ATV Riding

How to install UTV wheel spacers?

Installing a UTV wheel spacer is similar to installing the ATV spacer. There is not much difference between them except the number of wheels of the vehicle. Before installing it, first, you have to gather the necessary tools required for this purpose. You must know the tools and their use.

How to install UTV wheel spacers? You can replace and install UTV wheel spacers by loosening the nuts, using a jack stand, sliding off the wheels, and lifting the UTV. It is recommended that you carefully tighten the nuts.

Wheel spacers are made up of metal and are fit between the wheel and the hub of UTV. These spacers improve the stability of your UTV. These are mainly used to install larger tires. They increase the offset or the distance between the wheel and wheel hub assembly. By using wheel spacers, the load from a wheel is transferred to the axle.

You can use many different tools to install a UTV wheel spacer such as lug wrench, torque wrench, floor jack, and most importantly, a wheel spacer. The first thing that is so important is to determine how wide you want your track to be. It is risky to add spacers to the rear wheels.

After making this decision, buy the specific spacers designed for your model. Universal spacers are inexpensive, but they are not perfectly fit. They will no longer local on the hub. If you buy universal spacers, do check their tightness after riding for about 15 to 20 miles. The size of the universal spacers is 10mm. So if you want 10mm’s, a universal spacer is your only choice either it is expensive or not.

How to install UTV wheel spacers?

We prefer you to buy the spacers which are made up of metal shims. Such spacers are an important part of the machine, and they provide a longer service life than that of universal spacers. They increase the performance of your vehicle and provides a unique appearance. You can also use wheel spacers to increase the handling or traction of your vehicle.

Tools required for installing wheel spacers in UTV includes floor jack, gloves, lug wrench, torque wrench, wheel spacer, and jack and jack stand.

Loosening the Nuts

First of all, you should park your UTV on a flat surface. Make sure you do not park it on a rocky surface. Lug nuts are used to fasten the wheel to the hub. Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts of the wheel. If your UTV has a hubcap, you should remove it before loosening the nuts. The hubcaps are attached by metal clips. You can remove them using the lug wrench.

Use a floor jack under your UTV and slide it at the appropriate point. Jack up your vehicle and lower it onto the jack stand. Do not jack up the UTV until you loosen lug nuts. Put the wrench on the nut and turn it in an anti-clockwise direction to loosen it. You do not have to remove the nut using the wrench; you just use it to loosen the nut enough to remove it easily using your fingers.

Repeat this process for each tire where you want to install the wheel spacers and continue loosening the bolts. You cannot remove the nuts when the tire is placed on the ground. So, when you are done loosening the bolts, jack your vehicle up and remove the lug nuts. Spin them off by using your hand.

Sliding off the Wheels

After loosening the nut, you can easily remove the wheels from your UTV. It can be done by sliding the wheels off the hub and set them out of the way. Spray the degreaser on the lug nuts and studs. Wipe them down using a rag. Use a wire brush to clean them if they are dirty. Also, wipe down the hub where the tires are installed.

You can also use a puller to slide off the wheels of your UTV. Puller is also known as drum brakes. You can heat the drum which expands and results in loosening the hub so that you can easily slide the wheels off. Lubricants can also be used for this purpose. After removing the wheel, use a stiff wire brush to clean the hub to prevent it from corrosion.

Do not use a torch on a wheel because it will cause serious damage to the wheel or tire. The high heat could also damage the tire. Lubricants are not preferred to be used for this purpose because they create a mess that is difficult to clean up. 

But if you want to use lubricants, use the dry ones which are present in the form of spray cans. They use the fast evaporating liquid in the cans with the dry lubricants.

Using a Jack Stand

Jack stand is a mechanical lifting device that is used to lift heavy vehicles. It is used to raise a load, not to hold it. Jack stands are used to hold your vehicle for about 12 to 20 inches in the air. Using a jack stand is the oldest and most preferred way to lift a vehicle. Jack stands are durable and portable.

You need a hydraulic jack to use the jack stands. The hydraulic jack is used to lower the UTV until it rests on the jack stand. When you are done installing the spacer on one side of your UTV, go to the other side and repeat the same steps to lift it and install the wheel spacers.

Using jack stand for this process is time-consuming and pretty risky as it is inherently unstable. The jack stands are mostly used for minor maintenance such as tire rotations. A technician can use it to install the wheel spacers without any risk. If your UTV suddenly jacks off the jack stand, it can cause serious injuries to you. 

If you do not have much knowledge to install a wheel spacer using a jack stand, you can use mini ramps. Mini ramps are inexpensive and much safer than the jack stands. They are used to lift your vehicle, but they do not provide enough lift height. They can lift your vehicle to 6 inches.

If you are an expert, you can use Kwik-Lift instead of a jack stand. It is extremely sturdy because it lifts the UTV by the wheels. There is no risk of tipping of the vehicle front to back or falling to the side. It takes less than 15 minutes to set it up. It is quicker and safer than the other stands, but it can only be used by an expert.

Lining the holes in the wheel spacer

The third step is to slide the wheel spacer onto the studs. Line the holes in the wheel spacer with the wheel studs. You can drill the holes in the wheel spacer. Drilling involves welding the existing lug holes and drilling a new pattern of bolt on to the wheel. The bolt pattern should match one of those that are on your UTV.

If you have three lugs and the measurement of the diameter of the virtual circle is 90mm, the bolt pattern would be 3 x 90. If there are five lugs, and the diameter is 110, the bolt pattern is 5 x 110, and so on. The bolt pattern of the universal spacers usually is not optimal for your UTV.

After lining the holes, slide the wheel spacer over the studs until it is placed firmly against the hub. Make sure it is free of dirt or rust. You can use a wire brush to clean it. After sliding the tire, line up the spacer with the holes in the hub. The wheel spacer has built-in studs that bolt into the tires.

Never install a distorted or bent wheel spacer. Push the spacer over the wheel with consistent pressure on both sides. You should fit the spacer snugly on the spokes. The torque requirement for the clamping stud is about 85N/M.

Insufficient mounting torque can also damage your wheel. It can also damage the studs. You can use heat gun to restore plastic if there is any damage. You can use the torque gun for this procedure. You can also use air wrenches as they save time and labor.

Installing the Lug Nuts

Lug nuts are used to attach a wheel to the hub securely. These are very small in size but are essential for the wheels. It means they are an important component of your UTV. A lug nut only works when the torque is applied on a tire in a proper amount. Removing lug nuts is simpler than installing them.

You can also use bolts or wheel locks instead of lug nuts. They are available in different sizes and shapes. The wheel locks work as lug nuts, but they require a key to unlock the nuts. The bolts screw into a hole in the hub of the wheel instead of having a nut. Installing bolts is difficult to install than the lug nuts.

The first step to install the lug nuts is to make sure that the nut is free of oil or dirt and tighten them using your hands first as most of the manufacturers do not recommend using anti-seize compounds or any lubricant on the lugs. Tighten the nuts in a crisscross pattern to ensure an even distribution of pressure across the wheel mounting the surface. 

After tightening them with hands, use a torque wrench. Some people damage their wheels by over-tightening the lug nuts. A wheel that consists of 5 or 10 lug nuts is tightened in a pattern of a star shape. It is also known as tightening the nuts criss-cross.

Lifting the UTV

After installing the lug nuts, the next step is to lift your UTV. The wheel of your UTV is placed on the jack stand. By lifting your vehicle, you can easily remove the jack stand. You can lift your vehicle by using any tool which is strong enough to pull your UTV so that you can easily remove the stand.

There may be other stands than the jack stand. Mini ramps, the Kwik-lift, full-ledged two posts, and four posts lifts can also be used as an alternative of the jack stand. They are much safer than the jack stand and provides more benefits than it. When doing all these steps be careful and do not damage the handguards.

Tightening the Nuts

We know that torque is the amount of a force that is applied to a lug nut to tighten it. If lug nuts are not properly installed, they cause different serious problems such as damaging the brakes, losing a wheel, distorting the stud, etc. You need a lug wrench, torque wrench, socket wrench set, jack, and jack stands for tightening the nuts of your UTV. Also, check that the speedometer must be installed.

The lug nut must be re-torqued after driving about 50 to 150 miles on new tires. You can install the lug nuts by using a torque wrench. After tightening the nuts, lower your UTV completely and use a torque wrench to make sure that the nuts are evenly tight. If you don’t have a torque wrench, you can use a factory wrench instead of it. To provide proper torque, you should apply the torque in a specific order.

You should never perform the final tightening of the lug nuts of your UTV’s wheels when it is in the air. It can only be done if your UTV is lifted by the jack stand. When your UTV is on the ground, you need a much firmer platform to perform your tightening, but it is not safer to use a big wrench if your UTV is not on jack stands. It is recommended that you should also install Windshield on your UTV.

Conclusion

Installing UTV spacer is similar to installing the ATV spacer. There is not much difference between them except the number of wheels of the vehicle. Before installing it, first, you have to gather the necessary tools required for this purpose. You must know the tools and their use. If you are not an expert, you can get help from your friend or someone else.

You should not perform these steps while your vehicle is placed on a rocky surface. Jack stands are used to lift your UTV from the ground surface. For loosening and tightening the nuts, lug wrench is used. The torque wrench is used for the final tightening of the lug nuts.

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