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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)

Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old April 4th, 2006, 04:03   #46
BoosTDIt
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now i just wanted to point out an intresting fact...

R32 - 4WD or not, it's a Golf....yea it comes with ESP only ..but
still a Golf body shape and weight, airdaynamic
TT quattro - we all know about that one.....
TT FWD - how about that ha FF...???

spindles - same part number on all of them
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Old April 4th, 2006, 05:52   #47
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Couple of responses:

BoosTDIt: Yes, the R32 has the TT Spindles, but it also has a fully independent rear suspension that provides better camber characteristics than the other VW A4s. Also, the TTFWD, IIRC, was the car that was causing problems for the German drivers, and I think that car had the same rear suspension as our VWs.

Cielidh: I have to wonder if the transition to terminal understeer would be as dramatic as you stated. If you look at Peter's chart above, and charts in the Suspension Geometry FAQ on Vortex, all the spindles (TT, H2, stock) transition to positive camber, just at different degrees of roll. What's hard to gauge is how that curve feels behind the wheel: what looks like a progressive transition my be experienced as very abrupt.

So what's ideal? A setup where the front and rear lose traction at the same time? Or very mild terminal understeer/oversteer? And how can we set our cars up for that?

It seems that the VW stock opton of a gradual transition to terminal understeer (plenty of warning) is safest. It just isn't a lot of fun because the cornering limits are lower.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:38   #48
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First, a general comment:

For a year now, Peter's been coaxing me to come visit the TDIclub forum, and now that I finally have, I wonder what took me so long! You folks have a really nice culture here, and I thank you all for the very kind welcome you've given to a non-TDI visitor.


To GTDI:

Here is one example of what makes this forum so special! I posted my TT-spindle aside late last night, and this morning there's a commentary from someone who has first-hand experience with the mod!

GTDI, please do tell us more! In particular, what are the situations that bring the tail around (i.e., what do you do to encourage it?), and how do you drive out of the situation? Do you need to "toss" the car, or can you bring it out with a little throttle lift mid-corner? Can you drive through it with steady throttle and countersteer, or do you need to feed in more power? When you say it happens at 65mph, can we assume that it would continue to happen at higher speeds, or do you mean there's a speed band in which it occurs?

(I'm asking these questions partly because it's just neat to hear experiences, and partly because we Theoretical Types (sorry, Vortex Refugee insider joke ) crave real-world data --- experiences like yours are what helps people like me (and Peter) in refining, extending, and correcting our models. Many thanks for your comments!)

And yes, the grip and mid-corner steering feel is pretty nice, isn't it! It's amazing how sweet and "solid" a front end can feel when the camber isn't trying to swing the nose wide. It can be pretty addictive!

.

And to Indigo (whose posts are another example of what makes this forum so enjoyable):

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon
Couple of responses:

Cielidh: I have to wonder if the transition to terminal understeer would be as dramatic as you stated. If you look at Peter's chart above, and charts in the Suspension Geometry FAQ on Vortex, all the spindles (TT, H2, stock) transition to positive camber, just at different degrees of roll. What's hard to gauge is how that curve feels behind the wheel: what looks like a progressive transition my be experienced as very abrupt.

So what's ideal? A setup where the front and rear lose traction at the same time? Or very mild terminal understeer/oversteer? And how can we set our cars up for that?

It seems that the VW stock opton of a gradual transition to terminal understeer (plenty of warning) is safest. It just isn't a lot of fun because the cornering limits are lower.
1) No, I wasn't very clear in what I wrote (it was late at night, after all!). If a car has upright-tires or has identically-cambered tires, AND if that car has been set up with strong steady-state understeer, the terminal understeer can be pretty fierce(!). But that's not my concern with most Golf/Jetta IV TT-conversions, as what worries me is the potential oversteer, not understeer.

(To elaborate a bit: Peter's graphs actually show some differential camber gain in roll, even with the TT-spindles (that is, the front tire will still lean more than the rear in a corner) -- the differential is simply much less than before. Hence the car will still have some progression to understeer: it'll be much less progressive than stock, but there'll still be some warning. Also, street tires are much more forgiving in this respect than race tires, and the tires alone will make it more like a transition and less like an On/Off switch....)

(Also to elaborate: it's not the transition point to positive camber that controls everything, so much as it is the relation between the front versus rear camber. You could, for example have the front tires in positive camber all the time -- but if the rear tires take on excessive camber in roll, you'll still get oversteer.)

(And a personal aside: the Triumph Spitfire had front positive camber at all times, but it had a rear suspension that would throw the outside rear tire (which normally had negative camber) strongly into positive camber if you decelerated in a curve. The first time (and only time) I ever braked in a corner with that car (there was a sheep in the road), the effect was as if someone had violently jerked the steering wheel 90 degrees -- that is, the steering wheel itself didn't jerk (it fortunately was countersteering!), but the front end darted inwards (and the rear end darted outwards) with amazing suddenness. Years later, I can still remember that moment of youthful terror (but don't worry -- the sheep was fine)...)

2) The "ideal setup" is something that people argue over with great passion, so I won't get into that here! But in general terms, the more one can soften the lift-throttle oversteer effect in fast turns, the more we can remove understeer. One of the many interesting things about Peter's damper experiments is that dampers have a powerful effect here: when you decelerate in a corner, the initial forward weight transfer is almost entirely due to the shocks, and it's possible that careful shock tuning might soften that transition. So let's wait & see what Peter et al come up with this summer!
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Old April 4th, 2006, 16:24   #49
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Let’s look for a second on what the engineers have to accomplish for our streets car (often cursed for “bad” handling)….

Little bit background here: In Europe (for those who do not know) things are little bit different when it comes to car magazines and doing tests for new cars on the pages of those magazines. It is little bit controversial, because in America safety is always advertised so much, it would seem that it is really priority number one for the American buyer, yet the magazines (Car and Driver, Road and Track and you name it) barely include “safety” tests in their reviews. I put the “safety” in comas, as I did not mean the safety crash tests they perform, but tests that would show how safe a car is in panic situations, trail braking, lift over steer, etc. After all, those are the things we have to deal with almost every day and if it is not every day, then perhaps it is once in a five years time, but at that one time yours (and other’s) life can be on the table. So, in Europe, it is a lot more about how fast the car can go with the pedal to the metal, what is the fuel consumption (very important the poorer you are!), what is the power, etc. Only these days the safety talks are going more and more into people’s heads and only these days the big billboards that advertise cars start talking about safety, airbags, bla, bla – before was just some nice chick on the hood and there you go. I even remember few years ago some friends had to replace their older cars with newer models and were afraid of buying something that has airbags, because those things with the mini-explosive inside sounded just scary to have. At one point there was even this “wave” among young German guys, to go and steal a “modern” car that had airbags and go and smash the thing into a tree as to experience what it is like to have an airbag explode in your face. But even back then (more than 10 years ago), the European magazines were already performing all sorts of tests that show the true colors of the tested cars in every day situations that we have to deal with. And here are some of those tests, that they continue performing till today (and I hope will continue performing in the future), so we can put all the talks in this thread into a few scenarios, etc….

So, this first test I wanted to talk about is pretty interesting and speaks so much about why the makers set the cars the way they are. It is from an Italian magazine (called “Quattroruote”, which means “Four wheels”) and is perhaps the benchmark magazine for cars in that country. Comes out every month, but it is thick stuff, about 400 pages and every month they have few new cars to test, but the tests are pretty serious stuff, usually covered on about 10-14 pages, and when it comes to the “handling” tests, here is part of what they do:

Test 1.

Below we have the scene. It is curve with 170 meters of radius, set with cones as shown in the picture. The car drives on the outside of the curve (right) and goes through a photocell (it says there “Fotocellula”). Then it has another 5 meters till the last cone after which has only 20 meters to change lane and move to the left line (as to avoid the diagonal cones on the right lane). Once the cones are avoided, the car has to also remain in the left lane and not touch the series of cones that are on the extreme left border of the lane. It is basically a quick left and then quick right to align. Here is the scene and below an Opel later generation (Signum) negotiating the task (and for the records, the Opel manages 102 km/h max speed and that is with ESP, which in the car is impossible to switch off):



Now, the task here is this – To go through the photocell at the highest speed possible, after which the drive lifts the throttle and also manages to go through the cones without knocking down even one. (Those diagonal cones on the picture are all down, so the cameras can get good details on the tires, etc during every centimeter of the test). Basically, the driver has to do all he wants, but the highest speed at the photocell has to be achieved before cones start flying…… So, in reality, what we have here is a typical lift-throttle, obstacle avoiding situation. What makes this test interesting is that they have kept the piece of track for like 20 years now and nothing had ever changed, so all cars go on the exact same surface and configuration, making the tests a lot more reliable when it comes to comparing different cars through the years….

I have to go back and look for numbers, so you all see some interesting results, but on top of my head I remember that the Golf had been shining for years on that test. The A4 platform was a bench mark for its class for years and the rest of the manufacturers had to come out with electronics as to get even close to what the Golf A4 was offering! Later in the game some of them managed to get close (but with a lot more sophisticated suspension solutions!), but then VW introduced the Golf V, and guess who’s leading this test again! And it is not only in its class, but the Golf V is actually ahead of very well known cars for their “handling” capabilities. I will dig the numbers later as it is really interesting to see the ranks….

Then there is another one, a lot more simple (at first glance) but where the big mess happens from time to time:

Test 2.

This one is called (translated directly) the “The Elk Test”. If I am not wrong it was originated in the Scandinavian countries, where you would drive on this small two lane road in the night and suddenly there would be an elk in front of you, so you have to go quickly left-right-left and avoid the elk, without going out of the road. Here is the scene and a Lexus SUV pictured below going through the actual test:



This, by the way, is the very famous test on which the famous Mercedes Class A failed badly (rolling over!) and then the sky felt down, but I would love to give the microphone to Winston as I remember he had some interesting stories to tell about that Mercedes fiasco. Fact is, there are few cars that failed this test through the years. The very recent one being the Dacia Logan (a Romanian made Renault, econo car for the masses, which is really not bad for the money, as you better have a car than nothing, but who’s suspension I guess was made compromising too much, to fit a budget I am sure, so the car rolled in this test). Here is a picture of that same Dacia Logan at the same exact test:







Why all of the above? Because these two scenarios (and many others) are actually what really matters when it comes to a street car, meant for the masses, just like our cars are. Those guys in Wolfsburg spend years of developing the cars and it is really years, it is not something I made up. All that time goes so our cars can go through those cones above in the best possible way, at the highest possible speed and with the least trained driver behind the wheel. Those are the real tasks that safe life. I am sure they know very, very well how to make the A4 Golf (for example) be a lot more “fun” to drive, with a lot less under steer, etc – but a Golf like that perhaps will fail the above tests so badly, in the hands of the untrained driver, and so the corporate decision is to go with plan “B” – a car which the enthusiasts will not love, but in which everyone is going to be safe, regardless of their driving skills, road conditions, etc. And when looking at those tests above, our A4s and A5s are actually top performers, so it is not quite true that they “suck” in handling – they can actually “handle” those situations very, very well and car like that can not be called a bad handling car.

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Old April 4th, 2006, 17:29   #50
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Ceilidh, remember this saying (from Henry Manney at R&T, IIRC, "Hark the Herald axles swing"? Good thing we're not talking about camber compensators in VW bugs to keep the swing axles from jacking up. Now that was scary. Thanks for your post: at least I didn't run out and yank the Shine rear bar out of my wagon. I realize the TT spindles negative more positive camber as the car rolls, but they go postiive eventually. And the relationship between front and rear was, I think, what got the FWD TT in trouble.

Peter, I always buy Car and What Car when I'm traveling through Heathrow (can't read Italian) and the tests are so much more informative than ones in the US. And of course they get all the good cars, too. Maybe it's time to follow Dick Shine's advice, and leave everything alone and get better tires.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 17:37   #51
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I wonder how the SUV's that Americans love buying would do in that elk test ... That test is not kind to vehicles with a high center of gravity and soft suspension tuning with inadequate damping. When the car first turns left, it loads up the suspension in that direction, and then when the car turns right, it has momentum acting in roll from the suspension unloading in addition to the steering forces.

I can see how the first test would be unkind to a Porsche 911 without all-wheel-drive and without stability management. I've seen someone spin one of those on a motorway off-ramp. I saw the brake lamps on as the car entered the corner fast, and I knew it was not going to be good. (Fortunately, he didn't hit anything, but no doubt learned that you do not do that in a rear engine car!)

Trailing-throttle oversteer is tough to get rid of. If I'm reading this correctly, you need rear suspension that keeps the wheels vertical or induces slight negative camber as the rear unloads. That's possible to do with upper and lower link suspensions (e.g. VW MkV, but also Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and several others). Beam axle has other problems but is actually not bad here, because it keeps the wheels straight up no matter what the body does. Pure trailing arm (e.g. original BMC Mini, many Renaults, early 80's Toyota Tercel) is OK for this, but not good in body roll. MacPherson goes in the wrong direction when the rear unloads. I do know that my first-generation Honda Civic from many years ago, which had MacPherson all around, had vicious lift-throttle oversteer. Perhaps good on road rallies, but not good for the ordinary driver. First time I spun mine on dry road was when I was 16, with a driver's license about 6 months old ... The spin happened on a corner which crested a hill, and I can see now how that compounded the wrong geometry induced by the lift-throttle situation.

Great thread, keep it coming.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:11   #52
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quite possibly the best thread I've ever read from an information standpoint.

I don't have much to add, but a bit - and a question.

I've had my MkIV for about 8,000 miles now, and I'm absolutely still learning about it. I have a Nuespeed RSB waiting to go in, and I have played with disconnecting my FSB which had some unexpected consequences.

First, the FSB disconnect. I honestly didn't notice the car rolling much more than stock. Cornering felt squishier, but more consistant becuase that outside tire had more weight on it. I've been wishing for a Quaiffe since I first cornered the car hard to get rid of inside tire spin when accelerating out of a hard, slow corner usually in 2nd gear, and pulling an end link of the FSB did just that which was very nice. I'm hoping that when I put in the 28mm Nuespeed that it will accomplish roughly the same effect by limiting overal roll and keeping that inside front loaded a bit more so I can put power down exiting corners.

Until I started reading this thread I didn't know about camber steer, that has made me much more sensitive to exactly what my front tires are doing when I corner hard and I understand a LOT more about why my car is doing what it's doing, and recognise tire grip more thuroughly which is a very useful thing to be able to read. I now also recognize that the Neon R/Ts I drove at Road America almost 7 years ago were behaving very similarly at-limit, though in a 3 day driving school they didn't get nearly this in-depth about why the car was doing what it was doing.

I've read in another thread about how GTDI's setup is working and I as I come to understand more about it and why it's doing what he describes, I still think that it is probably putting him in a very similar place to where I want to be.

If I ever get around to putting the Neuspeed on I'm going to play around with it with and without the FSB on an otherwise bone stock suspension and see what I can see, I think it will be interesting. I'm somewhere between Slow Car Fast and GT with more than a little rally-style driving creeping in, and I'm really just aiming for what feels the best and makes me smile the most while being entirely predictable, rather than just the fastest. The roads where I drive are both curvy and hilly and I don't want unpredictable tail swing when I crest a hill coming into a corner when I don't know if there's oncoming traffic.

Finding a slow-moving school bus on the far side of a hill on an otherwise empty road makes me want better brakes too, but that's off topic for this thread (the bus and I - and my brake pedal as well by a smaller margin - were fine, with plenty of room to spare but I'm sure I could have fried an egg on my brakes, they faded BADLY).

EDIT: and of course I forgot my question.

with the massive caster angle we have, how does that factor in on a slow, hard corner. Definitely more on a concern for autoX than GT or Slow Car Fast, but with the camber that introduces at lock, that's got to have a huge effect in hairpins. As I drive, to the point where I feel totally neutral through anything that's slow and >90°, but with the front sway hooked up I have hopeless inside front tire lift and have no hope of powering out quickly.

I'm improving my trail braking technique and it's having a massive impact on turn-in, holding and follow through with the bar hooked up again though....
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Old April 8th, 2006, 02:18   #53
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Quote:
GTDI, please do tell us more! In particular, what are the situations that bring the tail around (i.e., what do you do to encourage it?)
To be honest I try not to encourage it too much. As of late however I think that I am getting a bit more comfortable with it. The other night Oliver came into town prior to us taking the rally car to the show in NC and one of the first things we did was jump in the car so I could show him what the car was doing. I have found it easiest to get the car to give this feedback when the rear gets a touch of lift (when cresating a small rise for instance). I think I felt it at higher speeds due to the slight rear to front weight shift when factored in with a slight roll from one side to the other. This has led me to wonder if the wing added to the TT was more than fluff, could it be that they wanted to keep the tail planted a bit better in just this situation?

Quote:
Do you need to "toss" the car, or can you bring it out with a little throttle lift mid-corner? Can you drive through it with steady throttle and countersteer, or do you need to feed in more power?
Good question but I have to say that I've found it to be a bit of none of the above. The two things I'm doing are 1) avoid the situation by trying to get a bit of a preload on the front outside tire when getting into a curve. If I can load it up a touch the car will not suddenly buck and kick as if its trying to kill me. 2) If it does kick it happens so suddenly that its hard to do much of anything. I just make no sudden movments or overadjust and let the car settle.

Quote:
When you say it happens at 65mph, can we assume that it would continue to happen at higher speeds, or do you mean there's a speed band in which it occurs?
You sure do know how to build to the big points don't you. I honestly don't know what happens at much higher speeds. While I tend to drive rather quickly I don't tend to turn hard enough to make this happen at 70+ mph on public roads as a matter of fact I don't try to turn much at all at those speeds. I will also admit that if I did have this car out on a track I would test this with some serious respect. I have honest fear that the car would kick so hard that it could come around and spin or even roll seeing as this is the feel it tends to give at that very moment.

I have not talked to Oliver much about what he felt and what his thoughts on the matter were much past the "thats what I'm talking about" bit while in the car but will be chatting with him about it sometime soon I hope.

I have however talked to Peter in regard to this about dampers in particular seeing as I am thinking that stiffer dampers will slow the rise and transition of the rear and help eliminate this problem. then again it could be more one of geometry and less of simple dynamic movment which would make for a whole other set of problems to fix.

Hope this helps a bit, if not drop me a note off topic and we can chat.

I would also say that after getting out of my car and getting into Olivers the feel is worlds apart. His car is very button down and reserved. Mine is more high strung with less feel and stability. I wish I could have taken the wheel and tires off his car and swaped them to mine for a bit but it is not to be at this point in time. New rubber will tell me a lot more soon.

I was also able to drive a new 2006 Civic and while my first few moments in the car were nice the long drive in it made me miss my own car. That civic may in fact be one of the most slow nosed cars I've ever driven. It almost felt in somesituations that it was pulling an ancor it was understeering so badly. If you pushed it hard however it actually seemed to feel a little lighter which was odd and the grip at the limits was good. Feedback was crap with the brakes giving no notion of what was going on where the rubber met the road. I think its a car that my mom would love and I'd put a 16 year old in but that car would try to suck my soul out if I drove it every day.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 12:38   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoFaster
I wonder how the SUV's that Americans love buying would do in that elk test ....
It will take some time for me to gather all the numbers as they are all in different magazines, so I have to go through them one by one, but here are some I got so far. This was a comparo among 11 SUV through the "Elk Test". Here is the way the got classified, but note how the ranking is not in order of the highest speed and I will explain later why:

1. Land Rover Discovery - 62.7 km/h
2. Porsche Cayenne - 59.3 km/h
3. BMW X5 - 58.9 km/h
4. VW Touareg - 61.4 km/h
5. Lexus RX 300 - 61.4 km/h
6. Nissan Murano - 59.8 km/h
7. Mistubishi Pajero Pinin - 60.0 km/h
8. Nissan Super Terrano - 58.8 km/h
9. Jeep Cherokee - 58.8 km/h
10. Volvo XC 90 - 58.5 km/h
11. Toyota Rav4 - 57.8 km/h

Now, as you can see, the Touareg (and Lexus) have the second best speed through the test, but only placed 4-th and 5-th (The Mistrubishi is in similar situation, performed well but placed behind). This because the ranking is based not only on the number, but also on the evaluation from the test driver. Basically, the car is capable to go with such high speed (comapred to the rest) but the tester felt that it takes extra skills for the final touch and in some cases the average driver may not be able to cope with what it takes to go at that speed through the test. For example, in one of the cars the ESP got little bit more brutal than the necessary, so the tester said "That could induce hesitation in the driver, which could lead to trouble", etc. So, that car performed well in the hands of the experienced tester, but they would place it lower on the list for the above mentioned reason.

To put these numbers in perspective, the Dacia Logan that rolled over from my previous post did so at 60.8 km/h and the New Mercedes Class A is (funny enough!) now one of the leaders in this test and goes through at about 65 km/h.

Another interesting thing is that the same magazine said (time ago) that the Jeep Cherokee actually rolled over during an American magazine test, doing simply 700 ft slalom (those tests that Car and Driver usually do, but they did not say the name of the magazine!), but the same car then performed pretty well (as you can see from the list above) in the Elk Test in Italy.

More data is I go through the magazines, but it will take me some time...
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Old April 8th, 2006, 13:54   #55
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Peter, I'd be very interested in a figure for the Grand Vitara if you should happen accross it...
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Old April 8th, 2006, 18:23   #56
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I just spent the day getting some firsthand experience of VW suspension engineering, although in an A3. I did a track day today at the road course at New Hampshire International Speedway. What fun! I went in my A3 because it's closer to stock (good for classification) and, as I've posted before, I feel very comfortable in it. I have Neuspeed Sofsports, Koni Reds on full soft, and a Neuspeed 28mm rear bar on the middle setting.

First, I have to say that this TDI is a blast to drive fast. Second, remembering that I was put in a group with other novice drivers, I had no problems staying with the Miatas on the track, as well as one poorly driven BMW 330i. And there was more than one time I pointed an Evo or WRX to pass me but they couldn't. Diesel rocks!

Anyway, the car's handling could only be classified as 'can do no wrong.' even with the rear bar the transition to terminal understeer was progressive and totally predictable. Not once did the rear come around, even when braking in a corner (remember, I'm a novice). And the smoother I drove, the better the car responded.

Summary: VW engineers do know what they're doing. We should do our homework before second-guessing them.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:48   #57
dingchowping
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Hi Pyce and Ceilidh,

Wow...what a thread! I rarely read any type of forums as much of their content I find to be unsubstantiated noise. But this...this deserves more than just a sticky. A spot in the FAQ would begin to do justice to the value of this information!

Now to the point of my post: I thought you might be interested in another data point on the handling issues (or virtues, depending on how you look at it) of the original unrevised TT suspension setup. My mom drives an early production TT 180 quattro (9/99 production date) which still has the original suspension, no rear spoiler, and no ESP. I've had quite a bit of experience driving this car in a variety of conditions including street, autocross, and track in a variety of conditions (everything except snow).

A bit of background so you know where I'm coming from: I attended my first track event when I was 18, about 11 years ago, and I've been instructing for the local Audi club for about 8 years now. Our events include traditional track and driver training events, autocross, and if conditions permit winter/ice driving courses, so I feel I have a fair understanding of vehicle dynamics. Until recently I was also involved with one of the small tuning shops you mention in one of your posts. I had to laugh at your description which is startlingly accurate. But what you don't mention is that these shops are selling components manufactured by very well known, very well respected companies. Its not just the fault of the little guys, its the tuning industry in general. But that's an issue for another post.

My years spent turning wrenches at a speed shop gave me a unique opportunity to drive a wide variety of VAG products with countless combinations of suspension "upgrades." The more aftermarket setups I drove, the more impressed I was with stock setups, especially my mom's TT. My first drive in the car after she took delivery of it, my dad and I took it up to an empty parking lot on a rainy night to see what it would to. I expected typical Audi quattro handling...IE sluggish turn-in followed by massive understeer. What I got was reminiscent of a term I first heard coined by Hans Stuck, "sneeze factor." The driver sneezes and the car changes lanes. On top of that, when the front tires broke loose, the rears were right there too, causing a 4 wheel drift. Whoa...a BALANCED Audi quattro???

My next opportunity to really explore what this suspension could do was at our Quattrofest event at Portland International Raceway a few years ago. The TT was one of the slowest cars I've driven on the track in terms of sheer acceleration, but its fantastic handling made it one of the fastest cars around track, allowing me to lap S8s, M3s, S4s, etc. The car was at its best in the first 4 laps, after that the stock Bridgestone RE040s got rather hot and "greasy" feeling, necessitating more throttle input to keep the car pointed where I wanted it with the reduced traction. However, the TT's chasis was so communicative that figuring out what changes to my driving were necessary to deal with the reduced traction felt almost intuitive. It was, and today still ranks as the most fun car I've driven on the track. Even my freind's 450 hp 4000 quattro race car comes in second to my mom's lowely stock TT.

Later that summer the club put on an autocross. In this context the TT really shone, as I was vying for fastest time of the day, the other contender being my future business partner in a heavily modified 2000 S4. Toward the end of the day the event master and course designer, who is a VERY experienced autocrosser asked if he could give the TT a run at the course. I tossed him the key, but before his run he asked if it behaved like a typical Audi quattro. I told him it tends to be a bit more neutral, but I probably should have told him to treat it like a Camaro as he proceeded to knock over about 14 cones, all with the back end of the car in an impressive display of tire squeeling and tank slapping. Oops.

My first experience with the MKIV chasis was a '97 Audi A3 that was owned by one of my students at a track event about a year before my mom got her TT. The A3 had been imported by H&R as a demo car, so they pulled out all the stopps, installing TT spindles, coil-overs slammed to the ground, and their biggest bars front and rears. Talk about a darter! This thing did NOT want to go straight. The front straight at Bremmerton raceway is rather bumpy, and every bump the car hit the nose would dart one direction or another. The worst bumps were in the braking zone too, which made driving this car an exercise in frustration, and driving it smoothly nigh on impossible. In fact the car's handling was so bad and the driver had to allocate so much energy and concentration to fighting the steering wheel that it was interfering with the driver's ability to take instruction and learn something. The owner sold it after a year.

I guess what I'm trying to say with all these anecdotes is given the right context the TT spindles can be A Very Good Thing. However they should be treated with respect, and associated mods should be done very carefully, otherwise you'll end up ruining what was once a very nice car.

I'm sure there are many, many people reading this thread (I among them) who wait with baited breath to hear what you have to say next, but todays post from IndigoBlueWagon brings up a very salient point. The single best way to improve the handling of these cars, or any car for that matter is not better tires, and it certainly isn't upgraded suspension, but rather improving the nut behind the wheel. Get thee to a driver training event and be blown away by how much you learn! I've been attending these events for 11 years, instructing at them for 8, yet I still learn a ton every time I attend one.

BTW, completely off the topic but I'm curious...Ceilidh is it safe to assume you have a Linn audio system in your living room? If you do, good on 'ya mate!

TTFN,
Adam
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Old April 9th, 2006, 07:30   #58
Ceilidh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingchowping
......BTW, completely off the topic but I'm curious...Ceilidh is it safe to assume you have a Linn audio system in your living room? If you do, good on 'ya mate!

TTFN,
Adam
(Sorry for the incredibly short, non-car post (I need time to digest the excellent recent posts!), but......)

How in the world did you know I have a Linn system in my living room????! It's a Classik + Ninka combo-- but how did you know that?

Hope to post later this week; all best til then!

- Ceilidh

Last edited by Ceilidh; April 9th, 2006 at 07:39.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 10:49   #59
peter pyce
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Adam, thanks for coming in! We have tried (and failed!) to find someone with an early TT who also knew the newer TT's and who also knew what he is talking about and who also knew how to write in details - and here you are, all in one! Please, please, on behalf of me and Winston and everybody else who's interested - do try to find some time and sit down and give us as much details as you can on that early model TT. Especially if you can do a parallel comparison with other VAG products, and even more, if you can compare it to a later, post-recall TT. I never had the chance to find one and to drive it, but reading about you and your background, I am sure your words will be enough to understand in depth what was the car's character and how did behave in the most possible to describe scenarios. Take your time, please, no rush, but we will be waiting (patiently, we try) for your in dept coments. Thanks in advance!

DPM - I know they tested the Grand Vitara, just can't recall the issue, but will keep digging, so eventually will find it.

To everybody else who posted above - I do understand some of you are expecting answers to their questions, but this weekend is really dedicated to something else, so please be patient, it will all come next week.

Last edited by peter pyce; April 9th, 2006 at 11:55.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 13:06   #60
dingchowping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceilidh
(Sorry for the incredibly short, non-car post (I need time to digest the excellent recent posts!), but......)

How in the world did you know I have a Linn system in my living room????! It's a Classik + Ninka combo-- but how did you know that?

Hope to post later this week; all best til then!

- Ceilidh
Hehehe...apparently it was just a very, very lucky guess. In the '90s Linn made a speaker called the Keilidh. My first exposure to Linn electronics was an Aktiv Keilidh system and I've been a Linn fan ever since. I just assumed by your sn that you had a pair of Keilidhs. I could also assume you're either Schottish, like parties, or both. But you know what they say about the word assume...;-)

TTFN,
Adam
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