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Old 10-12-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
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Spacers needed? Just upgraded tires...

I posted this in the JK forum and it should've been posted here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo419Alpha

Help help! I've been reading all these forums about spacers needed with 33" tires. I just installed my 33x12.50R15 BFGoodrich AT/S tires on my 100% stock Jeep. I wanted to get the look of the wider stance and so I pulled up next to a Jeep to get their tire size and that's how I came up with the size I bought. Noticed yesterday when they were putting them on that the front doesn't have the clearance necessary when you cut the wheel all the way left or right. Started reading on the forums about it and discovered I needed spacers to make it work.

Now my concern is not getting the spacers (I can get those) my concern is putting them on. Is that something I can do or should I take it somewhere and have them do it for me? My car expertise is minimal and at the risk of getting horribly humiliated here, I've only used my lug wrench and jack one time and that was to put in the spare.

Also, is this something that I need to remedy quickly (installing the spacers)?

Thanks!

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Old 10-12-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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Assuming you have a '97 to '06 Wrangler TJ, you don't say, 33" tires are way too tall for an unlifted rig. You need a minimum of 3" of lift but 4" is what is really needed to give 33x12.5 tires enough room to move around in for offroading. You can get that 3" or 4" of lift by combining a suspension lift and a body lift. Like a 3" suspension lift and a 1" body lift would be optimal for running 33" tires.

31x10.50 is the totally accepted largest tire size for an unlifted/stock Wrangler TJ.

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Old 10-12-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
Assuming you have a '97 to '06 Wrangler TJ, you don't say, 33" tires are way too tall for an unlifted rig. You need a minimum of 3" of lift but 4" is what is really needed to give 33x12.5 tires enough room to move around in for offroading.
I don't do a whole lot of offroading. My Jeep is 95% street driven. 5% trail driven. Out of that 5%, 0% is done rock crawling, or hard off roading. That 5% ia mainly being driven on dirt roads or my family's ranch.

I've seen Jeeps with no lift (judging by parking right next to them and our vehicles are the same height) that have these tires on but they seem to come out of the wheel wells a little more than mine do. Started asking around and that's when the spacers came into play...
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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On stock wheels you will more than likely rub the rear spring perch as well as the front control arms and sway bar when turning. You will also hit the flares and sometimes fender when hitting any bumps while driving.

Spacers will not correct the part about hitting the flares and fenders, only the other items.

Even if you don't wheel I would suggest at least getting a budget boost (1.75-2.00" poly spacer that sits on top of the springs) so you don't have to worry about anything.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo419Alpha View Post
I don't do a whole lot of offroading. My Jeep is 95% street driven. 5% trail driven. Out of that 5%, 0% is done rock crawling, or hard off roading. That 5% ia mainly being driven on dirt roads or my family's ranch.
The 3" I mentioned as being minimum was for street and gentle offroad use. 4" was for true offroad use.

No matter how you want to look at it, you need 3" to keep from continually rubbing/bumping/scrubbing those tires. A 2" budget boost plus a 1" body lift would be adequate.

Keeping it stock/unlifted with 33x12.50 tires would not be good to do.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwm1986
Even if you don't wheel I would suggest at least getting a budget boost (1.75-2.00" poly spacer that sits on top of the springs) so you don't have to worry about anything.
How much does that cost to do and any recommendations on parts?
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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2" is not enough for 33x12.50 tires.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
2" is not enough for 33x12.50 tires.
Why? (Seriously don't know)
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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For the same reason that 0" and 1" is not enough... your tires will rub excessively. You realize that 40" tires are too big for no lift, you also realize 35" tires are too big... so are 33" tires too big for no lift, 1", or 2". THE TIRES WILL RUB!

The biggest tire that can be run without rubbing on an unlifted '97 to '06 Wrangler is 31x10.50 and even that will rub when the steering wheel is turned too far.

I'm not making this stuff up, I know a bit about the subject.

Here's a page at Jp magazine that talks about this and below is a chart (click on it to make it full size). Too bad they only cover 0,2,4, and 6". What Hits, What Fits - Jp Magazine
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo419Alpha View Post
I don't do a whole lot of offroading. My Jeep is 95% street driven. 5% trail driven. Out of that 5%, 0% is done rock crawling, or hard off roading. That 5% ia mainly being driven on dirt roads or my family's ranch.

I've seen Jeeps with no lift (judging by parking right next to them and our vehicles are the same height) that have these tires on but they seem to come out of the wheel wells a little more than mine do. Started asking around and that's when the spacers came into play...
Have you considered these jeeps you park next might have a different rim "offset"?
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
I'm not making this stuff up, I know a bit about the subject.
I meant no disrespect. I truly know NOTHING about this. All I know is I parked next to a Jeep with these tires on. I said "that looks BA" and I wrote his tire size down. I wanted that look and tried to obtain it by mimicking his tires.

Let's forget about the lift issue right now. (Ill concede that I need one....but that's later). I need to know if I purchase a pair of 1.5" wheel spacers will that solve the problem of the tires rubbing the sides while sharp turning? I need this info as I already have the tires INSTALLED and if I need to take them back I need to know before I put too many more miles on them.

If the answer is yes, what hub centric spacers do you recommend?
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coop42

Have you considered these jeeps you park next might have a different rim "offset"?
No, because I have no idea what that is.

Echo419Alpha <---- total Jeep mechanical noon.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:54 AM   #13
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Look up a company called Spidertrax. They make the best wheel spacers. You'd be better of with new rims with 3.75"-4" backspacing though.

I also urge you to be very careful. Your tires may be rubbing on the springs and perches. This can cause a lot of wear to your inner sidewalls.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:59 AM   #14
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What do you mean when you say "backspacing" on rims? I do not understand.

Would new rims be better than spacers? Why? What rims do you recommend?

Or at this point is it better to take them.back and just get a set of 31x10.50's. These 33's only have about 150miles on them.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
The biggest tire that can be run without rubbing on an unlifted '97 to '06 Wrangler is 31x10.50 and even that will rub when the steering wheel is turned too far.
Thanks Jerry. I didn't realize what all was involved, how muchto components cost, etc. I thought I could just up the tire size and voila! Instant cool looking ride.

Im swapping out the 33's for 31's until I can afford to do it right, by buying all the required parts...
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Echo419Alpha View Post
What do you mean when you say "backspacing" on rims? I do not understand.

Would new rims be better than spacers? Why? What rims do you recommend?

Or at this point is it better to take them.back and just get a set of 31x10.50's. These 33's only have about 150miles on them.
If you're not prepared to install 3" of additional height, I'd swap the 33" tires for 31x10.50.

Backspacing is the distance from the wheel's mounting flange to its inside-most edge. The more backspacing a wheel has, the closer to the suspension and the further inside the wheelwell the wheel is positioned.

The yellow tape measure in the below photo is measuring the wheel's backpacing dimension... from its mounting surface to its inner-most edge. The backspacing on your factory wheels will be fine with 31x10.50 tires. For wider tires, you need less backspacing to move the wheel further out so the tire won't rub. That can be accomplished with aftermarket wheels which have less backspacing or, but less desireable, wheel spacers.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:30 PM   #17
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Hey Echo419Alpha,

Check 4 Wheel Parts, I got these rims that are offset about 1.5in; that’s out away from the frame. I put on 31 x 10.5 tires which are about +2in wider than the stock 78 tires. So that is .5in more clearance over the stock setup. I also have 2 in Rubicon economy lift. I didn’t have to mess with my gearing or axels at all.

Check their pricing; the Pro Comp AT 31x1.5 is made by Cooper and it has a 50k mile warrantee. I got the whole set up; 5 tires and rims w/ caps, nuts and mounting and balancing for a little over $1200 bucks. There also may be a $100 buck rebate available too. I sold my stock rims and tires for another $125 bucks so I don’t think I got hurt at all. The ride great on the highway and do very well offroad and there is no death wobble.

Rock Crawler Series 52 Flat Black Powder Wheel - Pro Comp Rock Crawler Steel Wheels - Steel Wheels - Wheels - by 4 Wheel Parts
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:59 PM   #18
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Where Jeep and truck wheels are concerned, the wheel's Offset dimension is not usually useful at all. It's better to purchase wheels based on their Backspace dimension. The two terms are not interchangeable, they measure two different things. Offset is a term more useful for car and sportscar wheels.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:08 PM   #19
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Hi Echo,

Your not the first or the last to jump the gun when buying tires too big.


The cheapest fix would be to return the tires for a smaller set.




If you decide to keep them then your cheapest solution is probably the following:

two pair of 1.75" budget boost spacers $40 a pair

1" to 1.25" polyurethane body lift $100 - $150

two pair of spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers $100 a pair

Instead of the spacers you could buy some inexpensive steel wheels with about 3.75" backspacing at $60 per wheel plus mounting and balancing. Then sell your stock wheels.

*if you exchange the tires for a narrower 10.5" or 11.5" width... 33x10.5x15 instead of 12.5", then you may not need new wheels or hub spacers at all. I'd probably go that route if you are intent on keeping with a taller tire. I like your OEM wheels and I don't like using spacers (although I have them myself but I have to check them constantly after off-road)
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ygohome
If you decide to keep them then your cheapest solution is probably the following:

two pair of 1.75" budget boost spacers $40 a pair

1" to 1.25" polyurethane body lift $100 - $150

two pair of spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers $100 a pair

Instead of the spacers you could buy some inexpensive steel wheels with about 3.75" backspacing at $60 per wheel plus mounting and balancing. Then sell your stock wheels.
I agree with this.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:17 PM   #21
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Thanks all. I went back today and exchanged them. Now I have 31x10.50R15's installed. (Jerry, I noticed the fender rub thus morning and now understand why the lift is required...)

I will keep all this info handy for when my budget allows to purchase new wheels, as this is the route to go from what im seeing.

Thanks for all your guys' help. I hate to think what might have happened had I not asked....

Jerry, 31 is the tallest I can go without a lift, right? But I can go wider than 10.5 provided I have a wheel with the proper backspacing right?

See I did learn something...
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:32 PM   #22
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Thanks all. I went back today and exchanged them. Now I have 31x10.50R15's installed. (Jerry, I noticed the fender rub thus morning and now understand why the lift is required...)

I will keep all this info handy for when my budget allows to purchase new wheels, as this is the route to go from what im seeing.

Thanks for all your guys' help. I hate to think what might have happened had I not asked....

Jerry, 31 is the tallest I can go without a lift, right? But I can go wider than 10.5 provided I have a wheel with the proper backspacing right?

See I did learn something...
I think 10.5 is it for a 31, to go wider you would have to go back to light truck tires and get 50s or 40s if you want wider.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:34 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo419Alpha View Post
Thanks all. I went back today and exchanged them. Now I have 31x10.50R15's installed. (Jerry, I noticed the fender rub thus morning and now understand why the lift is required...)

I will keep all this info handy for when my budget allows to purchase new wheels, as this is the route to go from what im seeing.

Thanks for all your guys' help. I hate to think what might have happened had I not asked....

Jerry, 31 is the tallest I can go without a lift, right? But I can go wider than 10.5 provided I have a wheel with the proper backspacing right?

See I did learn something...
Not Jerry here, but yes, you could go wider - I think there are 31-13.50s out there still. However, there are only a very few instances where going wider provides any real benefit. A super-wide tire will, however, reduce fuel economy, put more strain on steering and bearings, and follow every crack in the road. 31-10.50-15 is a good all-around size on a Jeep that sees moderate off-road use, assuming the driver knows what they're doing and the tread pattern matches the intended use.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:05 PM   #24
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The wider the tire, the more easily it will hydroplane and the slower you have to drive to keep it from hydroplaning. Think wide water ski versus a narrow snow ski.

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