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DANGER of dually spacers: Story of my 2" from hell

Old 08-09-2012, 12:30 AM
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As a racer I'm an expert on things falling off. Someof this below I learned the easy way and some the hard way.

best practice is to us a wheel with the right offset and prevent the use of spacers or adapters.

A spacer rides over hub studs and may or may not be hubcentric. Any spacer used should be hubcentric and remember to compensate for spacer thickness by increasing stud length

An adapter is what the OP has on his truck. An adapter is much better connection than a spacer and always made hubcentric. Adapters bolt to the stock hubs. Adapters have their own studs which the wheel is bolted on to.

ARP studs are the best if you can find them the size you need.
There are lots of inferior studs out there.

failure is likely caused by too much or too little torque. Either is bad.

Beam torque wrenches are more accurate than clicker torque wrenches. Some clickers are easily 20% off the listed torque.

all hubs, wheels, studs and nuts should be clean and dry. No antiseize, no oil on threads.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:49 AM
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So...somebody descibe offset in laymen terms? and which way do I want to go (+/-) to get the wheel towards the outer fender and away from my control arms?

I am assuming that I don't use a spacer I need a greater postive offset on my front dually rims?

Any body know the factory offset on 17" Alcoa front dually rims?
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Fordzilla View Post
If you're attempting what I think, you will increase the radius of the arc you scribe when you turn the steering wheel...You might wind up hitting the fenders or bumper when turning......Ben
I have a 6" lift, I could fit 37 with no issues of ever touching fenders or bumpers...just the darn control arms.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by shlen View Post
So...somebody descibe offset in laymen terms? and which way do I want to go (+/-) to get the wheel towards the outer fender and away from my control arms?
Here are two webpages that may help:

First one...

Second one...

Could your problem be solved by going to a larger diameter wheel?...18" or 19.5"?......Ben
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:10 AM
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We're in the process of starting a wheel and tire section here but I don't think it's quite ready yet. Maybe some of these questions could be answered by one of our sponsors, Southwest Wheel. http://www.southwestwheel.com/
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:58 AM
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1-5-3-6-2-4 Thanks for the pics...it definitely helps...I don't like the look either
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:53 PM
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Wow that is quite a story. What are the chances the studs would end up in your box for you to find before it got ugly. Glad it worked out as best it can in a situation like this.

I have a suggsetion that will end the speculation. There are a few companies in Calgary that do destructive testing and failure analysis on components. It may cost you a few hundred to get the test done, but then you will know for sure what the cause was. You may even be able to show it to someone there for a quick opinion for free.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert373 View Post
Wow that is quite a story. What are the chances the studs would end up in your box for you to find before it got ugly. Glad it worked out as best it can in a situation like this.

I have a suggsetion that will end the speculation. There are a few companies in Calgary that do destructive testing and failure analysis on components. It may cost you a few hundred to get the test done, but then you will know for sure what the cause was. You may even be able to show it to someone there for a quick opinion for free.
I was thinking about that, just did not know where to start. If you have any names of companies that you recomend please pm me.
Thank you very much. That would be awsome.

I am also running the same companies spacers on the rear duals (bought about 6 months earlier) and would like to get those tested too.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:31 AM
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you know testing the adapters will destroy them. But its your money. thats in the over thinking it category. pay to wreck them, to tell you nothing really.

I'm no rocket scientist, but I've been a professional HD mechanic long enough to tell you truthfully, if you did not torque and REtorque those new studs on the adapters on the aluminum rims accurately and evenly inside of 100-150kms of use. that is entirely why you have broken studs. your not the first one to have this happen. you wont be the last.

Its not the adapters fault. Its not the rims fault. Who ever installed them and failed to retorque them is to blame.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 1-5-3-6-2-4 View Post
you know testing the adapters will destroy them. But its your money. thats in the over thinking it category. pay to wreck them, to tell you nothing really.

I'm no rocket scientist, but I've been a professional HD mechanic long enough to tell you truthfully, if you did not torque and REtorque those new studs on the adapters on the aluminum rims accurately and evenly inside of 100-150kms of use. that is entirely why you have broken studs. your not the first one to have this happen. you wont be the last.

Its not the adapters fault. Its not the rims fault. Who ever installed them and failed to retorque them is to blame.
I did not want to test the spacer (It is just a 2inch chunck of round steel), but I want to pull and test the remaining studs and the studs that broke.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:53 PM
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The failure analysis in this case is little more than dropping off one of the broken studs. They look at it under the microscope and can determine the method of failure and probably even comment on the metallugy of the stud if it happens to be sub-standard.

Ultimately it's up to the OP if he wants to get this done, but in terms of failures, I think this analysis is as basic as it gets-overtorque or undertorque, or possibly substandard material.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:00 AM
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So overtorque or undertorque, or possibly substandard material, could be any or all the above.

How do I fix this? How do I run 35's on stock Alcoa Rims and stop then from rubbing my control arms? Do I re-run the spacers with new studs? How to make it safer?

How do I stop this from happening again? ( Check torque every 100km?)

Anybody have any ideas? Anybody here running 35's on a lifted dually with a long arm suspension?
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:53 AM
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Ok I'll be the voice of reason. Failure analysis of broken wheel studs is rediculous. Really. But its your time and money.


Moving on. Very simple procedure mounting wheels. But you can and will break studs if you don't do it right./ Run the spacers, spacers not really a problem. Your problem was installation.


Stud and nut, clean and dry. No lubrication. None.

Wheel seated flat to WMS. Torque in a star pattern. With a CALIBRATED TORQUE WRENCH.

Drive for a day. or around 75km. Retorque with a CALIBRATED TORQUE WRENCH in a star pattern.

Now go on about your life until you have to remove the rims the next time. Not much else to it.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 1-5-3-6-2-4 View Post
Ok I'll be the voice of reason. Failure analysis of broken wheel studs is rediculous. Really. But its your time and money.


Moving on. Very simple procedure mounting wheels. But you can and will break studs if you don't do it right./ Run the spacers, spacers not really a problem. Your problem was installation.


Stud and nut, clean and dry. No lubrication. None.

Wheel seated flat to WMS. Torque in a star pattern. With a CALIBRATED TORQUE WRENCH.

Drive for a day. or around 75km. Retorque with a CALIBRATED TORQUE WRENCH in a star pattern.

Now go on about your life until you have to remove the rims the next time. Not much else to it.
Man I donít know about what you say there; I have run Spider Track spacer for years and NEVER seen something like this! I would be talking to the manufacture and see if they are DOT approved for the road first; if they are then I would be saying you're lucky you are not getting sued! The spacer looked to be made proper; but something tells me the studs are bad! Come on over TQ studs; is this a Gorilla putting them on! I think I would be talking to the manufacture and see what they recommend for your loss.
I do agree with the star pattern
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 1-5-3-6-2-4 View Post
Ok I'll be the voice of reason. Failure analysis of broken wheel studs is rediculous. Really. But its your time and money.


Moving on. Very simple procedure mounting wheels. But you can and will break studs if you don't do it right./ Run the spacers, spacers not really a problem. Your problem was installation.


Stud and nut, clean and dry. No lubrication. None.

Wheel seated flat to WMS. Torque in a star pattern. With a CALIBRATED TORQUE WRENCH.

Drive for a day. or around 75km. Retorque with a CALIBRATED TORQUE WRENCH in a star pattern.

Now go on about your life until you have to remove the rims the next time. Not much else to it.
There is nothing else to say. Been there, done that. With regards to the procedure laid out above, I have never heard the slightest variation from anybody reputable ever. Not once, not ever. This applies for installing the adapter to the hub, and installing the wheel to the adapter.

If you want to add anything to this, for peace of mind you could order replacement studs from ARP.
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