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Old 03-28-2009, 02:00 PM
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wheel spacer width: how wide is unsafe?

I'm not sure if this has been covered yet. I've got a '68 mustang that has had '70 front disc brakes put on it. I have a set of 17x9" 1998 cobra wheels that I'm trying to put on the front. I've found that in order to clear the stock upper control arm I have to space the wheel out 1-1/8". How bad will this effect the steering axis inclination and will it put too much stress on the spindle and studs? I'm at a crossroads as to whether I should buy new wheels or go another route. either way I'm spending money.

Any help would be great, Thanks

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Old 03-28-2009, 03:06 PM
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The main issue at first glance is stress on the studs. While spacing out
1 1/8" is quite a bit, as long as the offset of the wheels doesn't place the center of the tire/wheel significantly outboard of the stock location (which it won't if the tire/wheel setup still fits under the stock fender) you could get away with it. I would consider replacement of the studs to a longer and possibly larger diameter stud just to be safe.

Steering axis inclination won't change, but the scrub radius likely will, again it depends on where the center of the contact patch ends up in relation to the line intersecting the upper and lower ball joints. The impact of that is likely to be insignificant for a street car.

Andy
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:41 PM
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thanks Andy,
The new wheel will still fit under the fender and the dimension towards the fender should only increase about 1-3/4". If the inside demension doesn't change from the old wheel would the center move outboard only 7/8"?
If that's the case that doesn't seem so bad.

Shawn
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:54 PM
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I would use bolt on spacers that have their own lugs,instead of shim type spacers.
Shane
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:28 PM
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It depends

I've used spacers on dunebuggies to go from VW to chevy wheels with no problems. My 56 chevie cameo pickup had wheels with a lot of ofset and it would be all over the road and want to follow ruts.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:37 PM
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I agree with Shane the bolt on Billet aluminum spacers will work fine and are safe.
http://members.cox.net/completevalue/wheelpat.html
http://members.cox.net/completevalue/index.html
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:38 PM
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The largest spacers I seen are 1/4" and that is pushing it. If you go with wider spacers than that, it is dangerous! You'll also have to replace all the lug studs on the wheel with longer ones. If the spacers were in the rear, it's less dangerous, however yours are up front. The problems is you have the wrong offset on the rims that you want to use. Two options, you can take those rims in to a rim manufacturer. They can often take the rim apart and change the offset to one that will work for your application. The other option is get a set of rims that will fit. Stay away from the spacers! Safety is an issue.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblackduck87
thanks Andy,
The new wheel will still fit under the fender and the dimension towards the fender should only increase about 1-3/4". If the inside demension doesn't change from the old wheel would the center move outboard only 7/8"?
If that's the case that doesn't seem so bad.

Shawn
I agree with your conclusion, the load on the bearings and spindle should not increase significantly.

Let's see a photo when your done...
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:46 AM
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Have you thought of talking with your local circle track guys or machine shop and have a pair of longer tube control arms made , just curious.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:47 AM
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i have an s10, and the rear is 3/4 of an inch more to the drivers side. ive been looking at the aluminum spacers from jegs, would 3/4 thick be safe or what?
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:36 PM
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I'm going with Shane's suggestion on the bolt ons. I can't seem to find shim spacers that thick anyway. I still have a couple of more things to check before taking this step but your guys replies have helped a lot.

Thanks a bunch.
Shawn
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:03 PM
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A few years ago one of my customers wanted to put a set of 17 x 9 10th anniversary cobra wheels on his 67 fastback, and found that the inside of the wheel contacted the upper control arms. His car had 14" Baer brakes and Total Control front suspension. I'm reasonably sure that setup keeps the stock wheel location. Instead of moving the wheel out, which would have crashed it into the fender, we narrowed it by taking 1 1/2" from the inside, ..when we were done it looked like this.





As you can see, the fender is pretty close to the outside of the tire, and the outside of the track width stayed the same as the rear.. . Does the 70 disc brakes on a 67-68 move the wheel mounting surface inboard that much from the stock location that you need that big of a spacer? Or are you running some flares?

I don't see a whole lot of problems with running a good spacer, as those cobra wheels have alot of backspacing. I know the 17 X 9 wheels in that picture have over 6" of backspacing.

Maybe some things you want to look at, if you haven't thought about them already.

Later, mikey
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
A few years ago one of my customers wanted to put a set of 17 x 9 10th anniversary cobra wheels on his 67 fastback, and found that the inside of the wheel contacted the upper control arms. His car had 14" Baer brakes and Total Control front suspension. I'm reasonably sure that setup keeps the stock wheel location. Instead of moving the wheel out, which would have crashed it into the fender, we narrowed it by taking 1 1/2" from the inside, ..when we were done it looked like this.





As you can see, the fender is pretty close to the outside of the tire, and the outside of the track width stayed the same as the rear.. . Does the 70 disc brakes on a 67-68 move the wheel mounting surface inboard that much from the stock location that you need that big of a spacer? Or are you running some flares?

I don't see a whole lot of problems with running a good spacer, as those cobra wheels have alot of backspacing. I know the 17 X 9 wheels in that picture have over 6" of backspacing.

Maybe some things you want to look at, if you haven't thought about them already.

Later, mikey

great job , cutting the wheels down. i was looking for some one that could cut my new front wheels down but nobody i checked with could do it.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:21 AM
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Mike,
Thanks for the photos. I'm not sure how far the '70's move the wheel in or out as I have no '68 spindles to compare it with. The original wheels that I got with the car have a 3.75 to 4" back spacing where the 17x9 wheels I want to use have almost 6". I figure adding that spacer would put the backspacing on the 17x9s closer to stock or more to the point, extends the hub to meet the wheel. The wheel fits in the fender, it's just that it can't reach the hub without hitting the upper control arm. I don't really want to start cutting wheels down. I'd just go buy new ones if it come to that.

I really do appreciate all the input everyone is giving.

Shawn
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:49 PM
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Just got home and did some more checking on my wheel issue. Boy am I glad you guys are out there for help. If ever there was a case for the old saying, "measure twice, cut once" I feel like a fool. My previous measurements were all with the suspension at full sag(giving me all that room to stuff a 17x9rim under the fender) Imagine my dismay when I supported the car from the suspension and lost that precious 1-1/4 inch. argh!
Exterior dimensions on this wheel are actually 10 inches from lip to lip.
Thanks for all the help guys, looks like I'm buying a new set of wheels.
On the bright side I know a little more about wheel spacers than I did before.
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