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Does spacers, offset rims etc damage the XK wheel bearings?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 15.1%
  • No

    Votes: 16 30.2%
  • I am not sure yet...

    Votes: 29 54.7%

  • Total voters
    53
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, So after cruising around the forum for a while and digging into some of the old threads, I HAVE found that there are those that have had issues with using spacers and offset rims. Those guys say that these type things will prematurely wear out the wheel bearings.

Then there are those who have said they are running them with no problem for over a year or more.

So what gives???

Who's right and who's wrong? Or is there really no right or wrong answer?

So to that end I thought I would post a poll called the Definative Wheel Bearing Poll.

So here's your chance to make your opinion heard...
 

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Well to answer your question....Yes. However it will take a long time for that to happen. It bassically just speeds up the process. Many people are running wheels with a wider offset and/or wheel spacers with no problems. Its a jeep dont worry about it, it can handle it.
 

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I answered YES because too much of a good thing can cause anything. However, my real answer, were it available would have been "it depends". I would estimate nearly every Wrangler offroader has either offset rims or wheel spacers. In the 19 years I have been offroading I have not noticed an unacceptable wear on the unit bearings (wheel bearings) of anyone rigs that I am familiar with including my own. Obviously the wider the spacer or the more offset the rim the more likelyhood of premature wear. Personally, I think wheel spacers of 1 1/4" or less or offsetts similar do not cause any unacceptable damage. john
 

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I said no because someone had too! No really, your bearings will wear anyway and the amount of wear IMO is going to be so little that it is not a factor. Just keep your Jeep lubed and you should not have any problems.

Now the real question... Does putting larger tires on your XK wear your transmission out early? Or how about the U-Joints? I guess that is my way of saying that every mod will effect something in a positive and negative way. Install the spacers and have some fun.
 

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No problems here.
 

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I haven't had any problems.
 

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I think that anytime you change the relationship of the centerline of the bearing and the centerline of the wheel you increase the side load on the bearings. Having said that I run 1 1/2 inch spacers and the biggest tires that I can with a 2 inch lift. As was said on here already, if you run larger tires you also change the load on the entire drivetrain. In my opinion it just means that you have to make sure that you maintain your vehicle, keep the bearings well lubed, (especially if you cross water), watch for play or slop in the bearing preload, and make sure that your spacers are tight as well as your lug nuts. Not breaking down is usually about good maintenance and careful driving.
 

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ten years of working on cars I can say that you wont wear out a bearing faster with a 1-1.25 maybe even 1.5 spacer. the end result is still bolted to the same location however comma the OVERALL size of a wheel and tire will effect driveline and transmission wear due to the added weight of the rims and tires. Typically bearings are not as effected from spacers or even wheel size. Best example; a shop I worked at had a regular customer come in with trans slipping issues and u-joint problems. his vehicle...a 99 blazer with 24" chrome spoke spinners, each rim and tire weighed as much as one of his standard wheel and tire. the same wear can be expected on with towing as well. good rule of thumb, keep your vehicle maintained and you shouldnt have any problems.
 
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