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Rainy day= Bad day :( rear steer conversion)

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Old 10-05-17, 12:21 PM   #1
LEXXIUM
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Default Rainy day= Bad day :( rear steer conversion)

Hi guys,

i was driving to drop off my ffim at the local shop to get the mounting flange decked, well On the way back driving around 40 to 45 today changed lanes next thing I know my rear uncontrollably swangs around me so I tried counter steer **** got worse no help at the point I'm on the opposite side of the road sliding into oncoming traffic. Luckily they were about 50-100 yard away and we're able to slow down when they saw me coming at them, at this point I didn't panic just thought I need to brace myself, now car is swinging the other direction taking out someone's mailbox and I ended up in the grass spinning like a race car. I was shook up for a moment, but realized no one was hurt which is most important to me! I just a bent traction rod radiator support and a small dent on the hood
Im a very light weight in the back, no spare no spare wheel tub,. Which was contributing to traction issues in the wet weather oh and my rear tires didn't help either they did suck, luckily I did t have my rear wheels on the car I took them off to do bodywork!

TO ALL OF MY SC OWNER FRIENDS HERE BE CAREFUL!!!!!

I was blessed to walk away from this, without a thing, I could have been in a 5ft wide tree 3 ft behind me dead, if GOD WASNT THERE watching out for me!!!!


JUST BE CAREFUL GUYS!!!!
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Old 10-05-17, 12:31 PM   #2
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Glad to read no one was hurt. Property can be fixed....
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Old 10-05-17, 03:30 PM   #3
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Really glad you and other drivers weren't hurt. Duck05 is right. Things are better fixed than people are.

Do you have a Torsen or other LSD in your car, Lexxium? And what brand and type of tires are you running? This has been my concern in very rainy weather ever since I had a couple of very bad and frightening tail-out experiences in the rain on BFG KDW2's (which are a great dry traction tire but a dangerously terrible rain traction tire). An LSD (or at least a T-1 Torsen) can complicate the care needed for rain driving but changing to different tires that stick well in the rain helped me like night and day.

Still, driving slowly and deliberately with no sudden moves in the rain just to be safe (which I'm sure you did as all it took was a lane change to cause oversteer) is best and staying at 40-45mph was probably the prudent safe speed in your situation. Even then road imperfections can upset a car like this which has had suspension work done. When the dust has settled I would look into a different set of performance summer tires that get good reviews from owners of similar cars to ours. Personally I like how much better the BFG Comp2's are as all around tires in the dry and wet but there are several others that get good firsthand reviews from RWD coupe/sedan owners.

I hope you can get the rear suspension and front frame repaired back to original spec. Sounds (and looks) like this is possible which is good.

Mostly though, glad you made it through okay and unscathed. Having had a similar experience with a sudden 180 where traffic was oncoming (during which thankfully I and no one else was hurt and the car was miraculously not damaged) I can only imagine how this must have been for you. Ever since my own experience I have adjusted my rain driving technique considerably. But the tire change did make a difference too for what it's worth.

Glad you're all right (most important) and that your SC will be repairable soon.

Last edited by KahnBB6; 10-05-17 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 10-05-17, 06:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for chiming in guys!!

Kahn, I don't have lsd it's a 3.92 open diff rear end and can be snappy at times. I'd like to install one, but that would have to be after I fix this and drop the 2j in it,
Im glad I didn't have the rear wheels on because I wanted to do bodywork on the rear quarters, but at the same time ( if I did this probly wouldn't happen, because those have brand new tires on them).
the wheel and tire combo I was running was no good ls400 16s with worn Michelin tires, and I'm going to point this out that bad tires or suspension especially when lowered in wet conditions it's a dead sled!!!!
when I countersteered the car, it went the way it was supposed to, but it did it few seconds later I didn't expect that so when I spun out completely in different direction going backwards sideways towards the right curb took out the mailbox with my front corner of the bumper, lol the it hit the top of hood and flew off at this moment I'm in the grass still sliding sideways and backwards came to stop, my front new wheels when car spun around and made into driveway, the back ds wheel hit the right curb, the whole car kind of flew in the air theninto the grass like a race car lol.

This is my dd, so I really don't like it sitting in my dway too long so took the wheel off rear toe arm is bent and that's it looks like, so I cut it off took the balljoint part off it's gotten too dark I don't want to make any noises because I love my neighbors


In the last pic bolt isn't budging any pointers?
I can cut the bolt on the nut side, but the head of the bolt side there is no room for a blade...
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Last edited by LEXXIUM; 10-05-17 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 10-05-17, 06:42 PM   #5
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Another shot from a different angle where I cut it
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Old 10-05-17, 08:21 PM   #6
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You got lucky! These cars are iron ice skates and will break loose on the rear with out warning in rain and other slippery conditions. Hp vs no rear weight. Certain muscle cars I've owned have taught me a few things about proper rain tires. All season is a joke and tires have design qualities for certain environmental conditions. Mostly dry on performance type tires. A good rain tire should have a open lug pattern that sheds water to the outside of the tire, so as the tire does not hold water under it and cause the car to float on it and tire stays in contact with the road surface. Even with shopping for the right tread design I still am careful in the rain with the SC as it thinks its a motor boat some times and wants to float in the deeper water on the tire grooves worn in the road from traffic.
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Old 10-05-17, 11:36 PM   #7
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I've owned a bunch of different RWD cars and trucks, by far the Lexus SC is the most stable in the wet, at least when its stock and you have decent tires on it. Its way better in the wet than my old LS1 V8 Camaros or any truck I've owned.

Of course running bald *** tires like the OP, your car is going to be in trouble. I kind of hate where these cars have gone to now, where people just run them ragged, don't fix **** like bald tires, yeah lets make them a drift missle, run them ragged, wreck them, then scrap them. I have a feeling nice ones like my car will not exist in 5 years or so.
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Old 10-06-17, 07:46 AM   #8
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Glad to hear you're okay. Hope you are able to swap out some better tires in the foreseeable future.
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Old 10-06-17, 07:13 PM   #9
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I would cut it off on the nut side then and just use a punch and drive the bolt out after you cut the nut off.

Yeah probably wouldn't have happened if you had your new tires on. But like you said God was looking out but also teaching you a lesson.
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Old 10-06-17, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aron9000 View Post
I've owned a bunch of different RWD cars and trucks, by far the Lexus SC is the most stable in the wet, at least when its stock and you have decent tires on it. Its way better in the wet than my old LS1 V8 Camaros or any truck I've owned.

Of course running bald *** tires like the OP, your car is going to be in trouble. I kind of hate where these cars have gone to now, where people just run them ragged, don't fix **** like bald tires, yeah lets make them a drift missle, run them ragged, wreck them, then scrap them. I have a feeling nice ones like my car will not exist in 5 years or so.
Not to worry Arron, as long as there are people like you and I owning these cars a few of them will stay nice or better! One other thing that can cause sudden loss of control in the rain, is when it has been hot for awhile with no rain and oil has built up on the surface of the road, then when it rains it creates quite the slippery film on the road, almost like black ice. When I travel south to Va to see my brothers and it rains I know for certain I'm going to get held up on 64 south of Richmond because of wrecks do to this condition. In the north here, we learn to slide to stay alive!
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Old 10-08-17, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblerman View Post
One other thing that can cause sudden loss of control in the rain, is when it has been hot for awhile with no rain and oil has built up on the surface of the road, then when it rains it creates quite the slippery film on the road, almost like black ice.
BINGO. This is exactly what happens in most of California, or at least in southern CA when it rains. Being from Florida I'm not worried about driving in heavy rain (although you always adjust your style for the conditions) but what you've described really is a thing out this way because it can get very hot and it hardly ever rains and this allows oil to build up over time on some road surfaces since it just gets baked in. If you're in an area where there is oil buildup on the road surface you do have to be careful. I think most FWD understeer tuned cars are mostly fine in those situations (their handling is set up to be nearly foolproof) but when you have a modified RWD car you have to be extra careful and mindful of how your inputs affect handling on a potentially low traction road.

Still, a huge part of what let me breathe easier was switching from high performance road/track style tires (which did have rain grooves, just not very good ones) to a high performance road tire which still performed very, very well but had a better water dispersion groove design and overall a better rubber formulation for wet as well as dry. And I would never recommend all-seasons to anyone for anything. Further, hard low rolling resistance tires which are intended to net vehicles better fuel economy are not a good idea on an SC or Soarer.

In bad conditions you want the extra grip provided by a properly sized dry/wet high performance tire. I also think wider rear tires are a good idea on these cars. 255mm width at least (for snow tires though, maybe just 245-255mm and no wider).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblerman View Post
When I travel south to Va to see my brothers and it rains I know for certain I'm going to get held up on 64 south of Richmond because of wrecks do to this condition. In the north here, we learn to slide to stay alive!
With our cars in the rain I think the rule of thumb should be easy, smooth, steady, no sudden steering, accelerator or braking inputs. Basically the opposite of everything that works well in the dry

I've yet to put snow tires on mine and drive it through winter snow but I'd assume the same (with the addition of snow tires) also applies.

Also depending on some aggressive suspension setups it's probably not a good idea to lift off the throttle in some turns.

Since our cars have nearly the same suspension design, I feel this is worth posting again. Here's a good example of how a mostly stock Supra MKIV TT 6-speed (also equipped with the stock Torsen T-1 LSD which is known to "step left" under certain slippery conditions) with tires that have flat spots on them can snap on you suddenly and violently.

Notice how in the first instance there is almost no time to react to the subtle sign of what is happening. The second time the driver has figured out how to mostly prevent it from happening again despite the inappropriate tires for the conditions (I wonder if they are the same BFGoodrich KDW2's I used before). And add to that, it adds an additional factor to upset traction suddenly once boost begins to kick in.


(Note: at 3min and 7 seconds the driver flips a dash switch and tells his friend he has put the car into "true twin" mode. For 2JZGTE's that still have their sequential twin turbo systems this is an aftermarket electronic modification that can be added to make the engine run the two turbochargers in parallel mode only so that boost doesn't build quickly low in the rev range or come on strong and hard at about 4k rpm when the second turbo's pre-spooled boost would normally be released into the intake system. He can turn this on and off with a toggle switch. He's doing this to make the car's power band much more linear and predictable for the rainy conditions at the expense of the stock setup's maximum response at both low and high revs. Also, you can see on his dashboard that the factory traction control has been turned off. This would be expected since he's driving the car on a racetrack.)


Even without a turbo but with almost the same suspension and driveline setup I have had this happen to me in the rain with my previous model track-ish road tires.

Once it happens to you it's never forgotten and you learn how to avoid any inputs that would cause it like muscle memory. But the type of tires you have and their condition are still so very important.

For me, changing my tires to a model with reviews that suggested much better rain traction (like night and day) made the biggest difference. When I lost control that time it was going 25mph around a curve and all I did was shift into second gear and apply very light throttle when entering that turn. That was enough to set in motion a loss of traction that led to a 180 spin because I was not yet used to how easily it could happen (on those tires) and I did not make my counter-steering fast enough and probably not proportional enough. I also recall lifting completely off the throttle which was not a good idea with a 1.5-Way Torsen LSD. An open diff car would have reacted differently at that point. But the easiest two ways to have avoided it in the first place were 1) better tires with good tread... and... 2) not downshifting and then applying throttle into a turn in the wet.

I learned a few lessons that day and what I experienced was only so different from what happened to LEXXIUM with his SC having rear tires that had low tread on them.

It can happen to anyone if all the best factors are not in your favor. Granted, if you have a mostly stock SC with no LSD, good rain tires, no aggressive (ie: preferable) suspension setup and even the simplistic factory TRAC system this is probably less likely to happen. Still, it's the same kind of car and we all tend to modify the "sport" back into them that Toyota/Lexus worked so hard to take out when they were the showroom stock.

Last edited by KahnBB6; 10-09-17 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Added notes
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Old 10-08-17, 07:07 AM   #12
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Great explanation Kahn!!!
Yes, tires make a world of difference especially in our scs!!
Kahn, after watching the video that is exactly what happened to me, except when I spun around just like the Supra I ended up hitting the curb with my rear ds, my new front new wheels luckily made into the driveway.
i leaned a good lesson, even scared to drive my white one in the dry days

Last edited by LEXXIUM; 10-08-17 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 10-09-17, 12:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEXXIUM View Post
Great explanation Kahn!!!
Yes, tires make a world of difference especially in our scs!!
Kahn, after watching the video that is exactly what happened to me, except when I spun around just like the Supra I ended up hitting the curb with my rear ds, my new front new wheels luckily made into the driveway.
i leaned a good lesson, even scared to drive my white one in the dry days
As before, the important thing is that you're okay, the other drivers and their cars were okay and that damage to your SC is very repairable. I didn't realize at first that this happened in an SC400 VVT-i. The high torque and power probably factored into this and the TRAC system even for 98+ models still was limited to cutting the throttle and maybe some ABS modulation (but I could be wrong about TRAC using the ABS system directly rather than the two systems operating independent of each other-- I don't know). It still comes down to the tires. These things are basically very detuned luxury muscle cars that are a tad front heavy (a balance formula for a rear-drive car that I personally love despite it not being "ideal" like a near-50/50 car).

I wouldn't be scared to drive your white SC400. It is still a very safe car. Just make sure the tire treads and brakes are good (LS400 calipers on both I assume) and you'll be fine. An accident or scary near-accident experience is always haunting and makes us replay the event in our heads. Give it a few days or a couple of weeks if you need it and give the car another go. Your confidence will come back behind the wheel of your SC. Just apply what you learned from the experience. It's the only way

I don't try out that many tires to offer a comprehensive comparison but for what it's worth on my SC I swear by the BFGoodrich G-Force Sport COMP-2. This would be the NON-all-season version (avoid that one). Use them every day in the dry or in the rain (when it does rain). I've used it on my SC in frequently rainy Florida too. Very good all rounder tires in all but snow with very respectable tread-wear.
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Old 10-09-17, 08:34 AM   #14
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I think most of us here are guilty of getting caught up in the performance potential of these cars, and forgetting how quickly they can bite back if the conditions catch you by surprise. SC's seem to have a very high rate of fender damage...

I'm not above reproach, having gone into a crazy double spin when the suspension got unsettled by a small bump coming out of a sharp, banked curve in wet weather. It happened way too fast for me to be able to correct (likely the cause of the second spin), with the mass of the car whipping me around 180 degrees before I knew what happened. I was real lucky that there were no cars close to me, and that the second spin sent me down a side street instead of into the curb. I'm told that corner has had a lot of crashes over the years, but still.
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Old 10-11-17, 08:56 AM   #15
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Not trying to hijack the thread but I had a very similar close call in February on my way to work. I was in the left lane going too damn fast, and I knew it. The car swerved a little one way, I countered, and before I knew it the entire car was going backwards on the highway and I was embracing for impact with the tree. I'm very lucky it stopped before the tree. I gotta give credit to the curb because that seemed to slow me down a lot. I couldn't imagine if it happened a bit sooner and I plowed into that house.





Long story short I got all new tires after that. They were old Michelins, and on the car when I bought it. I put over 40K on them, so I can't knock Michelin at all, rather the opposite. I wound up getting some Bridgestone Comp's on A2's on sale. The feel identical to the Michelins, which I guess is a good thing. Oh yea, and as far as damage, there wasn't any. The car is a bit of a tank. I thought I was going to be late for work, turns out there were only 3 people in the building including me.
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