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Old 9th February 2005, 16:58   #1
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Default Optimum ground clearance of a Car? & how it is measured...

Considering the great Pathholes, SpEeD bReAkErS in our country (Thanks to the local corporation). How much the "Minimum Possible ground clearance" should a car have (not SUV/MUVs ) (150/160/170/170mm+) !

It is an important factor in our country and we should consider it before buying a car. Isn't it ? A car may be a World class car but only outside of India if it is without sufficient ground clearance
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Old 9th February 2005, 17:29   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skamb
Considering the great Pathholes, SpEeD bReAkErS in our country (Thanks to the local corporation). How much the "Minimum Possible ground clearance" should a car have (not SUV/MUVs ) (150/160/170/170mm+) !

It is an important factor in our country and we should consider it before buying a car. Isn't it ? A car may be a World class car but only outside of India if it is without sufficient ground clearance
I own an indica DLS and i still manage to scrape the bottom on the Outer Ring road in bangalore if i am not tooo slow, and if there are more people in the car i have to go sideways. I have seen Citys, Lancer guys going on the monster sideways because going straight would wreck the underbody. I guess you need atleast 170mm
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Old 9th February 2005, 17:45   #3
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I am with TSK, 170mm is the absolute minimum. But adding more people to the car would also make another variable very important : how stiffly sprung the suspension is. If its too soft, it will bottom out much easier.

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Old 9th February 2005, 17:47   #4
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My palio scrapped the bottom twice in one year in b'lore, both times with 5 ppl in the car. palio claims to have the ground clearance of 172 mm. I agree with GTO on the suspension part.
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Old 9th February 2005, 18:17   #5
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170 mm is the ideal clearance for Indian cars but other than the point of the suspension there are a few more points that need to be looked at

1) If you use lower profile tyres than what is recommended by the manufacturer you end up have a lower tyre which in turn reduces your clearance.
2) most cars worldwide have softer rear suspension the easiest way to get over this is to add rubber spacers under the rear suspension coils to harden it a bit. (Not suggested if you typically have just 2 ppl in the car)
3) please check your shocks Dampers tend to wear out over time and might need to be replaced before the coils. The best way to check is to go to each corner of your car and push it with your full body weight and release imm. If your car bounces it is time to replace your dampers (Avg life of a damper is close to 3 years)
4) It is unfair to blame the cars as most of the speed breakers (and potholes for that matter) are not of even shape or height forcing us to go over them in an angle. I have seen even Amby taxis scraping their bottoms out on these speed breakers.
5) Most often people mistake the exhaust systems touching the ground sound to the car bottoming out, hence please make sure that the exhaust is well suspended within the brackets provided.
6) Crazy but true : please be careful to continously oil the bottom of the car (spray diesel or old oil) so as to aviod rust formation on the chasis.

hope this helps
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Old 9th February 2005, 19:05   #6
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I'd say 175mm with the car loaded is the safest clearence. So unladen clearence should be around 180mm (to be on the safer side).

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Old 9th February 2005, 19:20   #7
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A very good topic.

I feel in bangalore the minimum should be 180, Rest of India can do with 165.. heh heh..

No seriously, I was considering buying a diesel zen when i moved to bangalore, and even went to Bimal motors for a test drive. I liked the vehicle, but the first speed bump on the outer ring road near marathahalli made me change my plans. Zen, normally a very good car on mumbai roads is the worst in terms of ground clearance.

Anyways, i am an MUV/SUV type of guy so i don't face much problems..
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Old 9th February 2005, 20:11   #8
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well... 165mm is just not good enough for my soft suspension wagonR... repeatedly scrapes bumpers of my college campus even with 3 people!....
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Old 9th February 2005, 20:35   #9
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I believe 170 shud do just fine.Anything below that is bound to scrape atleast on Mumbai roads.But it also depends on numerous other factors like suspension,tyre pressure etc.

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Old 9th February 2005, 21:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu
I'd say 175mm with the car loaded is the safest clearence. So unladen clearence should be around 180mm (to be on the safer side).

Shan2nu
.
is ground clearance in any way related to the handling???
as there might be a reason for car makers to give lower GC.


satya
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Old 9th February 2005, 22:19   #11
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well, I think 170mm is too high! I would much prefer the occasional scraping of the undercarraige than to live with a raised ride height permanently. Look at the Corolla!!

And, I have faced no problem's with the Skoda's 134mm of ground clearance.
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Old 9th February 2005, 22:22   #12
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whats the problem with raised ride heigt rtech??
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Old 9th February 2005, 22:26   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dceite
whats the problem with raised ride heigt rtech??
One of the major flaws in Corolla...sloppy handling which is due to this raised height.
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Old 9th February 2005, 22:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dceite
whats the problem with raised ride heigt rtech??
Well, you're fighting physics here. The more you raise your ride height, the higher your center of gravity goes. The higher your CoG goes, the more roll you're likely to encounter. The more roll you have, the worse your handling gets.
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Old 9th February 2005, 23:17   #15
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Retch, the Octavia has just 134mm clearance?? Doesn't seem that low when viewed from the side.
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