The pro’s and con’s of fitting Wheel Spacers are a hot topic on social media platforms. This topic is vigorously debated in many forums both locally and internationally. The most common issues discussed are related to, safety, reliability, performance and life span. We cover these hotly debated topics briefly below.
Safety and Reliability
Thread engagement length is critical. At the minimum, the rule of thumb is that the thread engagement length must be equal to or greater than the diameter of the fastener. In other words, if the stud is 12mm in diameter, the nut must engage onto the stud by at least 12mm. The question that must be asked here is, “would you purchase a vehicle where the stud only partly threads into the securing nut on your wheel rim? if not, why install a wheel spacer where the stud only partly threads into the securing nut?” Our Des Sol Wheel Spacers are designed so that our 16mm long nuts engage fully with the 12mm diameter studs and also extend past the end of the wheel nuts for extra peace of mind.
Since the threaded wheel studs offer the only means of securing the tire/wheel assembly onto the vehicle, great care should be taken when installing. This means paying attention to both the degree of tightening and the tightening pattern. Des Sol has detailed fitment instructions including torque settings on our website as well as engraved onto the wheel spacer itself . All threaded studs are intended to stretch slightly when fully tightened to specification. This creates the correct preload required to secure the wheel. If the wheel studs are under-tightened, they will eventually loosen, resulting in wheel damage or separation from the vehicle.
If the fasteners are tightened too aggressively, the wheel stud or bolt can permanently stretch (fatiguing beyond its designed elastic range). Over-tightening can result in stud failure, or at the very least will result in great difficulty during future removal.
Des Sol wheel spacers are precision engineered from billet aluminium, with all the holes and locating chamfer being machined as a primary operation – this ensures that they have a positional tolerance is that is within 0.01mm.
Fitting wheel spacers on the Gen3 and the Gen4 Jimny provide extra stability and road holding on the open road, when off roading, the additional track width also provides stability and a more comfortable drive on deep sandy tracks with a high middle mannetjie.
All 4×4 vehicles should have their tyres rotated every 8,000kms to 15,000kms depending on the tyre tread pattern (muddies need to be rotated more often). This is an ideal time to make sure that your Wheel Spacers are secure and remain torqued to the correct setting.