How Wheel Spacers Work?
Wheel spacers are modified parts installed between the wheel hub and the hub assembly, different models have different installation methods, mainly divided into slip-on wheel spacers and bolt-on wheel spacers.
Slip-on wheel spacers are mainly used for European models (including Germany, the UK, and other countries), which are characterized by the use of wheel bolts to fix the wheel. The slip-on wheel spacers are generally between 3mm and 20mm thick (BONOSS products for example).
Bolt-on wheel spacers are generally thicker wheel spacers, mainly used in European, the United States, and Japan, these models are characterized by the use of lug nuts and lug bolts to fix the wheel, bolt-on wheel spacers are generally between 15mm-50mm thick, and customized wheel spacers thickness can reach 160mm (BONOSS products for example).
What Wheel Spacers Do?
- Bigger Tires: when you need to install larger tires, in order to avoid friction between the tires and the suspension and liner, additional backspacing is required, you can choose to buy a set of negative offset rims or wheel spacers, but it is clear that wheel spacers look more straightforward and more economical;
- Enhance Traction: the increase in track means an improved lateral grip, a more comfortable ride, and an extra track makes the car more stable at high speeds;
- Bigger Caliper: High-performance brake kits often require more space for installation, and customers often do not consider the need to purchase another set of suitable aftermarket rims after modifying the high-performance brake kit, then the easiest way is to place wheel spacers between the wheel and hub assembly, providing additional space to allow the brake kit to run;
- Adjust Offset Value: wheel spacers can solve the problem of improper wheel offset. When the wheel offset is large, it may lead to scraping with the suspension, control arms, and inner lining when turning, wheel spacers help reduce the offset and put the wheel in the right position.
- Cornering Stability: wheel spacers can help increase the traction of the vehicle when turning, especially on wet roads or other complex road conditions, where the change in scrub radius has advantages and disadvantages, but does help with stability;
- Off-road Anti-roll: due to the increased value of backspacing, it actually increases the track, and with a reasonable thickness of wheel spacers installed, the added leverage makes it easier for the vehicle to pass higher obstacles in the field;
- Substitute for Negative Offset Rim: if it is just to adjust the offset value, wheel spacers are obviously cheaper than a set of negative offset;
- More Attractive Stance: many car tuners, keen to adjust their vehicles to the ideal stance, including lower ground clearance, Hellaflush stance, etc., often need the help of wheel spacers to make the car look more aggressive;
- Convert Different Aftermarket Rims: wheel spacers can be customized with PCD and CB, rims with different data can be mounted on the vehicle with wheel spacers (wheel spacers can also be called wheel adapters), and there are more rims to choose from.
These are basically the reasons for choosing to install wheel spacers, for other reasons you can add.
Are Wheel Spacers Safe?
The most common question on various forums is the effect of wheel spacers on the track, with some of the comments being negative. There is a concern that in the long run, the life expectancy of some parts will be reduced due to the extended part of the track. But it is safe to use a torque wrench to install wheel spacers at the appropriate torque under proper installation instructions so that the wheel spacers create the clamping force that holds the hub in place, and no matter what installing wheel spacers has the same effect on suspension replacement as replacing four negative offset alloy rims, but wheel spacers are a more economical way to go.
1. The Hub-Centric part is unique to the hub-centric wheel spacers and Lug-centric wheel spacers, which is a metal ring sandwiched between the rim and the hub. Without the wheel spacer in place, the rim and hub are in a concentric position and the hub centric fits the wheel spacers to the contact surface of the hub, as fitting the wheel spacers means pushing the rim outwards. The absence of a hub-centric means that the rim is held in place by lug bolts or lug nuts during the outward push. These parts will bear the weight of the car and the pressure of the drive shaft. During long periods of driving, the bumps and shocks from the road will all be borne by these parts, which will easily cause wear and tear. It will cause wheel spacers to fail.
The use of a hub-centric restores the process of force application and maintains the concentric position of the rim and hub, with the force applied to the rim still being done by the hub-centric, eliminating the possibility of wheel spacer vibration at high speeds. However, before installing wheel spacers, check if the law in your area allows this, for example, Australian insurance law does not allow the use of wheel spacers.
2. Forged wheel spacers of reliable structural strength. Some wheel spacers without a hub-centric are made by welding the hub centric to the disc body through secondary processing, the processing technology of forging and casting as well as welding will greatly affect the structural strength and service life of the wheel spacers. The use of welding is not recommended and is unsafe, the welded area cannot withstand the impact of the road and the weight of the body for a long period of time, while casting has the defect of structural density, even in the internal structure of the product such as air pockets and other loopholes.
3. Ultimate tensile strength is the ability of a material to resist damage under the action of an external force, which can also be translated as tensile strength, or strength for short. A variety of strength indicators are used to indicate material properties, such as tensile strength, flexural strength, and shear strength, depending on how the external force acts. When a material is subjected to tensile forces, the strength property indicators are mainly yielded strength and tensile strength. There is an essential difference between strength and hardness in concept, a very graphic example is glass, which is a hard and brittle substance with high hardness (small ratio of deformation to external force) but low strength (the small total external force that can be withstood before fracture).
In the process of using wheel spacers, considering that the raw materials need to have the corresponding strength and tensile strength, hard materials are often accompanied by brittle characteristics, and finally found in aluminum alloy 6061-T6 and 7075-T6, there are also steel wheel spacers on the market, the potential disadvantage of the material is the weight, not suitable for automotive parts, easy to lead to excessive under spring weight, fuel consumption and parts wear will also annoy car owners.
||42,000-45,000 psi (300-310 MPa)
||35,000-40,000 psi (241-275 MPa)
||74,000-78,000 psi (510-572 MPa)
||63,000-69,000 psi (434-503 MPa)