Wheel spacer help needed - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 18th, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Mike Deery
1984 D-90
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Cool Wheel spacer help needed

I just bought an '84 Defender 90... it has the alloy rims that are common on'95(and thereabouts) defenders(tornado style?). Both axels came with disk brakes(I don't know if this fact is relevant to my quest for help). When changing tires(they now have BF Goodrich/ AT 265x75x16), I found that the front wheels(rims) don't really fit on the hubs. What I mean is that there are 5 hub nuts in between the 5 wheel mounting studs... those 5 nut heads don't allow the wheel to be set flush on the hub. What I had to do was rotate the tire while tightening it at the same time to have it more or less evenly mounted (floating) on the hub(I spun the wheel while tightening wheel studs to visually check for wobble). The wheels balanced out ok and there is no detectable wheel shimmy after I mounted them as noted above. But, I am concerned that I will hit a pothole or some other obstruction and the wheel could definitely be knocked dangerously out of balance. In fact, before I knew I had a problem, I tried to drive with the wheels not "float - balanced on the hubs, and I couldn't go over 35 mph without feeling in danger of losing control. I can think of two possible solutions(while retaining these hubs which I really like), but, I could really use advice from some other d-90 owners. The first option involves machining out the back of the rims in the 5 spots that hit the hub nuts, allowing the rims to sit flat on the hubs. I am concerned about this option because I only have about 1 1/2" clearance between the edge of the rim and the tie rod ends and I think reducing that clearance further could be a bad idea(I would only have to remove about 1/4" at the 5 points of nut contact). The second choice/option is to ad spacers. Does anyone know if the standard spacers)like the ones at rovers north) will fit flush on '84 hubs and also fit the rims properly. Again, I don't know if the fact that the truck has a 3" lift has any bearing on this issue. Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
Mike
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  #2  
Old April 18th, 2009, 11:17 PM
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Chris Hinkle
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Are the nuts used on the spacers the same as on the wheels? On my spacers, the nuts holding the spacers to the hubs are smaller and fit so that the wheel fits tight to the spacer.
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  #3  
Old April 19th, 2009, 07:34 AM
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Mike Deery
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Chris- I don't know if spacers would solve my problem, so I haven't bought them yet. I was looking for advice to make a decision whether or not to purchase them. But, your response may have helped me... the nuts that are in the way of my wheel sitting flush are on the actual hub, not a spacer. So, if the nuts are flush on a new wheel spacer, the wheel will probably sit flush to the spacer. However, I am still not sure that the spacers will sit flush to the hubs. Thanks.
Mike
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  #4  
Old April 19th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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Tom Rowe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isleofbones
What I mean is that there are 5 hub nuts in between the 5 wheel mounting studs...
Do you mean 5 lugnuts, one between each stud? I can't quite picture what you're describing because it sounds like there are 5 lugnuts welded, or somehow affixed, to your hub to use as spacers to move the wheel out. If that's the case, it's a complete bodge and you need to get rid of them, it's not safe at all. I'm surprised a wheel hasn't come off while driving. Even if the are actually hub nuts (which would only move the wheel out about 3/8"), it's still not safe.
If they are welded to the hub, the person who sold you the Defender needs to buy you new hubs, or pay to have them removed and the hubs machined flat.
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  #5  
Old April 19th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Chris, the front hubs on the 110 stick out further and you cannot use the alloys without a change. Whomever sold the truck like that to you should be beaten severely - thats so dangerous its not funny.

I personally think removing some material from the inside of the alloys is ok since it's not structural where it hits, but you'd need to do all 5 wheels to be able to rotate tires (or at least 3 so your spare works on the front). I have an old set of alloys that I intended to try this on, but this is harder that it sounds (i was going to try grind down the spots where the hub nuts touch and it's not easy )

I'm not sure if it applies to all spacers, but I tried some spacers Doug had and they won't work - actually made it worse iirc.

But I think the best choice would be these spacers which give you just enough clearance to mount them properly, but you still can't use the center caps. I have not tried them yet, but plan to. If we can save on shipping by together, I'll get a pair

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LAND-ROVER-90-110-DEFENDER-WHEEL-SPACERS_W0QQitemZ140302790090QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK _CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM?hash=item140302790 090&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1683|66%3A 2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318


BTW, you can search the forums and find threads where we have discussed this a few times before.

charles
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  #6  
Old April 19th, 2009, 11:45 AM
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Dave Lucas
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Tom,

I think he is talking about the bolt heads that hold on the axle flange.
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  #7  
Old April 19th, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Tom Rowe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_lucas
Tom,

I think he is talking about the bolt heads that hold on the axle flange.
Ah, that makes more sense.
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Tom Rowe
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Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck
in places even more inaccessible.

62 88 Regular
67 109 6cyl NADA x2
74 Lightweight - The Antichrist
95 DI 5-speed
95 D90 5-speed
97 D1 Automatic
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  #8  
Old April 19th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Mike Deery
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Dave- Yes, I do beleive that these are bolt heads that hold on the axle flange. They are set inbetween the studs and by virtue of how the tornado rims are cast, they hit the edges of the heads of the nuts. I don't beleive the axels are a botch job... I do beleive, however, that the person who sold me the truck(he made a very strong point that he put on or had the new rims put on the truck) knew or should have known that this is a dangerous problem. Still, I think I am inclined to try spacers to see if it will do the trick... I'm still open to any input to make the best decision.
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  #9  
Old April 19th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Tom Rowe
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Get a set of proper wheels would be my suggestion.
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Tom Rowe
Atlanta, GA

Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck
in places even more inaccessible.

62 88 Regular
67 109 6cyl NADA x2
74 Lightweight - The Antichrist
95 DI 5-speed
95 D90 5-speed
97 D1 Automatic
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  #10  
Old April 19th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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  #11  
Old April 19th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Charles Galpin
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LOL. Call me lazy, or just not having the right tools, but it's harder to grind out a little of the alloy than you think. I do think that should solve it. When I have some free time, and less pressing issues to solve I'll revisit it, but I Think those cheap 4mm spacers are an easy fix.
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  #12  
Old April 19th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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Mike Deery
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Charles-
I think I will go with your 4mm spacer suggestion. I sent you an email to see if you want go in on them to save shipping as you mentioned in the previous post. Thanks, and let me know if you want to pursue this. I can either order them, or, I'll get funds to you if you prefer to acquire.
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