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How to Install Wheel Spacers (Step by Step)

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Last Updated on: 7th September 2023, 12:39 am

Wheel spacers increase the track-width of a cars suspension, increasing stability and reducing body-roll. It also makes a car look much more aggressive and “stanced”.

Wheel spacers are sometimes used on cars with wide arch kits.

However, widening the track-width can have some negative consequences too, such as increased turning radius and reduced steering sensitivity.

If you wish to install wheel spacers, then this tutorial will go over how to fit them step-by-step.

how to install wheel spacers

Get the Right Wheel Spacers

You need to be certain that the wheel spacers you’ve selected have the proper pattern for the wheels you’re using.

If they aren’t the proper size, they will not fit, and you will be forced to buy another pair of wheel spacers. Do not alter or change the wheel spacers as this could cause damage and even cause the wheel to fall off while driving.

Choose a spacer size that makes sense for your particular vehicles requirements, we recommend only to use spacers up to around 10mm – any larger will cause extra stress on the suspension and driveshafts.

Hub-centric spacers are highly suggested for use with modern cars. If you do not have hub-centric wheels, adaptors are available to accommodate your needs.

How to Install Wheel Spacers

Installing wheel spacers is a relatively easy modification to do. Ensure you have some level of mechanical knowledge before attempting to install wheel spacers to a vehicle.

You need the following tools and equipment:

Below are the steps to install wheel spacers:

  1. Loosen wheel bolts before jacking/lifting
  2. Jack/lift the car up
  3. Remove the wheel
  4. Remove any rust and corrosion
  5. Fit the wheel spacer
  6. Torque the wheel spacer bolts
  7. Refit the wheel back on
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 for the other wheels
  9. Lower the car

1. Loosen Wheel Bolts Before Jacking/Lifting the Car Up

Before you raise the vehicle, be sure that each of the wheel bolts has been loosened, don’t completely remove them, just enough so that they could be hand loosened.

To generate enough torque to spin the lug nuts, you must take advantage of the resistance of the tyre against the ground.

Otherwise, if you tried to turn the wheel while it was raised it would just spin the wheel.

2. Jack/Lift the Car Up

Carefully lift the car up by using a pump jack, be sure you use the right jack and make sure it is correctly rated for the weight of the vehicle.

Below is a video explaining in detail how to properly and safely jack up your vehicle.

YouTube video

If you have the opportunity to just a car lift then use that instead.

3. Remove the Wheel

Remove the wheel and tyre assembly by completely unscrewing the lug nuts and lifting the wheel from the hub.

Be careful not to damage the wheel by hitting it on the hub while removing. Set the wheel safely down on something soft or standing up against the wall.

4. Remove Any Rust and Corrosion

Removing rust and corrosion is a good idea to ensure a smooth surface to fit the spacer to. Use some degreaser and a wire brush to remove any surface rust.

If the car is very old you may have a lot of built up rust and corrosion, in that case it may be better to install new wheel hub and bearings.

Below is a video showing how to remove surface rust.

YouTube video

5. Fit the Wheel Spacer

The next step is to fit the wheel spacer to the hub, hand tighten each nut evenly.

6. Torque Down the Wheel Spacer Bolts

Once the wheel spacer is fitted in place, torque them down to the manufacturers specification.

Do this evenly by torquing down opposite studs until the last one is torqued down.

7. Refit the Wheel Back On

Once the spacer has been torqued down you can refit the wheel back on. Lift the wheel up by the rim, carefully line it up and slide it onto the wheel hub.

Ensure the wheel is properly seated on the hub and hand tighten all the lug nuts. Once they are all hand tight, evenly torque each lug nut down.

Do this in a star pattern, torquing opposite nuts until the last one is torqued.

8. Repeat Steps 3-7 for the Other Wheels

Follow the same process as you did with this wheel for the remaining wheels you wish to install wheel spacers on.

9. Lower the Car

Once all wheel spacers have been fitted, check each wheel for any play and carefully lower the car down.

Check all of the lug nuts to ensure they have been tightened and you will be ready to drive.

  • Andy Lewin

    Andy Lewin is a senior mechanic, ASE qualified master technician, and an experienced automotive engineer. He's passionate about serving the automotive community with the highest-quality and trustworthy information on all things automotive. He loves to write about car repairs, maintenance, car modifications and tuning, faults, and much more.

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