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Help me understand wheel gap avoidance

Old 06-07-18, 04:24 PM
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MedicalDoc
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Question Help me understand wheel gap avoidance

Why is the wheel gap so annoying to some people?
I keep reading here about "mods" people are doing to their vehicles and invariably one of them is lowering the vehicle. I've read the reasoning; I have read the pros and cons of this, but in my opinion the negative, however few discussed, should outweigh the benefits. I give as example:
  • car scraping on incline
  • alters geometry of the car
  • more difficult to get in and out of vehicle
  • faster wear and tear on parts, etc.
I am guessing, although I have no data to support this, that this is done by younger car owners?
I, however, know that I am not the only person that thinks that cars look weird and many times it takes away from the car's good looks.
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Old 06-07-18, 05:41 PM
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Some people are just too obsessed with their freaking rims. Most lowered cars with aftermarket rims just look ghetto.
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Old 06-07-18, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Och View Post
Some people are just too obsessed with their freaking rims. Most lowered cars with aftermarket rims just look ghetto.

With less suspension travel and firmer springs, they can also ride ghetto. Oversized wheels/tires can, depending on the extent, not only rub against the inside of the wheel-wells, but also make speedometers and odometers read low by lowering the number of wheel revolutions in relation to any given road speed (the sensors are based on wheel-rotations). For that reason, in some cases, they can void a manufacturer's warranty by altering the car's mileage....and low-reading speedometers can contribute to spending tickets.

Filling up the entire wheel-well gap with oversized tires can also make it exceedingly difficult to get a hose up inside of it to clean the wells.....very important after driven on winter treated roads.

I agree wth both Och and MedicalDoc....the whole slamming-business is just a silly craze. It's meant to try and make cars look "cool"...while IMO screwing them up.

Last edited by mmarshall; 06-07-18 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 06-07-18, 06:17 PM
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BMW does wheel gap well, and has for many years on their sedans. Lexus not so much. Not saying a car needs to be slammed, but it's personal preference that the gap is reduced.

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Old 06-07-18, 07:15 PM
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the worst offenders were the AWD 3GS, where the front wheels were jacked up
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Old 06-07-18, 10:12 PM
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There is a proper way to lower your car, its usually involves some very pricey coil over spring/shock setups, and its a subtle mod, like maybe 1/2 to 1" drop. Buy the right parts, your car won't ride like crap(it won't ride as smooth as stock either). Mainly if its a sports car, tinker away with it, it was never meant to be all that comfortable anyways.

But messing with the OEM suspension on a luxury sedan, that's just dumb IMO. Lexus, Benz, BMW etc spent millions of R&D to get their cars to ride nice.

Although those that have air springs stock, you can turn them into low riders using factory parts and an aftermarket controller for the compressor along with dump valves for the air. The Lincoln Mark VIII coupe comes to mind as a car that is very easy to mess with the ride height using stock components but still retain that factory ride.
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Old 06-07-18, 10:39 PM
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To each his own. I like to lower my sporty cars the way Aron described. Otherwise, I tend to leave it alone. I agree about lowering a luxury car, its just silly to see a 7 series or S class rolling around with no suspension travel. Really seems to defeat the purpose of the car.
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Old 06-08-18, 03:48 AM
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Lowered cars do serve a purpose. Lower center of gravity will aid in cornering. Also, lower bodies should get slightly better mpg's (in theory). Another, and probably more popular, is for looks. Some sedans come too high (wheel gap), giving them a 4x4 look. This approaches the nerdy or confused category, where cars no longer look like cars, SUV's no longer look like SUV's, and trucks no longer look like trucks. A lower suspension on a car helps drive home the "car" motif. Also, sports cars generally come lower from the factory. Those trying to make their sedan or car more sporty, can mimic the same look. That part at least makes some sense.

Yes, there are some downsides, and many take it too far. If it is done tastefully and not extreme, there is little problem. I have the Lexus F-sport springs on my IS and I never scrape any driveway or wheelwell. Clearance is still decent for everyday driving, and the ride did not deteriorate. Again, others go aftermarket and more extreme, which I do not personally think is worth the trade-off. I forget where I read it, but a study was done showing the majority of those who lower cars sell them sooner than those who do not. I can buy that. I once had a much lowered GMC Sierra and that thing was a pain in the butt on the road.
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Old 06-08-18, 05:17 AM
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I have always bought my cars, I have never leased one, so I really do not fully understand the 'ins and outs' of leasing'.
With that said, don't you have to return the car, at the end of the lease--if you are not buying it--, the same way you got it when it was new?
Doesn't that mean that you have to remove all those mods and reinstall the OEM parts?
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Old 06-08-18, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Fizzboy7 View Post
Lowered cars do serve a purpose. Lower center of gravity will aid in cornering. Also, lower bodies should get slightly better mpg's (in theory). Another, and probably more popular, is for looks. Some sedans come too high (wheel gap), giving them a 4x4 look. This approaches the nerdy or confused category, where cars no longer look like cars, SUV's no longer look like SUV's, and trucks no longer look like trucks. A lower suspension on a car helps drive home the "car" motif. Also, sports cars generally come lower from the factory. Those trying to make their sedan or car more sporty, can mimic the same look. That part at least makes some sense.

Yes, there are some downsides, and many take it too far. If it is done tastefully and not extreme, there is little problem. I have the Lexus F-sport springs on my IS and I never scrape any driveway or wheelwell. Clearance is still decent for everyday driving, and the ride did not deteriorate. Again, others go aftermarket and more extreme, which I do not personally think is worth the trade-off. I forget where I read it, but a study was done showing the majority of those who lower cars sell them sooner than those who do not. I can buy that. I once had a much lowered GMC Sierra and that thing was a pain in the butt on the road.
I understand what you are saying, but most modern vehicles, with rack-and-pinion steering and modern suspension systems, tires, and electronic traction/handling aids, steer and handle well enough right from the factory that, for all normal and sensible driving and cornering, few if any modifications should be needed. One does not normally use (or need) an F1 level of handling on the street.
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Old 06-08-18, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MedicalDoc View Post
I have always bought my cars, I have never leased one, so I really do not fully understand the 'ins and outs' of leasing'.
With that said, don't you have to return the car, at the end of the lease--if you are not buying it--, the same way you got it when it was new?
Doesn't that mean that you have to remove all those mods and reinstall the OEM parts?
MD
No you donít is the short answer.

I have modified pretty much all my cars in some way and most were leased.
Parts like exhaust and wheels - you definitely remove.

Wheel gap and wheel offset is a big issue in how a car sits and therefore how dynamic it looks.
The Lexus cars in concept form all have no gap and wheels are pushed out to fill out the wheel well. The production cars are different story especially AWD models.

I would say All the Germans have great OEM setups for the most part. Especially Porsche.
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Old 06-08-18, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
I understand what you are saying, but most modern vehicles, with rack-and-pinion steering and modern suspension systems, tires, and electronic traction/handling aids, steer and handle well enough right from the factory that, for all normal and sensible driving and cornering, few if any modifications should be needed. One does not normally use (or need) an F1 level of handling on the street.
There is something out there in the car world called, "enthusiasts." These people enjoy taking their car beyond what the factory offers, and want their cars to perform more and want their cars to appear different. There are so many of these enthusiasts, that thousands of aftermarket companies exist and make millions each year on sales. It is a massive business with a massive demand. Check out some of the threads in the forums on this site, and all other car sites to see. Also check your local "cars and coffee" meets to see in person. Most bigger autoshows also have a separate room or pavilion dedicated to aftermarket cars and options. So while "few modifications should be needed," the general public feels otherwise.
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Old 06-08-18, 02:10 PM
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BMW makes a killing on M Performance Accessories.
They have everything you can imagine especially for the ///M cars plus its all covered under warranty.

So if you want Carbon Fiber spoilers, lip kits, exhaust, brakes etc - they are happy to take your $$$.

New M2 Competition will even offer CF roof as aftermarket accessory.
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Old 06-08-18, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kitabel View Post
There are 3 easy ways to have that rilly kewl look that all the kids love with perfect safety.
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Old 06-08-18, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Fizzboy7 View Post
There is something out there in the car world called, "enthusiasts."
And we're NOT enthusiasts? You might as well say that my name is not mmarshall or yours Fizzboy.

These people enjoy taking their car beyond what the factory offers, and want their cars to perform more and want their cars to appear different. There are so many of these enthusiasts, that thousands of aftermarket companies exist and make millions each year on sales. It is a massive business with a massive demand. Check out some of the threads in the forums on this site, and all other car sites to see. Also check your local "cars and coffee" meets to see in person. Most bigger autoshows also have a separate room or pavilion dedicated to aftermarket cars and options. So while "few modifications should be needed," the general public feels otherwise.
Like I said before (several times), one can be a car enthusiast without being a speed, handling, or, slamming enthusiast.

Now, yes, I agree......some people engage in autocrossing or occasional track use (at the possible expense of their warranty). But that is not normal street driving.

Last edited by mmarshall; 06-08-18 at 04:50 PM.
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