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Okay go easy on flaming this one. I searched.

The wheel and tire package I grabbed last year for the 2015 WRX was pretty conservative since I liked the wheels, but offset specs were not ideal. Currently (once put on) running 18x8.5 wheels with +50 offset (same as stock STI specs I think?) and 245/40/18 summer tires. There is pretty noticeable tire tuck, no flushness, so I want to add some poke to get it more lined up with the fender. No budget right now to switch to different wheels, so would need input on spacers, exact mm to go with, brand recommendations, and info on any drawbacks to expect.

Also, wheels are black and would like to grab a nice set of black lugs this year. Any input on types of lightweight black lugs that aren't wallet drainers?
 

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None.

Proper wheels is the only way to go in my opinion.

Wheel spacers are just a cosmetic band aid that add another failure point to your suspension.

Im sure your wheels and tires look nice. Just wait until you have the funds freed up to get things the way you want.
 

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The wheels you have now have the perfect fit for performance and function. Why do you want to make the car worse?

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So if you put spacers on without changing lug studs you take away the length of grip engagement the nuts. One drawback I'd expect is easier loosening of wheel lug nuts and also easier stripping or snapping them off.
 

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So if you put spacers on without changing lug studs you take away the length of grip engagement the nuts. One drawback I'd expect is easier loosening of wheel lug nuts and also easier stripping or snapping them off.
You put more leverage on the studs no matter how long they are and they will break.

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Hubcentric spacers do not put any additional strain on the hubs than wheels of an equivalent effective offset. You increase scrub radius and effect the wheel rate ever so slightly over stock, but no differently than the proper offset wheel. Vertical load is still applied at the center of the hub with proper spacers, like a factory wheel.

I've put 80,000miles on 1.5" thick 6061 lug centric spacers running 150lb wheel assemblies [yes, you read that right, 150]. The vehicle had a 87:1 crawl ratio, weighed 5,000lbs, and had 12.50 wide 37" tires aired down to 4psi...there was an enormous amount of torque applied to those studs. I have absolutely no concerns with hubcentric spacers, especially since most Subaru spacers are 7071.
 

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Hubcentric spacers do not put any additional strain on the hubs than wheels of an equivalent effective offset. You increase scrub radius and effect the wheel rate ever so slightly over stock, but no differently than the proper offset wheel. Vertical load is still applied at the center of the hub with proper spacers, like a factory wheel.

I've put 80,000miles on 1.5" thick 6061 lug centric spacers running 150lb wheel assemblies [yes, you read that right, 150]. The vehicle had a 87:1 crawl ratio, weighed 5,000lbs, and had 12.50 wide 37" tires aired down to 4psi...there was an enormous amount of torque applied to those studs. I have absolutely no concerns with hubcentric spacers, especially since most Subaru spacers are 7071.
I've seen several Jeep's tear the lugs clean out with them, nearly countless videos and pictures of failed spacers online, as well as personal experience that says they are not safe even in the furthest stretch of your mind.

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I've seen several Jeep's tear the lugs clean out with them, nearly countless videos and pictures of failed spacers online, as well as personal experience that says they are not safe even in the furthest stretch of your mind.

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And I have first hand seen factory lugs shear without any sort of spacer. There are conditions off-road that can shear 35 spline axle shafts and strip pinion gears, that load could certainly rival and reasonable load going through lugs. Unless you're 6,000rpm clutch dumping your STI on hot slicks, you won't ever see loads remotely close to that in one of these cars. In those off road situations something has to be the fuse, however it is not any more amplified with the addition of a spacer. My setup essentially was the worst case scenario and was used in the worse cases [by far not a mall crawler], my first-hand experience gives me no reason to question them.

Properly installed spacers do not loosen, ever. Just because you cannot see them doesn't mean they'll magically come loose. It's fascinating to me how one can be on a Subaru forum and read all about the imminent death and destruction you will see upon installing spacers. Hop over to a JK Wrangler forum and they are installed by the dozens on a daily basis and the "failures" [improper installation] are still remarkably low.
 

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Do you really think people take wranglers off road anymore? No, they don't. They are show pieces. They are failing on the road. It actually got to the point one vendor of a particular forum I was on complained so much about complaints that the owners began closing and locking complaint threads.

Properly installed spacers do loosen, all the time. It's why you are instructed on every set I have ever seen to retorque regularly. The aluminum also has this awesome property of being softer than the factory hub, and will deform easily. The ones with their own lugs are ever so slightly more reliable, however the lugs pull out of them often. I pulled the lugs loose on 2 wheels before ever getting to final torque. It was a 200 dollar mistake I'll never make again.

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Do you really think people take wranglers off road anymore? No, they don't. They are show pieces. They are failing on the road. It actually got to the point one vendor of a particular forum I was on complained so much about complaints that the owners began closing and locking complaint threads.

Properly installed spacers do loosen, all the time. It's why you are instructed on every set I have ever seen to retorque regularly. The aluminum also has this awesome property of being softer than the factory hub, and will deform easily. The ones with their own lugs are ever so slightly more reliable, however the lugs pull out of them often. I pulled the lugs loose on 2 wheels before ever getting to final torque. It was a 200 dollar mistake I'll never make again.

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Pro-tip, wheels are aluminum too and magically do not just come loose, despite "this awesome property of being softer than the factory hub". That argument isn't even close, we'll leave it there. The cross-section of the lugs does not change with a spacer, wheel, or piece of bread being put onto the hub. The shearing plane is still the exact same, the lugs are no weaker, nor is an applied load amplified onto them.

My dozens of friends that also use spacers [w/lugs], have not issues either. I have used cheap China "Rough Country" spacers, B.O.R.A [US made] and quality Spidertrax spacers. The issues I have seen are from where people do not properly install their parts, install on dirty hubs, dirty lugs, do not step-torque, etc. New spacers got retorqued after 2-3 heat cycles and that was it. They will not just continue to compress over time, 6061 and 7075 is tough stuff.

I'll quit there. I'll agree to disagree, carry-on.
 

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Protip wheels are an alloy of aluminum that is far harder than the typical spacer. 99% of spacers are 6160 that is easily deformable it isn't that tough and in the grand scheme of material it's mostly considered junk material. 7075, is a little nicer, however, it will continue to compress and deform. We regularly make test equipment out of it and it continues to compress and deform until catastrophic failure.

I work with metal for a living and have for some time, I don't know ow what internet folklore you've fallen into but to think metal can only deform so far is so insane I can't believe anyone would claim that.

Take a billet of aluminum, you have a hydraulic cylinder to press the center of the billet. It will smash that aluminum displacing material outward until it cracks, tears, or if it's thin enough deforms to completely unusable specs.

This is the exact process we do with springs. Valve springs, coil springs, disc springs, swaybars. Shape the billet to the form of the part. Smash it into it over and over to test the degradation rate of the spring. The aluminum fails long before the spring

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No please inform me. Come to my employer, show us how correct you are, and how 100 years of experience and engineering is wrong. The Germans love to talk engineering and they would be more than. Happy to humor you. We are even a tier 1 automotive supplier that designs and engineers many of the components and materials that make your car function.

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No please inform me. Come to my employer, show us how correct you are, and how 100 years of experience and engineering is wrong. The Germans love to talk engineering and they would be more than. Happy to humor you. We are even a tier 1 automotive supplier that designs and engineers many of the components and materials that make your car function.

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Perhaps my original comment wasn't worded properly, I was in no way saying that aluminum was a suitable material for a spring of any sort or extreme deformation. The static clamping load of a wheel provides a nicely uniformly distributed compression load upon the spacer. There is little-to-no deformation of a spacer during operation due to the clamp load and proximity of the studs relative to each other. If it is there, it is all elastic deformation and the fatigue life of the component is excellent.

I don't really need to make a trip to anyone in order to validate my opinion on the subject, nor will you, or your buddies, change my opinion on the use of wheel spacers. I have designed my own hubs for applications suitable to handle 2G cornering and braking loads out of 7075 T6 with zero issues holding a wheel on. I also work for a company that keeps places like yours busy with work. We have hundreds of Tier 1 suppliers for supplying the Heavy Duty Vehicle OEM assembly line, I wouldn't be surprised if your employer [or direct competition] are supplying parts for us. I assume you are a Mechanical Engineer as well?
 

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Opinions don't change facts. There are countless hubcentric spacer failures, as well as failures of hubs and lugs on wheels with insanely stupid offsets. However every time they spring up, the wheel spacers army comes and blames the operator and not the products general design and purpose.



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Opinions don't change facts. There are countless hubcentric spacer failures, as well as failures of hubs and lugs on wheels with insanely stupid offsets. However every time they spring up, the wheel spacers army comes and blames the operator and not the products general design and purpose.

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The hard "facts" you presenting are the following:
  • Some percentage of vehicles equipped with wheel spacers may see a failure [countless is not a quantifiable number]
  • Of those failures, it has not been verified to be attributed to the design or material selection exclusively
  • There is an opportunity for operator input to effect the performance and reliability of the wheel assembly

Did I capture that right?

So what if the spacers were machined from 4130, would that change your opinion of their suitability? If not, why?
 

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You still have not addressed the leverage issues that cause the failures in the first place. The further from the hub the load is the more leverage against everything on it. So, no. Now the failure moves directly from the spacer to the function of the spacer.

There is information everywhere showing failed spacers. I've had failed spacers. You don't want to believe it whatever. Your car, your life. People still think the Earth is flat.

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