wheel spacers for trailer

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wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Joe4Camping » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:14 pm

Hi all,

Having purchased larger tires for my trailer, I need to purchase wheel spacers to increase the tire clearance from my NT trailer frame. All online wheel spacers seem to be for specific car models. My question is: if the spacers match the bolt pattern I need (5 x 4.5), does it matter what vehicle the spacers are intended for?

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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Woodbutcher » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:26 pm

No it doesn't.
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Padilen » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:40 pm

I guess I don't understand what your looking for. The ones I'm familiar with, the spacer needs to match your hubs, bolt pattern. And also matches you wheel pattern.

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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby MtnDon » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:47 pm

How much extra space is needed? Be aware that use of spacers has a lever effect on the wheel bearings. That is, spacers place extra loading on the bearings. Some small hubs may already be bearing challenged. Just something to keep in mind.
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Woodbutcher » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:21 pm

I am running 1" wheel spacers on a NT trailer, with 15" wheels. No issues in over 20K miles. Keep everything well greased and you will be fine.
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Dale M. » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:50 am

Also lug bolts/studs will limit how much spacer you can use... If you don't have full nut/bolt engagement (with at least 1 thread showing) its a start of a disaster...

Consider bolt/stud length, you may have to get longer studs and bolts if you are looking for anything over 1/2 spacer..

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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Joe4Camping » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:09 pm

I have a 5 x 4.5 bolt pattern, and swapped out 13" Range D tires for the stock 12". The clearance to the frame is pretty tight, as you can see:

152040

I was going to order 1.5" spacers. Hopefully that does not strain the bearings, which I repacked with higher quality grease than the original (which looked more like Vaseline). :NC
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Joe4Camping » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:15 pm

And, I was going to use this type of spacer:

152048

The only worry I have is that since I have an NT trailer (Chinese-made), everything is metric. Do I need to worry about stud/nut thread pitch? Presumably I can attach this spacer to the hub using the existing lug nuts, then the wheel can simply attach to the spacer's studs, like so:

152049

It shoudn't matter if the spacer's studs are not metric, as long as they are in the 5x4.5 patterm. Is my thinking correct? Or am I over-thinking this?

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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Woodbutcher » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:43 pm

You are correct in your thinking. Just take a lug nut you are now using and match it to the new ones if you need them.
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby MtnDon » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:57 pm

I have used that type on a Toyota 4x4 in 3/4" thickness to gain tire chain clearance. They were machined in Nevada on US made CNC machines, but used some kind of cheap studs that galled or something and make it very difficult to remove the nuts. At first I blamed the nuts and replaced them. The next time a wheel had to be pulled I had the same problem. After finally removing the nuts I ended up buying all new studs and nuts at NAPA and replacing them all. Since then no issues.
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby kramergwt » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:35 pm

I’m somewhat facing the same problem. I bought 15” rims from Jegs and whitewalls from Coker and they’re quite a bit wider (6” rims and somewhat wider tires). It will depend mostly on the backspacing of the rims. I am ordering a new 3500 lb. Dexter axle with an electric brake setup and may be getting a slightly longer (face to face) axle to accommodate everything once I get the rims painted (tonight) and the tires mounted (in a week or 2) and can test fit everything. I think a longer axle is the better way to go rather than spacers. But then again, I’m not sure where spacers would go. ...between the rim and hub? Wouldn’t that shorten the stud? Just an idea. A new axle is only about $120 with another $50 for hubs without brakes (if you don’t need them).


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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby MtnDon » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:52 pm

The spacers pictured by Joe4Camping should probably more correctly be called adapters. The "spacer/adapter" is bolted to the hub using the stock hub studs. The "spacer/adapter" then has its own press fitted studs that the wheel is bolted to. After a hundred miles or so you remove the wheels and re-torque the "spacer/adapter" nuts. Re-install wheels and everything should be good. What I ran into was that the studs that were pressed into the "spacer/adapter" were poor quality and upon wanting to rotate the wheels after a few thousand miles several studs did not want to let the nuts be removed. We had to strong arm them all the way off.
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby KTM_Guy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:07 pm

In the offload world people run spacers/adapters all the time. Big tires, low gears, high torque, in a good recipe for breaking things. But I have not found any proof of a broken one. Lots of stories about them failing but not one picture.

On a trailer, like was said grease and quality bearings and don't look back.
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Re: wheel spacers for trailer

Postby Joe4Camping » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:37 pm

Great replies from everyone, as usual!

I'll order the 1.5" spacer/adapter set, and re-torque after 100 miles as MtnDon suggests. I'll report back with results.

Happy holidays!
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