Lotus Elan

Rain++2

PostPost by: leedsj » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:44 am

yep, my handling is TRANSFORMED even with the slightest wet... I managed to spin across onto the other direction of a dual carriageway yesterday! Fortunately it was quiet and amazingly did no damage to me nor the car (there are no central reservation barriers at this particular junction) was even facing in the right direction (180deg-ish turn) Besides feeling mildly shocked, I simply drove off! could've been MUCH worse :(

I was going about the same speed as I normally do, but it had recently rained and road was not soaked but damp. The back-end is so planted in the dry (I've never even got the back out - not that I spend my time trying) and awful in the wet. Anyone any tips on making it less crazy? I'm thinking tire recommendations perhaps - or suspension settings? Perhaps - like my old Hillman Imp - a lump of concrete in the boot..?!

shaken - james
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:55 am

leedsj wrote: I managed to spin across onto the other direction of a dual carriageway yesterday! Fortunately it was quiet and amazingly did no damage to me nor the car (there are no central reservation barriers at this particular junction) was even facing in the right direction (180deg-ish turn) Besides feeling mildly shocked, I simply drove off! could've been MUCH worse :(

shaken - james


Lucky, lucky you !

What tyres have you up, and how much thread is left on them ? What pressures are you using ?

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PostPost by: cocky » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:29 am

What tyres have you up, and how much thread is left on them ? What pressures are you using ?


How old are they?
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:22 pm

I'd have to go with cocky (nice username) as the tyres get older they harden and lose grip.

I put the arse out in my mates 5 series BMW on a roundabout in Laindon a couple of months ago and it was bearly wet. He bought his tyres secondhand I think they were off of an old van (very stiff sidewalls). I come off the brake and planted the gas and managed to avoid the old git that pulled out in front of me, he was looking very worried and I needed a change of underwear. :lol: My mate was laughing his head off in the car in front as he had forgot to tell me the BMW was a "bit wild" in the rain.
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PostPost by: steveww » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:15 am

Check your tyres :shock:

How old are they? As has already been mentioned tyres do go off with age.

Just shows how much we come to rely on modern electronics in cars to prevent us from doing something stupid. I have been saved by ABS on more than one occasion :oops:

My S4 has excellent sticky tyres even so in the wet it does not take much to get the back end round. Some driver training may also be useful so you know what to do next time it happens.
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:49 am

Hi, I had a similar experience in the early spring - v. early in the morning (thankfully no traffic) I ran out of talent on a damp roundabout, possibly with some diesel spillage on it. I came up the slip road onto a roundabout over a duel carrigeway, as I started to go round I got major understeer, eased off the throttle (doh!) then the front end caught and I ended up spinning anti clockwise out of a clockwise turn(!).

Fortunately no damage - although it did prompt me to replace the rear tyres on the car. They were 4-5 year old Toyos that had done about 15,000 miles. The replacement michelin 165/70 R13s are much better. That said you've always got to be a little less gung-ho in the wet - especially after long dry spells etc etc...

Drive carefully now! :D

C
Last edited by Craig Elliott on Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:57 am

Steve's got a point James...if you're not used to rear wheel drive and you clog it coming out of the corners that's what they do...even a Morris 1000 in the wet! If the tyres are 10 years old or more, even if they have loads of tread and no obvious cracks etc. they must be changed. They get hard, loose grip and can blow out at speed when they are that old.

Here's how to check how old your tyres are:

The age of any tyre can be found on the tyre sidewall by examining the characters following the symbol "DOT".

For tyres manufactured after the 1999, the last four numbers identify the date of manufacture of the tyre to the nearest week. The first two of these four numbers identify the week of manufacture (which range from "01" to "52"). The last two numbers identify the year of manufacture (e.g., a tyre with the information "DOT XXXXXX2703? was manufactured in the 27th week of 2003).

For tyres manufactured prior to 1999, three numbers instead of four indicate the date of manufacture e.g 478 = 47th week of 1998.

Lots and lots of warnings from tyre manufactures recently due to failures of tyres on classic cars.

Mark
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:11 pm

Craig Elliott wrote:That said you've always got to be a little less gung-ho in the wet ...

Drive carefully now! :D


Apparently no one thought to tell that to Felipe Massa on Sunday at Silverstone. :twisted:
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PostPost by: tdafforn » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:36 pm

Had the same shock last week, only with the front tyres..
Was driving to work on a damp road and was understeering V badly on each turn.
Put this down to tyres..
Rears are 2 yo goodyear GT2 fitted by me
Fronts are korean budget >5yo fitted by the DPO
So have replaced the fronts with dunlop SP10.
Now have to check them in the same conditions.

Interesting note however, with the old fronts the car cruised at 70mph+ without vibration
new tyres, and I get a low frequency oscillation of the steering. Have booked the car in for tracking tomorrow
Tim
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:48 pm

RotoFlexible wrote:
Craig Elliott wrote:That said you've always got to be a little less gung-ho in the wet ...

Drive carefully now! :D


Apparently no one thought to tell that to Felipe Massa on Sunday at Silverstone. :twisted:


Maybe Ferrari have decided to use a new rain tyre (5 year old narrow Toyos)! :lol:
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PostPost by: leedsj » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:04 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:The age of any tyre can be found on the tyre sidewall by examining the characters following the symbol "DOT".

For tyres manufactured after the 1999, the last four numbers identify the date of manufacture of the tyre to the nearest week. The first two of these four numbers identify the week of manufacture (which range from "01" to "52"). The last two numbers identify the year of manufacture (e.g., a tyre with the information "DOT XXXXXX2703? was manufactured in the 27th week of 2003).

For tyres manufactured prior to 1999, three numbers instead of four indicate the date of manufacture e.g 478 = 47th week of 1998.


Thanks Mark - they're 07 tyres, must've gone on just before I got the car. As Craig so eloquently put, perhaps i just 'ran out of talent'...
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PostPost by: kcrossle » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:39 pm

I cannot recommend highly enough participation in what in US is called Autocross and, according to wikipedia, 'Autosolo' in the UK.

Before I started this I thought I could drive fast quite well. Wrong. After ten years and winning a few class championships I feel better about my driving; I can go faster but really respect the limits. To illustrate - new people show up in Lotii and my Neon beats them handily while equally experienced drivers as I are, though, on a different planer for results.

If I still had kids of the appropriate age I would insist on a season of Autocross as a condition of a license.

And... you learn a lot about tires.
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PostPost by: leedsj » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:21 am

Keith - you're absolutely right. I think I'll start by booking for the ful day of advanced driving training at Lotus and take it from there...
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