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As the title, are questions about aftermarket modifications on topic for this site?

I'd like to think they are, since the vast majority of aftermarket modifications require mechanical know-how. Also, your typical maintenance or repair could be a great opportunity to also upgrade a particular part, even if it's as simple as changing out your tires or wipers for something that performs better or as complicated as replacing your exhaust or even rebuilding an engine.

So, are these kinds of questions on topic here?

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I'd say yes and for the same reasons you cite - most of my questions have been aftermarket in one way or another. Even if they don't fit well with the Q&A portion of the site, the chat will have something to say on the topic.

That said, if I see "which rims iz da most dope, yo?", I'm voting it down. :-)

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    Heh, no worries there. I'm not a fan of stanced or slammed setups. Besides, I've already got some reasonably-sized rims with a subtle design. Having said that, I would assume a rim fitment question would be reasonable, mainly because it will either fit, fit with conditions (roll/pull of the fenders), or not fit. – Ellesedil Jun 20 '14 at 20:03
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    @Ellesedil, exactly - "If I use these rims without spacers, will I break my car?" is a perfectly reasonable question. – Bob Cross Jun 23 '14 at 12:47
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To my mind, any specific problem you have whose solution involves you, the asker, actually picking up a tool and using it on your vehicle is welcome here.

I'm coming here to read and ask about doing the work; whether it's strictly "repair" meaning "get my car back to operational condition" isn't the important factor in my opinion. A modification is just a "repair" done voluntarily; to make the asker's motivation the determining factor for being on-topic is nonsense.

You want to replace your headliner with a tartan flannel sheet?* You want to install a stiffer sway bar link? You want to mount fins on the back? You want to change out your calipers for an enameled blue pair? These are all concrete technical tasks that I think would be interesting and valuable to have posts about. There's also plenty of overlap between "mod" and "repair" -- is there any meaningful difference between replacing your working calipers with a new pair that looks awesome and replacing your broken calipers with a new pair that just works? I'm pretty sure I can manage to follow a guide to the former when I need to do the latter.

A post about something done for enjoyment, instead of "crap, this is broken and I need to fix it!!" is refreshing, and it might even help draw new users. I'd be happy to see a crowd of mod-focused members here.

(I personally am far less interested in questions about paying other people to do the wrenching, although I recognize that's probably an unavoidable segment of the site.)


*My brother did this and it's awesome.

  • I really hate the "take it to a mechanic" answer, as people want to know what might be happening. The person may not need to know exactly how to fix it, but rather what the heck is going on. I agree with your highlighted items above. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 3 '14 at 14:59
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Can I put it this way?

If aftermarket modifications are not on-topic for this site then we need a new site. That would be rather excessive.

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    I totally agree. The site description is rather specific about vehicle maintenance and repair, and modding often is done just 'cause. Since I'd like to avoid having questions flagged off-topic, I wanted to clarify that it was appropriate before I start asking questions. – Ellesedil Jun 24 '14 at 21:17

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