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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The car is a 2002 B5.5 GLX 4Motion Wagon, stock suspension, 100K miles. Original alloys are "Road America" 7Jx16 ET37, running 205/55/16. The wheels are looking scruffy, the tires are tired, and I think a rear wheel got bent this winter (vibration in the "seat" at 75-80 MPH - could just be a thrown wheel weight).

For a face lift, yesterday I picked up a nice used set of "Flared 5 Spoke" 7Jx16 ET45 alloys, that came off a 2002 Audi A6 Quattro, complete with good 215/55/16 rubber. Mounted them up, and I like the look. No rubs, lock to lock.

Here is my question. The offset change is +8, and the change from 205 to 215 means that my in-board clearances are further reduced. Again, no rubs observed. But still I wonder, would I somehow be better off if I installed 8mm spacers? Better tracking / handling? Better to have more inboard clearance? Better looking? Or would adding spacers simply be overkill?

FWIW, I have no desire for ride height changes, but I will soon replace the original shocks with Koni FSD, re-using the stock springs. All advice appreciated.
 

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· I'm just itching to be Banned
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Spacers aren't going to make any appreciable difference on handling from my experience. Adding a spacer will improve the aesthetics, and I highly doubt you will experience any rubbing with those wheels on a stock suspension setup unless you got absolutely ridiculously large spacers. The main thing to keep in mind when buying spacers is that after a certain length (say 5mm) you are going to need to purchase longer bolts. 5 bolts per wheel x 4 wheels = decent cost so you need to be sure the spacer setup you buy is going to make you happy (both from a looks/livability standpoint, and making sure you are going to stick with that wheel setup)

edit: in your post you left the picture file location information up, you may want to remove that for privacy reasons, as it has your name full name up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, and thanks for the posting tip. Also, sorry the pics are inverted. That is a mystery. So stick with the 215/55 size, and leave well enough alone? Or do you prefer 205 on a 7 inch wheel?
 

· PassatWorld Elder
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Those wheels are from the A6 2.7T. I used to have a set on my FWD B5. I ran the 215/55/16 tires until they wore out, then replaced them with 225/50/16 as I liked the wider tire (same height as stock). No rubbing or any issues at all.
 

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I work with guys that were either automotive mechanics or tire guys. I've had this discussion with them about wheel spacers and they all agreed that I should stay away from them. The example I was given is take dually on our service truck if not properly maintained when services there's the possibility of damaging the wheel stubs if the rust or road grim (properly torqued) is not looked after when removing wheels. The spacer allow for water/salt to penetrate the cracks between the rim/spacer and the spacer/wheel hub. They've recommended to look at wheel offset instead. Hope this helps with your decision.
 
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