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1980 Corvette Wheel Spacer How-To.

When I went to do this for my 1980 Corvette I recently purchased, I couldn’t find too much on how to install, or what to look for in a wheel spacer to use modern C5 wheels.
I saw that Bee Jay had some C5 Z06 wheels on his car and I PM’d him about the wheel spacer’s he had used to accomplish his look. He had used a 2” spacer, and then told me to use a 2.5” spacer for the Y2K C5 wheels I wanted to use.
Well, I picked up my C5 wheels off a friend of mine for $300 with tires. I just needed to acquire a set of 4 spacers. Fortunately, I did NOT need a “Wheel Adaptor”.
A wheel adaptor has 2 different bolt patterns. So that you may use a completely different rim. For example, you wanted to run BMW rims on your Corvette, you would need an “Adaptor” to change the lug pattern over to metric to accommodate the BMW wheels.
A Spacer just moves the same bolt pattern out from the hub of the wheel the desired length.
I didn’t want to pay a huge amount of money on the spacer’s (just like anyone restoring a car, $$$$ only goes so far). I looked on-line and found this company:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120565808895&viewitem=
I was able to purchase a “Pair” of 2.5” Wheel Spacer with a 5x4.75 bolt patter for only $90 shipped!!!! To me, that was a bargain! AND, there hub centric…even better!!!!
I bought a pair to try them out. Well, they worked out PERFECT. So, I bought another pair and now my car has the stance and the wheels I wanted for it.
Here are some pics to help out with anyone doing this mod;

Here is what the Wheel Spacer looks like up against the rotor;


2.5” spacer!


Mine came with some new Acorn nuts. Keep in mind; they are a DIFFERENT THREAD PATTERN then the stock 1980 wheel studs!!!!!!



A couple of different pics of the wheel spacer and the lug nuts.





This is a picture of how far the stock wheel studs stick out from the rotor. That’s 1” to be exact.




I bought the rotors from Summit Racing. They come painted black like that. I just painted the caliper with some DuPont brush on caliper paint for about $17 at Napa or AutoZone.
[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][URL="http://i662.photobucket.com/albums/uu349/SOMFormula/1980%20Corvette/Wheel%20Spacer%20How-To/IMG_8392.jpg%5b/IMG"][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]http://i662.photobucket.com/albums/uu349/SOMFormula/1980%20Corvette/Wheel%20Spacer%20How-To/IMG_8392.jpg[/IMG[/SIZE][/FONT][/URL][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000]][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000][IMG]http://i662.photobucket.com/albums/uu349/SOMFormula/1980%20Corvette/Wheel%20Spacer%20How-To/IMG_8391.jpg




Remember to torque in a star pattern! The hubs came with a torque sheet saying to torque them to 95 ft-lb’s. Follow the instructions for whatever brand you buy!!!!!
Also, torque the wheels you have to the wheel manufacturer’s suggestion!!!!



I had to grind the tab a bit for my rims to clear. Nothing major, about 2 seconds with the grinder took care of it and the stock steel leaf spring. I also run a VBP sway bar that I added. Plenty of clearance! And, I run the stock T/A.





There are no reliefs in my rim to run extended wheel studs. So take your measurements carefully before installing NON-stock wheel studs.
Would I recommend longer wheels studs? YES! The stock one’s are so short, there a PITA to get the acorn nuts started. You have 1.5” of wheel spacer before you ever hit the tip of the wheel stud, as you can see in the pictures below.





Please, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the compliments. I figured someone could find this write up utilizing the "search" button and answer some of there questions.

BUT, here is how I found the Vette:



Here it is a week later in front of my house;



Here is how it sits so far;






 

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wheel spacers

how long do you think your wheel bearings will last,not long id say.i dont like the idea of spacers and wouldnt have them anywhere near any of my cars.ask your self this do you think these spacers make your car safer.if you want big wheels buy a set with the correct backspacing and sleep well at night
 

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how long do you think your wheel bearings will last,not long id say.i dont like the idea of spacers and wouldnt have them anywhere near any of my cars.ask your self this do you think these spacers make your car safer.if you want big wheels buy a set with the correct backspacing and sleep well at night


hahahahahaha! I seriously just LOL'd when I read this.

I have to ask...all joking aside; Did your uncle not understand boundaries?
 

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DC Pit Crew
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I went head and put this thread in the tech index. If it degrades into a series of personal attacks and bull **** I'll be happy to remove it. :thumbsup:
 
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Really enjoyed the write up and the pictures. Wheels look great as well. Thanks for taking the time to do it.
 

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hahahahahaha! I seriously just LOL'd when I read this.

I have to ask...all joking aside; Did your uncle not understand boundaries?
That's a good one :laughing:. A wheel spacer allows you to use an oversize tire and/or expand the distance between wheels on the same axle while using your existing wheels. Benefits of a wheel spacer (like an Audi wheel spacers)? Got a bunch of them:

  • Virtually any make or model can be manufactured.
  • Available in any thickness or diameter.
  • Any bolt pattern.
  • Custom studs for all applications, made in a variety of sizes.
  • Wheel spacers come with a Lifetime Warranty.
  • The adapters are precision machined to fit your truck perfectly. No axle change is necessary. Mounting is as easy as changing a tire!
  • All of our adapter kits come with any necessary mounting hardware.
BTW, your rims rock man :partyon:
 

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Sir Dude
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how long do you think your wheel bearings will last,not long id say.i dont like the idea of spacers and wouldnt have them anywhere near any of my cars.ask your self this do you think these spacers make your car safer.if you want big wheels buy a set with the correct backspacing and sleep well at night
Do your math spacers put no more stress on the bearings than the same rims with different back spacing would.
 

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Nice write up. I just picked up Chrome C4 ZR1 wheels for my 81. I'll be going through the same thing as soon as I can buy tires and finish prepping the rims.
 

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I would use blue loctite !!! with red you may not get them off . and you cant use a torch to heat the stud and nut. 100lbs. tg & blue loctite.

paul:thumbsup:
 

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how long do you think your wheel bearings will last,not long id say.i dont like the idea of spacers and wouldnt have them anywhere near any of my cars.ask your self this do you think these spacers make your car safer.if you want big wheels buy a set with the correct backspacing and sleep well at night
Old post and I'm sure you've been "learned" before now, but there is a BIG DIFFERENCE in a simple wheel spacer and one of these. Personally. I'd go with a centric spacer, but the way these secure are the same, and the wheel bearing doesn't know if it's a spacer or part of the wheel. I went with 3" on back and 2.5's up front. Oh, and I sleep like a baby!:smack

 
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