Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

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Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby 8Track » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:00 pm

I'm about to purchase after market wheels and get new tires (BFG All Terrain KO2- 265/75/16) and would like to even out the wheel tracking as the rear axle is a little more narrow than the front. In theory, by having the rear wheel track that much narrower than the front you would catch different parts of the road, which would lead to instability. Installing wheel spacers to the rear (I'm thinking 2") would make the wheel track the same as the front which should help as well as make the stance a little more attractive. Another option would be to get wider rear wheels- for example, putting 16x8 wheels on the front and 16x10 for the rear, I should be able to achieve the same without the spacers. There would be the disadvantage of not being able to rotate the tires by going that route though.
Has anyone installed rear wheel spacers? Or running larger size rear wheels? Any thoughts on advantages or disadvantages by trying this out?
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Re: Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby 8Track » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:16 pm

Also, another thing worth bringing up that I read on another forum-
"If you run your van heavily loaded, avoid the spacers. On another forum, loaded camper vans have experienced axle failures with spacers. Moving the wheels out increases the load on the axle and increases the chances of failure."

I'm hoping someone on this forum has experience using either spacers or wider rear wheels to give some advice
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Re: Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby 8Track » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:15 pm

Not really getting any bites on my question. After a lot of reading up on the pros & cons of the wheel spacers I'm pretty sure I'm not going that route for safety reasons.
I'm ready to order new wheels so I'm hoping someone can lend their advice before I pull the trigger.
I'd really like to even up the wheel tracking, so I'm hoping this will work:
I'm looking at getting the American Racing Baja wheels http://www.americanracing.com/wheel/38666/ar172-baja and BFG A/T KO2 tires (265/75/16). If I were to put 16"x8" (0 offset/4.50 backspacing) on the front and 16"x10" (-25 offset/ 4.52 backspacing) would this even up the tracking? I know the 16x8" will work, I'm just questioning the 16x10" for the rear. I think I've read somewhere that we are maxed out at 9? :?:
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Re: Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby GJCamper » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:12 am

I've been searching around for answers to your question and this is all I have found: I'm not finding anything about tracking BUT I have found a couple of people who put 8"x16" in front and 10"x16" in back with a significant difference in ride stability. The wheel wells in front require "trimming" to fit a 10" but the back does not. Spacers in back don't appear to be a good choice. The only down side I have found to 8" in front and 10" in back appears to be the inability to rotate tires back to front. One guy said he put a small lift in front to make up for the approx 1" difference in height front to back.
That's all I can find.
I checked my tires and found that they look almost new but are in fact 7 years old so I'm going to need to spring for new tires. I think I will switch to 8" front and 10" back. I like the idea of the back tires having a higher weight rating and any improvement in ride stability is a plus. Sorry I couldn't find anything about tracking.
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Re: Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby GJCamper » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:19 am

Here's some chat on the subject:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1007
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Re: Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby 8Track » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:00 am

Thanks for the reply GJCamper! My tires are about the same age as yours. Even though they look new, dryrot is starting to show and with a pretty big trip coming up in a couple months I'm not going to chance it. Not looking forward to the affects on my wallet- but it's gotta be done.

I'm about to put 2" lift blocks on the rear that I got from Alaskan and MOOG CC880S coils on the front which should give me about a 1 3/4" lift to even it all out. In addition to a rear Hellwig sway bar and a front steering stabilizer that I got a good deal on. I'm really hoping I'll be done with upgrades/repairs for a minute.
If you're planning on getting the 265/75/16 tires, I read that those are 10" wide. So I think the biggest factor in what we're trying to achieve lies more in the backspacing on the rear wheels. Maybe? I'm going to go to a tire shop and see if they can give me some direction. Let me know how yours turn out!


I found this interesting article from 2002 https://wfca.ca/2003/05/axle-spacers-possible-van-handling-remedy/. I'm not sure if these claims still hold up today
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Re: Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby GJCamper » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:43 am

I am getting mixed reviews on installing a steering stabilizer. Have you found good prices on replacing the tires (and back wheels)? Have you decided what to buy? The article you shared has made me decide to make the change sooner than later. No more trips until I make the change.
Thanks
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Re: Rear wheel spacers vs. wider rear wheels

Postby GJCamper » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:50 pm

Well, I went ahead and got tires today. I went with the BFG All Terrain KO2- 265/75/16 on all 4. They talked me out of getting 245 in front and 265 in back at the tire store. There was a bit of fiberglass they trimmed for the front tire. I have dropped her off at the RV shop to be buffed out and take off some of the old cracked decals. They will trim a little of the metal that was under the fiberglass as it still looked close to me.

I had heavy duty shocks put on last week which made a difference. I would say the tire change has made about the same amount of change as the new shocks did. I recommend those BFG tires. They are not loud on the road and beefy enough with good all terrain tread.
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