Have you ever seen a car rolling down the road with its wheels flared out
to the sides,
sort of like this? What you’re looking at isn’t someone with extremely loose
wheel lug nuts—they’ve modified their car to drive like this.
This is known as “stancing” your vehicle, and it’s rapidly
becoming a popular modification, particularly with younger drivers in
modern sports cars and coupes.
Why do people do this? What’s the point of this, aside from wearing
out your tires far faster by ensuring only a small patch of the rubber
is making contact with the road at any given time? On this blog, we’ll
go over what this modification does and why some people choose to undertake it.
What Is Stancing?
When it comes to high performance, one of the biggest influences on cornering is
center of gravity, and the taller your car is, the higher the center of gravity will be.
The higher the center of gravity, the worse the cornering ability a car
has. This is why the majority of high-performance cars, including sports
cars, coupes, performance wagons, and race cars of all different shapes
and sizes are designed to sit as low to the ground as possible.
This is the entire goal of stancing. Stancing your car allows you to bring
the frame of the car down so low it’s almost making contact with
the ground beneath it. This brings the center of gravity as far down as
it can, thus giving a vehicle and its suspension system the best possible
handling capabilities. This is done by using modified parts to make an
adjustment to a wheel’s
camber, or the angle at which it sits on the axle.
But wait, wouldn’t putting smaller wheels on your car lower it? Why
not just do that? It would, but at the sacrifice of speed and handling
ability. Larger wheels will take better advantage of the power your engine
produces, thus allowing you to actually go faster. This is why some vehicle
owners choose to change their stance: to accommodate for bigger wheels
in a wheel well that isn’t designed for them. As a result, you get
bigger, faster wheels and a lower center of gravity.
Disadvantages of Stancing
Of course, most stanced vehicles aren’t done nearly to the degree
of the example we gave up above—that’s a particularly extreme
case. However, that example highlights a major disadvantage of this modification:
you’re reducing the amount of rubber on the road. Now if you’re
into drifting, that’s great. However, if you’re looking for
a car that’s going to really stick to the road and give you the
best possible grip when you go careening through corners, you’re
going to want to do everything you can to keep as much of that rubber
down at all times. An extreme stance is going to do the exact opposite
of that. Having such a limited amount of rubber touching the road is going
to cause you to lose grip extremely quickly, sending you sliding off the track.
Then there’s the added problem of wheel well design. Vehicles are
designed to use the wheel and tire size that come on them in a standard,
zero-degree camber setup. Adjusting that camber even slightly could cause
your tires to start rubbing against the inside of your wheel well, your
suspension, your brake rotors, and so much more. In general, things could
quickly if it’s not properly set up.
And then this brings up the last disadvantage: stancing is not cheap. In
fact, vehicles who have extreme stance setups have likely paid a ton of
money into getting that look. If anyone ever tells you they did it on
the cheap, either run away quickly or stick around and just wait for a
part to fail.
And this brings us to the last aspect of stancing: why do people even bother?
To some people, it looks terrible, it’s a good way to waste money
on tires, completely ruins the engineering functionality of the car, and
even puts them at more of a risk of an accident, especially in wet weather.
And let’s make this extremely clear: the massive cost to your traction
is going to significantly outweigh any cornering benefits in extreme stance
setups. Think about it this way: if stancing helped, racing teams everywhere
would be doing it.
However, to others, the stanced look is what they like and what they’re
going for. If you fall into the latter group, that’s your personal
choice. However, be prepared to pay the cost of doing things right—a
cost which isn’t for the faint of heart.
Learn more about changing the camber on your wheels by
calling the Houston high performance auto experts at HP Motorsports! Dial (281) 231-9950 for more information.