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roland.wilson

S3 Twitchy Back End

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I noticed yesterday the back of my 1981 S3 was feeling twitchy going (quite slowly) round a roundabout. Checked the tyres pressures, but today lost the back end accelerating out of a roundabout on a damp road. Luckily no damage, but I could have gone round a lost faster in my 406 with no loss of grip so I'd like to know what's wrong. The car has been recently MOT'd and the rear tyres are legal, albeit only just. I have noticed the car can go sideways in the wet before, but am beginning to suspect something is not right?

Any thoughts would be appreciated

Thanks

Roland

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Roland,

I have the S3 with the Origional Goodyear tyres - as new condition - It also is the worst thing I have ever driven in the Wet, If you find an answer I too would be interested

In the Dry :-) :-) :-)

Nick

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From what you have written, I'd suspect the tyres. They may be legal, but I know from my Esprit, that in the wet a new set of tyres makes a difference of night and day.

Whatever the problem turns out to be I hope it's not an expensive one to fix.

Regards,

Peter.

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remember that the 406 is front wheel drive, the Esprit is rear.

Low tread i would agree, and also old tyres, they harden slightly with age which will loose the grip too, and cold damp weather.... its still a lot of power for such a light car.


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I'd tend to agree with the idea the tyres are the most likely culprit, but the only way to test them really is to replace them.

On that basis I'd suggest looking at all bushes (lower link, upper link, trailing arm pivot, damper mounting) for any signs of problems. Check the dampers are functioning correctly (quick test, put all your weight on the rear of the car at one side, let go in one swift movement, the car should come to rest in 3 (no more than 4) bounces, then repeat for the other side).

Check wheel bearings, pull & push on the top of the tyre, listen for clunk, feel for movement.

Visually check engine mounts, or gently jack the engine, if you can slightly raise the car by jackingthe engine up, then they're fine. Ditto gearbox mounts.

If all the above are OK, then I wouldn't hesitate to change the tyres.

Andy

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll definately be fitting new tyres (fronts as well as on inspection they seem to have developed hairline sidewall cracks). The dampers appear good - the car comes to rest straight away after releasing my bodyweight - and I''ll pay my mechanic a visit early in the new year to check the bushes and make sure I haven't knocked anything out of alignment.

Roland

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