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help, dont understand wheel spacers!

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by skanky, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. skanky

    skanky Member

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    hi, im a bit rubbish with cars in general and trying to get my head around how spacers work and crucially, how to work out what i need.

    i have a 1999 1.8t sport currently with the standard OE sport 16" alloys but will be picking up a set of OE avus 17" alloys soon and was after some spacers that would give my car this sort of effect http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showpost.php?p=216380&postcount=10 ..so i did a search on "spacers" but all the talk about ET and what not has confused me.

    i'll use this example i got from a search:
    okay, "wheels are 8.5x18", what does that mean exactly? how do i find out what my wheels are? also "ET35", whats that mean? how'd i find out what offset my wheels are? will it say on the alloy anywhere?

    so if i'm wanting to get a 15mm spacers (as like in the above link), what exactly am i looking to buy? what are hubcentric spacers, do i need them or not? does the ET number factor into it, do i need to know if my wheels are 8.5x18?

    also are there any spacer setups that allow you to use your existing bolts as i've recently brought some mcgard bolts, which i assume wont be long enough if theres an extra 15mm to deal with?

    reading down a bit on this link http://www.performancealloys.com/alloy_wheel_spacers.asp just to confuse me more, there are apparently different types of spacers?!:
    - DR = Wheel Spacer (for 10 – 40 mm track widening)
    - DRA = Wheel Spacer/Adapter
    - DRS = Wheel Spacer with new longer studs (supplied)
    - DRM = Wheel Spacer/Adapter

    ..argh! *well and truly confused*
     
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  3. jojo

    jojo Looking for Boost!
    Staff Member Moderator quattro Audi S3

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    A quick run down on the alloy terms for you sir. The diameter and width of wheels are usually measured in inches, so for example. "wheels are 8.5x18" means 8.5" wide and 18" in diameter for the alloys, and in the case of the OE avus 17" wheels, I believe they are "7.5x17", so 7" wide rim and 17" in diameter. The ET refers to the offset of the wheel usually measured in millimeters and determines how the wheel will sit in your arches after fitting onto your car, picture this, look at an alloy square on and put a line straight down the middle, that would be an offset of ET0, now move this line 35mm towards the spoke side of the wheel, and thats where you get ET35, which is where the face of the wheel wil sit on the hub of your car. Both the offsets and size of the wheels are usually printed on the wheel somehwrere, like the back of ther spokes or behind the face, hope that makes sense?
    Now usually, the higher the offset(ET), the more the wheel will sit in the arches, so by adding wheel spacers, you are reducing the offset, so pushing the wheels further out into the arches. e.g. ET35 with 15mm spacer, would make the wheels ET20. HTH. :salute:
     
  4. PaulRS3

    PaulRS3 Well-Known Member

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    Hubcentric spacers every time.

    they have the taper that fits the alloys and hub for a snug fit.

    as for sparcers dimensions.

    (EDIT: For an S3 with wider arches)

    The usual choice is either 10mm front and rear (thats each side)

    or 10mm front and 15mm rear.


    To make this clear from a safety point of view........

    You WILL need longer bolts when fitting any size spacer.
     
  5. j4jon

    j4jon Member

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    I have a 2001 T Sport and had the OE 16" wheels on it to start with, then I got the 17" Avus wheels. As the arches are not as wide on the A3 compared to the S3 the Avus' fill the rches much better anyway.
    I'm not sure if you would want / could get away with using spacers on the 17's as they may actually end up sticking out past the edge of the wheel arch. Try them without the spacers to start with and see what you think, you can always add the spacers later if you want but they are quite expensive to buy and not use.
     
  6. j4jon

    j4jon Member

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    But that is if you want to space the wheels on an S3 which has the wider arches, I'm not convinced that you need the spacers with the S3 wheels on the A3 as the arches aren't as wide.
     
  7. PaulRS3

    PaulRS3 Well-Known Member

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    good point. I am still waking up. LOL. (edited post)

    im not sure how thin a spacer you can go to, before there is not enough material left to allow for the hubcentric fit/seat.
     
  8. RichA3Turbo

    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you!
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    Anything under 10mm, you will not have the centre bore locating lip...Without this it centres purely on the bolts, and this is not perfectly centralised. This means that you can get vibrations through the wheel, and theres really not a lot you can do about it unfortunately.

    Rich
     
  9. skanky

    skanky Member

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    ah good stuff thanks for the info guys.

    didnt realise that the arches on the s3 were that much wider, i'll see what the wheels look like on my car before deciding on spacers.
     
  10. AndyM

    AndyM Member

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    8mm is the smallest you can go I think and still be hubcentric type, H&R make them in this size.
     
  11. RichA3Turbo

    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you!
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    As long as they sit snug on the centre bore, the are classified as hub centric, as they are central to the hub. 15mm+ have the centre bore that the wheel sits on.

    Rich
     
  12. PaulRS3

    PaulRS3 Well-Known Member

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    Both my 10mm and 15mm have the hubcentric bores for hub, and centre bore for alloy to sit on.

    They are from AmD, but before they started to sell the logo'd ones, so may be resold Forge items, im not sure.
     
  13. MikeA3

    MikeA3 Active Member
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    I've got the S3 17" alloys fitted to my A3 and they do fill out the arches a lot more than the originals, not really sure if you'll need spacers to be honest as they are pretty much in line with the arches anyway and if your alloys stick out too much i think thats illegal ?

    Mike
     
  14. skanky

    skanky Member

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    yeah, i got a pic from FactionOne of his A3 from behind and shows what the avus alloys look like compared to his normal alloys, and it doesnt seem like it will need spacers.

    with the avus alloys filling out the arches a bit more, is there any problem at the front, enough clearance space etc?
     
  15. MikeA3

    MikeA3 Active Member
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    I've never had a problem with them, they fit absolutely fine & improves the handling imo.

    I think if you have larger alloys - 19" etc fitted and lower the car there can be an issue with rubbing but with the 17" you should be absolutely fine mate

    good luck
     
  16. skanky

    skanky Member

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    cool, cant wait to get mine!

    i dont think i'll go anything bigger than 17", dont want to compromise handling and 19s would look bizzare on a small hatchback :)
     

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