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      02-24-2020, 09:31 PM   #1
Jerich0
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Wheel Spacers... do they make the ride softer or harder?

Hello Guys...

Looking to install 12mm wheel spacers all around in my F80 but wondering in our suspension setup will the car ride softer or harder with spacers?

Thanks
JC
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      02-24-2020, 10:23 PM   #2
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I have 10 and 12mm spacers, and didn't notice anything being harder or softer. I don't really see why it would affect that?
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      02-25-2020, 04:36 AM   #3
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No noticeable change in ride quality. You will notice more debris and chipping along the side of the car though with more flush mounted wheels. I had additional PPF added behind the rear wheel, in front of the rear wheel and along the rocker panel on each side. Only missing protection I'm now finding is the front door panels.
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      02-25-2020, 06:49 AM   #4
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I installed the spacers today... no vibration but I swear the ride feels harsher, is it in my head?
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      02-25-2020, 08:49 AM   #5
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won't be harder or softer, but the car will run more rough/ uneven at higher speeds (~230 kph and above)
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      02-25-2020, 09:59 AM   #6
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When ever you change something like that you run the risk of changing the characteristics of the driving dynamics. I've been on the fence about spacers...I'm not worried so much about the ride quality changing more so the damage it will cause the paint.

Question for those of you that may know the answer...why didn't bmw engineer the car to have the wheels closer to the edge of the fenders? Was it to protect the paint...or are the wheels location specifically designed not to be pushed out another 10-12 mm? I've always thought of spacers as purely cosmetic and have actually been told by some it can void the warranty.
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      02-25-2020, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerich0 View Post
Hello Guys...

Looking to install 12mm wheel spacers all around in my F80 but wondering in our suspension setup will the car ride softer or harder with spacers?

Thanks
JC
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooch View Post
No noticeable change in ride quality. You will notice more debris and chipping along the side of the car though with more flush mounted wheels. I had additional PPF added behind the rear wheel, in front of the rear wheel and along the rocker panel on each side. Only missing protection I'm now finding is the front door panels.
This is the only thing to concern yourself over. ^^
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      02-25-2020, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason60051 View Post
When ever you change something like that you run the risk of changing the characteristics of the driving dynamics. I've been on the fence about spacers...I'm not worried so much about the ride quality changing more so the damage it will cause the paint.

Question for those of you that may know the answer...why didn't bmw engineer the car to have the wheels closer to the edge of the fenders? Was it to protect the paint...or are the wheels location specifically designed not to be pushed out another 10-12 mm? I've always thought of spacers as purely cosmetic and have actually been told by some it can void the warranty.
If I can recall, there's some law about how much the tire can stick out past the the fender (which is basically none). All those lifted trucks that have narly poke are against the law. Learned about this on the Lexus GS-F and RC-F platform where they have this extra piece on the rear quarter panel arch to extend the rear quarter panel to exceed the the wheel/tire. In short, the wheel/tire needs to be under the fender.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/20...g?v=1497772651

Fun fact, there's also a law that prevents the exhausts from sticking out too far to prevent risk of burning your leg if you accidentally graze the rear bumper. Rear bumper should cover the exhaust and should not stick past the exhaust. Learned this on the FRS/BRZ/86 Platform regarding why the JDM exhaust tips are longer than the USDM one.
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      02-25-2020, 10:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1rve View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason60051 View Post
When ever you change something like that you run the risk of changing the characteristics of the driving dynamics. I've been on the fence about spacers...I'm not worried so much about the ride quality changing more so the damage it will cause the paint.

Question for those of you that may know the answer...why didn't bmw engineer the car to have the wheels closer to the edge of the fenders? Was it to protect the paint...or are the wheels location specifically designed not to be pushed out another 10-12 mm? I've always thought of spacers as purely cosmetic and have actually been told by some it can void the warranty.
If I can recall, there's some law about how much the tire can stick out past the the fender (which is basically none). All those lifted trucks that have narly poke are against the law. Learned about this on the Lexus GS-F and RC-F platform where they have this extra piece on the rear quarter panel arch to extend the rear quarter panel to exceed the the wheel/tire. In short, the wheel/tire needs to be under the fender.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2034/4497/products/a14_19af43a5-dd99-4b34-acf9-94168989b226_1024x1024.png?v=1497772651

Fun fact, there's also a law that prevents the exhausts from sticking out too far to prevent risk of burning your leg if you accidentally graze the rear bumper. Rear bumper should cover the exhaust and should not stick past the exhaust. Learned this on the FRS/BRZ/86 Platform regarding why the JDM exhaust tips are longer than the USDM one.
Interesting thanks for that information
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      02-25-2020, 12:54 PM   #10
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Well... to answer the question Ladies and Gents:

Spacers in this suspension DO make the ride harsher!

We tested back to back, same day, car and psi. The car is harsher on road irregularities and frankly driving dynamics seem affected as well but is not as obvious as the ride quality loss.

2018 ZCP 19” Stock tire sizes.

So sad this had to happen because the F80 looks incredible with spacers, but they had to go.
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      02-25-2020, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerich0 View Post
Well... to answer the question Ladies and Gents:

Spacers in this suspension DO make the ride harsher!

We tested back to back, same day, car and psi. The car is harsher on road irregularities and frankly driving dynamics seem affected as well but is not as obvious as the ride quality loss.

2018 ZCP 19” Stock tire sizes.

So sad this had to happen because the F80 looks incredible with spacers, but they had to go.
In theory they will magnify road irregularities since they essentially lengthen the distance between the hub center and outer wheel rim. I've never had spacers on stock suspension, only stiffer aftermarket, which changes the dynamics regardless.
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      02-25-2020, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerich0 View Post
Well... to answer the question Ladies and Gents:

Spacers in this suspension DO make the ride harsher!

We tested back to back, same day, car and psi. The car is harsher on road irregularities and frankly driving dynamics seem affected as well but is not as obvious as the ride quality loss.

2018 ZCP 19” Stock tire sizes.

So sad this had to happen because the F80 looks incredible with spacers, but they had to go.
Good to know...thanks for the post and update
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      02-25-2020, 04:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
In theory they will magnify road irregularities since they essentially lengthen the distance between the hub center and outer wheel rim. I've never had spacers on stock suspension, only stiffer aftermarket, which changes the dynamics regardless.
This is exactly what we felt “Magnification in road irregularities”
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      02-25-2020, 08:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerich0 View Post
Well... to answer the question Ladies and Gents:

Spacers in this suspension DO make the ride harsher!

We tested back to back, same day, car and psi. The car is harsher on road irregularities and frankly driving dynamics seem affected as well but is not as obvious as the ride quality loss.

2018 ZCP 19" Stock tire sizes.

So sad this had to happen because the F80 looks incredible with spacers, but they had to go.
Did you do it blind? Meaning someone else set up the car without you knowing if it had spacers or not. You had preconceived notions that it felt harder. So that's going to make you biased.
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      02-25-2020, 10:55 PM   #15
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Yeah. Unless this was a controlled experiment, just the fact that you jacked up the car and didn’t account for suspension settling, tire temp, speed, wheel runout, sensor calibration, weight distribution verification, GR&R, regression analysis, and the cricket you ran over, totally invalidates your study!
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      02-26-2020, 05:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason60051 View Post
When ever you change something like that you run the risk of changing the characteristics of the driving dynamics. I've been on the fence about spacers...I'm not worried so much about the ride quality changing more so the damage it will cause the paint.

Question for those of you that may know the answer...why didn't bmw engineer the car to have the wheels closer to the edge of the fenders? Was it to protect the paint...or are the wheels location specifically designed not to be pushed out another 10-12 mm? I've always thought of spacers as purely cosmetic and have actually been told by some it can void the warranty.
With the exception of exotics, another reason for the relatively large gap in the fender wells on stock car setups is to account for the fitment of snow chains. All car manufactures have this design implemented in their cars, at least for those sold in the US.
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      02-26-2020, 08:49 PM   #17
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spacers can potentially change the ride quality. You are altering the suspension geometry after all. But its a minute difference at best. You will have a wider track front and rear so theoretically more stability.

Why the wheels are tucked and we have large fender gap is due to multiple reasons: all cars have to clear standard curb heights, headlights have to be a certain height, bumpers have to be a certain height for crash standards, BMW doesn't want even their dumbest drivers scraping up their front bumpers, etc.

Wheels being tucked in the fender help alot with aerodynamics and highway gas mileage.Tires disrupt airflow around the car when you push them out for the stance. and keep rocks from being kicked up into your paint.
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      02-26-2020, 09:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerich0 View Post
I installed the spacers today... no vibration but I swear the ride feels harsher, is it in my head?
Yes it is in your head. I’ve run spacers from 5mm to 25mm and have had ZERO issues. Make sure you install correctly, get good quality spacers, torque by hand to spec in star pattern, retorque after driving for a week. Should be 100% fine.
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      02-27-2020, 12:03 PM   #19
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No impact on ride quality after installing spacers on multiple vehicles including my current F80
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      02-27-2020, 12:43 PM   #20
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Just did 12 all around with 437m and PSS - no perceptible difference in ride quality

VERY perceptible difference in looks
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      02-27-2020, 01:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Just did 12 all around with 437m and PSS - no perceptible difference in ride quality

VERY perceptible difference in looks
Pics?
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      02-27-2020, 01:13 PM   #22
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To put this another way:

Would you expect a harsher ride if you swapped to a different wheel of the same size with the same tire on it but a different offset? How about a wheel with a .5-1" wider rim but the same tire on it?

No? Then why would you expect a spacer that has the same exact impact on tire/suspension dynamics to make the ride noticeably harsher?

Stock geometry is best ya'll, but if you want the look of spacers it's not going to kill your back all of the sudden.
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