The Ultimate Handling Guide Part V: The One Unforgivable Sin, Overlowering Your Car
by Mike Kojima
I am not Jesus so I don't have to forgive you if you mess things up when setting up your car. I am talking about sin, pure dumb unforgivable sin. No it's not the one that’s talked about in the New Testament that gives clergy fits to explain to lay people, its a big mistake, one that nearly all enthusiasts are unknowingly guilty of that is the most common mistake when modifying a car's suspension. It’s a sin which so thoroughly screws up handling that it gives engineers fits when trying to explain why this is so to automotive enthusiasts.
|This is a primo example of Hella Flush. Super low, big offset so wheels are flush with and tucking into fenders. Although this is unfunctional and the car won't handle well, you gotta admit when done right, it sure looks good… Photo by Speedhunters.com|
This sin is over lowering. Enthusiasts can hardly help avoiding committing it. It. is compounded by the efforts of the performance aftermarket. Nearly every company that makes suspension components, even very reputable ones, spew out thousands of sets of lowering springs that are both too low and too soft for optimal handling. Why do they do this? Are the engineers at these companies incompetent? Is it a conspiracy by domestic carmakers to make our cars suck?
|Our buddy Formula D Pro Drifter Matt Powers before we started to help him was the hero of the hella flush fan bois. By poking fun at this trend we will be lambasted by them as this spreads around the net.|
No the enthusiast is to blame for this issue. The majority of enthusiasts want a low ride height to fill the ugly gap in a car's stock wheel wells. They also won’t accept a ride that for the most part is a lot harsher than stock. Macho or not, most typical enthusiasts don’t drive hard enough or well enough to realize that their cars actually handle worse than stock, mistaking reduced roll as better handling.
|Matt killing it. Look how low his car is!|