Are Wheel Spacers Actually Safe?

– When we look at spacers,
the YouTube comment section turns into a war zone, cause
you have two groups of people. You have the people that
say that it’s not that bad and as long as you’re
doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you just run
them til the wheels fall off. And then you have the
other people that say no, absolutely not, you
better not run spacers, otherwise your entire car’s gonna implode. So when you go onto
YouTube and you type in, “are spacers actually safe,” you get 10 to 12 different channels. Engineering explained, there’s a bunch of garage channels that all talk about it, and you get a bunch of different answers. So we thought we’d try
to give it our take on, “Are spacers actually safe?” And we’re gonna talk a
little bit about everything that you would wanna know
before actually picking up a set of spacers, or if you even should. Before we get started, just
hit that subscribe button. We’re trying to get to
100,000, because we hit 50,000. So thank you guys so
much; I appreciate it. I still don’t have a beard; I’m trying really hard to grow that. It’s been six weeks but I
don’t wanna talk about it. So we’re just gonna jump right into it. So spacers are the easiest
way to get perfect fitment. A lot of times when people
are looking to pick up wheels they go with the one-piece cast. And if you’re looking
at something that’s a 35 or a 40 offset, a lot of
times you’re not gonna get that perfect fender look, because
you’re gonna have to have, you know, a couple extra
millimeters to poke it out or in, depending on the car that you have to buy. And on top of that, if you really go into the multi-piece wheel game,
you can even mess that up too. People make mistakes when
they’re buying their wheels and six to eight weeks to by and you’re still two,
three millimeters off. So spacers help answer
the question of really fixing mistakes or getting
that perfect fitment. Two to three millimeters
is usually pretty much the most common, but there
are other spacers out there that get much, much bigger, depending on how much offset you need to change. Now here’s where the keyboard
warriors just come out of the woodwork, because
they’re gonna tell you, “If you mess it up once, just
go buy new wheels and tires, “because you can’t run spacers, “cause they’re the worst
thing in the world.” Spacers aren’t the end of the world. And we’re gonna talk more
about that in the video. But you don’t wanna go
spend two to three grand and then go make the mistake on the offset or maybe the offset just wasn’t provided, and then have somebody
tell you to go spend another two or three grand to
get the right offset wheels. I don’t know anybody that does that. I don’t know anybody
that would wanna spend an additional $2,000 to $3,000,
because a lot of you guys spend 20,000, 30,000 on
your car to begin with. And the last thing you wanna do is fork over another two or three grand. So spacers are just a way
for you to dial in fitment to pretty much the Nth degree, depending on how specific you want to get. So we’re gonna break this dilemma
down into three questions, how are they made, what
about the stud length, and how extreme are we going. Alright, so we have an eBay spacer adapter with the bolts in there. It’s not hub-centric, in
case you couldn’t tell. It looks like it had
a run-in with the law. It didn’t work out too well. I have no idea what this is made out of. We don’t know what it’s made out of. The website that we bought it from didn’t tell us what it was made out of. And we just generally
don’t have any concept on what it can withstand
and what it can’t withstand. A lot of times people
go cheap with the metal, they go cheap with the
studs, they go cheap with pretty much anything to save a buck. And then obviously
non-hub-centric is a huge issue, especially when you’re looking
to run after-market wheels. Then you have an Adaptec spacer. Now Adaptec is one that we
sell and I’m not gonna try and sales pitch you or anything like that, but the first thing
that you’re gonna notice is that it has a hub-centric
ring, which is killer in terms of vibration and
issues that you’re gonna have with a lot of weight rotational
issues with non-hub-centric wheel spacers, especially
over the long term. On top of that, you’re looking at T60, 61 aircraft grade
aluminum and a 10.1 steel stud. That’s gonna make sure that
these suckers don’t break. And what I’m trying to get
across in terms of the point is how are the spacers or adapters that you’re buying, how are they made? If you’re looking at
wheel spacers or adapters, regardless of what brand
you’re looking to buy, you wanna make sure that
they’re actually good metal. If it’s forged, if it’s not
forged, if it’s aluminum, if it’s billet, if it’s
steel, if it’s not, all of those things
matter, because ultimately this becomes a part of your
assembly and if this is the weak point in your car,
yeah, you’re gonna have issues. A lot of times, those Amazon or eBay, if you don’t know the
brand or you don’t know where you’re coming from, they
may not be the best quality. Whereas if you look at
companies like Adaptec or other companies that
take a lot of pride in how they make their products, you’re gonna get a good spacer and it’s super important
to understand that. Because at the end of the day it depends on how they’re made, not just what the purpose of the product is. And that goes with pretty much anything. You go to buy wheels
and tires or just tires, you buy good tires or
you can buy junk tires and you’re obviously gonna be
able to tell the difference on the quality of both; the
same goes for your spacers. And at the same time don’t
forget that just because the quality might be different, you don’t get to brag
about it, but there are other things that can happen with it too. If you have improper
balance between the metal, you’re gonna have issues
with your tires and rotation. You’re also gonna have
issued with warping and heat, which does happen a lot
with those cheaper spacers. They can actually get almost glued onto your wheel or onto your assembly. And that can cause a
massive amount of issues. There are some people that have actually had issues with that in the past. They end up taking a
sledgehammer to their OZs. And you have the video that went viral a couple of months ago. And now we go onto the second
thing which are the studs. So a lot of people will go
and they’ll buy their spacers and a lot of times it goes
for a 25 millimeter spacer, they have studs on them. They throw them on their
car, the put the wheel on, they torque it to spec,
they’re going down the road at 70 miles an hour, and all of a sudden they look out their window and their wheel that was now on the back of their car is now going 75 miles an
hour and you’re wondering, “What the (beep) just happened?” A lot of times that happens
because of a lot of people not properly installing their
spacers and not thinking about just how the whole
overall geometry of it works. So we’re gonna jump into
it just a little bit. The easiest way to think about it is this, is that if your spacer is
just the spacer itself, and it doesn’t feature
any additional studs or anything like that,
when you place that on, you’re gonna want to torque them up to 6.5 to eight rotations
to ensure maximum torque and make sure that
they’re seated correctly. If you’re having issues
getting that many turns, what you’re gonna have
to end up looking at are spacers with lug studs
also included with them, because that’s gonna allow you
to get the appropriate torque and the appropriate tightening,
which you’re gonna need to make sure that your
car spacers are safe. Now, when you put on spacers
with the additional lug studs attached to them, now
you’re gonna have to look at how is that going to go in
the overall scheme of things? Because if you have a one
and a half inch spacer but your studs are 1.75
inches, you’re gonna have a quarter inch of stud
sticking through your spacer. What happens is people put on their wheels and all of a sudden you
have a quarter inch of space in between where the wheels should sit and where they are sitting. You torque it to spec and you
essentially have that space that results in people losing their tires or having just overall imbalance issues and it causes a huge mess. And that’s where probably
90% of the issues with spacers come from, is the fact that they don’t trim down their studs. If you’re getting spacers
with additional studs attached to them because
they’re a bigger spacer, you’re gonna wanna be able
to trim those studs down. Otherwise, you’re gonna
run into issues like that. A lot of times, most people
don’t if you’re looking at a five or 10 millimeter
spacer, but once you jump up to 20 to 25 millimeters,
it’s not gonna be uncommon for you to grab a grinder and
have to grind down your studs to make sure that you get proper fitment. And the third and final thing is how extreme are you going to get. It’s not uncommon for truck
wheels and truck companies to offer two, three inch spacers, because that’s just the norm, especially if you wanna get that poke. But for cars, it comes down
to five to 10 millimeters. Usually a lot of people don’t run much up above 25 millimeters, because of how much customization
car wheels offer you. But if you’re looking to get more extreme, you always have to remember
that the larger you go, the more careful that you have to be. A lot of times those longer,
wider, bigger spacers can sometimes cause
issue with load bearing and different things like that. We don’t want to jump
into the science of it, but just a general word of thumb is that if you’re going into bigger
spacers, if it’s possible, you’re going into the more extreme things. It’s important for you to
make sure you’re double and triple checking all of your math. At the end of the day, the
wheels are what keep you on the ground, and if
you have issues with it, you’re likely gonna have bigger problems when you’re going on the highway and your wheel kind of falls by you– flies by you, if it leaves your car. It’s pretty much gonna be a big problem regardless of which way or
direction the wheel is going. So in short, when we talk about, “are wheel spacers actually safe,” the answer is very simple. And you’re gonna see
this all over the forums, is that when they’re installed properly, yes, spacers are safe. The important thing is to always ensure that you’re installing a spacer safely, that you’re making sure that your studs are the appropriate size and length, that you’re getting proper engagement, that you’re making sure the spacers that you’re installing are
actually safe, and of course, you’re not going too
crazy with your spacers. But I’m Alex from Fitment Industries. If you guys have any additional questions or something you wanna talk
about, drop a comment below. And of course, if you’re
looking to pick up spacers you can head on over to But I’m Alex; we’ll see you later, peace.

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