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Old 12-31-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
hi-revs
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Default Wheel spacers. Yay or nay?

So im thinking of picking up a set of used 1/4inch wheel spacers for my sti to have more of the "flush" look.
Is this a good idea or bad?
My car is mainly my daily.
Would it damage suspension down the road?

Ive got BC Racing coilovers.
In the summer i run- 18x8.5 +40mm and stock BBS for the winter.
If i do get the spacers would i need to pull/roll my fenders?
And what about studs? Would i need extended ones to clear?

My car isnt slammed. about 2.5 finger gap with BBS wheels, and a tight 2 finger gap with my summers.

Just want to hear opinions on this from anyone running spacers and people who dont like them.

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Old 12-31-2011, 03:24 AM   #2
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You will need to roll and will need extended studs.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:16 AM   #3
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Big no. Also, when will kids realize that "flush" is bad.

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Quote:
There are two completely different issues with spacers you have to understand.

1) They create well, space, between your hub and your wheel. The stock studs are designed to be directly connected to the wheel and as such only provide a certain length of exposed screw to tighten in the lug nut. The main issue with spacers is that by putting in a buffer, they shrink this gap and can prevent the lug nuts from tightening completely (which is very unsafe). Subaru studs are often quoted at being only a mere 3mm longer than needed for the lugs meaning any more than 3mm spacers and your stuck studs are simply too short. You can get around this by lengthening the studs of your car to some extent. Thicker spacers often come with their own studs bored in and completely cover the factory studs. This creates a possible movement point between spacer and wheel which is generally why they're considered dangerous.

2) Spacers lower offset, just as you said. The total offset (whither you have a spacer or not) is what really has an effect on the handling. If you have a +50 wheel with a 2mm spacer vs a +48 wheel, they are effectively the same (assuming the lug nuts have room to get tightened correctly). In other words, the second issue is purely about not having enough offset, independent of how that is achieved. You can have too low offset from using spacers or just form buying wheels that lower your offset.

Now, the real question is what are the adverse effects of lowering offset? Basically what happens is the suspension of the car is designed for a certain moment arm (lever) for the wheel compared to the hub. The suspension is then designed around these constants. If you push the wheel further out, you will widen the stance of the car but you will also be lengthening the moment arm. The "scrub radius" is usually used to describe this angle and has a direct impact on the performance of your suspension. Small changes in offset will not have substantial effects but more extreme changes can see drastic handling changes. Cutting too much offset can ruin your turn in response in particular.
And 5mm won't do anything for looks, they will just make your effective offset even less ideal than it already is.

Last edited by Byzantium; 12-31-2011 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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Thumbs down on the spacers. I have to use 3mm in winter to clear my stoptechs and I hate having them. Anything >3mm requires longer studs. Waste of money and does nothing for performance except make the connection between your wheels and the hub weaker.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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Default Spacers

Keep in mind that the reply posts you receive here from members with such illustrious titles as Guru and Expert receive these honorifics from the number of postings they have made, not by being in fact either Guru or expert.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M SPEC
Keep in mind that the reply posts you receive here from members with such illustrious titles as Guru and Expert receive these honorifics from the number of postings they have made, not by being in fact either Guru or expert.
Lolz... I use wheels spacers and no problem. But then again my car isn't a dd.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M SPEC
Keep in mind that the reply posts you receive here from members with such illustrious titles as Guru and Expert receive these honorifics from the number of postings they have made, not by being in fact either Guru or expert.
At least he knows what he's talking about and providing factual information.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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The fact is that most of the posts reflect as much opinion as fact, and for the non-discerning individual (newbie) it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. As an example my ďTitleĒ states Newbie, yet I have been a member of this forum since 2004. I have owned over 100 cars. Have built at least 25 from the ground up since I began play with cars in the early 60ís. I presently own 6 cars three of which are Subaruís, two of which are STIís, and one of which is putting more than 400HP to the ground, yet I would still not claim to be a GURU
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M SPEC
The fact is that most of the posts reflect as much opinion as fact, and for the non-discerning individual (newbie) it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. As an example my “Title” states Newbie, yet I have been a member of this forum since 2004. I have owned over 100 cars. Have built at least 25 from the ground up since I began play with cars in the early 60’s. I presently own 6 cars three of which are Subaru’s, two of which are STI’s, and one of which is putting more than 400HP to the ground, yet I would still not claim to be a GURU
It's only a title that reflects post count. But factual info is factual, regardless of where or who it came from.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by M SPEC View Post
Keep in mind that the reply posts you receive here from members with such illustrious titles as Guru and Expert receive these honorifics from the number of postings they have made, not by being in fact either Guru or expert.
You don't know me very well do you.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:53 AM   #11
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I have 5mm spacers on the front of my STi. No extended studs, no fender roll. BUT...I have different wheels than you.

Mine are for brembo clearance not flushness.

Yay or nay? I'd say nay unless you need them in order to get correct offset or brembo clearance.

Last edited by Dirty25RS; 01-12-2012 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:10 PM   #12
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Gentlemen, you are correct. I do not know you well and that factual information is indeed factual information. You are however missing my initial point. I am merely illustrating the issue that posts are often posted as fact when they are in reality nothing more than opinion supported by nothing more than anecdotal evidence. Let me attempt to illustrate. Our current post is regarding the issue of wheel spacers. Generally when this discussion comes up, the negatives revolve around three major issues: safety, handling and bearing life. Many contend that wheel spacers are a safety hazard, yet I have not read any such post that can quantify such a claim by sighting a spacer failure causing an accident. H&R spacers are made using high quality materials in a precise manufacturing process. Without question there are cheap e-bay models that may be of substandard material and construction and are therefore potential failure components, yet the discussion does not differentiate between the two. The proposed handling issues may be realistic, yet again the position is rarely discussed in the context of, how do you use the car, is it a daily driver or a tracker. Very few of the driving population, including those of us driving STIs and WRXs are truly capable enough to discern many handling nuances. Once again, no data is provided. I see no skid pad comparisons. No track times with spacers and without. Additionally, many of the posting naysayers are themselves driving around with heavily offset aftermarket rims. Lastly bearing life. Again I find interest in the fact that there is no difference in bearing life from those individuals that run spacers, from those that run low + offset wheels, yet this point is often missing from the discussion. Also, I have yet to see the bearing life quantified into actual numbers e.g. does a 10mm spacer reduce bearing life by 15% over the course of 40,000 miles etc. What does this all boil down to? Just a couple of key points I would like to make. First, I am not in any way attempting to cast dispersions on any posters including you that are Specialists and/or Gurus. I am only suggesting that everyone needs to take care in choosing the information one relies upon. Second, as a wise man once said, ďIf it canít be expressed in numbers itís not a fact itís an opinion.Ē
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M SPEC
Gentlemen, you are correct. I do not know you well and that factual information is indeed factual information. You are however missing my initial point. I am merely illustrating the issue that posts are often posted as fact when they are in reality nothing more than opinion supported by nothing more than anecdotal evidence. Let me attempt to illustrate. Our current post is regarding the issue of wheel spacers. Generally when this discussion comes up, the negatives revolve around three major issues: safety, handling and bearing life. Many contend that wheel spacers are a safety hazard, yet I have not read any such post that can quantify such a claim by sighting a spacer failure causing an accident. H&R spacers are made using high quality materials in a precise manufacturing process. Without question there are cheap e-bay models that may be of substandard material and construction and are therefore potential failure components, yet the discussion does not differentiate between the two. The proposed handling issues may be realistic, yet again the position is rarely discussed in the context of, how do you use the car, is it a daily driver or a tracker. Very few of the driving population, including those of us driving STIs and WRXs are truly capable enough to discern many handling nuances. Once again, no data is provided. I see no skid pad comparisons. No track times with spacers and without. Additionally, many of the posting naysayers are themselves driving around with heavily offset aftermarket rims. Lastly bearing life. Again I find interest in the fact that there is no difference in bearing life from those individuals that run spacers, from those that run low + offset wheels, yet this point is often missing from the discussion. Also, I have yet to see the bearing life quantified into actual numbers e.g. does a 10mm spacer reduce bearing life by 15% over the course of 40,000 miles etc. What does this all boil down to? Just a couple of key points I would like to make. First, I am not in any way attempting to cast dispersions on any posters including you that are Specialists and/or Gurus. I am only suggesting that everyone needs to take care in choosing the information one relies upon. Second, as a wise man once said, “If it can’t be expressed in numbers it’s not a fact it’s an opinion.”
Nice quote
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M SPEC View Post
The fact is that most of the posts reflect as much opinion as fact, and for the non-discerning individual (newbie) it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. As an example my ďTitleĒ states Newbie, yet I have been a member of this forum since 2004. I have owned over 100 cars. Have built at least 25 from the ground up since I began play with cars in the early 60ís. I presently own 6 cars three of which are Subaruís, two of which are STIís, and one of which is putting more than 400HP to the ground, yet I would still not claim to be a GURU
Congrats on your Cyber Preaching and all that glory.... bottom line... spacers + OE studs = short wheel stud engagement.

Not busting you personally, but your post is just a personal ego stroke.. has nothing to do with the question...

to the OP: IF (big IF) you decide on spacers... <ugh>

the standard is that the lug nut/bolt must ENGAGE 1/2 the diamater of the stud or hole its attached too... SO: If you add a 1/4" spacer... as long as the lug nut screws down more than 1/2 the length of the stud/hole its going into.... you are fine....

This is the same argument for stretching a 225 profile tire on a 10" rim to make a car "hella frush"

honestly... stupid is, as stupid does in the case of a post like this...You have made up your mind on WHAT you WANT to do... You just want someone to tell you its ok...

Rob (points might likely be pending for being to honest.)
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M SPEC View Post
Gentlemen, you are correct. I do not know you well and that factual information is indeed factual information. You are however missing my initial point. I am merely illustrating the issue that posts are often posted as fact when they are in reality nothing more than opinion supported by nothing more than anecdotal evidence. Let me attempt to illustrate. Our current post is regarding the issue of wheel spacers. Generally when this discussion comes up, the negatives revolve around three major issues: safety, handling and bearing life. Many contend that wheel spacers are a safety hazard, yet I have not read any such post that can quantify such a claim by sighting a spacer failure causing an accident. H&R spacers are made using high quality materials in a precise manufacturing process. Without question there are cheap e-bay models that may be of substandard material and construction and are therefore potential failure components, yet the discussion does not differentiate between the two. The proposed handling issues may be realistic, yet again the position is rarely discussed in the context of, how do you use the car, is it a daily driver or a tracker. Very few of the driving population, including those of us driving STIs and WRXs are truly capable enough to discern many handling nuances. Once again, no data is provided. I see no skid pad comparisons. No track times with spacers and without. Additionally, many of the posting naysayers are themselves driving around with heavily offset aftermarket rims. Lastly bearing life. Again I find interest in the fact that there is no difference in bearing life from those individuals that run spacers, from those that run low + offset wheels, yet this point is often missing from the discussion. Also, I have yet to see the bearing life quantified into actual numbers e.g. does a 10mm spacer reduce bearing life by 15% over the course of 40,000 miles etc. What does this all boil down to? Just a couple of key points I would like to make. First, I am not in any way attempting to cast dispersions on any posters including you that are Specialists and/or Gurus. I am only suggesting that everyone needs to take care in choosing the information one relies upon. Second, as a wise man once said, “If it can’t be expressed in numbers it’s not a fact it’s an opinion.”
Everything you're saying never gets brought up is brought up constantly. And as much as you want to feel like god, your post also points out that there are a few things on the topic that you don't quite grasp yourself (I'm specifically looking at one of your bearing wear and DD driveability comments), so I suggest you work on yourself before you hypocritically attack others. I'm not sure how the OP's question wasn't acceptably answered. He doesn't need to read Automotive Engineering volumes 1 thru 100 to get an answer to his question.

Why does there need to be a professional road test for you to believe unquestionable facts? Do I need to quantify that wheels are round and that the sky is blue? X was stated and X was a fact. If he wants a more thorough answer on why X is what it is, he can ask for details himself.

Last edited by Byzantium; 01-12-2012 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M SPEC View Post
Gentlemen, you are correct. I do not know you well and that factual information is indeed factual information. You are however missing my initial point. I am merely illustrating the issue that posts are often posted as fact when they are in reality nothing more than opinion supported by nothing more than anecdotal evidence. Let me attempt to illustrate. Our current post is regarding the issue of wheel spacers. Generally when this discussion comes up, the negatives revolve around three major issues: safety, handling and bearing life. Many contend that wheel spacers are a safety hazard, yet I have not read any such post that can quantify such a claim by sighting a spacer failure causing an accident. H&R spacers are made using high quality materials in a precise manufacturing process. Without question there are cheap e-bay models that may be of substandard material and construction and are therefore potential failure components, yet the discussion does not differentiate between the two. The proposed handling issues may be realistic, yet again the position is rarely discussed in the context of, how do you use the car, is it a daily driver or a tracker. Very few of the driving population, including those of us driving STIs and WRXs are truly capable enough to discern many handling nuances. Once again, no data is provided. I see no skid pad comparisons. No track times with spacers and without. Additionally, many of the posting naysayers are themselves driving around with heavily offset aftermarket rims. Lastly bearing life. Again I find interest in the fact that there is no difference in bearing life from those individuals that run spacers, from those that run low + offset wheels, yet this point is often missing from the discussion. Also, I have yet to see the bearing life quantified into actual numbers e.g. does a 10mm spacer reduce bearing life by 15% over the course of 40,000 miles etc. What does this all boil down to? Just a couple of key points I would like to make. First, I am not in any way attempting to cast dispersions on any posters including you that are Specialists and/or Gurus. I am only suggesting that everyone needs to take care in choosing the information one relies upon. Second, as a wise man once said, ďIf it canít be expressed in numbers itís not a fact itís an opinion.Ē
holy crud I ddn't and wouldn't read this... Paragraph much? Punctuation much? take a breath much?

non-bolt on/extended stud spacers are a bad idea... end of conversation...

Rob
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:11 AM   #17
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You mean bolt on?

I'd rather run arp's and 20mm spacers than 20mm bolt ons.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:33 PM   #18
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WOW, must have struck a nerve!
1) “And as much as you want to feel like god” I have no idea were this is coming from. Fairly strong language to critique someone’s post.
2) “hypocritically attack others”. Not “attacking” anyone and FYI hypo means low, I think what you wanted to say was hyper.
3) “Paragraph much? Punctuation much?” I can’t seem to get this posting thing right. On one occasion I was somewhat critical on someone’s punctuation and was tersely reminded that this is a forum post and such rules don’t apply. MY BAD. And FYI I think you meant to say, “Paragraph much? Punctuate much?” but I could be mistaken.
4) “Not busting you personally, but your post is just a personal ego stroke”. Having trouble with this one. It would seem that busting personally is exactly what you are doing, or did I not see the letters p e r s o n a l on both sides of the comma.
5) “the standard is that the lug nut/bolt must ENGAGE 1/2 the diameter of the stud or hole its attached too... SO: If you add a 1/4" spacer... as long as the lug nut screws down more than 1/2 the length of the stud/hole its going into.... you are fine....” Now here is exactly what I am talking about. Real quantified information someone can understand and use. WELL DONE (at least in my opinion :-).
6) I suggest that all of you road trip to Kansas City and I will buy the beer, and we can talk Subaru. A side benefit would be that when some one “bashes” someone it could be done face to face where it has sooo much more meaning… as well as risk. (Serious about the road trip and buying the beer!!!). Have a good weekend!
Oh, one more thing, I would like to know more about this extended wheel studs vs bolt on spacers issue.

Last edited by M SPEC; 01-13-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXwrxWagon View Post
Congrats on your Cyber Preaching and all that glory.... bottom line... spacers + OE studs = short wheel stud engagement.

Not busting you personally, but your post is just a personal ego stroke.. has nothing to do with the question...

to the OP: IF (big IF) you decide on spacers... <ugh>

the standard is that the lug nut/bolt must ENGAGE 1/2 the diamater of the stud or hole its attached too... SO: If you add a 1/4" spacer... as long as the lug nut screws down more than 1/2 the length of the stud/hole its going into.... you are fine....

This is the same argument for stretching a 225 profile tire on a 10" rim to make a car "hella frush"

honestly... stupid is, as stupid does in the case of a post like this...You have made up your mind on WHAT you WANT to do... You just want someone to tell you its ok...

Rob (points might likely be pending for being to honest.)
1/2 the diameter is far too little. That's only 6mm of there's engagement on our 12mm studs. The common acceptance for a M12x1.25 stud is 8 TURNS, or 10mm of thread engagement, which is more like ~80% of the diameter.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:46 PM   #20
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Vision,
Thanks for not jumping on the hate bandwagon! More importantly, thanks for the precise information (wow, somebody gets it)!!! I had presumed that the previous poster had indeed meant length when he said diameter.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:51 PM   #21
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Offset aside, and assuming you use hubcentric AND wheelcentric spacers, if you have proper thread engagement, there is absolutely nothing wrong with running spacers.

To recap:
Must have:
Hubcentric
Wheelcentric
Minimum 10mm thread engagement (on Subaru M12x1.25) #@ Torque Spec (56-75ft/lbs)

Missing any of those and your system is unsafe. If you have all 3, there is nothing unsafe about your system.

Somebody PROVE me otherwise with HARD DATA and I have $20 PayPal waiting for you.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:57 PM   #22
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Only 75ft/lbs? I was under the impression that we tightned to 85. Have I been over tightening?
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:59 PM   #23
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85 ft/lbs is definitely over spec. I think 75 ft/lbs is over spec.

Note I said "Spec". Personally I torque to 75 on my OEM Wheel Studs, and 80 on ARP.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:00 PM   #24
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So what do you recommend I set my t-wrench to?
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:06 PM   #25
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Look in the owner's manual of your car.

Oddly enough, it's in the "How to change a flat tire" section.
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