How to Choose Safe Wheel Spacers?

The wheel spacer is an efficient and advantageous component when talking about suspension clearance problems. You can get more fun trying to get just the right look for your car, truck, or SUV. Wheel changing may be your first step. You find the right wheels, but they come with the wrong offset. They sit too far in or too far out. Or maybe you would like to add big brake kits, but the wheel rubs the big caliper. That doesn’t look right and absolutely not safe.

What can you do? Spending thousands to get the custom wheels you want in the size you need, or cutting up the factory wheel to fit a big brake caliper? No, wheel spacers will be your most cost-effective option. How to choose wheel spacers for your vehicle? Here are some things may help you:

The Key Factors Include:

  • Make sure the spacers fit your vehicle;
  • Proper size of the spacers;
  • Material of the wheel spacers;
  • Buy from reputable barnd and store;
  • Come with certified test resports.

In this article, we’ll go through in detail how to determine what size of wheel spacers you will need.

What Are Bolt-on Wheel Spacers?

Installing wheel spacers offers many benefits to your vehicle. The most popular benefits include: enhanced handling, increased wheel track, cleared the clearance issues
of bigger brake calipers and inner fender and suspension clearance issues after mounting bigger wheels and tires. There are usually two types of spacers: One type simply slides into the hub and come with their own lug studs and nuts, they are named “bolt-on wheel spacers”, while the other type bolts to the vehicle hub with another set of extended wheel bolts, they are called “slip-on wheel spacers”.

BONOSS Forged Lightweight Plus Wheel Spacers Slip-on Wheel Spacers ET

Slip-on wheel spacers that slide over your existing wheel hub, they normally thin in size, e.g., 5mm spacer, 10mm spacers, 15mm spacers. If you using this kind of spacers for rims, it is critical to ensure your stock bolts are long enough for the proper thread engagement.

BONOSS Forged Active Cooling Wheel Spacers Bolt-on Wheel Spacers ET

Bolt-on wheel spacers 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. Unlike slip-on spacers, they normally come in thicker sizes, e.g., 2-inch wheel spacers, 1-inch wheel spacers, 20mm spacers.

What Size of Wheel Spacers Do I Need?

A quick glance at the various spacers on the market reveals that thicknesses vary from about 1/8″ all the way up to 2″ or more. You need to be absolutely certain that you are getting the most appropriate size. Presuming that you had clearance issues at the brake, you want to add only enough thickness to clear the caliper. Then the thickness depends on the increased height of the caliper. If it is the ET/offset issues, then the thickness depends on the change amount, for example, your stock wheels’ ET is 27, you would like to install an ET 39 wheel, then you need 12mm thick spacers to correct the wrong offset.

Forged Wheel Spacers or Casting Wheel Spacers?

When talking about safe wheel spacers, material selection can be very important. There are mainly steel and Aluminum. Considering the strength and lightweight needs, billet Aluminum is more suitable. Both 6061-T6 and 7075-T6 are high-performance Aluminum Alloys. They feature good hardness and toughness, excellent corrosion resistance, and wear resistance characteristics. And forging process further enhances the hardness and toughness of the wheel spacers. With the same material and cost, the strength and safety of forged spacers are far higher than casting ones.

Material of Wheel Spacers Forging Scrap

In this image, the forged aluminum scrap is slender and slim, which can be stretched very long without breaking. It is because the toughness property of forged wheel spacers is good.

In this image, the casting aluminum scrap is soft and granular, which will break easily if stretched long enough. It is because the casting wheel spacer is made with a more random grain structure, which leads to decreased strength.

How to Measure the Bolt Pattern of My Vehicle?

Different vehicles come with different types of bolt patterns on their wheels. If you ever need to buy new wheel spacers for your vehicle, you should know the bolt patterns. To learn more about how to correctly measure the bolt pattern of your vehicle, check out our Bolt Pattern Measuring Guide.

How to Improve Wheel Spacers Safety?

Many car owners would like to install wheel spacers for a more stable corner and a more aggressive stance or to make wheels fit bigger brake calipers and correct the wrong offset. Since the wheels are the parts that bear the most stress (wear and tear) along with the bottom bracket, the quality of spacers will be extremely important. To learn more about how to improve wheel spacers safety, check out our Are Wheel Spacers Safe.