Jeep Wheel Spacer Mod: Safe or Disastrous? – What’s Up in the Forums

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Jeep Wheel Spacers

Curious about running spacers on your Jeep? Here’s a ton of input from those who have done it to help ease your mind.

There are plenty of age old myths in the Jeep world. Some of which have proven to be true over the years, while others are completely and totally false. One that perpetuates a little more than most is the belief that wheel spacers are unsafe. The truth, as it usually does, lies somewhere in between. And that’s exactly what JK Forum member 08UnlimitedSahara810 found out when he started this thread (and poll) seeking advice from his fellow Jeep owners.

“I have heard good and bad about wheel spacers. My local 4wd shop is strongly against them and they seem to be liked on the forum. What are your thoughts about them? Are they safe to use? What is the required maintenance for them? Any reason to avoid them? I was at Discount Tire today and they will not touch the Jeep if it has spacers on it. This scares me.”

Jeep Wheel Spacers

Fellow member wayoflife posts his reply straight from our FAQ section, which notes that while hubcentric spacers are safe, others typically aren’t recommended.

“High quality wheel spacers, the kind that bolt up to your axle first, are no more dangerous or cause any more stress to your axles then a wheel with less backspacing. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I have yet to hear a single good or specific explanation as to exactly why they are worse.

Just to be clear, the cheap-o spacers (the kind that you can get at PepBoys and are sandwiched between your wheel and axle using the existing wheel studs) are in fact EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. These cheap-o spacers leave little thread for your lug nuts to hold on to and can fail. DO NOT USE THESE!”

Jeep Wheel Spacers

That sentiment is echoed by most everyone else, including wrnglrguy.

“I ran them for 6 months before I got my new wheels. I have friends that have been running them for years with no issues, and they run them as their daily drivers as well as hard off-roading. They are fine as long as you install them correctly.”

And while some fear that their wheel might come off in the event of an accident, robin points out that it can happen even without spacers.

“I’ve run spacers on my Jeep, trucks, and SUVs. I don’t even know how many I’ve had over the years. I think they’re as safe as they can be. However, I’ve had two accidents in which one of my wheels came off. But neither time did I have wheel spacers on my car.”

Overwhelmingly, the vast majority of our forum members feel like hubcentric wheel spacers are safe. But if you’re not convinced just yet, be sure and head over here to read all of the many comments of those who chimed in.

Join the JK-Forums now!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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