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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
We have noticed through various forums that there are a few misconceptions about handling, and what makes a car handle well.

For starters....
"If I lower my car will it handle better?"
- Of course it will handle better then it would stock because you are lowering the cars center of gravity. You are basically placing the cars weight between the tires versus on top of the tires.

"Will my car handle better if I get better tires?"
- Yes, your car will handle better if you get a better grade of tire. A softer compound and a wider tire will keep the car planted through turns. Ideally you would like the widest footprint you can obtain without loosing clearance.

"What size rim is the best for handling?"
- Motor trend did a study for this a while ago, when manufactures were coming out with factory cars that had 18" wheels. The study showed the best results were obtained using 17" wheels. Second were 18” wheels. All rims used the same brand tires and the same compounds.

"Will wheel spacers help the handling of my car?"
- This is a touchy subject. If you add spacers to your car for clearance issues then you do not want to go too far out. Remember, the further you go out with the wheel, you have to worry about the scrub radius. Yes, a wider track is better for handling, however you have to do it in moderations. There is a certain amount you can go without compromising the suspension. If you run anything more then a 2-3mm spacer then it is suggested you go with aftermarket wheel studs to ensure proper thread engagement.

"Will a front strut tower brace make my car handle better?"
- Yes and NO. Let us explain why we say no. If the strut tower bar does not attach to the firewall it will not be worth it to add it to your suspension modification list. A good strut tower bar will attach to the firewall. Even if you add a straight brace from tower to tower, sure you have the towers attached, but they are still moving. Now they are just moving together. This is why it is important to attach it to the firewall. The firewall will not move under any driving condition.
These are key points to remember when searching for a rear strut tower brace:
If a strut bar (or any bar) has tie rod ends = IT ALLOWS FLEX
If a brace uses adjustments = IT ALLOWS FLEX
If a brace uses bolts for mounting = IT ALLOWS FLEX
If a brace is mounted via welding = SIGNIFICANTLY LESS FLEX
If a brace uses triangulation = SIGNIFICANTLY LESS FLEX
Brace is used in the correct location = SIGNIFICANTLY LESS FLEX
If a brace uses inferior material = IT ALLOWS FLEX

"Will sub-frame connectors work?"
- Yes, if they are done correctly. They will give you the front to back support that is needed. Does material make a difference? Yes! The stronger the material, the stiffer the chassis would be. Stay tuned on those; we are working on those as we type this!

"Will Poly Urethane bushings help?"
- Bushing deflection is really overlooked by most people. If you can address the bushings, seriously consider doing it. It will certainly cut down on suspension play.

"Will a Chassis Stiffening Kit (CSK-C) help the handling of my car?"
- Yes! Why? It will neutralize your chassis and keep it from flexing. As a direct result of that it will allow your suspension to do what it was originally designed to do. A FLEXING CHASSIS IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TUNE! IT ACTS AS AN UNDAMPED SPRING. This is almost always overlooked!

“Will sway bars help the cars handling?”
- Yes, it will keep the body from rolling on the suspension. Nothing more can be said about that.

"Do different wheel offsets make a difference in performance?"
- NO & YES. It really depends on why you choose to use a different wheel offset. Different wheel offsets will help you if you are having clearance issues with brakes. Some brake systems require more clearance then others. This is one of the reasons different offsets are made available. Bottom line is that if you are looking to run a wider tire without going into the fender, you can look at changing the offset to get more tire in the wheel well. So if you have two inches of clearance on the inside and only one on the outside then you can play with the offset to find a tire and wheel combo that will fill up the gaps. This will go back to the original question,"Will my car handle better if I get better tires?"
So the answer is a question. How do YOU intend to use the wheel offset?

Now we understand that this is about $10K worth of suspension modifications. We are not saying that you will not notice any gains if you choose to do one or two of these mods. However to obtain the absolute best out of your application you are going to have to address every issue as best you can. There is really no right or wrong way to go about doing this. Each modification will help to a certain extent. But at the end of the day they are all designed to work together.
The most important thing is to identify what it is that you are trying to do with your car. This will help you figure out what is the best setup for your car.

Please let us know if there are any questions.
Thank you,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Originally posted by GA tC@Sep 21 2004, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the info Dr.D! Very easy to understand.

Dan
Hello,
No problem. We just want to make sure the TC's handle as good as they look!
Awesome looking cars!!!!
Thank you,
 

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Originally posted by Dr. Design@Sep 21 2004, 03:01 PM
"What size rim is the best for handling?"
- Motor trend did a study for this a while ago, when manufactures were coming out with factory cars that had 18" wheels. The study showed the best results were obtained using 17" wheels. Second were 18” wheels. All rims used the same brand tires and the same compounds.
good information. i learned a thing or 2. and i knew it! 17s really are the best. not 18s.
 

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very interesting...good stuff, thanks for the post.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the warm welcome. We plan to help grow the Scion TC Market. We support the TC application and will do what it takes to help it continue to grow by offering our support.
Thank you,
 

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Hi Doc (?
)

Very helpful article, Thanks for posting. One thing that tweaked my curiosity was the reference to the MotorTrend article on wheel size. I would really like to read how they performed the test and the detail of their results. I enjoyed their article on tire inflation pressures but didn't see the one on wheels. Do you know the aprox date or title of the article? Just curious cuz I've been debating whether to go 18's or not. Thanks in advance!
 

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Glad to see you Dr. D. To anyone not familiar with Dr. Designs, they make VERY good chassis stiffening kits. I had one on my '95 sebring, probably the best performance upgrade I made on that vehicle. If they make a kit for the TC I would recommend it highly.
 
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