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Wider Model S stance and improved aggressive appearance with wheel spacers

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by artsci, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    There have been a few other mentions of wheel spacers but since I installed them today I thought I would start a thread devoted to the topic.

    I used 18mm spacers front and rear, which widens the stance 36mm or about 1.5 inches. It also makes the outer edge of the tires flush with the fenders, which provides a more aggressive appearance. I determined the size by measuring the distance between the fender edges and the outer edge of the 45/40R-20 Pirelli Cinturato P7 tires, which turned out to be about 20mm. As I'm installing Continental EXTREMECONTACT DWS 06 XL 245/40ZR-20 tires on the wheels next week, and their section width is about 2mm less than the Pirellis, I chose a spacer width of 18mm to account for that difference.

    The spacers, which were machined to order by Motorsport Tech Inc. are hub and wheel centric, an essential quality of spacers over wider than about 5-9mm. BTW, I highly recommend Motorsport Tech. Their customer service is fantastic and Lenny, the owner, personally handled my order and communicated with my about various matters.

    With an 18mm spacer the stock Tesla studs will be too short to safely attach the wheel. So the Motorsports spacers are a one-piece item with holes and nuts to attach them to the stock studs and their own studs for mounting the wheel. Here are a few photos of the spacers on and off the car.

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    The stock studs are one of the darker color in the photo below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As I many go to a staggered set up, I also have a set of 275/35ZR-20 CONTINENTAL EXTREMECONTACT DWS 06 XL for the rear. So I also ordered a set of 5 mm spacers, which will make this much wider tire flush with the fender edges. These spacers are hub centric and this is what they look like. The hub lip is on the reverse side so it doesn't show in the photo.

    [​IMG]

    BTW, unless your wheels have the pockets on the hub side shown in the photo below spacers of the kind I installed won't work, as the pockets are essential to make room for the stock studs when the wheel is mounted.

    [​IMG]

    I was able to shoot some "before" photos of the car and wheels but didn't have time to shoot any "after" photos. Will do that tonight and post them.
     
  2. SD_Engnr

    SD_Engnr Member

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    I imagine you've installed these on previous cars? Just in case - be sure to check and re-torque them after a few miles. I think the recommendation is after 50 miles? Also, is there any concern with the amount of instant torque that these will see?

    Looking forward to the pictures.
     
  3. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    First time but with much planning and research before I concluded it would be ok. They're supposed to be re-torqued after 5 miles. Already done, but will do it again after a few days. No concerns about the instant torque, at least based on my research and conversations with the manufacturer of the spacers.
     
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  4. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    No photos of the actual model s with spacers?

    Y u do this!?
     
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  5. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    As I noted in the original post I'll take and provide photos this evening. I think the title of the thread captures why I did this.
     
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  6. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    My mistake I totally missed that part!
    Looking forward to pics!
    Thank you for taking the time to do this.
     
  7. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I understand this will affect the camber setup on the car. How much, I'm not smart enough to determine. I assume probably not enough to grossly affect the car's handling in a negative way, but tire wear may be an issue. You may find excessive wear on inner/outer edges. Still like to see the pics though. :cool:
     
  8. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    Thanks for posting this Rick!

    I wonder how this will affect camber error in the rear? I'll have to draw this out to get an idea, doesn't seem to work in my head. =)
     
  9. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Opinions are mixed on that question, but they appear to be just that -- opinions. The prevailing sense seems to be that camber is unaffected as the wheels are just further out but the camber unchanged. But it does have an impact on the suspension which may affect tire wear as well as wheel bearings and other components. But the prevailing sense is that those effects are minor. This was confirmed by Jeff Wise, who did the install -- and I trust his judgment very highly. He races and has a ton of experience with wheel, tires, and suspensions.

    Maybe someone who knows more than I can weigh in. If I have any major concerns down the road (no pun intended) I'll just remove the spacers and go back to stock. Not hard to do.
     
  10. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    A few photos of the final result and some before and after.

    Before/after

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    More after.

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. SD_Engnr

    SD_Engnr Member

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    Looks nice and flush.

    How about more angle so we can see the actual wheels? :D

    EDIT: Also curious on whether or not your wheels were available in a lower offset so that you wouldn't need the spacers?
     
  12. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Here are a few photos from different angles. I don't think my current 20s were available in a lower offset. But the carbon fiber rims are. They'll be a 35 offset. I want the option of going staggered and I don't want wheels with different offsets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. DrManhattan

    DrManhattan Member

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    It does look nicer, but I don't think I could bring myself to do this. Maybe after multiple people have driven thousands of miles with no reported issues.... Those spacers are pretty fat!
     
  14. SD_Engnr

    SD_Engnr Member

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    Looks great! Care to share the specs on those? And are you lowered or is that the low setting on air?
     
  15. jmsurpri

    jmsurpri Member

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    Looks great. I've always felt the wheels were a little too tucked into the well. This is how they should look out of the factory.
     
  16. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I'll be putting about 1,500 miles on my car over the next 3 weeks on all kinds of roads. So that should be a good test.
     
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  17. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    The photos were taken with the car on the lowest setting, and as I have air and lowering links, when my car is on the low setting in matches the original low for Model S's -- about .75" lower than the new low.

    Here are the Motorsport specs for the spacers:

    4 Adapter - Hub & Wheel Centric 18mm 5x120 64.1 14x1.5 Studs & Lugs.

    Cost for the spacers was $240 and they were delivered in less than a week.
     
  18. LoL Rick

    LoL Rick Like Buttah

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    I was perfectly happy with my car until seeing those pics. Damn you!
     
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  19. SD_Engnr

    SD_Engnr Member

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    Thanks for the info. I found your thread about the lowering links and found some great info in there. Can you share your wheel specs?
     
  20. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Aluminum wheels are 20 x 8.5 5x120 ET30 Offset 30 Avant Garde Wheels M580 Satin Silver.

    ESE Carbon wheels, which I hope to receive and mount next week are:

    Diameter: 20"
    Width: 9"
    Offset: 35 mm
    Bolt Pattern: 5x120
    Center Bore: 64.1
     
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