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I thought my Pt Cruiser was a good handling car...

 
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 09:56 pm
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Default I thought my Pt Cruiser was a good handling car...

Last week I got some new wheels and tires on my Malibu and it made a huge difference!! However, now I could not tell which car could out corner the other one... My Daily Driven Cruiser, or my dust-collector Bu.

So Tonight I went to take pictures of my car, and at the place I took the pics at, is a very small and sharp 1-lane corner. First up was the Malibu. I headed into the corner at about 23-25mph without touching the throttle. The car just glided through without any problems. I could have easily tackled the same corner at 30mph.

Next up was the Cruiser. Since this car did handled better, I headed into the corner at about 25mph... and I swear that car was ready to loose it!! No way I could have taken it any faster. Needles to say, I'm Kind of dissapointed. I still love my Cruiser, and it's a wonderful daily driver and a great car for taking trips... but a bigger (but not really that much heavier) antique car can out-corner it. Why is this?? (maybe it's the FWD)

And while I'm at it, I'll post a picture of my other car with the new wheels and tires (in case anybody might doubt me). Tires are 225/60/15 BFG Radial T/A, and the rims are off of a 80's Camaro Z-28 that I only paid $60 (for the whole set) at a swap meet.


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Old 26 Jul 2004, 10:29 pm
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For me, lowering springs and strut bar improved handling and was the best bang for buck, imo.
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 10:29 pm
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Konkeler,

What have you done to your Cruiser? Is it stock? I found out when I lowered it (lowering center of gravity) and added the upper strut bar, corners were a lot flatter and could be taken at higher speeds. A little wider tire and 7" aftermarket wheels with a wider foot print probably helps too.
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 11:18 pm
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Yeah, I'm very sure it's stock.

I'm not looking to spend much (if any) money on the Cruiser. I just thought that being a newer and slightly smaller car it woudl handle much better. But it doesn't. Also, I do not like FWD when it cames to true performance. I just do not feel like I have anywhere the amount of control that I do in a RWD car.
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 01:53 am
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Konkeler, don't fret; fwd is not what most drivers are used to. You have to learn how to drive fwd, whereas rwd seems natural, hanging out the rear end and controlling it with the gas peddle. I first started driving fwd Mini's in the early 60's when fwd wasn't fashionable (Saabs and Citroens). We drove with one hand on the wheel, one on the emergency break and both feet on the gas! You had to get the knack of throwing the car into a curve, loading the weight while giving it at full power all the while huge obstacles are coming at you at great speed. It's like a controlled crash, which never happens. I once looked at Hanns Stuck's Audi Quattro racecar after a performance at Watkins Glenn. He beat all comers, Porsches, Corvettes, BMW's and this with a four-door sedan with fwd!!! He had more bugs on the sides of his car than on the front! This man knew how to drive fwd.
To see some current action watch Speedvision World Cup Rally (WCR). They have awd but the technique is similar.
Find a back road! [8)]
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 02:33 am
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Quote:
quote:JPMS GT Posted - 07/27/2004 : 12:53:59 AM Konkeler, don't fret; fwd is not what most drivers are used to. You have to learn how to drive fwd
Right on John! The center of gravity is much higher on the PT than your Bu (Bu...about the cutest nickname for a car ever - and I can't believe I just called your car "cute".....that's my wife's influence....but I digress) which doesn't help, plus, as John indicated the FWD requires a bit of a different driving style.

Go to this link: http://www.classically-modern.com/pt...er_gallery.htm and download the video of this guy in England driving his PT on a road course up against some pretty decent handling British sports cars. I've talked to this guy, and the only thing he's done is to add a set of lowering springs and shocks - NO strut tower brace, NO anti sway bars. He has a Euro spec 2.0L non-turbo motor in his PT. Yes, this man knows how to drive, no doubt about it, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how the PT handles. I want to add sway bars to mine and maybe take it to Willow Springs Raceway and stick to a friend of mine with a Toyota MR2. Decent handling, Stage 1 power....I should be able to give him a run for his money - and drop some jaws in the process.

John, you and I need to talk sports car racing some time! And you need to spend a day at the drag strip with us too, if only so I can visit my original factory tail lights!
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 04:51 pm
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Mike, that video is just like my dreams, only the car is red!!!!! That was great.[8)] I've got to get over to PTTuning and look at some springs, shocks and anti-sway bars. Willow Springs would be a kick, I'm on for that. Keep me posted on the next drag event and I'll try to make it. TThrift should have come through by then.
Konkeler, bring both cars and we can see which one is the fastes in a quarter mile!

John [^]

OOOOPs! No beer in the pits!
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 08:40 pm
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I've gotta agree with the other guys, the PT will handle, you just have to do some practice. I can usually take a sharp turn with a reduced speed limit at about twice the posted speed. No suspension modifications, no tricked out tires. I also have a 5 speed, which may give a little more ability, but not much. You can go for a freedom designs strut bar for about $100, and get a set of BTG springs for about $140. That is not bad money to seriously improve your handling.
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 09:11 pm
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I heard that the PT's and SRT-4's feel like they will lose control later than most people think. Being FWD, they feel like they will lose control early, but you can actually push them a bit harder around courners. Practice on tracks and open deserted roads is the only you'll find out your cars real handling potential.
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Old 28 Jul 2004, 12:57 am
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I'd like to try it on a skid pad to see what the breakaway points are and how to improve the driving of a stock GT. I agree with SakiGT that the best $500 performance improvement is Driving School. I recall Tommy Kendall did a test of the GT, I think an '03 GT with a driving school instructor and they were flailing them arond like race cars, one 5 speed and an Autostick. Of course they were provided by DCX and 'if I wreck it', so what.

John
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