Wheel spacers

Discussion in 'Customizing & Modifications' started by PandaM3, May 5, 2018.

  1. PandaM3

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    anyone know what width wheel spacers to get the oe 19x8.5 et40 wheels more flush with the fenders?

    I plan to get the 0.7 inch drop... just need to get the wheels more flush.

    Btw before anyone mentions it... spacers are fine as long as installed properly. I’ve had spacers on my V8M3 with track use with no issues or vibrations. I also have huge spacers on my FJ Cruiser to give it a more muscular stance.
     
  2. PNWmisty

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    Technically, not entirely true. The spacers also have to be engineered and machined properly for that to be true. And it depends on what you mean by "fine". It's not ideal but, if everything is good enough, they won't cause any obvious issues.
    The problem I have with spacers is they add an additional mating surface for the most important part of your car. They also multiply any machining tolerances/imperfections in the original vehicle and put additional load on the OEM components (simple geometry).
    They probably won't cause obvious issues but they certainly are not ideal from an engineering perspective. Best avoided. You'll save money too! LOL! But hey, it's your car and your money.
     
  3. PandaM3

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    There are many wheels and oe companies that spec spacers on their cars for certain application. Porsche comes to mind as as they offer wheel spacers in their parts catalogue. BBS also specs wheel spacers for certain rim/ motorsport applications as well.

    The problems I’ve seen people run into with spacers are 1) if that mating surface isn’t prepared apropriately then it leads to vibrations... however with the car being new I think that would be minimized. 2) if they are too large that will also put more strain than you would want (that being said my FJ Cruiser has huge 1.25 inch wheel spacers and with 50,000 miles of offroading and highway driving + non oem sized 33 inch tires there are no issues so far)

    That being said... back to the question... whats a good combination of wheel spacers to get the OE wheels to sit flush?
     
  4. PNWmisty

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    I don't know, the wheels look about as flush as I would want them right from the factory. The reason they are not perfectly flush is for best aerodynamics. The idea is the spinning tire/wheel should be in calm air (which would not be the case if they were geometrically perfectly flush with the body). Also, there is a high-pressure area that builds under the floor pan of the car. Air can escape via the wheels without disrupting the laminar flow of air around the sides of the body. It would not be so nice if the wheels were geometrically flush with the body.
    A very beautiful design with the lowest CD of any production car.
     
  5. PandaM3

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    You may be correct... the prototype 20 inch wheels where originally staggered, however on the website they are just square and 8.5 inch wide.

    However as far as efficiency... this thing is already way more efficient than my V8M3. That thing will do 225 to 250 miles on a full $60 tank of fuel vs my TM3 which will do 275 to 300 on a full $19 supercharger session (even less when charging at home)

    That being said I think getting it flush with the fenders give it a more muscular stance without having to get a new set of wheels... and the trade off in efficiency is negligible.

    But hey different strokes for different folks right?

    At least I’m not planning on getting the ride height stanced and getting the wheels so hella flush that I have to aggressively camber the wheels and run narrow stretches tires.

    Additionally the oe 19 inch wheels are already flow formed/ rotary forged... rather than cast. Although not as light as fully forged wheels... they are much lighter than cast. Many of the aftermarket wheels specifically for the model 3 are just cast so will be heavier as well. More reason for me to keep the oe 19’s and play around with spacers.

    I’m trying to keep myself from ordering some 20 inch Volk Racing forged wheels that would have a nice aggressive offset without having any issues as far as rubbing and such... but the design they have that fit the the Model3 is the exact same wheel I have on my V8M3... I guess it would be neat to have two different cars with same rimz. ( they have other designs but this particular design has offsets that match t sportlines 20 inch wheels which are 5mm more aggressive than oe staggered prototype 20 inch) But before that I want to see how spacers will look on the oe wheels.
     

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