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R.I.P Big Blue
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Discussion Starter #1
I love my stock rims to death, but they don't give me the wide stance I want with the larger tires.

Does it hurt anything to run spacers? Not much, just enough to give me a slightly wider wheel base/stance. I've never really heard of anyone running them, so I always figured they weren't good for tires/steering parts, and wear and tear.

Also, is there anyone here running spacers?
 

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Senór Member
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i wouldn't do it man....i don't know about the stock wheels, but the third gen wheels i have don't have very much thread to grip on the studs as is.....i don't think it would work w/ 1/4 inch less
 

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R.I.P Big Blue
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Discussion Starter #3
I got a lot of thread left, or else I wouldn't even consider it. A LOT

And I'm not talking anything crazy, like 2 inches or anything, just a little. I'm just wondering if they add any wear and tear to the truck.
 

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You wouldn't think they'd add any wear or anything to the truck. You're just widening the stance. What I mean is, I wouldn't be afraid to run spacers. That's what they're for.

Even if you had spacers 2" thick, they'd bolt to your existing studs and you'd be left bolting the wheel to the studs protruding from the 2" spacer. It's no problem there.

I'm going to put spacers behind my chrome clad 20's on the front of my '99 come springtime, or whenever it warms up. I'll post up how it worked out for me.
 

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jlpeterson85
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212 Posts
I don't know man, I ran with spacers just for the reason that you want, and it wore out my ball joints in no time flat. After I had them replaced and took off the spacers, never had a problem since. Just my .02
 

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The ball joints and other front end parts in these trucks are garbage from factory. I've had to replace everything in the front of my '99, but I put moog stuff in there, and you can actually grease it. Front end is tight now.

Last time I added new ball joints, I held one in my hand and thought it was heavy duty, like you could put it on a big truck. They cost a lot more but I think they'll last a long time. And the thing is, ball joints and stuff are a wear item. They wear out, you replace them. Part of owning a truck. I mean like, if the ball joints wore out, I'd never ever think it came down just to running spacers, I'd think it came down just from driving the truck and using it for what it's for.

Guy the other day was like "I can't believe I have to replace my u-joints, they only lasted like 400k I can't believe this" and I was like dude. That's not bad.
 

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jlpeterson85
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212 Posts
Hey man, all I'm sayin is that I had to replace the ball joints around 30k, and funny enough it was soon after I put the spacers on. You're creating more pressure there because the rim is not directly bolted to the hub anymore, a piece of aluminum is sandwiched inbetween so there's your weak point. That's the answer I got from the 4x4 shop that I go to for my work.
 

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I don't believe that. If it was bad enough that it wrecked your ball joints, you must have had to replace your bearings too or what? I think it was just your ball joints were trash to begin with. If you never replaced your bearings then I don't think spacers were the root cause of your troubles.

All I'm saying, if you think spacers killed the ball joints, what kind of hurting did they put on your bearings. This is interesting.
 

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Mopar owner since 1977
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1,204 Posts
I guess I have to weigh in here...

Wheel spacers/adapters have been around along time...and it amazes me that people still attempt to run them. My experience with them was pretty costly...but thankfully it didn't cost me my life.**
I'm not sure what good sticking a couple of metal plates between ones wheel and hub will accomplish. Yes it sticks the wheel out further...
1. It also adds more stress to the lug stud. Instead of the lug nut just holding the wheel against the hub and spreading the stress out, it now has to hold the wheel against the adapter AND the hub.
2. Most spacers tend to be made from aluminum or potmetal. They are easily destroyed by corrosive elements, and inferior ones can crack and break without warning. They also expand and contract differently than than the steel on your hub and wheel (see # 1).
3. In addition to 1 and 2, spacers affect scrub steer and while they may decrease suspension component life, they also add stress to the already weenie arsed hub bearings. Those can't be easily upgraded.

I'd never run them again, except on a show vehicle that isn't driven. At least you've been warned.
Good Luck!

No..thats too nice. Running any kind of spacer, based on my experience, and those of others...IS STUPID. If you run them, and this offends you too bad. Consider yourself blessed. Sadly, it'll be when, not if.

P.S. **It only cost me a pair of expensive (in 1970's kitchen help dollars) Cragar SS rims. I'm just glad it was only me in the car.
 

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Mopar owner since 1977
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1,204 Posts
Yes...the soft cheap assed aluminum that is used in spacers secumbs easily to road salt residue and other chemicals. Why do you think aluminum radiators go bad? Aluminum corrodes as a result air oxidizing it. Why do you think you have to polish raw aluminum all the time to keep it shiny?

However, in the interest of fairness, I found this when I started looking for information on spacers...It should be noted that the mfr recommends them for off road use only, and theres a pic of an old school aluminum spacer as well.

http://www.rockcrawler.com/techreports/spidertrax_spacers/index.asp

This guy was lucky...Lake Havasu is a great place to off road, but so good for being stuck in.


http://www.zukiworld.com/forum/suzuki-grand-vitara-vitara-chevy-tracker-(gen-2-platform)-1999-2005/warning-about-wheel-spacers!/
 

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I like GUNS.
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74 Posts
Spacers will destroy your front end components. I ran them on an '02 ZR2 I had a few years back.No problems in the first 34,000 miles before I put them on. In less than 10,000 miles after putting them on, they destroyed my ball joints. Spacers are good if you like pissing money away on front end components on a regular basis.
 

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So if you don't polish your spacers regularly they'll rust up and crack or what? I know all about polishing aluminum, but it doesn't break up like typical metal does. Aluminum wheels might get white and cloudy but they'll never rust out of the tires they're mounted in. Or become so destroyed by corrosive elements that it would compromise the safety of the wheel. Do you think fuel tanks on big trucks would be made out of aluminum if there were any reason to believe that road salt would eat through them?

Whatever. I'd still run spacers. I'd even run them behind the Cragars on the back of my car if they weren't already 10" wide.
 

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Mopar owner since 1977
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1,204 Posts
You don't get it, but thats ok sir.

You're comparing a thick wheel casting to a 1/4 inch or less of cheap grade aluminum subjected to torque and side forces it simply can't handle, living in a world of corrosive elements and substances, where it can't be cleansed or maintained...

Again...

http://www.zukiworld.com/forum/suzuki-grand-vitara-vitara-chevy-tracker-(gen-2-platform)-1999-2005/warning-about-wheel-spacers!/

I'm not talking about Spidertrax spacers, which are uber machined and cost almost as much as a decent set of proper rims. Thes types of spacers are also NOT recommended for street use because of liability and also because wheel spacers are NOT DOT approved.
 

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You don't get it, but thats ok sir.

You're comparing a thick wheel casting to a 1/4 inch or less of cheap grade aluminum subjected to torque and side forces it simply can't handle, living in a world of corrosive elements and substances, where it can't be cleansed or maintained...

Again...

http://www.zukiworld.com/forum/suzuki-grand-vitara-vitara-chevy-tracker-(gen-2-platform)-1999-2005/warning-about-wheel-spacers!/
He knows what he's talking about.

But more importantly it increases wear on your front end, specifically the ball joints.

Spacers are only really for making rims with an offset that doesn't fit your truck/car fit. And even then its way better to just get rims that fit.
 

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Mopar owner since 1977
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1,204 Posts
You don't get it, but thats ok sir.

You're comparing a thick wheel casting to a 1/4 inch or less of cheap grade aluminum subjected to torque and side forces it simply can't handle, living in a world of corrosive elements and substances, where it can't be cleansed or maintained...

Again...

http://www.zukiworld.com/forum/suzuki-grand-vitara-vitara-chevy-tracker-(gen-2-platform)-1999-2005/warning-about-wheel-spacers!/

I'm not talking about Spidertrax spacers, which are uber machined and cost almost as much as a decent set of proper rims. Thes types of spacers are also NOT recommended for street use because of liability and also because wheel spacers are NOT DOT approved.
I forgot heat/expansion and cooling/contraction cycles among dissimilar metals. My bad...:(
 

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jlpeterson85
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212 Posts
I did replace the wheel bearings, u-joints and ball joints. Think what you want but it's not a cool idea. period.
 

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jlpeterson85
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212 Posts
Looks like I'm not alone on the stress to the front end components issue caused by spacers here. I don't care what anyone says.
 

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R.I.P Big Blue
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5,326 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
K, this is more like it :D

I was thinking it would place more stress on everything, especially the hub, as the wheel is farther out on the lugs, and therefore the weight of the truck isn't directly on the rim/tire, it's now on the lugs and hub.

I just wanted to make sure, and get some of your experiences. I won't run them now for sure.

But..... since I still want the wider stance, and want to keep the stock rims, is there anything I can do?
 

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Mopar owner since 1977
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1,204 Posts
I did of research since posting last, looking at all the different options and pieces availible. I was impressed, but also dismayed.

Spacers have come a long way since I ran them back in the 70s...and although most builders promise success, what I have read in my search is that spacers are usually avalible for lighter vehicles, are recommended for off road use only, and also not a DOT approved mod.
That doesn't keep people from running them, and many offerings are billet machined pieces of art. They have a price to match...read on.
And...I could not find any spacers for Dodge rams, and although I did find some for Jeeps with a ram sized wheel bolt pattern, the price was a bit high. I believe they ran about 129.00 a pair.
I also found spacers for GM 6 lug trucks and Hummers. To me thats a red flag LOL.

I also couldn't find anyone that made a 1/4 inch or slightly larger spacer to fit a ram, and MR. Gasket doesn't recommend thier skinny aluminum spacers for trucks or off road vehicles. Those parts looked the same as they did back in the day. Ick!

Anyway...I priced out a set of rims for my truck and with lugs and hubs and would be spending a tad over 300.00. That was for a wider rim with less (4.5 inch) backspacing, and would move my tire out about an inch total, because of the width increase. Again, for a bit more than a set of spacers I could get a rim that would do pretty much the same thing. Not a fancy bling type rim, but as nice as a factory one.
It will also increase wear on front end components, but unlike spacers, I don't have to check the torque every 2000 miles or so, and don't have to remove the rims to do it.

I suppose...if one were only looking for a quarter inch or so...you could have a shop make you a set out of steel that would slide tightly over your lugs and hub (hub centric) and you could put your rim over that. But liability issues prevent me from offering that. Besides, if a good machine shop charges 75.00 an hour or more...?
 
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