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Thread: Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

  1. #1
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    Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    Im ready to put the rear wheels on a Testarassa kit, and it looks like Ill need the Wheel Adaptors or spacers.Im trying to stay away from the costly wide track suspension.I have goten the web address on a previous post for the spacer/adaptors.What are the pros and cons on Wheel Adaptors verses spacer and why do they make Wheel Adaptors?Is this to change to a diffrent bolt patern?Do the wheel Adaptors put less strain on the wheel bearing?I need to install 2 inch spacers in the rear.Will the wheel studs loosen in the Aluminimum adaptor?Please post your comments.....Thanks
    The road to life is full of flat squirrels, who couldn't make up their mind!

  2. #2
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    Wheels adapters and wheel spacers are virtually identical. Both in appearance and it their affect on your handling, safety and wear of mechanical parts. The wider the WORSE they are on related components and more prone to loosening, warping and even "tearing" apart.

    Yes, they are less expensive... but failure to properly monitor, replace and maintain they and the bearings will cost you FAR MORE in damage and medical expenses.

    Take into consideration this FACTUAL account... 1 Ferrari F355 replica at 250 miles... Three sets of rear bearings and two sets of front bearings plus the cost of the spacers to begin with... over $1000 in parts in just one year.

    Versus a DMS suspension kit at around $2000 with the same OEM term and tolerances for the bearings and safety.

    The above example may bve extreme but it is a FACT... It doesn't talk about those folks that do not keep them inspected and replaced and have lost wheels at freeway speeds.

    There is also the cosmetic reasons... Using spacers adjust the pivot point of the wheel so that when you turn, it pulls the wheel into contact with the fender well and also makes the suspension look misaligned... for example...



    Of course, it may take you two or more years to have spent as much as a new wide track suspension... That is definately a plus. Just don't take your car on lots of twisty city streets or lovely mountain roads without taking car of those adapter/spacers and bearings

    DKOV -
    DMS


  3. #3
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    I think a 2 inch wheel adapter should be fine on the rear of your car. I am using a 2 3/8 inch adapter on mine. I think DKOV is using a pair on the rear of his kit as well. The primary difference between wheel adapters and wheel spacers are the following. A wheel adapter is used to make one wheel bolt pattern fit onto a flange of a dissimilar bolt pattern. Most examples of this would be putting a Ferrari wheel (5 on 108mm) onto a Fiero (5 on 100mm) bolt circle. Two sets of bolts hold the adapter in place. Use the proper torque and Loctite to hold the inside (hidden) lug nuts and I think you will be fine.

    A spacer on the other hand is used to provide offset to a particular wheel alignment. Many racing cars use them today. The 1986 Porsche Wide Body Turbo Look cars used this principal. At least the one I had did. The spacer was 3 inches in the rear on each side and one inch wider on each side in the front. Porsche used very long studs and the wheels bolted directly to the axle flange with the spacer in between the flange and the wheel. One set of bolts held it in place.

    Hope this helps you with the answer,

    Dave
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  4. #4
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    I have adapters on my car but nowhere near 2 inches and not for the sole purpose of spacing out the wheels...

    The adapters in this case are to make up the difference in offset between a stock Fiero wheel and the authentic F355 wheels, returning the bearing stress loads back to factory specs. Nothing more.

    Which is the point I was trying to make... using spacer/adapters for no other reason than to adjust he spacing is NOT safe. That is why the SCCA, America's governing racing sanction, has DISALLOWED them in racing.

    In the case of replicas... 4 - 6 inches of added spacing and offset is not uncommon and very dangerous.

    DKOV -
    DMS

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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    Hey now! Iíve read postings like this: My size aa" X bb" wheels with 40mm offset fit my Fiero with no problems. Next poster boy says: I have same size wheels with 50mm offset, works no problem. Fiero wheel offset is a percentage of wheel width? If yes, what is the percent? The 355 wheels are much deeper. Is this because the inner & outer bearings are further apart on the hub, making the hub wider? Help me! Iím stupid!

  6. #6
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    Dewey:

    I have used spacers and wide track suspension for years without problems. My 355 has logged over 45,000 miles with wheel spacers and no wheel bearing problems to date. I don't have anything to sell regarding suspension components so I make applications work the best I can as most people on this site. The wide track suspension I used on phase two of my car was a Ryane Motorsports +4, direct bolt of Momo wheels to my hubs and now I have Ryane with HMS Anti-Bump Steer on the rear with +3 with 2 3/8 inch spacers. Prior to the wide track suspension, I used a 4-inch spacer/adapter. I drove the car 23,000 miles with the 4-inch spacer on it before I converted to the +4 wide track, another 20,000 miles with the wide track, but only 2,000 miles or so with the combination of +3 HMS and the 2 3/8 inch spacer. Same wheel bearings, no problems. I have upgraded the brakes to 12 inch Wilwood when going to the +4 wide track as well.

    Dave
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    Dave always seems to get the best performance out of everything... However, he is also always the exception.

    Realize what he is saying though, after all the massive amount of miles he's mentioned on wide track suspension, only 2000 of them are on spacers. 2000 miles is like 2 months of driving. Most people don't have bearing problems for at least that long even with 4 inch spacers... closer to 4 - 6 months I'd begin to wonder, if you don't feel it already.

    Sure, it is implied that I have something to GAIN by suggesting you stay away from wheel spacers and use a wide track suspension... but that is not the REASON. Don't buy them from me or anyone I know... I don't care... just don't get hurt.

    I researched my kit for many years and discoverd many examples of why NOT to depend on them. You can sure use them with no issues, but you need to MAINTAIN them. It's just that so many folks use them with NO IDEA that they will accelrate the bearing wear.

    So long as you know and accept the responsibility of maintaining them properly, I'm satisfied. In reality, it makes no difference what I think.

    Just don't believe those that tell you there is nothing to fearl

    DKOV -

  8. #8
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    Scott:

    I believe that if the person starts off with a fresh rebuild wheel bearing system as I did with my 4-inch spacer set up and 23,000 miles of driving with them they should be ok. In addition, I did remove the wheels and check the wheel nuts that held the spacer to the hub and re-torque them with fresh loctite on the studs. The lug nuts will tend to seat into the spacer and the periodic maintenance is needed to be safe.

    I would only consider using this set up on the rear, never on the front. When a spacer wider than 1-inch is used on the front, the scrub radius will be drastically changed and the steering will be affected. I do not believe the application of wide spacers on the front is safe.

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  9. #9
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    Quote Originally Posted by dewey
    Hey now! Iíve read postings like this: My size aa" X bb" wheels with 40mm offset fit my Fiero with no problems. Next poster boy says: I have same size wheels with 50mm offset, works no problem. Fiero wheel offset is a percentage of wheel width? If yes, what is the percent? The 355 wheels are much deeper. Is this because the inner & outer bearings are further apart on the hub, making the hub wider? Help me! Iím stupid!
    The stock Fiero wheels at 6 inches wide had a 37mm offset while the 7 inch wheels had a 41mm offset. So, the general rule is that the load bearing "sweet spot" engineered for the Fiero is roughly 42% of the wheel width. Every 5mm +/- is 6% additional offset. From what I read, the bearings have a +/- tolerance of around 1/2 of an inch or 12mm which gives up a range of about 10mm to play with in total.

    So how does that translate to the actual wheel and the bearing loads applied? That means you can install wheels with an offset from 34mm to 44mm and still be within manufacturer's specs on the bearings.

    So, mathematically, you take the difference between the stock offset and the offset of the new wheel and that is the thickness of your needed spacer adapter. In the case of the 355 wheels, the addition of 25mm in front and 39mm in rear is what I needed to get to there.

    DKOV -
    DMS

  10. #10
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re:Wheel Adaptors VS Wheel Spacers.

    I agree with your analysis of the factory offset specs. The challenge on the rear is the 355 wheel is wide and the rim hits the shock and spring without a wider spacer than 39mm. There is only one way around this problem and that is a 62mm spacer (If your using the Fiero suspension or a wide track version from HMS that is) There is only so much room to use. I tried it on 86 and 88 models and the problem is consistent. to mount a Ferrari wheel on a Fiero hub a 62mm spacer is required. That distance is dictated by the Fiero upright and how it attaches to the bottom of the strut housing. When a wide track suspension is used it moves the wheel flange and upright out further, the distance from the hub to the wheel flange is the same.

    If you want tougher bearings, use an 89 Olds Ciera upright with Chevy S-10 front hubs from a 4 X 4. That will also provide a 4.75 bolt circle if you want to use Chevy wheels too. All wheel bearing issues go away with that application.
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

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