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Scala 02-22-2010 07:43 AM

Wheel spacers questions.
Hi all. New at this Wrangler thing so I need the help of the experts here.

Many 1.25" wheel spacers are offered by the TJ and I need some help to make a decision.

1. Is the TJ suspension strong enough to absorb the extra loads without sustaining damage?

2. Will the wider front track impact the scrub radius and the steering quality?

3. Will an alignment be required?

4. Is any brand of spacers better than another?

In case you are wondering as to why I'm considering spacers it has to do with the look and "hopefully" the handling without going to the expense of new wheels and tires. This TJ is used to drive on sandy beaches, I'm not a trail and rock crawler in which case I would not consider spacers.

Thanks for all the advice.

IndyJeepMan 02-22-2010 09:09 AM

You can get new rims for the price of 4 spacers.

and you can get the rims to fit your current tires, and... it looks cooler!

Just my .02

whiteyj 02-22-2010 09:27 AM

Wheels with proper backspacing are much better than adding wheel spacers to the equation.

APPSTATEwrangler 02-22-2010 11:32 AM

the suspension should not be affected any with wheel spacers.
the turning radius will not be as tight, but its not that big of a difference.
IMO an alignment is recommended after any suspension or wheel spacer mod, not saying that a problem will always occur with any upgrade, but it is better to do it before the tires wear oddly.
and i have the spidertrax and no problems so far, i do not think the brand matters, but the hardware might be different so look into that.

and unless you get really shi**y rims, spacer will be much cheaper.

jpdocdave 02-22-2010 11:42 AM cragar soft 8's $50 each at quadratec: CRAGAR Series 397 Soft 8 Black Wheels - Quadratec

wheel spacers $99 /pair, total of 200, same price as wheels: Wheel Spacers & Adapters - Quadratec

i hate spaces, get the right wheels. there's many instances even on here where people will tell you they've come loose. secondly is the extra time needed to service brakes, or change u joints/ hub bearings and so on. if you take it to my shop, we will charge you extra for having those stupid things on there if i have to take them off. they need to be isntalled with thread loker, and any shop that uses their brain's will offer no warranty if they come loose, in big bold letters on your receipt. factor all that in, and they just plain suck, especially if they fall off and kill you or someone else, or do a bunch of damage to your jeep.

erickpl 02-22-2010 02:02 PM

I understand the dislike of spacers. They double the number of lugs you have to worry about. They can be costly, etc.

I bought my Canyons (5.5" of BS) before I knew better. Try getting a second wheel purchase approved by your accountant (wife) less than 1 year after getting new wheels. :) She liked the Canyons and didn't want me to go with steel wheels. Nevermind the weight savings and durability from rust/dent of metal vs the alloys. As much as I'd like black steel wheels for the look, my 2.5L probably runs better with the alloys.

Yeah, I could probably sell my Canyons and spacers for a nice set of alloys with the proper backspacing, but I just don't feel like messing with it. :)

Spacers were the route I took and have worked very well the 4 years I've been running my 33's. No wheels have passed me on the highway. NEVER had an ounce of trouble from them, but I also took the time to install them properly.

They are a viable alternative IF new wheels aren't feasible.

InfernoGirl 02-22-2010 04:51 PM

Jegs has soft 8's cheaper.

Scala 02-22-2010 05:39 PM

Thanks all.

My current wheels are nice alloy OEMs and I'd like to keep them. Yes spacers are a band-aid solution but they can be done properly when permanently mounted on the inner wheel flange and longer wheel bolts are used.

Going to a new and wider alloy wheel is quite expensive, requires new tires and still gives the same suspension geometry problems (KPI, scrub radius etc) as the spacers.

I guess I'll side with those who stay clear of them.

jpdocdave 02-22-2010 05:42 PM

how do you permanently mount a spacer?? i guess you'll never be changing brake rotors, u joints, axle shafts, axle seals, or hub bearings?

doclouie 02-22-2010 07:09 PM

You can get brand new Spidertrax spacers that are blems for $160 for 4 on their site. If you do it right spacer are not a problem. A little more work at times, but very little and that is what we enjoy doing. Working on our Jeeps.

Wyominer 02-22-2010 09:52 PM

Check Rough Country for wheel spacers. They are about half the price of everybody else. I got two sets, with shipping less than $130.00. Recheck the torque every time you rotate your tires. I've not had any problems with mine.

Scala 02-23-2010 09:06 AM


Originally Posted by jpdocdave (Post 553381)
how do you permanently mount a spacer?

Can only be done to cast wheels that have a center section that can be drilled and taped.
You drill and tap both the spacer and the wheel to accept 5 allen head bolts in 5X1.5 mm. The bolts are the length of the spacer + 6 mm. You bond the connecting surfaces with epoxy and you assemble.
Once done the spacers are nothing else but a thicker section of the wheel flange. You will need longer wheel bolts.

Scala 02-23-2010 09:16 AM


Originally Posted by Wyominer (Post 553627)
Check Rough Country for wheel spacers.

Thank you Wyominer. I like the fact that they have an installation file on their website. Did you use Loctite when mounting to the spindle?

doclouie 02-23-2010 02:48 PM

Always use Loctite, but make it blue instead of red and you will be better off. If you live in Utah remember to take them off each time you get a state inspection or you will fail. Yes they are illegal in Utah, but not wheel adapters. Go figure.

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