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Former '05er
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody read Sport Compact Car? They have a pretty decent (short and shallow, but decent) article on lowering your car and the negative effects on handling this month. Some of you guys who think lowering is all about "getting rid of the wheel gap" should peep this thing to understand the potential BAD things you are doing to your performance.

I don't generally endorse magazine articles because they are almost always too brief, but this one at least hits the high points well and presents the subject clearly from a performance perspective.

Oh, yeah, the hotrod Supras are pretty cool too. Peter Blach's car is in there. He's a friend of mine, and a really great guy. A true asset to the Supra community.
 

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I'll have to stop by barnes & noble today.
 

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That would be the sport compact with the three 1000 hp Supras on the cover?
 

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Former '05er
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not going to explain suspension geometry on a board. There are lots of good resources to explain it in print and on the web. The SCC article is available to anyone and is a decent explanation of a difficult subject.

EDIT:

For an even more abreviated discussion of the subject, click here.
 

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You have two defined classes of people that lower their cars: those who do it for looks, and those who do it for performance. This is because the best performing drop may not be the most appealing aesthetically, and the most attractive drop visually is usually not the best for handling.

After working on circle track cars, I forget that there are people who consistently make modifications to their cars for purely aesthetic reasons with no concerns as to what negative effects it may have on handling. These are the same folks I have to listen to saying "I'm gonna get a camber kit, so my tires stop wearing out so fast".


I like that lo bux still makes an effort. I can only yell into the wind for so long before I run out of breath.
 

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I didn't ask you to explain suspension geometry, I am fully aware of the good the bad and the ugly of changing your suspension around. I was hoping you would give a quick overview of what the article highlighted so some of these dumbshits dropping their cars 2" won't have anything to complain about when something on their car ##### up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This article doesn't even address the issues of breaking things and wearing out tires. It's a pure performance discussion, and one of the most important comments in the article is that most people lowering their cars never drive hard enough to discover they've actually ruined the OEM performance. As Dr. Isotope said, there are two classes of people lowering their cars: aesthetic tuners and performance tuners. The aesthetic crowd couldn't care less if the car is slower around a turn as long as it looks good (got rid of that ugly wheel gap!) The performance crowd couldn't care less what it looks like if the watch says our midcorner speed is better.

The quick and dirty of the article is this: as you lower the car the roll couple becomes larger meaning weight transfer to the outside wheel increases. Most lowering springs don't have sufficient spring rate increases to offset the increased roll couple from the suspension's geometry change, so performance is actually worse than stock. The fundamental concept of all suspension tuning is to balance the load across all four wheels as equally as possible, lowering can significantly upset the balance designed into the system at the factory unless the spring rates increase sufficiently to rebalance the car. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, because lowering the car with stiff springs makes an unacceptable ride quality. So the vast majority of lowering springs are too soft to equal stock performance.

Whether this is true for the tC is anyone's guess. It is likely Toyota took modifications into account (especially since they gave us such huge wheel wells with such little tires/wheels), but to what extent is hard to tell. So I'm back to the line in my signature...
 

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To ad my 2 cents... Like most have said, I think its really a compromise. Lowering a car certainly will give it a more aggresive, sporty look, and make improve some handling characteristics, but there are definite downsides as well, ie. tire wear, upsetting OE spring rates and weight balance/distribution. In an effort to counteract some of the negatives, I plan on going with eibachs, a 1.4 drop, not too drastic but hopefully will increase handling and performance capability and decrease body roll
 

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Ironhead
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Originally posted by Mica@Jul 23 2005, 09:45 PM
I was hoping you would give a quick overview of what the article highlighted so some of these dumbshits dropping their cars 2" won't have anything to complain about when something on their car ##### up.
hmm...


as one of those people who has his car lowered 2", i am terribly concerned that something on my tC is going to f#ck up, as you so delicately put it. since you seem to be able to call us dumbshits, i was wondering - can you clearly illustrate what is going on with my suspension now that it is down 2" on goldline springs? can you tell me what my spring rate is in comparison to the stock springs, or the TRD spring i replaced with my goldlines? can you draw me a mental picture of my suspension geometry before and after the drop? can you tell me the right alignment set up now? because if you cant do any of that, then i guess i will have to stay a dumbshit while you go on being so super smart.

the only risk i am running lowered is scraping, but thankfully i know how to drive. oh, and maybe shorter tire life from a little negative camber. properly installed, the proper parts will not cause any damage to you or your car. idiot.

as lance's sig says, time trial and stop watch and all that. if what i have done to my tC has slowed me by a millisecond on each corner, i will live with that. i am not building a tC to break track records. i am building a daily driver. and i am building it to drive the way i like it to drive. i like the way my car feels in the corners now, and the way it doesnt lurch back as much during acceleration, or roll forward during hard breaking. of course, spring rate plays a part here. but i am dumbshit, so i cant explain that.

idiot.
 

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It has been my experience that some vehicles, when lowered significantly (2+") can experience a vibration most notable upon acceleration. This vibration is due in part to the angle of the half shafts being different than what they were stock. To put it another way... If the car had some miles on it (~5,000) the half shafts would be "worn" to the stock settings. When the car is lowered the stock wear can cause the vibration because they are now wearing in a different place. It still remains to be seen how the tC will fare in the long run with a significant drop, but when changing the suspension geometry around it is highly probable that components will wear out faster than they would when stock.

I apologize for my previous post, I had been having a bad day and I also made the mistake of looking at Scion Life before I came here to post. There are just too many teenagers asking questions that if they just took the time to sit and think about it they would have the answer... such as "How do I put my new shift knob on?" It just frustrates me, and then I see pictures of people ruining our beloved tCs with stickers and wings. I just blew up, shouldn't have taken my anger out here.
 

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meditation the key is.

control anger you must.
 

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So lance are there any springs or coilovers that have sufficient enough spring rates to balance out lowering the car? OR if not what kind of spring ratesam i looking for?
 

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Like lo bux I'm also wary of any ill effects of lowering, and probably whatever springs you get will make the ride a little bumpier. I might wait to save up some $$$ and get adjustable coilovers, or I may just end up getting eibach's with not that dramatic of a drop (1.4 f+r)
 

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I'm also on the market for springs but can't decide between TRD or more stiffer or coilovers. Reading threads it looks like TRD is a favorite but friends are telling me to go more stiffer like Tein S Tech or coilovers if I have the money.
 
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