Ray, say something about RWD vs FWD
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    Ray, say something about RWD vs FWD

    I feel like an argument.

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  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Well, against RWD, Peugeot style...

    It's hard to get the gearbox out.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! AxGT's Avatar
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    FWD burnouts arent as coool

    *disclaimer, just feeding the trolls*

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    SMP addict pugjet's Avatar
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    ... touche roll_lau ... you guys .

    As interesting as this thread will be, i wonder if anyone knows why the small car segment has almost soley ( apart from bmw's 316i and ti models - theyre the only two that come to mind) relied on front wheel drive models?

    Could the only reason for this be for its initial low cost?

    Also wonder what advantages a rwd small car would have over a fwd variety... hmmm

    chin cheers! chin,

    pugjet

    EDIT: corrected the lameness of this post mallet

    P>S. in respect to handling, large front wheel drives have left nothing to be desired... from what i have read, the Avalon, Magna (only just), and SAAB 's (as if mallet ) are the only models that have successfully applied this concept (large, front wheel drive).

    <small>[ 12 December 2002, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: pugjet ]</small>
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  5. #5
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    AxGT:
    FWD burnouts arent as coool
    Yeah, but it's much easier to actually spin the wheels in a FWD.

    Dave

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! DTwo's Avatar
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    pugjet:

    As interesting as this thread will be, i wonder if anyone knows why the small car segment has almost soley ( apart from bmw's 316i and ti models - theyre the only two that come to mind) relied on front wheel drive models?

    Could the only reason for this be for its initial low cost?
    Lower cost is one reason,

    The others are, space.....driveshafts, more complicated rear suspension, diffs etc all take space...(try sitting in the back seat of an escort or rwd corolla)

    And weight.....you can build a lighter FWD car than RWD

    Then theres lesser concerns like driveline power loss etc that FWD doesn't suffer to the extent of RWD

    Horses for courses, there are good and bad of both FWD and RWD.....

    Ultimately FWD doesn't scale dynamically to large/big cars as well as RWD does.

    <small>[ 12 December 2002, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: DTwo ]</small>
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  7. #7
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    pugjet:
    .

    Could the only reason for this be for its initial low cost?
    That's half the reason why they are FWD. It does make assembly much more efficient.

    BUT the other big factor is that with very little development you can get a FWD to handle acceptably, whereas it takes alot more chassis fine tuning to get a brand new RWD set-up to handle acceptably.

    Given heaps of time and money, either system can be made to handle very well, but with a limited budget and limited time, FWD is the easiest to get satisfactory first time.

    Excellent RWD cars handle as well as excellent FWD cars, but cheap and nasty RWD cars handle alot worse than cheap and nasty FWD cars.

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  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! DTwo's Avatar
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    davemcbean:
    pugjet:
    .

    Could the only reason for this be for its initial low cost?
    That's half the reason why they are FWD. It does make assembly much more efficient.

    BUT the other big factor is that with very little development you can get a FWD to handle acceptably, whereas it takes alot more chassis fine tuning to get a brand new RWD set-up to handle acceptably.

    Given heaps of time and money, either system can be made to handle very well, but with a limited budget and limited time, FWD is the easiest to get satisfactory first time.

    Excellent RWD cars handle as well as excellent FWD cars, but cheap and nasty RWD cars handle alot worse than cheap and nasty FWD cars.

    Dave
    That's an excellent point.....

    Alot of pro RWD drivers forget alot of the garden variety RWD cars that had downright dangerous handling in the 50s, 60s & 70s

    lots of FWD cars are as dull as dog poop but at least behave predictably
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  9. #9
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Where did this guttersnipe assertion come from?

    Sure some cars handle badly, but I don't think it was restricted to RWD cars at all.

    Though the demands of FWD (going against Dave's comment above here) probably demanded a little more pre-production development work.

    CV joints held things up for a long time, too, I think...

  10. #10
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Ray Bell:
    Though the demands of FWD (going against Dave's comment above here) probably demanded a little more pre-production development work.
    Yeah Ray, this was the case in the early days, but by the late 1960s, once CV joints were good and cheap, and the basic parameters for FWD were well known (negative offset, etc), it made it very easy to design a FWD car which atleast handled predictably from the outset.

    I can't think of very many FWD cars which were designed since that time which have not been reasonably predictable handlers on the limit (that's not to say there wasn't quite a few with low limits of adhesion and poor ride quality).

    On the other hand, I can think of plenty of RWD cars designed even in the last 20 years which have unpredictable handling on the limit.

    Dave

    <small>[ 12 December 2002, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: davemcbean ]</small>
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  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! DTwo's Avatar
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    Ray Bell
    [QB]Where did this guttersnipe assertion come from?

    Sure some cars handle badly, but I don't think it was restricted to RWD cars at all.

    [QB]
    Which?

    I don't think anyone has said that only RWD cars handle bad.....These days just about every RWD car still made handles rather well.
    A far higher % of RWD cars made handle well these days than the majority of FWD butter boxes, that has more to do with the segments of the market they occupy rather than design issues though.

    I think it is generally accepted that a poor handling FWD car is more predictable/"safer" in the hands of an average driver than a poor handling RWD car.

    There are always exceptions, eg i'd almost always consider oversteer in any RWD car more controlable than a FWD car.......

    Most average handling FWD cars won't oversteer without heavy provacation.....and is usually not the way they progressively lose grip
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  12. #12
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I have to admit that this was a kneejerk reaction of mine... poor handling RWD cars seem, in my mind, to be limited to some of the early Jap stuff... Capellas and 808s come to mind.

    Also I was probably thinking of the fun factor... and I must also say that I've heard very good reports about the handling of the Austin Kimberley.

  13. #13
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    A couple pop to mind....Marina's, LJ toranas, some of the early coronas were a bit scary....Beetles are were very scary on the limit

    I had a kimberley/tasman for a while

    It was heavy and not so fast, needed he-man's arms to park it......on dirt it handled fantastically though.....have no idea why....wasn't too inspising on road
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  14. #14
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    I was reading a textbook on racecar dynamics and it turns out that it's no wonder that 404s are predictable handlers. The suspension types they use means that it's very hard to get the handling wrong.

    According to the text book, torque tube rear axles with coil springs and a panhard bar are the easiest form of rear suspension to tune. That is why NASCAR racecars use a variation of this type of suspension location (a variation which replaces the torque tube with I beams and allows them to use an open propellor shaft).

    Also, from reading the textbook, you realise that Macpherson struts are very benign too, due to the fact that the camber naturally changes very little with travel, compared with other forms of front suspension, so they're very predictable.

    But, you also find from reading the textbook that the short and long arm suspension used on the front of the 403 and 203 is a better type of front suspension to use, if you do your geometry homework and workout the placement and length of the components correctly.

    So I was happy when I read this, because guess what suspension I'm using on my Peugeot special? 403 front supension, and 404 torque tube rear suspension. According to the textbook, all I'll need to do to tune the understeer/oversteer is have a number of different holes for the body mount for the panhard bar, so I can adjust the rear role centre. It's dead easy. I'm looking forward to finishing and driving it. Should be great for 4 wheel drifts!

    Dave

    <small>[ 12 December 2002, 01:23 PM: Message edited by: davemcbean ]</small>
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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    There are always exceptions, eg i'd almost always consider oversteer in any RWD car more controlable than a FWD car.......
    well it depneds on your upbringing...

    Me learing to drive in a litte rice box of a charade.. (which i still love so deraly) i find is a sinch to control oversteer effectifly...

    you simply plant your food on the gas.. lol
    not rocket science... lol

    as long as the wheels are pinting in the right driection that is.. all drams should be avoided..

    Driftingin a fwd is just so fun.. not like the black magic that is involved in controlling a RWD effectivly in a similar situation... But if i spent the time to learn how to use a RWD car proberly.. i wouldnt be so bais towards the dirt and mud loving charade.. lol

    Works: 1999 Volvo S40 T4, (has Choo Choo's)
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  16. #16
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    as i am someone who has driven many miles and some of them pretty near the edge in both RWD and FWD cars they both have their fun points
    they also both have their good and bad points
    if i had the option of say driving a mini or a KE10 corolla i'd go the mini for a fun day at the track but then if you compare the mini to a galaxy for handling, well we all know the answer to that one
    then the 80's hot hatches came along
    given the choice between a falcon and a 205 i'd pick a 205 for fun and the falcon for the sheer ability to hang that rear end out
    then we have the 90's and more and more jap FWD's have hit the roads
    getting power to the ground in a FWD can hard especially in the wet but then a RWD car you get a lot of oversteer (even though car makers are dialling a lot out these days)
    a good twisty mountain road (macquarie pass) is fun in both forms and having driven it enough times over the years my PB of 4m56s sign post to sign post stands in both a V6 504 and a 405Mi-16
    which one was more fun ?
    neither
    which one would i rather work on ?
    V6 504
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  17. #17
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    P>S. in respect to handling, large front wheel drives have left nothing to be desired... from what i have read, the Avalon, Magna (only just), and SAAB 's (as if ) are the only models that have successfully applied this concept (large, front wheel drive).
    Hmmm, strange thing to say. Now lets look back at the 1930-50's, ie: Traction Avant or if you like Light 15. These cars would be considered 'big' I guess, they corner VERY flat with little bodyroll and handle extremely well even by todays standards. Fast forward a lot, BX16valves & Mi16's don't handle well?? OK, what about Xantia Activa's with no body roll??

    What car was it that one a lot of the incredibly difficult rallies that most cars failed to even finish ..... Hmmm, that would be a Citroen 'D' (but really they are big understeering barges .... Still compare one to a 50's, no 70's holden eek! eek! ). What about 2litre racing, ie: all the jap & european brands, most of 'em are front wheel drive, the front wheel drive's are whipping what's left of the rear wheel drives arses....

    I've driven new Magna's and I'm not impressed, I really don't see any progress handling wise over all the old European cars (hey were talking handling not overall speed/ability/quietness etc).

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  18. #18
    SMP addict pugjet's Avatar
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    Hi Shane,

    As interesting as they sound, I do not know anything about those fwds of the 1930s - 50s, so i'll take your word for it wink .

    The 2 litre super tourers are absolutely amazing to watch. One series i remember is the year Laurent Aiello (in his all-conquering 406) dominating rwd bmws and awd audis in their own backyard, to win the german touring car cup.

    Bx16vs, mi-16s, and xantias have always been known for benchmark road manners.

    When i mentioned, large fwds, i was referring to Foolcan and Commondore sized barges, and not the medium sized cars u speak of - 406, xantia, others are the mazda 6, etc, etc.

    I have not driven (yet) a large fwd car. My remarks are purely based on what i have read in our broadsheets. It just doesnt seem as though large fwd cars handle as well as their rwd counterparts.

    cheers cheers! ,

    pugjet
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  19. #19
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Hold it there, Shane...

    The BMWs were ballasted to a higher minimum weight because they whipped the FWDs in 2-litre racing.

    But that's a minor issue...

    What does it matter if there's body roll? That has nothing to do with handling... other than it's a part of the driver-signalling mechanism that helps one know just what a car is doing.

    Let's face it, to avoid body roll, you have to degrade the traction on the inner tyre and load up the outer one to a greater extent... the one that's already carrying most of the load.

  20. #20
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    So Ray has driven a 2CV as well (ie: anti roll). If you want big cars and FWD think 'D' & CX's. Sure they aren't as fast around low speed corners as a well setup RWD, point to point, across town/country I know what I'd rather be in. Especialy if you throw in rough roads, gravel tracks, rain and a few corners wink

    I thought this might interest you, in the wet skinny tires are brilliant as we all know, so I thought I'd post this, I got it off a mailing list today:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    The end of november me and my colleges were planned to join a
    driving training on a sliptrack.

    We drove with almost new VW's. 2 Golfs TDI and 2 Transporter TDI
    vans. All off them equiped with ABS.

    After some explanation we went on the track.

    There was a track which was artificially made slipperly to practice.

    The idea was to make an emergency stop on this slipperly part of the
    track.

    We did this with 40km/h. Of course the Golf stopt earlier than the
    VW van.

    I must tell you all cars had 6-7 mm profile on the tires and the
    brand was Continental.

    Because I came with my "57 2cv AZU I asked the instructor if I could
    try it. (4-5 mm on the front and 2-3 mm tires (Michelin X) on the
    back)

    Of course he said.

    So I did it. With 40km/h I started breaking and amazingly my braking
    distance was alot shorter than the VW's. And I do not have ABS!!!

    I tried it again braking without the wheels blokking and the
    distance became even shorter!

    Damn, a lot has changed in that 45 years of car industries...NOT!!!

    FACT:A 45 year old 2cv has a shorter braking distance than a brand
    new ABS equiped VW!

    So much for this test.

    The next one was to brake with the left wheels on the slipperly
    track and the right site on the normal track.

    Here the VW's ABS is better it stops straight no problem.
    The 2cv still has a shorter braking distance but with 70km/h it
    spins 360 degrees (like any other non ABS car) Spectacular!
    Until 60 no probs..

    The 3rd one was to corner the car on the slipperly track through an
    imaginary road. At 30km/h it was over for the VW's.

    But the 2cv steers its way through the track, NO PROBLEM!
    40km/h NO PROBLEM, 50 km/h NO PROBLEM! Not even the slightest
    understeer!

    Then I thought I will run it with 60-65 km/h on the normal track and
    then steer the car hard on the slipperly part to let it slip 360
    again....

    But no...to much grip & it let itself manouvre through the bariers
    with a little controlable understeer....

    Even getting of ofthe gas inthecorner couldn't create oversteer...!!

    Amazing!!!

    The instructor and my colleges were shocked!!!

    Not bad for a 45 year old car no?

    I rather make an emergency brake in 2cv with worn Michelins than in
    a brand new,German made,ABS equipped vehicle with new Conti's that
    cost an awfullotof Euroos....:-))

    Pictures on:
    <a href="http://members.lycos.nl/besteleenden" target="_blank">http://members.lycos.nl/besteleenden</a>

    go to: Drive training 2cv

    MArtijn

    -----------------------------------------------------

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
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  21. #21
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Yes, these modern wide tyres are on heavy cars, aren't they?

  22. #22
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    pugjet:
    I have not driven (yet) a large fwd car. My remarks are purely based on what i have read in our broadsheets. It just doesnt seem as though large fwd cars handle as well as their rwd counterparts.
    It's more a problem with large FWD cars with big engines with 300Nm+ torque outputs. There isn't too many of these in Australia, but in America they sell a few, but they're yank tanks so you can't expect too much.

    Dave
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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    How I didn't kill myself in mums bright orange RWD 120Y, running cross-plys when I got my licence I'll never know. The morris 1500 that followed(FWD) was no great
    shakes either.
    I guess I haven't driven too many GREAT FWD luxury cars. Well, none at last count. From 164 to 9000 to 166 and 607, 200 bhp+ through the front wheels in an auto, and the subsequent shenanigans, makes the car feel cheap. All these are flawed cars. Out of character with what the market expects. Having said that, for mine you can stick your FWD or RWD luxo-barges where the sun don't shine. Full stop. Hate 'em for their bulk and dis-associative driving experience.
    They suit some people however, and from my experience the only difficulty a Prestige car buyer will have with a FWD car is what he reads from the journalists about torque-steer or that it is not German (or a Lexus). Not too many Prestige buyers will ever test their cars handling out. Front or rear wheel drive.
    I remember, trying to sell a new pug to some guy who had a 735i to trade. We couldn't do a deal because he wanted more than $6000 for his car as a trade-in. Shame he paid $225000 for it back in '89 or whenever it was. Isn't that funny. It depreciated $219000, but he thought it only had depreciated $216000, so we didn't have a deal.
    I guess it just depends what sort of feel you like in a car. FWD suits me, as I like 'em small highly-strung and nimble. I've had a few 505's and 504's and just couldn't get into that style of car. I guess the end the wheels drove from was immaterial. If you could buy a car like an Mi16 or 205 Gti that drove from the wrong/other end I wouldn't really care. But the fact is RWD usually means, for economic reasons(of the manufacturer) a different style of car. Therefore, for me, it's the style of car as much as the drive-end that has me in love with what turns out to be FWD cars.
    Would a 306 GTi6 be as good though if it was RWD, I guess not, as it's urgency would be blunted. A 505 Gti FWD; nope, it wouldn't feel as sophisticated.
    To knock a good cars handling because of the end it drives from is daft. There is no way known a WRX handles better than a GTi6. A WRX owner or one of our "journo's", and I use the term VERY VERY loosely, would laugh at this statement. Whilst I think it's true, the two cars represent different styles of motoring. The WRX has a different kind of grip, and allows a different driving style and for ham-fisted power application, as well as rewarding a good driver at certain times too. I had one for a while. Bored the pants clean off me.
    At the end of the day it's horses for courses. Non-comittal, but reasonable!
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    Ray bell
    To be honest, a FWD gearbox is much more crowded in the engine bay, but if you dont have a hoist I prefer extracting a FWD gearbox out(and there's no pleasant way), than crawling round under the middle of a car on axle stands, nervous, getting a RWD box out. Degrees of unpleasantness I guess.
    FWD c.v boots, now they're a bitch. And a constant annoyance in an old car. Consider if you will all this complexity, and in the legendary alfasud (legendary rust, handling and complexity), add inboard manually adjusted brakes(and handbrake on the front wheels) and it was hard on the back to say the least.
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger!
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    205 GTi that drives from the other end?
    That'd be the Lotus Sunbeam Talbolt!!!!!
    Or the Chevette HSR

    Ummm Lotus droooollll.

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