Can Wheel Adaptors cause Vibrations?

fadyasha

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
Happy Holidays guys!
Before anyone bites :eek:, the reason i'm asking is that i've had previous experience with the adapters on my E39 bimmer. I kept getting vibrations in the steering wheel no matter how much I balanced the wheels/tires and eventually took em off.

I know theres countless members running the adapters which is why i'm planning on going for the 6 x 5.5 to open up options on a nice set of rims/tires + the Markmc lift.

I drive open roads on a daily basis doing around 250 miles a day and don't want any surprises or handling problems. Thanks in advance!

Now be nice it's christmas :tongue:
 

markmc

Member
Nov 20, 2011
161
The answer to your main question is: Yes
Vibration in steering from adapters is sometimes caused from a couple issues.
1) They are not machined correctly.
2) Not installed correctly

However, even high quality wheel adapters can give vibration in steering if not installed correctly.

Having your tires Road Force balanced might help take some vibration diagnostic out of the equation..imo..

Merry Christmas from this side of the rock.
 

bigredtank

Member
Nov 21, 2011
31
agreed with markmc! anything that causes a void between wheel and hub thats not OE has the potential to not fit 100% properly. i know alot of guys on here use adapters or wheel spacer for theyre set up. just make sure you get a good set of adaptors. spend the extra cash. youll be more thankful when your behind the wheel and your steering wheel isnt gonna your carpal tunnel from the shaking. as far as the roadforce/ridematch on the wheel/tire assembly thatll help with any kind of uneven weight distribution in your wheels and tires thatll need to be adjusted. typically by spinning the tire on the wheel to lower the roadforce thus giving you a better ride.. goodluck man merry christmas!!
 

UncleMoney

Member
Dec 5, 2011
20
I've got the 1.5" spacers and notice no vibration! But that doesn't mean it couldn't be there, I just don't notice any!
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
1) If you have the factory spring clips at the base of two of your studs, discard them. They're only needed by the GM assembly line. Only factory wheels have recesses built in to accommodate them. Spacers and most aftermarket wheels do not. They make it impossible to get full flat surface friction between the wheel or spacer and the hub. Disaster will ensue.

diskclip.jpg


2) Get hubcentric spacers to minimize the issue of mounting wheels slightly off-center. These are my first non hub-centric spacers. The spacer is machined properly to go over the vehicle's hub protrusion, but it's flat on the front.

spacer.jpg


This is a hubcentric spacer. Note the lip on the front that goes into the wheel's centerbore hole. These are also my current adapters, where the studs are on a 5.5" diameter bolt circle instead of the stock 5.0"

tires3.jpg


3) If you don't have hubcentric spacers, it's even more important to mount the wheels to the vehicle properly. After a lot of research, I did a bit of math, and the problem comes when you hang the wheel and tire on the studs. If you have a hubcentric lip on the spacer, it mimics the behavior better of the OEM situation, where the wheel is lifted by the beveled edge of the hub, and put within a thousandth or an inch or two of being perfectly concentric. The weight of the wheel/tire combination, that can approach 90 pounds for an oversize MT rock crawling tire and wheel, is supported by the lip and the lug nuts just compress the wheel to the spacer's flat surface.

With the cheaper flat spacers, you hang the wheel on the hub, and all of the threaded studs go to the top (12 o'clock position) of the holes in the wheel. When you put on the first lug nut, its beveled (cone-shaped) nose first tries to LIFT the wheel/tire into position. Since the threaded stud has been BENT slightly by the weight of the wheel, by the time the lug nut is tight and you start threading on another nut, the wheel is slightly lower than it should be for it to be perfectly concentric. This happens even if you do the proper sequencing on lug nut final torque. The wheel being off-center gives the equivalent vibration of an ounce or two of improper balancing weights, and you get vibration.

Two ways to avoid this:

1) Get hubcentric spacers.

2) For lower cost but more work: take the weight off the tire when you put on the lug nuts by very accurately lifting it with a floor jack into position. Make sure the lug nuts are ONLY being used to hold the wheel on, and not for the final small lifting action.
 

fadyasha

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
Thanks all for your replies!

markmc said:
The answer to your main question is: Yes
Vibration in steering from adapters is sometimes caused from a couple issues.
1) They are not machined correctly.
2) Not installed correctly

However, even high quality wheel adapters can give vibration in steering if not installed correctly.

Having your tires Road Force balanced might help take some vibration diagnostic out of the equation..imo..

Merry Christmas from this side of the rock.

Thanks Mark once again :smile:

the roadie said:
1) If you have the factory spring clips at the base of two of your studs, discard them. They're only needed by the GM assembly line. Only factory wheels have recesses built in to accommodate them. Spacers and most aftermarket wheels do not. They make it impossible to get full flat surface friction between the wheel or spacer and the hub. Disaster will ensue.

diskclip.jpg


2) Get hubcentric spacers to minimize the issue of mounting wheels slightly off-center. These are my first non hub-centric spacers. The spacer is machined properly to go over the vehicle's hub protrusion, but it's flat on the front.

spacer.jpg


This is a hubcentric spacer. Note the lip on the front that goes into the wheel's centerbore hole. These are also my current adapters, where the studs are on a 5.5" diameter bolt circle instead of the stock 5.0"

tires3.jpg


3) If you don't have hubcentric spacers, it's even more important to mount the wheels to the vehicle properly. After a lot of research, I did a bit of math, and the problem comes when you hang the wheel and tire on the studs. If you have a hubcentric lip on the spacer, it mimics the behavior better of the OEM situation, where the wheel is lifted by the beveled edge of the hub, and put within a thousandth or an inch or two of being perfectly concentric. The weight of the wheel/tire combination, that can approach 90 pounds for an oversize MT rock crawling tire and wheel, is supported by the lip and the lug nuts just compress the wheel to the spacer's flat surface.

With the cheaper flat spacers, you hang the wheel on the hub, and all of the threaded studs go to the top (12 o'clock position) of the holes in the wheel. When you put on the first lug nut, its beveled (cone-shaped) nose first tries to LIFT the wheel/tire into position. Since the threaded stud has been BENT slightly by the weight of the wheel, by the time the lug nut is tight and you start threading on another nut, the wheel is slightly lower than it should be for it to be perfectly concentric. This happens even if you do the proper sequencing on lug nut final torque. The wheel being off-center gives the equivalent vibration of an ounce or two of improper balancing weights, and you get vibration.

Two ways to avoid this:

1) Get hubcentric spacers.

2) For lower cost but more work: take the weight off the tire when you put on the lug nuts by very accurately lifting it with a floor jack into position. Make sure the lug nuts are ONLY being used to hold the wheel on, and not for the final small lifting action.

Wow Thanks Roadie! This should be a sticky on what to consider for adapters! I'm first exploring my options on better offset rims but since can't find much that shouldn't take long. Thanks alot :thumbsup:
 

Regulator

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,496
Rodie's explanation is about the best that any of us can give you. My spacers are hub centric, but not wheel centric. When I put a tire on I use a 2x4 as a bit of a lever to lift and hold the tire up so that I can tighten lug nuts in without using them to lift the tire into place. That is the most important thing you can do to avoid vibration.
 

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