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Old 04-16-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
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Wheel spacers

Got a question boys. I am not planning on doing this for a few thousand miles but I am planning on lifting my Jeep when I am due for new tires, I will lift it and get new bigger tires. I am considering wheel spacers, what is the deal with them? Are they just for the look. I am guessing the add some type of interior clearance to allow for larger tires but if not then are they just for the look? Having your tires out further?

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Old 04-16-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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It will allow for a wider tire on the stock rim, however, wheel spacers add more stress onto the axle and can cause premature failure, the best bet is to buy new rims with a back spacing of 4.5 or less and you'll be good to go =)

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Old 04-16-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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Still don't get how wheel spacers cause any more stress then a wheel with the same backspace. The physics would be the same. the weight of the wheel and tire are at the same distance and that is where the stress is mainly coming from. Just don't see the physics of a wheel spacer creating additional stress over a new wheel with the same bs . And for the most part, those who get new wheels usually get more BS then the spacer will cause.

As long as you get hub centric spacers, then you are really putting less stress on the lugs since most aftermarket wheels are not hub centric. Now If the new model spacers were like the older ones and some of the cheaper version of not having hub centric light weight material, I could maybe see stress at that point.

I think most of this stress issues are related to older version spacers.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylanjwhall
It will allow for a wider tire on the stock rim, however, wheel spacers add more stress onto the axle and can cause premature failure, the best bet is to buy new rims with a back spacing of 4.5 or less and you'll be good to go =)

(high five) ^^^

Um....

Wheels with less backspacing will put the same stress that wheel spacers do, just sayin
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Wheels with less backspacing will put the same stress that wheel spacers do, just sayin
this.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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Still don't get how wheel spacers cause any more stress then a wheel with the same backspace. The physics would be the same. the weight of the wheel and tire are at the same distance and that is where the stress is mainly coming from. Just don't see the physics of a wheel spacer creating additional stress over a new wheel with the same bs . And for the most part, those who get new wheels usually get more BS then the spacer will cause.

As long as you get hub centric spacers, then you are really putting less stress on the lugs since most aftermarket wheels are not hub centric. Now If the new model spacers were like the older ones and some of the cheaper version of not having hub centric light weight material, I could maybe see stress at that point.

I think most of this stress issues are related to older version spacers.
Yup, I've always thought that some of the 15" wheels with bs at 3.xx" would be a helluva lot worse for bearings and such than stock wheels with, say, Spidertrax 1.5" wheel spacers.

That said, I'd personally much prefer wheels w/proper bs and no spacers.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:07 PM   #7
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Some states ban them. Many tire places refuse to work on vehicles with them in every state that they operate and even the manufacturers print materials that say they have to be checked a lot or are for off road use. There has been a lot of discussion about the safety aspect in this forum. I wouldn't put them on my jeep. Eventually, if I do go with slightly larger diameter and wider tires, I will get wheels with the proper backspacing.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:18 PM   #8
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ive seen a video where some guy is testing spidertrax wheel spacers and he snaps his axle before a wheel spacer broke.

safety issues will rise as long as there are idiots

theres one state, PA, who bans wheel spacers.

and most states dont allow for the idea of your tire sticking out past your fender.

which will happen either way as long as you got wider tires and stock fenders
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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you can run wheel spacers for looks. idk if anyone would notice.

but here is the main reason why you want to run aftermarket wheel spacers.

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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Mass bans them. Local PD says they issue citations for using them.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:46 AM   #11
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I run Synergy spacers, no problems. I have 35's and wheel whenever I can. You will need to retorque them every oil change. Not a big deal IMO since you are already working on the vehicle. Do not cheap out though on them and pick up some Rough Country ones. Stick with Spidertrax, Synergy, Rugged Ridge or Teraflex and HUB centric

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Old 04-17-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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Again, I hate to cheap out but I do have some things to worry about other than my Jeep, mainly my wife and my mortgage. I have to wait until I am due for new rubber but it looks like the plan is a Teraflex leveling kit, 33's and I am looking to go with the Spidertrax 1.5" spacers. I will risk it on the road, getting cited I mean but I will for sure make a call to wherever I am getting the tires put on to see if the spacers are an issue?
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jervboy
Again, I hate to cheap out but I do have some things to worry about other than my Jeep, mainly my wife and my mortgage. I have to wait until I am due for new rubber but it looks like the plan is a Teraflex leveling kit, 33's and I am looking to go with the Spidertrax 1.5" spacers. I will risk it on the road, getting cited I mean but I will for sure make a call to wherever I am getting the tires put on to see if the spacers are an issue?
I ran spacers for a few months till I got new tires/wheels.
My spacers were not questioned by anybody.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:18 PM   #14
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The chain tire stores usually wont touch your rig with spacers installed.

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Old 04-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #15
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Even if the chain stores do install the spacers for you, I would recommend that you go pick up an issue of JP Magazine or Four Wheeler or something (if you don't already have one), and find the Harbor Freight coupon in there for the 3/4" drive Torque wrench (~$15 if I recall correctly) and purchase it. I set mine to 100lb-ft of torque and periodically torque down the spacers and wheels. Takes but a few minutes, and it's all you really need for piece of mind. Your spacers will be perfectly fine if you do this every oil change or serious off road trip. You'll find they'll always click and never loosen anyway (I used a little locktite, the not-permanent kind).

But, it'll be best for you to just get the tool and check the torque on them yourself. And, well, if you get the tool, you can just install the mounted and balanced wheels yourself. There won't be a question of if they are torque'd right either, the way that can occur if you use just a regular lug nut tool.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #16
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^^I know the Discount Tire local to me will not touch them or sell them

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Old 04-17-2012, 05:51 PM   #17
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I ran spacers for a few months till I got new tires/wheels.
My spacers were not questioned by anybody.
If you can not afford a set of properly backspaced wheels, this is what I would do if you just couldn't purchase both wheels and tires at the same time. For me though, I am saving for both to be purchased together; wheels and tires. Chances are that spacers will not be an issue if maintained properly. Problem is, if there is a failure, it will be an issue on not checking them. Most people get lazy or pressed for time in their servicing and I include myself in that group. That is why I would go with the properly backspaced wheels. No need to check two sets of lugs, just one and I can do it without taking the wheel off.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:44 PM   #18
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I ran mine for 16 months before getting new wheels. Absolutely no issues and none of my suspension parts have any wear. I ran Rough Country 1.5" hub centric spacer. The great thing about them is if you do get new wheels later, they are easy to sale. Didn't take me but one day after taking them off to have them sold. Bought them used for $75 and sold them for $75.

My offroad shop sells them (one of the mechanics at the shop had these and got new wheels) and mounted them and routinely checked them for me.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:04 PM   #19
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I ran mine for 16 months before getting new wheels. Absolutely no issues and none of my suspension parts have any wear. I ran Rough Country 1.5" hub centric spacer. The great thing about them is if you do get new wheels later, they are easy to sale. Didn't take me but one day after taking them off to have them sold. Bought them used for $75 and sold them for $75.

My offroad shop sells them (one of the mechanics at the shop had these and got new wheels) and mounted them and routinely checked them for me.
Also currently running RC 1.5'' hub centric spacers for the last year. No problems what so ever. Have had my tires rotated and balanced at several different tire stores and no one's ever said boo to me about the spacers. Clearly you do not want the cheap spacers that use your existing lug studs. I used loc tite and torqued them to 120ftlbs and those bad boys have not loosened a bit. I like the wider trac and stance. Until my next set of wheels, these are working just fine.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:26 PM   #20
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...and torqued them to 120ftlbs and those bad boys have not loosened a bit.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #21
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Bought my torque wrench at Harbor Freight. Running 1.5" SpiderTrax with no problem. Be sure and check them per instructions. No one has yet to explain how spacers are worse than wheel backspacing to me. Both move to tire farther out resulting in the same amount of stress. I will buy new wheels when I need tires. But the spacers are working great for me. When you move the tires out, your Jeep will get dirty alot more. It's worth it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:49 PM   #22
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:18 AM   #23
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Bought my torque wrench at Harbor Freight. Running 1.5" SpiderTrax with no problem. Be sure and check them per instructions. No one has yet to explain how spacers are worse than wheel backspacing to me. Both move to tire farther out resulting in the same amount of stress. I will buy new wheels when I need tires. But the spacers are working great for me. When you move the tires out, your Jeep will get dirty alot more. It's worth it.
From the place where the original wheel secures in towards the axle it is more than likely the same stress as a wheel with proper backspace. That would make sense. The spacer however adds complexity....a system so to speak to securing the wheel. That piece of metal (the spacer) will be stressed as it has a particular shape and holds the wheels on via lugs that are offset from the original securing point. When I think of the stresses, my mind goes directly to that place....the spacer itself. It can't be as good as a properly backspaced wheel. That wouldn't make sense.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:44 AM   #24
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I've been running 33" Duratracs with stock wheels and a 2.5" Teraflex shock/spring lift with 1.25" Alloy USA hubcentric spacers for months now. No issues at all. Lots of highway driving, bit of the rough stuff and had then checked twice by the excellent shop that installed all of the above. No loosening or problems at all. They were recommended by the shop and were torqued to around 90 I believe with some supplied locktite. We went with the 1.25" spacers because the main issue with laws in MA aren't about the spacers themselves, rather the amount your tire sticks out beyond the fender. This I know... They give plenty of backspace room with the 12JKs and this lift and tire combo. Love the look!
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:05 AM   #25
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I have the spidertrax. Havent had any problems with them. In fact the dealer did my tire rotate and liked them.(couldnt refuse the free oil change). They did seem to help with stability on hwy with cross winds
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:34 AM   #26
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Are they necessary! I have 33's on stock rims and no rubbing. Have a 3.5" Rubicon Express lift. Would I get any benefit with them?
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:22 AM   #27
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We went with the 1.25" spacers because the main issue with laws in MA aren't about the spacers themselves, rather the amount your tire sticks out beyond the fender.
There is an obscure part of the law in MA that says that the width may be extended by use of wheels only, no spacers. That is what will get a failure during an inspection, if it comes down to them noticing that you have them. The tire beyond the flairs is an issue for both backspacing on wheels and spacers. If they stick out too far, that may draw attention to your spacers.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #28
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Good to know I won't have any issues with inspections or citations, but it's def good to know the correct info. I'm in the field, and wasn't aware of that one specifically. Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:05 PM   #29
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Are they necessary! I have 33's on stock rims and no rubbing. Have a 3.5" Rubicon Express lift. Would I get any benefit with them?
I have a 2.5" lift and they seemed to give me a more stable ride. I have sway bar discos and they seem to be needed.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:02 PM   #30
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If anything, when you put spacers on stock wheels you reduce torsional stress on the axles.

Let's think about it. Your stock wheel has 6.5 backspace and is 8.5 wide, so you are 2.25 off center. With a 1.5 spacer you are only 0.75 off center.

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