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      03-17-2014, 02:35 PM   #1
grantmax
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Wheel spacer vibration frustration (Macht Schnell content)

I'm looking for some input on a problem that has been a source of annoyance / frustration for quite some time. Wheel vibration after a front spacer install on my 2011 e92 ZCP.

Details:

1. Installed Macht Schnell 12mm spacers. (Install performed by Malek at MRF). Vibration noted on the drive home at or around 72mph.
2. Wheels balanced. Vibration continued.
3. Wheels balanced with spacer. Vibration became intermittent. Still at or around 72mph.
4. Installed Macht Schnell 15mm spacers. (Install performed by America's Tire Co.)
5. Wheels balanced with spacer. Vibration still intermittent.
6. Nail removed from tire. Wheels balanced without spacer. Vibration constant and significant.

This shouldn't be that difficult. What gives?
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      03-17-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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Have you actually measured the spacer with a micrometer? Make sure the CB is measuring 72.56. I have seen some off by only a few tenths of a MM which exacerbates at speed and results in a little shake at higher speeds.


Just remove them for now IMO
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      03-17-2014, 06:34 PM   #3
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Were the tires Balanced or Hunter Road Force Balanced? If not the latter then that would be the next thing I would try. Nobody knows how to install a spacer better than Malek so I wouldn't think the initial vibration was due to an install error. I'm also a bigger fan of Turner Motorsports spacers than Macht Schnell. Lastly, how can you balance a wheel with a spacer? That seems like a waste of time unless you are sure it's always installed on the wheel/car in the same orientation relative to the wheel.
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Last edited by slicer; 03-17-2014 at 06:42 PM.
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      03-17-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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My guess is you may need a new tire(s).
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      03-17-2014, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicer View Post
Were the tires Balanced or Hunter Road Force Balanced? If not the latter then that would be the next thing I would try. Nobody knows how to install a spacer better than Malek so I wouldn't think the initial vibration was due to an install error. I'm also a bigger fan of Turner Motorsports spacers than Macht Schnell. Lastly, how can you balance a wheel with a spacer? That seems like a waste of time unless you are sure it's always installed on the wheel/car in the same orientation relative to the wheel.
To your first point, the wheels have not been Road Force balanced. Tom @ EAS contacted me directly and I am confirming they have the necessary equipment before taking the car down to him.

Re: Malek - Totally agree. He's a great guy with an immaculate shop. I wasn't insinuating error on his part whatsoever. Rather, adding further detail to the saga to show corners were not cut.

You can use a 5-bolt wheel balance setup (in place of the typical center lock setup) to attach the spacer and wheel to the balancing machine. This should better account for the additional weight. This seemed like overkill and sparked my overall concern. In the past, I've simply installed spacers myself.
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      03-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic311 View Post
My guess is you may need a new tire(s).
Tires are PSS with less than 3k on them. Installed as new by the dealership when the car was purchased.
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      03-17-2014, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmax View Post
You can use a 5-bolt wheel balance setup (in place of the typical center lock setup) to attach the spacer and wheel to the balancing machine. This should better account for the additional weight. This seemed like overkill and sparked my overall concern. In the past, I've simply installed spacers myself.
Cool. I learned something new! My logic says that this only helps if the spacer is installed the same way every time. Did the shop mark the spacer and the wheel so you know what orientation to install them (and which wheel goes with which spacer)? If the spacer is spun to a different orientation then it seems like nothing is gained.
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      03-17-2014, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicer View Post
Cool. I learned something new! My logic says that this only helps if the spacer is installed the same way every time. Did the shop mark the spacer and the wheel so you know what orientation to install them (and which wheel goes with which spacer)? If the spacer is spun to a different orientation then it seems like nothing is gained.
They marked the spacer and actually held both pieces in tact from balancing machine to hub.

I forgot to address your earlier point regarding the constant use of the spacer after this type of wheel balancing. My car only sees the street so the spacers are there to stay. That is, unless they can ride along with the shakes.
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      03-17-2014, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmax View Post
Tires are PSS with less than 3k on them. Installed as new by the dealership when the car was purchased.
Never mind. I thought I read you had a nail go through one and got it patched.
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      03-17-2014, 08:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic311 View Post
Never mind. I thought I read you had a nail go through one and got it patched.
That was the latest notable event that lead to my most recent balancing and the worst vibration to date.

The problem has existed for months prior to the nail.
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      03-17-2014, 08:15 PM   #11
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IMO theres' no need at all to balance a wheel w/ spacer. It's just a waste. Read my post; simple to do and will rule out spacer as prob. If you had no issue before and then added spacer, it's the spacer. Meausre and make sure the CB (centerbore is correct). Keep in mind spacers will exaggerate a pre-existing issue.
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      03-20-2014, 09:37 PM   #12
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grantmax, any resolution to the vibration issue? I am concerned as I will soon be adding spacers...
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      03-20-2014, 11:03 PM   #13
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ive had similar issues.
i found out that my car alignment was off and made my wear on my tires wear differently and when i flipped them it was the issue of vibration.
also wheels might be bent or slightly out of round which can also cause the vibration.
spacers shouldnt cause a vibration only if they are not hubcentric will me an issue.
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      03-21-2014, 03:22 AM   #14
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Ive had MS spacers in 15/12/10 and they all vibrated. I have turner 15MM up front now and they vibrate too. My wheels are road force balanced and mine were installed with no load on my front tires.

As far as Im concerned, THEY ALL DO THIS.

What you need is a new set of rims with the offset you really want.


Thats my .2 cents.
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      03-21-2014, 02:06 PM   #15
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The saga continues.

I had all four wheels ROAD FORCE balanced Wednesday morning. The vibration under 45mph is gone. The vibration at or around 72mph is still there.

Points of interest:
1. Wheels are not bent. Road force balancer confirmed.
2. Tires are not out of round. Road force balancer confirmed.
3. Hub is free of debris. Confirmed with my own eyes during the wheel balance.
4. I was very clear about how the wheels were to be torqued down and watched to ensure the lugs were tightened gradually and in the star pattern.

Fun fact - I noticed last night that at 72mph (or so) turning the wheel slightly can stop the vibration. A quick course correction within my lane or a longer sweeping curve seems to stop the shake. Sometimes.

Le sigh.
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      03-21-2014, 02:34 PM   #16
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did you measure the actual center bore of teh spacer. It takes 2 seconds and is where I would start. I have seen some off by tenths of a MM and that causes a shake at certain speeds.
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      03-21-2014, 02:55 PM   #17
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Last year a friend of mine had the same story (problem) with spacers ,the solution was .....Tighten the bolts of the wheels with the car lifted up ,the wheels(tires) may not touch the ground when tighten the bolts of the wheels !
Vibration was history !
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      03-21-2014, 03:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s85e90 View Post
did you measure the actual center bore of teh spacer. It takes 2 seconds and is where I would start. I have seen some off by tenths of a MM and that causes a shake at certain speeds.
I'm headed back to the shop with the road force balance tomorrow. I'll get a micrometer and have a look. 72.56 is the magic number?

Tom @ EAS has me booked Monday morning if I can't get this figured out beforehand.
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      03-21-2014, 03:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium View Post
Last year a friend of mine had the same story (problem) with spacers ,the solution was .....Tighten the bolts of the wheels with the car lifted up ,the wheels(tires) may not touch the ground when tighten the bolts of the wheels !
Vibration was history !
That's usually standard procedure, but it doesn't hurt to check the torque settings of the bolts as well.
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      03-21-2014, 03:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILSMKU View Post
Ive had MS spacers in 15/12/10 and they all vibrated. I have turner 15MM up front now and they vibrate too. My wheels are road force balanced and mine were installed with no load on my front tires.

As far as Im concerned, THEY ALL DO THIS.

What you need is a new set of rims with the offset you really want.


Thats my .2 cents.
+1... installing them isn't an exact science. The BEST of the best can put them on and there may STILL be issues.

My last set had issues around 80 MPH for a few weeks, then it seemed to work itself out and disappeared (for the most part) only vibrating once in a while after that.
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      03-21-2014, 04:01 PM   #21
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What if the spacer surfaces aren't completely level....?
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      03-21-2014, 07:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amirsm3
What if the spacer surfaces aren't completely level....?
I've got a wire brush on a high speed drill which would freshen the metal nice bright and smooth.

If you search, you'll see the car has reports of slight vibration issues even STOCK at 60-80mph. The slightest imperfection can cause this vibration. So spacers only multiply the issue.

The answer is a wheel with a much lower offset of you want flush with no spacer.
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