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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Spacer Issue

 
Old 05-25-2018, 05:09 PM
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2012 E550 Cabriolet 2011VW Eos 1985 Pininfarina Spider
Spacer Issue


i have a 2012 E550 cab and about 6 months ago I installed spacers (10mm front/15mm rear) and longer bolts. Last night as I was driving from my house I heard a thumping and thought I had s flat. When I got out to look, the wheel was being held on by only one bolt. The other 4 had broken. When I got the wheel off the spacer had broken on the hub centric collar. Iím trying figure out what happened. Iím thinking the spacer hub broke and started slightly moving and placed more stress on the bolts, causing them to break. Any other theories?

Last edited by Davery; 05-25-2018 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Picture
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:31 PM
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How many mm is the shank length on your bolts?

Last edited by Hsg08; 05-25-2018 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:39 PM
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The 10-15 mm spacers are the higher risk it is.
If you take spacer <5mm, the original rim will center the wheel, the spacers >=20 mm have separate bolts for the spacer and separate for wheel, so even there is margin for misalignment, they are solid.
What you have is forced design when the rim is not having enough "meat" to hold the wheel and looks like cheap bolts.
It is the bolts that should hold the wheel, when spacer is just for initial centering, so blame the bolts.
Watch and learn..
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:13 AM
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What he said ^^^
Spacers do not hold on wheels. Bolts do. Would like to know the vendor and length of bolts.
Bolts werenít tightened or something and eventually loosened. Maybe wrong length and bottomed out. Lots of possibilities.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:19 AM
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Not sure of mfg of these spacers but cheap ones can compress slightly and cause bolts to loose spec torque. In all cases bolts need to be regularly checked.
You were very lucky my friend. I'm assuming the remaining wheels will be addressed as well.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:08 PM
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I think your problem is the lug bolts, not spacers, where you purchased the lug bolts? As far as I know, OEM bolts are Cold Forged and http://otisincla.com/product-category/rad/ is the only manufacturer who makes same quality lug bolts. Perhaps now there are others manufacturers on the market who makes cold forged lugs but while back when I needed longer lug bolts RAD was the only one.

PS and my spacers were 20mm and 26mm

Last edited by GuestFromTampa; 05-26-2018 at 10:41 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 05-26-2018, 07:20 PM
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I purchased some extended lug bolts from Otis in the past, used them on my old w210, never gave me any problems. But my spacers were like 5mm, not 10-15mm.
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:58 PM
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Thanks for anyone's input. I had to leave for vacation a couple of hours after the mishap on my cabriolet. I'm thinking the issue may have been caused by the aftermarket lug bolts that came with the spacers. I believe they were conical bolts and since I was using OEM wheels I believe I should have been using ball seat bolts. When I get back from vacation I will confirm my theory. I know there is a big debate on spacers vs no spacers, but for those using spacers I have a question. It seems some spacers I see for sale are acceptable for the rear, but not the front. Why is that? Also, I assume I should be using ball seat bolts with OEM wheels, correct?
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:38 PM
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Totally makes sense about the bolts. They probably came loose and started the problem. You should have felt a vibration though.

The issue with certain spacers working or not depends on the hub itself. Some cars have a hub ring that sticks out further front to back and some are larger diameter at base and taper down. You put a spacer on such as a 5mm and what lip is left from the hub doesnít center the wheel.

This is why spacers with a built in lip such as 12mm work. The spacer is centered by the hub lip. Then the spacer has a full lip to center the wheel.

Does that make sense?
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:41 PM
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This isnít to say that spacers without lips do not work though. I have successfully used many. Just need to google a lot and learn from what others have tried. Get good parts, clean everything perfectly and tighten and torque bolts properly.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:56 PM
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2012 E550 Cabriolet 2011VW Eos 1985 Pininfarina Spider
Originally Posted by 95viper View Post
This isn’t to say that spacers without lips do not work though. I have successfully used many. Just need to google a lot and learn from what others have tried. Get good parts, clean everything perfectly and tighten and torque bolts properly.
Totally makes sense. But if a spacer is hub centric and fits the rear, why wouldn't it fit the front?
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:59 PM
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The lips on the hubs are different even on the same car
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:36 PM
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2012 E550 Cabriolet 2011VW Eos 1985 Pininfarina Spider
Originally Posted by 95viper View Post
The lips on the hubs are different even on the same car
I never considered that. Does anyone know if the front and rear hubs are different on a 2012 E550 Cabriolet?
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Davery View Post


I never considered that. Does anyone know if the front and rear hubs are different on a 2012 E550 Cabriolet?
i can use the same spacer for a front or rear.
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