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I was wondering if anyone know about wheel spacers. Are they any good? Do they really ad to the stability when adding a lift kit? Are they safe? These are just a few of the many questions that run thru my mind. Any answers? Guesses? Thanks all
 

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my buddy had them on his YJ and he said the only bad thing about them was that you could see the brake drums...and thats not a big deal so i'd say there pretty good...and they should be safe...they just slide on before the wheel is bolted on...and yes they should add stability because they should push your wheels and tires out further to give you a wider stance which should give you more stability
 

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Yes they can add to your track width which will help the stability of your rig when lifting it. I think of Spacers about the same as I do body lifts. That in moderation they can be helpful, but if you start getting too crazy then they can be harmful.

If you are looking to add some width to your axles a 1" Billet spacer isn't necessarily a bad way to go.
 

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I personally have heard too many horror stories about them, and will not use them myself. Get the right back spaced rims, and you won't have to use spacers. That is a cheap way of doing something right, and could spell out disaster. My well being, and safety are more important than shaving a couple of bucks.
 

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I've heard people say that it can put too much stress on the axles with the spacers. I don't buy into that, myself. At least, not with a moderate spacer like the 1" like Jack is talking about. I agree with bluvikng somwhat though. I wouldn't feel safe running something thicker than that. Seems like a better way to go would be wheels with back spacing to set the tires out farther.
 

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amerijeep said:
Seems like a better way to go would be wheels with back spacing to set the tires out farther.
Technically, there is no difference. If you are running 4.5" backspacing wheels with a 1" spacer you are effectively running a 3.5" backspacing wheel. You have physically moved the wheel from the wheel mounting surface(WMS) the same distance however you choose to do it. Anytime you move the wheel out you change lots of physics for the negative.

Harder to steer since you now have a harder lever action working against you.
It lessens your turning radius(not that it matters! Tha's what FWD is for ;))

More force on ball joints, rod ends, steerling linkage, steering box and hubs! All of these do matter! They are expensive. When you break one you don't want to be stuck behind you when you are wheeling! What about out on the highway at driving speeds?

More maintenance- Not that you should ever pass up any small amount of maintenance just now you have 2X the amount of lug nuts to look after!

If you want to keep some stock rims with 5-5.5" of back spacing and run a 1.25" BS rim there are no problems. I run with a crew that is obsessed with wheel spacers. Some even running 2 inchers! The negative side to spacers is not worth the extra cost. So far we have busted ball joints completely off the axle, Shattered a hi steer arm, I had a buddy lose a rim on the road(which I believe to be his own fault), and advanced wear and tear on ball joints and hubs.

If you can offset the cost and maintenace to run them go ahead. I took mine off for that very reason :)
 

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ok so stock wheels are 5.5? so if i run stock with 2" spacer it should be 3.5 right? That said spacers wouldnt be any different than getting new rims with 3.5 backspacing. I'm not arguing i'm just trying to realize whats the problem with spacers. If properly torqued they should be perfectly safe isnt it?
 

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yes. a 2" spacer is way to wide. the reason its not safe is because it makes the stud so much shorter and it doesn't have much room for the lug to screw on so if the lugs got just a little loose then they could come right off. even if torqued properly i wouldn't take a chance with the short amount of stud left
 

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go for it then! let us know how ya like it if ya purchase it. how much does it cost? if ya don't like it then its no big deal if its not a lot of money
 

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The CONCEPT of these type wheel spacers is not a bad thing.

I can't speak to a particular brand though. Some may be better quality than others.
Spacers did get a bad rap from the earlier spacer "rings" that just slid over the existing studs and then the wheel bolted on. Any spacer that does not have it's own studs is a BAD idea because they reduce the amount of thread engagement on the studs. Those units weren't worth much anyway, because they weren't wide enough to make much difference in stability or tire clearance.

The newer style that has it's own studs will put no more stress on your jeeps components than a wheel with the equivalent backspacing will. A 5.5" rim with a 2" spacer is the same load on your components than a rim with a 3.5" BS. The only difference (as mentioned before) is that you have twice the lug nuts to maintain.

I like spacers when:
You are absolutely stuck on running an existing rim in your own mind, (due to looks, etc) but the backspacing of that rim is not ideal.
or
You absolutely feel you cannot afford a nice aluminum rim with the right BS.
Many will talk about how the cheaper "black steelies" rims are about the same cost as a spacer. That's true.
I'd probably keep my aluminum wheels and run a spacer though, (if the jeep will see street use) because a good percentage of the steelies are out of round right out of the box! We've given away some of those rims after being frustrated that they would never balance properly.
Aluminum rims tend to run true and are easier to balance.
 

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Good post! Now forgive my ignorance, but how are spacers mounted? I'm assuming the wheel sits flush on the spacer, but what about the existing lugs? Are they flush in the spacer?
 

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i think they slide over the existing studs. and then the you put the wheel on the stud coming through the spacer and tighten the lugs like normal. i think thats how it goes.
 

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bigjeep said:
i think they slide over the existing studs. and then the you put the wheel on the stud coming through the spacer and tighten the lugs like normal. i think thats how it goes.
Yup.
That's why most of the spacers you'll see are 1.25" minimum thickness. You need that much to cover the existing factory studs. You get new lug nuts that tighten down the spacers, just like a wheel. Then, you bolt your wheels on to the studs that are in the spacers and tighten down with your factory lug nuts.
 

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yep Dirk is 100% on track here.. :)

I want to get 2" spacers but i'm wondering will i have a rub or soemthing if my stock rim is 3.5 BS and stock hight? I dont think my jeep is lifted.. i know i didnt lift it but i dont know if the prev owner did..
 

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Triple88a said:
yep Dirk is 100% on track here.. :)

I want to get 2" spacers but i'm wondering will i have a rub or soemthing if my stock rim is 3.5 BS and stock hight? I dont think my jeep is lifted.. i know i didnt lift it but i dont know if the prev owner did..
Well, you haven't said what size tires you want to run. (or I missed it if you did) ;)
Here's a pic of one of our OME Hybrid kits, 33x12.50 tires on 3.25" BS rims, next to a stock jeep:

You can see how far those 33's extend with 3.25" BS.
I think it looks PROPER BTW!
That rig is running a 2"+ spring along with a 1.25" BL and 2" of extended bumpstops.
You can believe that a 33" tire will rub the fenders & flares pretty hard on an 00 TJ with no lift with an effective BS of 3.5".

I'd make a decision on tire size and budget and then decide on a package that supports that.
You have a balance from the factory that works together for a given tire size and lift height. Changing tire size signifigantly (and wheel BS, etc) requires changing other things if you want your jeep to perform well and be safe. Depending on that tire size and/or BS, you may need a lift, extended bumpstops, a BL, wider fender flares, trimming, or a combination of these things and more.

Unfortunately, I talk to guys regularly that bought a cheap "kit" and now they want us to help them figure out why their jeep is so scary to drive and rides like a stagecoach!:eek:

If the budget is low, the closer to stock you can stay, the better. If you've got a little more cash to play with and want to get into enjoying what your jeep could really be capable of, there are some great options to be had.

If I've learned anything, it's that doing it cheap tends to end up meaning that you'll be doing it over. Doing it right after doing it cheap just costs more than doing it right the first time...
 
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