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Old 4th April 2008, 08:33   #1
tonyracerX
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H&R wheel spacers: Pros and cons for track use?

Hey guys,

I plan to track my M5 several times this year and want to know if I should install H&R's 10mm/12mm spacers on my OEM wheels in hopes of improved handling. My current mods are H&R springs, Dinan FRC and rear sway bar. I have also replaced my Conti's with Michelin PS2s.

I have read in other threads that widening the track would slightly benefit handling. On the negative side, I read that the widened track might place additional stress on bearings and suspension parts. Is there any difference between adding spacers to my OEM wheels versus putting on a set of more aggressive (less positive offset) aftermarket wheels assuming the widths and weights are similar?

Has anyone actually noticed a handling improvement by putting on the spacers?

Thanks in advance

Tony
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Old 4th April 2008, 10:39   #2
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I run a self made slalom course (a deserted street by my office) pretty often. After dropping the car w/ H&R's, getting the neg camber (have not aligned just yet), with 12/10 spacers, the car stuck much more with a little less body roll. Understeered less as well. I did not have a chance to slalom it after H&R's before spacers, tho. But the synergy of the drop, camber and spacers def made a difference (noticiable).

Remember to use Anti Seize before poping on the spacers... and get the proper length lug bolts.
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Old 4th April 2008, 13:12   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyracerX View Post
Hey guys,

I plan to track my M5 several times this year and want to know if I should install H&R's 10mm/12mm spacers on my OEM wheels in hopes of improved handling. My current mods are H&R springs, Dinan FRC and rear sway bar. I have also replaced my Conti's with Michelin PS2s.

I have read in other threads that widening the track would slightly benefit handling. On the negative side, I read that the widened track might place additional stress on bearings and suspension parts. Is there any difference between adding spacers to my OEM wheels versus putting on a set of more aggressive (less positive offset) aftermarket wheels assuming the widths and weights are similar?

Has anyone actually noticed a handling improvement by putting on the spacers?

Thanks in advance

Tony
Tony:

I dont track my M5 but I have a heavily modified M3 that I use for the track. My local race shop (a lot of racing experience) suggested that I do not use spacers due to the additional stress on the bearings / suspension. I have sway bars, camber/caster plates, springs, etc... and the car is fantastic on the track without the spacers. I'm sure you would be fine if you decided to use them, I'm just passing on the info that was given to me.

Michael
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Old 4th April 2008, 13:32   #4
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+1 to what Michael_s said. I have heard things along the same lines. However, there are many who run spacers for track use as well.

One major thing, if you do plan to track frequently with spacers, is to change to wheel studs. Personally, I don't see my M running more than 10 track days in its lifetime... so my issue is more for looks/aggressive street driving when no one's around.
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Old 4th April 2008, 16:17   #5
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I would not run the spacers. Lowering your car (adding some neg camber) and adding the sway bars and FRC will improve it over stock.

I think any gain in performance from using the spacers would be very marginal if any as the spacers will add more weight at a critical point, although it is at the centre of the wheel.

There are other things that will improve the car, brakes, camber plates etc... or if you do not have camber plates, just make sure that you have had the negative camber maxed out. You should be able to get something like -1.5 on each side with the stock set-up after lowering.
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Old 4th April 2008, 16:23   #6
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Realistically, I will probably take my M5 to the track twice this year. Like the gym, I want to go often, but never happens in reality.

I am thinking the spacers (only 10-12mm) could not place that much more stress on the wheel bearings. Right? I think I saw in one of the threads that the owner from Turner Motorsports endorses the use of the spacers, but then again he sells them as well.

Back to my original post, if I were to purchase new wheels that were the same width as the factory wheels, but they had positive offsets that were 10mm less, would this be the same exact concept?

If so, I could not imagine the spacers causing much problem, since the majority of after market wheels are a little more aggressive on the offset selections.

What do you think?

Thanks again
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Old 4th April 2008, 22:06   #7
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Read up a little on scrub radius. I believe H&R has a brief writeup on their website. If you go with a wider wheel than stock (11" for example), you are going to alter the scrub radius differently than just "pushing" the OEM ones out by 12mm.

IMO, the aftermarket wheels w/ more aggressive offsets will stress the lug bolts / studs less, therefore, maybe the hub a little less. All other related components should be "stressed" about the same as putting on spacers on OEMs.

Do remember what NB said is true. Little more unsprung weight due to spacers and longer bolts. Very little weight increase, and it is in the center of the wheel.

Last edited by EM_5; 4th April 2008 at 22:07.
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Old 13th April 2008, 21:40   #8
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Spacers aren't going to put any more stress on the components than wheels with different offsets. It is all between the relation of your hub to tire center.
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Old 14th April 2008, 20:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnyost View Post
Spacers aren't going to put any more stress on the components than wheels with different offsets. It is all between the relation of your hub to tire center.
Absolutely true - there is no more stress on the bearings or any of the suspension components than with using different offset wheels.

I've been using the H&R setup (springs and 10 and 12 mm spacers) for almost two years now, and not one problem with any of the suspension components. I've tracked the car with OEM wheels and tires for a dozen sessions or so with no problems whatsoever. The H&R setup greatly reduces body roll, squat, dive, and understeer. A great setup!
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Old 14th April 2008, 21:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolverine View Post
Absolutely true - there is no more stress on the bearings or any of the suspension components than with using different offset wheels.

I've been using the H&R setup (springs and 10 and 12 mm spacers) for almost two years now, and not one problem with any of the suspension components. I've tracked the car with OEM wheels and tires for a dozen sessions or so with no problems whatsoever. The H&R setup greatly reduces body roll, squat, dive, and understeer. A great setup!
Yes, what I originally posted 2 posts above. However, I can't help but think that there may be additional stress to the lug bolts (Because spacers 'exposes' more of the thread b/t the hub and the wheel by the width of the spacer, as opposed to a different offset wheel, which exposes the same 'thread' as OEM). ??
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