Pros and Cons of Wheel Spacers - Maxima Forums

Advanced Suspension, Chassis, and Braking Talk about suspension geometry, advanced handling/chassis setup, custom brakes, etc. NOT your basic brake pads and "best drop" Information.

Pros and Cons of Wheel Spacers

Old 12-28-2008, 01:15 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 63
Pros and Cons of Wheel Spacers

Having searched this forum, I was unable to find any thread that really dealt with this issue.

Obviously, spacers are good for looks (i.e. flush fitment). The question is, how much do spacers affect:
1. Handling? Does a wider stance really make a difference?
2. Wear? Are suspension components like bearings and lug studs worn out more quickly?

I did not mention any specific spacer size because I feel that the effects of 5mm spacers vs 25mm spacers should also be discussed.

Discuss.
muravei2 is offline  
Old 12-28-2008, 03:52 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
iTrader: (10)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 9,107
Wider stance actually does make a slight difference. In the front it will decrease wheel rates and roll rates (softer feeling suspension), but not by a significant amount. In the rear it won't decrease roll rates but it will decrease individual wheel rates, so if you hit a bump on one side it will soak it up a bit better.

None of this is anything you will notice though.

Spacers will increase scrub radius, which means that your steering wheel will recenter itself more and will be harder to turn (especially if you're stopped and on the brakes). This is something I definitely noticed going from stock wheels to +35s. Depends on the offset of the wheels and size of the spacer.

They will also increase wear on wheel bearings, something like a 5mm will be unnoticeable but try a 25mm and you may notice a difference. With the A33 wheel bearing issues I've heard about this may be a setback, but wheel bearings go out so infrequently as it is I wouldn't worry about it with an A32.

Finally there are safety issues, which are the main concern. Some shops will flat out turn you away if you have spacers. Extended lugs, lug pattern converting spacers etc are all rather risky, some people argue that it's negligible and some argue otherwise. I personally have never heard of a story of something happening because of a spacer but that's not to say that it won't.
MorpheusZero is offline  
Old 12-28-2008, 09:59 PM
  #3  
Offset Is Everything.
iTrader: (23)
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 9,427
+1
MrDicks95SE is offline  
Old 12-28-2008, 10:03 PM
  #4  
Go BUCKS!!!
iTrader: (10)
 
SEmy2K2go's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Johnstown, OH-IO
Posts: 9,564
My rear wheel fitment looks much better. No negatives so far in nearly 2 years.
SEmy2K2go is offline  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:27 AM
  #5  
STFU n00b!
iTrader: (44)
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Houston
Posts: 18,095
You also have to consider what wheels you're talking about before you can start calculating much of anything.. They're all going to be a ratio of before/after as compared to the stock setup.

Adding a 10mm spacer to a +45mm wheel puts the overall suspension forces and track width the same as the same wheel in +35mm. You do however have more stress on the wheel studs since the forces are moved there. But as far as the wheel bearings and suspension are concerned, it doesn't care whether you have a +45 w/ 10mm spacer or a +35 wheel.


BUT...
If you have a +45 wheel and put a 25mm spacer on it for a +20mm overall spacing, you will be changing the aspects mentioned above.


So to make statements based on what would happen with/without a spacer depends on exactly which spacer and wheel combo you have as compared to the stock setup.

Also note that alignment settings (mainly camber) and tire width/aspect ratio have a lot to do with the forces seen on the wheel bearings and studs. running lots of camber really puts stresses on the studs that weren't there with 0 camber.

Last edited by Matt93SE; 12-29-2008 at 09:30 AM.
Matt93SE is offline  
Old 01-28-2009, 08:09 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leicester, Ma
Posts: 1,125
ok heres a question to ponder. i have 15 mm spacers in there rear with stock gle rims. Looks much better. The tire is maybe 2MM away from the rolled part of the fender. I do scrub if i hit deep bumps and such that compress the susp. I have sprint springs on the car so it is lowered about 2 inches all around. Before i re centered the rear (which i didn't notice a visual diff afterward) the rear felt real tight, Cornered real nice but was stiff if i hit cracks and bumps in the road. I added the wheel spacers after the re centering. After the recenter the susp soaked up the bumps better but still noticeably stiffer than stock. Since i have the recenter and spacers the rearend seems to "wallow" if i hit uneven pavement, meaning road work done and only one side of the car hits it while the other side is on orig pavement. I didn't notice this wallow before. So my question is did the recenter make this wallow or is it the symptom of the spacers. Technically Right now the rear track is a bit over 1 inch wider than stock. i don't think this would make a diff but I'm not sure.

also forgot to add. I have a progress rsb. I added this before i did the recentering or spacers. Only mod was the sprints and rsb at the time. Once the rsb was added the car felt awesome. Soaked up bumps better, cornered like a dream.. i loved it. Since i recenterd and put on spacers if feels like the rear has the same feeling it had before the rsb was added. Ive checked and yes the sway bar is still on nice and tight.

Last edited by jeff5347; 01-28-2009 at 08:15 PM.
jeff5347 is offline  
Old 01-28-2009, 08:43 PM
  #7  
Bacon Lover
iTrader: (34)
 
Tatanko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 7,672
I'm glad the OP started this thread. I've been considering making this exact thread for about a week now, as I've been wondering the same thing. I'm liking what I see so far. Sounds like if I decide to add some *small* spacers to the rear alone that I shouldn't really see any ill effects from it.

I have one question that has not yet been asked, though: what, if any, negatives would result from spacers in the rear only? I'm talking 15mm or less. Would this have any effect on handling, steering, etc.? I mean, you would have two different sized tracks as a result, right? For some reason I imagine this having a bigger impact on a FWD car, as well, if it's noticeable.

jeff5347, do you have any before/after pics of your car with the spacers? I'm having a hard time figuring out how big of spacers I might want to get because it's difficult for me to imagine how much of a difference there would be visually between, say, 5mm and 10mm.
Tatanko is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 04:38 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leicester, Ma
Posts: 1,125
i dont unfortunately. what i did was take a ruler and measured the tire wall to the inner lip of the fender. i used this site to turn inches to mm http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/in...ion-d_751.html

measure the distance and convert to mm and then round down a bit so you dont get too big of a spacer. If you do then you run into having to roll fenders and such

im just wondering if anyone else has had the problem i have had with the recentering. Did the spacers make anyone elses car handle diff.. better, worse..?
jeff5347 is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:56 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leicester, Ma
Posts: 1,125
I went outside and got some pics for you. i dont have the beforess and the car is covered wit hice but you should get and idea.









jeff5347 is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 06:25 AM
  #10  
Kevlo for President
iTrader: (36)
 
Kevlo911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Lake Orion, MI
Posts: 35,779
If you guys buy some spacers, make sure they are hub and stud centric. I had mine custom made and they are amazing. Old ones would make my steering vibrate.

I used to have comparison pics, as soon as I can find I will post um up.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/WHEEL...ehicleQ5fParts

I got mine from them. I have the 5mm spacers.
Kevlo911 is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 06:54 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leicester, Ma
Posts: 1,125
wow those look really nice. and you can do what ever car you need. Look very good and at a good price
jeff5347 is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 10:31 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
iTrader: (19)
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Amherst, MA
Posts: 1,914
Nice link, although I would be skeptical on ordering anything over 10mm without extended studs or the hub "lip" for your wheel to adapt to. Either way, they are hub centric.
OOmaxSE is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:01 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cininnati, OH
Posts: 1,401
Interesting I have 15mm spacers like jeff5347 on stock SE wheels and I my tires arent as close to being flush. When I was running 20mm they were tho.
PulsarGTS is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 06:06 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leicester, Ma
Posts: 1,125
Originally Posted by PulsarGTS View Post
Interesting I have 15mm spacers like jeff5347 on stock SE wheels and I my tires arent as close to being flush. When I was running 20mm they were tho.
i wouldnt say mine are flush, somewhat close to it. i think if it was any closer it would rub all the time
jeff5347 is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 09:04 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
iTrader: (33)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southbridge,Mass
Posts: 705
scarface4522 is offline  
Old 01-29-2009, 09:39 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cininnati, OH
Posts: 1,401
Originally Posted by scarface4522 View Post

I using a similar style spacer from Ichiba on the rear. No shakes or vibrations. After all the problems I've had with taking out and putting in studs I much prefer the bolt on ones.
PulsarGTS is offline  
Old 01-30-2009, 06:30 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
iTrader: (18)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 2,867
I had non hub centric on for awhile in the front just so i could drive my car when i did my bbk, totally overshot the measurement. My god it had some mad vibration at highway speeds, it looked awesome, but it was a little scary. I have the nismo 60mm studs, and 15mm spacer in the front with my winter setup, no vibrations at all. Make sure it is hub centric though, if it isnt, you can and will get a vibration, no matter how you try center it.

The biggest problem i had with non hub centric spacers, is when i braked hard, the spacer would slide forward and hit my caliper and make this terrible noise for like 5 seconds then go away, i never knew what it was till i saw the damage on one of the calipers!
96blkonblkse is offline  
Old 08-10-2009, 05:16 PM
  #18  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 57
im getting 25mm spacers do i need tuner lug nuts?
doggy style is offline  
Old 08-12-2009, 08:17 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,144
So on stock SE rims for 2001 Maxima what would be the best spacer size (5mm front 15mm rear) for looks without endangering wheel bearing life? I would like the rears to look flush but I do not want to role the fender.
Luquire is offline  
Old 08-12-2009, 04:59 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cininnati, OH
Posts: 1,401
I'd stick with 15mm.
PulsarGTS is offline  
Old 08-19-2009, 09:51 AM
  #21  
Supporting Maxima.org Member
iTrader: (5)
 
nishfish871's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,081
with a 15mm do you need the bolt extenders?
nishfish871 is offline  
Old 08-19-2009, 02:06 PM
  #22  
Newbie - Just Registered
iTrader: (7)
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NY'er in NoVA
Posts: 5
Yes, you would need the extended studs. IIRC 10mm was the biggest spacer we could use without the extended studs. However, it's recommended that with any spacer you should use extended studs.
DarkOne318 is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 05:48 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pawtucket, RI
Posts: 3,362
arent most 15+mm designed to bolt up to stock studs? and then offer another set of studs for the wheels? why would extended studs be needed?
anomaly117 is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 06:08 PM
  #24  
Former Vendor
iTrader: (42)
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,415
you can get 15mm bolt-on but you have to have clearance on the hub of your wheels. i don't think stockers do.

anything 5mm+ non-bolt-on should use extended studs.
BLACKonBLACK98 is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:06 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cininnati, OH
Posts: 1,401
Originally Posted by BLACKonBLACK98 View Post
you can get 15mm bolt-on but you have to have clearance on the hub of your wheels. i don't think stockers do.

anything 5mm+ non-bolt-on should use extended studs.
Stock 5.5 SE wheels atleast do indeed have room for bolt on spacers.
PulsarGTS is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:14 PM
  #26  
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pawtucket, RI
Posts: 3,362
Originally Posted by PulsarGTS View Post
Stock 5.5 SE wheels atleast do indeed have room for bolt on spacers.
should be the same as mine then
anomaly117 is offline  
Old 02-02-2010, 10:34 PM
  #27  
Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Western Mass
Posts: 101
So I've been searching around for a while now about the right size spacers for my rear wheels cause they look terrible without anything and this thread was the closest i found. Ive got an 02 se with the 07 08 rims which i believe are 225 45 18 with tokico blue shocks and maxspeed springs which drop it about 1.4 in the front and 1.3 in the back. How big of a spacer should i get without having to roll the fenders and clear of any rubbing?? Any direction would be really helpful
jonnypax09 is offline  
Old 02-05-2010, 10:11 AM
  #28  
Supporting Maxima.org Member
iTrader: (18)
 
roggeezy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 1,151
^get a ruler.
roggeezy is offline  
Old 06-04-2010, 06:16 AM
  #29  
Senior Member
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 967
Wider Front setup?

Not to bump an old thread needlessly but there isn't much traffic in this sub-forum and I think my question pertains:

Is there any advantage to having a wider front on a FWD car by using spacers on the front only? I would think that having a wider front rather than a rear would give you less under-steer and better handling ability, whereas having spacers in the rear would result in the car's rear be harder to rotate (under-steer).
ampire is offline  
Old 06-04-2010, 07:02 AM
  #30  
Senior Member
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,068
From what I've read, reducing the rear track is a trick car manufacturers use to INCREASE under steer because most people freak out and panic when the back starts to come around. I've actually contemplated adding 5mm on each side of the rear to decrease under steer. I swear that I read it on farnorthracing.com, but alas, I can't find it now.

I've noticed this on larger vehicles like ford vans, probably because it is just more pronounced. Looks like the rear track is less than the front. After checking, the rear is THREE INCHES narrower than the front. The fourth gen is about 3/4 of an inch wider in the front.

If I can dig up where I read that, I'll post it up.

EDIT: Well I couldn't find what I read, but found this discussion instead. It's kind of technical, but that's how we like it, right? There seems to be empirical evidence saying that when you increase the rear track width, you also increase oversteer (decrease understeer).

Last edited by ajm8127; 06-04-2010 at 08:18 AM.
ajm8127 is offline  
Old 06-19-2012, 01:10 PM
  #31  
Newbie - Just Registered
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
Spacer mm question

Hey guys, i got a 07 maxima SL, with stock rims and tires 225/55/17 and would like to know what's the best mm spacer for it, so i don't have to roll the fender... thanks.
Homeboy703 is offline  
Old 06-19-2012, 07:02 PM
  #32  
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pawtucket, RI
Posts: 3,362
Originally Posted by Homeboy703 View Post
Hey guys, i got a 07 maxima SL, with stock rims and tires 225/55/17 and would like to know what's the best mm spacer for it, so i don't have to roll the fender... thanks.
damn dinosaur dig up
anomaly117 is offline  
Old 06-19-2012, 07:50 PM
  #33  
Senior Member
iTrader: (35)
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: I-75 4th_Laud
Posts: 7,396
Originally Posted by Homeboy703 View Post
Hey guys, i got a 07 maxima SL, with stock rims and tires 225/55/17 and would like to know what's the best mm spacer for it, so i don't have to roll the fender... thanks.
Get a measuring tape and do some measuring. My guess off the top of my head is 20mm.But best way to know for sure is to your own calculations.
Snypa is offline  
Old 07-08-2012, 10:23 PM
  #34  
Senior Member
iTrader: (10)
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Queens New york
Posts: 1,371
The only con i know of is that my friend that works for nissan told me, when you run big spacers 25mm and up, it puts a lot of stress on the wheel bearings and causes them to go bad faster.
clintb3astwood is offline  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:20 PM
  #35  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Silver Spring MD
Posts: 55
I got a 97max with Infiniti rims staggered. The tires are 235/45/17. What will be the recommended spacer size.
get_max_out is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 01:35 PM
  #36  
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 3,293
measure and find out for yourself. Staggered you say?
ShocknAwe is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 01:48 PM
  #37  
dot dot dot ...
iTrader: (22)
 
NmexMAX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 34,593
Originally Posted by get_max_out View Post
I got a 97max with Infiniti rims staggered. The tires are 235/45/17. What will be the recommended spacer size.
Infiniti covers a broad range of vehicles, it be nice to actually know vehivle your wheels cam from are.

Width and offset help too.
NmexMAX is offline  
Old 06-15-2013, 08:39 PM
  #38  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,432
What size do you guys use on stock 01 se 17in 225/50 wheels? front looks okay but rears are in big time just wondering what u guys use on rears.
TravisCadello is offline  
Old 06-15-2013, 09:52 PM
  #39  
Senior Member
iTrader: (17)
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: WA
Posts: 11,419
there is a 10mm difference in the rears...if you get 10mm in the rears only it will make them stick out just as much as the fronts.
Amerikaner83 is offline  
Old 06-19-2013, 11:06 PM
  #40  
Chassis Freak
iTrader: (17)
 
VQuick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Portland, Ore.
Posts: 4,602
It's actually more like a 12.5 mm difference. I can't remember the exact number. I went with 15 mm spacers for rear and it looks great. Ended up rolling my rear fenders too; were hitting the tire on really big bumps.
VQuick is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Pros and Cons of Wheel Spacers


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.