Spacers vs Offset = No difference to Bearings - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:31 PM
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Spacers vs Offset = No difference to Bearings

* Correction - Bolt on Spacers vs more back space = No Difference to Bearings.


I have been looking into spacers for my wheels and have searched a lot. I keep running across comments like "spacers kill wheel bearings, just get the correct backspace". There is NO difference mathmatically. Are those comments a select few, or is that the majority view? If so, why?

Last edited by mram10; 09-05-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:35 PM
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I don't know about bearing comments, but spacers aren't good. It's not the same mathematically, as the stress point is moved further out on the lug nuts. I have 1/4" spacers on the front because I didn't realize '05+ have a different offset, and metal on metal contact doesn't make me happy. However, that's not a long term solution. I think of spacers more as a "Oops, I messed up" fix. There are spacers that correct that though, and they have their own set of lug nuts. Those are the proper ones to use, if you're not going to have the correct wheels.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:44 PM
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i would correct your statement to say:

"Bolt on spacers vs Offset wheels = no difference to bearings."

Slide on spacers, like macon said, introduce more stress and should be very temporary if used. Good bolt on spacers are a long term solution.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:51 PM
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Macon,
My comment was about bearings, not lugs nuts. From what I understand, the lug nuts are not the limiting factor if you purchase the correct grade. Bearings don't know the difference. They only know how far away the center of the tire is.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:06 PM
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Correct, that's what you said. The reason I brought up placement on the lug nuts is due to leverage. The further out the weight is, the more leverage it has on the hub. Applying all that pressure at an angle it's not designed for, *could* cause issues with bearings. I haven't heard of any bearing issues, but I haven't researched it. I've known of people that used spacers for years with no adverse effects. I know a guy that used 4x4 Redwood for lift blocks with no adverse effects (up until I lost contact with him of course, so at least a year). That doesn't mean it's right.

I get what you're saying about the wheel centerline, however, centerline and weight distribution do not always equal. The "bolt-on spacers" counter weight distribution by keeping the "felt" weight close to the hub.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:24 PM
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My objective was to clear up the issue of those that said backspacing is fine for your bearings, while spacers are bad, when in fact, they are the exact same to the bearings if they set the tire to the same point in space. I see your points. Just didn't want people getting confused about bearing wear.

btw, love the Thomas Paine quote. There is still a large number of us that defend the Constitution.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:36 PM
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But they're not quite the same. A 1/4" spacer will create more stress because of leverage, than an wheel set to an equal offset. Is the difference large enough to be of concern? That's a question for smart people to answer.


I like the quote as well. I used to change them up periodically, but I really like that one.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:48 PM
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I have to disagree that a 1/2" of spacer vs a 1/2" of backspacing will be any different to the bearing. I understand the lug argument, but leverage is the exact same for both applications, thus force on the bearing is the exact same. Unless I am incorrect, it is a simple triangle formula.
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