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23 replies to this topic | 150 praises

#1

Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:09 PM

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I recently DIY installed a set of spacers for my car.

 

Thought I share with you guys the process.

 Hopefully this can help those of you keen to install wheel spacers yourself.

 

Why I did not choose to pay a small amount of money and save myself the hassle of the DIY?

Well, after researching on the proper installation of spacers, there are a few reasons why I think DIY will be better compared to workshop installation:

1) Proper application of anti-seize copper grease to the right surface and not to accidentally get these into thread grooves.

2) Tightening of the bolts need to be in "Star" shaped pattern sequence to ensure the spacer and wheels are aligned properly

3) After 150km of travel, will need to remove the wheels to retighten the bolts.

4) Need to use torque wrench to tighten to the factory specification. In my case is 150nm.

 

I shall span this tutorial over a few thread posts for clarity in presentation.

 

First up, a pictorial video guide. 

 


Edited by Lightsabre, 05 September 2017 - 11:08 AM.

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#2

Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:20 PM

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First of all, before you even decide on embarking on a spacer modification, decide on the amount of "space" you have and you want to fill.

 

Take a flat thin long piece of firm material (eg. A metal ruler)  tape it to the rims surface so that one end of the ruler extends upwards towards the fender edge (preferably the top).

 

Use a tape measure and determine how much clearance u have to achieve the flushed or nearly flushed look.

 

20170702_151849-picsay.jpg

 

In my case i can probably go up to 35mm to achieve the most agressive stance... But I decided on 25mm to be on a conservative side and also considering the look of a stock 235 width tires in a very aggressive wide stance...will look weird.


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#3

Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:37 PM

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Having decided on 25mm, I have to next decide on the brand of spacers and also the type of spacer system.

 

In general, go for:

1) Hub-centric spacers (to reduce chance of vibrations at speed)

2) Lightweight yet strong material to reduce the unsprung weight (unsprung weight will negatively affect how nimble your wheels and suspension handles surface irregularity and thus handling.)

3) reliable manufacturer with good track record in manufacturing quality.

 

I end up choosing the H&R brand (Trakplus is their spacer arm). They have 2 general system, one is basically a disc with holes that u place between the hub and your rim and you use lengthened bolts to secure them down. The other is the DRA system which is generally for the thicker spacers (>20mm) where they come with extra set iof bolts (specifically for ur car model), you bolt the spacer down to the hub and you use your own factory wheel bolts to bolt your wheels to the spacer's reinforced bolt thread.

 

Depending on your application, if it is more than 20mm, I will recommend the DRA system as it makes it easier for tire rotations or tire change by the workshop since they do not have to meddle with the spacers once they are bolted on. 

 

 Screenshot_20170702-122718.jpg

20170710_074446.jpg

20170826_180258-picsay.jpg


Edited by Vratenza, 02 September 2017 - 04:40 PM.

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#4

Posted 03 September 2017 - 11:10 AM

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Getting ready for the installation.

 

Gather all tools and parts required so that you do not have to stop halfway and revert to original when you realise you are short of something:

 

20170826_175152-picsay.jpg

 
1) the spacer system you decided on.
 
2) car jacking system, in ny case, my car do not come with car jack as it has RFT fitted from factory, so I had to source for my own car jack that can handle the higher ground clearance of an SUV. Also remember that some car brands have special jacking points requiring adapters.
Often missed out component of a jacking system are the wheel jams. These prevent the car from accidentally rolling off it's jacked position. 
 
3) Bolts removal system. Most cars comes with 17mm hex bolt/nut. So prepare the correct sized hex socket tool. Having a breaker bar is a good to have but not essential, just makes loosening the bolts/nuts much more effortless. Also get a torque wrench that is specced to at least 100 to 200nm. Check you car's manual for the recommended torque specs. 
 
4) Copper grease which is an anti-seize. It essentially prevents your spacer from seizing/stuck onto your wheel hub. The wheels can also get stuck to the wheel hub but due to the wheel size, it is easy to just kick the tires/use wooden mallet to knock it loose (seen some tire shop does that) using moments. 
 
5) grip gloves are good to reduce the hand fatigue from increased grip power. Keeping the hands clean is secondary. 
 
 
 

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#5

Posted 03 September 2017 - 11:47 AM

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Jacking and Removal of of the wheels. 

 

1. Park your car on a level surface with solid floor (not gravel/not soil)

 

2. Insert the wheel jams into the front of the 2 wheels on opposite side of where you intend to jack up.

20170826_175209-picsay.jpg

 

3. Using your 17mm Hex Socket and breaker bar (use extension bar if required), loosen all the bolts but keep all of them partially threaded to prevent the wheel from falling off while you are jacking up the car. 

 

4. Place any jack point adaptor your car may require and jack the car up to a point where the tire just lifted off the ground, approx 5mm clearance is ideal. The more is NOT merrier here. Too high, you will waste more energy and potentially hurt your back trying to remove and reinstall the wheel.

20170826_175901-picsay.jpg

*note, if you are using a hydraulic floor jack like mine, make sure you have a safety lock in case the hydraulic valve suddenly give way while the car is jacked. Alternative use a jack stand as a secondary safety backup. 

 

5. Now use your Hex Socket and manually unthread all the bolts from the wheel/hub. Be careful now because your wheel will just be hanging onto the hub flange.

 

6. Position yourself as close to the wheel on your knees, back straighten, with 2 hands hold the rim spoke in the 3 and 9 o'clock position. Pull it towards yourself in a smooth clean jerk and allow it to sit in the floor.

 

7. Wriggle the wheel towards you till the whole wheel clears the wheel hub/brake caliper/rotor.  And proceed to roll the wheel aside to a safe place and put it flat on it's inner side (not to scratch the outer part of the rim)

20170826_180150-picsay.jpg

 


Edited by Vratenza, 03 September 2017 - 11:58 AM.

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#6

Posted 03 September 2017 - 11:57 AM

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Just to add. Eibach is also pretty good. Maybe you also could have considered a PCD change to 114.3. Jap rims easier find with many more choices. Easier to sell off if bored too.

#7

Posted 03 September 2017 - 07:41 PM

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Installation of the spacer proper.

 

1. Put up the spacer against the wheel hub to make a final check for proper fitment before starting the process. Check that spacer sits onto the wheel hub flange snugly, make sure all the bolt holes are aligned. Test thread a few supplied spacer bolts to make sure the thread pitch is correct for the car.

 

2. Make sure the wheel hub surface and the space is free from debris. If your car is relatively new, it should be grim/rust/debris free like mine. If the surface needs cleaning, use a brush wire to remove the debris and wipe it down clean.  

 

3. Smear a small amount of copper grease on the surfaces as illustrated in the picture. Take care not to get the copper grease into the bolt threads. Too much of the grease will only be squeezed out to the edge during installation, causing mess and potential danger. 

20170826_180935-picsay.jpg

 

4. Mate the prepared spacer surface with the wheel hub. Align all the bolt holes and thread in the supplied spacer bolts. Hand tighten them down. Then using the 17mm Hex Socket and torque wrench, tighten it down further to spec (in my case is 150nm). Do it in a "Star" shaped pattern sequence to ensure the spacer is tightened flushed with the hub surface.

20170826_181125-picsay.jpg

 

5. Next, apply copper grease to the space flange as shown. This will ensure the rim slide on and off the spacer easily after a long period of installation.

20170826_181756-picsay.jpg

 

6. Now you are ready to put back the wheel. Take extra care to visualize the spacer flange position and your rim's mounting hole, and lift it on in a single swift motion to prevent damage to the spacer flange. 

Use your original factory bolts and thread into each of the reinforced threaded hold of the spacer. Tighten the bolts down in the same way as for the spacer bolts. "Star" pattern sequence. Torque 150nm. 

20170826_182703-picsay.jpg

 

7. Lower your car from jacked position and using your torque wrench, go through each of the 5 bolts again to make sure they are tighten to spec. 


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#8

Posted 03 September 2017 - 07:50 PM

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This is how the spacer will look when properly installed. Note the minimal amount of copper grease being squeezed to the edge of the contact surfaces. 

20170826_182718-picsay.jpg


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#9

Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:57 PM

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20170826_173840X-picsay.jpg

20170826_190329-picsay.jpg

20170828_193358-picsayXX-picsay.jpg

20170830_084252-picsay.jpg


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#10

Posted 03 September 2017 - 10:08 PM

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Yeah, read good things about Eibach spacers too. Decided to give H&R a chance and especially when I found a good source from Ebay shpping direct from germany. 

 

Reason why I did not change my rims for lesser offset (eg. ET 20) ones is because I like my current factory non-staggered 19" AMG rims which comes with Pirelli Scorpion Verde RFT. A good compromise between handling and decent comfort. The spacers are not that expensive a mod to try out. When my RFT is worn and ready to be changed, then I will decide if I will go for 20" staggered AMG rims with the proper offset. 

 

Just to add. Eibach is also pretty good. Maybe you also could have considered a PCD change to 114.3. Jap rims easier find with many more choices. Easier to sell off if bored too.

 


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#11

Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:56 AM

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Amazing job. that feeling of achievement after a DIY project is just indescribable. 

 

so...what's next?  [laugh]

 



#12

Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:01 AM

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I recently DIY installed a set of spacers for my car.

 

Thought I share with you guys the process.

 Hopefully this can help those of you keen to install wheel spacers yourself.

 

Why I did not choose to pay a small amount of money and save myself the hassle of the DIY?

Well, after researching on the proper installation of spacers, there are a few reasons why I think DIY will be better compared to workshop installation:

1) Proper application of anti-seize copper grease to the right surface and not to accidentally get these into thread grooves.

2) Tightening of the bolts need to be in "Star" shaped pattern sequence to ensure the spacer and wheels are aligned properly

3) After 150km of travel, will need to remove the wheels to retighten the bolts.

4) Need to use torque wrench to tighten to the factory specification. In my case is 150nm.

 

I shall span this tutorial over a few thread posts for clarity in presentation.

 

First up, a pictorial video guide. 

 

 

as we said in chatgrp, think you mechanic better than doctor hahahaha


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#13

Posted 04 September 2017 - 12:14 PM

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Spacers - Is this cosmetic or going to affect the performance or safety ?? Any legit issues ??
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#14

Posted 04 September 2017 - 01:31 PM

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Non-professionals like me put spacers mainly for cosmetic reason.

 

Professional racers use spacers to tune their car's handling and balance round bends and corners. 

 

The secondary performance benefits are that of widened tracks leading to increased lateral and cornering stability. With a wider track, your CG is effectively lowered (if you get what I mean). It is more fun now round bends and curve. 

 

There are concerns about:

1) increased wear on wheel bearings, which imho is over hyped considering there are larger factory optioned wheels (21" vs base 18") which have wider tracks and heavier unsprung weight leading to increased wear on the wheel bearings. 

 

2) scrub radius will increase thus will alter the handling characteristics. But from my research, the scrub radius concerns are mainly for the steering axle. So for rear wheel spacers, the scrub radius effect is minimum. 

 

3) increase points of potential failure by additions of extra components to your axles. This, i feel,  is mitigated by choosing a good quality product from a reliable manufacturer and installing it properly as what I detailed in the preceding posts. 

 

Spacers - Is this cosmetic or going to affect the performance or safety ?? Any legit issues ??

 


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#15

Posted 05 September 2017 - 12:20 PM

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Non-professionals like me put spacers mainly for cosmetic reason.

Professional racers use spacers to tune their car's handling and balance round bends and corners.

The secondary performance benefits are that of widened tracks leading to increased lateral and cornering stability. With a wider track, your CG is effectively lowered (if you get what I mean). It is more fun now round bends and curve.

There are concerns about:
1) increased wear on wheel bearings, which imho is over hyped considering there are larger factory optioned wheels (21" vs base 18") which have wider tracks and heavier unsprung weight leading to increased wear on the wheel bearings.

2) scrub radius will increase thus will alter the handling characteristics. But from my research, the scrub radius concerns are mainly for the steering axle. So for rear wheel spacers, the scrub radius effect is minimum.

3) increase points of potential failure by additions of extra components to your axles. This, i feel, is mitigated by choosing a good quality product from a reliable manufacturer and installing it properly as what I detailed in the preceding posts.

W0W!! Like rocket science ..... next time my laupok car or van spoil I call you, you very techie techno lah 👍💪🏼
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#16

Posted 07 September 2017 - 11:23 AM

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Up for the effort

 

MCF can certainly do with more such threads

 

Star Shape Sequence and Torque Wrench - so important and simple to implement yet so many professional workshops still don't use


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#17

Posted 10 September 2017 - 09:57 AM

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How to give 50 points? Very good DIY.


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Refer to signature guidelines

#18

Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:35 AM

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How to give 50 points? Very good DIY.


At the rate TS is going with his various DIY, we may see a spacer plus a ceiling fan mounted on the roof of the car and voila - helicar😆

Up for the effort

MCF can certainly do with more such threads

Star Shape Sequence and Torque Wrench - so important and simple to implement yet so many professional workshops still don't use


Agreed. I miss those days and sound of the wrench...

Sadly, speed and laziness are the order of the day at workshops now.
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#19

Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:41 PM

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Lol, I have other DIYs but are all car model specific, so not useful to post it here. 

:D

Amazing job. that feeling of achievement after a DIY project is just indescribable. 

 

so...what's next?  [laugh]

 


Wait I go research on jet engines first ok? I prefer a jet propulsion car.  :D

 

At the rate TS is going with his various DIY, we may see a spacer plus a ceiling fan mounted on the roof of the car and voila - helicar😆

Agreed. I miss those days and sound of the wrench...

Sadly, speed and laziness are the order of the day at workshops now.

 


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#20

Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:49 PM

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-25 mm offset on a stock wheel is quite a lot

 

did you measure significant differences to the camber angles before and after the spacers?

 

might have uneven tyre wear on the inner side over a period of time due to a more negative camber

 

 

 




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