Jump to content


Photo

A Question About Vehicle Ground Clearance


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 01 July 2014 - 06:59 AM

I have a question about ground clearance.  I just bought a crossover SUV.  It doesn't have much ground clearance but will (just barely) make it over an obstruction I need to drive over.  Does a vehicle's stated ground clearance take into account the amount the suspension can bounce?  That is, I can barely clear the obstruction but it will work if the springiness of the suspension doesn't let the car go below its stated ground clearance.  If the springs let it go lower the vehicle will bottom out. 


Edited by Thot, 01 July 2014 - 07:01 AM.


#2 Baytown Bert

Baytown Bert

    Short fat dude with good hygiene

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,264 posts
  • LocationBaytown, Texas

Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:55 AM

Hmmm.  The ground clearance number is a fancy way of saying how far the bottom of the chassis is off the ground and that is good for the average driver on a road.  It does not account for big pot holes, etc.  To an off-roader, it generally means the lowest part of the vehicle including rocker arms, shocks, and differentials.  So, a good rule of thumb is to go very slow and if need be, have a spotter outside the vehicle when in doubt.


Edited by Baytown Bert, 01 July 2014 - 07:55 AM.

TXGA SETX Representative


#3 cachestacker

cachestacker

    Senior Member

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • LocationClear Lake

Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:56 AM

Or just gun it.


Posted Image

#4 SockPuppet

SockPuppet

    Actor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,779 posts

Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:49 AM

Be advised the higher the ground clearance the lower your gas mileage. You best bet is an adjustable ground clearance.


Posted Image

#5 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:58 AM

The ground clearance number is a fancy way of saying how far the bottom of the chassis is off the ground and that is good for the average driver on a road.

I understand ground clearance is the distance of the bottom of the chassis from the ground.  Another way of asking, is stated ground clearance only with the car standing still or with it bumping on the road where the vehicle goes up and down on the springs?  And if so, is it a measure of the closest the springs will let the chassis get to the ground.  Yet another way:  Does a vehicles stated ground clearance take into account how low the suspension will let it go?


Edited by Thot, 01 July 2014 - 09:00 AM.


#6 SockPuppet

SockPuppet

    Actor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,779 posts

Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:04 AM

Actually since I drive on the beach a lot to fish I was wondering if the rear struts are taken into account when measuring ground clearance.


Posted Image

#7 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:51 AM

If it helps to be more specific, I have to drive over a curb measuring 6" and my car has a stated ground clearance of 6.25" 



#8 Dhaulaghiri

Dhaulaghiri

    Senior Member

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 466 posts
  • LocationRice Village, Houston

Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:11 AM

Ground clearance is always stated while the vehicle is stationary. While driving (with people in there) the springs will compress a little so actual clearance will be a little less, but shouldn't affect it too much.

Now as for your 6"-6.25" clearance, that's a pretty tight margin! My advice on that one is to take it SLOW and have a spotter to make sure. Also, before you tackle the 'obstacle' you might wanna take a look UNDER your vehicle to see which part of it is the lowest (most likely the diff or a suspension part).
  • Baytown Bert likes this

"Do or do not, there is no try." -Yoda

 

"Some say he can get FTF on a 5 terrain cache blindfolded. Some say he's never decrypted a hint and doesn't own a GPSr. All we know is... he's called The STIG!" -Houston Control
 
img.aspx?txt=View+my+profile&uid=7e0df5f

#9 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:26 AM

Thanks.  That sets my teeth on edge.   I don't know exactly what a spotter can do. By the time I'm over the curb there's little turning back.



#10 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:56 AM

To whom it may concern:

 

I was able to go over the curb easily and my spotter said I had at least 2" of clearance.  I'm glad, but it leaves me more curious what ground clearance means exactly. 



#11 TheNorman

TheNorman

    Senior Member

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 588 posts
  • LocationHuntsville, Texas

Posted 03 July 2014 - 09:46 AM

Actual ground clearance also depends upon your tires, so if you are using larger tires than they used when they determined the ground clearance, you get more clearance.  Two inches is surprising however.



#12 GASTX

GASTX

    Senior Member

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 424 posts
  • LocationHumble, Texas

Posted 03 July 2014 - 09:46 AM

Generally the lowest clearance is in the frt and rear axle zone and since that clearance doesnt change unless you change tire size you can actually clear a higher obstacle that the sheer number might lead you to believe. If you have 6" clearance at the wheel area you would clear a 6" obstacle by 6" make sense?
Posted Image

#13 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 03 July 2014 - 09:51 AM

Actual ground clearance also depends upon your tires, so if you are using larger tires than they used when they determined the ground clearance, you get more clearance.  Two inches is surprising however.

This is a new car and the tires came with the car.



#14 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 03 July 2014 - 09:58 AM

 If you have 6" clearance at the wheel area you would clear a 6" obstacle by 6" make sense?

Not really.  I didn't meet the curb head on, it went over one wheel at a time. 



#15 SockPuppet

SockPuppet

    Actor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,779 posts

Posted 03 July 2014 - 10:09 AM

 

 If you have 6" clearance at the wheel area you would clear a 6" obstacle by 6" make sense?

Not really.  I didn't meet the curb head on, it went over one wheel at a time. 

 

One of my car has a low clearance. Make sure your tire air pressure is right and even then I angle my way in. SOmetimes I use a different driveway. They are working on Bellaire Blvd in Chinatown and after a rain there was a big divot in the gravel so I drop around it to exit a different way.  


Posted Image

#16 GASTX

GASTX

    Senior Member

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 424 posts
  • LocationHumble, Texas

Posted 03 July 2014 - 10:10 AM

Even then you had one wheel 6" above the other which alters the true clearance. Lots of geometry in how ground clearance comes into play.
Posted Image

#17 Baytown Bert

Baytown Bert

    Short fat dude with good hygiene

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,264 posts
  • LocationBaytown, Texas

Posted 03 July 2014 - 12:15 PM

It was a 4 inch curb.  :angel:


TXGA SETX Representative


#18 GASTX

GASTX

    Senior Member

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 424 posts
  • LocationHumble, Texas

Posted 03 July 2014 - 12:45 PM

It was a 4 inch curb. :angel:


Simplest answer is usually the correct one. Grin
  • Baytown Bert and Dhaulaghiri like this
Posted Image

#19 Thot

Thot

    Funtime Advisor

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,550 posts

Posted 03 July 2014 - 02:32 PM

It was a 4 inch curb.  :angel:

Nope.  Measured at exactly 6"



#20 cachestacker

cachestacker

    Senior Member

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • LocationClear Lake

Posted 03 July 2014 - 03:59 PM

Nearly every curb appears only 4" to Tha Choppa.


  • Baytown Bert likes this
Posted Image




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users