The car is all well and good so far. Not one day into the ownership of the car, I started making a laundry list of the variety of things must be changed. First was the removal of the extremely heavy and unnecessary audio system. There was an embarrassing tangle of wires and it turns out the rears were not even connected at all, as the positive lead was disconnected. The subwoofer box, as you might surmise, was pretty heavy. I am glad to be rid of it and the rear speakers. The front speakers and head unit will stay, as it has USB / iPhone connectivity so I can listen to my awesome audiobooks. (I’m so exciting that way.)
Here’s one modification that may draw some scorn from car purists: wheel spacers. Cheap, flimsy, aluminum “universal” 5mm spacers not center-bored to the hub, at that. I am well-aware of the potential issues of spacers, of which there are many. Adding width adds additional wear to the bearings and suspension components, changes the handling (for better or worse), and non-hubcentric spacers can potentially upset the car at high speed if they are off-center, creating potential vibrations. Moreover, simple sandwich spacers such as these reduce the amount of thread the lug nuts can tighten over, further reducing safety.
These are more appropriate wheel spacers, as they are specifically drilled for sets of specific patterns and are hubcentric to the diameter of the car. In this case, these are the perfect set for my Swift Sport, at 5x114.3 with a 60.1 center bore. For the Alto, I would need 4x100 with a 54.1 center bore.
At least, I did ensure that it was as centered as possible. What these spacers do is change the look of the wheels. They are now spaced out 5mm toward the outer edges, effectively changing the wheel offset from +45 to +40. I think they look a bit better, since they aren’t as far sunk into the fenders. In the end, knowing the drawbacks, I will leave them on. Keeping the nuts checked and tightened periodically will be a necessity. Further, as I don’t plan on tracking this car, nor drive it particularly long distances, the wear and the potential issue will be minimal, at best (or is it worst?).
I do have the option of going with larger 15mm or 20mm sandwich spacers with studs attached to stance out the car a lot more, which looks like it may also require a fairly aggressive fender roll. But for now, this spacing is adequate. I’d like to go with much wider wheels in the future, like a 13 x 5.5 inch wheel. I suppose 14 inch wheels would be fine too, but I think 55 series tires and 14 inch wheels don’t have enough rubber sidewall for my taste. The look of fat tires is definitely more appropriate to the style, in my opinion. This is an adequate temporary modification to keep my car looking fresh(er).