wheel spacers or just new rims? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 25th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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wheel spacers or just new rims?

Alright I just did some research on the forum and it has raised a few questions. With the premise that I want to widen my stance a bit on my truck I am debating new wheels or wheel spacers. That being said, I looked at everything and it appears that wheel spacers are actually quite expensive. Here is my question. Why spend more on wheel spacers than new rims when in terms of strength and performance you are adding another part to increase the odds of failure when wheeling, especially if it costs more than a new set of steel rims. My possible only understanding of why is this. 1. You can run stock rims still (for the nostalgic) and 2. You can actually remove the spacers when back on the street, which seems to still leave the problem of steering clearance.

Am I on the right track as far as logic or am I missing something altogether?

thanks
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  #2  
Old April 25th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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I avoid spacers & if you do use them only go with top brand like http://www.spidertrax.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.4/.f

I've seen lesser brands fail & it's real ugly @ highway speed
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  #3  
Old April 25th, 2008, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCR
I avoid spacers & if you do use them only go with top brand like http://www.spidertrax.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.4/.f

I've seen lesser brands fail & it's real ugly @ highway speed
Wow. Seeing wheel spacers fail on the street would be scary. I am sure with such a tramatic incident, you stopped and snapped a few pics. Please post your pics. We would all like to see how these spacers failed.
He never saw anything. He's full of it and just trying to be an e-badass
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  #4  
Old April 26th, 2008, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
Wow. Seeing wheel spacers fail on the street would be scary. I am sure with such a tramatic incident, you stopped and snapped a few pics. Please post your pics. We would all like to see how these spacers failed.
He never saw anything. He's full of it and just trying to be an e-badass
I'm trying to dig up pics but here is thread on one of them.

http://www.rubiconownersforum.com/ph...spacer+failure

Also friend with XJ had issues with his - studs backing out & tearing up rear drum brakes.

Anyway I was suggesting if you use spacers use high quality ones That are correct for your application ie: hub centric or lug centric with proper thread engagement on studs ect.
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  #5  
Old April 26th, 2008, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCR
I'm trying to dig up pics but here is thread on one of them.

http://www.rubiconownersforum.com/ph...spacer+failure
You have to be a registered member...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCR
Also friend with XJ had issues with his - studs backing out & tearing up rear drum brakes.

Anyway I was suggesting if you use spacers use high quality ones That are correct for your application ie: hub centric or lug centric with proper thread engagement on studs ect.
Brian, I'm guessing these failed wheel spacers were homemade or made in China out of lead.
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  #6  
Old April 26th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Here is opening post from thread

"I was driving home from vacation today through New Mexico and rolled the Jeep. I am perfectly fine with no bruises or scratches but the Rubi is not. The rear driver side wheel spacer broke and the wheel came off. Snap the lugs right of the axle. I always make sure my spacers are on tight. Felt nothing odd driving until it happened. Was only going around 40 mph when it happened. Flipped once and landed back on the wheels. Glad I put the rockhard cage in. As of now that was the best investment I have made. Cages serve one function and I just tested it. I will know Tuesday whether or not it is totaled."
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Old April 26th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCR
Here is opening post from thread

"I was driving home from vacation today through New Mexico and rolled the Jeep. I am perfectly fine with no bruises or scratches but the Rubi is not. The rear driver side wheel spacer broke and the wheel came off. Snap the lugs right of the axle. I always make sure my spacers are on tight. Felt nothing odd driving until it happened. Was only going around 40 mph when it happened. Flipped once and landed back on the wheels. Glad I put the rockhard cage in. As of now that was the best investment I have made. Cages serve one function and I just tested it. I will know Tuesday whether or not it is totaled."
So did you read about it on the web, or did you see it?

I have never *seen* wheel spacers fail. I have read about accounts on the web, but I have read about bigfoot on the web too. There is very little that can go wrong on a spacer. Failures are almost without exception due to people not keeping them tight.

Yes, they do put more load on spindles, so you may be rebuilding them more often, but thats really the only legitimate worry people should have.
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Old April 26th, 2008, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCR
Here is opening post from thread

"I was driving home from vacation today through New Mexico and rolled the Jeep. I am perfectly fine with no bruises or scratches but the Rubi is not. The rear driver side wheel spacer broke and the wheel came off. Snap the lugs right of the axle. I always make sure my spacers are on tight. Felt nothing odd driving until it happened. Was only going around 40 mph when it happened. Flipped once and landed back on the wheels. Glad I put the rockhard cage in. As of now that was the best investment I have made. Cages serve one function and I just tested it. I will know Tuesday whether or not it is totaled."
Update:

JSBriggs post confirms my thoughts that I have made a *ss of myself


My experience with jeeps & toyota don't really apply since Defenders have beefy OEM wheel studs.

Failures that I have seen & have happened to people I have wheeled with were due to 3 things - oem wheel stud failure, improper installation & installing wrong type of spacer, & all were running big tires, lockers & wheeled hard.
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  #9  
Old April 26th, 2008, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCR
Update:

JSBriggs post confirms my thoughts that I have made a *ss of myself


My experience with jeeps & toyota don't really apply since Defenders have beefy OEM wheel studs.

Failures that I have seen & have happened to people I have wheeled with were due to 3 things - oem wheel stud failure, improper installation & installing wrong type of spacer, & all were running big tires, lockers & wheeled hard.
You should have fought harder. It would have made this more fun. That was unsatisfying.

And where are your pictures?
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  #10  
Old April 27th, 2008, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
You should have fought harder. It would have made this more fun. That was unsatisfying.

And where are your pictures?
I actually realized/remembered while on a run today that the Defenders have real wheel studs & I think full floating rear axles?

I don't have pics & links to ones in that thread expired, I can ask Pete over on that thread if he still has pics, I think he pulled them on his thread after realizing he put wrong type of spacer on. He was real lucky loosing a tire/wheel/spacer & rolling jeep at speed, roll cage w/ lots of amour saved his butt.

Anyway I'm here learning all I can before buying/building up a Defender, I've anted one since 1st seeing them in 94 & grew up 4 wheeling in family friend that was like a Uncle's Bugeye Series.
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  #11  
Old April 28th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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I spend a lot of time offroading and I went through the same challenges of deciding. But for me it came down to aesthetics and function. It looked silly to see my defender with the same skinny tires sticking way out. My truck just looked really dumb, I opted to go for a set of rims from trek outfitters. Also I personally havenít seen it butt I have heard enough horror stories with spacers. I have never heard a horror story about a rim breaking like you do with spacers. I posted a thread in the small build up section of the rims on my truck. I got them with plenty of backspacing and in a 16x10 and am running a 33x12.5 trxus mud terrain. I got more backspacing on them then I could have gotten out of a spacer too.
It was all together (the rims and tires) the single best investment I have made besides my OME suspension upgrade. On the trail for the last month the truck has been a monster ripping through mud and snow with the wider tires, and on the little bit of rock crawling I did I really enjoyed the squatter stance. I would stay away from the spacers, if you are even doubting it you know something will go wrong. I would go with the rims for the peace of mind, the durability, and also for the aesthetics of it.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaD90
Also I personally havenít seen it butt I have heard enough horror stories with spacers. I have never heard a horror story about a rim breaking like you do with spacers.




And the spacer was fine!




You are right in that rims are a better option, but all this spacer failing talk is like global warming. It's only real on the internet.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 12:25 AM
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the beauty of that though with that rim is if it is a stealie which judging the way it was bent you can heat it up and hammer it out on the trail which i have had to do.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaD90
the beauty of that though with that rim is if it is a stealie which judging the way it was bent you can heat it up and hammer it out on the trail which i have had to do.
It's hard to tell in that photo, but that rim was bent in about 3-4in, the whole thing was oval. There was no bending that back out! The IROK survived though, as did the spacer.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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While not having seen the spacer fully fail, I did witness a loose spacer. And when I mean loose, I mean it was as though the wheel was held on the truck by a thread. This was coming off a trail on a multi-day trip while cruising down a dirt access road. The driver felt the wobble and all of us following knew right away something was not right with the wheel when watching him. Threadlocker is your friend on them. A number of the lug nuts had fully backed out. Whether it was from contamination, water, mud, vibration, it is hard to tell.

The owner (pictured ) still runs them with no issues or concern. I believe he disassembles them twice a year and cleans everything, adding new thread locker to insure no issues.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Failures are almost without exception due to people not keeping them tight.
Reposted for posterity.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
Reposted for posterity.
I guess I will have to get pics from buddies Pete & Andy so I have some hope of living this down - I don't want this as my epitaph
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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I guess I will have to get pics from buddies Pete & Andy so I have some hope of living this down - I don't want this as my epitaph
No worries. Nothing here is nearly that serious.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
No worries. Nothing here is nearly that serious.
Just starting my morning & need some of this medication

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Old April 29th, 2008, 04:30 PM
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I have recently gone through this train of thought and come to the conclusion of using spacers.

My rational was simple. I wanted a wider stance and I still want to run LR wolf wheels for availability internationally (plus I already have 10 of them).



I do have a question though... How would a spacer put any more load on the wheel bearings (or spindles) than running wheels with a wider offset?
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