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Any reason to have wheel spacers fitted?

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Hightower, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    Just a quick question: why would you fit wheel spacers ?

    My A4 has some spacers fitted to the front wheels only and after recently suffering from alot of vibration at around 55-60mph (since I had my summer tyres fitted) I've been told by a garage that it's not the wheel balancing but it's infact the wheel spacers fitted as they are stopping the wheels from locating on the spigots, so are not fitting fully true centre to the wheel hub. They checked the fitment of the wheels without spacers and nothing fouls the wheels suspension wise, so no apparent reason for fitting the spacers unless widening the front track improves anything.

    I have aftermarket 18" 7 arm twin spoke RS4 style alloys fitted with pirelli p zero tyres, I didn't notice the vibration on my winter tyres but that could be due to their much softer compound and now back on much harder summer tyres, this is the 3rd garage I've been to about the problem and they were the first to mention that the spacers are the problem, the 1st said nothing, the 2nd the manager told his tyre fitter when questioned that Audi fit the spacers to stop the inside edge of the tyre wearing so quickly. These are clearly not Audi spacers fitted.

    So would it be better to take the spacers off ?

    Any help appreciated

    Simon
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  2. C17LJR
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    C17LJR Member

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    Do the wheels have different offsets front and back?

    From a visual and driving perspective, I wouldn't have spacers on the front and not on the back
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  3. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    I don't think so, the wheels have been moved around the axles a couple of times without problems, they were already on the car when I brought it, I would say the spacers were no bigger than 10mm (without measuring them)
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  4. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Are they hubcentric spacers?
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  5. Gibonz
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    Gibonz Vorsprung Durch Technik

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    ^ This

    There should be no vibration if they are proper hubcentrics with bolts...
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  6. BlackQuat
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    BlackQuat Well-Known Member

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    What offset are the wheels?
    It's possible they're wrong and without are fouling the front brakes and not the rears.
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  7. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    No they are flat spacers
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  8. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    Not sure on the offset as the wheels were already fitted when I got the car. When the tyre fitter offered the wheel up to the hub without the spacer it did not appear to foul anything, he was going to try fitting them without the spacers had it not been that the bolts were too long.
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  9. mikeh126
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    mikeh126 Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't run with flat spacers - instead of the loading and cornering forces going through the hub (as they should be), all the weight and loadings are being held by the bolts, and they aren't meant to take such loads.
    So, IMHO it could be dangerous to use any spacer other than hubcentric.
    If the car needs spacers because of the tyre / wheel fouling, I would swap to hubcentric spacers.
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  10. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you have the original bolts still? If s I'd take the spacers off and see what happens to the vibration then. I bet its caused by the flat spacers, as mentioned I'd replace them with some hubcentric ones asap!
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  11. mattyboyc
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    mattyboyc Active Member

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    I had 5mm hubcentric H&R spacers on mine for a while and to be honest it handled like a bag of s**t, followed every groove in the road and pulled under braking,couldn't believe at first it was the spacers as they were decent ones and hubcentric,i removed them and the car transformed back to proper handling (for an avant anyway) has put me off spacers for life, i know alot of others use these with no problems and i wanted 10mm on the rears but as said won't go down that route again, thinking of A4 rs6's for the front and A3 rs6's for the rear as the offsets are different,just an idea at the moment though.
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  12. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thats an interesting perspective Matt.

    I think a typical ET for A3 RS6's is 54 or so, surely that will make them sit into the arch even further than the ET43's of the A4 wheels?
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  13. mattyboyc
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    mattyboyc Active Member

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    scrap that then, i thought it would make them fill the rear arhes more,might have to regain some convidence in spacers then!!
    Cheers James.
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  14. BlackQuat
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    BlackQuat Well-Known Member

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    higher the number, the closer into the car, lower the number further into the archs.

    It's the distance from the mating face of the wheel to the centre of the wheel.

    Unless of course you meant further into the car, which thinking on you may have lol
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
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  15. Nez
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    Nez Member

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    Remove them as they are Flat spacers and you need the huhcentrics space, I have 20mm huhcentrics space's and I get no problem at all.....
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  16. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I did indeed! In = In, Out = Out ...... :thumbsup:
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  17. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    I think your bottom arm's bushes are damaged hence the tramlining, there is no way 5mm spacers will alter the geometry this bad. I am running 25mm hubcentric adaptors on the back of my allroad and 15mm H&R ones on the front and i never experienced the problems you had (my bottom arms have worn balljoints as well, not cheap to replace at 175 quid per arm !)
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  18. mattyboyc
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    mattyboyc Active Member

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    You may be right, i have done both the top arms but not the bottoms, it just seems strange that as soon as they were removed the characteristics of the car returned to normal,also they can't be that worn or surley it would have shown up on the m.o.t.,anyway i will soon be putting a set of rs6's on and keeping the 17's to go back on when car is sold,i think the rs6's fill the rear arches better anyway.
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