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Has anyone put spacers on their wheels? I've never used spacers before and would appreciate some first-hand accounts on the good and bad before I make a decision.BONOSS
 

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Yes, I used wheel spacers on my old 2001 Arctic Cat 500 with straight rear axle to run 14" Mudpro rims with 30" Mudzillas. No rubbing, but I ran 1" spacers on front and 2" spacers on back. Just use a torque wrench to properly torque the studs. Welcome to the Chat from Maine.
 

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You may want to add "fender extensions" if you use wheel spacers, you can get more mud flying , if you go wider. Here is my 700 Diesel without wheel spacers showing fender extensions.
 

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What machine do you have?
I moved this to the correct forum.
 

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I ran a pair of wheel spacers for a few trips with my lift kit to eliminate rub cause by the lift. I've considered running my 1" pair on the fronts of my machine so my front/rear are the same width, currently I'm 2" wider rear than front. (50"Fx52"R)

It depends on the machine you have which effects CoG (center of gravity) the older style cats 04 and older had a high CoG because the fuel tank was mounted up high which moved weight up, the newer style 05+ have the tank mounted rear under the seat which lowers CoG. I have an older style machine 04-400 FIS so this is the view my comments are from.

The things I enjoy about my wider stance caused by my offset rims (same effect as wheel spacers):

I can do alot more high speed maneuvers, pushing my machine into slides on corners, drifting, donuts, and more stability doing off camber side-hilling rock crawling etc.

I did two big trips this year that were rocky off camber up and down mountainsides totaling 90km between them while doubling a passenger on a rear box with passenger foot bag/foot rests. Having the passenger up high behind me raised my CoG higher which made the sidehill/cross slope travel, the boulder climbing way higher risk. I feel I would not have attempted those trips with passengers without the wider stance of my current setup. With the wide stance my passengers only had 1 really uncomfortable spot that they were afraid (in their defense, I was afraid too..) I was on a side slope climbing up a boulder infront of me that was pushing my machine even more sideways, with standard width it would've been a roll-over for sure.

I went down a nice hard-pack frozen trail this weekend and I had my little 400 pushed right to the limit 40mp/h sliding/drifting corners, another thing that would not have felt comfortable on standard width. even spun out in a corner or two and did 360 rotations and 540 rotations sliding into snow drifts but not 1 wheel lifted during the process.

Wheel spacers are EASILY REMOVABLE, if you are going someplace/doing something you want to be skinny for, you can take them off within an hour without much work, even with basic tools in the woods they can be pulled (winch machine into tree) Offset rims are not easily removable, I need to pay to have my tires removed and remounted to standard rims. $100 any time I change my mind.

Wheel spacers are "flexible" you can run a pair on front OR a pair on rear, or all 4 depending on your ride style and what you enjoy, personally i would run a pair on front just to make machine even width.

The things I find annoying/frustrating about wider stance:

Constantly Muddy without fender flares.

tire rub in tight cornering/dense trees, rocks.

The wider stance puts me further into SXS ruts, a skinny machine like a honda or non spaced machine will ride in 1 rut with a tire on the center hump, this makes it an uncomfortable feeling on a steep side slope in mud, BUT it means you aren't high centered in the SXS ruts. When you push out the extra width your tires will sometimes rest in the deep ruts of smaller SXS, and cause alot more high center issues.

My machine no longer fits on my single quad trailer, trailer is 50 wide, rear rims outside to outside are 52 wide. this also poses problems with loading into smaller truck boxes.

Loading onto trailers with multiple machines becomes interesting, 8ft wide trailer 4ft wide honda, 52 wide cat = overhang, or my machine needs loaded crossways on the trailer. Ran into this problem on one of the big trips I did this summer, 4 machines on 1 trailer and we couldn't fold the beaver tail ramps up because the lock tab for the tail put a sharp brace into my rim/tire. we had to unload 3 machines and re-jig the trailer completely at the end of a long days ride. it was frustrating.

Rotating mass, adding spacers increases rotating mass on wheels, some people claim power loss, I personally don't think i noticed a loss from my spacers, i had other issues at that time causing power loss. Some people notice it, some people don't.


My personal opinion opinion, for an 04 or older I couldn't see myself riding without spacers/offset rims for the stance, I've had the wide stance 4-5 of the 10 years I've had my machine, and I don't see myself going back to skinny.

When I had my 08 700 EFI I didn't feel as unstable/tippy on natural stance/width because of the major overhaul Arctic Cat did to their machines in 05+. The only big riding I did with my 08 that year was flat track ice racing at high speed with heavily (120x 1/2" Gold Cutters per tire) studded tires. Putting the SAME 4/3 FACTORY steel rims and studded tires on my 04 400 and racing on the ice track I had to lean HEAVILY into corners in order to remain "comfortable" mentally. With that exact set on my 08 700 I needed far less lean to stay mentally comfortable with the speeds I was traveling. The ice track we were racing on was an 11km circuit with switchbacks, chicanes, a spiral portion, and hair-pins. All of these were being done in excess of 35MP/H+ so there was definitely variance in the corners and maneuvers being done to give me a full grasp of the CoG changes made in the Cat chassis from 04 to 05+.

If you are an "average" atv user, stayed on groomed trails, drove around the fields, sat on the seat in the neutral position, plowed snow, sitting in a neutral position steering and running throttle on an 05+ machine I would NOT spend money on spacers.

If you are an aggressive rider, pushing your machine past it and your limits, going places it's not built for, climbing boulders, rocks etc, you double often (I don't condone or recommend doubling in any trail situation) or have an 04 or older machine I personally would look into spacers or offset rims.

Sorry this is a rambling post that might not make sense.

EDIT: Edited to fix some of my typo's, bad grammar, run on thoughts, and poor english. This is why I shouldn't be allowed to make posts before my third cup of coffee in the morning... the original post was atrocious, this edit isn't much better. Gave a bit more detail on my experience between chassis styles.
 
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I ran a pair of wheel spacers for a few trips with my lift kit to eliminate rub cause by the lift. I've considered running my 1" pair on the fronts of my machine so my front/rear are the same width, currently I'm 2" wider rear than front. (50"Fx52"R)

It depends on the machine you have which effects CoG (center of gravity) the older style cats 04 and older had a high CoG because the fuel tank was mounted up high which moved weight up, the newer style 05+ have the tank mounted rear under the seat which lowers CoG. I have an older style machine 04-400 FIS so this is the view my comments are from.

Sorry this is a rambling post that might not make sense.
Im not looking for spacer info but your post was pretty informative and i wanted to say thanks fir writing and posting. it was a good message
Thanks from Ontario
 

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I put 1” spacers on my Arctic Cat 700 diesel a few years ago. Then I got bigger and wider tires to put on the new rims which had an additional offset...
After all was said and done, I couldn’t drive the ATV onto the back of my truck bed without needing to drive over both wheel wells (which I severely dented when trying to load for the first time).
Measure everything and do some simple math before going too wide like I did.
Good luck!
 
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