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Last Post 27 Mar 2013 10:23 AM by  thedrumm
Wheel Spacers
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btwelch
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15 Mar 2013 04:22 PM

    Operation "fit wider tires on the V" has hit a little snag.  Stock tire size for my car is 245/45/18 but I want to move up to 275/40/18 for a little more much needed grip.  I knew they'd clear the rear, but also knew I didn't have much space to work with in the front.  Sure enough after ordering a pair of the wider tires and getting them mounted/balanced, I discovered that the tires just lightly touch the suspension.  The contact is light enough that you can still spin the wheel.  

    So...can I use a small spacer to give me the extra couple of millimeters I need to get clearance?  I know nothing about wheel spacers so is there anything specific I should be looking for in a wheel spacer?  Since I'm talking about such a thin spacer, will I be able to use the stock studs?  Or, should I not mess around with spacers and just stick to the stock tire size for the front?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    The Nebulizer
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    15 Mar 2013 04:31 PM
    Posted By btwelch on 15 Mar 2013 04:22 PM

    Operation "fit wider tires on the V" has hit a little snag.  Stock tire size for my car is 245/45/18 but I want to move up to 275/40/18 for a little more much needed grip.  I knew they'd clear the rear, but also knew I didn't have much space to work with in the front.  Sure enough after ordering a pair of the wider tires and getting them mounted/balanced, I discovered that the tires just lightly touch the suspension.  The contact is light enough that you can still spin the wheel.  

    So...can I use a small spacer to give me the extra couple of millimeters I need to get clearance?  I know nothing about wheel spacers so is there anything specific I should be looking for in a wheel spacer?  Since I'm talking about such a thin spacer, will I be able to use the stock studs?  Or, should I not mess around with spacers and just stick to the stock tire size for the front?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bryan, I use spacers all the time. If your question refers to maintaining strict Stock class legality, you can use a spacer on stock wheels up to 1/4" (or 6mm) and still be Stock legal. This should be more than enough to fix your fitment issue.

    As for studs length, I am no expert on this. My case is different as BMW uses lugbolts. I used extended bolts for any spacer larger than 3mm. I had lugbolt sets for 5mm and 12mm spacers. Now I have extended studs that fit any size spacer. Unfortunately, I have no familiarity with anything outside the strange BMW setup.

    Milan
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    15 Mar 2013 06:17 PM
    Stock class ? if so, you're allowed up to 1/4" front or rear. If your driving the car on the street with the spacers
    you should get hubcentric spacers.
    btwelch
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    15 Mar 2013 06:49 PM
    UPDATE: Its touching the top of the spindle. I went down and put the wheel back on to take a few pics. When I first put it on and gave the wheel a spin, I thought the tire guy was smoking crack because the tire spun freely. Here's a shot with the car on the jack:



    Then I lowered it back down and took another shot:



    Once the car is sitting on the ground it touches. I tried fitting a piece of paper between the tire and the spindle and it won't go, but I can easily rock the car back and forth by hand so it can't be touching too hard.

    I've been looking around for spacers online, unfortunately due to my cars odd bolt pattern (6x115mm) I'm having a hard time finding anything. I did find one site, motorsport-tech.com, that makes custom spacers. The thinnest they make is 3mm, do you guys think that would be enough, or should I go a little thicker? Also how do I know if my stock studs are long enough to accommodate the spacer? I don't want to end up on youtube when all my wheels fall off at an event!

    I was looking at the rules earlier, I think by going with the wider tires I get bumped out of stock class. Even if not it doesn't matter because I plan on installing headers, high flow cats and a proper exhaust this spring and it looks like that will put me into STU.

    Milan - Do you mean hub centric or wheel centric?  I called the place that makes the custom spacers, he said that all their spacers are hub centric.  The lip on the hub should be about 10mm deep so since I'm using stock wheels as long as my spacer is less than that I don't need it to be wheel centric.  If anyone thinks this is wrong let me know.

    btwelch
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    15 Mar 2013 06:49 PM

    oops, double post

    The Nebulizer
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    15 Mar 2013 11:35 PM

    There is no tire size limit in Stock. (I am running 295s on wheels that came stock with 225s). It looks like 45 degree contact in that photo, so take that 3mm recommendation I gave and multiply by sqrt of 2 and figure about 5mm. I would get some large washers at the hardware store and mock it up for a test fit . See how far out the wheel needs to be to give you at least about 2mm (my suggestion not a general rule or anything) of clearance.

    Whatever size you go with I would suspect you need to figure longer studs now. I know BMW spacer sellers recommend longer lugbolts for any spacer thicker than 3mm. I'd think that would be about the same for lugnuts. You can skip a few threads, but surely 5mm or more is too much missed threads to properly hold the wheel - especially under autocross forces. (Again, I am no expert in this, just giving my semi-educated opinion.)

    STU, huh? I don't see coilovers on your list of future mods. Having driven your car, that would be at the top of my list along with a big front sway bar. And, wider, grippier tires will increase the need. The mods you list seem more for power which your car doesn't really need nearly as much as it needs handling upgrades - for autocross at least - maybe you are modding for other reasons though.

    BTW what tires did you get? Looks like BFG Rivals.

    btwelch
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    16 Mar 2013 10:56 AM
    I'll try the washer trick and see where that puts me. If I can get away with 3mm then I'll stick with the stock studs but if I have to go longer I'll look into the longer studs. As for suspension mods, I'd love a nice set of coilovers and sways but I don't have the $$$ for those right now. I have the exhaust and headers because I found them used on a forum for cheap.
    Milan
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    16 Mar 2013 11:13 AM

    What model car ? Will you be driving on the street with the spacers ?

    You're allowed 1/4", in stock, so use it. From the pic it may not be enough.

    When you get the lateral forces on the tire during an autox the outside tire will flex inward

    and it could touch your suspension anyway. Theres a thread here somewhere about squeezing

    bigger tires on a wheel, good read, sometimes theres no advantage.

    btwelch
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    16 Mar 2013 02:09 PM

    double post again...

     

    Not sure why but whenever I hit "refresh" it reposts my last post...weird....

    btwelch
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    16 Mar 2013 06:25 PM
    So I went out to get some washers to test the size of the spacers I was looking at. Being the idiot I am, I only got enough to test 3mm, but here are the pics.

    First one is 3 washers measuring slightly more than 3mm, still on jackstands:



    And the second is the same washers, but set down on the ground.



    Does that look like enough space, or do you think I should go to a 5-6mm spacer? I hope this is enough because I don't want to have to mess around with changing studs.
    nutty944
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    17 Mar 2013 09:34 PM
    Looks like you'll want more. If it comes to needing to change studs, I'll be happy to shoot over and give a hand, or we could even get them put in at my place.

    They would probably be fine without longer studs, but I would recomend longer studs for safety. I run uber spaces on the rear of the 944. 5/16 between hub and bolt on 1 1/4 and another 5/16 between that and the wheel. I autocrossed on that for a few years with no issue, and drove about 20k on the road with no issue. But also, your car has a lot more mass than the 944.
    edfishjr
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    18 Mar 2013 10:51 AM
    I think we are talking about a gen 1 CTS-V?

    If so, I ran 265 streets on the front with 6mm spacers. Never any rubbing. I had a set of 4 spacers machined... hub centric, from a well-known spacer guy. I did have to go to longer studs on one end, I think it was the front.

    I have a friend with a CTS-V who is using 295 R-comps with my old spacers and he claims no rubbing.
    btwelch
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    18 Mar 2013 08:04 PM
    Posted By edfishjr on 18 Mar 2013 10:51 AM
    I think we are talking about a gen 1 CTS-V?



    Yeah 1st gen V.  And Bridgestone RE-11 tires for whoever asked.  I'm going to try the 3mm spacers I already ordered on stock studs, and keep a very close eye on everything for a while.  
    dbrier
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    19 Mar 2013 08:32 AM
    Brian,
    If you can get 3mm spacers for a decent price, I'd try them with everything as is. The worst case scenario is that you'll rub a little on extreme corners. Since you're not rubbing on anything sharp, an little rub won't hurt anything for the short term.
    Mark the suspension with some crayon and autocross it and see what happens. If you rub, then start looking at longer studs and a thicker spacer.

    Dale
    thedrumm
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    24 Mar 2013 03:43 PM

    I have 1/4" spacers that I got from Diamond Wheels, and that is all they had.  I would prefer 3mm.  Do you know where can I get some?

    Thanks.

    dbrier
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    26 Mar 2013 11:01 AM
    Ebay is about as good a source as any for thin spacers.
    btwelch
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    26 Mar 2013 04:43 PM
    http://motorsport-tech.com/

    Thats where I got mine. They're pricey, but they're custom made to your specs.
    thedrumm
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    27 Mar 2013 10:23 AM
    Thank You Dale & Brian.
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