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Old 10-12-2005, 5:34 PM   #1
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Are wheel spacers still frowned upon?

I've been searching through the archives and now have the idea that wheel spacers were frowned upon at one point because they add additional stress to the wheel studs, cause premature wearing of wheel bearings, and may cause some vibrations.

This info was gathered from posts that were mostly over 1 year old. I've been reading through the archives and have noticed that, depending on the topic, opinions seem to change over time so I thought I'd get some comments before I order my wheels tomorrow.

I want Volk GT-C 18x8 with the biggest lip possible and an offset that is as close to stock as possible because I plan on running 235/40-18 and dropping about 1.5"/corner with TeinSS.

I know many of you are running an offset in the low +40's (or even +40) with an 18" wheel and 235 tires. I also know that I've read many posts where no rubbing occurs then posts later on from the same people mentioning stuff like there is rubbing when turning all the way to one side, or turning while going over a dip, or while having 4 people in the car, etc. My point is, I don't want to push the limits of offset and/or drop to the point where I'm rubbing now and then. I never want to rub if I can avoid it by using a less drastic offset and drop.

The wheel I really want is +47 55mm lip but it is a Type Low (column C), meaning there is not much room for brake calipers or hub ring clearanrces. It has been suggested that if the brakes don't fit, I can simply slap on a 5mm wheel spacer to save the day.

Well, I can't find a hubcentric wheel spacer. I called H&R and they said the smallest size they have for the TSX is 15mm. I spoke with the guy who will be installing my TeinSS and he said he can build a spacer if I need it but he can't do hubcentric for something that thin. I found some generic 3mm (I'd go with 3mm if that's all I needed to clear the brakes) and 5mm spacers on eBay but they are not hubcentric.

I'm assuming I'll need to use the hubcentric ring that Volk sends (I'm also assuming they send one ). I'm not sure if I can still use it if I'm also using a wheel spacer. Does anyone know if it's ok to use the hubcentric ring allow with a spacer?

Assuming a 3mm or 5mm (I won't go any higher because 5mm already puts me at a +42 offset, lower than I want to be if I can help it) will be enough for the wheels to clear the brakes, do I still need to be worried about those negative effects of wheel spacers that I mentioned above? I mean, is the size spacer I'll be using big enough to warrant those concerns?

If it's still considered not proper to use a wheel spacer, I'll just go with a wheel from the Type Med column B with is 18x8 +50 with the smaller 42mm lip.

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2005, 5:57 PM   #2
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I never recommend wheel spacer's, its a poor solution for a self inflicted problem. For the problems I have seen, I refuse to use them on customer's vehicle's and would advice strongly in getting wheels that fit the vehicle properly.

Sure it may work, but then again you are at a high risk of having problems both short and long term.
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Old 10-12-2005, 6:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireguy
I never recommend wheel spacer's, its a poor solution for a self inflicted problem. For the problems I have seen, I refuse to use them on customer's vehicle's and would advice strongly in getting wheels that fit the vehicle properly.

Sure it may work, but then again you are at a high risk of having problems both short and long term.
Fair enough.

I'm assuming you're referring to any size wheel spacer. The reason I mention that is because in other threads some mentioned that small spacers in the 3mm-5mm range aren't that bad. I had a feeling that any size spacer may cause unpleasant side effects and it sounds like you agree.

My luck 5mm wouldn't be enough to correct the problem (if there is a problem) anyway.
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Old 10-12-2005, 8:26 PM   #4
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As a general rule, I wouldn't want a spacer either.

I do have a friend who bought a set of JDM Integra Type R rims for his RSX-S; they're a 60 offset for a car that usually runs 45, so they'd be way inboard. He's been running 10mm spacers for over a year now; about 30,000 miles; no vibrations, no tire wear issues, no alignment problems, so it's fair to say that it won't automatically cause problems.

Quote:
The wheel I really want is +47 55mm lip but it is a Type Low (column C), meaning there is not much room for brake calipers or hub ring clearanrces. It has been suggested that if the brakes don't fit, I can simply slap on a 5mm wheel spacer to save the day.
People with rubbing issues generally are ultra slammed (2.5" +) or are running low offsets, like 40-43. Internal clearance issues are nonexistent; AlterZgo is running 51 offset 18X8 with 235/40/18s and has no internal (or external for that matter) clearance problems lowered about 1.5", which is where you said you'd like to be....

Even slammed you can get away with a lower offset if you run a 225/40/18 instead......so unless you plan a big brake kit, you should be okay. I know the King Motorsports car with the 55 offset 18x7.5 Mugen NRs and the Stoptech BBK had to run 10mm spacers due to caliper clearance.
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:43 AM   #5
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I am running 10mm spacers on the rears of my TSX. No problems at all. Yes, hub ring life span will be reduced. Say, from 150000 miles to maybe 130000, but I wont be using the car at that time though.
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Old 10-13-2005, 7:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LannyM
As a general rule, I wouldn't want a spacer either.

I do have a friend who bought a set of JDM Integra Type R rims for his RSX-S; they're a 60 offset for a car that usually runs 45, so they'd be way inboard. He's been running 10mm spacers for over a year now; about 30,000 miles; no vibrations, no tire wear issues, no alignment problems, so it's fair to say that it won't automatically cause problems.
Ahh, I was assuming the side effects of using spacers was practically guaranteed to happen. It sounds like I was taking those warnings a bit too literally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LannyM
People with rubbing issues generally are ultra slammed (2.5" +) or are running low offsets, like 40-43. Internal clearance issues are nonexistent; AlterZgo is running 51 offset 18X8 with 235/40/18s and has no internal (or external for that matter) clearance problems lowered about 1.5", which is where you said you'd like to be....
Yep, I want to be just about where he's at with the drop. I did remember he was at +51 so I was hoping to stay in that range as well. I was worried that if the +47 wheels didn't fit, then I'd have to use the 5mm spacer and drop down into the possible danger zone of +42. I just wasn't sure if the 1.5" drop would be low enough to make that low offset an issue or not and didn't want to find out the hard way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LannyM
Even slammed you can get away with a lower offset if you run a 225/40/18 instead......so unless you plan a big brake kit, you should be okay. I know the King Motorsports car with the 55 offset 18x7.5 Mugen NRs and the Stoptech BBK had to run 10mm spacers due to caliper clearance.
I was hoping to say with the 235 tires since it's so close to stock diameter, but it's a good point that reducing tire size is an option as well.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 10-13-2005, 7:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curik_euro
I am running 10mm spacers on the rears of my TSX. No problems at all. Yes, hub ring life span will be reduced. Say, from 150000 miles to maybe 130000, but I wont be using the car at that time though.
Oh man, it sounds like I really read too deeply into the possible damage of spacers. I don't plan on driving this car into the ground like I did with my last car, so I can certainly live with this extra wear.

So you were able to run hubcentric rings with a wheel spacer with no problems?

Did you need to get longer lug studs to accomodate the 10mm spacer?

I was assuming I'd need spacers in the front if the new wheels can't clear the brakes because it looks tight in there now with the stock wheels. Why did you need to do only the back wheels? Did you go with big brakes or did you buy some aftermarket rims that simply didn't clear?

Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2005, 8:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curik_euro
I am running 10mm spacers on the rears of my TSX. No problems at all. Yes, hub ring life span will be reduced. Say, from 150000 miles to maybe 130000, but I wont be using the car at that time though.
The added wear to suspension components is a small part of the damage spacers can, and do cause. When you see studs snap more often then not, that is reason enough for me to say its a big deal. Sure some folks use them with no problems, but I see an alarmingly large percentage of them cause big short term problems and to me its unacceptable.
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:23 AM   #9
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The worst thing about a non-hubcentric wheel spacer to me, would be the possibility of a lot of added vibration from the wheels. Not worth it IMO. For something like a 4mm spacer, even though they can have problems, I would think something that low is the very least likely to cause damage.
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Old 10-13-2005, 6:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooze48
Oh man, it sounds like I really read too deeply into the possible damage of spacers. I don't plan on driving this car into the ground like I did with my last car, so I can certainly live with this extra wear.

So you were able to run hubcentric rings with a wheel spacer with no problems?

Did you need to get longer lug studs to accomodate the 10mm spacer?

I was assuming I'd need spacers in the front if the new wheels can't clear the brakes because it looks tight in there now with the stock wheels. Why did you need to do only the back wheels? Did you go with big brakes or did you buy some aftermarket rims that simply didn't clear?

Thanks!
TO accomodate the 10 mm spacers, longer wheel studs HAVE to be used. My mechanic replaced them with some other studs, maybe from the RDX. They are the same except longer. The only reason for using these spacers are since the offset of my rims are too big and I am running 9.5". It will be fine if u dont use the car for racing purposes or anything that will stress the car too much, such as drifting. But again, 10mm is not that significant since track cars use like 25mm or above. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-2005, 6:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xizor
The worst thing about a non-hubcentric wheel spacer to me, would be the possibility of a lot of added vibration from the wheels. Not worth it IMO. For something like a 4mm spacer, even though they can have problems, I would think something that low is the very least likely to cause damage.
I think my spacer is hubcentric since they fit exactly in the center. Since it is manufactured from aluminium, therefore its weight is VERY low compared to the other rotating component. As a result even if there is unavoidable eccentricity in its position with respect to the center of the hub, the vibration caused by it will not noticable at all. I presonally test the TSX at 80 and turn the radio off and make sure the cabin was as quiet as possible. I found out that everything was normal, no noise, nor vibration from the rear wheels.
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Old 10-26-2005, 7:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curik_euro
I think my spacer is hubcentric since they fit exactly in the center. Since it is manufactured from aluminium, therefore its weight is VERY low compared to the other rotating component. As a result even if there is unavoidable eccentricity in its position with respect to the center of the hub, the vibration caused by it will not noticable at all. I presonally test the TSX at 80 and turn the radio off and make sure the cabin was as quiet as possible. I found out that everything was normal, no noise, nor vibration from the rear wheels.

You mentioned that you have only 2 spacers installed. Are they used in the front or rear of the car? I'm thinking about putting 2 spacers in the rear of my car on top of the 18x7.5 45mm offset wheels. So the rear wheels will look more "flush". Spacers in the rear wheels on a FWD should be less prone to problems (since more weight and the drive axel are all in the front) and won't increase the unsprung weight correct? My other question is, how does the "wider" stance in the rear affect the overall handling/neutrality on the FWD TSX???

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Old 10-26-2005, 9:32 PM   #13
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So, you're saying that the reason you are considering a spacer is because of brake clearance???
I think you are thinking way over your head here.
Consider whether or not you're going to be installing a BBK or not. If not, I wouldn't even worry about calipers clearance.
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Old 10-27-2005, 9:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxboost
So, you're saying that the reason you are considering a spacer is because of brake clearance???
I think you are thinking way over your head here.
Consider whether or not you're going to be installing a BBK or not. If not, I wouldn't even worry about calipers clearance.
If this question is directed towards me, the answer is yes.

BTW, why is it that people don't ALWAYS quote who they are responding too? It's quick and easy to do.

I'm not sure what you mean by "thinking over my head" but if you really mean I'm worrying over nothing, maybe you're right and maybe you're not. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Volk GT-C's but the size (18x8) I want comes in 3 types (High, Mid, and Low). There is a warning on Rays size guide webpage for the Type Low (offset C column) wheel I want that states:
The OFFSET C in the size table has little brake caliper and hub ring clearances, please be very careful.
I called serveral places hoping someone had this size and style wheel in stock. No one has it as far as I can tell. I discussed fitment issues with each place I called and almost every place stated the Type Low wheel I want will not clear my stock brakes.

The place I found with the best price also seemed to be the most knowledgable. He got in touch with a vold racing r&d guy who is "pretty sure" this wheel will clear the stock brakes.

I'm not sure how you can be so confident of the fitment, especially when the r&d guy for volk racing couldn't give 100% assurance, but it's a moot point now. The wheels I want are ordered. If they don't fit, I'll just order another set from the Type Mid column that I know for sure will fit even with a brembo bbk.
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Old 10-27-2005, 9:06 AM
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