View Full Version : Are spacers bad for your car?
03-30-2001, 09:19 PM
I drive a 01 Mercedes C320 and someone I know is selling the 19" wheels off of his 97 Mercedes E320 (19 x 8.5 front, 19 x 10 rear). From my understanding, these wheels will not fit on my car without putting on spacers. Are there any negatives that come with using them?
03-31-2001, 03:19 AM
Hmm, from what I understand, the negatives can include:
1) greater unsprung weight (very bad for handling) depending on how heavy your spacers are
2) wheels too large/turn too far for wheel wells - this can result in your tires scraping the insides of your wheel wells on hard turns, obviously a bad thing
3) alignment and balance problems - you definitely need to get everything aligned and probably corner-balanced when putting on new wheels, especially with spacers
I'm sure there are other possible down-sides, but those are all I can think of in my sleep-deprived state.
This can have an effect on handling as well, due to changes in the scrub radius. Take a look at this:
You can see that if the wheel spacers move the wheel you will change the scrub radius. This not necessarily bad, but you do want to avoid large changes here. Another thing to know is that changing the scrub radius will change the load on the wheel bearings and ball joints. You want to avoid the low-rider thing with wheels that stick out a foot past the car. Here's why: pick up a 10-pound weight. Easy, right? Now put that 10-pound weight at the end of a foot-long stick. Now try to lift it, keeping the stick horizontal. Huge extra load on your wrist, see? Your wrist is the wheel bearings and ball joints.
03-31-2001, 05:19 PM
The spacers that they said they would have to put on weren't very large. They said they needed just a LITTLE bit of space. As for the "lowrider look", I would want to stay as far away as possible from that. How would a Mercedes look with butterflied wheels? *shudder*
04-06-2001, 12:26 AM
Using spacers wouldn't necessarily put extra force on your outer wheel bearings, it also depends on the backspacing of your new (or planned) wheels. Maybe the spacers are to correct new wheels to the original wheels backspacing.
04-07-2001, 06:48 PM
Well this may be a little late since the original post was over a weak ago. But, so that you know even with all the other negatives listed earlier, the most important one is that spacers are 'weak' not in the sense that they aren't cool but they are physically weak. The spacers are normally just a piece of metal, (varies depending on manufacturer,) and the metal after time WILL wear top the point of breaking, this also increases with the type of driving you do, (i.e. Mercedez, I'm guessing you'll drive it like I do my Beamer with what cops called 'spirited driving'.) Just thought you should know what the biggest downside is to having spacers on your car, not to mention if you keep checking the classifieds/online sites/wheel dealers you'l definately find something you like that will fit you benz like a glove.
If you need anymore info. email me at [email protected]
04-21-2001, 03:51 AM
i agree with threeclaws. you'd be better off getting wheels made EXACLTY for your Benz and not trying to patch the others on with spacers. don't settle. get what will last and not have any potnetial to screw your ride.
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