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      11-12-2009, 05:12 PM   #1
pumper206
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Wheel Spacer Installation Liability????

As simple an installation as wheel spacers are, I wanted to have a tire company (not going to name them) install them for convenience purposes. So I called the company to ask them if they would do it for me and they said, "No. Too much liability involved." They also said that there's a higher probability that the wheels will fall off due to the spacers and bolts not being able to hold as tight or something like that. Reeeaaally??

My question to you all is, "Does using spacers really compromise the cars, or actually, the bolts ability to hold the wheel?" Just using my common sense and experience, I would say NO but, why would the tire company say what they said then?
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      11-12-2009, 05:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
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As simple an installation as wheel spacers are, I wanted to have a tire company (not going to name them) install them for convenience purposes. So I called the company to ask them if they would do it for me and they said, "No. Too much liability involved." They also said that there's a higher probability that the wheels will fall off due to the spacers and bolts not being able to hold as tight or something like that. Reeeaaally??

My question to you all is, "Does using spacers really compromise the cars, or actually, the bolts ability to hold the wheel?" Just using my common sense and experience, I would say NO but, why would the tire company say what they said then?
No - simply find another shop.
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      11-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #3
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If you use spacers, you need longer lugs to compensate. For example, if you use 12mm spacers, the lugs should be 12mm longer. Perhaps that is what the shop was talking about, and thinking you were intending to use the OEM-length lug bolts. Were you?
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      11-12-2009, 06:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper206 View Post
As simple an installation as wheel spacers are, I wanted to have a tire company (not going to name them) install them for convenience purposes. So I called the company to ask them if they would do it for me and they said, "No. Too much liability involved." They also said that there's a higher probability that the wheels will fall off due to the spacers and bolts not being able to hold as tight or something like that. Reeeaaally??
My question to you all is, "Does using spacers really compromise the cars, or actually, the bolts ability to hold the wheel?" Just using my common sense and experience, I would say NO but, why would the tire company say what they said then?
Dude, find yourself another wheel & tire shop asap.

They guy who told you that is an idiot.
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      11-12-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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this is pretty funny! did he ask you to pay him 200 bucks to magically take care of that liability?
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      11-12-2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Just do it yourself man. And torque it down while you're at it. I bet that shop wouldn't even do that. Majority would just zip it in and that's it.
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      11-12-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
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Foosh: I purchased the Macht Schnell 12mm Spacers front and rear, so they came with the extended bolts. I even told the dude I had the extended bolts and he told me that even with, they wouldn't hold as well.

Kenyon: I would totally do it myself, only I don't own a torque wrench. Dont want to put too much torque into the bolts and have my spacers be stuck.

Overall, the guy's a doosh and just wanted to make sure there really was no validity to what the guys was saying. Thanks for the input fellas.
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      11-12-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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Yes, the shop gave a dumb answer, and they should have explained. However, if they were thinking OEM-length lugs, they may have been right, in some sense. From the Rogue Engineering website on spacers and lugs:

What Length Lug Bolts?

"Naturally, When installing spacers, longer hardware must be used. However, it's important to understand the factory BMW hardware being used currently (this does not apply to E53 X5s or E65 7-series, which use M14 hardware). For all other BMWs, they use a bolt with dimensions pictured below.

[Picture did not copy]

These bolts have a thread pitch of M12 x 1.5mm and have a useable length (UL) of 24mm. To get the full strength of a bolt, the bolt must engage the full width of the diameter (in this case which is 12mm ). However, if the hub is no thicker than the full width, anything deeper than the width is unless, as there is no additional strength. In theory, with the 1.5mm thread pitch, an M12 bolt will have to have 8 FULL turns to reach full strength (8 x 1.5mm = 12mm).

Rogue Engineering provides hardware based on the thickness of the spacer purchased, and the use with wheels that have OEM pad thickness and dimensions. For example, our 18mm spacer comes with 42mm UL bolts.

24mm OEM UL + 18mm spacer = 42mm UL required

Some aftermarket wheels may have THICKER than OEM wheel pad widths (for strength, added rigidity, or simply because of the design), and require longer than stock lug bolts for adequate thread engagement. Because of the multitude of aftermarket wheels, we cannot provide technical data as to how long your bolts need to be to fit non-OEM wheels. Additionally, the bolts we provide with our spacers are designed to replace factory bolts on factory wheels. We do not offer mixing-matching of bolts with spacers to accommodate non-OEM wheel pad dimensions."
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      11-12-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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So there actually is some validity to what "the doosh", lets call him, said to me? As I mentioned in my previous post, I bought 12mm Macht Schnell spacers which come with the bolts. Did they supply me with the correct bolt?? I hope so....
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      11-12-2009, 07:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
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So there actually is some validity to what "the doosh", lets call him, said to me? As I mentioned in my previous post, I bought 12mm Macht Schnell spacers which come with the bolts. Did they supply me with the correct bolt?? I hope so....
You can measure them yourself. You should have been supplied with 36mm (24mm is OEM) lugs, assuming you are using OEM wheels (or wheels with OEM pad width).

If you told him, you had extended bolts, yes, he is a complete idiot, or else, he just didn't want to mess with them. Perhaps that shop has had bad experiences with spacers before. That has been known to happen as some spacers on the market are crap, and we saw an excellent example of that a few nights ago on this forum. Your spacers are in the high-quality category, and 12mm is a nice conservative choice.
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      11-12-2009, 07:33 PM   #11
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Kenyon: I would totally do it myself, only I don't own a torque wrench. Dont want to put too much torque into the bolts and have my spacers be stuck.
You should use this as an opportunity to acquire a tool you will use the rest of your life. Buy a good torque wrench and you will find many uses for it.
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      11-12-2009, 08:15 PM   #12
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Foosh: Thanks for the info...I'll have to measure them.

Greg: Next on my list of things to buy...
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      11-12-2009, 08:56 PM   #13
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Pumper, glad to help.

But actually, the more I think about it, I see the shop's point-of-view. Removing and reinstalling 4 wheels/tires just to add spacers is, maybe, a 20 minute job, max. In other words, it's tough to justify pulling a tech off another job for a job that essentially pays them zilch, and the downside for them is potentially big

Did you have a long-standing relationship with this shop? How would they have any idea you were supplying quality hardware? They probably don't know MS spacers from "Acme Tin Spacer Company." There was a guy on this forum the other night, whose wheels were visibly wobbling after his install of questionable-brand and used spacers. He took them off and the car was fine. They've probably seen stuff like that before.

So, for a 20 minute job, which pays nothing, with unknown hardware, and of unknown condition, they run the risk of having a customer scream at them for doing something wrong. Yep, I totally see their point of view. If you were a long-standing customer, I suspect that they might have done it as a courtesy, as many would.

As Greg said, buy a torque wrench, and a decent floor jack, if you don't already have them. You should own one of each.
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      11-12-2009, 09:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper206 View Post
Foosh: Thanks for the info...I'll have to measure them.
Greg: Next on my list of things to buy...
You didn't ask, but my philosophy is to buy the best quality tools you possibly can. I'm still using Snap-On socket sets I bought in college almost 40 years ago. Never had a broiken piece. I continue to buy tools as opportunities present themselves, and have a wide selection of construction and automotive tools now. There is a great satisfaction in learning how to effectively use them, and the money you save from not having to have someone do something for you helps pay for them.

As far as torque wrenches, check out these: http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/nsea...orque+wrenches. The Precision Instruments 1/2" drive 40-250 ft lb one is a good basic wrench to have.
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Last edited by GregW / Oregon; 11-12-2009 at 09:39 PM.
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      11-12-2009, 09:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
Pumper, glad to help.

But actually, the more I think about it, I see the shop's point-of-view. Removing and reinstalling 4 wheels/tires just to add spacers is, maybe, a 20 minute job, max. In other words, it's tough to justify pulling a tech off another job for a job that essentially pays them zilch, and the downside for them is potentially big

Did you have a long-standing relationship with this shop? How would they have any idea you were supplying quality hardware? They probably don't know MS spacers from "Acme Tin Spacer Company." There was a guy on this forum the other night, whose wheels were visibly wobbling after his install of questionable-brand and used spacers. He took them off and the car was fine. They've probably seen stuff like that before.

So, for a 20 minute job, which pays nothing, with unknown hardware, and of unknown condition, they run the risk of having a customer scream at them for doing something wrong. Yep, I totally see their point of view. If you were a long-standing customer, I suspect that they might have done it as a courtesy, as many would.

As Greg said, buy a torque wrench, and a decent floor jack, if you don't already have them. You should own one of each.
Even though I felt "the doosh" was a doosh, I do see your point...it doesn't make sense for them to occupy a lift and pull a tech just to install some spacers.

Greg: Great advice...I think I will start a nice little tool collection
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      11-12-2009, 10:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Even though I felt "the doosh" was a doosh, I do see your point...it doesn't make sense for them to occupy a lift and pull a tech just to install some spacers.

Greg: Great advice...I think I will start a nice little tool collection
In addition to the jack, two jack stands are required for safety.
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      11-13-2009, 09:01 AM   #17
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I know the large retail chain that has that policy. I was hit with the same refusal a couple of years ago with my e46. It's their choice. Problem is that many people come in and ask to have spacers installed and the system is not correct. Then, when the wheels fall off/vibrate the wheel store gets hassled.
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      11-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #18
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Makes sense...But shouldn't they be able to know whether or not the given equipment is right for the vehicle?? Afterall, they are tire and wheel professionals, aren't they? I dunno, whatever....
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      11-13-2009, 01:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
You didn't ask, but my philosophy is to buy the best quality tools you possibly can. I'm still using Snap-On socket sets I bought in college almost 40 years ago. Never had a broiken piece. I continue to buy tools as opportunities present themselves, and have a wide selection of construction and automotive tools now. There is a great satisfaction in learning how to effectively use them, and the money you save from not having to have someone do something for you helps pay for them.

As far as torque wrenches, check out these: http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/nsea...orque+wrenches. The Precision Instruments 1/2" drive 40-250 ft lb one is a good basic wrench to have.
Hey Greg...there's like 10 different torque wrenches. Which one would you reccommend?
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      11-13-2009, 01:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Makes sense...But shouldn't they be able to know whether or not the given equipment is right for the vehicle?? Afterall, they are tire and wheel professionals, aren't they? I dunno, whatever....


Why would they? Spacers aren't the "right equipment" for any vehicle. They are "gizmos" a few enthusiast-type people add on for aesthetic reasons only. They serve no useful purpose other than the above, except perhaps to allow a wheel that was never intended for a particular car to fit.

You don't see OEM spacers, and they are only available aftermarket from vendors who come and go. They can't keep up with that any more than they can keep up with the proper fitment of wheels from the newest wheel company in Miami.

I'm not dissing them, I'm running 12mm spacers all the way around on my OEM 19s as well.
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      11-13-2009, 02:25 PM   #21
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You don't see OEM spacers, and they are only available aftermarket from vendors who come and go. They can't keep up with that any more than they can keep up with the proper fitment of wheels from the newest wheel company in Miami.
lol...you hit the nail on the head my brother.
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      11-13-2009, 03:29 PM   #22
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sometimes cars have a wheel bearing with a hub extension lip that is longer then normal. I've had 2 customers purchase Eibach 10mm spacers with extended lugs. One guy had an E36, the other guy had an E46, and for both of them there was interference with the hub itself, which prevented the spacer from sitting flush (you could float a credit card between the spacer and the wheel hub). the dust cap had to be removed and 2mm of material grinded off. I suspect they were aftermarket oem replacement wheel bearings that were not to the factory spec (since it has no effect on a wheel when fitted directly to the hub, they never considered making it perfect).

One customer didn't even bother to look and drove around this way and cracked the spacer hub extension, causing bad vibrations. It was not the spacers fault. It was installation error (by not checking fitment), and a poorly designed oem replacement, as the spacers worked fine on cars that had original parts.

Same thing would have happened with any spacer. There is nothing wrong with running them. They are almost always stronger then the wheels being bolted to the car
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