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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > What's bad about cheap spacers?



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      12-11-2013, 12:42 PM   #1
Lotus99
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What's bad about cheap spacers?

Especially if you're going to leave them on the car and not take them on and off all the time? It's just a piece of metal... I'd worry more about a moving part that's going to have forces on it or serves a technical purpose like a FMIC - those things I wouldn't consider some cheap version.

At $65, these are like half the price of what I'd spend getting Turners or H&R's.

I've already got a set of H&R's in fact (and want to get another set), and after a few years tried to take them off, and couldn't make them budge. Took them to a shop who with a hammer, and prybars managed to get them off.

I can't imagine these would be any worse? They're made of aluminum and the bolts are 10.9 grade, which the brand names are also.
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      12-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #2
stanlalee
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its not the price you should be looking at, its reputation. If they are cheap and proven fine but I wouldn't go cheap and unproven on a part as critical as spacers. Its already a compromise of safety to begin with IMO. Intercooler or ebay downpipe fail you don't end up in a ditch. Of all the modifications to make to a car spacers would be number one on my list for not shopping merely on price.
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      12-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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Thanks, great points.
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      12-11-2013, 07:07 PM   #4
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Agreed, it's important to buy a brand that's been proven. Spacers can fail and it's hard to imagine something more dangerous than a wheel coming lose.

I have been running VAC Motorsports spacers on my car for several years now, on and off track. Very good quality. They also make a quality stud kit should you go that route.
http://store.vacmotorsports.com/whee...r-kits-c9.aspx
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      12-12-2013, 06:43 AM   #5
char088
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I've had a spacer or two of pretty every single brand out there. H&R, macht schnell, BMS, turner motorsport, a-spec, ds-x and ebay ones. All hubcentrics and looked like they were all high quality stuff.

They all did the same thing for me, no vibrations and easy to install/uninstall.
I even stacked a 5mm ebay spacer on top of a 15mm bms spacer for fronts and back and still had no vibrations.

I just buy and sell spacers when i don't need or when i do need them which is why I've had so many. 3mm, 5mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 12.5mm, 15mm, 20mm, 25mm.

For huge spacers 15mm or over, I felt safer going with branded ones though as the H&R's had nicely designed ones that looked like they would never fail.
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      12-12-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
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right, for the smaller spacers, there really isn't a whole lot of variance. I bet most are even made in the same factories in china, lol.

Anyway, for stuff like that, use judgment. I have no problems buying an off-brand for things like spacers, as long as they have the same features as a name brand, like the hubcentric lip, chamfered edges, good quality aluminum, etc. There is only so many ways to make a spacer, and there is no point in spending $100 for a set when you can get the exact same thing for a lot less.

it's really the lug bolts you need to be careful with. it's way more likely that a lug bolt will break before a spacer will. make sure to get the correct grade lug bolts of proper length.

for the bigger spacers, like 15mm and higher, I'd only get the type that bolts to the wheel hub.
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      12-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
Anyway, for stuff like that, use judgment. I have no problems buying an off-brand for things like spacers, as long as they have the same features as a name brand, like the hubcentric lip, chamfered edges, good quality aluminum, etc...
Hmmm... I can't remember if my 12mm H&R's have chamfered edges or not.... All good ones should? I guess it would make it easier to mount the wheel on?

What I'm surprised my H&R's DON'T have are the little slots where you can stick a prybar/flathead screwdriver between them and the hub, to get them off. After 3 years of running them on my car, I needed to get them off, and it was a real PITA. Had to go into a shop to get them off... Even the BMS ones have the little slots...
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