CJ5 Wheel Spacers - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-24-2020, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
cj5chic
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CJ5 Wheel Spacers

Thinking about wheel spacers for the CJ5.
Are they safe?
Spidertrax 1.25" or Rugged Ridge 1.5"?
What's the difference between Hub Centric and Lug Centric?
Rear only or front and rear?

Current tire size is 31x10.5x15
No lift


1980 CJ5, T176, Dana 30, Dana 300, mostly original
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-24-2020, 01:43 PM
Wabatuckian
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In my opinion only, wheel spacers put too much stress on the bearings.

Were I doing it, I'd swap wide track axles from a later CJ or a YJ.

Josh
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-24-2020, 06:14 PM
80cj
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I wouldn't swap in YJ axles into a CJ. That would be a Dana 35 rear. YJ front would be a driver side drop HP D30.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-24-2020, 09:17 PM
oldschool74cj5
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i have run the 1-1/2 spacers as have also run a rim that has a better offset to where i didnt need a spacer. personally i like running a rim that has the offset to put the wheel out a little wider. then there is one less part to fail. if you are going to run a spacer i would use the spidertrax. there made in the usa and i bet the quality is alot better. the rugged ridge i just a name that omix uses to market some of there parts. as for the bearings i have never had a problem. but i clean and re-grease every year and use the factory manual for the specs. part of that is there in water quite a bit.

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post #5 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 02:30 AM
BagusJeep
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I have had wheelspacers that the PO put on Bagusjeep for MANY years, they are still on there and no problems to date except when I forgot to tighten the bolts.

Of course having a greater offset on the wheel would be an option, but it is what it is.

I run 31" x 10.5 x 15" tyres on stock axles, much like yourself.

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post #6 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 02:33 AM
whodatschrome
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Wheel spacers are safe, but it's just a bad idea to use them because they will cause accelerated wear on your wheel bearings, spindles, hubs. They can also cause some weird steering issues as well.

Hub centric is when the hub centers the wheel to the face of the hub (not the lug nuts). Lug centric is when the lug nuts centers the wheel to the face of the hub (not a centering hub ring).

With a narrow track CJ5 that has zero lift and 31" tires, i wouldn't think there would be any reason whatsoever to install wheel spacers. It just sounds like a bad idea. Is it an aesthetics thing that you're after?...because if so, to each their own. But I'm out on the idea of the use of spacers as an "upgrade" or "improvement" to the functionality of your CJ specifically.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 03:29 AM
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My wheel bearings, spindles and hubs are fine after many years. I had it apart this week and it all looks good.

That is probably because it sits stock apart from 31" tyres. Add on a big lift and tyres and it will wear faster.

What it does do is allow a much wider stance, which is not because it looks good but because it widens the base of support under the centre of gravity. Theoretically you could manage steeper side slopes, I have never been so close to the limits on side slopes that it has made that difference, but maybe one day I will. It also feels more planted on road and trail

of course you then need to widen the fender flares to keep from throwing rocks up, though i should add some mud flaps.
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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
1951 Willys CJ3A/MB/M38 - Little Willy
1995 Cherokee 4.0 - CHEROKEE
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post #8 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 05:25 AM
Wabatuckian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80cj View Post
I wouldn't swap in YJ axles into a CJ. That would be a Dana 35 rear. YJ front would be a driver side drop HP D30.
I'v seen it done.

But, wasn't the Dana 35 rear only with the 4cyl? I thought they went to the Dana 44 for the I6..? It's been years since I did CJs.

Josh
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabatuckian View Post
I'v seen it done.

But, wasn't the Dana 35 rear only with the 4cyl? I thought they went to the Dana 44 for the I6..? It's been years since I did CJs.

Josh
No YJ ever came with a D44. Maybe Canadian ones (rumor) but not U.S.vehicles.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 02:46 PM
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As far as I know, all YJ has the D35. All are driver drop, you'd have to change or flip transfer case - not worth it for a D30.

I have had Spidertrax on my DD/weekend warrior for at least 3 years. Only had 1 issue, and that was self imposed - always use good RED Loctite on the hub studs and check torque.

I ran them on my NT axles for the added stability, then now on the swapped-in WT axles to clear 33s.

Only bearing issues were failed seals from the silica sand suspended in the water of the local offroad park's trails, nothing from overloaded from offset.

Offset wheels will have same effects as spacers. Only difference is expense of new wheels vs the "double the number of lug nuts" of spacers.

Rick

1978 CJ5 5.0HO/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass body, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy


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post #11 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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My reason for possibly wanting wheel spacers is to widen up the stance for better center of gravity and handling. Right now it always feels like my Jeep is going to flip over on every corner just running around town. And then there's freeway driving which totally scares the crap out of me in a CJ5. Wouldn't a little wider stance help with that as well? And no I don't drive crazy or at too high a speed. Don't think I've ever had it over 65mph. The cost of offset wheels seems expensive and then of course there's the extra space the old wheels would be taking up in the garage.
For now I'm thinking of only adding them to the rear. What would the pros and cons be of doing that?
Spidertrax seems the logical choose over Rugged Ridge.

1980 CJ5, T176, Dana 30, Dana 300, mostly original
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80cj View Post
No YJ ever came with a D44. Maybe Canadian ones (rumor) but not U.S.vehicles.
Interesting, thanks.

Josh
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-26-2020, 06:35 AM
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I doubt that a 2.5" wider stance will improve what you say happens while driving. 65 MPH is the max speed I'm comfortable driving on limited access highways--never had it on the interstate. What you experience in town may be from a tired suspension. Have it checked. If it is original you may have flat or broken springs and weak shocks. If it is all original all the things that work together to make it turn safely could need replacing. A suspension should be repaired before it breaks.
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-26-2020, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bob4703 View Post
I doubt that a 2.5" wider stance will improve what you say happens while driving. 65 MPH is the max speed I'm comfortable driving on limited access highways--never had it on the interstate. What you experience in town may be from a tired suspension. Have it checked. If it is original you may have flat or broken springs and weak shocks. If it is all original all the things that work together to make it turn safely could need replacing. A suspension should be repaired before it breaks.
My CJ5 scared me on the interstate the once or twice I did it. Plenty of power but squirrely.

I was really never comfortable with taking it much over 50.

Josh
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-26-2020, 09:24 AM
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Spacers definitely improved the handling of my CJ. I put 1.5" Spidertrax all the way around on my '81. The additional width allows the tires to track in the normal grooves in the roads, instead of wandering from one groove to the next. I can comfortably drive my CJ at 80 mph with my hand casually draped over the steering wheel. It's not scary at all.

Matt
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