With aftermarket wheels that have an aggressive fitment and lower offset, a suitable modification to make may be to lower the car. Because the wheels stick out further than compared to stock, the wheel gap from the stock suspension is further accentuated. An affordable way to address wheel gap is by installing lowering springs which use different spring lengths and spring rates to drop the car closer to the ground. The 9.5" wide Ambit wheels on this Scion tC definitely highlight the rear wheel gap much more than the factory wheels.
Tein Lowering Springs
One of the most famous spring manufacturers is Tein from Japan. Tein makes two popular lines of aftermarket springs, the S. Tech and H. Tech. The green coloured S. Tech springs offer a greater drop and are tuned for improved handling. The gold coloured H. Tech springs offer a milder drop and are tuned more towards comfort. Both spring lineups are designed to work with factory shocks and are powdercoated for durability. Furthermore, certain applications (like our customer's Scion) come with rubber silencer dampers that ensure quiet and smooth operation of the suspension once installed.
Scion tC Installation
To install lowering springs on the Scion tC, we had to take apart the front struts and drop the rear control arms. Once the strut is disassembled, we also had to cut the factory bump stops to allow some more travel since the car will sit a lot lower. After placing in the Tein S.Tech springs and torquing everything to the factory specifications, we took the car for a short test drive to settle in the suspension and sent it to the alignment shop.
An alignment is highly recommended after changing the ride height as the "toe" will change and can cause excessive wear on the tires. On a car like this, there isn't too much adjustment with the stock setup but with camber bolts, the front camber can be adjusted. Additionally, some vehicles may have adjustable control arms that can add further camber adjustment for the suspension.
The Tein springs for this application offer a 1.5" drop up front and a 1.8" drop in the rear. This not only makes for a more attractive appearance but thanks to the lower center of gravity, should result in flatter cornering as well. After dialing in the alignment, we found that the car still had adequate clearance so the tires did not rub. On some vehicle and wheel combinations, fenders may need to be rolled or pulled so that the tire does not make contact. Check out the picture below for a before and after comparison with the stock suspension and Tein suspension!
To see if Tein makes a lowering spring or other suspension upgrade for your vehicle, check here!