Register Login
Mr FIAT - Your #1 source for vintage car parts
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 15-04-2008   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Flixton, Manchester
Posts: 1,914
Thanks: 107
Trader Rating: 2
United Kingdom 
Soggy understeer?

Can I just get a quick poll of people who've found the new 500 to have too much understeer?

A few of my friends have commented recently that the car refuses to oversteer at all even with severe provocation and understeers horrendously when pushed. Others have stated no such problem and find the car handles beautifully when pushed.

I'd like to try and work out what the common factor is so if you can mention what size wheels you've tried as well it would help. If you know your tyre pressures and what make the tyres are too even better.
__________________
78 1400 turbo dallara race X1/9 (for sale - please ask for details)
09 Abarth 500 (for sale - http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...=28906&cat=211)
98 1242 8v 6-spd Seicento (for sale http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...t=29817&cat=20) - engine seized so up for grabs
jimbro1000 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 15-04-2008   #2
Autotest Special
 
rallycinq's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 23,467
Thanks: 1148
Blog Entries: 3
Trader Rating: 1
rallycinq has donated!
British Indian Ocean Territories 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Conti 185/55s on 15s with a MJtd and the front is very obedient, thank you.

Cheers

D
__________________
rallycinq is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 15-04-2008   #3
Ulpian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: My flat mostly
Posts: 3,581
Thanks: 133
Trader Rating: 0
Ulpian has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

You wouldn't want a front wheel drive car to oversteer; unless you like lamp posts and ditches that is
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

Ulpian is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 15-04-2008   #4
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Valencia
Posts: 120
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Spain 
Re: Soggy understeer?

I don't think the 500 1.4 understeers much, but coming from a Panda 1.2 with eco tyres (polished wood might give more grip) perhaps it's just me.

Anyone that goes from a 205 GTI to a 500 will no doubt complain though.
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

valencia100hp is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #5
bairns, not bombs.
 
Venters's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hades by the River Styx
Posts: 8,701
Thanks: 377
Trader Rating: 0
Venters has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

You have ESP?
__________________
Venters is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #6
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 332
Thanks: 18
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Well, I am swapping between a 205 (not a GTi, though) and the 500 on a regular basis. The 205 was noted for terminal lift-off oversteer, and I would rather do without that, thank you very much. At the moderate speeds which I drive at I would say the 500 handling is pretty neutral - it just goes where you point it. No real vices or issues observed so far. This is a 1.4 Sport on 15" alloys with Michelin tyres, running at 32 psi front, 30 rear.

John
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

John R Smith is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #7
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Flixton, Manchester
Posts: 1,914
Thanks: 107
Trader Rating: 2
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

All opinions aside what I am trying to distinguish between here is why some cars have substantially more understeer than others.

Anyone experiencing terminal lift-off oversteer like the old 205 GTi in a 500 must be doing something very different and as for whether or not it is desirable is purely a matter of personal preference.

In this particular instance the owners of the cars are looking for generally neutral tending towards very slight oversteer when provoked, some cars are exhibiting this by default while others just understeer no matter what you do.

If you turn into a corner a little too fast understeer is preferable to oversteer but the ability to rectify the mistake by backing off the throttle to decrease the understeer is as vital to avoiding ditches and hedges as avoiding massive oversteer. It is this generally neutral balance that the cars are supposed to have.

So back to the original question then, can readers of this thread please provide their experiences (with their own car)? If you don't own a 500 or have never driven one it should be pretty obvious that you don't need to contribute.

Whatever my findings turn out to be I will post the conclusions here.

So far I have evidence of three different makes of tyre being fitted "as standard" and that seems to be the biggest lead I have...
__________________
78 1400 turbo dallara race X1/9 (for sale - please ask for details)
09 Abarth 500 (for sale - http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...=28906&cat=211)
98 1242 8v 6-spd Seicento (for sale http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...t=29817&cat=20) - engine seized so up for grabs
jimbro1000 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #8
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 332
Thanks: 18
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

If different tyres are being fitted therin may lie a clue. Another issue - when I checked my tyre pressures after delivery they were wildly over-inflated (poor PDI). If certain owners have never checked theirs, this might skew the results. Also to take into account - the 1.4 versions have different front springs than the 1.2 and 1.3.

John
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

John R Smith is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #9
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Flixton, Manchester
Posts: 1,914
Thanks: 107
Trader Rating: 2
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Subjective experience from testing a 1200 8v and 1400 16v back to back is that the spring rate difference isn't that huge and the understeer was similarly present *but* we couldn't check the tyre pressure at the time - hence the question I started with.

My personal favorite is the over inflated tyres but that's just me and I don't have enough evidence to prove it or a car on hand to try it out with.

Shoddy PDI wouldn't surprise me
__________________
78 1400 turbo dallara race X1/9 (for sale - please ask for details)
09 Abarth 500 (for sale - http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...=28906&cat=211)
98 1242 8v 6-spd Seicento (for sale http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...t=29817&cat=20) - engine seized so up for grabs
jimbro1000 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #10
bairns, not bombs.
 
Venters's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hades by the River Styx
Posts: 8,701
Thanks: 377
Trader Rating: 0
Venters has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Quote Originally Posted by The Beast View Post
You have ESP?
As this is more likely to lead to understeer than oversteer. I must admit our red sport dealer demo felt very neutral to me. But then I'm generally comparing it to the marea which despite some handling mods still understeers like a train.
__________________
Venters is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #11
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Flixton, Manchester
Posts: 1,914
Thanks: 107
Trader Rating: 2
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Quote Originally Posted by The Beast View Post
As this is more likely to lead to understeer than oversteer. I must admit our red sport dealer demo felt very neutral to me. But then I'm generally comparing it to the marea which despite some handling mods still understeers like a train.
Now ironically my Marea was nice and neutral and oversteered easily when provoked - no mods...
__________________
78 1400 turbo dallara race X1/9 (for sale - please ask for details)
09 Abarth 500 (for sale - http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...=28906&cat=211)
98 1242 8v 6-spd Seicento (for sale http://www.fiatforum.com/classifieds...t=29817&cat=20) - engine seized so up for grabs
jimbro1000 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-04-2008   #12
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lancs
Posts: 70
Thanks: 0
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

1.4 lounge, 15 inch wheels

feels pretty damn good to me (sport button pressed I might add, the weighting makes a world of difference feedback wise)

no noticeable understeer to report
__________________
1.4 lounge cha cha azure check cloth seats 15" multispokes

'waiting for the 2 pot turbo'
andyBBB is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 17-04-2008   #13
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 332
Thanks: 18
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Thinking again about the original question, it would seem odd if there were any great differences in road manners between a sample of 500s. Perhaps we might expect the diesel versions, which are a little more nose-heavy, to understeer a tad more. But on public roads it is very difficult to approach the limits of handling in safety - we would really need to do some track testing to come up with repeatable and meaningfull results. Also, as the Beast rightly points out, the 1.4 has ESP as standard, and this cannot be switched out. Anytime you approach the limits of adhesion, the ESP will kick in, and presumably (if it works as advertised) will attempt to bring the car back on what it thinks is the intended line. Quite how it knows where the corner is going is another matter (I suppose the fact that it is made by Bosch is a certain comfort).

Anyhow, in the interests of science I approached all the bends on the way home last night with a certain degree of verve, and can report that as I thought, the inherent balance of the car is neutral to mild understeer. In other words, the faster you go, the more steering lock you have to apply. Lifting-off did not provoke any unsettling shift of line or balance. I certainly would not categorize it as massively understeering or "soggy". The handling in general feels very similar to my old (1960s) Mini Cooper 1340, except that you are higher up and there is therefore a greater sensation of weight transfer to the outer front wheel. I think at this early stage the car could certainly benefit from better shock absorbers, and perhaps a modicum of lowering too. Compared with the 205, the 500 feels less precise and refined in the steering feedback that the driver receives - I would reckon to be able to put the offside front wheel over a catseye with accuracy in the Pug, but I'm not so sure about the 500.

It is interesting how few people have commented here - does no-one read the technical section?

John
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides


Last edited by John R Smith; 17-04-2008 at 10:32.
John R Smith is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 17-04-2008   #14
bairns, not bombs.
 
Venters's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hades by the River Styx
Posts: 8,701
Thanks: 377
Trader Rating: 0
Venters has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Fair few points there well made which I completely agree with.

Also most sections the technical subforums have fewer post i think mainly because the majority or members feel they are not mechanicaly knowledgeable enough to enter debates so tend to just lurk.
__________________
Venters is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 17-04-2008   #15
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Valencia
Posts: 120
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Spain 
Re: Soggy understeer?

Today I final collected my Panda 100HP from the dealer so I now have the benefit of having driven a 500 1.4 sport, Panda 1.2 and 100hp on the same road (industrial area with plenty of tight roundabouts and poorly surfaced tarmac).

My conclusion is that the 500 is the most neutral handling and composed of the three and has the best steering feel and weight in cornering. No soggy understeer here then!

I tried to achieve the same corner entry and exit speeds in the Panda 1.2 which had no ESP and skinny eco tyres but the body roll and lack of grip from the eco tyres made it feel very nervous and the front end didn't want to turn in.

The 100hp on the other hand has too light steering with sport mode off and I wasn't able to set it up for the tighter corners as the brakes were so efficient it slowed down too much. I think it would be the best handling of the 3 but will require practise to drive it on the limit whereas the 500 was easy to drive fast from the word go.

It is curious that three cars with the same floor pan give such different feedback. The tyres and suspension settings have obviously been chosen with different end users in mind. Would be good to compare them in the wet too and test the 16 and 15" 500 tyres. I have an inkling that the Michelin models would be better than the Continental which tend to be a bit harder.
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

valencia100hp is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Reply
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
(G) Weekend Understeer Hellcat Marea 10 14-10-2011 12:55
(T) understeer / suspention help Curtis Cinquecento / Seicento 10 14-11-2005 02:03
(G) Head gasket and now a soggy carpet embellina Punto (Mk2/2b) 9 12-10-2004 20:52
(T) Understeer in Sei smurfhead Cinquecento / Seicento 7 30-12-2003 00:46
(T) understeer ddpunter Cinquecento / Seicento 16 21-12-2003 02:28