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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DONT DRIVE A DAMN MILE ON THEM!



Well as you all know I had to get wheel spacers for the front to avoid the rubbing issues. I installed them and they worked great....but then I started to have some weird vibrating type effects whenever I would drive and now today was the worst...I finally got very concerned because anything over 40mph and the wheels would vibrate so violently that my rear view mirror, and steering wheel would shake....the wheel would pull in random directions...freaked me out. Sounded like the wheels were wobbling anytime I would go around corners.



So I stop at the fire station to get the tools and lo and behold, the front two wheels lugnuts were more than halfway off! A couple were even closer to popping off! 8O



This is insanely bad timing because I have to make a long road trip today and now I am very nervous about it. I do not have another option or vehicle to use. I tightened the lugnuts as tight as they could go and I did the same when I first installed the wheel spacers. So I am very very concerned about this. Unfortunately I do not have enough time to take the front two wheel spacers off. I am not running wheel spacers in the rear.



I highly recommend no one runs spacers no matter what!!!!! There is no reason to. I am going to get rid of my front two Cobra R's and I am going to get 255 wheel width Cobra R's so I will not have rubbing issues or have to worry about spacers. I refuse to put up with this. It is VERY VERY unsafe and I am astonished that the lugnuts came out that loose when I have done UNDER 75 miles of driving since the installation!!!!



Goodbye Cobra R's!!! Hopefully I will make it to my destination and back without a wheel popping off (I am NOT kidding)!!! 400 miles total trip!!!
 

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Did the lugs start to come off that hold the rim on, or the spacer on?



Did you torque all the lugs equally?
 

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I myself have never used wheel spacers but know of people who do and they have never had any problems. I think you might not have tightened the lugs enough and they came loose. One time when I did my front brakes on one of my cars myself I did not tighten the lugs enough and the same thing that you experienced happened to me.
 

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One time I mounted a wheel, and it wasn't sitting down on the hub quite right. I tightened all the lug nuts, but when the car moved with all the weight on it, the wheel shifted, seating itself. In the course of driving a few miles, the lugs loosened even more, stripping the threads on two studs, and actually breaking one. Could have been quite a disaster.
 

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I myself have never used wheel spacers but know of people who do and they have never had any problems. I think you might not have tightened the lugs enough and they came loose. One time when I did my front brakes on one of my cars myself I did not tighten the lugs enough and the same thing that you experienced happened to me.
Ditto.
 

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Did the lugs start to come off that hold the rim on, or the spacer on?



Did you torque all the lugs equally?


It wasn't those type of spacers, they are the "washer" type spacers he has on.





Either way, I think they weren't tighten completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK guys....I do not know what caused what but its a little too late for all of that...but you guys are never going to believe this!!



I was only 20 miles outside of my destination when suddenly it got the most violent ever, the entire trip I was 110% fine, no vibrations, nothing.....then suddenly I heard a CRACK and it sounded like something broke off...my car started vibrating and shaking VIOLENTLY so I slowed down, drove on the shoulder for the remaining 5 miles at 25mph...I get to my sisters house (where I am at now) and THREE LUGNUTS *WITH* THE STEMS SNAPPED RIGHT OFF on the front passenger side wheel!!!!!!



There are now only two lugs holding that wheel on. Needless to say I have not drived an INCH since I arrived. My Explorer is getting towed by a flatbed by AAA tomorrow and it is going to the dealer where I bought my Explorer from which I am like family to with the owner. It is only 30 miles from here. They are going to have to replace the entire passenger side front hub and possibly the drivers side as well. All the lugs on the front drivers side hub were more than halfway off.



I can't reiterate this enough guys, all the lugs were tight as could be and even before I left for this trip. There is no if's, and's, or but's about it. I am not trying to say "oh I am innocent." But I am saying that I know what I did and I know they were as tight as could be without being tightened too much. I think like either Tom or Jeff said about the wheel being mounted improperly, i.e. not completely even seems to be the ONLY logical explination. But I refuse to run spacers ever again.



What I am going to do is tomorrow obviously get this hub replaced. There is a very strong possibility that it may not be able to be worked on until AT LEAST Monday. So I may be here for up to almost a week. I am just SO GLAD and THANKFUL that I made it here "safe" and that I did not have a wheel pop off on the road. I could've easily totalled the car and probably been killed. I zoomed up here and its all highway and at very fast speeds. I was averaging 75mph and for about half the trip I was going 85mph. Please note obviously I had no problems with the wheels at that point. As soon as I detected the problems and THANK GOD it was within the last 20 miles, I slowed down to 40mph and then eventually to 25mph.



The only GOOD thing out of this day is that I met with the Marines recruiter here who is very good friends with my future brother in law, Travis, who is also a Marine. I am posting the update in the General Mayhem forum as to stay on topic for what this thread deals with. Thanks.
 

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Rob I'm glad you're safe!!! I can tell you're never doing spacers again. I won't ever do them either after hearing of your near death experience. Any idea how much it's going to cost to replace the hub?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No idea, I'll find out the financial damage soon enough...since I know the dealer I am going to somehow try to get it covered under warranty but thats probably NOT going to happen. It's going to be expensive no doubt!
 

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Sorry to hear about that, Rob. I just wish you had another way to go and not use those spacers on the way up.
 

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So you used the kind that you just stick behind the rim, and adds a little xtra gap? No lugs on the inside?



If so, at least half the people with mustangs i know use them, my car has had them on the back since i've bought it in 92/93. How big are we talking here?

With the way i drive and have been driving, mine have never loosened up, or even started to. Maybe they like drums better than discs, or maybe they don't like the pressure differences when you steer.
 

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Wow that really sucks, I am glad that you found out what it was and you were close engough that it didnt fall all of the way off.



I have never used spacers so I really dont know much about them.



Rob do you think it could have anything to do with the last Ford dealer that worked on youre X when the removed the Cobra R's and told you that those wheels wont work on youre vehicle? I wonder what they found wrong with youre wheel fitment that made them tell you to take the wheels off. I wonder if something could have happened back then (before you installed the spacers) and it just finally caused the lug nuts to brake off. It really seems not to make to much sense that the spacers caused this problem since you removed them before this happened, who knows.....the good thing is that nothing happened to you.
 

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Hey Rob I just read this thread & am sure you have been waiting on pins & needles for my reply.



Glad to hear you are all right, sorry to hear you had to pay for damages those cheap spacers you used caused. Note: never was a fan of the washer type spacer, now more than ever, and I think I may have mentioned it in an earlier thread.



My perspective:

I have been running 1.25” spacers for the last 4 years "now 5" and I don’t even take them off when I change from my 15” winter tires to my 18" summer tires.

I have no bearing problems nor any abnormal wear on any of the steering linkage.

As some of you are aware, I live in Germany drive a 97 Mountaineer AWD and travel the autobahns at an excess of 80 mph daily, ok I've gone faster but boy does the gas mileage suffer.

My point is; those washer spacers you received are not of good quality. They put the weight of the tire further out on the oem stud causing extreme stress.



Here is an example of what I mean;

Hold a sledge hammer horizontal, by the end of the handle at arms length (extremely hard isn’t it)

Now hold the sledge hammer at the base of its metal head again at arms length (easy not a problem)



The "bolt on spacers" that I have been running do just that, they first bolt onto the OEM stud putting all the stress on the base of the stud were it was designed to be at. The bolt on spacers will not move when they are torqued to their proper specks. Then you bolt your tires onto spacers studs.



Brad (dwtc)

may be right, maybe ther is more to this than the spacers?

All in all its good that you and your ride are both safe.
 

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Well let me chime in I sheered a Mustang front right tire off a 73 Mach I not a pretty sight at about 80 mph. It ground down about half the front right rotor and made a flat spot on a brand new tire. Apparently the AAFES service dealer had not put them on to the right specs. As for the spacer and the first time the wheel came loose odds are your lug nuts were stripped partially when it happened the first time. You have a 4wd right ? The lugs should still pop out and press new ones in instead of replacing the hub, was this on one wheel or both ? I would check the lugs themselves for wear, I have replaced all my back ones and before I went to the power slot rotors had replaced the front on both sides snapped 3 off at one time what a joy that was.. Oh it was on the right side that I snapped them off of not that it matters. So I just replaced them all and said to hell with it.



None the less for your own safety check the remaining lugs for wear or strippage. As joe said I have never had problems with spacers on my Mustang.
 
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