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Opeler
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Spacers question

Today I was shopping at a nearby auto parts store, and I saw they had some rims. I asked for a price on some that I liked, I asked them if they had any wheel spacers and they said no. Not only that, they said that they couldn't sell me these rims if the offset of my car was not appropriate for the rims. They said that putting spacers was dancerous (something about the brakes) and that I could file a law suit if anything happened. What do you guys think? Are they full of it, just really precautious, or what? Oh and is it true that it's dangerous to put spacers?

Malcolm,
 

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They're not the prefered method of making the correct rim offset. But for everyday driving, I've never heard of any problems. I used to use them on a set of ARE rims back in the early 90's. NEVER had a problem with them. They've become quite popular in the import (Japanese) sports car mags.

If you think about it...from an engineering standpoint, it's like the 4th piece of a 3 piece rim. They bolt on the rim just like...the rim and spoke bolt together. Then the whole thing bolts onto the wheel hub of the car.

Just keep it to an inch or less. You'll be fine.
 

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1450 Seeker...
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It is also strongly recommended that longer wheel studs be installed. I have not used any spacers, but I may be considering if my search for nice, affordable rims continues for too much longer.
 

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Pathologic Opeler
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spacers for wheels

My understanding is that we need 20 mm offset for the opel.

I have seen BMW wheels with 13 offset.does that mean we install a 7mm spacer..since 13+7 =20mm? to get BMW wheels to work?

now the japanese wheels are around 40-42 mm offset...does that mean they wont fit? what is the problem with too much offset and what is the problem with not enough offset?..thanks
 

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The offset is the distance from the center of the wheel to the mounting hub. If you have a +13 it is 13mm outboard of the center of the wheel. If you add a 7mm spacer you subtract it, which would give you a +6 offset (moves the hub closer to the center of the wheel)

This makes them an option (not the best) for using modern wheels. Since most Japanese cars have high offsets and the proper bolt patterns we can use them with large spacers. If you want a 42mm offset wheel to have a 20mm offset you would need 22mm spacers. If you didn't know there are 25.4mm in 1 inch, so that is a serious spacer.

The other thing that is important is offset verses backspace. To clear suspension the Opels have a 4" backspacing, that is the distance from the back of the wheel to the mounting surface. If you have an 8" wheel with 4" backspace you would have a +0 offset. If you are running a 7" wheel you would have about +13mm.

Dan
 

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type of spacers?

There are also two basic types of spacers.

The first is a simple disk of metal with holes in it that you slip over your studs between the hub and the wheel. They offer almost no support, require longer studs, and get much more dangerous the thicker you make them as the studs will tend to bend under the weight of the car. Generally these should be limited to not much more than 1/4" (6mm) and are pretty inexpensive and universal. Some guys swear by them and some swear at them, and they make me a little nervous, as I've broken more than a few studs with the wheels bolted directly on.

The other type is a disk with 2 sets of holes in it and a set of studs pressed into one set. They bolt to your hub with your existing lug nuts, then the wheel is bolted to them with another set of lug nuts. Because there is a set of lug nuts bolted through part of the spacer, they tend to be 3/4" or so and thicker. They can also be purchased with 2 different bolt patterns to change your 4x100mm bolt pattern hubs to a different bolt pattern wheels if desired. I've pretty much only heard positive feedback about these, and I in fact use a set on my Kadett, but they usually cost $35-65 each, making them pretty spendy.

To make things even more difficult, both types come in universal and "hub-centric" varities. The universal ones have a center hole that is big enough to fit on many different cars, and rarely fits snugly on any of them. Most also have oblong holes for the studs, which further limits the ammount of support they can give to the studs. These tend to move quite a bit when just placed on the hub, sometimes 1/2" or more in any direction, and are well known for throwing off wheel balance.

The "hub-centric" ones are built for a specific vehicle, and the center hole is precisly matched to the diameter of the center of the hub. Usually these also have perfectly round holes for the studs and are a snug fit to install. They will not move once on the hub, and can offer some support to the studs. Some even have a "nipple" of sorts around the center hole on the outside that is matched to the center hole of the wheel, thus firmly locating the wheel so the studs only have to hold the wheel on.

Generally, the universal type, slip on ones are responsible for most of the horror stories floating around about wheel spacers. If you get a good set of "hub-centric" spacers and longer studs, or thicker bolt on spacers (hub centric or not) you will probably have pretty good luck.

FYI, I purchased my spacers, hub-centric bolt on ones, for @$40 each from www.metalaction.ca and have nothing but good things to say about them.
 

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boomerang opeler
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hope this helps
if you use a FWD wheel you need to space the wheel to get the centre of the wheel over the centre of the hub to reduse stress on wheel barring
to do this you use a spacer of the distance shown to get the offset back to ideal(the exeption is when you have a wheel that is to wide and you have to offset outside the ideal)
you need to use extended wheel studs to fix wheels on as the old ones are going to be to short to get a nut on
 

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special

I measured the Opel hubs and it turns out that the ones for the Neon are the same hub bore as the front of the Opel, along with being the right bolt pattern. I can't remember off hand what the rears were for, but I used one of the ones they listed. They are also pretty good on the special order, and if you give them a call with your dimensions they'll make you a set for about the same price.

Baz, the stud length depends on the type of spacer. With the type I got you might actually need to shorten the studs, with the type that slips on over the studs you will probably need longer studs.

In fact, the difference in price between new studs+slip on adapters and bolt on adapters wasn't all that much. The price was close enough that, to me anyway, the decision seemed pretty easy. If I were only going 1/4" or so it might have been different, but for 1".....
 

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How about just putting the rims the wrong way round?

I've been looking for rims that i could fit that way, aparently old fords had some that you could do that with, i know that its ilegall to have tires sticking out of the fenders but i'm just concerned it if its safe, wouldn't want my wheels falling off.
 

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boomerang opeler
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sven
if you put the rims on the wrong way around you have three problems
1: there is no countersink for the lug nuts to bed into so they will work loose very quickly , result wheels fall off and we have 1 less opel owner on the site plus all the other people killed in the crash
2: the centre of the wheel has a lip that carrys all the weight of the car (not the studs and nuts as a lot of people suppose)
with the wheel inside out this is sticking into the hub which leaves a gap between the rim and hub which will create stress which will cause the studs to fail also reducing by one the number of opel owners on this site
3: the leverage on the bearings with all the wheel out side the centre of the hub will kill the bearings very quickly (if the first 2 did not do it first)
so best not to do it as we like to have more members not less;)
 

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baz is right on all counts except one. Opel wheels are "lug-centric", meaning the studs DO take all the load. This is different than makes that are "hub-centric", where the centre hub hole takes the load.

Hm, maybe not about the bearings. That depends on a lot of factors, but I don't believe that wheels with somewhat less off-set (or even negative off-set, where the hub mating surface is inboard of the wheel centre line will certainly cause a bearing failure. It might accelerate wear, but not catastrophically. Spirited driving, tire imbalance and other factors will play as big a role as wheel off-set.

JM2CW
 

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Old Opeler
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Spacer Ramblings

Spacers create several changes to the wheel mounting dynamics.

Thin spacers that clamp between the wheel and the mounting flange move the wheel away from that flange so there is more leverage on the studs - and the bearings. The point the front tyres turn around is also moved outwards away from the line through the ball joints that should meet with a vertical line through the centre of the tire or else the steering will not "self-centre" correctly. All to do with steering geometry. An increase in wheel off-set equal to the width of the spacer does correct this.

Also the weight of the car is held up, largely, by the friction between the wheel and the hub with the studs clamping them together after initially centering the wheel.

The bolt on adaptors create even more problems as they are usually wider and move the wheels away from their design position even further. Also the hub bolts are now behind the wheels and the wheels must be remove to check their if any have come loose - or not been torqued correctly when the kid at the the gas station changed the wheel.

The bolt on type spacers that bolt to the hub with the original studs and have a second set of studs to mount the wheels with. Most of us are too busy ( ...err lazy!!) to take the wheels off to periodically check these nuts.

In a nutshell - get the right wheels as it WILL save your life;)
 

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baz said:
sven
if you put the rims on the wrong way around you have three problems
1: there is no countersink for the lug nuts to bed into so they will work loose very quickly , result wheels fall off and we have 1 less opel owner on the site plus all the other people killed in the crash...
lol well i guess i better not do that then. but it would look cool. I wish they would make steel wheels that are that deep and that cheap
 

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Sven;
Why not take your wheels to a shop that specializes in widening steel wheels. Several in this club have had it done. There are several places here i the US that widen wheels.
 

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boomerang opeler
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dont know about croatia but here if you get your wheels banded(widend) you get a nice find off the police
they are classed as dangerous parts and you can be put in prison if you have them on and are involved in a fatal crash
so beware in european of local trafic laws

you can allways buy steel wide wheels with a balanced offset inside to outsideto get the same effect then flare the arches
 

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dont know about croatia but here if you get your wheels banded(widend) you get a nice find off the police
Yes, i have friend that has too wide wheels on a mini and he's been stopped lots of times, but never fined, just a warninng like, (hey, did you know you have to put flares there? Nooooo... reeally??)
If you watched Mad Max Road warrior you must have seen the rad falcon that has double wheels on the rear like a truck, i thought of doing that somehow and rising the rear sunspension.
 

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kwilford said:
baz is right on all counts except one. Opel wheels are "lug-centric", meaning the studs DO take all the load. This is different than makes that are "hub-centric", where the centre hub hole takes the load.JM2CW
"lug- centric" eh? I was considering getting some "hub-centric"spacers & came here looking for the hub diameter on my '75 ascona. Does this mean I don't need "hub-centric"?
Does it mean I CAN'T use "hub-centric" spacers?
Does anyone know the hub diameter on my '75? Is it the same as my 320i (2.250"/57.10mm)?
Does anyone have a link to hub diameters for all cars?
 
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