A question about wheel adapters

AKgringo - 11-28-2023 at 04:24 PM

Sorry about the false start! I have an older GM based van conversion (2wd) that I want to do a little "Van lifeing" in. It has 8 lug16.5 inch rims that I want to replace before I hit the road.

I have found several sets of newer 8 lug rims and tires, but my measurement tells me that I would need to use 1 1/2 inch spacers to get proper clearance. Possibly some older 8 lug 16 inch rims would work, but the ones I have found so far have been junk. (cost matters as well)

While searching for spacers I found that for a few dollars more, I can get 2 inch thick units that would allow me to use a set of Tacoma six lug rims and tires that I already have.

It is a pretty light rig so would it be unsafe for any reason to run the Tacoma rims?

[Edited on 11-28-2023 by AKgringo]

Almost - 11-28-2023 at 04:28 PM

What's the question?

RFClark - 11-28-2023 at 08:57 PM

A problem you encounter if you space the wheels out is that you put more strain on the front axles. This makes the possibility of a front axle failure on bad potholed Baja roads more likely. You might be able to find heavier front end parts designed for the greater forces caused by those 2 extra inches.

Just a thought.

[Edited on 11-29-2023 by RFClark]

pacificobob - 11-28-2023 at 09:45 PM

I'm not a fan of wheel adapters. they may work well enough, but handling and load capacity likely won't be improved.

BooJumMan - 11-29-2023 at 07:04 AM

First thing, look up the load rating on your current Tacoma wheels. There should be some stampings on the back you can look up. Make sure they are comparable to the load rating of your van wheels. Same goes with the tires.

Wheel adapters -- Its a hot button topic. I've run them on most my Baja rigs for the last 20 years w/o failure or issues (knock on wood!). I buy higher quality ones. There is no difference in stresses on the wheel bearings or ball joints between a using a 2 inch wheel adapter vs a wheel with a 2 inch outboard offset. The issues usually arise with runout tolerances of the machined surfaces causing vibrations. This is usually found with poor quality sets.

Most the name brand wheels these days are running less backspacing which suck the wheels in and cause the tires to rub suspension/frame. You should be able to find some lesser known brands catered to offroading with better offsets. The GMC van uses a 6 x 5.5 bolt pattern? If so, you will have a ton of options across both Toyota Chevy/GMC.

AKgringo - 11-29-2023 at 12:49 PM

Good points, I intend to stay with tires and rims that are light truck rated. I think the rims are actually from a Toyota Tundra, and one thing I like about that is that if necessary, finding a replacement in Baja would be easier than a lot of other options.

My next step is to find out just what the actual weight of the rig is. The wheels (8 lug) and running gear appear to be one ton hardware, but I can't imagine this conversion would be heavier than a half ton pickup with a camper unit.

To replace the stock wheels with newer units I will need at least 1 1/2 inch spacers, and two inches could allow wider tires.