With every incarnation, the Ford F-150 comes closer to the general vehicle owner. Once the workhorse vehicle aimed at farmers and workers alike is now almost a fashion icon with luxury amenities, muscular design, and desirable performance.
In recent years, there is even a trend of tuning the F-150 and make it better. One of the most popular tuning enhancements for the F-150 is wheel spacers. These cheap products can enhance the looks of the full-size Ford pickup, especially with bigger, aftermarket tires. There are other numerous advantages of installing wheel spacers on the Ford F-150, but there are disadvantages as well. We will talk about both of them and then tell you how to install the wheel spacers yourself.
Why do I need a wheel spacer for my F150?
The most obvious reason to install a wheel spacer is to pair them with new, aftermarket rims and tires. Most off-road rims need to be tightened with more bolts and wheel spacers with different bolt pattern must be used.
Aftermarket rims often have a different geometry from the factory ones as well, which can result in the wheels being more inwards. To counteract that, you’ll need wheel spacers. This way, your F-150 will have the right wheel offset.
That said, wheel spacers should be used if you want to install bigger brakes. Let’s say you tuned the suspension and changed the wheels to off-road specification – you’ll still need bigger brakes, wouldn’t you? That’s where wheel spacers come in handy, as they can open more space inside of the rim.
Wheel spacers widen the track of the Ford F-150, which can result in better handling and stability at higher speeds, as well as more uniform tire load into the corners.
In the end, you may want your Ford F-150 to appear even more aggressive and menacing? Wheel spacers are a cheap and easy way to enhance the look of your vehicle, even with the stock wheels.
What to look out for when installing wheel spacers?
It’s obvious that you should buy wheel spacers from reputable manufacturers, but you need to take some other considerations as well. First, always install wheel spacers that will keep the wheel offset close to the factory one, if not equal to. This way the suspension components will have less strain on them and last longer.
Then, it’s best to change the bolts with longer ones when installing wheel spacers. Just add the thickness of the wheel spacer to the length of the factory bolt and you’ll have the right length of the new bolts.
Hubcentric wheel spacers are also the way to go if you want the best quality fitment. These wheel spacers put less strain on the suspension – normal wheel spacers can even produce vibrations while driving. Hubcentric rings should also be installed if you opt for aftermarket rims, as they also contribute to fewer vibrations and better fitment.
It’s also safe to say that installing very big wheel spacers will not only harm suspension components, but the F-150 will lose steering stability under braking, there will be more steering effort and reduced bearing life. Always go for a slight wheel offset.
In the end, if you install a leveling kit, which is something that most off-road aficionados do, you’ll need wheel spacers to get the proper geometry for the F-150.
|F-150 Bolt Pattern||PCD 6×135|
|Stock wheel offset||-44 to 44 mm|
|Custom Offset Range||-76 to 38 mm|
|Center bore (hub bore)||87.1|
|Thread size||M14 x 1.5|
|Stock Rim Sizes Range||17×7.5 – 24×12.0|
|Custom rim sizes range||17×10.0 – 24×9.5|
|Tire sizes||245/70 R17 – 285/35 R24|
How to install wheel spacers on Ford F-150?
Wheel spacers are pretty straightforward in how you install them, but there are still some considerations to be taken. First and foremost, you need a heavy-duty jack to lift the F-150 and jack stands to hold it. Then, you’ll need proper tools and equipment to remove the wheels from the vehicle. It’s best to do this in a garage.
- Jack up your Ford F-150 and put jack stands underneath
- Unscrew the lug nuts and remove the wheels. The F-150 probably has retaining clips – remove them as well
- Install the wheel spacers on the hub
- Put the wheels back and tighten the lug nuts. For your safety, always use a torque wrench and tighten the nuts according to Ford’s factory specification