Spacers - Front and Rear, or Rear Only?

Tioga Tim

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B2620
Nov 11, 2020
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I want to order probably 3" spacers for my B2620. I assumed that I should get both front and rear to keep the tires aligned - but it looks like many folks are only putting spacers on the back - is that true? I e-mailed Bro-tek to see if they had 3" front spacers and the reply was no, only 1.5", but they could be stacked. And "you should not need to do that anyway". So are there pros and cons with only widening the back (other than cost?). I can see it might make loading on the trailer a bit more interesting.

Thanks,
Tim
 

torch

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Won't do any good on the front -- the front axle pivots at the centre so a wider stance on the front doesn't provide any more stability.
 
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imnukensc

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Save yourself some money and buy some Jeep spacers on Amazon or ebay. Brotek spacers are way overpriced.
 
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je1279

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@torch is correct. Since the front axle pivots, spacers won't improve your stability. Adding spacers to the rear axle, however, will improve your stability on uneven surfaces.
 
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North Idaho Wolfman

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NEVER FRONT!
You'll do some serious damage if you do, and it wont do a thing to help stability!
 
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jimh406

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Also, I think the manuals talk about rear spacers and never fronts. Btw, you can download manuals even if you haven’t taken delivery and read them.
 
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Chesapeake

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B6100
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Front spacers move your tires out further from the steering pivot points. This adds stress to wheel bearings, king pins/knuckles, steering tie rods, and steering box. It also makes your tires swing more for a given amount of pivot which can cause tire clearance issues.
 
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Henro

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Save yourself some money and buy some Jeep spacers on Amazon or ebay. Brotek spacers are way overpriced.
While spacers from ebay and other places work for the BX, finding them for other larger tractors seems problematic. If you have a link to some that work please post it!

Jeep spacers do work well on BX tractors. No doubt there and cannot argue with the price or quality when delivered either.
 
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NHSleddog

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To say adding spacers to the front won't add to stability is wrong.

When you get to the tipping point every millimeter of width will add to the force needed to tip it over. The front axle catches the pivot stops LONG before the tractor tips over (at least on the B2650 it does). This is simple math. It is not so easy to see with an inch. How about if the front axle were 20' wide, that should make it really easy to see. If you still can't see it, try making the front axle 100ft wide and then go try to tip it over.

Also regardless of the pivot, (even if it went in full circles) a wider footprint is more stable, again, this is simple math. Use the opposite example put the axles 1ft apart and put them 6ft apart. It shouldn't take any advanced calculus to see which is the more stable platform. You will probably not "feel" 1" in the seat of your pants, but you can calculate it mathematically.

Front spacers DO add additional stress to the hardware (rear spacers ALSO add additional stress to the hardware). Added stress is a concern and every millimeter in width added will add additional stress to the components, that is all true. So it is a matter of balance - lol, both literally and figuratively.
 
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Henro

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To say adding spacers to the front won't add to stability is wrong.

When you get to the tipping point every millimeter of width will add to the force needed to tip it over. The front axle catches the pivot stops LONG before the tractor tips over (at least on the B2650 it does). This is simple math. It is not so easy to see with an inch. How about if the front axle were 20' wide, that should make it really easy to see. If you still can't see it, try making the front axle 100ft wide and then go try to tip it over.

Also regardless of the pivot, (even if it went in full circles) a wider footprint is more stable, again, this is simple math. Use the opposite example put the axles 1ft apart and put them 6ft apart. It shouldn't take any advanced calculus to see which is the more stable platform. You will probably not "feel" 1" in the seat of your pants, but you can calculate it mathematically.

Front spacers DO add additional stress to the hardware (rear spacers ALSO add additional stress to the hardware). Added stress is a concern and every millimeter in width added will add additional stress to the components, that is all true. So it is a matter of balance - lol, both literally and figuratively.
While you are correct that mathematically, front spacers would add something to tractor stability in theory, they may not make a practical difference.

Generally, but not always, the ground does not shift enough over the length of the tractor for the front axle to reach a stop, the point at which the wheel on the low side would contribute to stability.

A tractor is in a dangerous situation when, on a side slope, the high side rear wheel lifts, and the tractor starts to tip in the down hill direction. Once this movement starts, momentum is involved along with position of the center of gravity, which is outside the point of stability. When the front axle stop is hit, you are correct that if the wheel is farther out, there will be more effort required to maintain the tipover motion, than if the wheel were in the standard position. But It is likely that this difference will be enough to stop the tipover in most cases. Could it be? Yes. Would it be? Probably not.

The most important thing is to keep the rear wheels on the ground. Then the spacers on the front become a moot point.

Personally, if I were spending the money, I would put the cost of front spacers towards buying wider rear spacers. That would help keep the rear wheels on the ground, rather than hoping that front spacers would stop a rollover in progress, which they likely would not do.
 
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Tioga Tim

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While you are correct that mathematically, front spacers would add something to tractor stability in theory, they may not make a practical difference.

Generally, but not always, the ground does not shift enough over the length of the tractor for the front axle to reach a stop, the point at which the wheel on the low side would contribute to stability.

A tractor is in a dangerous situation when, on a side slope, the high side rear wheel lifts, and the tractor starts to tip in the down hill direction. Once this movement starts, momentum is involved along with position of the center of gravity, which is outside the point of stability. When the front axle stop is hit, you are correct that if the wheel is farther out, there will be more effort required to maintain the tipover motion, than if the wheel were in the standard position. But It is likely that this difference will be enough to stop the tipover in most cases. Could it be? Yes. Would it be? Probably not.

The most important thing is to keep the rear wheels on the ground. Then the spacers on the front become a moot point.

Personally, if I were spending the money, I would put the cost of front spacers towards buying wider rear spacers. That would help keep the rear wheels on the ground, rather than hoping that front spacers would stop a rollover in progress, which they likely would not do.
I decided to order just the 3" rear spacers from Bro-tek. Looks like my trailer ramps are wide enough that the front and back will track OK to load and unload with just the rear spacers. I can always order front ones later if need be - only an extra $30 shipping cost.

Thanks for the input on this issue.

Tim
 

NHSleddog

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...
A tractor is in a dangerous situation when, on a side slope, the high side rear wheel lifts, and the tractor starts to tip in the down hill direction....
You describe one possible tractor situation (where wider is still better).

There are thousands of others. How about a stump. a diagonal hill traverse etc. Wider is more stable, there is no "it could" or "maybe" about it, wider is more stable. It is math, it really doesn't matter the scenario.
 
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Henro

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You describe one possible tractor situation (where wider is still better).

There are thousands of others. How about a stump. a diagonal hill traverse etc. Wider is more stable, there is no "it could" or "maybe" about it, wider is more stable. It is math, it really doesn't matter the scenario.
I described one possibility, but they are all essentially the same, as the front wheels/axel will have no affect on stability until the stop is reached, and at that point it will likely be too late...

I did not have time to list thousands of other possibilities...LOL
 

NHSleddog

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I described one possibility, but they are all essentially the same, as the front wheels/axel will have no affect on stability until the stop is reached, and at that point it will likely be too late...

I did not have time to list thousands of other possibilities...LOL
It doesn't matter if it rotates 360deg. WIDER is MORE STABLE.
Unfortunately, if you don't get the concept that wider is more stable (a millimeter, or ten feet doesn't matter) there is no way you will understand the math that proves it.

For anyone reading this that does not understand that wider is more stable, PM me and I will try to help out.
 

Henro

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It doesn't matter if it rotates 360deg. WIDER is MORE STABLE.
Unfortunately, if you don't get the concept that wider is more stable (a millimeter, or ten feet doesn't matter) there is no way you will understand the math that proves it.

For anyone reading this that does not understand that wider is more stable, PM me and I will try to help out.
Wider is more stable on the front of a tractor with a center pivot ONLY when the front axle hits a stop.

Granted, the weight of the front axle components adds some stability, as would front weights added independently. But that is not what is being discussed here.

For example, drive one front wheel up on a block. What effect does that have on the tractor? None except the front end will rise slightly.

Next drive that same wheel up a ramp, to the point where the front axle travel stop on that side is reached. Then go further up. What happens? The rear wheel on that side starts to lift off the ground. Until the stop was reached, the angular position of the front axle had no effect on the side tilt of the tractor. (Edit: I should have said would tend to, or may, lift off the ground. The other front wheel may lift instead.)

The action is similar when a tractor starts to tip over. The front axle has little effect until a stop is reached. AT THAT POINT there will be some resistance to a tip over. But it is likely (but not impossible of course) due to the dynamics of the situation, a minor increase in front wheel width will not contribute much to stopping the roll over.

Much better to do something to help prevent a rear wheel from lifting to begin with. By adding as much width to the rear wheels as possible.

Wider is definitely more stable on a vehicle with four points of contact with the earth. But a tractor acts like a three point of contact vehicle (Until a front axle stop is reached).

This seems to be a point you failed to consider in your analysis.

It would be helpful, to anyone interested in this, if you could explain the errors in what I offered in this post.
 
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NHSleddog

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No, the axle stop doesn't matter in the sense that wider is more stable. It wouldn't matter if it spun in circles. Wider is more stable. In your tipping scenario, wider is still better and the wider you go, the further out the tipping point gets.

It really shouldn't be hard to grasp.
 

Henro

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No, the axle stop doesn't matter in the sense that wider is more stable. It wouldn't matter if it spun in circles. Wider is more stable. In your tipping scenario, wider is still better and the wider you go, the further out the tipping point gets.

It really shouldn't be hard to grasp.
OK.

I just hope your misinformation does not cause someone to add wheel spacers on the front thinking that it would be a greater advantage than increasing the rear tire width while spending the same amount of money. (I am not saying your initial analysis was not worthwhile, just that you missed a point)

You continue to state opinions without backing them up with any examples.

This is not good enough for me.

To each his own...

Edit: It is unfortunate this turned into a pi$$ing contest instead of a discussion that might be beneficial to the OTT community.
 
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NHSleddog

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OK.

I just hope your misinformation does not cause someone to add wheel spacers on the front thinking that it would be a greater advantage than increasing the rear tire width while spending the same amount of money. (I am not saying your initial analysis was not worthwhile, just that you missed a point)

You continue to state opinions without backing them up with any examples.

This is not good enough for me.

To each his own...

Edit: It is unfortunate this turned into a pi$$ing contest instead of a discussion that might be beneficial to the OTT community.
It is math.

No misinformation.

I did not say anything about what was a better advantage than anything else.

I said and will continue to say, wider is more stable.

I will leave it at that.
 

Henro

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It is math.

No misinformation.

I did not say anything about what was a better advantage than anything else.

I said and will continue to say, wider is more stable.

I will leave it at that.
OK...closed minds work like that...I will also leave it at that...still think it is unfortunate though...
 

NHSleddog

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Closed mind? Do you mean the guy denying the math? This isn't about what we think or feel, it is physics and calculus. It is a shame you can't just come to the correct conclusion.

Ready for a real mind blowing?

Longer is more stable to.
 
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