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Safe to run 1/4" spacers? by JumpStart
Started on: 10-06-2011 06:47 AM
Replies: 27
Last post by: katatak on 06-11-2012 12:37 AM
JumpStart
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Report this Post10-06-2011 06:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JumpStartClick Here to Email JumpStartSend a Private Message to JumpStartDirect Link to This Post
I am planning to run 17x7.5 with 40mm offset wheels in the rear of my car and I have new sens-a-track struts on it. With a 15x7 wheel and 42mm offset, the struts just hits the weights on the wheel. Just wondering if this would work and be safe.

Steve
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Report this Post10-06-2011 07:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderDirect Link to This Post
Do you have enough threads on the lugs? If so, I would think you are OK, but of course anything could happen in a non-stock setup.
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Report this Post10-06-2011 09:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:

Do you have enough threads on the lugs?


Yup. You'll likely need to install longer studs in the hub.
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Report this Post10-06-2011 04:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rick 88Send a Private Message to Rick 88Direct Link to This Post
Make sure you purchase hubcentric spacers.
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Report this Post10-06-2011 05:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for weaselbeakClick Here to Email weaselbeakSend a Private Message to weaselbeakDirect Link to This Post
I've got 1/4 inch spacers on the rear with stock studs. It's been OK so far and I see no reason why that should change. I would get a longer stud, but these tires are real temporary, and I won't need the spacers for long.
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Report this Post10-06-2011 05:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickDirect Link to This Post

I run these 1" hubcentric spacers on the back of my '84. They bring my Sunfire wheels out to the edge of the fenders (instead of being tucked in too far).

I've been on an autocross track (a lot of runs) since putting them on a month ago and so far I'd say they're just fine. No added vibration at high speed at all. No loosening of lug nuts occurred after being torqued down properly.

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Report this Post10-06-2011 06:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:


I run these 1" hubcentric spacers on the back of my '84. They bring my Sunfire wheels out to the edge of the fenders (instead of being tucked in too far).

I've been on an autocross track (a lot of runs) since putting them on a month ago and so far I'd say they're just fine. No added vibration at high speed at all. No loosening of lug nuts occurred after being torqued down properly.



Buy the normal definition, those are adapters...not spacers. I wont trust them over 45 mph under any circumstances...ive seen them fail. Those were on one of my Fieros when I bought it with chevy wheels. The studs the wheels were bolted to just spun, so I had to use a cutting torch to get the wheels off, destroying them of course. Most racing series I know of ban them. Spacers on the other hand are just fine up to 1/4"...if the nuts have enough of the threads. Open nuts should have an 1/8" or so of stud sticking thru them (flush is OK) and closed nuts should be near to bottomed out on the studs. If they dont, you need to install longer ones. There may be good adapters, but they will cost more than the proper wheels would.

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Report this Post10-06-2011 06:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JumpStartClick Here to Email JumpStartSend a Private Message to JumpStartDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the replies. With 7.5 rims and 40mm offset, it should put the wheel about 4mm closer than with the 7" 42mm wheels that are on there now.6.x mm spacers should get them in the clear.

Steve
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Report this Post10-06-2011 08:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:

Buy the normal definition, those are adapters...not spacers. I wont trust them over 45 mph under any circumstances...ive seen them fail.



Well, the ones I got aren't "adapters" as the bolt pattern isn't being changed... but I get your point.

The fact that these are hubcentric (not all of them are) and I've torqued them (the spacers to the hubs and the wheels to the spacers) down properly to 80 ft/lbs (and re-torqued them after a week, although they hadn't moved), I'm confident they'll be fine. If they aren't I'll certainly be posting about it here in the forum!
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Report this Post10-07-2011 10:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
Just for sake of argument, there still adapters. Just because theyre the same bolt pattern dont change that. They bolt on the studs, with a different set of studs holding the wheel. A spacer uses the same studs (in the axle) and they pass thru the spacer and into the wheel. The axle hub is a LOT stronger than an adapter. I had a 57 Pontiac years ago I drag raced and broke all the studs out of the adapter and lost the wheel and also destroyed the 1/4 panel on its way.
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Report this Post10-07-2011 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryDirect Link to This Post
This seems to come up every couple months or so and it's always the same two people arguing the pros and cons of spacers or adapters: me and Roger. Roger has undoubtedly had bad experience(s) with adapters which has tainted his views about them. There are however many others that use them, sell them, and manufacture them, anywhere from 1/2 inch to 4 inches in width. If they were as dangerous as Roger says, you'd think that they'd be outlawed, for starters, that there would be a whole slew of legal actions against the manufacturers, and that they would have long ago disappeared. I'm not aware that this is the case.

Perhaps his experience with spacers/adapters was negative because the spacers/adapters he's seen (or bought) weren't made of steel or higher grade aluminim. This could explain why he's seen studs spinning on themselves, or perhaps it was a result of someone having over-torqued them. This could also explain why he's seen some cracking as well. Perhaps they were improperly manufactured, or perhaps too thick for the application resulting in higher bending stresses on the lugs. There are many variables, but this I can tell you for sure: I, as well as many others, have used steel and/or aluminium spacers/adapters for years and years without any difficulties with cracks, spinning studs, or other failures. I torque mine according to the manfacturer's recommendations and use a thread locking compound on the nuts that hold the adapters to the hub. Then, I torque my wheel nuts that hold the wheel to the adapter using OEM recommended values as anyone should do. I drive my cars on the road, don't autocross, or race, but enjoy taking fast curves and making the occasional wheel spin like anybody else. Wheel adapters/spacers aren't death traps... if they were, I wouldn't be here 15 years after having installed them on my SBC equipped Fiero.
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Report this Post10-07-2011 02:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for redraifClick Here to Email redraifSend a Private Message to redraifDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

This seems to come up every couple months or so and it's always the same two people arguing the pros and cons of spacers or adapters: me and Roger. Roger has undoubtedly had bad experience(s) with adapters which has tainted his views about them. There are however many others that use them, sell them, and manufacture them, anywhere from 1/2 inch to 4 inches in width. If they were as dangerous as Roger says, you'd think that they'd be outlawed, for starters, that there would be a whole slew of legal actions against the manufacturers, and that they would have long ago disappeared. I'm not aware that this is the case.

Perhaps his experience with spacers/adapters was negative because the spacers/adapters he's seen (or bought) weren't made of steel or higher grade aluminim. This could explain why he's seen studs spinning on themselves, or perhaps it was a result of someone having over-torqued them. This could also explain why he's seen some cracking as well. Perhaps they were improperly manufactured, or perhaps too thick for the application resulting in higher bending stresses on the lugs. There are many variables, but this I can tell you for sure: I, as well as many others, have used steel and/or aluminium spacers/adapters for years and years without any difficulties with cracks, spinning studs, or other failures. I torque mine according to the manfacturer's recommendations and use a thread locking compound on the nuts that hold the adapters to the hub. Then, I torque my wheel nuts that hold the wheel to the adapter using OEM recommended values as anyone should do. I drive my cars on the road, don't autocross, or race, but enjoy taking fast curves and making the occasional wheel spin like anybody else. Wheel adapters/spacers aren't death traps... if they were, I wouldn't be here 15 years after having installed them on my SBC equipped Fiero.


Ugh the spacer areguement... I know it so well! I have an f-body that I have spacers/adapters on since 2000... The arguement would flare up on the 3rd gen forums as well. My firebird has been parked the last 5 years, but none the less the car ran for a 6 solid years as a daily driver on them. It was a show car, went on the dyno, went to track days and raced a bit for fun, took it to Little Taladega and Road Atlanta for track days. I NEVER had an issue with mine. Used heavy steel 17s with them. I got them because I had an issue finding the wheels I wanted in the offset and bolt pattern I needed in an old school RWD offset. I ran what is supposedly the worst one to use. It bolted to the hub with the factory lugs... then used 6 tapered 8 grade bolts to bolt a top half with the new lug pattern to the spacer bolted to the hub....the new lug studs were beefed up over stock specs... then I bolted on my wheels.

So in summary the spacer was 2 pieces. the spacer half and the new lug pattern half. It was solid machined billet and everything was machined just so. The bolts that held the 2 plated together were tapered and designed so that they could NOT loosen once the top half was in place. If you followed the directions and torqued everything to spec and properly antiseized the tapered bolts for the 2 plates (Aluminum plates and steel bolts), you would have NO ISSUES! I paid a pretty penny for them, but they were worth it, as they did the job! I NEVER had a single issue with them. And yes I had them on and off alot over the years!

In my opinion, if you buy high quality billet versions, you can run them no problem!

I bought my wheels in an offset, so I could do a brake upgrade down the road, so in the interum I have to run spacers. I have a guy who will custom make me a pair in 9mm... $65.00. My only debate is if I will use the car enough between now and the brake upgrade to warrent the $, or do I just get a cheap pair to get me by till the upgrade. But the debate was never to use them or not, just how much $ to spend!
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Report this Post10-07-2011 05:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
I just repeat it every time it comes up for people who may have not heard it before. Im sure some are probably safe, but expensive. Of those Ive known to use them, Ive never heard of good results. My personal ones have always ended in disaster and others bring me their car to fix when they have broke...if they didnt total the car. Ive know 2 Corvette guys who totalled theres on curves, theirs were not cheapos. Its a free country to use what you want...some drive on bald tires too. F ar as Ive heard, some states make them illegal to use and will fail your inspection. Ive had several kit cars that needed much wider stance and I chose to go to deeper wheels . Ive heard people say that is bad too, as it overloads bearings. Neither of those cars had a bearing problem in 100,000 miles...at least on mine. Everyone has different experiences with anything, and I just point out my personal views and your free to do whatever you want. I hate asian cars too and Ill never buy one, but thats not to say you didnt get outstanding reliability with yours.

Back to original post...my opinion is a flat spacer, that goes over the stock studs is perfectly safe with correct studs, even in every racing series. You might be safe with even thicker, but 1/4" is absolutely fine.
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Report this Post10-07-2011 07:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:

I just repeat it every time it comes up for people who may have not heard it before.



I don't mind. I'm all for hearing both sides of the story, whether we're talking wheel spacers, politics, or women.

I did a lot of research before I bought my "adapters", and after having installed them properly (and continuing to occasionally re-check the torque settings), I'll certainly report my experiences with them (good or bad) to possibly help other people decide on using them or not.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 10-08-2011).]

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rogergarrison
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Report this Post10-08-2011 10:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
Glad to hear that. I believe anyone should have all sides to decide something for themself. Proper torque and constant checks will def help. Most people never check lugs unless they take a wheel off for a flat. 'Proper torque' in most cases is as tight as an impact wrench can make it. I NEVER use a impact to install wheels...always by hand with a breaker bar/ torque wrench. Ive done it so long, I can use a breaker bar and hit specs within a few pounds every time. Id venture to say a lot of adapters may actually have been broken by overtightening past where they need to be. I had a shop warp a complete set of rotors on my Mercedes by overtightening them with impact and 250# air compressor. Mercedes used long bolts into the hubs rather than studs and nuts. Another shop did a brake job on a Caravan I had. I always loosen and retorque lugs when another shop works on mine. They were so tite almost all the studs broke taking them off.

[This message has been edited by rogergarrison (edited 10-08-2011).]

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Report this Post10-08-2011 12:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:

They were so tite almost all the studs broke taking them off.



That's so typical. Can you imagine getting a flat and trying to unbolt those lug nuts with a tire iron on the side of the road. Or worse yet, your wife trying to do the same?
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Report this Post10-08-2011 07:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
Thats why I always loosen them with a breaker bar and cheater pipe and redo them. Your always going to have a flat tire 30 miles out in the boonies (no pun) at 2 am on a Sunday. Most tire places put them on as hard as they can and you would never get them off with factory lug wrench.
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Report this Post10-08-2011 07:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaDirect Link to This Post
My personal preference is to avoid wheel spacers. You never know what kind of quality you are getting with these. The use of them also repositions the tires and throws off the alignment. My solution to getting larger wheels on a Fiero is to go down in the offset number to stock or near stock. An offset of 30-35MM usually affords clearance in most applications. When you get up to 40mm then it can become hit or miss. Anyone else see this?

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Report this Post10-08-2011 09:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryDirect Link to This Post
Actually, whether you buy a wheel that's properly offset or buy an improperly offset wheel and use a spacer to locate it in the same plane as the properly offset wheel, it results in the same thing. It would be the same as machining the backside of the properly offset wheel down, then making up the difference with a spacer... six of one or half a dozen of the other. For the same reason, the alignment isn't affected either. The only difference in this case is that you have more pieces.

Stuff only starts happening when you move the center of the tire contact patch to a different location. But even then, the static alignment will remain constant. What does change is the dynamics of the suspension geometry when you move the tire contact patch.
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Report this Post06-07-2012 08:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickDirect Link to This Post
Just wanted to report that at the beginning of autocross season a month ago, I removed my rear wheels to re-check the torque settings on the studs/nuts holding the spacers/adapters to the hubs. They were fine, nothing had loosened up at all since last year.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 06-07-2012).]

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Report this Post06-07-2012 09:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:
Just wanted to report that at the beginning of autocross season a month ago, I removed my rear wheels to re-check the torque settings on the studs/nuts holding the spacers/adapters to the hubs. They were fine, nothing had loosened up at all since last year.


I installed 5/16" flat spacers to help clear my coilover perches enough to set the camber properly. I read about a week earlier a thread where a member mentioned losing a wheel due to insufficient thread contact on the lugs. My setup was obviously borderline and when you're dealing with any engine mods that put you well above a stock 2.8L it's a recipe for disaster. I installed 3 longer studs in each hub for safe keeping.
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Report this Post06-07-2012 10:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Joseph Upson:

My setup was obviously borderline... I installed 3 longer studs in each hub for safe keeping.



I'm all for keeping our cars safe. So I'm curious, why wouldn't you replace all five studs in each hub?
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Report this Post06-07-2012 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:
I'm all for keeping our cars safe. So I'm curious, why wouldn't you replace all five studs in each hub?


Based on my observations I didn't feel it was necessary with 5 lug nuts in place and the 3 longer studs in a triangular arrangement, that and I didn't want to wait for a full set to arrive in stock to ease my concerns.
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Report this Post06-08-2012 03:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for LZeppelin513Click Here to Email LZeppelin513Send a Private Message to LZeppelin513Direct Link to This Post
Spacers and then upgrade to longer ARP hardened studs.
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Report this Post06-10-2012 08:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for spc15tdimeClick Here to Email spc15tdimeSend a Private Message to spc15tdimeDirect Link to This Post
Not to beat a dead horse here, but, I hate seeing bad information.

1/4 wheels spacers, ideal, no, safe, most likely under most conditions. The SCCA does in fact allow wheel spacers in nearly every class. Maybe NHRA and NASCAR don't. Not sure I don't race them. I know I've never failed a tech with the 3/8" Spacers I run on my T/A for my slicks at our local IHRA track. On 1/4" spacers having a set of hubcentric spacers is overkill, your wheels will still mate to the factory wheel hub, don't get me wrong, it won't hurt anything to have hubcentric spacers at 1/4", but if you're having trouble finding them don't go out of your way.

Make sure the spacers you buy are of reasonable quality, not powder metal preferably. There is a dizzying array of companies making billet aluminium ones that are generally better. Something often overlooked when installing wheel spacers. particularly to step wheel out from the car because of wider tires, not so much with changing the backspacing of a wheel like Patrick did. But when moving your tires out farther from the strut assembly, their leverage on the suspension increases and it will have an effect on how your suspension compresses and rebounds. It does not physically change your spring rate, but, in effect it does, because you have the same spring rate with a different center of pressure.

One of the most important things you can do with having spacers installed is ADHERE TO TORQUE SPECS for lugnuts, overtorque of the lugnuts will increase the chance of stud failure on larger adapters like Garrison mentions, and it will increse the failure of Pep Boys type spacers by crushing them.

TL;DR: Dude if you have enough threads go for it you'll be fine, just torque em down properly and don't slam the lugnuts on with a gun.

[This message has been edited by spc15tdime (edited 06-10-2012).]

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Report this Post06-10-2012 10:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JumpStart:

With a 15x7 wheel and 42mm offset, the struts just hits the weights on the wheel......
Steve


All this arguing about spacers.....use stick on weights on the inside dish of the wheel and remove the clipped on weights.
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Report this Post06-10-2012 03:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by spc15tdime:

...not so much with changing the backspacing of a wheel like Patrick did.



Just so this is clear to anyone who might be interested... By using the 1" spacer/adaptor on the Sunfire wheels (which have a different offset than the factory Fiero wheels), I was able to locate the Sunfire wheels in the same position (relative to the hubs, fenders, etc) as the original Fiero wheels. Therefore the suspension geometry has not been altered.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 06-10-2012).]

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Report this Post06-11-2012 12:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for katatakSend a Private Message to katatakDirect Link to This Post
Just a couple things I have learned about Fieros and wheel adapters/spacers. Be sure they are maufactured by a reputable company (don't buy Joe Smoes from the internet - I used 1.5" in front and 3" in back from a So Cal - off road racing company - they use them on thier SCORE and BAJA open class trucks - no failures. Be sure they are hubcentric and fit the Fiero hub and whatever wheel your are using. Absolutely follow the torque specs and the most important - make sure that the wheel studs are flush with the back of the adapter - not counter sunk. The head of the stud needs to make contact with the steel Fiero hub. Tis ensures that the stud is "captured" If not, the stud - if it comes loose - will hog out the stud hole and you will have to destroy the wheel to get it off the car! I ran the above adapters on my XTC with a 4.9 in it. The car was "well used" by my teenage son - bounced off of curbs, and everything else you can imagine - never one issue. I also regularly checked the torque on the studs - Adapter to hub and wheel to adapter. If it's a spacer, make sure you have sufficient stud length - (stud should be flush with the outer face of a standard lug nut).
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