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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As far as wheel spacers go, for example the rear wheels on front set-up...is that just as safe as wheels on the car without spacers? Would you feel safe going to the track or on the road at 160 mph+ in a car using wheel spacers? I just went to a local tire shop asking if they kept any spacers in stock or I would have to bring my own if I needed them for the wheels I'm getting and he said his shop won't touch them because they're not safe and he's seen them break many times. He told me that he witnessed a wheel fly off a car and go into another car's windshield because of a broken wheel spacer. Any comments or experiences on this? :dunno:
 

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I ran my m5 with hubcentric front spacers (to fit my Cargraphic wheels) on the salt flats at just under 160mph for an extended time. I then drove it 3000 miles cross-country. No issues here!

The broken spacer story sounds like BS. Even if a spacer broke, it theoretically is still held in place with 85 ft-lb torqued lug bolts.

Chris
 

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I just went to a local tire shop asking if they kept any spacers in stock ......he said his shop won't touch them because they're not safe and he's seen them break many times.
These guys are absolute idiots.

"Wheel Spacers" covers the range of products, from a 3mm shim (ie what I use for 275/35-18s up front) to a 3" thick, multi stud monster that grafts a 5 stud chevy pattern to a 6 stud dodge pattern for oversized truck tires. They are all "wheel spacers".

Fear of lawsuits has resulted in many of the national chains declaring all wheel spacers dangerous- they don't sell them and worse will not install a tire if it has a spacer on it. A reason I stopped going to Americas Tire. Was this shop a chain?

Show them a 3mm spacer and a 5mm longer bolt- (keep in mind that the term "3mm" is actually 3 times thicker on your screen than the actual spacer) and ask him "how will this break and the wheel come off and go through a windshield?" How stupid....

Let me guess, same shop says Nitrogen will make the tires handle better?

A

PS Arguably, the slight difference in geometry may put fractionally more stress on the wheel bearings, but there is zero risk from the spacer actually breaking.

PPS Spacers/adapters that don't 'through bolt', and in which the spacer becomes a structural element in retaining the wheel are another story.
 

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im with ard on this one .:3:

even kw uses them on there racecars so i dont think that if it was unsafe the even would be allowed by motorsport organisations.
they are scared to have a lawssuit on there hands if it goes wrong,and who can blame them,

alloy wheels can schatter also, but there isn't one tire shop who refuses to put them on a car.
 

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ok ive got a story:

I bought a 1988 Mustang 5.0 from a buddy. It had some wider drag radials on the rear so my buddy put on some wheel spacers (the kind you can get from most auto parts stores). stock aluminum 10 hole wheels for the LX model. I drove this car every day, with some spirited street driving to and from college and anywhere in between. One day while driving to school I heard a funny noise coming from the rear but couldnt quite figure it out. it wasn't loud, so I wasn't too concerned. after driving a few miles the noise got louder. I figured it may have been a bearing or something in the drum brakes. well then, the car just dropped down in the driver side rear and the car abruptly stopped right there. I **** my pants. this was almost noon traffic and it was full. this was a 4 lane main road. well, to cut it short, I found that the wheel spacer had broken in between the lugs and made its way out somehow. I knew the wheels were properly torqued, so they didnt just loosen up. In the process of the spacer breaking the lugs made their way loose causing the noise I was hearing. well, the tire survived and didn't go flying/kill anybody(verry lucky!), it just tucked up under the car and I was stuck in the right lane blocking lunch time traffic. ha!
I got my dad to come out with a jack and get the wheel back on. I found 3 of 4 lugs and drove the car slowly home.

the rear shocks on the mustang were worn out so the car was sagging in the rear causing my friend to get spacers. I found that out after getting new shocks and checking the ride height/distance.

the spacers were made of some cheap die cast aluminum. like I said above these were the kind that you can buy at autozone, etc...

if you buy spacers make sure they are of top notch quality/materials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, he was the owner of a chain of stores. So far sounds like spacers aren't too bad at all. Is there such a thing as good, better, and best when it comes to quality? Are all spacers made alike or are some known to be really good? Any more experiences?
 

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overhere in belgium we are using SCC wheelspacers most off the time.the being used by racing teams so i suppose the quallity is very good.i dont know you guys have those overthere.there at the more expensive range for wheelspacers.quallity has to be paid :7: i think about 300$$ (estimated)overhere for 4.can be more or less by the thickness you like offcourse.
 

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You really need to understand the physical reality of a THREE MILLIMETER spacer. It is the thickness of this letter

o

there is really no 'quality' attribute other than it should be uniformly 3mm. Nothing else really matters.

Hubcentric spacers, bigger spacer all might have other quality attributes- but a simple 3mm shim is just that- simple.

$50 is about right as I recall. Although I can personally get you the very high quality ones for $200 and you'll save 100 off the european price! PM me :)

A
 

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Something else to take into consideration when looking at wheel spacers is how they actually attach to the car. In the case of BMW's, the lugs are actually lug bolts which in essence squeeze the spacer between the hub and the wheel. As long as you stay short (I run 3mm spacers on my car) and have longer lugs, you should be fine. As Ard stated, it is essentially a shim which pushes out the width of the of the wheel from the hub.

The problem with spacers comes when you run wide spacers (2+") and have to double the bolts. In a setup like this you will typically use lug nuts to bolt the spacer to the existing studs. The spacer then has studs on it as well that you bolt the tire to. The added length, plus the design of the spacers puts lots of extra stress on the hub and extending outward. This is coupled with the fact that it is largely used in situations where people with large trucks want to run BIG rubber. Lots of weight there. It can and has caused cracking and even hubs to come apart - but this is usually in extreme situations. I would say that as long as you stay short and hub centric you will be fine.
 
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Something else to take into consideration when looking at wheel spacers is how they actually attach to the car. In the case of BMW's, the lugs are actually lug bolts which in essence squeeze the spacer between the hub and the wheel. As long as you stay short (I run 3mm spacers on my car) and have longer lugs, you should be fine. As Ard stated, it is essentially a shim which pushes out the width of the of the wheel from the hub.

The problem with spacers comes when you run wide spacers (2+") and have to double the bolts. In a setup like this you will typically use lug nuts to bolt the spacer to the existing studs. The spacer then has studs on it as well that you bolt the tire to. The added length, plus the design of the spacers puts lots of extra stress on the hub and extending outward. This is coupled with the fact that it is largely used in situations where people with large trucks want to run BIG rubber. Lots of weight there. It can and has caused cracking and even hubs to come apart - but this is usually in extreme situations. I would say that as long as you stay short and hub centric you will be fine.

You need upgraded hardware if you're going to run big. 20mm hubcentric + studs is ideal, but you can run it with longer/stronger bolts if you intend to go street only. If you're going to track with spacers, its wheel studs only.
 

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If you get some wheel spacers, go with a brand name, like H&R.

We carry H&R spacers and extended lugs/studs on our site. I would look into it if it is something you are interested in.

I personally run a 20mm H&R spacer in the front of my car, and a 5mm in the back, with extended studs (90mm all around).

I've had ebay spacers in the front of my car, and it would wobble to no end. I couldn't stand it. Put some H&R spacers on, perfect. The difference was night and day.

Getting extended studs also makes it easier to take on/off the spacers and wheels. It can get tricky sometimes if you have a big spacer and you are trying to put some wheels on.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to everyone for your valuable input. I will keep you guys posted if I have any further questions.
 

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Long ago thread. I found it when i search for hub-centric wheel spacers. Today there' still some misunderstanding on wheel spacers. To be honest, the reputation of wheel spacers is destroyed by shoddy products in the market. Some local tire shops don't want to be responsible for the potential accidents because they don't know where you buy the spacers and they cannot judge too much for your choices. So first you should purchase them via the formal channel, and yes hub-centric is much safer than lug-centric, and aerospace aluminum 6061-T6 and 7075-T6 are the best materials so far. I will recommend H&R, BONOSS and EIBACH. Their products all have high performance. I've placed BONOSS's 20mm and 25mm spacers on the front and rear respectively on my BMW X6. I love the robust stance and the good handling wider track brought.
As for the installation, if you have related tools, just try to install them yourself according to the instruction from the manufacturer. Otherwise, you can go to some super modification store to get help.
 
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