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Wheel Spacers


 
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Are wheel spacers good or bad?
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hustler
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Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Wheel Spacers Reply with quote

Hi -

Sorry if this seems long winded, but I think a bit of background might help. I have an 02 TJ with a 2" BB, and 2 sets of tires.

The first set are 31x10.5" MT's on steel 15x8" rims with 3.75" BS and the second set is 30x9.5" AT's on stock aluminum 15x7" rims. My jeep seems to drive better with the wider stance that comes with the wider wheels, but since I've been doing a lot of highway driving recently and winter is coming, I've been running the narrower rim/less backspacing/AT tire combo.

Anyway ... since the dynamics of a wider Jeep seem better than a narrower one, I would like to get the wheels spaced a little farther out with the AT setup. Are spacers that bad? I'd rather not buy new rims, and the aluminum ones seem to perform better than the steel tires with heavier tires. I've heard the horror stories about the spacers failing, but has anyone really had that happen to them? I would get some reputable ones, like Spidertrax, and would take them off once the bigger tires went back on in spring.

p.s. I did do a search but didn't find anyone really either standing behind or advising against spacers. All I found out was that I shouldn't use the cheapo ones that slip on over the studs.
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Duncan
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Joined: 09 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... Yeah I would like to hear more as well since I am thinking about using some in the future...
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Orangeamc13
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Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Location: East Springfield, Massachusetts - U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They would be fine! You could use them with the 31's too! Spidertrax would be the way to go. Of course new stealies would be the cheaper route, but if you like your current rims that's ok. Mr. Green
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ThePhantum
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aside from cheapo spacers failing, the biggest problems come from the stresses they can put on the unit bearings, ball joints, etc. But that's mainly a backspacing issue....not a spacer problem. Once you go under 4" of backspacing, those things start to wear quicker. 3.75" isn't too bad, but I would not go lower than that. The largest spacer I would use on a set of stock TJ rims is a 1.5". That would bring you to 4" of backspacing, which should be ok...as long as you go with good ones.

Personally though, I would not use them. The only time I would even think about using a wheel spacer is in the rear to compensate for a hub conversion in the front....and even then, I would prefer to find matching wheels with backspacing an inch apart...but that's me.

Like Orange said....a set of black steelies would be cheaper than a good set of spacers...
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'drack
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ran a set for awhile so I'll chime in too. Assuming you get a set of quality spacers, the biggest down fall is you now have 20 more points of connection to your axle to check. That's it really. As Phantum mentioned above, the repercussions of running wheel spacers or aftermarket wheels that end up with the same amount of backspacing are the same. Same thing is accomplished, just that there's more points of attachment involved.

That being said, I ran a set of Spidertrax 1.25" ones and when combined with the factory Canyons ended up with 4.25"bs. There're all sorts of tire coverage/extended flare/random PennDot codes that led me to that route but they worked fine for me. Certainly are cheaper options out there, but a good, high quality set from a reputable manufacturer is nothing to fear....now ten buck spacers from PepBoys on the other hand Wink .
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