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Discussion Starter #1
I installed 25mm Ichiba V2 bolt-on spacers today as an experiment to see what would happen to handling, mileage, tramlining, rubbing, etc. Before buying the spacers, I put the car on the lift and did some careful measuring and to my surprise, 25mm spacers looked like they would fit. After hearing horror stories of spacers being dangerous, etc. I figured I'd buy the best I could get and read a lot of good things about Ichiba's (and also H&R) so that's what I bought.



Here are the specs I ordered:
4x100mm bolt pattern
56mm center bore (fits really nicely to both the brake drum and the wheel)
25mm width
bolts are 12mm w/1.5 pitch
That "off-road use only" disclaimer caught my attention. I'm going to trust the materials and my torque wrench and not worry about this bit.


This is how the spacer looks unboxed. It comes with studs and nuts. At 25mm thick, the stock studs and the included lugnuts are completely countersunk. This is a good thing because the Insight's wheels have no recesses on the back side to accomodate protruding studs (thinner bolt-on spacers require this of your wheels)


Here's the spacer with the hub-centric insert installed:


(to be continued - 5 image limit per post, boo!)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
(...continued)

Disclaimer: I'm much more interested in the mechanicals of cars than how clean they are. My Insight hasn't been washed in many months, maybe years. Sorry.

Here is the stance before:

(before)


(before)


Here is the stance after:
(after)


(after)


I only had time for a short but pretty comprehensive (e.g. bumpy, hilly & curvy) test drive in the rain tonight but so far, no rubbing at all and I didn't trim a thing from the fender skirts. If you want to install 185/60-14's, you'd probably want to go with a smaller spacer--they're a close fit w/the stock 165/65-14's but that's all I currently care about. Handling wise, it's hard to say but I WANT there to be a big difference so I'm hesitant to say what the big changes, if any, are without more of a test drive. When I get some more miles on the setup including rutted I-90 concrete, which tossed the car around a lot when stock, I'll report back.

Joel
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here are a few more random pics from the install:

(before - wheel to fender skirt gap -- all the way to my knuckle)



(after - wheel to fender skirt gap -- about an inch less)

PRO TIP: a 15 month old child strapped to your chest CAN sleep through the sound of an impact wrench


(before - hub/brake drum)


(after - spacer bolted on)


Joel
 

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Does anyone have an opinion about what might happen to the rear wheel bearings when the load is displaced 25 mm. out from stock? The rear is pretty light, so maybe the bearings will do just fine. When I was young, I installed wide wheels on a Chevrolet. The additional width was all toward the outside; i.e., the additional width wasn't distributed equally, so the wheel load was displaced to the outside. The outside front wheel bearings wore out. This might have been coincidental.
 

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Skirt clearance

Currently, one of my projects involves adding drive sprocket adapters on the inside of the rear wheels for rear wheel belt drive. I had planned on about a one inch offset which is what you have. My main concern has been with the clearance at the REAR of the skirt and the wheel because the shape of the body narrows back there.

It is encouraging to see that there appears to be adequate clearance. I will be following your progress and comments with great interest and hope you will continue to report success.
 

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Currently, one of my projects involves adding drive sprocket adapters on the inside of the rear wheels for rear wheel belt drive.
Care to start a new thread for this sounds intriguing :)
 

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Wow

Joel,

You are a real trooper for having your child strapped to your chest and working on your car plus taking pics! My hat is off to you sir!

It's amazing that you didn't have to trim any material from your side skirts. I am looking forward to updates on this endeavor.
 

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You have a lift in your garage?

Insanely jealous. ;)

Let us know how it goes though. Very intrigued. I don't imagine this should impact MPG at all, so if it increases handling performance it may be worth it.
 

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You have a lift in your garage?

Insanely jealous. ;)

Let us know how it goes though. Very intrigued. I don't imagine this should impact MPG at all, so if it increases handling performance it may be worth it.
lol, I'm jealous too!

I would think it is possible to increase mileage because now you can cover more underbody area, and tighter tolerances always give better aerodynamics ;)
 

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Cantilever problem

Does anyone have an opinion about what might happen to the rear wheel bearings when the load is displaced 25 mm. out from stock? The rear is pretty light, so maybe the bearings will do just fine. When I was young, I installed wide wheels on a Chevrolet. The additional width was all toward the outside; i.e., the additional width wasn't distributed equally, so the wheel load was displaced to the outside. The outside front wheel bearings wore out. This might have been coincidental.
This is a very real problem with wheel adapters and is mostly not considered or is just ignored. Front wheel spacers really goof up the front end geometry and even careful re-alignment is never very satisfactory. With the torsion rear beam suspension used on the Insight, this may not be a problem as far as the geometry is concerned.

The cantilevering of the load on the bearings that Art suggests probably will effect bearing life. The "correct" way to work around that bearing wear issue might be to install appropriate spacers between the mounting surfaces of the axle beam and the brake backing plate/wheel spindle instead of between the brake drum and wheel. This is a more complex and seldom used method but should deal with the bearing wear Art brings up but may create some other problems such as those with the lengths and locations of brake lines, etc..

Considering the trade-offs, the wheel adapters may not be the worse choice on a rear axle setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@Hugh-Falls In my case, the adapter-type spacers were suggested by a reputable alignment shop who recently provided an "aggressive street alignment" and was responding to my request to further improve handling. In his "professional" opinion, the narrower rear track was a limiting factor and could be remedied somewhat with quality spacers. I could have achieved a similar effect with lower offset wheels but I like the stock wheels.

If my bearings wear more quickly, I'm prepared to deal with that as a side effect, similar to knowing that adding a turbocharger can increase the stress on and thus reduce the life of an engine as a trade-off for more power.

@Blue-Civic-Hybrid - Surprisingly, having a 20lb kid strapped to my chest enables me to spend a lot more time in my shop than I could otherwise. It turns goofing off in the shop into a worthwhile, wife appeasing activity. :)

@the non-lift-equipped masses--I set a life goal long ago to one day have place to work on cars that's out of the elements and has a lift. Our tax return one year was lift-sized and I realized that dream, complete with wife endorsement. Every time I hit that magic "up" button, I do feel very fortunate. Does that make me at least an OK person? :)
 

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Haters gonna hate!

@Hugh-Falls In my case, the adapter-type spacers were suggested by a reputable alignment shop who recently provided an "aggressive street alignment" and was responding to my request to further improve handling. In his "professional" opinion, the narrower rear track was a limiting factor and could be remedied somewhat with quality spacers. I could have achieved a similar effect with lower offset wheels but I like the stock wheels.

If my bearings wear more quickly, I'm prepared to deal with that as a side effect, similar to knowing that adding a turbocharger can increase the stress on and thus reduce the life of an engine as a trade-off for more power.

@Blue-Civic-Hybrid - Surprisingly, having a 20lb kid strapped to my chest enables me to spend a lot more time in my shop than I could otherwise. It turns goofing off in the shop into a worthwhile, wife appeasing activity. :)

@the non-lift-equipped masses--I set a life goal long ago to one day have place to work on cars that's out of the elements and has a lift. Our tax return one year was lift-sized and I realized that dream, complete with wife endorsement. Every time I hit that magic "up" button, I do feel very fortunate. Does that make me at least an OK person? :)
As one of the "non-lift equipped", I still hate you... but only on a jealousy level! Is that a Bendpak or another model? I'm jealous that you have it in your home garage! ( or is this some sort of out building/ barn/ detached garage?)

Nonetheless, you are an OK person for showing us your sweet lift.:rolleyes:
 

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Reasonable choice

JoelR: When I decided to add the sprocket adapters to the rear axle, I made the same choices you did and decided to go ahead anyhow. I am prepared to live with the consequences of increased bearing wear but was unsure about the tire/skirt clearances problems. Hopefully you will have that information available for us as you go along. I look forward to your future comments.

Retep: The rear drive battery trailer thread exists and describes what I had in mind for the rear belt drive sprocket adapters. These adapters are in the process of being machined right now and when they are completed and assembled, I will post the pictures there. It is good to know that I am not alone with increasing the rear tread width of the Insight. I had not anticipated any improvement in handling but thought that they might provide some understeer.
 

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I've always dreamed of having a lift at my house, but have come to terms with taking my car to a 2 man service shop that said they will let me use their lift when its not in use. I'm not sure if they'll want me to pay to use the shop space or tools though but if I run into a snag and need help with something out of my league like tearing apart an engine, their hourly rate is reasonable compared to what I've seem other shops charge.
 

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What was the weight of the spacer assemblies? Also, how much rear camber are you running? Looks like a lot, 2-3 degrees, but this may be an optical illusion. I am wondering if there would still be adequate clearance near the top of the tire with less camber. Are you still running the RE92s? Tires are the easiest way to improve handling, so I'm guessing you have some reason you're sticking with stock tires for a reason...just trying to figure out what your priorities are.

Bryce
 

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What was the weight of the spacer assemblies? Also, how much rear camber are you running? Looks like a lot, 2-3 degrees, but this may be an optical illusion. I am wondering if there would still be adequate clearance near the top of the tire with less camber. Are you still running the RE92s? Tires are the easiest way to improve handling, so I'm guessing you have some reason you're sticking with stock tires for a reason...just trying to figure out what your priorities are.

Bryce
Stock tires will give the best mileage hands down. So it looks like a balance of keeping the mileage while increasing handling.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@Blue-Civic-Hybrid: When we bought our house, it came with a 1200sq ft detached shop in addition to the attached 2 car garage. I tried to ignore that amenity as we toured the house which for many other reasons was a great deal and a good fit for us. After deciding we wanted it, I strolled out to the shop and gazed up at the 14ft ceilings and thought "a lift could sure go in here!" A full price offer was made that night. :) I've since added insulation, drywall, a heat pump, some tools and a lot of half-finished projects. I wish I had more time to actually take advantage but as you can see w/the baby foot in one of my pics, I'm taking every opportunity I can get these days. :)

Update on the 25mm spacers: my wife drove the car to work yesterday and described the change like this: "It's more stable on the freeway. It feels like when turn the steering wheel, there's more slack, like it doesn't turn as suddenly." I'll definitely have to confirm it myself but I think she could be describing an increase in understeer which makes total sense. My longer term plan is to add a rear sway bar and perhaps a stiffer front sway bar so ultimately, I think the understeer can be counteracted by these bars. Hopefully the end result is more stability, higher cornering limits, better transient response (e.g. it goes where you steer it with less body roll) and a tad less understeer than stock.

That's the theory anyhow.

Joel
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@Nashco: As Bryce said, my goal to see how far I can improve the handling while keeping the stock tires since anything else reduces the mileage. I'm not trying to save money by saving fuel, I'm just trying to maintain my current ~60mpg mileage while making the car more fun to drive.

My alignment settings (called "semi-aggressive street use") are currently:
Front: -1 degree camber, 2.1 degree caster, 1.5mm toe in
Rear: -1.1 degree camber, 3.5mm toe in

I can increase negative front camber to about -1.5 degrees using the narrower bolts the shop installed. The above setup has been a nice improvement over how the car was before (+.19 degree camber, 3.7mm toe out in front). Rear camber can be adjusted using special spacers behind the brake/hub assembly where it bolts to the axle but I'm going to hold off on that until after sway bars. What I'm saying is my rear camber is essentially stock and probably the same as yours.

Joel
 

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Just a side note....

No matter how you offset the tire, be it via a different rim or the spacers, any time the tire is displaced from the axis of the wheel bearings, there will be more torque loading (side-loading) of the bearings.

_______________________

I really do like the idea of moving the rear wheels out as well.

Obviously cornering stability is a big factor....

Driving in the winter snow is another. I notice the back end moving around quite a bit since the rear wheel track is not in the same road surface as the front. Moving the rear tires out slightly might help this.

Jim.
 

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I've never even heard of an Insight wheel bearing failing. They seem pretty robust. I doubt it will be a big deal. But something to watch out for.
 
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