Wheel spacers. - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-20-2015, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Wheel spacers.

I see a lot of people run wheel spacers? Why is that? What's the pro's and cons. I have always been told spacers are bad? But this is my first jeep
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-20-2015, 03:29 PM
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No issue from quality spacers themselves. They do change the stresses on the unit bearings etc. correct wheel offset is always better.

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-20-2015, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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I have a rubicon express lift coming. Just the 2.5 with coils and shocks. Tring to find the right rim with a 4.5 offset. I am going with 17s I guess. I've only had it a little over a week. But I want to get it ready for some trails. Lol well getting stuck in sure. Will be my first time out whenever I do go
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-20-2015, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gottop69 View Post
I see a lot of people run wheel spacers? Why is that? What's the pro's and cons. I have always been told spacers are bad? But this is my first jeep
Wheel spacers only reduce the effective back spacing of your wheels (push the wheels outboard).
This makes room for tire clearance laterally and widens your track width, same as different rims can.

Pro (of decent wheel spacers) =
  • Reduce effective back spacing without having to buy new rims (save cash)
Con (of decent wheel spacers) =
  • Extra set of lug nuts to maintain (comes down to your mechanical competence)
  • Extra set of lug nuts to remove when servicing your Jeep (only costs time)
  • Increased strain on axles and steering parts (same as wheels with less back spacing)
The cons of non-decent wheel spacers = damage, dismemberment, death, and /or a bad hair day.
Wheel spacers are not bad, but bad wheel spacers are very bad.

"Back in the day" (1970s-ish), a lot of companies made piece-of-shit wheel spacers that could literally break apart with no warning.
All that shit's off the market as far as I know (but I haven't looked in a JC Whitney catalog in over a decade).
These days,
There are companies that make wheel spacers from certified, traceable aluminum alloy billets, with ~Grade 8 wheel studs also made from certified, traceable materials. Most, if not all, of these companies do this in a place called America.

There are other companies that also make wheel spacers, and though they claim to use same / similar high-quality, traceable materials, it has been documented that they actually use ~crap alloys and ~Grade 2 studs. To the best of my knowledge, all of this douchebaggery occurs in a place known as Not America.
I ran Spidertrax wheel spacers (from the first category above) for years so I could use my stock rims with my 2.5" lift and 35s.
Never had a single problem, and I sold 'em to a dude I respect with no doubts that they would serve him equally well.

If you can swing new rims financially now, cool, but good wheel spacers are not a problem.
If you're going to run spacers, please get decent ones and install them properly - then, no problem.
Saving 50 bucks isn't worth you losing your life (especially if you tie up traffic ahead of me )

PLEASE BUY AMERICAN SO I DON'T HAVE TO LEARN CHINESE
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Last edited by ExWrench; 02-20-2015 at 04:48 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-21-2015, 01:13 AM
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^^^That's a good summary by ExWrench. This is a popular subject. Check out some of threads. As always there those in favor and those against.

I've used them when I wanted to keep the stock wheels and as long as they quality spacers: hub centric, separate lugs for the rim and hub, 6061T6 Aluminum or better and most importantly you retorque them regularly they are safe.

Other than effects described above caused by changing the scrub radius, the other potential issue is that some shops will not mount or rotate rims on spacers.
BTW, wide rims with really low backspacing also mess with the scrub radius.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-21-2015, 03:53 AM
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I've been running spydertrax spacers for several years with the factory rubicon rims and 35s. I only have a 2.5" lift.

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post #7 of 10 Old 02-21-2015, 05:29 AM
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Same as everyone here I've been running Spidertrax wheel spacers I got from craigslist 2+ years with not a single problem. They're great if you looking to save the coin and buy some larger tires without having to buy a new set of wheels. As long as they are properly installed and torqued you'll never see an issue with them

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post #8 of 10 Old 02-27-2015, 07:49 PM
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I have teraflex ones and have 11000 trouble free miles. Went for 1.25" to keep the wheels inside the flares.

Got them as the standard sahara tires without a lift rubbed the swaybar disconnects when offroad.

They still do but its a very light rub.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-27-2015, 08:14 PM
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I've run teraflex 1.25" with. Oth 35" MTRs and then 37" MTRs with stock rubi wheels. Then I oushed them out more with the spydrtrax 1.75" spacers to get a better bs of 4.5".

There was minor frame rubbing with the 35s but not on the stock LCAs with 1.25" spacers. With 37s they rubbed the frame and both stock and metalcloak LCAs.

Now I'm at 4" bs and no spacers on beadlocks. Ill get around to cleaning up both sets of spacers and listing them for sale soon.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-28-2015, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. I ended up going with 4.5 backspacing on 17x9. Worked perfect. I was thinking of running stock wheels with spacers but got a great deal on wheels.
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