State Inspection laws and use of wheel spacers - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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State Inspection laws and use of wheel spacers

I realize that the inspection laws differ from each state. Here in PA we unfortunately have some tough laws.

I'd really like to add a set of 1.5 inch spider trac spacers to my 2007, only the PA inspection law won't allow "Spacers over 1/4 inch in thickness used to increase wheel track."

I'm wondering if they are referring to those slip over aluminum disks you just slide over the existing studs and the wheel holds in in place or does that include something like the 1.5" bolt on spacers? I can call my local garage but I think they will say anything over 1/4" period.

Does anyone in PA know? I found a thread on another Jeep site that said "My brother-in-law does PA state vehicle inspections and we were talking about it. He said spacers will NOT pass inspection. Then I mentioned the Spydertrax spacers and how they mount and he said there should be no problem with them since they give you "new" lugs to mount the wheels onto.The concern with regular spacers is that they reduce the amount of threads that the lug nuts have to grab onto so, they fail inspections. Spydertrax don't so that changes things a bit. Now, that is only 1 inspection mechanics opinion"

Last edited by BBCBIRD; 02-23-2015 at 11:19 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 06:04 AM
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Here in PA we unfortunately have some tough laws.


I feel for you BBC, I moved from PA 15 years ago to FL where there is no State inspection. I have seen several PA Trooper checking wheels that obviously had spacers behind them. I always thought they were looking to see if the wheel extended past the fender flare.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCBIRD View Post
..."Spacers over 1/4 inch in thickness used to increase wheel track."

I'm wondering if they are referring to those slip over aluminum disks you just slide over the existing studs and the wheel holds in in place or does that include something like the 1.5" bolt on spacers? I can call my local garage but I think they will say anything over 1/4" period....
An aluminum disk is a spacer, they make it pretty clear in the law, if you use it to increase wheel track more than a 1/4" its illegal, keep in mind, you'll use one per side, so any spacer over an 1/8" will result in increasing track more than 1/4". Call it what ever you want, the inspector and state troopers will call it a spacer and fail/cite you if you use it.

If you use the slip over spacers, you have to use special lug nuts or longer wheel studs, you have to have the same amount of nut over stud or you've weakened the retention power on the wheel. Arguably, you need stronger retention power on the wheel (i.e. stronger studs/lug nuts) because you've increased the stress on the lugs by moving the wheel farther away from the hub.

Yea, PA is NOT the only state, there are others; it appears their attitude is, if it caused one accident or one person can screw it up, we'll ban it for everyone so it won't happen.


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Last edited by Mongo; 02-24-2015 at 07:53 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 08:28 AM
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I've had them on for years and its never came up during inspection, and my mans a stickler, about everything. They're 1.25" Spidertrax hub eccentric. Don't like the way XK's look without them. Too verticle.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 11:05 AM
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I live in pa , you should not have any problems at all. Dealers around here are selling trucks with tires way past the fenders then what is stated legal and lifts just as high as anyone would want. They pass. If you do happen to find a place that fails you just go to the next.. I have 1" spacers and haven't had problems
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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I guess where you go makes a big difference. When I bought my 2007, part of the dealers perks was offering a free lifetime inspection service each year, which saves about $38... if I recall correctly. I'd just have to pay for the emission test.

I'd like to take advantage of that 38 buck savings every year but I'm wondering if the dealership would be more picky as opposed to a local garage.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
An aluminum disk is a spacer, they make it pretty clear in the law, if you use it to increase wheel track more than a 1/4" its illegal, ....
If you use the slip over spacers, you have to use special lug nuts or longer wheel studs,
How does PA feel about wheel "adapters"? Most quality spacers these days (the common spidertrax included) are more like an adapter than a spacer. ie: they bolt to the factory lugs, and then the wheels botl to them. They are not just a slip-over spacer. So even though you;re going from a 5 on 5, to a 5 on 5, they are still technically an "adapter" as opposed to a spacer.

And frankly, it's the only safe way to do it. Folks adding a simple slip-over spacer will someday be chasing their wheels down the road. I once had one of my wheels pass me on the freeway because as a kid I didn't understand the physics that mongo describes in his post above.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maytag View Post
How does PA feel about wheel "adapters"? Most quality spacers these days (the common spidertrax included) are more like an adapter than a spacer. ie: they bolt to the factory lugs, and then the wheels botl to them. They are not just a slip-over spacer. So even though you;re going from a 5 on 5, to a 5 on 5, they are still technically an "adapter" as opposed to a spacer.

And frankly, it's the only safe way to do it. Folks adding a simple slip-over spacer will someday be chasing their wheels down the road. I once had one of my wheels pass me on the freeway because as a kid I didn't understand the physics that mongo describes in his post above.
Well the law states:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCBIRD View Post
"Spacers over 1/4 inch in thickness used to increase wheel track."
So, if the adapter doesn't increase wheel track, you're probably good to go, if it does increase wheel track, they'll see it as a spacer.

Moot point, because several current PA residents are saying they are NOT enforcing the law and pass inspection with wheel spacers on their vehicles.

I agree with you on the slip over spacers. Although I have seen them used with longer and higher strength studs and lug nuts, and I've even seen them used with special lug nuts that go past the wheel and into the spacer to have the same amount of thread to grip by the lug nut.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Everyone has a lot of good points. I'm wondering if an adapter used to change a lug pattern would be considered a "spacer" for the purposes of a states inspections definitions.

The one thing about inspection laws, is that definitions can be kinda vague and open to some interpretation. I can totally understand if your just tossing a spacer disk onto the hub. Then it's a matter of not having the proper length of threads on the stud. That makes sense, although when done correctly, (as mentioned above) you must install longer studs to adjust for the spacer.

I think I'll take the gamble and install a set of 1.5" spider trax spacers (unless there is a better brand floating around...but that a whole other discussion. In threads I also read up to a 1" spacer is virtually no difference as far as stress and wear on components,... I wonder if that extra 1/2" does make a big difference? In fact Mongo mentioned about up to 1" in this thread https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...=wheel+spacers

Last edited by BBCBIRD; 02-24-2015 at 10:05 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 01:25 PM
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As long as it is hub centric (not just slip on plate) and BOLTS to existing lugs while giving you new lugs to mount the wheel to, in most cases you will not have a problem , also who is to say if it changed your lug pattern by just looking at it.
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