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Old 06-17-2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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Talking Spacers or Rims?

Hey guys,
I know there are a lot of threads out there about the advantages and disadvantages of rims and spacers but I'm trying to sum everything up for a good purchase on my part. I absolutely love my Jeep and want to do the best for it and make it last forever. I am a college student so trying to also be smart about everything. I am looking for some backspacing on my 02 that has a 2'' coil spacer lift and 31'' tires that are a few years old but have like new tread. Should I be looking into a spacer set or a set of rims? I know some rims dont have a lot of backspacing and cannot hold larger tires which I want to eventually get some 33s when the tires I have now are done. Just want to check in and make sure the rims would work for me or if the cheaper spacer set is a viable alternative.
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:37 PM   #2
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also wanting to know if there is any problems with steel rims over aluminum living in Florida, since I know they must be cheaper for some reason...

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Old 06-17-2010, 03:45 PM   #3
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I've never pursued spacers, but have heard many on here say that some steel wheels can be found just as inexpensive as spacers.
I purchased new steel wheels a year ago with 4" back spacing and it gave my jeep a much wider stance. I'm running 31x10.5's too. I'd love to show you in a pic, but don't have the ability to post right now.
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:58 PM   #4
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I got my 5 steelies for $226 shipped off of Summit's website. that's cheap! Really the only problem of the Alloy wheels in florida would be the humidity with the salty water but thats not even really a problem.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:16 PM   #5
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i got 4 steelies put on my jeep and i like the look the backspace is 4.25" so it sticks out enough to give it that look.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:31 PM   #6
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Check your state code on spacers before you do anything. In Utah they are illegal, but then again I only have to take them off once a year for inspection. Are the rims you currently have 7" or 8" rims? Good spacers like Spidertrax ones will run you right around $200. I have heard that some people have had problems with cheap ones so just be aware. I have 31" tires on my stock 8" Canyon rims and the 1.25" Spidertrax spacers and I could probably run a 11.5" tire without rubbing, but I am pretty sure a 12.5" tire would rub. If you are a college student I would run the tires until they are bald and then make the decision. Just remember that once you buy the rims you will need to get the tires removed from your current rims and put on the new ones and get them balanced and such. I priced that out a few months ago and it was going to cost me $125 for the 5 tires.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:47 PM   #7
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I personally do not think spacers look good, and I can always tell when someone has them. Go with the rims
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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If you can find a wheel with the proper offset then definatley go that route. Wheel spacers aren't the worst thing in the world if it's your only alternative. Just make sure you buy them from a reputable company and carefully follow their directions when installing them and maintaining them.

Spidertrax makes a good wheel spacer.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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I have run spacers for years with no issues. Key thing is maintenance. Check them often(like everytime you ratate the tires). Since my axle swap, I run spacers in the rear only, to help compensate for the wider front axle.

And I HATE steel wheels. They are inexpensive for a reason, they are CHEAP! Don't balance well, bend easily, and are heavy(for a DD). For a trail rig, the issues are not as bad except for the strength issues.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:51 PM   #10
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Rims.- Didnt like when I ran spacers.
Aluminum does not hold up as well slamming off rocks as steel.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:13 PM   #11
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What is the reason for not wanting a heavier wheel on a DD? Is it a gas mileage thing or a rougher ride?
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ugly Jeep View Post
Rims.- Didnt like when I ran spacers.
Aluminum does not hold up as well slamming off rocks as steel.
I respectfully beg to differ. Being in AZ, where all we have is rocks, I have seen a LOT of examples with both steel and aluminum wheels in the rocks. I would never run a steel wheel. Ever.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonur1 View Post
What is the reason for not wanting a heavier wheel on a DD? Is it a gas mileage thing or a rougher ride?
Added weight, added rolling resistance, the cheap steel wheels rarely balance well, and bend easily. So ride quality is compromised, and so is MPG slightly.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ugly Jeep View Post
Rims.- Didnt like when I ran spacers.
Aluminum does not hold up as well slamming off rocks as steel.
You can fix a gouge in an aluminum wheel. Pounding steel wheels back to true round can be a problem.

I currently run OEM Canyons and SpiderTrax spacers. I bought the wheelss before I knew about backspacing any my wife was not about to let me get rid of wheels I just bought for new wheels. Spacers made them work when I went to 33's.

I have had NO issues with them mechanically. The ONLY problem I've had is with tire centers. Most (around here anyway) will not do a balance/rotation, or replacement with them on - you have to bring the tire/wheel to them. That sucks.

Would I buy spacers again? Perhaps. But if I could find a smoking deal on a set of black alloy wheels (black wheel look w/o the steel), I'd jump at that.

My Canyon's have taken abuse, but the gouges are needing to be addressed soon.

Ultimately it will be personal preference. If you like your alloys you have now and want them to work with wider tires (my 15x8 wheels handle the 33x12.5 tires just fine btw), then spacers make sense. Just be aware of the tradeoffs:
- may have dealer issues when working on wheels/tires/brakes
- 5 extra lugnuts per wheel
- extra maintenance
- $200 for a set of 4 (approximately)
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:11 PM   #15
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Personally, I would always go for wheels with the right amount of backspacing over installing spacers which are a band-aid approach to the problem.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:01 PM   #16
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Yet another opinion -

I prefer wheels over spacers. However for the Jeep I have never seen a wheel that I prefer the looks to more than the Canyons(nothing beats a simple 5 star)...This has made me consider buying some spidertrax spacers(for now I will just keep it stock, since I really don't like spacers)

If you go spacers, do as advised here. get High quality, and do it right.

On steel vs aluminum - that's another bag of chips, but I prefer Aluminum.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:08 PM   #17
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2" spacers help with different WMS too. My front is 70" WMS(01 Dodge D60), the rear D60 is 65" WMS(Unknown original). 2" spacers on the rear help a lot.

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