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How low can I go? F355 front clearance?

Discussion in '348/355' started by Tommy, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Tommy

    Tommy Rookie

    Dec 2, 2003
    5
    I'm planning on purchasing a F355 and I was wondering if it would clear my driveway without scraping up the front end. Can somebody measure the lowest part of the front end in a 355? Thanks.
     
  2. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    You might have to angle the car when entering and leaving your drive.
     
  3. kverges

    kverges F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
    3,160
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    Keith Verges
    Don't worry about it. I bought mine pre-scraped and drag it from time to time no matter what I do. For exmple, I can't get out of my parking garage without the occasional scrape. You can't see it unless you get down low.
     
  4. Bmyth-FDC

    Bmyth-FDC F1 Rookie

    Oct 4, 2002
    2,742
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Byron
    Tommy,
    It depends on your driveway. My 348 challenge goes up my short driveway at an angle... At 3.5" off the ground in the front, it is lower than a stock F-40! I think the the F355CH clearance is about 4"
     
  5. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
    1,665
    Ft Laud
    Full Name:
    Frank Lipinski
    Tommy - it's 6 inches.

    The car his scrape shields under the front spoiler made of some kind of plastic / poly combo. However, if you bottom out it makes a terrible noise and the shields can wear down and crack.

    A fellow F-Chatter posted that his mechanic (in BOS in think) makes custom shields that go over the original ones. I bought them and they install in about 30 minutes right on top of the stock ones.

    They are excellent...made of aircraft grade poly and cost about $100 for the pair....make little noise if you bottom out and extend more toward the front of the car so you will never damage the spoiler.

    If you need more info PM me and I'll dig up his name and number..

    Frank
     
  6. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,335
    The nose is just under 6" (like 5.8 on mine), the actual ground clearance is 4.2". I have to enter and leave my driveway at an angle to minimize but never avoid scraping the nose.
     
  7. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
  8. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
    1,665
    Ft Laud
    Full Name:
    Frank Lipinski
    Thanks Dennis - I was trying to find John's phone # for another member and could not find it...
     
  9. alanhenson

    alanhenson Formula 3

    Dec 2, 2003
    1,335
    Tommy,
    I have an extremely steep drive, one of the worst I have seen. When we moved in , we could not get moving trucks up due to the angle. i drag the hitch on my landcruiser if that tells you how steep. I had an M3 and now have a F355. I have perfected my technique. Come in at a 45 degree angle and back down your driveway the same way you came up and you can make it up almost anything. Best of luck. If you can't make it still, modify the driveway, it's worth it.
     
  10. pete04222

    pete04222 Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    613
    Maine, USA
    Full Name:
    Peter Cyr
    I think the nose clearance on my 308 is 6". I can drive into my driveway with no problems but I can't turn around and drive straight out without scraping on the street. I can back out of my driveway with no problems.

    None of us have seen your driveway so it is hard to judge. The measurement you need to be concerned with is "approach angle" It is the angle a car can climb without scraping the front end. Check out this link: http://www.carlist.com/autoglossary/autoglossary_35.html

    My car has a low angle of approach because the front end sticks out so far. If the front spoiler was 6" further back the angle would be a lot greater. So ground clearance is only a piece of the info you need.
     
  11. Thomas3080

    Thomas3080 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2006
    4
    I have my eyes set on a 355, but in doubt if it will be able to make the incline of my drive way. I see there are several philosophies how to deal with inclines i.e. taking it at an angel etc.
    Considering the actual clarance is 4.2'', can anyone tell me the distance from the leading edge to the front of tier, in order to determine what the true clearance is when you approach an incline like a steep driveway. Thanks.
     
  12. 1badboy

    1badboy Formula Junior

    Dec 11, 2004
    290
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    Eric Rayl
    When I bought my house, had a 328 that bottomed out no matter what angle(driveway goes up and then down steeply into garage. I had a contractor make a wood frame "replica" of the wheelbase/height of 328, then demo driveway and rebuild it using wood frame to ensure no scraping front or underside as he massaged the concrete. Great- then got a TR- it fit fine too. Now with my 355, I cannot have a passenger (even 100lb g/f) in car or it scrapes nose going in or out.

    But it was well worth the $$$ to allow an f-car in - do what you have to do...
     
  13. ferraridriver

    ferraridriver F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2002
    3,392
    Bay Area Calif.
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Just let it scrape, the driveway will wear out eventually :)
     
  14. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 10, 2005
    85,061
    Mount Isa, Australia
    Full Name:
    Pap
    Let it scrape and re -spray the front bar every few years or so if it gets that bad. But being underneath,you probably will never see it. My car scrapes the front bar underneath nearly everywhere i go,angle attempts or not? and you will never be able to see the scratches under the front unless you have a really good look at it. :)
     
  15. Thomas3080

    Thomas3080 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2006
    4
    You guys are able to say "let it just scrape" to your baby without having tears in your eyes !!!. You are tougher than me....
    What I am most concerned about is not just the scrapping, but the actual clearance.
    If I can get someone with a 355 to measure the distance from the leading edge to the front of the tire, so I can make my scale model in wood and test it on my driveway. Thanks.
     
  16. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
    BANNED

    May 14, 2003
    5,377
    Manhattan & LA
    Full Name:
    Hubert
    i beleive w00dear's lowered 355 had 2.5" clearance and it was fine.
     
  17. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
    1,665
    Ft Laud
    Full Name:
    Frank Lipinski
    Thomas - You hit the nail on the head. The problem is not how low the car is, but the long nose distance between the front tire and bumper tip. I measured it once, think it was either 38 or 40 inches..maybe someone can chime in. But your thinking is correct. My Diablo is way lower and does not bottom out in those areas where the 355 did because of tire to nose distance.
     
  18. wlracing

    wlracing Karting

    Dec 14, 2004
    234
    UK
    Full Name:
    wally
    I have taken the measurments you require , they are from the front tyre ground contact point to the lowest forward point ( front edge of bumper skid ) that is 38 inches and the hight at this point is 4.5 inches with no occupants , suspension droop with me on board ( 141 lb ) is 0.375 in.
    I was also concerned with this problem befor buying a 355 but find it not to be a big problem just requires a little care at times although I have made my own alloy skid plates & fitted them over the original fiberglass as they had been worn at an angle .
     
  19. Thomas3080

    Thomas3080 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2006
    4
    WLracing,

    You are a superstar !!!. Thanks for the info. I will get my carpenter tools out tonight and make a scale model to try on the approach to my drive way.

    Thomas
     

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