Are Wheel Spacers Safe For The ATV Or Cars ?
There is a lot of differing opinions about whether wheel spacers are safe for the ATV or Car or not out there, some people will say it is, some will say its not.
Here is a story we found in forum.
I was driving back from Long Island to Philly on 95 south, going 75mph, when suddenly I felt significant vibration. I had a feeling it was the rear wheels where I had installed ICHIBA V2 15mm, I never did feel safe with these spacers. So I drive to the next exit to check it out and what I saw shocked me. Three bolts with the spline nuts broke off from the left rear wheel. This was really scary I could have really messed up my car. Only two nuts were preventing my wheel from flying off on the highway.I routinely check that the lug nuts and spacers are torqued to 76 ft lbs, maybe I needed to check more often. But seriously these spacers are not even a year old (bought them in March of this year) and 3 bolts broke. Luckily, I was able to remove the piece of spacers, split my spline nuts to have 3 rims being held by 4 nuts and drive home safely to Philly. Anyway I just want to thank UCHIBA for a life lesson.
We are sorry to hear his problem. Thank god he’s safe.
But in fact,what caused this issue and wheel spacers are really not safe to Cars or ATV?
The answer is NO.
Wheel spacers are perfectly safe if installed properly. The most common cause for failures is not due to the actual wheel spacers but install issues. If the wheel, hub, and spacer is stiff enough that it does not flex under pressure, your setup will be perfectly safe.
For his case,when noticed there was a significant vibration,on one hand,the most common cause of shakes or vibrations is tire balance. He should check his tires immediately.Most vibrations can be resolved by simply having your tires balanced by a qualified mechanic.On the other hand,he should also check whether the bore center is a little bigger than his hub and maybe it caused extreme unbalance and shaking.
Anyway,Wheel Spacers are safe for both daily driving and track duty if installed correctly.
Someone may ask they will cause my wheel studs to bend ? After we did some reason and discussed with many mechanics, it’s not true.The load from the wheels are transferred to the axle and hub by means of friction through the clamped joint. You cannot bend a wheel stud. The only way to do so is if the lug nuts are torqued improperly.When you insert a wheel spacer between the hub and wheel nothing in regards to clamping force, coefficient of friction, stress applied to the studs, flexing, load, or any other physics involved are changed.
How do you improve the Safety of your Wheel Spacers?
1.Use quality products – not just the spacers themselves, but the lug bolts or extended studs too. The spacers put more stress on the lug bolts or studs, so ensuring you have equally if not more strong lug bolts or studs as OEM will ensure that your car can handle the stress
2.Use the least amount of spacer possible – pushing the wheels out changes the suspension geometry, steering, and stress on the wheels and hubs, so don’t go overboard here. If a 3mm spacer will do, then don’t use anymore than that. And while I don’t have concrete research to back this up, personally I wouldn’t go over 20mm just as an extra precaution.
3.Inspect regularly – if for whatever reason your spacers do go bad, they will crack before they fail entirely. If you inspect them after hard use (i.e. track days, offroading, etc.) or whenever you rotate your tires, you can catch issues before they happen.
4.Use hubcentric spacers – make sure the spacers are hubcentric to your hub size as well as the aftermarket wheel size. You don’t want to use hub (centering) rings on top of spacers, that is just too many unnecessary components all at once.
5.Buy wide spacers – you want to make sure the diameter of the spacers is sufficient, and that the spacers are wider than the mounting surface of the wheel. The more surface area you have, the better, as it will evenly distribute the pressure. for instance if the wheel has a 3” diameter, your spacers should also have at least a 3” diameter, or as close to that as possible.
6.Don’t use them if you don’t have to ideally, you should get wheels that won’t require spacer but for a multitude of reasons, this isn’t always possible.
When are Wheel Spacers Dangerous?
There are a ton of differing opinions, but there are two scenarios where spacers are definitely dangerous and a vast consensus in the automotive community:
If your studs or bolts aren’t long enough-If you add 10mm spacers, your lug bolts (or studs) should be extended by 10mm to allow enough threading for the wheels to stay secure. If you reuse your stock bolts/nuts, your wheel may fall off as the bolts cannot be tightened enough. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to thread your lug nuts or bolts eight full turns at a minimum but the best course of action is to add the same amount of length as the thickness of your spacers.
If your spacers are cheaply made -you get what you pay for, and if your spacers crack and break, your wheel will wobble and quickly break itself free from the car. This is not an area you want to skimp on, so buy quality spacers from known brands to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk for failure. Your wheels get very hot and absorb a lot of stress & trauma, and will fail at the weakest point – so don’t make your spacers the weakest link.
Some of you who have read this far ,hope this article can make you clear that wheel spacers are safe to ATV as well as Cars. Any further interest ,you could keep an eye on our blog.,which aim to share more useful information about automotive .