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-   -   Wheel Spacers - Good thing? (http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/showthread.php?t=74102)

TRUK 10-23-2003 05:43 PM

Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
I have always thought that the 3" shorter rear axle made the stance of a 1st Gen Blazer look a little off. Recently I saw a review on coloradok5.com about wheel spacers. I was thinking that this may be a good idea.

Then a trusted mechanic told me that this 3" difference was by design so that the rear wheels did not track right on top of the front wheel tracks. This may help in a mud situation and could give the rear wheels something to bite on being slightly offset.

Well.. my new K5 will never see the kind of off road action my old K5 saw on a regular basis. So, I'm not that concerned about the extreme off road traction.

Has onyone tried the rear wheel spacers? Does your truck look better? Track better on the street or off road? CK5.com seems to think so.

Here is a link to the review: http://www.coloradok5.com/wheelspacers.shtml

JayDubBlazer 10-24-2003 01:13 AM

I would like to find out as well. The number of wheels availble for our trucks would greatly grow if we could use spacers.

TRUK 10-24-2003 01:07 PM

I like the GM Stock Rally Wheel look. I talked to the owner of Stockton Wheel yesterday. They custom make wheels, replicas or modify what ever you may want.

He can make a 15x10 GM Rally for me if I want (can go all the way to 15x14 or even 16" or 17" wheels.

He also will build a wheel with what ever backside spacing you want. Said he does it all the time. So, I could do this instead of 1.5" spacers. Of course.. I would no longer be able to rotate tires easily.

http://www.stocktonwheel.com These guys have been building wheels since the horse and buggy days.

Thoughts?

bouncytruck 10-24-2003 01:46 PM

I think that several board members on CK5 have the wheel spacers. I haven't heard anyone say they were bad or caused a problem yet. There are a lot of Blazer owners who find the track widths to be un-attractive.

RED72blazer 10-24-2003 02:48 PM

I Heard that the difference was to make the turning radius better. but that is just what I heard

CRRoy71 10-24-2003 04:26 PM

I have them, and I don't have anything bad to say about them.
They make it look so much better, my turning radius does not seem to be effected, and I think the theory about tracking is non-sense. IMO :D

72beast 10-29-2003 12:31 PM

are you guys looking for these...
$125.00 shipped with all the nuts and lugs...

http://www.socalbigdawgs.com/albums/.../aah.sized.jpg

TRUK 10-29-2003 09:08 PM

That is what I am looking for in a 1.5". Order direct from you? I was looking the www.performancewheel.com spacers. How do these compare?

72beast 10-30-2003 01:07 AM

I use 6061 T6 alum...its the best you can use and I think they use the same...
I have 1-1/4" inch thick spacers and 1" inch spacers...

'89Z71 11-03-2003 01:21 AM

72beast- Are you selling a set of 4 for $125 or a set of 2? I might be interested in some 1" spacers. And are those custom made by you? TIA, DK

blazerslave 11-20-2003 03:15 AM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by TRUK
I have always thought that the 3" shorter rear axle made the stance of a 1st Gen Blazer look a little off. Recently I saw a review on coloradok5.com about wheel spacers. I was thinking that this may be a good idea.

Then a trusted mechanic told me that this 3" difference was by design so that the rear wheels did not track right on top of the front wheel tracks. This may help in a mud situation and could give the rear wheels something to bite on being slightly offset.

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Does this mean we can run 1.5" spacers on each of the rear wheels to even the front and rear wheels and have the Blazer appear to be symmetrical?

Mike-

72beast 11-20-2003 12:43 PM

I don't think mudd would care if the tire was 3'inch's off set per side, now snow might be different...
most guys add an 1"inch spacer to the rears of there trucks...

CRRoy71 11-20-2003 06:24 PM

Re: Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by blazerslave


Does this mean we can run 1.5" spacers on each of the rear wheels to even the front and rear wheels and have the Blazer appear to be symmetrical?

Mike-

That's what I have, and it looks much better.

blazerslave 11-20-2003 07:28 PM

Re: Re: Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by CRRoy71


That's what I have, and it looks much better.

Thanks!

The spacers will be the icing on the cake!

bpmcgee 11-20-2003 07:34 PM

My understanding is that wheel spacers increase the bending force on your axle bearings by lengthening the lever arm of the wheels. These would have the same effect as putting really wide tires on the vehicle -- expect shorter axle bearing life.

This is just what I've read. My experience in this area is zero.

Brian

Ryanz 09-28-2019 08:41 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blazerslave (Post 604998)
Thanks!

The spacers will be the icing on the cake!

I know this thread on rear spacers is from a LONG time ago - but did you ever have trouble with the spacers? I don't do any 4x4ing. I use mine as a daily driver around town in the summer. Some highway driving, as well as trips up to 3 hours one way.

Thanks.

argonaut 09-29-2019 02:13 AM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
I've had mine on for only a year, but no problems so far. 1.5" on each side of the rear.

The spacers don't place any increased stress on the bearings. To weight of the truck bearing down on the bearing is the same either way.

hemi43 09-29-2019 10:53 AM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by argonaut (Post 8601020)
I've had mine on for only a year, but no problems so far. 1.5" on each side of the rear.

The spacers don't place any increased stress on the bearings. To weight of the truck bearing down on the bearing is the same either way.

Lets clarify spacers VS adapters; Spacers are exactly that, a plate with holes in it. An adapter bolts onto the existing studs and has it's own separate set of studs.

Spacers should NEVER be used, and in fact are illegal here in Ontario Canada.
Adapters should only be used in the rear and never on the front. The problem has nothing to do with bearing stress, but what it does is change front end geometry, specifically scrub radius.

I machined my own adapters for the rear of my Blazer ( 1.5") and it made a huge difference in the way the truck looks going down the road.
Be careful of cheap Chinese adapters !! They are a cast piece machined to look like billet stock, and they use very poor material.

Blazerowner 09-29-2019 01:10 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Do you a have some pictures? I would think it looks more uniform.

argonaut 09-29-2019 10:19 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
I must disagree wholeheartedly that "spacers" should not be used. So long as they are made from an appropriate material and are used with studs or bolts of the appropriate length to achieve the proper thread engagement then there is really no issue with a modest thickness spacer. The load path is still through the studs to the wheel, which sandwiches the spacer. So as long as toque and thread engagement are adequate, there should be no problems. Additionally for years different automotive companies have design cars that uses such "spacers" from the factory.

"Adapters" on the other hand can be even more dangerous, especially if not designed properly. In this design the load path is through the studs to the adapter, then through the adapter itself to the secondary studs, then to the wheel. So the critical failure point it the adapter itself. If I cracks or fails your wheel will decouple completely.

That said, I'm using 1.5" aluminum "adapters" (I still call these spacers, as they are spacing the wheels out, not adapting a different bolt pattern, but just semantics) on the rear of my blazer. I dont trust them completely but I inspect them regularly for cracks and fatigue. All-steel adapters would be a different story. You'll have to proceed at your own risk.

I certainly would not recommend that anyone use "spacers" without installing longer studs. In fact, even if you are using aluminum wheels you may need longer studs since the original studs are short, being designed for use with steel wheels.

hemi43 09-30-2019 05:00 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by argonaut (Post 8601549)
I must disagree wholeheartedly that "spacers" should not be used. So long as they are made from an appropriate material and are used with studs or bolts of the appropriate length to achieve the proper thread engagement then there is really no issue with a modest thickness spacer. The load path is still through the studs to the wheel, which sandwiches the spacer. So as long as toque and thread engagement are adequate, there should be no problems. Additionally for years different automotive companies have design cars that uses such "spacers" from the factory.

"Adapters" on the other hand can be even more dangerous, especially if not designed properly. In this design the load path is through the studs to the adapter, then through the adapter itself to the secondary studs, then to the wheel. So the critical failure point it the adapter itself. If I cracks or fails your wheel will decouple completely.

That said, I'm using 1.5" aluminum "adapters" (I still call these spacers, as they are spacing the wheels out, not adapting a different bolt pattern, but just semantics) on the rear of my blazer. I dont trust them completely but I inspect them regularly for cracks and fatigue. All-steel adapters would be a different story. You'll have to proceed at your own risk.

I certainly would not recommend that anyone use "spacers" without installing longer studs. In fact, even if you are using aluminum wheels you may need longer studs since the original studs are short, being designed for use with steel wheels.

I'n not sure what your background is, but I've been a Tool Maker for over 35 years and now have my own shop specializing in aftermarket race car components, so I do know what I'm talking about.
The problem with a spacer is that it puts too much load at the base of the stud, and that's where they fail. Using a longer stud will only increase the problem because the rim now has more leverage to snap the stud.
The face of the rim MUST be bolted to a non-movable surface like the axle flange or an adapter. I agree what you say about the load path of the stud, but what you fail to mention is that you have rotational forces acting on these studs and that where the problem lies.
Telling people to use a longer stud is not only bad advice, but dangerous advice !!

jaros44sr 09-30-2019 06:27 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hemi43 (Post 8601896)
I'n not sure what your background is, but I've been a Tool Maker for over 35 years and now have my own shop specializing in aftermarket race car components, so I do know what I'm talking about.
The problem with a spacer is that it puts too much load at the base of the stud, and that's where they fail. Using a longer stud will only increase the problem because the rim now has more leverage to snap the stud.
The face of the rim MUST be bolted to a non-movable surface like the axle flange or an adapter. I agree what you say about the load path of the stud, but what you fail to mention is that you have rotational forces acting on these studs and that where the problem lies.
Telling people to use a longer stud is not only bad advice, but dangerous advice !!

OK Hemi, you convinced me, I'll switch from spacers to adapters, any company you recommend, posted by another t&d guy with 50 years OJT

hemi43 09-30-2019 07:21 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jaros44sr (Post 8601945)
OK Hemi, you convinced me, I'll switch from spacers to adapters, any company you recommend, posted by another t&d guy with 50 years OJT

I made my own for a couple reasons. One is that all this stuff is made in China out of crap material. Most of the ones I've seen look like they were machined from billet stock material, but in actual fact they are made from castings machined to dupe the consumer into thinking it's a quality product. I can't recommend a manufacturer, but you will get what you pay for. I would stick with an American company that guarantees they use 6061-T6.
The other reason I made my own is that they don't make a 6 bolt adapter for my Blazer because I upgraded my studs to 1/2-20. All I could find were adapters with the stock 7/16 studs or the newer 14mm studs which wouldn't fit.

It might be difficult to convert from spacers to adapters because usually the spacers are thin. The minimum thickness of an adapter to use IMO should be at least 1" thick. Anything thinner I wouldn't trust.

argonaut 09-30-2019 11:15 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
Hemi43, I certainly respect where you are coming from and your experience. Since you asked, I'm an engineer.


Fasteners such as wheel studs or bolts are meant to work in tension to apply a clamping 'normal' force, perpendicular to the hub surface . This normal force in turn creates a high frictional force between the clamped surfaces the surface of the wheel and the hub, or for the sake of this discussion, the wheel, spacer and hub. This frictional force is what transfers rotational torque between the hub and the wheel, as well as vertical forces from the mass of the vehicle, or any other loads in the same plane as the hub surface.

Now I would agree that in general, a larger negative offset will put increased tension on the studs or bolts. Perhaps more than the yield limit. However, this is not a function of the spacer, it is a function of total effective wheel offset. One can achieve the same effective offset by using a high offset wheel, or a low offset wheel plus a spacer, or a low offset wheel plus an adapter. The stud or bolt in tension will not know the difference.

Obviously there are other factors such as the cyclical loading and unloading of the studs as the wheel spins. As well as the lateral loading which adds further tension to studs. As well as the design of the spacer or adapter and the materials used for the studs, bolts, spacer, adapter, etc.

While a zero offset would be ideal, it is not achievable on our trucks if the wheels and tires are too wide, or the wheels are too small a diameter.



Now back to the actual scenario here, I am not advocating the use of 1.5" thick spacers, or so-called adapters. Neither are a good functional choice. Lets face it, anyone using them, including me, is doing so for aesthetic reasons.

If you want a truck that drives well use a 7" wide wheel with a neutral offset. Use 10" section-width tires and no extra spacers or adapters. I guarantee that your truck will handle and steer much better. :)

Cheers. And good luck with whatever you decide.

Blazerowner 09-30-2019 11:20 PM

Re: Wheel Spacers - Good thing?
 
So back to my question. Any pictures with the 1.5 adapter on the rear? I would like to see the difference. I’m considering a set in the future.


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