Sliding on bitumen

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:27
ThreadID: 84622 Views:4139 Replies:17 FollowUps:3
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My wife has just had a very big scare when she was driving my Nissan Patrol down the range in the wet when suddenly it slid out and she did a 180. luckily there wasn't any other traffic at that time of the morning. the nissan has a Brunswick conversion in it.
when we got home, i checked things out to see what i could find. the only things i could find that might contribute to the slide out is the sway bar bushing is worn and there is slight play. also there seems to be some play in the back wheel bearing, but that could be the sway bar knocking.
i am running 17" Cooper ST and they all have around 38-40 PSI and in good condition. I have just had new springs installed.
can anyone offer any suggestion as to why it would slide out? I managed to get it to slide on the roundabout when putting the foot down (under controlled conditions) in the wet. Could it be that the Cooper ST is not good on wet roads?
if there is anyone with some suggestions or opinions, i would appreciate it.
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Reply By: Nev (TAS) - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:37

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:37
Hi John,
could be there was a patch of oil on the road. Has happened to me before.
AnswerID: 446654

Reply By: Member - Tanka (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:37

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:37
Could be as simple as a bit of oil or diesel on the road. You can't always see it and can give you a big surprise halfway around a corner, no matter which tyre you choose. Has happened to me before.

Cheers Tanka.
AnswerID: 446655

Follow Up By: Member - Tanka (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:40

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:40
But after looking up what a Brunswick conversion is, I might add that with offroad tyres, one would have to be very ginger with the right foot in wet conditions with the amount of torque your vehicle would be putting out.

Cheers Tanka.
FollowupID: 719037

Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:40

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:40
Going too fast?
AnswerID: 446657

Reply By: vk1dx - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:47

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 18:47
Three things can cause problems. Those being the driver, the car and then the environment.

For the enviroment look at the road conditions etc.

I wont venture into your wifes driving. I will leave that up to you. But going too fast and breaking on a corner is also a big contibutor. Getting distracted for a second and "whoops" overcorrecting. No more for me in that area. fair enough???

You said the car is fine so that now leaves the environment. I would question the choice of ST tyres for a wet bitumen road. Are the brakes properly balanced. Not gripping unevenly? For the environment: Water, mud, oil or gravel wont help. Wrong camber. Sun in the eyes.

I would hazard a guess though at tyres or speed.


AnswerID: 446659

Reply By: Roughasguts - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 19:36

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 19:36
We have slid out the old gutless NJ Pajero on damp roundabouts. I have put it down to old hard desert duelers front and back. It never did this with new tyres.

So now we take it a lot easier in the wet, until the tyres go bald or we replace the Paj with something newer.

AnswerID: 446660

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 20:36

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 20:36
Sounds a bit like playing Russian Roulette!
FollowupID: 719048

Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 22:53

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 22:53
I can get my hilux, 1982 rear wheels spinning in wet with moderate to bugger all throttle, and don't ask me about roundabouts, i can drift the 1.8 ton vehicle around most roundabouts with a touch on the throttle.

I was driving a triumph sedan, that suddely broke traction with a slight touch of brakes, and whoops rear end did a 180.

so any number of things. and i wasn't going faster then 20 -30 kph, go figure!!!!
FollowupID: 719071

Reply By: splits - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 21:28

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 21:28

Many years ago I read a magazine interview with Peter Brock about the changes he made to the Ford Mavericks (Nissan Patrol] that he modified soon after leaving Holden in the 1980s. Two of the things he did was increase the power by an exhaust change plus a few other minor things and change the sway bars to "dial out all oversteer because the average driver can't handle it".

What has happened to your wife is the result of oversteer. The extra power and torque of the conversion may have altered the car's handling characteristics. Combine that with a wet road and off road tyres and it may now be a bit more difficult to handle in those conditions.

You said the springs are new. If they are not stock and the sway bars are then there could be a problem there. Oversteer is too much weight on the outside rear wheel. Understeer is too much on the outside front. As you increase the weight on a tyre in a corner, you reduce its traction. Sway bars help to compensate by transferring weight back to the other side. A stock bar may not be as affective when working with higher rate springs

This is not an easy problem to solve here. It could be anything from the way the car handles after the conversion to the road surface, the tyres, your wife's driving style, the road camber etc. etc.

All I can suggest is if you or your wife think the car is not the same any more then maybe you can get a driver from an advanced driving school or someone experienced in suspension tuning to try it on a closed circuit in both wet and dry conditions and see what they think.
AnswerID: 446670

Reply By: donk - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 21:39

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 21:39
I have never had coopers so this is 2nd hand but i have often read on various forums that cooper st's slide without to much provacation on wet roads when they have some wear on them

Regards Don
AnswerID: 446672

Reply By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 22:24

Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 22:24
hi desert storm
i have had 2 sets of st coopers and i had the same thing happen with my mazda bravo
i can assure you it wasn't caused by excess power but by the coopers
i found on many occasions on wet sealed roads they would break away and lose grip when you least expect it
i tryed different tyre pressure to no avail ive been caught on roundabouts and t junctions and just bends on any road and i got that way the when ever it was wet i was always on alertand was glad to get rid of them having had 3 close shaves with other vehicles while slidingand this while they still had 1/3 of their tread left

and it is scarey and i have had to quickly counter steer to avoid losing it
i have driven over the same areas since on bfg's in the wet without the slightest problem

i even went and looked at the road to see if there was any signs of oil slick but could not see any
i have used many brands of tyres in my long driving career and have found the st's the worst wet weather tyre of any particulary on wet sealed roads together with cracking tread lugs and casing separation
i would not ever buy another set of coopers full stop despite what others will claim about them
give me bfg's anytime
cheers barry
AnswerID: 446678

Reply By: Madfisher - Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 00:04

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 00:04
We have Coopers on the back of sals Jack and it is very dicey in the wet. Also my mate has the Sts on his Rodeo and while he like their off road performance is getting rid of them asap.
They are a hard rubber compound and get worse as they get older.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 446691

Reply By: V8 Troopie - Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 00:09

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 00:09
Doing a surprise 180 going downhill happened to me some years ago, driving a honda civic.
The cause turned out one rear brake cylinder had leaked and oiled the brakes up (drumbrakes in that car).
Might be worth checking your brakes for uneven performance.
AnswerID: 446692

Reply By: Member -Toonfish - Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 00:50

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 00:50
they are a fairly hard tyre if tyres are cool thye can quite easily slide or skid as my wife also found out.

dont think i have ever badmouthed a cooper (guess i just did).
2013/14 around oz adventure bound

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AnswerID: 446694

Reply By: skylion - Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 09:32

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 09:32
With all other factors accounted for - speed, oil, vehicle condition, driving ability etc my thoughts / experience is as follows.
Our NL pajero would easily spin tyres and slide on wet bitumen. As soon as the road surface became damp slides and drifting were common. The LSD is working so both rears would spin or slip and sideways we would go when accellerating or 4 wheel drifts when cornering. On one minor hill we had to select 4wd to get going from a stand still (youngs crossing road, petrie, qld)....The tyres had heaps of tread left - down to 7mm of tread depth at their most worn and 9mm at the best and the road was damp/wet not streaming.
In our situation it had nothing to do with tread depth, we did not hit puddles and aquaplane. It was all to do with the condition of the rubber. The tyres (cooper atr) were over 4 years old and the rubber had gone hard, even some shine on the tread surface, so no grip. They had done approx 40,000km, mostly touring with a camper, so had been great in this regard with excellent wear etc. But the heat cycles had hardened the rubber making them less effective on wet bitumen.
So we replaced with new technology new tyres, (bridgestone 694). Sliding in the wet on the same roads with no other changes to the vehicle now requires serious provocation, not normal driving. But who knows how they will be in 4 years...
In summary, this is unlikely due to the specific tyre brand we had, but the rubber condition. If your rubber has gone hard or is more than 3 years from manufacture date, replace it before you go bush without intending. There are plenty of buyers for old 4wd rubber.
AnswerID: 446699

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 09:33

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 09:33

I have 16inch ST's on my Troopy and a 6.5l chevy and have never had problems with the ST's, I will be changing them soon as their they are getting a bit long in the tooth.

I had traction loss happen twice with wranglers that had 65000K on them as I was coming down to the same highway intersection at a conservative speed, the Troopy aquaplaned on the wet surface and scrared the hell out of me. I checked for oil and clay on the road from cane haul out but the surface was good. The tyres were quite a few years old so I got rid of them and no more problems.

Have a good one.
AnswerID: 446700

Reply By: Member - Desert Storm (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 12:46

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 12:46
thank you everybody for all your input. I really appreciate it.

AnswerID: 446725

Reply By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 12:56

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 12:56
This is a pretty common occurence with a wet road after a week or so of hot weather. The tarmac builds up residue from tyres, exhaust, brake dust, pulverised bitumen, oils etc. So a nice slippery skin is between you and the road.

Could happen to anyone.
AnswerID: 446727

Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 16:20

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 16:20
thats the poblem with high milage tyres

coopers advertise how their tyres outlast others
- what they dont tell you is the trade off with a harder compound is lack of grip

it rained a few weeks back in perth and my mates hilux had just been fitted with whatever tyres ge the best milage (dont recall the brand)

and he had the same issue he was sliding around in a manor that would make a fully sik drift car look tame - and thats with 2.8 litres of pure diesal grunt

where as I couldnt get my goodyear mtrs to spin if I tried
AnswerID: 446749

Reply By: Member - Desert Storm (QLD) - Monday, Feb 28, 2011 at 15:40

Monday, Feb 28, 2011 at 15:40
Would poor suspension or worn sway bar bushing have any effect on making the car slide on wet roads?
AnswerID: 446879

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