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Old 12-17-2016, 12:36 PM   #1
Mr.Impreza
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Why the BIG DEAL about wheel gap?

I never understood the issue with wheel gap.

It seems a lot of enthusiasts make it out to be some crazy big deal and it's always one of the first mods on cars. Even when I had my Subaru all I would ever hear is "lower it"....same with this car.

Yet it's only from enthusiasts. Everyone else always tells me the stock height is perfect.

So why is it such a big deal among us enthusiasts?

I look at other cars and see they have the same wheel gap as our cars.

Even super expensive supercars have wheels gaps like the MPC.

upload picture

A stock height twin

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Old 12-17-2016, 12:40 PM   #2
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It's a look things from one aspect, i prefer a flush look, but also from aerodynamics, less ground clearance better airflow over the top, hypercars and super cars have such great aero that they either 1) lower themselves through suspension ability 2) under panels to significantly increase airflow.


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Old 12-17-2016, 12:43 PM   #3
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I'll also just add. I find stock height cars are much more enjoyable for everyday drivers/daily drivers.

You don't worry about scrapes. The car is comfortable and can be driven more freely.

I say this from experience regarding my WRX. I enjoyed that car to the fullest in stock form. When i put my Cusco Zero2 coils it ruined everything. I had to worry about scraping. I had to deal with a rough ride even with the 5 damper settings and I wasn't able to enjoy the car in the same ways as in stock form.

By the way, brought up the MPC cause I was watching this youtube video. It's also funny how you see a stock height supercar and a slammed one in the same video side by side.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znSziiek0j8"]McLaren MP4-12C Cheap For A Reason? - YouTube[/ame]
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #4
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To each their own, I say.

Most trends start with social media, marketing, or well-known people's endorsements.

We would have to look way back when the trend started to better understand it.

I was never aware/a fan of lowering. In fact I probably bought coilovers just to say I had done so for the experience. Is it worth the money? That's highly subjective and have yet to make that determination. Perhaps next summer.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #5
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I suppose that those who cut and slam their suspensions are going for the race car look. Problem is, race tracks don't have speed bumps, potholes, high road crowns and (usually) road debris.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #6
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I enjoy my stock ride height, and I don't think I could manage to daily a lowered car, my stock ride still makes me scrape on parking ramps. And some of the shit I've seen on highways in Georgia, glad I can just drive right over it.

I think the problem of the look of the gap is that the stock tires sometimes look puny and don't fit the rest of the car's presentation.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:17 PM   #7
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I believe to the majority its a looks thing. Then there are the minority out there that will lower the car for performance. To the looks crowd there is alot of sacrifices they will make to look good, like your Cusco experience, they are fine with it. In terms of suspension the 86 was designed very well, its not perfection but its pretty good. The stock suspension is very well balanced and has just a few compromises. In terms of upgrading for performance the choice of suspension is even more difficult with this car. Also it needs to setup perfectly to out perform the stock suspension.

I'm coming from a 2013 Camry, you wanna talk about wheel gap, damn. I had to drop it to get it to that nice even gap around the wheels.

There are times Ill walk out to my FRS and the wheel gap will strike me and Ill think Its pretty good already but still needs flush wheels. Then Ill see a picture or one about town that is lowered and think damn this car looks good lowered with some flush wheels. I'm pretty sure I'm more part of the looks crowd.

In terms of a super car/hyper car they will have all types of active suspension and active aero dynamics that changes as the car goes faster or brakes harder or takes a corner at .5g vs. 1g. The height will change according to what the car is doing and what the setting from the cockpit. The down force alone generated by the aero will drop the car as it goes faster. Also, when it comes to super car/ hyper car there is no compromises, its straight performance and tons and tons of R&D went into making that stance perfect.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mr.Impreza View Post
I never understood the issue with wheel gap.
I'm with you on this one, there, @Mr.Impreza.

Why take a perfectly good, all around suspension and mess with it .....

However, folks have been "slamming" cars for years now.

Back-in-the-day, some folks would take a torch and heat the springs until the car sat right down on the bump stops ...... and called it "cool".

Well, for those who haven't had the opportunity to ride on a steel wheeled hay wagon on a washboard country lane ....... now you know what it feels like.....


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Old 12-17-2016, 01:32 PM   #9
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I never notice the stock height wheel gap until someone points it out...

I keep going back and forth on lowering the car or keeping it stock height. Been telling myself to pull the trigger on the RCE Yellows for almost a year now.

Perhaps when I decide to take auto-x more seriously is when I'll get all the suspension bits.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:47 PM   #10
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Practicality and other reasons aside, I think it's hard to deny that a lowered stance looks bad. I lowered my car because I like the visual aspect of it. But these days, I'm gaining an appreciation for leaving things as they are.

I don't think I will put the stock suspension back on my FRS, but I am thinking of raising the car up a little bit, even though I'm not particularly low.

I can't say I won't lower any future car I buy, but I will definitely be more subtle in suspension modifications if at all.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:56 PM   #11
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I've never messed with springs/dampers but had to on my BRZ. The standard step-up just looks wrong and I have noted the same on number of new cars mx5 et al.. then there is the sunken wheels in the wheel wells thing that also looks wrong!
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Old 12-17-2016, 02:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by humfrz View Post
I'm with you on this one, there, @Mr.Impreza.

Why take a perfectly good, all around suspension and mess with it .....

However, folks have been "slamming" cars for years now.

Back-in-the-day, some folks would take a torch and heat the springs until the car sat right down on the bump stops ...... and called it "cool".

Well, for those who haven't had the opportunity to ride on a steel wheeled hay wagon on a washboard country lane ....... now you know what it feels like.....


humfrz
For a while there the thing to do was to slam the front end as far as possible and jack the rear end up to stupid heights. Al the whole 4 or 5 sizes bigger wheel on the back then on the front thing was huge. Had more than one that I worked very hard to throw the balance completely off.



I personally prefer the look of a lowered car (mine is almost 2 inches) as long as the wheels still go straight up and down.
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Old 12-17-2016, 02:34 PM   #13
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For a while there the thing to do was to slam the front end as far as possible and jack the rear end up to stupid heights................
........and they called it the "California rake" ........ I wonder why .....


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Old 12-17-2016, 02:37 PM   #14
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........and they called it the "California rake" ........ I wonder why .....


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Riding on springs or air?
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