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Old 01-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #1
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Does handling improve with wheel spacers?

Specifically, will 7mm spacers on the fronts improve handling because of the wider stance of the front wheels?

Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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The effective spring rate is reduced slightly due to the longer lever arm. You will never notice the difference.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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You'll get a wide range of opinions on this application. However, most would agree that spacers are typically used in order to augment wheel fitment or for aesthetic reasons rather than for handling issues . Although, I guess that one could argue that they are one in the same .
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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If you are autocrossing or track driving at the very top of your class and trying to get that last 0.01% out of the car, then yes, this might *theoretically* improve handling.

Otherwise, you'll never notice the difference.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
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I have a 2000 2.7l as well and I installed spacers last year.7mm at the front and 15 mm at the back.There could be a slight better handling feeling..The wide stance is what I wanted and they are a perfect fit with the standard wheel offset .I love the look and the fenders seems to flow to the wheels.Very happy with them.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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I have 15s up front and feel the front end is less twitchy, more firmly plant as a result. The tire contact patch is moved out board. The front track is slightly wider. Theoretically the roll centre(s) will move. This gives you a change in roll moment depending upon whether the distance to the longitudinal cofg axis changes
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykay View Post
I have 15s up front and feel the front end is less twitchy, more firmly plant as a result. The tire contact patch is moved out board. The front track is slightly wider. Theoretically the roll centre(s) will move. This gives you a change in roll moment depending upon whether the distance to the longitudinal cofg axis changes
Edumucate me. What does this mean?
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by san rensho View Post
Edumucate me. What does this mean?
Basically, roll center is the point at which the suspension moves about. Think of it like the center of wheel, it's the point where there is no displacement, only rotation. The center of gravity works on the roll center to lean the car through a turn.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Turbo711/Rollcenter.jpg

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Old 01-18-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
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It is 7mm per side or 14mm total and that is a half an inch. Will it make a difference, sure every little bit makes a difference but could you tell if you had no idea whether it was installed or not...I doubt it. In my mind running wider tires up front will make a lot more difference than spacers.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:35 PM   #10
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One downside to using spacers is that if you have a wheel out of balance or it's slightly warped, the spacers will enhance the vibration.

I can personally testify that this is true. Or well, I can attest it was true for me.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:10 PM   #11
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The main handling result of spacers is to decrease lateral load transfer in a turn. Lateral load transfer is primarily a function of the mass, center of gravity height, and track width, with track width as the divisor in the equation.

In my experience, increasing the track width by a total of 20-30 mm can be worth about 0.2 seconds on a 60 second autocross course, and I would expect about this same results on a road course, but you will never feel it unless racing at the absolute limit.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:54 PM   #12
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I've got spacers on my other car and other than appearance, I don't feel any difference in handling.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:58 AM   #13
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I have the OEM 5mm spacers at all 4 corners. It makes it slightly easier to clean the Carrera Classic 19" wheel's barrel and have a little better access to clean the big reds, since the wheel is slightly out by about 1/4 inch. Other than that, you'd never notice.
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