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Can You Build on a Budget?

Fitment Industries Author | | June 12th, 2018 |

  • - It's a lot of (clears throat)...
    Did you get that (raspberry noises)? Hey guys was goin' on? It's Alex from Fitment Industries, and today we're not... I'm not gonna start like that.
    (beep) Hey guys it's Alex from Fitment Industries, and when we first get into the car community, a lot of us are pretty naive. When we're 16 or 18 years old, and we finally get our first car, we want to start modifying it, but we really kind of make some less than stellar choices. A lot of times you get into the car scene and you wanna just go and make it your own, but you don't really know how or why or who to trust and not to trust. And it can become a little bit difficult. Most people don't have $20,000 to dump into their car when their 16 years old, to start modifying it. Nor do a lot of people, when they really get older, because of other things that happen in their life. Well, what ends up happening with that is you have people that just build a car that may not look the best or fun the best, or just kind of have some questionable styling, especially if you're picking it up from aisle seven at O'Reilly's.

    So what do you do, and that's where a lot of the argument comes from with people who have been in this scene for a long time claiming that you just cannot build a car, if you don't know what you're doing and you don't have the money. So it comes down to the question of can you build a car on a budget? 'Cause that's just it, right. We wanna get the wide body or the three-piece wheels or the airlift, and all this sort of stuff, so we can be the cool kid on the block, but most of us really just generally can't afford it. And building on a budget just seems to be something that not a lot of people can think about, especially, when you consider how much this scene has essentially grown in terms of price for anything that's cool. You really can't get anything new that's cool, just kidding, yes you can.

    We're gonna talk today about if and how you can build on a budget. And since we are a wheel and suspension company, we're gonna focus on that the most. But just know that these sort of little tips and tricks can help you really across any part of your car, whether you're trying to modify the motor, the interior, the paint, the exterior or anything like that. Try to take some of these tips and see if you can apply 'em to other stuff. But we're goin' talk about three-piece wheels. We're gonna talk about all that stuff because, you know, there are other things that you can do to your car to build it on a budget. So before we get started into the wheels, tires and suspension, here's a few tips for your guys in case you're wondering where you can start. And the first thing that you need to remember is that your car has to be mechanically sound, before you go and modify it or do anything stupid with it. Because it doesn't matter how cool it looks, if it doesn't run. Don't ignore oil changes, or things like that, or just stuff that needs to be taken care of, struts, suspension pieces, components, bushings, all that stuff.

    You should make sure that, that is ready to roll, before you go and modify other things because a lot of times, a more, I would say,
    (sucks teeth) veteran enthusiast is gonna have more appreciation for a car that's been meticulously maintained and has less modifications on it, than a car that has a ton of modifications on it, and absolutely no care towards the actual vehicle, besides making it look cool. The second thing that you're gonna wanna avoid is Amazon, O'Reilly's and Advance. Just don't even go into the aisles. Don't even think about it. I know you see the lights, and the chrome side mirrors, and all that stuff, and just don't. And the final tip that we would have for you, just in general, is that always remember that less is more. A lot of times when you're building on a budget and you want to make your car flashy and stick out way more than anybody else's car, but what you don't really realize is that since you don't have as much money, you try to go down on the price of those things that you're putting in your car, and it shows, and it shows really early. So be sure that instead of trying to put a ton of stuff onto your car to make it look cool for a budget, start with the simple things that make the biggest difference and go from there. Less is more. The cleaner that you can make your car in terms of just getting rid of stuff, the better it's gonna overall look, because remember, if you're spending a ton of money on wheels and tires, but then you still got two or three fenders that are rusted out completely beat the (beep), it's probably not gonna work out too well for you.
    - [Man] Are you looking at me?
    (laughter)
    (beep)
    - And the fifth and final tip that we have is to restore your vehicle. So if a lot of people get those older cars, they get the older Mercedes, they get the older Pontiacs and things like that. A lot of times people get old boats for their first cars. Restoration is going to have a lot more of an affect on just over how the car looks and feels than modification will, because you're gonna be able to restore the headlights, the tail lights, to clean up the side skirts, to restore the chrome to do all that sort of stuff, which is just gonna make your car look better. Then once you get that established baseline then you can go modify your car. Or you can do none of this. It's completely up to you on whether you wanna do it. We're just speaking from our point of view, and those are just a couple of tips. You know, I mean, you could have done the video. I'm just telling you what I think. So let's get into wheels. Now when you're buying a set of wheels, a lot of people get a little bit concerned because you don't wanna buy reps or fake wheels or anything like that. And there's always gonna be a fine line between the two, but there are some really good brands that you can go out there and pick up a set of wheels for under a thousand dollars that are going to do a great job. And we did videos of those in the past, but the ones that I would stick to, would be Enkei, it would be (beep) Enkei, Konig and those sort of brands. Cosmis Racing is another great brand where they specialize in those sport contact style wheels.

    A lot of those sets will actually end up costing you less than a thousand dollars as well. And you can pretty much pick them up anywhere. They look good. A lot of the wheels that you're gonna pick up from those brands have a great reputation behind them. The light weight wheels for Konig are gonna be very good for you. The Enkei's are always light, but they usually low pressure, (mumbles) gravity cast, and then, of course, Cosmis is gravity cast or a little bit heavier, but they have a lot more styling than the other two brands. So if that's something that you're looking at doing, you can get some nice wheels that a lot of people like, without having to spend $3,000 on a set of multi-piece wheels. If you're running into more of like a show, car show style, another two brands that we'd recommend would be Niche or Rotiform, because both of those you can find some pretty good wheels for under a thousand dollars.

    A lot of their designs are really nice and they have a pretty good brand behind them. A lot of people run Rotiforms right now, and since they're both under the same umbrella company, of MHT, they both have pretty good styling. So if you're looking for something like that, that's a good wheel that you can also go with that isn't gonna break the bank and isn't really considered a rep and just has good quality and is gonna last you for a while without necessarily breaking the bank. But a lot of you will spend a ton of money on their wheels and then they spend no money on their tires, and that's probably the worst thing that you can do. You wanna make sure that you're savin' a little bit of your budget for decent tires. Now there are a lot of tires out there, that are extremely expensive. You wanna go to Michelin's. If you wanna do BFGoodrich and things like that, or the Toyo Proxes series, you're paying a lot of money.

    But you don't necessarily have to go spend a ton of money on tires to just get decent tires for your car if you're looking to get it under budget. And here are a couple of our recommendations. So the Federal 595 is a great series line tire, that's affordable and does a pretty good job of keeping the equal tread wear, all that sort of stuff, good traction. It's just a decent tire. Another one that you can go with is the Ventus, the Hankooks, those are also a great line tire that aren't gonna break the overall bank. If you're looking for something that has an all-season capability that's just gonna last a long time, has good structure, if you're looking for that look, or if you just want something that looks decent and performs well, then Nitto Neogen is by far, probably one of the best bang for your buck tire, that you can get on the market right now which you can pair with your wheels if you so choose. Plus there's a styling that the Neo Gens have and sizes that really go with any sort of after-market wheel. Now this is where it's gonna get a (beep), so this is where it's gonna get a little sale pitchy. So I apologize.

    I know you guys don't like that. But what you can do is, if you go out and you buy wheels and you buy them new if you buy them, let's say from Fitment Industries, and you pair them with wheels, a lot of times what happens is the wheels are already at the lowest price that you can possibly buy 'em for and then when you pair them with tires, since we have more money that we actually make on our tires, we cut you a better deal, and when you pair those together, they get mount balance and shipped for free, which is like $200 worth of just services and stuff, and we cut you a little break on 'em when you pair 'em together because it's easier for us to ship