Good questions @shenrie and at one point we did consider spacers, mild ones at best.. But allow me to continue the story.
Not having any luck on finding that perfect off road type wheel, I was at the end of my rope, when another Transit Connect owner said that I needed to stop this foolishness and join the Stance community.. this is where members take their cars, truck and van and lower them.. often ragging them out.. So I gave up my idea of wanting to create an overlander for a chance to stance the van.
While at the stance community I noticed how these guys added "static" coil overs or "bagged" their suspensions. Then adding air systems into their rides.. This gave me the idea to get an air line in the van.. but too may come to past.
What you're looking at is a stanced van that has been lowered by using a crossed reference coil over system that wasn't even listed for the Ford Transit Connect. The kid who did this did his own homework. Even the company that manufactures these coil overs had no clue this system would fit on the van. Then this kid mounted 18"x9" ROTIFORM VCE Monoblocks on 205/40/18 tires.
I'm not impressed with the van being lowered with larger than normal wheels.. What I am impress with is how he did it and how this kid managed to cross reference parts to find a coil over set for his van. What I'm waiting to see if that I've heard that this same coil over set not only can be lowered.. it can be raised 2''..
The stance guys all suggested the spacers also, but I just wasn't ready to take that type of approach. One main reason is that the gods sent my 6 emails claiming that if I did anything to our van, they (Ford) would void my life time warranty.. I've been between a rock and a hard place and limited to what we though we could or can actually do to the van.
One of Ford's claims is that if we us spacers this would cause undue stress on these connection points/joints/baring etc. and Ford wasn't going to cover this. Even our dealership, which is willing to help with finding products for the van suggested that we not use spacers.
Later and even the stance community started having their doubts about me even getting a set of wheels on the van. In my view I was wanting to find a wheel that was around 17'' or 18'' and I could have used any ole wheel, except finding the correct load rated tires was going to be an even bigger challenge. Find a wheel then find a tire with the same or higher loader rated wasn't easy. Mainly because I was looking to increase the wheel size, where as I should have just increase the tire size.
Send numerous emails to all types of wheel and tire sites, I wasn't getting any support for our van.. and most had no clue to what was on the or even wanted to deal with finding this info. I've had to do most if not all the leg work on finding and matching wheels and tires. The odd thing here, is that no one knew simple data about the van, center bore size, bolt pattern, offset etc. I was left to find this out for myself.
One site that was more than informative was and still is wheel-size.com and I've even offered my support and finding to them because allot of their data is geared toward the European market, not those vehicle here in the states.
After the fail attempts on finding wheels and sure I could have selected any ole wheel in the words of the stance community.. it didn't fit our build or our van. I think because I wasn't able to locate that perfect wheel I did an impulse buy on the next set I found. It was like taking a shot at a dart board blindfolded..
See what happens next in our next installment.