Reasons For Using Spacers
- To clear certain aftermarket suspension setups
- To clear certain aftermarket big brake kits
- To dial in a perfectly flush fitment with the fender arches
- To make a rotatable square setup fit like a more aggressive staggered setup on the rear
When installed properly with the correct extended hardware, spacers are the safest, quickest and most cost-effective way to achieve a perfectly-dialed-in fitment; the alternative being expensive custom-offset wheels.
What You Need To Know
There are countless horror stories floating around about spacers, and we want to clear up the misconceptions. Always take the following things into consideration when installing spacers:
Spacer Quality - Don't simply shop by price. A spacer is the only piece of hardware between your wheel and the vehicle's hub. Machining errors are quite common with bargain-priced spacers. This can lead to an improper seat and ultimately spacer or hardware failure resulting in vehicle damage and injury.
Always Use Extended Hardware - We know it can be tempting to re-use your stock lug bolts with spacers. However, even a 3mm spacer will reduce the stock lug bolt thread engagement by 19%. 5mm spacers reduce it by 30%. This is a significant reduction in strength in one of the most-stressed components of your vehicle. Using the correct extended hardware ensures proper thread engagement and should be considered a requirement when installing spacers.
Ensure Proper Installation - Spacers can only be installed one way. This should be obvious, but first-time installers (both shops and owners) have been known to install 3mm or 5mm spacers backwards.
Ensure all wheel bolts or lug nuts are torqued to the manufacturer's recommended torque specification.
Before lowering the car on the ground, spin each wheel slowly by hand. This ensures that you're using the correct-length hardware which, if too long, can damage braking components located behind the hub. Check the inner clearance of the wheel and tire to the nearest suspension components and ensure at least 3mm of clearance. For the front wheels, turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock and check the clearances of the tire to the fender liners. Do this again once the car is on the ground with the suspension settled.