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How To Install Wheel Spacers--AutoHow.TV

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Published on Feb 23, 2008

NOTE: you most likely don't need anti-seize unless you are in an area that has a lot of salt on the roads. Even then, if the threads are severely rusted they should be replaced. When in doubt, just clean them with a cloth or wire brush. Also, when this was originally uploaded in 2008 the audio sounded like I was shot with a tranquilizer dart - so I apologize in advance.

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A wider stance will improve handling and make your vehicle look more aggressive. Here we show you one option to fill out those wheel wells: wheel spacers. Check out the before and after shots. Such a small change makes a huge difference!

Highlights

I would think there are inherent guidelines for sports car design: such as your wheels should be flush with the sides of the fender or the hood should be longer than the trunk (unless it's a mid-engine). These rules are subtle but they leave an impression without you even noticing it. It's one way BMW gives its cars that sporty look without appearing to try too hard.

Now look at any Mustang with a stock wheel/tire setup and they just look top heavy from the rear. The fenders go past the wheels by an inch or two. That's why this wheel spacer modification is a must-have on the Mustang and anyone running stock tires with a wide-body kit.

What You'll Need

Hub-Centric Wheel Spacers: Some companies sell wheel spacers that slide onto your existing wheel studs and literally push your wheel out to the edges of the stud. This is a bad idea since you are stressing the lug studs and they can shear off. You'll notice that the wheel spacers in this video bolt on to the existing lugs and then feature separate studs for the wheels. You can purchase these hub-centric style wheel spacers at a number of places including Late Model Restoration Supply.

Torque Wrench: You will need a torque wrench when tightening the wheel spacer lug nuts prior to reinstalling the wheel. I use the same torque specifications that I would use for the wheel's lug nuts (usually 80 to 110 lb-ft depending on the make of your car).

Deep Socket (19mm for this car): A regular socket will bottom out when you go to install the wheel spacers.

Jack and Jack Stands: You want to use jacks and jack stands so check out that episode if you need to pick up the appropriate equipment!

Applications

This install was demonstrated on a late model Mustang but applies to all cars and trucks. Wheel spacers are also useful and practically necessary when employing a wide-body kit.

Notes and Warnings

Tire-to-Fender clearance can be a problem. Wheel spacers that put the tire too far outwards can make the tire rub against the fender which can lead to blow-outs or damage. Do your research before you buy! For 1994-2004 Mustang owners, you can fit up to 35mm spacers on stock tires (245/40 17) but not on the optional 255/40 17s.

Tips, Tricks and Other Resources

Since you will probably have to buy the special deep socket just for this install you may want to store it with your wheel lock key.

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