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Old 11-09-2013, 12:42 AM   #1
raamaudio
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Default Tires and wheels for the purpose of handling more than looks

I see so many posts with pictures of car so severly compromised I just had to write this up. I love to make a car look really great and have lowered dozens for over 46years now but sometimes the extremes I sell give me the shudders when I know what is going on in the real world of driving such vehicles.


I took the time to write the info below as I hope at least some of the members here read and consider this information as I really care about this subject a great deal. I have studied the best books from real race engineers and and implemented and track tested all of the best principles that do not change, they work on all cars, all the time.

Of course some, I hope many, here know this but some obviously do not know or just do not care but maybe I can help a few understand the differences in looking fast and being fast, being fast being far more fun to me than looking fast.

On my own 332ti project the car will be set for the proper ride height so the suspension geometry is the best I can make it, vice slammed and having the car act like is has two wheels as so commonly occurs, overly lowered simply puts nearly all teh weight on the two outside tires, if those are skinny tires on ultra wide rims, you have very little real grip, simple physics. For those that go for style over substance that is OK with me but I have spanked many such "faster" looking cars on course that were simply to low to work right.

I want as much tire for the least fitment issues I can make fit, rolling front fenders is pretty easy and can gain quite a bit of room. Rears are another story, triple layered metal, I have cut it all out and welded in or molded in flares, at least a full day of hard work and I want to skip that if I can. I might end up cutting it all loose, rolling the stock body work out as far as I can then welding in to fill the gap.

Camber, caster, toe, roll center, roll couple, spring rates, roll bar settings, lowered unsprung weight, etc...I have studied and used these for decades and always setup my cars to maximize them.

Stretching tires to fit, that is one thing that bugs me a great deal, more than super tall wheels just to be tall is number two or three as heavy wheels and tires are a huge performance killer. Super wide wheels with skinny tires does not equal performance, it is style only. The perfect stretch, determined by the actual tire in question, is to have some to help support the sidewall, to much or to little reduces grip or precision, either of which makes you slower and/or more prone to making mistakes or simply breaking parts, road hazard issues......add in a slammed car with severely compromised geometry and you are reducing your performance hugely as well as inducing safety issues in many cases.

I have had fun against hundreds of such setups in my 46 years of modding and driving modified cars. Everything is best when in balance, period, there is nothing else that matters to me except the balance of the whole car and that includes how much power I add to it.

With the 300HP and a 2750 lb car I am building, which is more than enough for me, those that want more that is cool, been there and done that before most here were born, I need some serious grip in the rear and front as well for cornering as this car will see serious track time on dozens of tracks driven flat out. I am going to stick with street tires to keep the speeds in check a bit though as I have not driven most of the tracks I will be on one time only in most cases and the tracks have many close guard rails(Armco is the older and often used name in racing)

I also want to keep the car as stock looking as I can outside, I always like stealthy cars, why I have kept my license all these years and cheap insurance rates though hundreds of thousands of fun miles under my belt

If you want to truly be fast then you must use proper geometry and rim width support for your tires, lower unsprug weight as in wheels, tires, brakes, etc...lower rotational weight is very important as well, these are some of the golden rules of racing and all apply to the street as well.

Those that have severely lowered cars on super skinny tires on super wide wheels, have fun, following well behind and dropping out of site of this old man

Sincerely,
Rick
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:23 PM   #2
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Oh believe me, I am a younger person here at 27 and have about the same view as you. The org seems overrun by these and its why I tend to ask my ti specific questions on grassroots motorsports. There are several ti owners over there and I loved their magazine piece proving that "donks" out handled "hellaflush" cars.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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I love GRM and their sister mag, I forget to check them out online but will have to when we go full time RVing next spring, thanks for mentioning them, going there in a moment

--------------------

I do appreciate style, very much so, I just put higher priority on actual performance and then dial in some style as I can but also realize if you want to use it a bit more to keep it subtle and not to loud, less attention from the police that way, less tickets, etc......

Now I drive like an old man most of the time, a sporty old man, when I want some fun is what I do, far safer, far more responsible, though track time is costly it is far less costly than getting in trouble on the street!

BIG power, boosted, etc.....fun but so limiting as always maintenance issues, breaking things, burning up fuel, tires, etc....a well balanced car with balanced power to me is just much more rewarding, there is absolutely such a thing as to much power, bragging rights are no more than another form of bling to me if you cannot actually use it, at least most of the time, etc....

If I wanted nuts power I have a forged LS1 in the shop, 10.2 comp, with a bit of tweaking it would make around 500 WHP, NA, with some boost......a butt load more but why when I want a reliable car I can drive anywhere, more than fast enough, give me a lap or two on track and the big power car almost always starts overheating, cooling, tires, brakes, etc....and I blow by them and run off into the distance
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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People who do radical things to their cars know what they are getting themselves into (style or performance), or at least the motives are premeditated. I would assume the majority know the risks or limits involved in doing the extreme as well.

I beg to differ that the org is overrun by any specific kind, but then again we all see things differently I suppose, kind of how we view what's right or wrong about style or performance, no?

Everyone has their own way of owning and tinkering with cars.
The end results are simply to enjoy the car in their own way, there is no difference between anyone in that sense.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Having been to hundreds of various events and spoken with, over heard, observed, etc.... I agree with your view, mostly.....there are those that truly do not see much beyond the ends of their noses and they are the ones that concern me the most.

Making a car unsafe with poor handling, to much power, etc and then hooning around on public roads has led to many deaths, injuries and the law coming down on us more responsible enthusiasts.

Having been pulled over because my car had a bit larger exhaust tip, telling me it was because my car was to loud when indeed it was not loud at all, VERY LOUD harleys going by.....then getting a ticket, nearly arrested on the spot, having to see a judge, take my car back to stock(custom turbo system I built from intake to exhaust tip and it ran as clean as stock) then get it approved by a third party, 50 miles from me....total cost was hundreds of dollars....and a great deal of time when I already had a tough long hour job and a growing business to run. It was my demo car I hardly drove on the street but my CO wanted me to bring it in again so he could go for a ride.

Why did this happen when I was just cruising to work? Because of the ricer epidemic in the area, loud, flashy, oblivious to others endangerment, drivers with overly powered, ill handling cars had killed a few to many people on public roads.

I just had the headache and cost of that situation but also others like a few money grabbing tickets for no real reason other than funding the local out of control government. What about the families that lost the loved ones, damn.....

Drag racing, drifting, etc on public roads is done mostly by guys with cars overly lowered, skinny arse tires on fat wheels, to much power, etc.....so now we have to live with what they do, we all pay for their fun and some pay a very dear price.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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I have hundreds of thousands of miles of fun on public roads under my belt but always in a properly setup car and 99.9%, at least, away from others I could hurt if I messed up or broke the car.

I sold my very modified Vette last year that was very fast but not due to stupid power. It had plenty but I could handle it just fine, the whole car was so well sorted out and dialed in it was simply no longer fun to drive as just to capable and it was a convertible so I did not track it but once for a couple of laps, far to fast to do so without a roll bar. I spent at least 50 hours on a proper roll bar design as none sold were built to actually do the job, just bling crap and unsafe ones, but decided there was to much cutting up the car to do it right so I parted it to stock ($40k in mods) and traded it off on my new dually.

Now I feel, for me, the only reason to set up a car so well is if going to track it, autocross, etc.....for the street, some nice mods to make it a bit better, a bit faster, look better, is more than enough. Keeping it safe and reliable and not endangering others with it, that can be done but might not boost the ego enough of those lacking for attention.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:17 PM   #7
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Ultimately, it takes all kinds right? If people werenít over-lowering their car how would we all know what stupid looked like?

I agree with you, but I think that for the most part people arenít thinking through their builds. That and the Ebay culture seem to love these cheap mods. Cars are ultimately best balanced coming off the factory floor. When youíre going to change what took professional engineers thousands of man hours to think through, you gotta take an educated comprehensive approach.

I doubt that the people that you are referring really care how their car comes out of turn 3. Just as long as their pals envy the look when they drive it to the movie theater (the one without speed bumps) on Friday night.

Many people on the forum are with you, me included, sly performance is best.

Off topic a bit feel free to PM me; do you know of coilovers or a good suspension system that doesnít lower the rig at all?
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:34 PM   #8
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On topic close enough for me

As long as enough droop travel just longer springs are needed to have a stock height.

I would call somebody like Ground Control and see what they recommend, they might have their setup designed to run stock height if wanted. They do come with rear height adjusters and on the fronts the perches can move up but that adds some preload so longer springs may be more desirable, even on the rear.

Rally cars use longer travel as well so this has been sorted out by at least some manfs.

Back in my 510 Datsun days, 10 years of fun, I had a very small budget so my shocks had to work all year but I had longer and softer springs for winter when I ran lots of lights and tires that were for dirt and snow. I just dropped it back down in the spring for autocrosses and street. I had a middle set for really bumpy courses and it was pretty good on gravel roads.

I had a great time playing around with a national champ motocrosser one day on some dual track dirt stuff, jumping and all...he was shocked I could run with him. What may be a different name now, Wooptie Doos, I had to go around or slow way down and of course now bikes have hugely improved suspensions than they did in the 70's.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Squeelerz View Post
People who do radical things to their cars know what they are getting themselves into (style or performance), or at least the motives are premeditated. I would assume the majority know the risks or limits involved in doing the extreme as well.

I beg to differ that the org is overrun by any specific kind, but then again we all see things differently I suppose, kind of how we view what's right or wrong about style or performance, no?

Everyone has their own way of owning and tinkering with cars.
The end results are simply to enjoy the car in their own way, there is no difference between anyone in that sense.
I agree at least they are doing something, but it is still a fad. Nothing more. Perhaps my impression is skewed by the signal to noise ratio, but its changed alot on here since I was last around(06-7)
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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As cars drop in value there tends to be an increase in less educated buyers picking them up and following the lead of others less informed about real performance. All the while thinking they are being individual but just following along with some fad as you posted, which is not at all being individual.

Kind of like the really goofy clothes many wear not realizing it is just another part of being a sheeple and paying silly prices to look silly and making the fat cats fatter while living off of those less inclined to think for themselves.

I grew up in the muscle car era, never owned one, never wanted one, driving a 510, modified at that, was exceptionally rare where I grew up, only two others I knew of and they were not like what I did. Closest I came to a muscle car and not really one, I have a 53 Studebaker body, the really sleek one, and an 02 Z06 chassis I was going to build a pro tour out of but not a trailer queen, a hard core driver with intentions of open road events, Bonneville, track days, time trials, etc but also capable of cross country travel towing a 1946 tear drop trailer I bought to restore as well.

The major part of any big project is in the thought process, I built that car in my mind enough times all that was left was the dirty work and I decided I did not want to get that dirty any longer so going to sell it off.

It would be fun to drive a 200MPH Studevette, Boosted LS, 12" wide front, 13" wide rear wheels, both with WIDE tires, under 3klbs, massive sound quality but take your head off audio system(10"mids, custom horns, dual 21" subs) fully caged, fire system, fire retardant upholstery(I bought the commercial sewing machine to do that part as well, I know how)

It would obviously get a lot of attention but it would also be quiet, when I wanted it to be, monochrome silver, just clean and as low key as possible yet a full out supercar that would still get at least 25MPG if not closer to 30.

Building something like that is a bit more unique than slamming a car, skinny arse tires on wide wheels, etc....................not unique in the least, just copy cat stuff.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:31 PM   #11
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I wish there was a thanks button on this forum.
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