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How to Measure for Wheel Spacers

Fitment Industries Author | | August 8th, 2018 |

  • Spacers are one of those things that you don't really know you need them until you have to go buy them. Now, with spacers we're not really here to talk about whether they're safe or not, we kind of already kind of dived in to that subject a couple videos ago, so we decided instead, we're gonna talk about how to actually measure your spacers because we get about a million emails a day, talking about it. The first thing that you wanna kinda get in to is that with spacers, there's usually a few reasons as to why you use them. You use it for a wider track path, you know to have extra clearance or just to get that wheel fitment game lookin ten out of ten. And it's usually the second and the third one, it's not usually the first one, because not a lot of people are gonna use spacers to widen your track stance. It's more of an aesthetic thing more than it is a function thing. By the way, I'm Alex from Fitment Industries, don't forget to subscribe, and we're gonna dive in to how to measure spacers for your car. Getting right down to the basics, the first and most important thing before you go to measure your spacers is that you let your suspension settle. Now usually, the word of mouth is anywhere from five to then days is how long you wanna let your suspension settle before you go and measure spacers for your car.

    Now, with spacers since you are measuring out millimeter by millimeter, even the tiniest difference can ultimately ruin the way that your car drives, especially if you go too big of a spacer, or if you go too little of a spacer and you end up still hitting something like your strut or your brakes, or anything like that. Spacers are safe, as long as you install them correctly, and at the same time that you just buy a quality part. Now, we're not gonna go into a huge sales pitch about it because we just don't want to and it's Monday morning, but I want you guys to know that if you're looking to get spacers to always get some, like, high quality nice stuff. It's anything that has like the T6061 aluminum, 10.1 steel studs are gonna do the greatest job. We usually recommend Adapt Tech, cause that's who we go through, but you are more than welcome to pick anybody else, cause I know we got a lot of people from overseas that watch these videos as well.

    So, once you figure out who you're gonna buy from, making sure that your suspension's all set to go, it's actually a fairly easy way to measure your spacer. So a couple things that you're gonna wanna have before you get started in to measuring your spacers and things like that are obviously the components needed to take off your wheel. But we're gonna talk about how to actually measure your spacers here. So we're gonna go through this here really quick. So to get started with measuring, it's actually pretty darn simple. All you need is a straight edge and a ruler. Now what you wanna do is you wanna measure from the point of least clearance to your wheel. Basic most simplest way of saying it is just find the contact point, the point that the tire or wheel is going to likely make contact with your fender at a straight edge.

    Now usually I just use this, and then I will just measure it out. And one thing that you have to remember is, obviously, you wanna make sure that you're not dealing with any sort of turning issues or clearance issues or anything like that. So right now I'm looking at probably around a 15 millimeter spacer here. A couple things that you're gonna wanna take into consideration obviously is the fact that you will also have to consider stretch tires. You'll also have to consider coilovers and things like that. And then you'll also have to consider actual just daily driven ride height. If you have a lot of people in your vehicle a lot of times and you are measuring for spacers with nobody in it, you're gonna wanna make sure that you're going conservative on your measurement. So, we are going to put the spacer on, and we're gonna talk a little bit more about that.

    So now that we have the wheel off and you've measured your spacers, you ordered your spacers, hopefully you picked up some Adapt Tech, because that's just the way to go. We're gonna break down a little bit of what this is. So this is T6061 aluminum, this doesn't have the steel studs. Some spacers are going to come with the bolts added in, like so, and this is gonna be when we determine that your current studs, your lug nuts for your bolts, whatever, what have you, is it gonna be enough to fully engage the wheel after the spacer is installed. This is usually a case by case basis, but for the most part if it's above 25 millimeters and up, it's going to almost always have these. And it's not necessarily a terrible thing, it just requires a couple of extra steps.

    So we're gonna into the basics first. Now, with these spacers, you can get them hub centric to the vehicle, and what that hub centric means is that you have a little ring here that is specifically measured out for certain wheels. And then when you buys aftermarket wheels a lot of them come with a larger hub bore, just because they want you to buy their wheels, and they wanna make sure that the wheel fits, cause if the hub bore is too small, the aftermarket wheel won't fit. When you buy spacers, if you buy generic spacers, a lot of 'em won't have this ring, it'll just be a flat piece of metal. Now this, you're gonna notice has a hub centric ring on it, and it's also going to have a hub centric area for your vehicle. So, what we can do is when we make these, they come hub centric to your vehicle, but they can also come hub centric to the wheel that you're purchasing as well. So if you have a 72.1 for a millimeter for your hub centric wheel, or for your vehicle, and you have a 67.1 for let's say your wheel, you can actually buy a spacer, and we can custom make it so it's exactly hub centric to your perfect application. When you go to install spacers, one thing we usually recommend is having some sort of grease or anti-seize on this, and this is just gonna help you with the removal and installation at times.

    Another recommendation that we have for you before you go to install your spacers is to kinda brush down this rust. You don't want anything to cause it to seize on to the caliper, or the rotor, I'm sorry, but what you can do is just take a wire brush to it. Clean off the excess. Make sure you clean off your studs a little bit too. Put a little bit of anti-seize here on the back of this. Put a little anti-seize here for you, and you should be ready to roll. And it's pretty much as simple as just going in to install it you're gonna notice that the hub centric ring fits perfectly on there. So when you put on a spacer like this, it's great, it's hunky dory, it fits, and this is just a sample here for us. But, you may notice that we don't have a lot of threads showing for the actual spacer and for the wheel, and once you get everything mounted up it's not gonna be too safe. Now, what happens is a lot of the myths come from, well, people install these, they get two turns of engagement, and they wonder why their wheel falls off going down the highway. It's because, when you go and put on your lug nut, that's only two and half threads of engagement practically.

    You need to make sure that if this is occurring to you, that you get the spacers with the extended lug bolts, because that's gonna give you the engagement needed to make sure that you actually have a safe ride. So this is where a lot of the myths of bad spacers come from Also the fact that they're not hub centric or something like that is gonna play with a lot of issues but, that is why we kinda go back to the spacers that also have the lug nuts that are added on. The biggest thing that we recommend is that you need at least 6.5 to 8 revolutions of a full engagement on a lug nut to sit correctly. If you're noticing that you have less than that, you're gonna wanna make sure that you get extended lug nuts or extended thread lug nuts, that you get a spacer that has these actually included on them. If you feel like it's gonna be close, we usually just recommend that you can request these added on, just to make sure that they fit and they clear correctly. But 6.5-8 is the way to do it. It's still gonna come hub centric to whatever you want. It's ready to roll. You're ready to go. And last but not least, you're going to also wanna make sure that you're buying the right lug nuts or bolts. Now you have conical, that are gonna sit, looks like a cone.

    You also have flathead. There's a couple others out there. Most are conical, but don't take our word for it, just remember that, you're probably gonna wanna make sure that you're looking at the right lug bolts or nuts because if you go and you put on a spacer, you're really excited, you're ready to go to that car show and have perfect fitment, and win fitment at best of show and you're gonna realize that you will not be able to make it to the car show because your lug nut only turns 2.5 times. That's usually where a lot of the myths of spacers come from because people go and they engage it one thread and then they wonder why their wheel comes off. We're going to put the spacer on now, and then we're gonna test fit it, make sure it all looks hunky dory, then go from there. Alright, so now that we have the spacers on, you're gonna notice that we have a new fitment. I think it looks pretty good. The backs we already had done.

    The fronts here ended up having a pretty good, not too bad of a spacer, we had to do with the bolts so that we get the correct seatage for the lug nuts, but everything looks good. You're probably, this one's still gonna have a little bit of rub at full turn I would say, but again, it all comes down to what you want. It just, you need to make sure that you're doing it safely and correctly because if you have improper spacers, or you have cheap spac