Generally, installing wheel spacers won’t damage your car. But some precautions prevent spacers from hurting the vehicle. Due to the OEM arrangement of suspension components, fender liners, and a wide variety of other parts, vehicle chassis engineers establish wheel and spacer size limitations. Professional mechanics will suggest adding proper wheel spacers because it directly influences a vehicle’s driving dynamics.
Nevertheless, many driving enthusiasts use a little thicker wheel spacers to enhance certain performances, or just for aesthetic purposes. In some cases, that is feasible. After installing wheel spacers, park the car on flat ground, rotate the steering wheel to one extreme position, and inspect the wheel well of the tire that’s outside. If there are not any rubbing signs, then these spacers should not damage your vehicle.
When Should I Cut Studs for Wheel Spacers?
It is always an annoying problem that the wheels cannot sit flush against the wheel spacers because of the protruding OEM studs. As a rule of thumb, cutting the wheel studs or changing them to thicker spacers will be the solution. Using an angle grinder or hack saw to cut in line with the thread, clean up any burrs with a file. But you can also put your mind to the rims.
It will be a good idea to change to wheels with deep pockets on the mounting plate. Giving an example, if the depth of the wheel pocket is 15mm, and the OEM stud length is 30mm, then you can fit wheel spacers without cutting the wheel studs (30 – 15 = 15). It is also possible to extend the width and depth of the wheel pockets on a grinder/pneumatic.
What Is the Safe Thread Engagement of Wheel Spacers?
Although installing wheel spacers is very simple and quick, having a proper thread engagement helps you keep them safe and work well for a long period. The general rule of thumb is that you need enough thread length as the diameter of the wheel stud shows. For instance, an M12 wheel stud would need 12mm threads to ensure a safe engagement. This is important, especially after cutting the studs.
As long as you can turn the lug nuts more than 10 times to tighten the wheel spacers, it will be okay. Always remember to use a correct calibrated torque wrench to torque each wheel lug nut in a crisscross sequence. This ensures each lug is forced evenly. BONOSS bolt-on wheel spacers come with ISO Grade 12.9 wheel studs and Grade 10 lug nuts. Such wheel lugs won’t fail easily when facing road bumps and impact loads.