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Old 03-25-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
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Spacers vs. Pintlers

I just put on some Pintlers due to wheel spacers being illegal here in Utah. That I did not know until after the fact. I am running Duratrac 285/70/17s with a 2.5" coil lift. I ran 1.5" wheel spacers for about a month with my factory Rubicon X wheels. While the wheel spacers gave me a wider track and good clearance they felt heavy on the wheels in turns and acceleration. This is just my observation to date. Average MPG with the spacers was 15.39. This was tracked carefully. I will update this thread when I get a full tank of driving on the Pintlers for comparison. Also, the few road obstacles I have run over like curbs, holes, bumps feel much better with the Pintlers which I don't understand. I guess moving some of the tire weight inward makes the suspension move smoother. Either that or the Pintlers are just a better wheel. This is the more expensive solution but it appears to be a much better solution so far.

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Old 03-25-2014, 09:57 PM   #2
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Pics please! Your describing the exact setup I'm looking at

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Old 03-26-2014, 02:07 AM   #3
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The spacers impact the scrub radius which is the leverage arm that the steering uses to pivot the wheel on the king pin axis. I combination with the larger contact patch from the larger tires, this can lead to steering feeling heavier in turns.

I agree, wheels with the proper backspacing is the better solution.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:47 AM   #4
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A wheel with 6" of backspacing with a 1.5 spacer is the same thing as a wheel with 4.5" of backspacing. The effect is the same, both on axle parts and end width.

Last I read and been told, pintler wheels had 5.2"? backspacing. You with the stock wheels and a spacer netted 4.75 of BS. It was not the spacer that made the difference, but the increase of BS. Had you gotten a wheel with 4.5 of BS which is actually the "ideal" number for JKs and big tires, you would have ended up with a wheel further out than what you were running with the spacer. If you run a stock wheel with cut out bolts and a 0.75 spacer you would end up with more net backspacing than what you have right now and thus more stable as per your finding. Therefore, the spacers themselves were not the problem.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:59 AM   #5
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I have pintlers on 33" GYSAs. They fill up the wheel wells nicely.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:47 AM   #6
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I have pintlers on 33" GYSAs. They fill up the wheel wells nicely.
Pictures please!
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SteedGun View Post
I just put on some Pintlers due to wheel spacers being illegal here in Utah. That I did not know until after the fact. I am running Duratrac 285/70/17s with a 2.5" coil lift. I ran 1.5" wheel spacers for about a month with my factory Rubicon X wheels. While the wheel spacers gave me a wider track and good clearance they felt heavy on the wheels in turns and acceleration. This is just my observation to date. Average MPG with the spacers was 15.39. This was tracked carefully. I will update this thread when I get a full tank of driving on the Pintlers for comparison. Also, the few road obstacles I have run over like curbs, holes, bumps feel much better with the Pintlers which I don't understand. I guess moving some of the tire weight inward makes the suspension move smoother. Either that or the Pintlers are just a better wheel. This is the more expensive solution but it appears to be a much better solution so far.
Thats exactly why I went with Pintlers, to avoid wheel spacers. I'm also running 285/70/17 Duratracs but with a Teraflex leveling kit for now. How are you liking that tire & wheel setup with 2.5 lift? I'm planning on installing an AEV 2.5 in. lift in a month or two & I'm kind of nervous how its gonna look with 33's.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:01 PM   #8
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Pictures please!
Be careful what you wish for. Raining but happy to get wet to share. I have no load on the inside right now so the lift is riding at it's top height in these pics:























Still too early to give you a real MGP test but I thought this pic from the EVIC after about 20 miles was interesting:

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Old 03-26-2014, 02:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gsn View Post
A wheel with 6" of backspacing with a 1.5 spacer is the same thing as a wheel with 4.5" of backspacing. The effect is the same, both on axle parts and end width.
Respectfully, I don't think that's true. The point the wheel contacts the axle structure has been moved outboard 1.5 inches. The spacer/wheel set up in effect makes the axles longer as the critical point is where the wheel connects to that structure which now includes the spacer. A wheel with less back spacing contacts the axle at the point intended by the designers.

The spacer also adds weight to the system you may not see with a properly backspaced wheel. If we're concerned about the couple of pounds a steel wheel adds to the system and its effects (acceleration, mileage, handling, etc.) then we should be concerned with a spacer too.

That being said, the effects are likely not significant. Different backspacing, tires widths, etc., also produce effects the designers didn't necessarily account for but they are minor and the axle and suspension can handle it to a point. A D30 will probably die sooner than a D44 with 40's, for instance.

I wouldn't doubt the OP sensed some changes in handling and such with spacers. That's doesn't mean they are bad or dangerous, just different.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
Respectfully, I don't think that's true. The point the wheel contacts the axle structure has been moved outboard 1.5 inches. The spacer/wheel set up in effect makes the axles longer as the critical point is where the wheel connects to that structure which now includes the spacer. A wheel with less back spacing contacts the axle at the point intended by the designers.

The spacer also adds weight to the system you may not see with a properly backspaced wheel. If we're concerned about the couple of pounds a steel wheel adds to the system and its effects (acceleration, mileage, handling, etc.) then we should be concerned with a spacer too.

That being said, the effects are likely not significant. Different backspacing, tires widths, etc., also produce effects the designers didn't necessarily account for but they are minor and the axle and suspension can handle it to a point. A D30 will probably die sooner than a D44 with 40's, for instance.

I wouldn't doubt the OP sensed some changes in handling and such with spacers. That's doesn't mean they are bad or dangerous, just different.
The effect on the ball joints and Cs is kind of the same, they don't care whether the wheel is mounted in its designed place or not, they just see the load created by it being further away. Wheel design comes to play in its integral structure and how it handles the load. The studs, however, may indeed get more strain, since they are now holding an extra thing in between, compared to a more backspaced wheel. But the ball joints and Cs will see a similar load, the wheel borders are in the same distance from the hub whether it is more BS+spacer or less BS. Quality spacers are made of aluminum. As per the packaging weight, two 1.5" spidertrax spacers weigh 8.7 pounds. That turns out to 4.35 pounds each. That number will dilute among the wheel and tire. Sure, its still weight, but not to the point of causing a 'noticeable' difference in steering compared to a wheel with a backspace that places it in the same distance.

A spacer could also be seen as an extension of the wheel, not the hub itself, since less backspacing imaginarily does the same thing as a spacer, if you put it side to side with a more backspaced wheel. A spacer would be a cylindrical base behind the wheel. Whether this affects the way the wheel handles load is irrelevant to what the ball joints and knuckle are seeing.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:38 PM   #11
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Yeah, some components won't notice. Depends and it's all minor. I personally don't think it's a big deal. Like I said. Every wheel and tire combination is different and affects the Jeep differently. Most of the components can handle it. Some of them will wear out faster. That's life. But the OP might notice it. Other drivers might not.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:39 PM   #12
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I just switched from Rubi wheels with spacers and Duratrac 315's to a 17" hubcentric (RR Drakon's) with the same DT's.

Not scientific but steering definitely feels different, especially like a hard turn in a parking lot, etc.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:42 PM   #13
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Yeah, some components won't notice. Depends and it's all minor. I personally don't think it's a big deal. Like I said. Every wheel and tire combination is different and affects the Jeep differently. Most of the components can handle it. Some of them will wear out faster. That's life. But the OP might notice it. Other drivers might not.
No, I mean, changes in backspacing are noticeable. What I'm saying is, net backspace whether it is with a spacer or wheel have the same effect on what the steering moves. The OP noticed because he changed the backspace, he went from 4.75 to 5.2 tucking the wheel further in, not because he took out the spacer. Its not fair to relate two disjoint events. He probably would have felt the same thing had he gone from a 4.75 BS'ed wheel to 5.2 since the distance from wheel borders remain the same, or so to speak.

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