Giving a car the right stance - Weekend

Giving a car the right stance

Jerome NeriBy Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

STANCE. This is the new buzzword in car culture. It has become so big that there is a website called StanceNation and sells merchandise for the stanced lifestyle.

The stance’s lifestyle philosophy is that form is greater than function. To them, a car will only look good once stanced. So, what is stance really?

To stance enthusiasts, they describe it as “aggressive fitment of wheels where the tires are stretched and mounted to wide rims (usually 9 inches or wider) with low offset.” Also, “the car is dropped as low as possible and the tires sit inside the fenders while the rims are flush to the fender.”

To the stance culture this look just oozes with coolness.

Stance also has its fair share of critics. There’s also quite a number of car enthusiasts who say it is just a fad that will go away. These people say stance is the new “rice” (rice is a term for a car that has heavy cosmetic decorations and characterized by use of stickers and decals, wings that look like airplane landing gear, and fart can mufflers).

They describe it as “destroying a car’s ability to handle by dropping it an excessive amount, running on excessively wide wheels with tires that are stretched just to fit into the wheel wells.” Further, “the cars have to have an excessive amount of rear camber and the tires have probably only an inch of contact patch to the ground.”

To critics, a good car has just been ruined and devalued.

Personally, I do not like the idea of stretched tires on extremely wide rims and excessive camber. I do not like it because I do not believe it is safe.

Excessive camber means less contact patch and, therefore, less grip. Less grip will give a car poor braking abilities. Stretched tires increases the risk of tire blowout, if not, debeading. Not a good thing.

To me, there is a proper way to “stance” a car, thereby making it look good and perform better than original. This is how I’ll do it:

1. I’ll choose the widest possible wheel I can put wherein a proper sized tire will fit with just having the fender rolled.

2. The combined weight of the wheel and tires must be lighter than the stock wheels and tires or at worst the same. Installing heavy wheels and tires will make the car handle poorly, will easily damage suspension components, and compromise a car’s braking ability. Depending on the car, it might be better to use wheels 1 inch bigger than stock.

3. In order to lower the car, I will install a good set of coilovers. The car should not be excessively dropped. Usually, the proper drop should be from 1 cm to 2 cm only. Dropping the car too much will ruin the suspension geometry, thereby resulting in poor handling and ride comfort.

Following this three simple guidelines the result will be a car that will look good and handle great.

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