Ah decisions, decisions. We knew that the CJ-5 needed stronger axles so we built a set of custom Dana 44’s. Somehow in the process we also decided that it needed more flex, so we did a spring over with Wrangler springs. When the spring over was all said and done and we stepped back to look at our work we realized something was wrong, very wrong. The Jeep was now an 1.5 inches taller than it was before with the 4″ spring under lift, oops. We forgot to make it wider to accomodate the added lift!
Now we were stuck with a really strong, really flexible roll over waiting to happen! This Jeep needed some width, but how? A quick call to Joel Snyder at Stage West four Wheel Drive Center answered our question. Joel said matter of factly, put some wheel spacers on it. Great Joel where can we get some? No problem Joel said I have a 2″ set in stock. A few days later our Jeep was wide enough to make us feel comfortable.
Our 2″ wheel spacers put our Jeep at exactly the right width for every trail we run. The wheel spacers are milled from solid billet aluminum so they are incredibly strong. Now you are saying, ‘Why not just change the back spacing on your wheels?’ Well like most people we already had new wheels on the Jeep. So instead of selling the wheels for peanuts and dumping more cash for a custom made set, the spacers are the perfect, affordable solution. The only drawback to wheel spacers or off-set wheels, is the added stress that they place on the ball joints. The center of the wheel is now another 2″ further away from the ball joints, which would be the same if we installed a set of 2″ off-set wheels. Are we concerned? Not even a little bit. We installed brand new Dana-Spicer ball joints when we built the front end and after 6 months of hard wheeling they are still as tight as the day we installed them.
Installing the wheel spacers is a piece of cake, it is basically just like installing your wheels. just bolt them in place, tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. and install the wheels on the spacers. You will need to buy all new lug nuts for your vehicle, as you now need twice as many. The spacers come with the studs already installed so it really is easy. The important thing to remember is that you need to check the torque on the wheel spacers periodically as they can come loose, just as you should check the lug nuts on your wheels. Stage West can also make wheel spacer/ adapters to fit different wheel patterns onto your Rig. If you have any questions, give Stage West a call and chances are they have just what you need.