Installing new aftermarket rims with wheel spacers has been a normal practice among many drivers. If you keep them the same size as your OE ones, this is usually not very difficult. But if would like to upsize the wheels, things can be a little complicated. Different rims come with different offset and backspaces. When installing wider rims, you have to consider clearance for the suspension and fenders. Fortunately, wheel spacers can solve most clearance problems easily and quickly.
Wheel spacers make the rims and tires stick out a certain distance. This is effective to fit your current brakes. Generally, the brake caliper need will occupy some space between the wheel and rotor. When installing new rims, you have to clear caliper interference. And the simplest solution turns out to add wheel spacers.
How Thick Wheel Spacers Do I Need?
There are various wheel spacers available for different wheels. You may spend a lot of time looking for new aftermarket wheels. But why not go the rest of the distance to optimize the wheels with wheel spacers. Firstly, measure the wheel offset and backspace. Wheel offset refers to the distance from the mounting flange to the centerline of the wheel. The lower the offset is, the more your wheel will stick out. If your offset is +55mm, and you get 25mm wheel spacers installed, the offset will be +30mm. Yes, wheel spacers will reduce the wheel offset. This is generally good for creating a sportier and more aggressive stance.
For brake calipers interference, backspace and caliper height are two very important factors. The brake calipers would need at least 3mm space in all directions to clear rubbing issues. Use a straight edge to measure the increased height, if the value is 12mm, then you need 15mm wheel spacers. Certainly, you can use thicker wheel spacers to achieve a more powerful stance. However, don’t make the wheels stick out too much, because the wheels may hit the inner fender.
Do I Need Wheel Spacers or Wheel Adapters?
Both wheel spacers and wheel adapters would create the necessary more space for clearance. Apart from adding the clearance between wheels and vehicle hub, wheel adapters can change the bolt pattern to allow you to adapt a variety of aftermarket wheels. Most wheel adapters bolt onto the hub assembly and include studs that wheels are mounted on. The studs of adapters are arranged in a different bolt pattern, so you can install various aftermarket wheels, regardless of the bolt pattern. Besides, hub-centric wheel adapters act as hub-centric rings which allow for installing aftermarket rims with bigger hub diameter on the vehicle properly. In this way, the wheel is centered by the hub connection and the lugs can hold it flush against the mounting plate. People believe hub-centric connection provides the best ride quality. And hub-centric wheel adapters can perfectly fill the extra gap, hence the wheels can be properly mounted and accurately balanced.