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Do rear wheel spacers help handling?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by bigk, Sep 19, 2001.

  1. bigk

    bigk 1/2 ton status

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    Or do you guys just like the way they look? I kind of like having the tires tucked up under the fenders, but any improvement in handling is welcome. I've got a 14ff rear, and will probably never go over 38 inch tires. Probably.

    Karl
    Temporarily Unemployed Underwear Model
    87 3/4 ton
     
  2. tlarsw

    tlarsw 1/2 ton status

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    I had a set on my K10 prior to my full ton swap and didn't notice any handling improvements.

    I figure since I'm running 38s and have 10 inches of lift, that handling went out the window anyways. Also the fact that I'm not running a sway bar doesn't help.

    Unless you drive it like a sports car, I don't think you'll notice any difference. I drive mine like it's a truck with 10" lift and 38s. And the 8 lug set is like $160...OUCH! My opinion: it's basically for looks.

    1986 K10 TPI350/NV4500/Gen2 Doubler/D60(ARB)/14FF(Detroit)/4.56 gears
     
  3. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    I don't think it's for looks. If it was, I wouldn't've (word?) spent $160 some on them. They don't do much for street, but they really do help you track better in the mud. Before My rear would fish tail all over trying to chase down the tracks the front makes, but now, the front and rear are on the same page. Much better. Not sure why a lot of people always say it's for the looks.
    Boss

    Pic of my truck Before N' After
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/BeforeNAfter>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/BeforeNAfter</a>
     
  4. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I can't say there was any noticable difference on the street, but I did think that they helped on the trail. Before the spacers were installed the backend would have a tendency to slip sideways when driving through ruts, after the spacers there really seemed to a decrease in side slip under these conditions.

    And I also won't deny the "looks" aspect of them.

    My first set of spacers (6-lug) were bought used for about 1/2 the price of new. I don't have spacers since going to 8-lug and if I have to buy new, then they are low on my list.
     
  5. tlarsw

    tlarsw 1/2 ton status

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    I thought the reason the tracks were offset was for better traction? When the front wheels dig out a rutt, you get better traction from the rear because they're not dropping the the same line.

    Does this sound right? I don't know for sure or not, but I was told this once.

    1986 K10 TPI350/NV4500/Gen2 Doubler/D60(ARB)/14FF(Detroit)/4.56 gears
     
  6. Man, I would kill to get my truck to stop fish tailing in the mud. It makes sense the way you explain it. Last weekend I ended coming out of a mudhole on the side, instead of the opposite end that I was shooting for. Ms. Cleo says she sees a set of wheel spacers in my near future.

    God has a hard on for Marines, because we keep Heaven chock full of fresh souls!<P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by John Ward on 09/19/01 11:08 AM.</FONT></P>
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I don't run spacers and when my rear tire is at full stuff it clears the fender lip by about 1/4"...so I can lose about 3" of 'stuff' if I go to spacers in the rear. I'm not a big fan of mud anyways, so it doesn't matter to me. Frankly i don't even like the looks of the tires spaced out farther in the rear...
    Thats just my opinion though.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
     
  8. sapper

    sapper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Ms Cleo say anything about me?

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradoK5.com/gallery/Pauls89K5>http://coloradoK5.com/gallery/Pauls89K5</a>
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Although the different track aspect makes some sense, (snow especially) it seems no other manufacturers did it. if it was advantageous you'd *think* everyone else would have. I'm starting to think that it may have been more for fender clearance. I wish they would have tucked the front in more, because the front wheels throw a lot of crap up on the sides of the truck. Whaaaaa!

    Dorian
    My tech/links page: <a target="_blank" href=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</a>
    No anti-theft measures on your truck? No pity when its stolen
     
  10. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I am considering a set to keep the tires from rubbing the inner fender. As the axle stuffs it tilts inboard and I've got the clerance on the on the outer sheetmetal. Depending on your lift, tire, and most of all rim offset you need to find the point of contact on your truck and then make a decision.

    Jim '80 GMC & '73 Blazer
    Tread Lightly!
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  11. 86blazerk5

    86blazerk5 1/2 ton status

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    My understanding is this: All manufactures did it and are still doing it. It is just most obviouse on the chevys of theis boxy body stylle. However, I believe the the new chevys are also made with the rear axle a little shorter than the front, and I belive many, if not all fords and cryslers also use this system on there large trucks. Why you ask? Becuase it helps to create a smaller turning radius. Pickup trucks and full size sport utes we all know can be verry trick in small parking lots parking decks..., and other urban settings. Lets face it, in todays world, verry many of those pickups and sport utes only see urban settings. So by making the rear axle a few inches shorter, the turning radius decreases by several foot.
    Now the question is, how many of us really care about our turning radius over our off road performance, and our trucks looks... Th9is is just my understanding, and it may be wrong, or there may be other reasons as well for there doing this.
    Ike

    Spreading The K5 Gospel!
     
  12. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I think you hit it on the head. The narrower track width of the rear axle helps with turning. The basic concept is that is that the rear axle will have a tendency to make the truck go straight since the rear tires are always pointed straight. The wider the rear axle is in comparison to the front, the more "leverage" it has, or the more scrub, which does increase the turning radius. A perfect example were the old 3-wheeler ATV's, they typically exhibited a lot of understeer because the rear axle was obviously much wider than the front.
     
  13. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    That's why I used to take corners on two wheels (much shorter turning radius [​IMG]).

    In theory the shorter track width in the rear was for manueverability (sp?) and tighter turning radius. I disliked the looks of the front wheels sticking out from looking at the back, so I bought of set of 1.5" for each rear side (long wheelbase pickup) and don't notice any increase in turning radius (I'm sure it's there, just not noticeable). I would also say my rig fishes alot less in the rear and makes it more stable (the whole wider is better theory) but it also adds to high centering (moreso on the pumpkin than anything else). The more distance between two points, the greater the chance of high centering (usually...meaning if there is no room between on tire and another like dual wheels, it is hard to get high centered on something that is between them, then it is from one dually side to the other, if that makes any sense). But again the difference is probably there (hard numbers), but not noticeable.

    See my rig at <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot</a>
     
  14. 88streetblaze

    88streetblaze 1/2 ton status

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    i did see an article in a truckin magazine i belive (i can look it up if you want) where the took the truck to a skid pad and tested it before and after they installed the spacers and the only change that was really noticable was how much g's it was able to handle. if i remeber correctly it was .57G before and .63-.64 after, which really isn't much of a change

    <font color=red> and everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people</font color=red>
     
  15. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Yeah, I checked an older Ford truck out the otehr day, but I couldn't discern any front/rear axle width difference. As a matter of fact, I believe on the Bronco dealers literature that someone posted the URL too on here a week back or so, they even mention front and rear width, and the Bronco was less than an 1" difference front/rear...

    Dorian
    My tech/links page: <a target="_blank" href=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</a>
    No anti-theft measures on your truck? No pity when its stolen
     
  16. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    Yup it's to turn sharper... I can take u-turns in it as well as my Neon... I was driving a Dodge truck of my friends she was following me in my Blazer... we were trying each others trucks out. Hers sucked in making the u-turn. When we got to the house she wanted my truck and I wanted her to take hers back because it sucked! [​IMG]

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
    &lt;&gt;&lt; MARK 1:17 &gt;&lt;&gt;
     
  17. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    ".57G before and .63-.64 after" is a pretty big difference, especially for just adding some spacers.

    The advantage that I see to them is that it will decrease the overall tendency of the vehicle to roll over. True, there is more weight in the front where the track is already wider, but as you go higher and higher, you will have to go wider, at least to some extent, or the vehicle becomes unsafe.

    <font color=green>"Lack of Brains Hinders Research" -headline in the Columbus Dispatch</font color=green>
     

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