What happens when your new tires rub on the springs? If you have an aggressive tread design like these swampers you don't ignore it for very long! The first time a tire lug grips a spring and you explode a birfield or an axle shaft will make you look for a solution very quickly.
We needed to find a way to move the spinning swamper lugs away from the stationary leaf springs. First thought - offset rims... a common (although custom) fix. But we are known for being hard on equipment, so we had to take that into account.
|We wanted to be able to replace any trail damaged wheel without going 'custom' and having to wait for a backordered item. This is the time for wheeling, not waiting. The Spidertrax Wheel Spacers are sold as an alternative to going out and buying offset wheels. Just bolt on and forget. Spidertrax uses stock Suzuki wheel studs and lug nuts for strength and reliability. The installation was easy. We wanted to know just how much clearance these beauties really provided.|
|In the first comparison shots the difference was visible as the tire now extended farther past the wheel opening. This move may require you to look into larger fender flares depending on the laws in your state. While adding a wider stance to your overall vehicle footprint (remember the well known buzz line "Wider is Better"?), the big advantage is at the inside edge of the tire.|
|Where these spacers really proved their worth was in the 'tire lug to leaf spring' measurement. Before adding the spacers, the tire lugs bit into the spring with a firm grip at full lock. With the addition of the spacers, there was almost an inch (these are 1" spacers) of clearance. At full 'stuff' this measurement changed only slightly (3/4") while leaving plenty of room to spare.|
|You can see the difference in width (2" overall added to the width of the track) from a side by side comparison with spacers (left) and without (right). Any spacers (or using an offset wheel) will add some stress to your wheel bearings and should be checked while doing regular maintenance. But the stresses we put our rigs through while on the trail are just as hard on them, so don't put off that regular maintenance.|
like an offset custom wheel, the arc of travel that the wheel goes through
when turning from side to side also moves out from the body. With the
wheel farther away from the body during this arc there is more of a chance
for the tire to contact the front of the fender and bumper, and the
firewall to the rear. For a smaller tire (30" or below) this may not
be a problem. But for a larger and more aggressive tire, it may be time to
explore options in clearancing (trimming and/or reshaping) the wheel
opening and possibly moving the axle a bit forward.
With every change, there is more possibility of additional changes.
In our case, the Spidertrax Wheel Spacers moved the tire away from the springs, doing exactly what we needed. The quality of workmanship and attention to detail made this a quick and easy upgrade (30 minutes) with a common wheel lug wrench. Did the wheel spacers perform as advertised? Definitely.
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