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Old 11-09-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
hi-revs
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Default Wheel spacers??

Was wanting to do this last winter but never got around to doing it.

Car: 07 sti
Wheels: OEM bbs with winter tires
Reason: I want more of a flush look running the BBS, as opposed to them sunken in to the wheel well.

I read that running spacers can damage wheel bearings. Is this true? Does it stress out the suspension due to pushing the wheels further away from centre of gravity?
Should I just steer away from doing this, and put up with it until its time to put summer setup on again?

Anyone have any input to this?

P.s. if it isn't bad to do, where can I pick up a set of 4 locally before mounting my winters?
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
rs420
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The spacer brings the weight on the wheel bearing out, causing more stress on the wheel bearing. The bigger the spacer, the further out the weight hangs causing more stress.

Lots of people do it, it might shorten the life-span but not considered a safety issue.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
slowguy
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No technical answers here but real world experience:

I ran them on my 06 STI for my entire ownership (3 yrs of hard driving). No problems at all. Rather, sold it before I had issues.. LOL!

Am now running 10mm all around on my '10 STI.

Cheers.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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I run 35mm all around on my stockies. Still on my factory wheel bearings.

I think everyone gets this misconception about it being hard on wheel bearings but it's the same thing as running a low offset, wide rims, fat tires, etc.

With 5x114.3 wheel bearings on the 05+ sti it's a lot stronger than the inferior wrx or 04 sti 5x100 wheel bearings.

And forget about buying locally unless you want to pay like $200 a pair (300% more). eBay hubcentric ones are about $70USD a pair. I got them like 2 years ago when they were like $60USD a pair shipped.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
rs420
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My 5x100 bearings have gone once, on all corners since my ownership
(2002, bought in aug 2007 by me)
Im not sure if its because I was running spacers, or if its because of the low offset wide rims I like to run (18x9.5 & 18x10.5)
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:32 PM   #6
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^probably fat wheel and rubber

this is what you need http://www.licmotorsports.com/produc...ti_lic-0420041

You could probably buy all the parts yourself and machine them through a friend.... then all you need to buy is the abs/speedo spacers from them
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:38 PM   #7
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I see a lot of people saying it causes extra stresses on bearings and whatnot. This is just rubbish. Same as running a bigger offset on your wheels.

Leveraging the weight of your car 15mm out or whatever will have no negative effect on your bearings or anything else.

I don't want to have to get an engineer in here, but I will... there is no problem in running spacers, anyone who says otherwise is major OCD.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitesoorex View Post
I see a lot of people saying it causes extra stresses on bearings and whatnot. This is just rubbish. Same as running a bigger offset on your wheels.

Leveraging the weight of your car 15mm out or whatever will have no negative effect on your bearings or anything else.

I don't want to have to get an engineer in here, but I will... there is no problem in running spacers, anyone who says otherwise is major OCD.
+1, how is running 15mm spacers any different from using wheels that have 15mm wider offset?

IE: 17x8 wheel with 50 offset on 15mm spacers vs. 17x8 wheel with 35 offset
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #9
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you're correct brett.

However, most people that go with low offset wheels also typically get wider wheels as well.

So if you had a 17x8 with 50 offset would generate a very similar load to a 17x9 with 25 offset. This is also dependent on camber and the rest of the suspension setup but as a general statement it is true.

With that in mind, I run 15mm wheel spacers to clear my coilovers. Been running like that for about a year with no issues. I used adaptec hub and wheel concentric spacers with ARP extended studs.

The bolt on wheel spacers sketch me out. I've autoxed with r-comps and rallyx a bunch without issues.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:09 PM   #10
rs420
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running a bigger offset on your wheel does have the potential to cause an increased rate of wear. Every action has a reaction, no matter how great or minor.

But mine was probably the wheels

Last edited by rs420; 11-14-2012 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:26 AM   #11
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I had to replace my bearings. But I wasn't running low offset or wide wheels. On the other hand, I am running low offset now and the bearings are holding up still. *knock on wood*
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:31 AM   #12
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How reliable are the eBay spacers? Lol. I dont want it to crap out on me.
Can someone with experience with eBay ones send me a link to a reliable set?

How many mm's should I get to get my oem wheels to sit flush? 15mm all around?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitesoorex View Post
I see a lot of people saying it causes extra stresses on bearings and whatnot. This is just rubbish. Same as running a bigger offset on your wheels.

Leveraging the weight of your car 15mm out or whatever will have no negative effect on your bearings or anything else.

I don't want to have to get an engineer in here, but I will... there is no problem in running spacers, anyone who says otherwise is major OCD.

Welcome to Nasioc but your 2 cents on this subject has zero value.

The lower the offset the more leverage you put on your wheel bearings which overtime will reduce the lifespan when compared to a stock rim and tire offset. Sticky tires and the odd trackday here and there will again reduce the lifespan because of the tire grip causing even more load on the bearing and the heat cycles generated from a trackday are something a street driven shouldn't or will never see. Your hub bearing ends up being a heatsink. WRX 5x100 bearings are a "smaller" bearing when compared to the '05+ STI bearings, this is why you will see more bearing failures in the 5x100 hubs.

There is no difference between a 29mm offset wheel or a 45mm offset wheel with 15mm wheel spacers, you will get the same results.

Research another term called scrub radius and what effect it has on bearing/tire wear and handling issues even when your wheel alignment is with in spec.

Last edited by dalesalignment&brake; 11-10-2012 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:26 AM   #14
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That's 100% true. More stick = more Gs = extra stress on stuff. And the changes in geometry add to this. But it also = more fun and = waaaay more ladies
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitesoorex View Post
I see a lot of people saying it causes extra stresses on bearings and whatnot. This is just rubbish. Same as running a bigger offset on your wheels.

Leveraging the weight of your car 15mm out or whatever will have no negative effect on your bearings or anything else.

I don't want to have to get an engineer in here, but I will... there is no problem in running spacers, anyone who says otherwise is major OCD.
u nailed it!
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bov_Rider View Post
u nailed it!
u wrong 2. This is getting funny

Same thing happens to any vehicle when running low offset wheels. We get numerous Ford, Dodge and Chev pick ups with very low offset wheels and the bearing failure rate is tenfold when compared to trucks with stock wheels.

It is the inner bearing of the bearing unit that is carrying most of the load. In severe cases the bearing race will spin on the spindle shaft and a new spindle is required.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:19 PM   #17
hi-revs
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So what's the deal with spacers?
Good or bad?

I'm sstarting to have a feeling that spacers fall into the bov category. -not good nor bad. Personal preference I'm assuming?
The fact that it ain't great. But the harm done is so minimal that it's upto personal preference.

Would that be fair to say?
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hi-revs
So what's the deal with spacers?
Good or bad?

I'm sstarting to have a feeling that spacers fall into the bov category. -not good nor bad. Personal preference I'm assuming?
The fact that it ain't great. But the harm done is so minimal that it's upto personal preference.

Would that be fair to say?
Let's just say even dropping a 10mm reputable JDM brand from a height of 5ft or so cracked it (not me who did it).

I wouldn't trust my (eventual) baller wheels to that.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:37 PM   #19
dalesalignment&brake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hi-revs View Post
So what's the deal with spacers?
Good or bad?

I'm sstarting to have a feeling that spacers fall into the bov category. -not good nor bad. Personal preference I'm assuming?
The fact that it ain't great. But the harm done is so minimal that it's upto personal preference.

Would that be fair to say?

You are right. I ran +29 on my own car, did I have bearing problems, no. In the long run you could have issues but look at alcoolaid, he tracks the crap out of his car on sticky tires with low offset wheels with no issues.

I have seen my share of bearing failures and 95/100 the vehicle has low offset wheels with sticky tires or heavier tires. Heat cycling of the brakes also has a factor the lifespan of a bearing. Alcoolaid might have adequate brake ducting that will help dissipate heat form the bearing also.

I only responded because some uneducated people said low offset wheels or setups will not harm the bearing(decrease lifespan) which is wrong.

Last edited by dalesalignment&brake; 11-11-2012 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:43 AM   #20
alcoolaid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hi-revs View Post
How reliable are the eBay spacers? Lol. I dont want it to crap out on me.
Can someone with experience with eBay ones send me a link to a reliable set?

How many mm's should I get to get my oem wheels to sit flush? 15mm all around?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hi-revs View Post
So what's the deal with spacers?
Good or bad?

I'm sstarting to have a feeling that spacers fall into the bov category. -not good nor bad. Personal preference I'm assuming?
The fact that it ain't great. But the harm done is so minimal that it's upto personal preference.

Would that be fair to say?
Just run them. 25mm will look flush and won't rub. 35mm if you wanna be hellaflush w/camber

Here is a link to 25mm spacers. Looks like they upped the price to $75 shipped for a pair. They also sell 35mm for I think $89 shipped. Again price is up but still much cheaper than other brands.

And I can tell you they won't crap out. I have them on all winter. Up and down the local mountains, all wheel launches, drifts, and going off road. Took them off in the spring and no issues. Hubcentric too! If you do buy them, re-torque the wheel nuts about 100km later as the bolts stretch a bit and dropped from 85ft lbs to around 70ish. Good luck!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HUBCENTRIC-B...d3e5ff&vxp=mtr

disclaimer: not responsible for anything if your experience is not as i just described.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoolaid

Just run them. 25mm will look flush and won't rub. 35mm if you wanna be hellaflush w/camber

Here is a link to 25mm spacers. Looks like they upped the price to $75 shipped for a pair. They also sell 35mm for I think $89 shipped. Again price is up but still much cheaper than other brands.

And I can tell you they won't crap out. I have them on all winter. Up and down the local mountains, all wheel launches, drifts, and going off road. Took them off in the spring and no issues. Hubcentric too! If you do buy them, re-torque the wheel nuts about 100km later as the bolts stretch a bit and dropped from 85ft lbs to around 70ish. Good luck!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HUBCENTRIC-B...d3e5ff&vxp=mtr

disclaimer: not responsible for anything if your experience is not as i just described.
Nice disclaimer.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:40 AM   #22
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from the engineering point of view, spacers or adapters might have slight negative effect (MIGHT) but in real, I know people using them for ages with no issues at all even they do track their cars but again the less spacers thickness, the less problems and less wears.

It is a debate that never ends like the BOV and CAI subjects.

Last edited by Bov_Rider; 11-11-2012 at 03:47 AM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIGGYGV8 View Post
Let's just say even dropping a 10mm reputable JDM brand from a height of 5ft or so cracked it (not me who did it).

I wouldn't trust my (eventual) baller wheels to that.
sorry, how's this relevant to running spacers?
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowguy

sorry, how's this relevant to running spacers?
Did I hurt your $200 spacer's feelings with my intarweb patois or something?

All I meant was after seeing that, you need not even talk about bearing damage and what have you. They can be fractured with such a small impact, they simply don't belong on any car that turns IMO.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:54 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIGGYGV8 View Post
Did I hurt your $200 spacer's feelings with my intarweb patois or something?

All I meant was after seeing that, you need not even talk about bearing damage and what have you. They can be fractured with such a small impact, they simply don't belong on any car that turns IMO.
What are your thoughts on plastic hubrings?

I hope you know where I'm going with this.
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