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Thread: Wide Wheels= Bearing damage?

  1. #1
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    Wide Wheels= Bearing damage?

    I love wide wheels...
    I find somewhat unclear results when I try to google it and I didn't see anything by searching for it on this forum. Can anyone here say that wider wheels mess up your wheel bearings? I don't race, I just drive, and I'm only thinking about going from like 15x6.5 to 15x8 or 15x7.

    If anyone can share I'm interested in knowing if there are any cons about going wider... It just seems like all cars should have wider wheels to me...

  2. #2
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    Where you run into bearing problems is usually with FWD cars running big negative offsets. Puts a lot of force at the end of the bearing instead of centered over it.

    Mark

  3. #3
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    i rocked 15x11 -70ish and 15x13 -94 on my scion xb the bearings did not like me and i didnt drive the car that often

  4. #4
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    I'm looking at 15x8 with a +4 offset... I think that gives me and extra 55mm on the outside and I think it was a 16mm clearance between the strut and wheel on the inside. Asuming there's no grind on the tire, I hope that sounds not too bad.

    Uhh, I'm scarred... I've had a bad experience with bearings, I had trouble finding people who could press them right... they always told me they could do it and then a few weeks later... RRrrrr RRrrr RRRrrr (bad bearing noise).

    OK yellowsub... those were huge (I'm sure they looked great)... but it seems to go with Mark's comment.

    My +4 offset isn't a big negative offset but it's 5mm from being a negative number. Do you guess this will still cause problems... or know from experience?

    a FWD corolla I have 1988 2 door

  5. #5
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    u should be fine with those offsets those arent very aggressive and wont add much stress to the bearing

  6. #6
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    If you want to widen the track without risking bearing damage, about the only way is to do a wide body the hard way. Use longer trailing arms, longer tie rods on the steering rack, and longer axles. But you would have to redo all the spring rates and damper settings to match the longer trailing arms.
    Or, move the suspension mounting points out.
    Select a wider wheel with the same or close to the same offset. Then the load on the bearing is not changed and the wear rate remains the same.
    The bad part would be if the whole reason for wanting wider wheels was to have the wheel face set deep back from the edge of the rim, because all those changes to preserve the bearing do away with that appearance.

  7. #7
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    the wrong offset and backspacing will effect the wheel bearings and the ball joints it is a alignment angle called scrub radius
    which is a line drawn throught the pivot points of a front end ie ball joints and top of strut or through both ball joints and where that line intersects through the imaginary vertical of the tire and rim

    and how much pos or neg scub affects bearing and ball joint wear

  8. #8
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    Short answer without the engineering guff, and ignoring front wheel drive crapboxes is..

    No.

    Low offsets and wide wheels won't destroy wheelbearings unless they're already finished.

    End of the day more stress on bearings? Yes. Tangible effect in reality? No.

  9. #9
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    I've had 14x6.5 +15 offset (front) and 14x8 0 offset (rear) on my Lancer for over a year and have been driving her pretty hard and racing. No issues with the bearings.

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