Wheel spacers are designed for adding more backspacing while providing a sporty look. Keeping the backspacing correct allows enough room for the suspension, brake, and steering systems to operate without interference from the wheels. Positive offset creates more backspace, while negative offset reduces backspace. But an excessive positive offset will cause the inner edge of your rims and tires to rub against the suspension components when your vehicle takes a U-turn. It can also negatively affect your car’s handling, making it potentially dangerous to drive. With various thickness wheel spacers, you are able to control how far out your wheels can be. They can also improve the look of your ride by moving the wheels out to be flush with the fender wells. Choosing a set of good spacers brings many benefits for your vehicle. There are a few things you need to know before you go looking, and it can help you quickly find out which spacers you need.
These are slip-on wheel spacers that slide over your existing wheel studs. The installation is quite easy, but you need to be extra careful with these for a few reasons:
- If they are the kind with a huge centric hole to fit over the vehicle hub, they are called non-centric wheel spacers (notice no raised lip for the hub in the center.) This design makes them be universal to multiple different cars, also reduces the cost for many manufacturers, but they have the potential to slide around and cause vibrations while driving. We do not recommend these.
- It is critical to ensure your factory studs are long enough for the proper thread engagement. At the minimum, thread engagement length must be equal to or greater than the diameter of the fastener. In other words, if the stud is 14mm in diameter, the nut must engage onto the stud by at least 14mm. If not, you’ll either need to change to thinner spacers or get longer and stronger studs installed.
- Apart from these precautions, you will also need to do some check work to make sure the spacers are correctly installed. This includes regularly checking the hub-spacers-wheel combination after 100 miles of driving to make sure they’re still in place well and the lug nuts are safely torqued.
These are bolt-on wheel spacers (also called wheel adapters) which are bolted to the existing studs with the provided lug nuts and then using the stock lug nuts to secure the wheel on the new studs pressed into the spacer. This ensures you can fully engage the lug nuts. You don’t have to change to longer wheel studs. Like the slip-on spacers, these will move your wheels out, but they normally come in thicker sizes. The adapter style is more functional that they can be built to bolt pattern conversion, such as 6 lugs to 5 lugs, 5×4.5″ to 5×5.5″, and others. Generally, they are regarded as being somewhat safer than the slip-on style, because they fully engage the lug nuts. The same precautions still useful, but you’ll need to check the torque of two sets of lug nuts, one set holding the spacer to the hub assembly, and the other set holding the wheel to the spacer. it is a good idea to double-check whether all lug nuts are tightened to the manufacturer’s specification with a properly calibrated torque wrench. It is always a great idea to regularly inspect torque specs before and after each trip, regardless if you have spacers or not.