There are several differences between wheel spacers and wheel adapters, and one may be better than the other for your specific vehicle.

This latest video featuring Summit Racing tech adviser Carl Pritts is intended to help clear up any confusion between the two parts.

Wheel Spacers

Wheel spacers are used to address clearance issues, such as a wheel rubbing against a shock or leaf spring. They’re available in various thicknesses, some of which are thick enough to require longer wheel studs in order to achieve proper thread engagement.

A tape measure will be particularly important, as well noting your thread size, knurl size, bolt length, and torque sequence specifications.

Wheel Adapters

Wheel adapters, on the other hand, are generally for someone trying to adapt a wheel to a vehicle that doesn’t share the same bolt pattern or offset. A wheel adapter has one predetermined bolt pattern that allows it to bolt onto the original wheel studs and support the new wheels.

Pritts will also explain the difference between wheel offset and wheel backspacing. He’ll also cover safety considerations for installing either part type, as doing so can add new vehicle weight load-bearing responsibilities to other parts and hardware.

Watch it now!