To someone who is not familiar with cars, you may think a wheel adapter and wheel spacer are the same things. However, these two items are very different when it comes to what they do. You should first know that every wheel adapter can be a wheel spacer, but a wheel spacer cannot be a wheel adapter. Let's look at some other difference between wheel adapters and spacers.
A wheel spacer is designed to bring the distance from your wheel and cylinder out by as much as 1/4". Having your wheel brought out more than 1/4" is unsafe for your car. Using a wheel space is done when you are keeping your current wheels while increasing the track of your car. When you increase the track of your car, it improves the overall handling and looks. If you decide to buy new tires while using wheel spacers, you should consult with a professional to ensure you are buying the correct wheel offset.
Wheel spacers have two common uses when increasing the track of your car. The first is when your wheels do not have enough offset. A wheel spacer will compensate for too little offset by pushing the wheel farther away from the hub. The second case is to make a lug-centric wheel. A lug-centric wheel is one that centers by tightening the wheel's lugs rather than a hub-specific mount surface.
The bolting of your wheels will determine which of the two following items you will need. In some cases, wheels spacers will need longer studs for proper installation. You may come to find that your wheel studs are not easy to unscrew. If you fall into this category, then you will need longer studs. The other case is needing longer wheels bolts for proper installation. Swapping out longer bolts is easy, but you need to make sure the thickness of the spacer is correct for installation.
There are a few drawbacks when it comes to wheel spacers. Wheel spacers add rotating and unsprung weight. These two things together cause the absolute worse kind of acceleration, cornering, and riding. Another drawback is the longer wheel studs or bolts. Having longer wheel studs or bolts your car is more prone to fatigue (snapping) than a regular length wheel stud or bolt.
Wheel adapters are typically one inch or larger and attached to the cylinder by way of lug nuts. Using a wheel adapter changes the lug pattern, which allows you to use a wheel not made for your car. If the lug pattern does not change from the original, then the adapter pushes the distance of your wheels out by an inch or more. In most cases, car manufacturers leave space for flapping tire chains. Wheel adapters, however, push your existing wheels out more to fille the wheel-wells or your custom wide-body fenders properly. Installing wheel adapters gives your car better cornering, aerodynamics, and look.
Find the Perfect Wheel Adapter or Spacer Today!
While wheel adapters and wheel spacers have similarities, they are not always interchangeable. Hopefully, the information above has helped you understand the difference between a wheel spacer and adapter. If so, this means you are ready to make your purchase. Contact EZ Accessory today and find the perfect wheel adapter or spacer for your next car project.