Wheel Spacer ? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Wheel Spacer ?

Okay, I'm debating on using wheel spacers or getting new wheels when I go to 35's. The problem is, the wheels I want (Pro Comp 7089) are almost $700 for a set of 5. I don't have that kind of cash. I do like the looks of the stock wheels, so I was thinking spacers. For those of you who are running spacers, are they okay? Is it something safe to use while off road? They just worry me a little. Just wanting some everyday use answers. Thanks...

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 01:27 PM
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Wheeled the crap out of my Rough Country spacers, have 24,000 or so street miles on 35s with them. Zero issues.

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post #3 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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What's the exact size tire you're running? And are you running it on your stock wheels?

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post #4 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 01:43 PM
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spidertrax are the only spacers i would use.

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post #5 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 02:24 PM
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I ran spidertrax and then changed wheels. I then went back to stock wheels and now use rugged ridge. No issues out of either and yes, I wheel hard.

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post #6 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 02:25 PM
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My story;

I went over a year of hard use with spydertrax spacers in the rear. That included trips to the Rubicon, Johnson Valley, jumping in the dunes at pismo, and everywhere in between almost every weekend. Every time my wheels came off for rotation or maintenance, a torque wrench was used to check the spacer lugs. I beat on my gear pretty good, but am also very meticulous with maintenance.

Up until 2 weeks ago, when someone on this forum would ask about wheel spacers, I would say "use them". I have since reversed my opinion on this, and owe everyone that I argued with about the safety of spacers a huge apology .

2 weeks ago, while driving home from Johnson Valley, the left rear wheel departed from the jeep at the first stoplight in Barstow and rolled 100 feet through the intersection as the jeep came to a screeching halt on the rotor. Most of the wheel spacer was still attached to the back of the wheel and all of the lug-nuts (to hold the wheel to the spacer) where still on the wheel and tight. The spacer had cracked through several of the holes and a few of the holes for the wheel studs were enlarged / broke through enough for the nuts to slip out. One wheel stud was also sheared off. Luckily this happened at a stop light while applying brake; it this would have happened on hwy 15 driving home, it may have spelled dome for us or anyone else that my big Irok hit .

I have since replaced that rotor and all of the studs, and had the rotor drilled for 5x5.5 by a machine shop. No more spacers for me. YMMV
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
My story;

I went over a year of hard use with spydertrax spacers in the rear. That included trips to the Rubicon, Johnson Valley, jumping in the dunes at pismo, and everywhere in between almost every weekend. Every time my wheels came off for rotation or maintenance, a torque wrench was used to check the spacer lugs. I beat on my gear pretty good, but am also very meticulous with maintenance.

Up until 2 weeks ago, when someone on this forum would ask about wheel spacers, I would say "use them". I have since reversed my opinion on this, and owe everyone that I argued with about the safety of spacers a huge apology .

2 weeks ago, while driving home from Johnson Valley, the left rear wheel departed from the jeep at the first stoplight in Barstow and rolled 100 feet through the intersection as the jeep came to a screeching halt on the rotor. Most of the wheel spacer was still attached to the back of the wheel and all of the lug-nuts (to hold the wheel to the spacer) where still on the wheel and tight. The spacer had cracked through several of the holes and a few of the holes for the wheel studs were enlarged / broke through enough for the nuts to slip out. One wheel stud was also sheared off. Luckily this happened at a stop light while applying brake; it this would have happened on hwy 15 driving home, it may have spelled dome for us or anyone else that my big Irok hit .

I have since replaced that rotor and all of the studs, and had the rotor drilled for 5x5.5 by a machine shop. No more spacers for me. YMMV
Holy shit...That sucks. This is the first post I have ever read of a spydertrax breaking. I sure hope that doesn't happen to me so, I will definitely start checking mine every month. I was going to check them when I rotated my tires but it sounds like checking them more often would be a good thing...Did you have anything odd happen before it broke and did it give you any warning at all?

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post #8 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 08:54 PM
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Holy shit...That sucks. This is the first post I have ever read of a spydertrax breaking. Did you have anything odd happen before it broke and did it give you any warning at all?
Ive read other posts on Pirate of spacers breaking, but it happened during hard off-road use. Those that warned me gave me several examples of broken spacers, but I didn't listen.

Oddly, the jeep did feel a little flighty before it happened. I had just ran Jackhammer and sledgehammer that day. I checked my lugs, control arms, trackbars, drivelines, tire condition, etc before I hit the pavement and everything looked good. The Jeep felt a little flighty, especially when letting off the gas pedal, but I just figured that my jeep needed an alignment after a hard 3 days of wheeling in JV.

Ironically, one of the guys who told me not to use spacers on a rig that wheels hard (the owner of G&G Off-Road), was the one that helped me get my jeep off the road and back to Bakersfield.

It did take a year of hard use to do it, but it happened.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-27-2010, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
Ive read other posts on Pirate of spacers breaking, but it happened during hard off-road use. Those that warned me gave me several examples of broken spacers, but I didn't listen.

Oddly, the jeep did feel a little flighty before it happened. I had just ran Jackhammer and sledgehammer that day. I checked my lugs, control arms, trackbars, drivelines, tire condition, etc before I hit the pavement and everything looked good. The Jeep felt a little flighty, especially when letting off the gas pedal, but I just figured that my jeep needed an alignment after a hard 3 days of wheeling in JV.

Ironically, one of the guys who told me not to use spacers on a rig that wheels hard (the owner of G&G Off-Road), was the one that helped me get my jeep off the road and back to Bakersfield.

It did take a year of hard use to do it, but it happened.
desert dog...
Was this issue on a wheel adaptor/spacer or wheel spacer? I'm asking because you mention bolt pattern. I would think the wheel spacers would be stronger since the spaces between the new and existing lug nuts would be the same just rotated. On the adaptors there are two lug nuts that have shorter spacing to adapt for the different measurement. Not that people shouldn't keep checking them but I think this had at least some factor in the breakage. I'm no expert and I'm not saying that is what happened, I am just going by logic. I think any time anyone puts something between their wheel and their hub risk is involved. For me, someone who cleans and post wheel inspects my rig it is worth it. Your thoughts???

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post #10 of 14 Old 11-28-2010, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I don't wheel hard at all, mostly just trail riding with some easy climbs thrown in there. For a 75% highway/25% wheeling rig, would the spacers be okay? If I decide to start doing something harder, I would go ahead and get some steelies. Or if anyone can tell me where to buy some cheap black wheels, whether they're steel or not, I would go that route. Thanks again...

2011 Sahara Tan Unlimited Sport, 3.5" lift, 35" BFG KM2's, more to come
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-28-2010, 08:58 AM
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I think if you price a whole tire package and compare you'll find that between the cost of wheel spacers and the inflated price of 18" tires especially the larger sizes you are just as well off to buy new rims in 16 or 17". If you have the 17" factory wheels the tires are certainly more realisticly priced, but the rims are still too narrow for wider tires.

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post #12 of 14 Old 11-28-2010, 09:20 AM
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One of my spacers came off doing 80mph down the highway. They were on for 2 days - never wheeled. Make sure they are torqued and use locktite if you go that route. And regularly check them.

Same as desert dog, the Jeep gave me some warning and I checked all the same stuff he did before it happened. Just didn't think to check the spacers that had been put on the day before.

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post #13 of 14 Old 11-28-2010, 06:33 PM
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I've had RC spacers on my 07 JK Unlimited for 30,000 miles now with no problems. I check mine at every tire rotation about every 2,500 or so. I'm running 35's on stock 17's on road 75% off road the rest. Good Luck
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-29-2010, 05:06 AM
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I run Spidertrax 1.5" since 2 years... They have around 60000km of daily driving, and 2x off-road per month...
Never had an issue.
Use your head... Check them once in a while, never over-torque them, dont break your locktite when re-tightening, etc.
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