If you like the wheels that are on your vehicle and you wish
to install an over-sized tire that normally would not fit
under your vehicle on your existing rims, then perhaps you
should consider wheel spacers manufactured by Spidertrax
and for around $250.00 per set of four.
spacers are machined from solid T6-6160 aluminum and are turned
on a precision CNC lathe. Measuring 1.25 inches wide, you
can subtract that from the backspacing dimension of the wheel
you intend to use them with to determine the new backspacing
be noted that wheel spacers will not pass inspection in many
states and that the manufacturer states on the disclaimer
that the wheel spacers are intended for off-road use only!
installing the wheel spacers on our TJ. The spacers come in
a 5x4.5 bolt pattern, which is the OE bolt pattern for most
DaimlerChrysler Jeep vehicles, including all Wranglers, Cherokees,
Comanches, Grand Cherokees, and Liberties.
the most popular uses for these wheel spacers is to fit 33x12.5R15
tires on Jeep Wrangler TJs that were equipped with "Gambler"
or "Canyon" style wheels. These are deep wheels
with 5.5 inch backspacing, which is almost certainly too much
backspacing for a tire over 12 inches wide on a TJ (without
trimming). Turning can be nearly impossible with the tires
tucked in that close.
spacer essentially changes the backspacing of our "Canyon"
rim equipped with a 32x11.5R15 tire to 4.25 inches, which
suits our needs perfectly.
spacer is not mounted to the wheel first, as the picture shows.
The spacer is bolted on to the vehicle first, since one would
normally be installing wheels. This picture just gives an
idea of the role the spacer plays behind the wheel.
is currently equipped with 32x10.5R15 tires on stock steel
rims with the appropriate amount of lift. While the wheel
spacers are not necessary with this configuration, we will
be installing them anyway to show their effectiveness.
pictured here is our "before" picture.
spacer bolts on nicely over the rotor on the front axle. The
lug wrench that was used to take the lug nuts off did not
fit in the cylindrical holes that are used to bolt the wheel
spacer up to the axle using the low profile lug nuts provided
with the kit. A 3/4 inch shallow socket, an extension and
a breaker bar worked nicely.
be difficult to keep the axle from turning when installing
the spacers unless the differentials are completely locked.
Be careful not to damage the threads if you need to hold the
axle by the studs to tighten the spacers.
On a TJ,
this is one of the most problematic areas regarding rubbing.
The rear fenders are spacious enough to nest tires of a large
diameter, although they are not very deep. A 10.50" wide
tire on 15x7" rims with proper trac bar orientation comes
less than half an inch from rubbing the top of the rear coil
spring perch on the drivers side.
here is the comfortable amount of space the tire has after
the wheel spacer was installed.
here is our TJ with 1.25" wheel spacers installed behind
each wheel. You can compare it with the "before"
picture and see the difference, albeit a subtle difference.
I had the chance to see a TJ with 33" tires that had
33x12.5R15 tires installed on stock "Gambler" style
rims with spacers like these and the difference was evident
and the stance seemed optimal. The tires only extended a couple
inches beyond the stock fender flares.
a cast aluminum wheel spacer from another manufacturer. We
do not recommend you use a cast spacer like this on any vehicle,
especially a trail rig! And you think the Dana 35 is prone
way to use a cast aluminum style spacer like this is as a
spare tire relocator on a tailgate... or as a paper weight
or a cup holder.
debate is whether or not wheel spacers are safe. If one would
fail, it could put a vehicle and its passengers in a very
unsafe situation. There are some shops and organizations that
won't even touch them for fear of being liable.
other hand, high quality spacers like these are being used
by many four wheelers without problems and with increasing
popularity. The Spidertrax wheel spacers from JKS are very
strong and they are designed to take the kind of abuse that
rockcrawling has to dish out. They are also successfully being
used on some ARCA competitors' rigs.