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Old 01-21-2013, 07:18 PM   #166
oregoncoast OP
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I finally got some time to install the wheel spacers. Since adding the larger tires and 2" lift, I've been wanting to widen the stance of the Subie because it just didn't look right to me. Basically, I could get wider tires and rims, different offset rims, or spacers. This is a budget build and I technically have enough stock rims right now to run the M1K, so spacers was the option I chose.


Now, I quickly discovered that internet threads about wheel spacers, and lug-centric vs. hub-centric wheels and spacers, are like oil threads or WD-40 threads here on ADVrider: Lots of speculation, and armchair mechanics regurgitating what they heard someone say once, or read somewhere they couldn't remember or at best relating one bad experience they had, or had heard of with whatever it is they don't like.


I have dealt with this stuff concerning WD-40 being used on bike chains and how the chain will skip a tooth, climb up the bike wrap around your neck and while choking you to death would blow the motor up. It just doesn't happen. I've gotten 20k miles on chains that have been horribly neglected and abused with WD-40.


I've done my research, talked to my experts, and examined the issue. I believe that these wheel spacers I am using are safe and will work, as long as I install them correctly and maintain them correctly (ie; torque specs, etc). Now, that doesn't mean they won't spin off, break through the windshield and billet-beat me into a pulp...but if that does happen, I believe it will be because of installer or operator error...not the fault of the spacers or their design.

I do not wish to have this thread degrade into a wheel spacer debate. Just do a google search and figure it out for yourself where you stand. I understand that some people don't like them and think they are dangerous. I also understand that some people love them and think they are safe. I know some people think they will cause your wheel bearing to either wear faster or completely blow up in a ball of flame. I know that some people have not noticed any difference in wheel bearing wear and some who can't see any difference than using rims with different offsets.

I believe that I want to try them and test them under some grueling conditions and see how they hold up. So please just sit back and watch what happens with them...good or bad.


When I started considering wheel spacers I decided to talk to my friend Wayne at the local Les Schwab Tire Center. Wayne is the assistant manager and has been mounting wheels for more than 20 years. Wayne told me he has had used wheel spacers of both designs and has had no issues. He told me he had 2" spacers on his kid's Samurai with no wheel bearing issues or safety concerns. Wayne told me to be sure to get Billet Aluminum ones and the kind that bolt on.


I decided on the 1.25 spacers from mywheeladapters.com They were under $130 shipped, which I thought was a good deal.

When I got them, I was genuinely impressed by the quality of them. The also came with some detailed instructions and the install looked relatively straight forward.

I have decided to post up the install here, only because I really didn't see a lot of good examples online when I was looking and I thought that if any of you were wondering about these, you could get an idea of what was involved.

First you start with these:




Using the correct lug nuts is imperative. The Subaru uses conical nuts and since the ones I had on the car were the ones with the chrome caps, I had to get new ones. See, that is a big issue when folks install these...they use the wrong nuts and the wheel either hit the tops of the nuts, or don't center and seat because they use flat based ones to mount the spacers.

I set off to O'Reilly's and they only had 11 of the correct size nut. They called Les Schwab who had 9. Perfect. Now I had the 20 new lug nuts to install the spacers. On my way back, Ray called and said he had time to do some cage work today if I could get over there this afternoon. I told him I just wanted to mount up the wheel spacers and then I would be there. He paused and said, "I don't know about spacers...."

Oh Brother.

Here's a shot of one of my new nuts in my hand




Jack the car, put it on a jack stand and wire brush the hubs and wheel surface to clean them up:




Slip fit the wheel spacer to make sure it is the correct one, as they won't take them back once installed:




Check to ensure that the lug bolts on the hub don't extend out past the surface of the spacer, because if they do, you need to cut them. This is also where you check to make sure the lug nuts holding the spacer to the hub don't extend because that will also cause failure. Luckily, the Subies lug bolts did not need trimming:




Bolt it up by hand, star pattern, which will help to ensure proper centering of the spacer...and thus, proper centering of the wheel. Then torque to the proper spec and then it's time to mount the wheel.




Then you just mount up the wheel like usual only make sure to do it by hand and then torque to specs. Done.



Of course, what I haven't told you yet, was that 3 of the lug nuts were not the right thread so I had to drive 7 miles back to town and this time buy the last 5 lug nuts that NAPA had. Crazy just how few lug nut reserves there are in this little cow-town!!


Now, I didn't have time to take beauty shots of the wheels because I had to get over to Ray's as the second trip to town set me back some. I know, I should have taken proper before and after photos. But they spacers worked out great and really improved the stance of the race car!

The tires now fill the wheel wells much better and the car has a much more aggressive and appropriate stance. I wasn't sure what size to get, but now I feel the 1.25" were the right choice. I did have to coax the front passenger side fender and bumper cover a bit to get rid of rubbing...but this was just because of the existing body damage to that area.


Then it was off to Ray's. He had been working on the halo portion of the cage and so we did some fiddling with that. I also removed the mirror and visors, and we mocked up placement of the halo. No photos of that because we did not have enough hands! I removed one of the vents so we could see how we were going to thread the cage through the dash.










Ray thinks he will have some time this weekend to work on the cage. So the windshield will be coming out and the front portion of the cage should be going in. Then a new windshield back in.


Feels good to have some progress.

I'll try to get some new photos of the car with the spacers very soon....

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:26 PM   #167
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Someone should buy this and join Paul:

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/3548573081.html

I also think that's the kind of front bumper you should create for the Legacy:

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Old 01-21-2013, 08:12 PM   #168
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SWEET!!!

The spacers look great; the stance looks much better. Also cool that you and Ray are looking to route the cage cleanly through the dash, I like it!

Question: Airbags or no?

All in all, flippin' sweet; keep up the good work!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:36 PM   #169
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Hope you don't mind if I just summarize the issues regarding wheel-spacers for anyone who is curious, but doesn't feel compelled to sift through everything floating around out there on the internet to find out what the real deal is:

What it basically comes down to is that in addition to securing the wheel to the hub, you also need to make sure that it's centered on the hub. That can either be accomplished by using conical/tapered lug nuts, or by using what's called 'hubcentric' wheels and hubs, where the wheels fit onto the hubs with enough precision that they are effectively centered. From an engineering perspective, a hubcentric setup is better/stronger. It reduces loads on the wheel-studs and lugnuts. But the real issue here (with wheel spacers), is that many times people will use universal wheel spacers that are not properly sized to preserve the hubcentric fitment. So you're effectively turning a hubcentric setup into a lug-centric setup. Is there anything wrong with that? All depends on how it's done. But if anyone asked me - I would say that properly executed, there's nothing inherently wrong with wheel spacers. We don't need to debate that here, I just thought there might be some people following along who would like to know what the hell these guys are talking about.
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jesusgatos screwed with this post 01-22-2013 at 09:47 AM
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:49 PM   #170
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Can we talk about the rollcage? Would like to get a little better idea of exactly what you've got going on there. The only hoop I can see is in a really unusual location. Rollcages for vehicles like that would typically have A/B/C-pillar hoops, where you seem to be putting vertical supports in between the B and C pillars. Just curious as to why. Are you planning on adding another hoop at the B-pillar? If not, that's going to be an awfully long unsupported span between the A and B-pillars. The little bit of cross-bracing I can see is also leaving me a little bit confused. Understand that this is all still in-progress, and I'm not trying to criticize. Have a lot of experience designing and building rollcages for off-road vehicles and only want to see you build something that will keep you safe in the event that things go wrong. And that can happen really fast, and with an intensity that demands a lot more attention to these details than a lot of people invest. Even if you're not building a rocketship, you should design the rollcage as if you were.
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jesusgatos screwed with this post 01-22-2013 at 09:48 AM
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:43 AM   #171
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Thanks for the low-down on the spacers, jesusgatos, that actually clears it up a lot for us who have no clue about that sort of thing
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:19 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesusgatos View Post
Understand that this is all still in-progress, and I'm not trying to criticize. Have a lot of experience designing and building rollcages for off-road vehicles and only want to see you build something that will keep you safe in the event that things go wrong. And that can happen really fast, and with an intensity that demands a lot more attention to these details than a lot of people invest.
When I actually put in a full day on the roll cage I will try and take more photos of it. Ray has built log-booked rally car cages and dirt track cages. This cage is being built to the NASA Rallisport specs as suggested by NORRA.

http://www.nasarallysport.com/rules-...Appendix-B.pdf

I am not exactly sure which specific design portions from that book he is implementing in our cage. But I can tell you that our cage will exceed the requirements as far as design and strength. There really aren't enough components installed (hoops, bracing, gussets, etc) to make any sort of prognosis yet. It definitely will not be the cage you would build, but then again, you didn't offer to sponsor us

Once there is actually a cage in there, maybe Ray's madness will make more sense. I have complete faith in Ray's abilities and designs. He's been a friend for a long time, and like most people, he likes my wife better than he likes me and so he is building the cage to keep her safe. This is not his first rodeo and trust me, he is "investing the time."

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:16 AM   #173
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregoncoast View Post
It definitely will not be the cage you would built, but then again, you didn't offer to sponsor us
Offering now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregoncoast View Post
When I actually put in a full day on the roll cage I will try and take more photos of it. Ray has built log-booked rally car cages and dirt track cages. This cage is being built to the NASA Rallisport specs as suggested by NORRA.

http://www.nasarallysport.com/rules-...Appendix-B.pdf

I am not exactly sure which specific design portions from that book he is implementing in our cage. But I can tell you that our cage will exceed the requirements as far as design and strength. There really aren't enough components installed (hoops, bracing, gussets, etc) to make any sort of prognosis yet.

Once there is actually a cage in there, maybe Ray's madness will make more sense. I have complete faith in Ray's abilities and designs. He's been a friend for a long time, and like most people, he likes my wife better than he likes me and so he is building the cage to keep her safe. This is not his first rodeo and trust me, he is "investing the time."

Happy to know that your friend is a competent fabricator, and that you guys are following those rollcage guidelines. That's a good start. Will sit back and watch like everyone else if you guys feel like you've got it under control, but please let me know if you'd like any help.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:16 PM   #175
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Offering now.
Cool!! $2200 would cover the M1K entry fee. That would be a very helpful start.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:30 PM   #176
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Kickstarter?
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:08 PM   #177
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Kickstarter?
Not on any Subaru that I'm aware of...
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:14 PM   #178
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Kickstarter?
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVLED View Post
Not on any Subaru that I'm aware of...
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:20 PM   #179
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If you haven't heard about it you may want to give this guy a shout and see if he is interested in your story. You never know, you might make it into his movie, several of my friends already have.

https://www.facebook.com/EasierSaidThanDoneFilm
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #180
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Kickstarter?
That's genius. I'll do that for my 2014 entry.
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