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Old 11-19-2011, 04:20 AM   #1
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Wheel spacers

What are the advantages to wheel spacers/adapters I see advertised ?

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Old 11-19-2011, 06:36 AM   #2
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Adapters are needed to run the newer bolt pattern wheels on TJ's. Spacers are used by those running ford rear ends under their jeeps. No advantage unless you really need them, I don't think.

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Old 11-19-2011, 10:52 AM   #3

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Mostly used to adjust backspace for wheel/tire clearance. I use them to increase width of my 8.8 rear. Another use is to have a wider stance for added stability.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:19 AM   #4
Knows a couple things...

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To me, wheel spacers are a band-aid fix that is better handled by running the right wheels with the right backspacing. Not to mention that some wheel spacers cost more than some wheels do.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:23 AM   #5
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I needed them when I went to a Ford 8.8 rear because the rear is over an inch narrower than the dana35. They will be removed when I install a c-clip eliminater kit though.
Favorite quote, Thanks GoldenSahara00 "not many people do it. most of the guys who do do it, don't sit on the computer and talk/write about it, they do it then go wheel"
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Really, there are no advantages if you figure the cost vs buying aftermarket wheels with the backspacing one may get with a spacer. One thing to keep in mind is by "spacer" we are really referring to what is an adapter ring mounted on the rotor or drum, that has its own studs for mounting wheels. What we are not referring to are "rings" that look like large washers with holes to mount over the existing axle studs. These rings are not recommended for street use and depending on the thickness of the ring, will reduce the effective mounting surface of the stud as it mates with the lug nut. Usually due to liability reasons, many tire shops will not touch a wheel mounted on a ring spacer.

I run personally run the adapter type spacer. Why? Well, I always liked the way my OEM Gambler wheels looked and wanted to keep them, even after I upgraded my tires from 31" up to 33x10.5 KM1s. My problem with the larger tire size, is the higher backspacing typical on OEM wheels. Gamblers have a backspacing of 5.25". With the stock backspacing and 33" tires, I noticed I rubbed on my passenger side SwayLOC arm, during full left turn locks. I definitely needed to decrease the backspacing of my wheels to mitigate the rubbing. Note: I did not rub during full right turns, so I suspect that with the 33x10.5" width, I would be ok with 5.25" BS if I had the stock antisway bar.

The 1.25" adapters I use, plus the 5.25" Gambler wheels - nets me a backspacing of 4" which definitely helps me clear my SwayLOC arms. I believe 4" is an appropriate BS for most 33x12.5 tires.

Adapters also bring additional maintenance into the picture. Because you have added another component to your Jeep, it is a another potential failure point if neglected. I always check my torque settings on my adapters every time I rotate my tires, if not more.
1998 TJ Moss Green Sahara w/ numerous scratches & dents whose playground is on a tropical island that's 33 miles long and 4-12 miles wide, in year-round 82 degree weather

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Old 11-19-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
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Don't have a TJ, But just put a set of rough country 1.5" spacers on my JK about a month ago and wondered why I waited so long. I have a set of 33" terras on MB racing V-drives and man does it make the jeep look beefy. It actually feels like it handles better too. If you do any serious offroading or rock crawling I'd spend the extra $$ and upgrade to spidertrax or the teraflex spacers. But for the light offroading and trail running that I do the $59 per set (JCWhitney) is just right. Use some loctite and recheck your torque after a few hundred miles and no problems so far. PS be sure to use the hub centric and not the cheap ring spacers. Have fun.

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