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Opinions on wheel spacers

blazinzuk

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There are so many rigs out there running spacers. On all sorts of different rigs I personally have been running 1.5” spacers on 37s on my Jimmy for many years due to getting some cool wheels. Towed with it, wheeled it, driven it to Moab once. Never have I had an issue. They are cheap aluminum ones. Zero issues I know literally dozens of people that run em. Even guys with duallys towing huge loads to fit wider taller tires.
Run em.
 

72gmck5

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Almost every modern lifted Toyota will be on spacers as they roam the Costco parking lot.
When I was working at a shop, I saw bad spacers break and better quality spacers work without issue. Aluminum and steel can both work without issue.
I have aluminum spacer on the jimmy because H2 wheels are cool but are positive offset and not the stance I wanted.
 

TJ1978

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Almost every modern lifted Toyota will be on spacers as they roam the Costco parking lot.
When I was working at a shop, I saw bad spacers break and better quality spacers work without issue. Aluminum and steel can both work without issue.
I have aluminum spacer on the jimmy because H2 wheels are cool but are positive offset and not the stance I wanted.
What are "bad spacers" that fail, plastic?


Do you recommend loctite on the spacer to hub connection.
 

obijuank5

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I do not recommend thread looking compound on anything other than the oe studs.

If yall didn't know this the studs do nothing other than providing a clamping force which creates friction. The friction between the wheel and the wheel mount surface is what drives the vehicle. Studs see no shear loads because the friction is the greater force. It just reallllllly helps to be hub centric just for fun.
 

TJ1978

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I do not recommend thread looking compound on anything other than the oe studs.

If yall didn't know this the studs do nothing other than providing a clamping force which creates friction. The friction between the wheel and the wheel mount surface is what drives the vehicle. Studs see no shear loads because the friction is the greater force. It just reallllllly helps to be hub centric just for fun.
I know this. But other sites swear up and down to use thread locked. Which confused me.
 

72gmck5

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What are "bad spacers" that fail, plastic?


Do you recommend loctite on the spacer to hub connection.
Cheap aluminum where the studs strip out and makes for a fun time cutting the spacer out.

I did put thread locker on the wheel studs to keep the spacer in place. They’ve stayed torqued for years now.
 

1-ton

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If you are talking about spacers for a SRW square body truck then a set of cheap steel 3/8" spacers is all you need. The front wheels on SRW drive truck do not stick out far enough to need anything more than that. I have a set of cheap 3/8" steel spacers on the rear of my SRW truck that allows enough wheel stud length to bolt down my rims with the factory wheel studs. If you are talking duallies, in order to install a set of wider tires in the rear, then that is a whole other deal.
 

flatland

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I don't use loctite initially, because I want to check and retorque after a short time driving and letting everything seat. After I retorque and feel comfortable there's no more seating/settling, I may apply one of the post-assembly, wicking type loctite products. Or I may just run it and check torque when tires are rotated.
 

Wes Harden

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@TJ1978 it is better to retorque, than use loctite.

If you use thread locker at start on the inner, wheel hub studs, and you retorque them in 50 miles, you just undid the thread locker.
So check them till the nuts stay a torque value you want. Then when ever you do brakes rotate tires etc
 

tarussell

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People run the aluminum cheap ones all the time. You just have to religiously check them. But I wouldn't trust them. Steel, probably the safest way
I know this. But other sites swear up and down to use thread locked. Which confused me.
Please keep in mind just because other folks ( meaning anyone no matter who or where ) have a differing opinion on a subject doesn’t make them correct - even if they out number the opposition…
That being said there has been some very good advice given earlier and since it’s a safety issue it can’t hurt to add another plea for doing it by what is known as a “best practice “

Once thread locker has been set/cured it’s doing its job - once it is disturbed it’s done and must be disassembled thoroughly cleaned and reapplied to start over. Any movement of the hardware post initial torque is game over - it still helps but is not working as designed.

NOTE: I do believe that if a spacer is used it must be torqued in a star pattern in graduated increments followed by several verifications initially and rechecked periodically ( every time the wheels are off and at a minimum every six months depending on use, size of tires and type of application ). This means that a thread locker might not be the right choice on this type of application - thread locker is fantastic in areas that are in extreme vibrations or not easily accessible but you have the ability to verify the condition of the stud torque anytime and relatively easily and often ; so in this application it may not be the best practice. If thread locker is the only thing keeping the hardware from backing off than there is a greater issue !

Also mentioned earlier the studs are only designed for clamping force not torsional force but you could use a surface mount adhesive ( NOT a thread locker ) like Loc Tite 660 for added grip on the mounting surface of the hub to adapter side.

There will always be folks that never had any issues doing things many different ways on many different things but there has been some good advice passed on along by several folks here so please think about this application and use the best practice on these parts that are adding leverage and stress - it should require more attention and maintenance….
 

obijuank5

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It takes 10 to 20 minutes for thread locker to set and them 24 hours to cure. A trip around the block for a retorque is gonna be OK.
 

TJ1978

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Ordered the ones I linked above.
I'll install, apply some blue loctite drive around the block, re-torque. Should be good.. maybe no loctite we'll see
 

tarussell

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It takes 10 to 20 minutes for thread locker to set and them 24 hours to cure. A trip around the block for a retorque is gonna be OK.
Agreed, this is true - ( depending on what type of thread locker is used ) if you are good with a one-time re torque. But, if there ever is an occasion that you find the need to tighten these again they should be removed cleaned and reapply the thread locker.
 

TJ1978

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Agreed, this is true - ( depending on what type of thread locker is used ) if you are good with a one-time re torque. But, if there ever is an occasion that you find the need to tighten these again they should be removed cleaned and reapply the thread locker.
So it almost pointless to use thread locker? So, re-torquing is the more beneficial part of safely running wheels spacers.
 

obijuank5

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People put 65k miles on a single torque for a new set of tires and never rotate anything with them being fine. I can confidently say I have personally sent 20,000 or more vehicles down the road with a single torque. Suggesting thread locker is probably a CYA for the manufacturer.

If you did it right in the first torque the nuts won't move and the wrench will click again just like it did the first time. Then the locking compound is still good as new.
 
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