this vehicle........
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:18 AM   #11
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May want to refer to them as adapters when you call... Cause in essence the Spidertrax are adapters - just happen to be 5x5 to 5x5... Spacers (to many old schoolers) are those frisbee deals that fit between the wheel and hub and shorten the amount of lug bolt avialable. The Spidertrax adapters actually have the same lug bolt length as the stock wheel hub. Now, that doesn't mean the shops won't have a do not touch policy...

I would also start with the washers and steering stop adjustment - guarantee you can fly that under the radar... and probably do it on your lunch one day.

I am looking at those same size tires for my X - but really want just a little bit taller...

BTW, are you rubbing on the "air dam" - if so, trim that up as well.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:12 AM   #12
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I just installed Spidertrax spacers on my JK a couple of weeks ago. I didn't hesitate to use them since I had them on my TJ for about 3 years with no issues. Each time I checked them on my TJ they were still torqued to specs.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:27 AM   #13
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Mamba MR-1 look almost identical to the stock rubicon wheels and come with 17x8 and 4.25" backspacing (or +6mm offset)

should be enough to wrap whatever tire you want and keep it out of the wheel well... otherwise... put spacers on and hope for the best and check them often.

personally i dont like the idea of adapters. even the quality ones that spidertrax puts out... just the concept of it doesnt mull over with me.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #14
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I ran spacers on the front of my mustang for 20K very hard miles. I ran them on my last jeep for ~ 10K miles. Never had an issue. The lugs on the spacers never "loosened up". The lugs inside the spacers cannot back out all the way because they will hit the wheel first. I only checked them when i rotated the tires.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #15
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heres a pic if you want the mambas
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:34 AM   #16
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versus the rubicon from mopar... look the same to you?

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Old 10-12-2010, 11:06 AM   #17
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Mamba MR-1 look almost identical to the stock rubicon wheels and come with 17x8 and 4.25" backspacing (or +6mm offset)

should be enough to wrap whatever tire you want and keep it out of the wheel well... otherwise... put spacers on and hope for the best and check them often.

personally i dont like the idea of adapters. even the quality ones that spidertrax puts out... just the concept of it doesnt mull over with me.
Now those would work! Any idea what companies may carry them in stock? Or is it online ordering only?

Hilldweller, it's rubbing just a pinch before full lock, if I try to make a uturn it often becomes a 3 point turn when it shouldn't be to avoid rubbing.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:14 AM   #18
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Now those would work! Any idea what companies may carry them in stock? Or is it online ordering only?

Hilldweller, it's rubbing just a pinch before full lock, if I try to make a uturn it often becomes a 3 point turn when it shouldn't be to avoid rubbing.
Sounds like a perfect case for $.50 worth of washers to me... Just sayin'

Quadratec carries the Mamba's - but you're looking at $500 or $600 plus the mount / balance...
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:42 AM   #19
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Sounds like a perfect case for $.50 worth of washers to me... Just sayin'

Quadratec carries the Mamba's - but you're looking at $500 or $600 plus the mount / balance...
Yea, I've been resistant to the steering stop solution because I didn't like the idea of limiting my turning radius, but I think I'll give it a try first since it's so cheap and easy, may as well try it first.

Not sure how well it would work off road though, once flexed and/or sway bar disconnected wouldn't I still have issues? Plus, I just noticed yesterday I can barely squeeze the tip of my pinky between the rear tire and frame, isn't that way too close?
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:14 PM   #20
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Some say they are flat out dangerous, others seem to think that's silly, that they are perfectly safe....so, am I nutts to trust my family to spidertrax? If so, why? If I'm not, why?
I fall into the "they're perfectly safe camp" and will be installing them on my wife's incoming JKU in a couple weeks. We ordered the Jeep for the same reason as you.

Near as I can tell after reading about them on the four major forums is that the failure scare is essentailly jeep myth perpetuated by people that don't know what they're talking about. I could find no example of a spidertrax failure. Any real experience around re-torquing indicates they do not loosen up if installed to spec with loctite... not that you shouldn't check the torque each time you rotate the tires. Seems to me that chatter about checking the torque weekly is just an example of perpetuating the myth...

As an engineer, I see no reason why adding a spidertrax adapter makes the interface dangerous. The 6061-T6 adapter is stronger than the cast wheel.

I suggest reading all you can find and making an informed decision. Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:08 PM   #21
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I saw a picture on another forum (don't remember which) of a jeep that had the spidertrack spacers installed. The jeep had rolled numerous times. The wreck was so banthat it literally ripped the center out of the front right wheel.... Those spidertrack spacers will still on tight as could be though. That photo alone sold me on their safety.

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