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i'm not really following your description but what you are after is to not put any side load on the wheel bearings. if the wheel uses tapered roller bearings like later harleys then you want about .003 side play. if the hub has straight rollers like early hd hubs then .001 to zero sideplay. also fork tubes should not "pinch together" when the axle is tightened. it would help if i knew what wheel and frontend you have.

oops, just reread your post. you're working on the back wheel. same advice though on the bearings. on the rear when dealing with spacers the first objective is proper chain or belt alignment then centering the tire in the frame. it can range from easy to nightmare .
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