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Front 8mm spacers not safe??

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Agent_Trig, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Agent_Trig
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    Agent_Trig Member

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    [Nov 16, 2011]
    Just need some advice from people on here who have spacers fitted to the front of their cars.

    I've just had a garage fit my new suspension and spacers for me and he said to me that he's not all that convinced about the safety of the front spacers.

    I bought some Eibach 12mm spacers for the back and 8mm for the front along with longer bolts for the front and back too.

    When I looked at them prior to fitting the 12mm spacers had a large inner lip that extended out about 20mm and the front ones had a much smaller lip of about 3mm.

    The garage said that the rears are great as the wheels have something to hold onto but the front spacers lip is so small that the wheels are not held into place with the spacers fitted and that its only the bolts that are holding the wheels in position.

    Having never fitted spacers before I cant imagine what he's saying so I thought I'd get some advice on here as I know a lot of you guys have spacers fitted.

    Are they safe?

    These are the ones I have fitted on the front...
    Eibach Pro-Spacer Wheel Spacer Kits for Audi - larkspeed.com

    Cheers :)
    #1
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  3. marknjayne
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    marknjayne Member

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    [Nov 16, 2011]
    he is talking rubbish,they are totally safe if fitted correctly,i used spacers on loads of previous cars and have done track days and high speed runs,never ever had a problem and i have never heard of any that have been correctly fitted causing any issues
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  4. marknjayne
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    marknjayne Member

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    [Nov 16, 2011]
    to add to your mechanics statement...

    "The garage said that the rears are great as the wheels have something to hold onto but the front spacers lip is so small that the wheels are not held into place with the spacers fitted and that its only the bolts that are holding the wheels in position"

    makes no difference,the hubcentric spacer is designed to reduce vibration and to locate the wheel,not to have the wheel "hold on" to the spacer,thats what the bolts or studs are for
    #3
  5. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 16, 2011]
    I have 10's and 12's fitted on mine and feels fine. Never known of any issues. Maybe if you buy Hellfrauds own brand they may lack structural integrity but a proper brand is likely to have TUV approval
    #4
  6. alfiejts
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    [Nov 16, 2011]
    There is another view to this. I don't know enough to say definitively which is right - but there is something in what the echanic says.

    The centre hole in the wheel is designed to be the same size as the hub - so that the two fit closely together. That way, the load (especially when you hit potholes or speed humps) between the car and the wheel is transferred through the hub to the centre of the wheel.
    If the centre hole doesn't fit snugly to the hun, then the load of the wheel is carried by the wheel nuts - so they're transmitting load not just holding the wheel to the hub.

    That's why with aftermarkey alloys, its important to use the right spacer ring to fill the gap between the hub and the wheel.
    That's also why in another recent thread, someone's said that A5 wheels won't fit an A3, because even though the wheel bolts are in the same place, the A5 centre hole is bigger than the A3s, so the wheel doesn't fit snugly to the hub.

    So even with spacers, I believe that its important that there's still something that there's something - either the spacer itself, or the hub (if it sticks through enough) - or maybe a spacer ring fitted to the spacer - something that connects the hub or spacer assembly snugly into the centre hole of the wheel - so that it transmits the loads correctly through the hub and not through the wheel bolts.
    #5
  7. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    I think for peace of mind I might take a wheel off and have a look for myself.

    Can anyone tell me how a spacer can be fitted incorrectly? The front ones have a very small lip protruding on the inner hole - should this be pointing inwards towards the hub or outwards towards the wheel?
    #6
  8. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Nov 17, 2011]
    +1
    #7
  9. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    Hmmm I'm getting conflicting opinions now on here which isn't all that reassuring.

    Can anyone clarify how I can find out whether or not my spacers are fitted correctly and that they are indeed safe?

    Something else the mechanic said was that spacers that he's fitted in the past came with a thin rubber ring to ensure a snug fit - maybe this was on generic spacers or for aftermarket alloys I dont know.

    I have OEM alloys and I bought Eibach spacers for an A3 so must be the right fit surely?
    #8
  10. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    I could be wrong, so don't take this as fact, it's deduced from pricing differences.

    The 10mm spacers seem to be quite a bit more expensive than the 8's on H&R spacers I purchased, and when I asked DPM I was told that there is quite a bit more machining on the 10's, so whether this has to be engineered in due to a tolerance threshold being exceeded I don't know.

    Here is a picture of my 10mm front H&R spacer sat on the hub before I refitted the wheel:

    [​IMG]


    and here is another pic sat in the box:

    [​IMG]

    Not the best photos, but gives you an indication of a 10mm to compare against.

    Eibach can do without their customers being killed or injured, so you'd have to assume they are safe, but I'd call Larkspeed to double check there isn't an alternative, and whether it's not worth speccing up to a 10mm to see if it's any more robust.
    #9
  11. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    8mm is a flat spacer, 10mm has the lip.

    10mm is a much better option as you have the lip which highly reduces the chance of wheel wobble.

    Damian @ DPM Performance
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  12. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    Thanks Warren and Damian. What you have both said makes perfect sense now.

    The 8mm has a 2-3mm lip at the most and cost £28 for the pair. The next size up (10mm) cost £70 which would explain things.

    I have started another thread about a vibration I'm getting through the steering wheel and seat when accelerating around 70mph - this would be the wheel wobble you mentioned Damian?

    The thing is, what are the chances of me getting these exchanged at Larkspeed? I'll ring them today to find out.

    Thanks guys :)
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  13. Denty
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    Denty Member

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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    I run 3mm flat spacers all round and have never had any problems, even driving seriousley hard on track days etc...standard bolts too.

    Some garages do the 'sharp intake of breath' and say there not ideal, others say there absolutley fine and just carry on as normal so thats what im doing and no probs at all!
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  14. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    Quick update...

    Just spoke to Larkspeed who then went and spoke to Eibach for me. The 8mm spacers are not hubcentric but should not give any vibrations through the steering wheel.

    They said that they always recommend to have wheels balanced after fitting spacers anyway so I will be getting this done tomorrow along with a 4 wheel alignment.

    I'll report back with any progress...
    #13
  15. Broken Byzan
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    id get 10s and be done with it. i wouldnt run that wide a spacer and rely on the smidge of hub poking through it to locate my wheels
    #14
  16. marknjayne
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    i remember i ran 5's (flat/non hubcentric) on a 450 bhp skyline doing numerous track and drag days...guess what,my wheels stayed on and im still alive,the mechanic is talking rubbish,they are fine
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  17. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    Yeah it must be the balancing or even some **** that needs cleaning off the hub or wheel.

    Hopefully will know for sure tomorrow :)
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  18. Broken Byzan
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    because you ran 5mm not 8. The 8mm pretty much removes the spigot, so it no longer works as it should. Who says size deosn't matter

    Any more than 5mm and the spigot is in the taper of the wheel and fails to locate properly, simples. Also i'd like to add, the liner may have had longer spigots that an 8P????

    So the mechanic may not be talking rubbish. If you remove the spacers and go for a drive, is the vibration still there?
    #17
  19. marknjayne
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    dont think the OP said he had vibration,just that his mechanic told him they were unsafe,i also ran 8mm front (eibach non hubcentric) and 12mm rear (hubcentric) on a meriva VXR which regal tuned to 240 bhp for me and i did a lot of spirited driving in and a few drag runs,i had no issues there either
    #18
  20. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    I've not had chance to try that yet but Eibach have said that the reason why they recommend having the wheels re-balanced is because if the wheels were ever so slightly off-balance (which I may not have noticed), then having spacers will exaggerate the vibrations making it more noticeable.

    Surely a big company like Eibach would of researched the limits of what is safe when producing their spacers? After 8mm, they jump to 12mm which are hubcentric - this says that they must of been happy with the safety of the 8mm otherwise they would of made them hubcentric too.

    Don't get me wrong, if I still have vibrations after a wheel-balance and clean up of the hubs, then I will be changing them for a wider hubcentric spacer.
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  21. Broken Byzan
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    He has a vibration problem, he has another thread about it. Like i said, the cars you had may have had a longer shaft/ spigot than the Audi has. Eibach make spacers, but the onus is on you to be sure they work ok, there are so many permutations to take into account.

    Lets hope it all works out with balancing.....
    #20
  22. marknjayne
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    [Nov 17, 2011]
    ahh i see,not seen that thread bud,and yeh hope the balancing sorts it :)
    #21
  23. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 18, 2011]
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  24. crunchie
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    [Nov 18, 2011]
    I'd personally only use hubcentric ones myself. The lip on the hub takes all the punishment while the studs are only to hold the wheel to the hub. The stress on the bolts would be worse with them being longer and taking on the job the hub is designed to do.
    For the sake of £30/40 I'd opt for the Eibach ones.
    #23
  25. marknjayne
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    [Nov 18, 2011]
    got to say guys,the lip is only a locating lip,not designed to take stress,its only a couple of mm of aluminium
    #24
  26. warren_S5
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    [Nov 18, 2011]
    I'm pleased all is as it should be mate, well done for getting it all sorted.

    Strongly recommend you give the wheel nuts a quick tweak up after about a hundred miles. My rears seemed OK, but the fronts gave about another 1/8 of a turn (all brand new and bedding in I guess).

    Cheers

    W
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  27. Denty
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    [Nov 19, 2011]
    yea i always check my wheel bolts every 1000 miles or so - just pure peace of mind!:drag:
    #26
  28. marknjayne
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    [Nov 19, 2011]
    yep,torque wrench 120 nm
    #27
  29. Broken Byzan
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    [Nov 19, 2011]
    Not corect. The lip is to take the stress and the bolts hold it on, however it's all worked out so meh, one lucky boy.
    #28
  30. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    Hmmmm... I think I spoke too soon :(

    After a decent drive over the weekend, I found that there is still some vibration and only really noticeable on a very smooth road under acceleration. It's nowhere near as bad as it was, but it's there none the less.

    Would a hubcentric spacer definitely sort this out then? Just dont want to spend another £80 to find the same issue.
    Eibach wont take the 8mm spacers back as they are not faulty and have been fitted to the car already.
    #29
  31. warren_S5
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    Possibly not, mine feel perfect until you get to 80, then there is the slightest vibration through the car above that.

    As my car is so new Im assuming balancing is ok / tyres new, and Ive re-torqued bolts.

    Headscratching!
    #30
  32. marknjayne
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    tis correct buddy,any stress on the lip and it would snap the alloy,there is about 1-2mm of alloy,also had an e-mail from H&R a few years ago (when i had little knowledge but wanted to start tuning and learning ) telling me the lip is only for locating,the nuts take the stress and to be fair,they should know better than anyone
    #31
  33. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    That's made me feel a little better then (although that's no help to you :) )

    The vibration I'm getting is very very subtle and to be honest if I hadn't just changed something within the setup, I probably would not have noticed it as I wouldn't be looking out for it.

    The vibration I get is around the 75-80ish mark and then after 85mph, it disappears.

    I think I might just stick to what I have as spending another £80 on spacers to have the same issue would just pi55 me off haha
    #32
  34. warren_S5
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    I'm going to take mine off, try without, see the difference, and if I still have the vibration then stick them back on an accept it (like you I wasn't looking for a vibration before I put them on).

    If my tyres were worn at all I'd have wondered if adding spacers had in any way changed the geometry and therefore shifted the tyres footprint meaning it wasn't rolling on it's original patch, but they went on when the car was spanking new at 140 miles and the hobs / wheels were spotless.

    It was the wife who noticed it more than me on the A34 on Saturday.

    I'm getting some front springs / WALK's fitted in a couple of weeks, so the geometry will be checked and I'll get all the wheels rebalanced whilst they're off. You just don't want a vibration in a premium / new motor!

    Worst case scenario they come off, I seel them on the bay and the 18's become winter wheels and 19's go on. Thought the 18's with spacers would be a good weight / handling compromise, but I'm not yet 100% convinced.

    Will keep you posted here.
    #33
  35. colicabcadam
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    putting hubcentric spacers will cure your issue.......

    that vibrating you feel / hear will slowly over a period of time loosen all the wheels nuts, you'll find that the vibration will start again at around 115 mph

    trust me, for the sake of £80 it really isn't worth the risk IMO
    #34
  36. warren_S5
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    UPDATE (Apologies Agent Trig, hope you dont think I'm hijacking your thread, but seems pointless having 2 threads)

    Just been out and tightened the bolts for the second time this week, and was easily able to put over a quarter turn on the fronts, less so on the backs.

    Seems they need a couple of bedding in tweak ups to get them to settle. Will take it out and try it again after work and report back.
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  37. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    That doesn't explain why Warren who has a new car and hubcentric spacers is getting the same problem.

    I'm gonna take them off and see if its the same issue - at least that way I will know for sure what the cause is.
    #36
  38. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    No problem Warren, the more the merrier. It's the only way to try and find a cure :)

    I best check my bolts too then...
    #37
  39. Agent_Trig
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    How essential is using a torque wrench to tighten up the bolts? I dont have one and just looked at the prices for one and they aint cheap!

    I've always just tightened them up with a standard wrench until it felt pretty tight haha

    I know a torque wrench is obviously more ideal but is it essential?
    #38
  40. warren_S5
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    It's dirt cheap (I have one), and it works. Swap the end to give 17 or 19mm. For less than a £5'er it was no great loss. Used it tonight.

    Am-Tech Extending Wheel Brace Wrench 17mm & 19mm Socket: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools
    #39
  41. legin
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    [Nov 21, 2011]
    Ok mech eng speaking here. The loads from wheel to hub are transmitted through friction and the bolts are designed to be only in tension so for this reason the spigot is is designed purely for centreing the wheel. If the bolts were in single shear this would be a poor joint design and result in bolt failure. Too tight is not a big issue within reason and infact a benefit. Wheel wobble is most likely introduced due to hub face run out from the spacer (dirt , paint, manufacturing defect) check runout with a dti on the wheel rim and all will be clear.
    #40

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