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Old 16th December 2011, 20:16   #46
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Please give a thought to the fact that OEMs may provide just enough safety or anything else for that matter to meet some regulations?

Having worked for an auto OEM in a safety related R&D role, most of the work we did was reduce the specs to make a strong component cheaper/weaker while still meeting standards.

While this is inevitable in the interests of efficiency as severe over engineering is no good thing, but oftentimes this results in under engineered components which meet the country's standards but does not do full justice to the true capabilities of the car.

And in case of engine mods, most people who mod are aware and willing to trade engine life for performance.
My M800 at home has travelled 130000km on the original engine and is still going strong, but cant say the same for the rest of the car. So wouldn't i be justified in enhancing the driving pleasure, with some mods? The worst that can happen is that the engine will die at the same time as the rest of the car.

Mods when performed by experienced professionals usually help to unlock the true potential of the car. Does anybody think the rally swifts have the same internals as the ones sold here? or are the rally swifts less safer?

Do not judge mods form one side alone, it can be bad or good depending on the head behind it (usually)
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Old 18th December 2011, 20:43   #47
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-Ker View Post
Having worked for an auto OEM in a safety related R&D role, most of the work we did was reduce the specs to make a strong component cheaper/weaker while still meeting standards.

While this is inevitable in the interests of efficiency as severe over engineering is no good thing, but oftentimes this results in under engineered components which meet the country's standards but does not do full justice to the true capabilities of the car.
Very well said Joe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-Ker View Post
And in case of engine mods, most people who mod are aware and willing to trade engine life for performance.
My M800 at home has travelled 130000km on the original engine and is still going strong, but cant say the same for the rest of the car. So wouldn't i be justified in enhancing the driving pleasure, with some mods? The worst that can happen is that the engine will die at the same time as the rest of the car.
So very true. Life of the car should be relative to the life of the heart of the car.
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Old 19th December 2011, 02:25   #48
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety? How safe are mods & accessories?

Whoa! This thread unwillingly turned out to be a battle between mod enthusiasts and opponents, a colored manifestation of the following lines:

One man's garbage is another man's treasure.
Anyone driving slower is an idiot and anyone faster is reckless.
What is vulgarity to one in films is freedom of expression to the other.

While there may be idiots who mod their cars to sore-eyes proportion (there is a thread on this site which shows unbelievably ugly mods), the general view is to better our own rides through wisely chosen ones.
Without sounding preachy, what we need to do on this forum is to respect each other's views and judgment. As I said, most mods are done for the betterment of our rides and not as a sadistic revenge on all other street users.

To clear the air, let's take a look at the many mods available for our vehicles one by one and set things right. According to me there are three categories of mods: Cosmetic mods, Performance mods and Safety mods.

Cosmetic mods:

Paint and stickers: Usually done to provide individuality to one's car so that it stands out in a crowd. Not everybody likes to be an owner of another white car on the road for instance.

Door Visors, roof-top fin, spoilers, neon: Again, these are done to make the car look different, but some may prove to be of utility value. For example door visors help you keep the windows slightly open in hot parking areas without giving it away. Let us admit that spoilers in our cars and in our driving conditions are only cosmetic and do not provide any utility value.

Body kits, skirts and grills: Usually done for looks but if done properly may reduce drag and if done without research may interfere in car safety.

Interiors: To each his own. What is gaudy to one is aesthetic to another so the lesser spoken the better.

Safety mods

Remote locking: Minimizes theft to a certain extent and is a matter of convenience. May drain the battery if the connections/settings are faulty.

Anti-roll kits: Saves tires and body roll in emergency maneuvers.

Bull-bars: Saves cost of painting in case of minor fender-benders. May prove fatal to pedestrians in mid-size crashes, but in my opinion will not interfere in the functioning of crumple zones in high-speed crashes as it will directly crash into the radiator (Source - I've been witnessing tons of accident affected cars in my garage).

Alloys/Upsizing/Tubeless: Certainly helps stability of the vehicle if done within prescribed limits. Alloys do not lose their shape as often as steel rims so have to be balanced that much lesser.

Powerful HID kits: Usually done for better visibility, but can be a menace if directed poorly.

Window tints: Helps in reducing glare through the windshield in the night, prying eyes in the day and, of course, cooling the car faster. This again better be done within prescribed legal limits.

Suspension spacers: Proves beneficial in maintaining GC if the car is retrofitted with an LPG/CNG cylinder at the rear. I've seen cars moving like cockroaches when both tanks, rear passengers and boot are full.

Better brakes: What safety hazard can that prove to be if used wisely?

Fire-extinguisher: Is like emergency drug in a medical store. You don't need it daily, but when you need it you better have it.

Performance mods

There are a host of mods under this category (air filters, FFE, headers, ECUs, tuners, weight reduction, et cetera) and going through each would be insane. But let us know that modifying the car under this category is done to suit one's liking and driving style and is not potentially or intentionally done to put anyone in danger. For example, my friend (a rally racer) had modified his DCM Cielo so that it may be fit for the races. And then I'm usually a lane disciplined driver but can also zip through traffic if need (read hospital emergency) arises. Then I wish I would have modified my car not for unsafe but for quick driving.

We also know that a host of Indian cars have the same engine but are only tuned differently by each manufacturer to capture a certain target audience. If one likes all the features of a certain car except a few, then he may mod it even if it means losing the warranty.

In conclusion let me say that hypocrisy is a strong word to be used generally for all mod enthusiasts. After all, not every man with an AK47 is a terrorist (I hope the analogy is taken in the right spirit). No matter how safe the company makes the car, even a stock fitted car be misused and proven unsafe. As someone said, 'It takes 8460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road'.

PS: I don't have ABS/EBD, airbags, anti-roll kits, et cetera on my OHC but in all my years of driving I've yet to encounter even a slight pedestrian brush-off or any fender-bender on the road. I'm sure there are many out there like me.
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Old 11th February 2012, 21:19   #49
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Talking Re: Are we hypocritical on safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
I wonder carroll shelby thinks of this?
Probably thinking he landed on Mars and is sitting in there listening to a discussion he doesn't understand
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Old 22nd February 2012, 11:22   #50
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety? How safe are mods & accessories?

Totally forgot about this when writing about Carroll Shelby's views.

Any car is manufactured to meet various parameters. If it was purely an engineering feat then I might even think the OP had a point.

However, there are various other factors that decide how the car is built. Looks are important even if those looks are not necessarily the best engineering wise in terms of safety or efficiency. For example plastic cladding on bumpers serves no purpose other than looks. Tell me how that is perfect R&D engineering.

Price also matters. There is an article I read taken from a link here about brakes in TBHP. When Bugatti were designing the Veyron, or maybe it was the EB 110, they had the option to put in a new and revolutionary brake being designed by a Canadian company. They chose not to because the brakes cost more than the rest of the car.

Fuel efficiency is another compromise that the engineers have to make. The ideal way to make a car more fuel efficient is to lessen the weight. If you do that in a well designed and engineered way (for example like Colin Chapman did at Lotus) then it is good. A lot of manufacturers, especially here in India don't do that. But hey, the Indian's first question is "Mileage kya hai".

Also, there is no guarantee that R&D is perfect. I mean if so, there would be no need for more R&D unless one was designing a totally new car. Why is it that Toyota follows the philosophy of "Kaizen" or continuous improvement. Because they got the vehicle perfectly designed when it was launched. I don't think so.
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Old 1st March 2012, 23:37   #51
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Default Re: Are we hypocritical on safety? How safe are mods & accessories?

Pganapathy..Agree with what you have said except for one minor point.


"For example plastic cladding on bumpers serves no purpose other than looks. Tell me how that is perfect R&D engineering."

The cladding if u notice is present in the outermost extreme of the bumpers where maximum no of minor nicks n scrapes occur. One can just change the cladding (if the scratch is visible) and not the whole bumper. No painting costs needed either. Contrast with what would happen on a smooth painted bumper.
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