Wheel spacers are one of those accessories most don’t put much thought into. Just buy some 5 or 10mm spacers and throw them on your car. With Model 3 specifically, there were some interesting considerations that we wanted to take into account to come up with the ideal range of spacer thicknesses to accommodate all possibilities. It actually took a fair bit of thinking and planning believe it or not!
NOTE: Our wheel spacers are SLIP ON spacers, NOT bolt on. Extended wheel studs such as our MPP | MSI Extended Studs are required for spacers over 4mm.
NOTE For Performance Model 3 Owners With Thin Rotor Hats: Because of how much the hub protrudes, the 9mm spacer WILL NOT work with the thin performance rotor hats. For performance Model 3’s with thin rotors, you can use two 4mm spacers per corner, and the OE hub will protrude enough to engage in your wheels.
Coming Up With The Thicknesses Of Our Wheel Spacers
We had a goal of offering spacers in 4-5mm steps, as those are usually granular enough to achieve the exact target offset you’re looking for. So with that goal, here are the considerations we had to make:
First of all, we have the thin performance rotor. As you most likely know, this thin rotor exposes a larger diameter “step” on the hub, which many aftermarket wheels will not clear. So it was obvious we wanted a spacer to address this issue that would also be removable should the user upgrade to an MPP rotor or big brake system. The 4mm spacer accomplishes this pretty nicely, as the difference between our rotor and the performance rotor is 5mm.
At the same time, we opted for 4mm so that this spacer can be used with OEM length studs for those with non-performance rotors. Any longer, and you don’t have sufficient lug nut engagement. However, every wheel is different – so be sure to check that you have at least 10.5 turns on your lug nut BEFORE adding a spacer. The minimum number of turns on your lug nut should be 8, which results in 12mm of thread engagement.
Lastly, for high-camber, square-fitting wheels, the front generally prefers a 3-4mm spacer to achieve the same fitment to the fender as the rear, and to offer adequate clearance to the upright. So again a 4mm wheel spacer was the right size for this job!
For the next size, we had to consider the OEM hub height. For someone using performance rotors, quite a bit of “hub” is protruding out of the rotor. This means that offering a hub-centric spacer is a bit tricky! 9mm was the absolute thinnest we could do and still have enough material for the hub.
Beyond that it became easy, and keeping with our target of 4mm steps, we ended up with 13mm and 17mm. 9mm or 13mm work out perfectly for a car that is switching back and forth between high camber (more spacers needed) and low camber. 17mm is about the most you’ll want to use with our MSI | MPP Extended wheel studs (when using non-performance rotors), although you can likely get away with 21mm (combining the 17 and 4mm) depending on the wheel.
All The Features You Want In Wheel Spacers
There’s nothing worse than trying to remove spacers after a season of winter driving. That’s why we machined pockets into the backside of every spacer size so that if that spacer gets stuck (hot tip: use anti-seize on the hub when installing), you can easily pry it off.
We also wanted to make a spacer that could accommodate both the Model S and Model 3. This means that our dealers who want to stock spacers don’t have to stock two separate sizes, and we’re able to make the spacers in higher volume and pass the savings on to you. It also means if you happen to own both an S and a 3 the spacers will work for either car. Some of us out there are changing wheel/tire setups often, so having versatile spacers is nice!
Finally, we also included the larger diameter step on the 13mm and 17mm spacers, so you can use the spacers directly with the thin rotor hats found on the Performance Model 3. As mentioned above, the hub protrudes so much that the 9mm spacer CANNOT be used with the thin performance rotors, you can however use two of the 4mm spacers, and the OE hub will protrude enough to engage your wheels directly.
Wheel Spacer Buying Guide For Performance Model 3 Owners With Thin Rotor Hats
If you have a performance model 3 with thin rotor hats, you want to put a bit of thought into your spacer selection. If you might be planning on upgrading your brakes down the road, it may be wise to use a combination of a 4mm spacer and another spacer size, so that when you upgrade your brakes you can simply remove the 4mm spacer and keep the same effective offset.
For example, if you want 13mm of spacing, you would instead purchase the 4mm spacer and the 9mm spacer. Or, if you wanted 17mm of spacing, you would purchase the 4mm spacer and 13mm spacer.
Remember, as we’ve mentioned all over this page, the 9mm spacer will not work for the Performance Model 3 with Thin Rotor Hats. So, you would use two 4mm spacers, and if you upgrade your rotors down the road, remove one spacer and keep nearly the same effective offset.
Here you can see a 3D Model of a Thin Performance Model 3 rotor and our 9mm spacer combined with a 4mm spacer. The setup results in JUST enough space for us to squeeze the extended hub on the spacer:
However, if you have no plans to upgrade your brakes it is perfectly fine to use the 13mm or 17mm spacers on their own, as we have included the step in the spacers, as shown below.
Wheel Spacers seem to be one of those parts that are often brought in from overseas. We’re proud to say that these spacers are made in Canada, and we hope you’ll agree that paying a few dollars more for a pair of spacers is a good tradeoff to support a North American made product.
- 2x Slip On Wheel Spacers in the selected thickness
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