What Are Wheel Spacers?
Wheel spacers are installed between your vehicle’s hub and wheel to push the wheel away from suspension components to prevent rubbing. They are also used to provide a wider track for the vehicle which can help performance and make the aesthetics of the vehicle more aggressive.
The unfortunate thing about wheel spacers is that you will have to do the necessary groundwork to measure and determine what size you will ultimately need as every vehicle will be different and may will require different sized spacers.
Differing factors include
- Type/brand of suspension
- The ride height of the suspension
- The size and offset of the wheels
- The design of the tires which also could vary slightly depending on the manufacture of the tires.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the reasons you may need or want to run spacers and go over in detail how to determine what size you will need.
How To Measure To Make Sure Your Suspension Clears Your Wheels/Tires
So you’ve installed your new suspension and the excitement is peaking as you grab your first wheel to remount, only to find that you can’t mount the wheel because the wheel or tire is rubbing on the newly installed suspension. Bummer!
To fix this, you will have to run a spacer large enough to allow the wheel and tire to clear the suspension. Now, to find the right size spacer, you will need to measure twice and order once.
One way to measure for the spacers needed is to use washers. If you have lug studs, this is simple as you will just install washers onto the studs and remount the wheel to verify clearance against the suspension. The size spacer you need will be equal to the thickness of the washers used. If a spacer greater than 5mm is needed, you may need to also purchase extended lug studs or purchase wheel spacers with studs.
IMPORTANT!!!!! Don’t attempt to operate the vehicle with washers installed!!!!
For vehicles using lug bolts instead of lug studs like our Euro friends, it is a little more complicated. You can purchase at least two long wheel studs and thread them into the hub and use the same washer technique mentioned above. Also, for around $150USD, you can purchase a stud conversion kit which will make finding the right sized wheel spacers much easier.
How To Measure For Clearance To The Fender
Measuring clearance to the fender is much easier than the process mentioned above but will require a few friends and gear. Load your friends in the back seat and if you are planning on a hefty audio system in the trunk, try to load the trunk up adequately to represent the maximum point of compression in your suspension.
Now, with a straight edge such as a yard stick, place the straight edge on the outermost part of the fender where the tire/wheel comes closest to the fender, then, with a tape measure, measure from the outside wheel/tire to the straight edge. This distance is the size spacer you will need to get the wheel/tire fitment flush with the fender.
To keep from rubbing on the fender, we would recommend going with a spacer that is a little smaller than the measured distance.
HubCentric Vs Generic Wheel Spacers
You can pick up generic wheel spacers from any auto parts store and they are often made to fit many different lug patterns. However, because they are not specific to the car, it can cause vibrations in the ride.
Hubcentric wheel spacers are made to fit the specific hub of the vehicle. For example, the 5×120 BMW spacers that we offer are made to fit exactly to the BMW models that run the 5×120 lug pattern with the 72.56 center bore which is the diameter of the lip where the wheel seats to the hub.
If you have any questions regarding wheel spacers , please feel free to shoot us an e-mail to [email protected] or call us @ 801-365-1440.