Why install BMW wheel spacers?: Some of the most common reasons for installing wheel spacers are listed below:
Increasing inner wheel clearance to avoid tire to tie rod contact when installing oversize tires.
Increasing clearance when upgrading to a big brake kit. Typically the massive calipers in these kits require additional inner wheel clearance.
Adding additional offset for wheels that are not offset correctly for your particular BMW model. This is sometimes required when mounting aftermarket BMW wheels, or wheels from another model BMW.
Improve your BMW's handling by simply widening the track. Widening the track will give you a more stable ride and improves your BMW's center of gravity, and handling.
Enhance your BMW's appearance by spacing the wheels out to the fender line. Giving the appearance of wider wheels.
Are BMW wheel spacers safe?: The Racemax wheel spacers for your BMW are all T.U.V. approved. This assures you that the material, hub centric design and extended bolts package are all safety tested and approved by Germany's equivalent to our department of transportation and safety. Racemax BMW wheel spacer kits are specifically designed for each BMW model. All fitments are exact. Installed properly and used in conjunction with the proper length BMW wheel bolts has the same safety rating as not using spacers at all.
Do spacers effect wheel balance?: All Racemax BMW wheel spacers are hub centric. Sizes 12.0 mm and thicker are also designed with extended center bores. The extended center bore will center your wheel exactly to the spacer and the extended center bore on the vehicle will center to the wheel spacer. On any performance wheel application with or without spacers, we only recommend high-speed, spin balancing on the vehicle. For increased-width and high-speed applications, there is no substitute for actual rotating speed. As you increase the diameter and width of a tire, you also amplify the high-speed distortion. The on car BMW wheel balancer will balance the wheel assembly, brake rotor and hub, as one rotating unit. It is critical the wheel bearings are in good condition, since worn or damaged BMW wheel bearing will not center the wheel and tire assembly properly.
Will wheel spacers damage my BMW: No, there is no measurable additional stress place on your wheel bearing, axles or any other suspension components of your BMW when fitting wheel spacers that are engineered specifically for your model BMW. The minute increase in axle load is less stress to your BMW than loading 2 suite cases to the trunk.
Will I need new wheel bolts?: All BMW factory wheel bolts are 12mm or 14mm diameter with a 32mm length and a 60 degree taper cone head. You must use the proper length extended bolts that compensate for the thickness of the wheel spacers, or purchase the complete wheel spacer and bolt kit. As an option you can replace the bolts with extended wheel studs. These BMW wheel studs mount permanently into the hub allowing you to then use light weight alloy or steel wheel nuts. This BMW wheel stud conversion makes wheel changing much easier.
What size BMW wheel spacer do I need? This depends on the reason you are wanting to add BMW wheel spacers.
For additional caliper, or suspension tie rod clearance: Safely lift your BMW. Remove the wheel and place 2 common 1/2" flat washers between the wheel and hub under each wheel bolt. Tighten bolts, and gently spin the wheel and check for any interference. Once the wheel rotates freely confirm that you have at least 1/8" of additional clearance between the wheel and the closest point of contact. DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR using washers as spacers! This test is for visual inspection and test purposes only to determine proper spacer size needed. Once the desired clearance is achieved, measure the stack of washers required and purchase the appropriate thickness wheel spacer. Selecting the next thicker size spacer if the exact desired size is not available.
Widening the track or filling the wheel openings: Keep in mind going as wide as possible may not be the best choice. Allow a little room in the event of body flex or tire width variation in the event you purchase a different brand tire in the future. To measure for maximum spacer size. Park your BMW on a flat level area with the wheels pointing straight ahead. Place a straight edge (carpenters square is perfect). (See Photo) From the ground to the top of the tire. Next measure the distance from the outer tire edge to the inner edge of the fender lip. From this measurement deduct 3/8" (10,0mm). The remaining figure is your maximum recommended spacer thickness. The front wheels may require additional clearance. Have someone sit in the driver's seat and turn the steering wheel from full left to full right lock. While this is occurring, watch for and measure the distance where the tire comes closest to contacting the front or rear of the fender opening. Confirm that this distance is no less than the determined spacer thickness.
The BMP protective wheel bolt socket is designed for any BMW or Mini Cooper wheel that have extra deep recessed wheel mounting bolts. The special Delrin protective sleeve will protect the painted wheel surface. (more info)
This tool simplifies the task of mounting wheels onto your vehicle. Thread the tool into the wheel hub and then slide the wheel into place. This tool positions the wheel in the correct alignment with the hub for quick installation on the lug studs. (more info)