Jeep Enthusiast Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife want's to have wheel spacers so our Jeep looks more rugged. I don't care to do it, but she wants me to find out what it takes to make it work. Can anyone recommend wheel spacers? Perhaps it's a bad idea because it might mess up the geometry of something or another. Please advise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
My wife want's to have wheel spacers so our Jeep looks more rugged. I don't care to do it, but she wants me to find out what it takes to make it work. Can anyone recommend wheel spacers? I can't :(. Perhaps it's a bad idea because it might mess up the geometry Mine handled better on roads after I took the spacers off. of something or another. Please advise. Happy wife - happy life :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,859 Posts
spacers and say stock size tire or close. The spacer moves the wheel off the hub say 1.25/1.5" assuming you can and not cause issues at full bump. What is does to geometry though is moves the Scrub Radius point. This will effect how it handles in turns. Many people do it and not seem to notice. But when you take them off they do sometimes. aggressive drivers will feel it right away. Now you can move the wheel out with a spacer and keep the SR stock. But to move say 1.5" of space to the out side means the tire will have to be a lot taller.

How do you measure SR. Its the point through the ball joints where it touches the earth. Your tire should be in say near center of that point not to one side or the other.

being off SR as well wears ball joints faster and some what unit bearings. Though the latter tends to last much longer. where say way off SR can do in a set of BJs in 20-40k.

Safety with them is all on the installer and avoid low end products here. That alloy should be aircraft quality in hardness. Personally i would get wheels with a bit more BS. Not sure in these suvs how much you have to play with and still be able to Cycle the axles with no issues.
 

·
Premium Member
2002 Jeep WJ Grand Cherokee
Joined
·
1,884 Posts
I can offer you my experience here. I put a set of Synergy 1.5" spacers on mine, but I have 265/70/16 tires on mine which are 1" taller and 3/4" wider than factory. With the steering wheel near hard over, the tires rubbed the front fender liners rather severely. Note I also have a 2.5" lift but frankly I think that matters little.

I can run these tires everywhere with no issues without spacers. The spacers simply increased the scrub radius too much and caused contact.

My take away is that if you have factory size tires you might get away with running spacers, others do it and say they have no issues. But larger tires will require trimming some plastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
I can offer you my experience here. I put a set of Synergy 1.5" spacers on mine, but I have 265/70/16 tires on mine which are 1" taller and 3/4" wider than factory. With the steering wheel near hard over, the tires rubbed the front fender liners rather severely. Note I also have a 2.5" lift but frankly I think that matters little.

I can run these tires everywhere with no issues without spacers. The spacers simply increased the scrub radius too much and caused contact.

My take away is that if you have factory size tires you might get away with running spacers, others do it and say they have no issues. But larger tires will require trimming some plastic.
My first WJ came to me with spacers on top of the springs, and wheel spacers.
I suspect the spring spacers did little more than balance out the spring sag.

The standard tyres did not rub on anything with 2" spacers behind the wheels.

Edited.

Wheel Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Tire Car
 

·
Premium Member
2002 Jeep WJ Grand Cherokee
Joined
·
1,884 Posts
My first WJ came to me with spacers on top of the springs.
I suspect the spacers did little more than balance out the spring sag.

The standard tyres did not rub on anything with 2" spaces behind the wheels.

View attachment 4133361
Unless I misunderstood the OP, those are not the kind of spacers we are talking about. Width, not height. Wheel spacers go on the wheels, not the springs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Increased wheel bearing load and wear. Increased steering component wear. More bump steer and probability of DW. There are plenty of reasons not. In some jurisdictions they are outlawed for safety reasons.

If you must tamper with the track width for looks then different wheel offset is the better method.

The only advice I have is don’t forget you have to live with your wife. We don’t.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
Increased wheel bearing load and wear. Increased steering component wear. More bump steer and probability of DW. There are plenty of reasons not. In some jurisdictions they are outlawed for safety reasons.

If you must tamper with the track width for looks then different wheel offset is the better method.

The only advice I have is don’t forget you have to live with your wife. We don’t.
Please will you explain why a different wheel offset is a better solution BD?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Please will you explain why a different wheel offset is a better solution BD?
Spacers create a new failure point and most are of third world manufacture. Instead of the OEM studs holding your wheel to the hub, those just hold the spacer, and leverage has been added. Outboard of that, a second set of bolts or studs now hold the wheel to the spacer.

There are better quality spacers that are expen$ive and I personally wouldn’t worry if those were on my vehicle. But the typical aluminum Chinese stuff, never.

A different offset wheel maintains the original design of the wheel to hub interface.

I’m just not a fan of the popular look of massive tire poke. A vehicle will perform best if the scrub radius is near factory spec.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
Spacers create a new failure point and most are of third world manufacture. Instead of the OEM studs holding your wheel to the hub, those just hold the spacer, and leverage has been added. Outboard of that, a second set of bolts or studs now hold the wheel to the spacer.

There are better quality spacers that are expen$ive and I personally wouldn’t worry if those were on my vehicle. But the typical aluminum Chinese stuff, never.

A different offset wheel maintains the original design of the wheel to hub interface.

I’m just not a fan of the popular look of massive tire poke. A vehicle will perform best if the scrub radius is near factory spec.
Thank you very much BD
 

·
Registered
2002 WJ 4.7
Joined
·
2,484 Posts
Spacers create a new failure point and most are of third world manufacture. Instead of the OEM studs holding your wheel to the hub, those just hold the spacer, and leverage has been added. Outboard of that, a second set of bolts or studs now hold the wheel to the spacer.
There are better quality spacers that are expen$ive and I personally wouldn’t worry if those were on my vehicle. But the typical aluminum Chinese stuff, never.
A different offset wheel maintains the original design of the wheel to hub interface.
I’m just not a fan of the popular look of massive tire poke. A vehicle will perform best if the scrub radius is near factory spec.
A good quality US made spacer like spidertrax is what he should get if he is set on spacers. They're both hub and lug centeric.

My wife want's to have wheel spacers so our Jeep looks more rugged. I don't care to do it, but she wants me to find out what it takes to make it work. Can anyone recommend wheel spacers? Perhaps it's a bad idea because it might mess up the geometry of something or another. Please advise.
I have a new set of 4 of above mentioned spacers if you're interested.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,181 Posts
I had a set of ebay spacers 1" wide, never used them do to the fact I had to trim the stock lugs lengths. They stood off the mounting flange taller than 1", ended up using Spidertrax 1.25". I don't like the tires poking outside the body either, I do like them right out to the body however, stock I think the WJ looks like it has axles too narrow. Lifted they look like they are going to tip over, pulling the tires out even to the top of the fender opening looks much better. Too much outboard offset will affect scrub radius and that can contribute to death wobble as well. I have a 3" lift on a long arm/short arm IRO setup with 265/70-17 tires on JK wheels and the 1.25" spacers with zero death wobble, I have pretty much stock feeling handling as far as steering is concerned.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,969 Posts
My wife want's to have wheel spacers so our Jeep looks more rugged. I don't care to do it, but she wants me to find out what it takes to make it work. Can anyone recommend wheel spacers? Perhaps it's a bad idea because it might mess up the geometry of something or another. Please advise.
I would not do for appearances - only to make a particular set-up work. Remember to use Loctite!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
I would not do for appearances - only to make a particular set-up work. Remember to use Loctite!
From my end of the microscope, Loctite's a can of worms.

  1. Loctite reduces friction between nut and lug so I will overtighten the nuts beyond their design torque if I tighten by the stated amount,
    1. Which means I will be over stressing the lug, & the wheel.
  2. When I come to undoing the nuts, I need a lot more torque to break the bond between nut an lug,
    1. Which means I will be taking the lug & the nut beyond their design stress again.
  3. Plus the lug and the wheel will be beyond their design stress both when the vehicle is moving and stationary.
 

·
Registered
2002 WJ 4.7
Joined
·
2,484 Posts
From my end of the microscope, Loctite's a can of worms.

  1. Loctite reduces friction between nut and lug so I will overtighten the nuts beyond their design torque if I tighten by the stated amount,
    1. Which means I will be over stressing the lug, & the wheel.
  2. When I come to undoing the nuts, I need a lot more torque to break the bond between nut an lug,
    1. Which means I will be taking the lug & the nut beyond their design stress again.
  3. Plus the lug and the wheel will be beyond their design stress both when the vehicle is moving and stationary.
Time to put my engineer hat on. TLDR don't worry about it, just torque to the minimum recommended value (85 ft-lbs) if your threads are lubricated.

You're not wrong, but there's a lot of things to take into account when torqueing hardware. - yeah, a can of worms.
Normally, a positive margin is built-into any design. In the aerospace industry, our recommended torque is usually around 80% of the yield strength of the material. If the spec says 85 ft-lbs, you can give it more without causing permanent damage, however doing this repeatedly MAY eventually cause fatigue failure. This is because fatigue damage occurs at stresses below the static stress limit of most metals. For wheel spacers, you're only doing this once or twice, and that is less damaging than not using loctite and having get loose over time, rust, or gall. It's difficult to pin down all of the factors at play into an equation to determine proper torque when the friction is modified by water, oils, other contaminants, surface finish, or natural lubricity of the metal (plated/coated steel and black oxide have different coefficients of friction). This is why margin is built in.

From the loctite FAQ site Frequently Asked Questions | Loctite:
When we apply threadlocker to a bolt, we tighten it by giving a tightening torque. The torque at which the nut can entirely be taken off is the breakloose torque. The main function of the threadlocker is to maintain the torque. It has been determined that over time, due to various factors like vibration, side sliding etc., there is a loss of upto 30% of the torque given to the parts. The goal is to select a threadlocker that would give you a breakaway value equivalent to 30% of the initial torque in order to maintain your torque over time. For eg: Let's say that a tightening torque of 10 Nm was given to the assembly. The breakaway torque (strength provided by the threadlocker) is 5 Nm. Now due to vibrations, there is a 3 Nm loss in tightening torque. So if you do not apply a threadlocker, your assembly tightened at 10 Nm will open at 7 Nm. Whereas, by applying a threadlocker, your assembly tightened at 10 Nm will have the total torque of (10+5) 15 Nm and even on 30% loss, it will open at 12 Nm, which is higher than your tightening torque. This is what is known as torque augmentation with LOCTITE threadlockers
That said, small hardware is much more sensitive to over-torqueing than the 1/2" studs were talking about here. Be very cautious about things like #10 screws. I personally use anti-seize on wheel studs but I torque them to the minimum recommended. Based on this post WJ Torque Specs - Complete List the wheel lug torque recommendation is 85-115 ft-lbs. With the anti-seize reducing the observed torque by 30% (estimated), that brings the theoretical torque to 110 ft-lbs if I torque it to 85 ft-lbs, which still lies below the max recommended.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top