Your car wheels might be too close to the fender for your liking. Maybe you want to make your car look more aggressive with a wider stance. Or you just need wheel spacers for that perfect fitment. Whatever the reason, you need to know how to measure wheel spacers before you buy them. Let`s look at a few examples of how to do just that.
What Are Wheel Spacers For?
Wheel spacers are attached between a vehicle's hub and wheel to stop the wheel from rubbing against suspension parts. They can also be used to make the track wider, which might improve performance and give the vehicle a more aggressive look. Spacers come in different thicknesses, so you'll need to know how much space you want to add before you purchase them.
The only downfall of wheel spacers is that you have to do some research beforehand to make sure you get the right size. The space between your tires and car body will be different depending on the vehicle, so it's important to measure and take note of what size works best for your car specifically.
The significance of wheel spacers for your vehicle is a personal preference. You may not need them at all, or you might want to use them for both performance and style reasons.
How To Measure What Wheel Spacers You Need?
In order to measure what size wheel spacer you need, first, you'll need to know the width of your vehicle's tires. The width is typically listed on the sidewall of the tire and is represented in millimeters. Once you have this measurement, divide it by 25.4 to convert it to inches. For example, if your tires are 225 mm wide, then 225 divided by 25.4 equals 8.86 inches. Now that you know the width of your tires, you can start measuring for spacers.
Get two rulers and set one on each inner fender lip so that it hangs down as straight as possible. Take the ruler in each hand and measure from the tire or rim edge to the hanging Ruler. This distance is how much room you have until contact would occur. You will want a spacer that is smaller than this number.
To figure out how large of a spacer you will need, grab a metal ruler and place it on the top outermost part of the wheel where it is closest to the fender. From here, measure from the outside edge of the wheel to the straight edge. This final number is representative of the size spacer you'll need in order to make your wheels look flush (or nearly flush) with your car's fender.
After all these steps, you should have a good idea of what size spacers you need in order to make your car look the way you want it as well. Keep in mind that you can always adjust the size up or down depending on your preference.
Now that you know how to measure wheel spacers, happy shopping!
What Is A Safe Size For Wheel Spacers?
We recommend staying under 2 inches when running spacers. That said, be mindful that some OE studs may exceed the spacer's mounting surface. Before you mount your wheels, take note of any overhang and trim it off. Also, opt for hub-centric spacers whenever possible to ensure the best fit possible.
In case you take 3 inches or more, you may need to upgrade your wheel studs. But with that said, it's always best to consult a suspension or wheel expert before finalizing a purchase. And if your spacers are less than an inch, it's usually not necessary to upgrade your studs.
Even if you don't need to upgrade your studs, we still recommend using extended lug nuts with any spacer. This is because the added length provides more thread engagement and a higher level of safety.
As a general rule of thumb, it's always best to start small and work your way up. That way, you can avoid any potential clearance issues down the road.
Hub-centric Or Generic Wheel Spacers?
When buying a new set of wheel spacers, you may be wondering whether to get hub-centric or generic ones. In short, hub-centric spacers attach to the vehicle's hub first and then the wheel is mounted on top. This creates a tighter and more secure fit since the weight of the vehicle is being supported by the center of the wheel rather than the studs.
Generic or bolt-through spacers, on the other hand, bolt directly to the studs. While this method is perfectly safe, it's not as secure as using hub-centric spacers. We recommend using hub-centric spacers whenever possible for the best possible fitment.
Hubcentric wheel spacers are designed to snugly fit the hub of your vehicle. For example, the 5×120 BMW spacers are precisely made to match BMW models that use the 5x120 lug pattern and have a 72.56 center bore diameter (this is referring to the lip where your wheel seating meets the hub).
Now that you know how to measure what wheel spacers you need, you can start shopping for the perfect set of spacers for your car. And if you're not sure which size or type to get, always err on the side of caution and go with a smaller size or a hub-centric design.
Be attentive to the width of your tires as well. If they are too wide, you might want to consider getting a set of fender flares in order to avoid any potential rubbing issues.