Wheel Spacers & Adapters – Good Or Bad?

By | November 26, 2017

Wheel Spacers & Adapters - Good Or Bad?

Are wheel spacers safe? Are wheel spacers a good idea?
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How will wheel adapters affect handling? What effects will wheel spacers have on suspension geometry? Wheel spacers can help with fitting big brake kits, altering wheel offset if aftermarket wheels are used, and can widen a car’s track, thus reducing load transfer and ideally improving handling. That said, wheel spacers affect suspension geometry, and will change the scrub radius, affecting braking stability, and also reduce the effective spring rate at the wheels. Wheel spacers can also cause wheel bearing failure.

Related Videos:
Scrub Radius – https://youtu.be/SUDMEd1bMZI
Tire Load Sensitivity – https://youtu.be/kNa2gZNqmT8
Toe-in vs Toe-out – https://youtu.be/83_GTZeuF6M
Steering Axis Inclination – https://youtu.be/IUcZ63unEyU
Caster – https://youtu.be/Gh7gWJAvOvs
Camber – https://youtu.be/jSFmUmVWBp0

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20 thoughts on “Wheel Spacers & Adapters – Good Or Bad?

  1. Chthonian121

    I just wanna fit brake caliper covers for cosmetics but my rims get in the way lol. I'm a black guy

  2. Nigel Roque

    You are super smarter but you need to remember not everyone understands your mechanical jargon otherwise cool stuff.

  3. ws l

    In drawing #2 if you have the wrong offset wheels and use spacers to correct the offset is this the only correct way to use them?this is what I had to do the tires are back in the factory location is this good or still bad?

  4. seahawk900b

    i purchased a 2001 roadtrek RV which was built on.. dodge 2500 chassis.. plagued with oversteer (thats an understatement)… rear wheels are 5 inches narrower than the front wheels ( i wont go into or speculate as to why Dodge did this) but the issue… Steering and handling is a nightmare…. ..at speeds over 60mph / 100kph its a white nuckle experience.. its drives like the tail wagging the dog.. if you look online… multiple attempts to resolve the problem.. what appeared the best solution.. with least modification to engineered spec was to install 2 inch wheel spacers… the problem remains but improved by less than 50 percent… wheel allignment was done prior to mod… do you think i should have wheel alignment done again with "changes to wheel alignment spec" and please..any suggestions much appreciated.. my mechanic and i are struggling with this steering control issue… thx in advance

  5. Eian Wahgener

    One thought, that seems to be coming up a lot in the replies "get wheels properly offset and it will not cause these things" changing offset causes the EXACT SAME ISSUES as a spacer.

  6. Dave Watson

    Thank you for this. I knew it wasn't a great idea but there are just too many things you point out that add up to making it a really bad mod. Not the least of which, is defeating perfectly good engineering,

  7. Jarek Kozera

    Spacers greatly increases the weight of the wheel. The wheel is unsprung. This is a very bad effect. Info from Technical University – the first year of teaching.

  8. Paul Cornwall

    So,etching covering spacer size in relative comparison to the theoretical calculations would be very helpful. A 5mm spacer vs a 25mm for instance would behave very differently comparatively.

  9. Kris Weatherbee

    +Engineering Explained If I was to go from stock 7" wide wheels to aftermarket 8.5" wheels but maintain the exact same offset, the the suspension geometry and the moment on the wheel bearings should remain the same, correct?

  10. ravenjsr

    Wait. Jason, Wasn't example 4 wrong.??? The spacer would be between the hub and the wheel increasing only wheel distance/width. The hub (wheel bearing inside) never moves so it would receive the same load. Orange depiction should be furthest out right?

  11. The23RacingChannel

    Where did you learn all of this? I want to be smart like you.


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