New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
Finally wave goodbye to the trusty Fabia at the weekend and I pick up our new-to-us MX5.

All I've ever know is front wheel drive so I'm at once excited and nervous about putting the power at the back of the car....especially without stability control - the only thing keeping me out of a hedge is me!

What sort of things should I be careful of? I understand snow is bad news but should I think about changing how I drive? Any experience or advice, as ever, much appreciated

Lee.
-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
New to RWD, any tips? - 659FBE
Leave your new car at home if the roads are icy.

659.
New to RWD, any tips? - Stuartli
Leave your new car at home if the roads are icy.>>


Why?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
New to RWD, any tips? - Hamsafar
RWD cars vary so considerable, you can't really give a single rule of thumb.
You should mainly notice how much more satisfying it it when you pull out of a bend or exit a large roundabout, the car should be far more poised and balanced.
New to RWD, any tips? - Westpig
there's a number of safety related features that it wouldn't hurt to read up on, as you wouldn't hope to cover it on here....

an example is 'on limit handling' with oversteer as opposed to understeer.....(which incidentally you could easily reach at low speed on a wet diesel covered roundabout)

there must be a number of publications you could try.......'Roadcraft', the police drivers one springs to mind, although some find it a bit old fashioned
New to RWD, any tips? - expat
Just take it easy for a while till you get used to it. It isn't rocket science. RWD feels a bit different from FWD but it is only really noticeable when you get to the limits of the car's roadholding.

I have a Mazda 323 with FWD and a Ford Falcon RWD with a 4lt twin cam 6 and I don't find any difficulty switching back and forward between them. Mind you I am careful with the throttle on the big car if the road is wet and greasy.
New to RWD, any tips? - Group B
If you're a bit rusty with the opposite lock skills, you could book some skid pan sessions?

My girlfriend's MX5 is a 1.6 and isn't really powerful enough to get the back end out. But it did once flick out when I wasnt expecting it, at low speed turning right at a junction, not applying much throttle. Must have been some diesel on the already damp road like westpig says.
Last winter we had subzero temps. for a couple of days and lots of the ungritted roads round us were sheet ice. I took it on a deserted car park and it was *very* easy to go sideways, and have very little grip and traction, but they were extreme conditions!
New to RWD, any tips? - local yokel
Any advantage to popping a 25kg bag (or two) of builders' sand in the boot for the winter?
New to RWD, any tips? - Big Vern
Any advantage to popping a 25kg bag (or two) of builders'
sand in the boot for the winter?


Maybe I am wrong, but IMHO that would only make it worse, when the back end did go it would go with more gusto and be harder to catch due to the extra weight giving more momentum to the back end.
New to RWD, any tips? - BobbyG
Would you be able to fit that in an MX5 boot????
New to RWD, any tips? - Sim-O
1.6 Capri Lazer (white). In the dry it was ok, cos it was underpowered, no chance of any excitement, in the wet it was absolutley fantastic, an absolute hoot. Until one time it all went wrong and the backend swang like a pendulem...
New to RWD, any tips? - Altea Ego
One paster has mentioned it further up. THe weather is just getting right for it,

Frosty car park, frosty empty car park, early on a sunday morning. Practise your "oposite lock - hanging out the back end" skills.

Its not the intial loosing the back end that catches most people, they correct that naturally, but its the imediately tank slapping the other way when you do correct it that suprises! very waggy dog tail for a while!
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
New to RWD, any tips? - Stuartli
The problem these days is finding an empty car park on a Sunday with so much 24 hour opening of stores.

The youngsters around here used to practice on the beach when it was wet but the shore rangers eventually put a stop to the practice, claiming it was damaging the sand surface as well as being dangerous to people walking in the area.

As thousands of cars park on the beach every day during the summer and, in any case, the tide quickly restores the status quo, it was mean to say the least; the improved handling skills of such youngsters would seem to be more important than temporarily stirring up a few inches of sand in a comparatively small area.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
New to RWD, any tips? - DP
The MX-5 should be available on prescription to those wanting to learn how a RWD car behaves. It's about as friendly and forgiving as RWD cars get, with just enough power and just too little grip to be dull, but not so much that you wrap it round a tree if you sneeze when negotiating a corner.

My advice after a year and 12,000 miles with one would be:

Watch your throttle inputs when pulling out of tight junctions or negotiating roundabouts, particularly in the wet. The tail can snap out under power in low grip conditions, particularly on the LSD equipped models (all Sport and Sport-based special editions). Apply the power progressively, and smoothly and never give it a big sudden bootful, and just feel what it's doing. The MX-5 communicates through the seat as much as the steering, and it's surprising what it can tell you about what the rear end is about to do.

The MX-5 doesn't have the power, even as a 1.8 to break traction in fast (3rd gear+) bends, particularly in dry conditions unless you are really consciously provoking it with sharp steering inputs and deliberate lifts to get the back sliding. You'd never do it unwittingly anyway.

If you go into a corner or roundabout too quickly and lift, it will also oversteer, but tends to scrub off speed and regain grip pretty quickly unless you've really overdone it. You can feel this in action without actually sliding it to give yourself some familarisation though. Find a nice long sweeping bend with good visibility, or better still, a wide, smooth, deserted roundabout and have a play. Don't chuck it in at silly speeds, but gently build up speed on a steady throttle until you're not at the limit, but just starting to really lean on the grip, and then very gently ease off (don't lift sharply) the throttle. You'll feel the nose tuck in and you'll need to appreciably reduce steering lock to keep the car on course. When you get used to this, try "feathering" the throttle and you'll see how throttle input affects the attitude of the car.

When you're really pressing on, the reaction remains the same, but is exaggerated. The nose still tucks as before, but the tail will actually break grip and start to slide, requiring opposite lock to catch instead of just winding lock off. If you get the hang of this reaction at slower speeds where grip isn't actually overcome, it will feel much less alien if you accidentally overcook it one day.

It is a brilliant little car though. Classic RWD behaviour at sensible-ish speeds and as much feel as you could want for.

My final piece of advice would be get out and enjoy it. Oh, and flash and wave at other MX-5's. You'll get about a 50% response rate, slightly more when the roof is down.

Cheers
DP
New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
Thanks to all who've replied, some good advice except the first one.... !

DP - your post is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for, many thanks for taking the time to write such a long informative reply. Hadn't thought of flashing & waving, but I'll give it a go. We're always waving (and being waved at) in our '85 Mini. There's also a lady in town with a gold Fabia the same as ours that always waves. I think, as you suggest, the trick is gentle throttle, brake and steering inputs with a bit of extra planning and considerdation of the road surface/conditions.

I've got Roadcraft upstairs I'll have another read before I collect the car. Like the idea of learning about the car in a controlled environment - might have to be Tesco's on a Sunday night when they're closed!

The skid pan is another good suggestion - has anyone tried one that they can recommend?

The final thought I have is to see through the advanced driving test, studied for it a few years back but couldn't take it. Might pick it up again. Still as excited as I am nervous about the car...

Thanks again for the ideas - this forum is great, where else could one get such informed and reasonable opinions?!
-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
New to RWD, any tips? - Pugugly {P}
You know, it's not like changing toothpaste

Your signature has it in a nutshell. Nothing to worry about, more to enjoy. Steering with proper feel, It shouldn't be aproblem after all cars were meant to be pushed along not dragged ;-).

The original three series went through an ASBO phase when they shoehorned the mighty sixes into them in the late eighties and were to be approached with caution and respect in the wet and even in the dry with tyre wear. Since the advent of ASC and DSC and all the other letters of the alphabet, RWD is not a problem. I have a friend (female quick and can change her own wheel) who has a 1.8 MX5 and she has never reported any trouble with the rear end of the car. Yuo can have fun in RWD, nothing more than hanging the tail out with 272 bhp of bi-turboed power, even with DSC de-activated - totally safe; what this immense power and rwd does is give you the ability to steer by throttle, briliant, just brilliant on the right roads.


"might have to be Tesco's on a Sunday night when they're closed! "

Watch you don't get a S59 notice !
New to RWD, any tips? - mss1tw
I was gutted when I found out all the big non-BMW saloons weren't RWD. :o(

Well I could have got a Vauxhall I guess.
New to RWD, any tips? - Micky
"> I was gutted when I found out all the big non-BMW saloons weren't RWD. :o( <"

I'll start: Jagwah
New to RWD, any tips? - mss1tw
Can't buy and insure and 02 plate Jag that does 50mpg for 5 grand though. ;o)
New to RWD, any tips? - Micky
">Can't buy and insure and 02 plate Jag that does 50mpg for 5 grand though. ;o)<"

Fortunately, proper Jagwahs are not for the hoi polloi who worry about such things as "50 mpg". Is there any car that does 50 mpg? Of course, I use the word car in the context of something that's worth driving ;-)
New to RWD, any tips? - mss1tw
Define worth driving. ;o)

The bike is for fun. Car is purely for A-B as cheaply, comfortably and easily as possibly. A re-badged, luxurious by my standards car fits the bill quite I think.

Shame the wrong wheels are driven though...
New to RWD, any tips? - Micky
">The bike is for fun. Car is purely for A-B as cheaply, comfortably and easily as possibly.<"

7
New to RWD, any tips? - mss1tw
">The bike is for fun. Car is purely for A-B as
cheaply, comfortably and easily as possibly.<"
7


?!?
New to RWD, any tips? - Micky
">?!?<"

Add lightness.
New to RWD, any tips? - Pugugly {P}
and simplicate.............
New to RWD, any tips? - Micky
Oh yes. I believe that the Great Colin's offering has recently posted a decent time on the Top Gear test track.
New to RWD, any tips? - Micky
">I pick up our new-to-us MX5.<"

Enjoy; roof down at every opportunity please. A spirited drive along an English B road with the autumn leaves swirling behind you is one of life's better moments. Of course, the Scotch and Welch B roads are OK as well.
New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
>>Welsh B roads

Going to Snowdonia at the end of the month - if the weather isn't too bad and we can get our kit in the boot/glovebox, hoping to take the new car.

>>toothpaste
PU - it's another of my Seinfeld quotes (George joining the Latvian Orthodox church), but you're right that sums up my concerns

Keep them coming!!

-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
New to RWD, any tips? - MGspannerman
My wife currently has a Eunos (poor man's MX5, but with more kit). Every now and then the back end hops out and is entirely controllable and just takes a little getting used to. Even she is is not fazed by it now. Neither she nor I could be described as on the limit drivers, but a wet road or slippery corner can catch you out. Funnily enough coming back tonight I was on a wet patch of greasy road, in a 30 mph limit, in a nearby village and much to my surprise the Merc just gave a little on a sweeping bend. I have Federal tyres and whilst they wear well, the do tend to break a little more than the Eagle NCTs I otherwise use and in fact prefer. I strongly agree with the idea of getting the hood down at every opportunity, why have a car like that if you dont! You might find a windbreaker a good investment, a mesh screen that goes behind the seats to cut down wind buffetting. MX5 parts have them at outrageous prices, eBay can be a better source. Sumo auto parts in Nottingham also stock a very good range of MX5 bits and often cheaper than MX5parts, you can find both on the web. As a sprog with a proper soft top, a Sprite then an MG, the hood was only for keeping the snow out whilst stationary, otherwise I only ever drove both cars using only the tonneau cover. Much to my surprise various temporary ladies did not share my appreciation of open air motoring.

Enjoy! MGs
New to RWD, any tips? - Pugugly {P}
RWD roads in Snowdonia. Llanberis/Penypass/ then Penypass to Capel Curig then the A5 to Bethesda along the Nant Francon valley, this is a cracking driver's road, no gradient in excess of 1 in 22 you can drive it at the NSL and feel buzzy though (Telford was a genius and I bet he had an M5 if they existed). Bala past Tryweryn (look out for Arrive Alive though) turn right over the top to Llan Ffestiniog.....what a road, turn right before coming into Llan, over to Ysbyty Ifan, you can get airbone here (well almost) look out for sheep and the newly re-built A470 from Betws to Blaenau, a state of the engineer's art, beautiful road this time of the year....good overtakes. No need to hammer it either.
New to RWD, any tips? - peterb
Enjoy. RWD is *much* better than FWD from a handling persepctive

Only two pieces of advice: 1. go to a skidpan, 2. don't drive in snow/ice.
New to RWD, any tips? - Pugugly {P}
don't drive in snow/ice

Can't disagree with that. Get a Landie for them days !
New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
So what we're saying is no snow or ice, might be interesting as I live right at the top of the Pennines... :-)

Like the suggested routes PU, but think I might do it the other way around and finish up at Llanberis - not sure a bellyfull at Pete's Eats will go down too well with some enthusiastic driving!

Wishing I'd decided to collect it mid week, the weekend seems a long way off now...


-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
Oh, and does anyone know of a skidpan reasonably close to West Yorkshire (I'll drive 100 miles if need be) - would prefer not to use my own car though.

Ta
New to RWD, any tips? - nick
Probably a bit far for you but Lincolnshire Police hire out their skidpan at Lincoln. You get tuition in both fwd and rwd cars plus with and without ABS. There are details on their website at www.lincs.police.uk/index.asp?docID=244.
It costs £75 plus Vat for one hour and they can train 2 people in that time, so about £40 each. I've done it with work and enjoyed it.
New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
Hi Nick,

Took your advice and did the training last weekend. SWMBO was a little nervous as she went first, but she got out of the car with a big grin and a little wiser - as I did.

You couldn't exactly call it cheap, but it is value for money. The instructor, Mick Sylvester, was great. If you're stuck for a present for someone this Christmas, this would be a very worthwhile gift.

Highly recommended, and thanks to Nick for the link.

Lee

-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
New to RWD, any tips? - nick
Glad you enjoyed it, Lee, and it might save your life one day.

Nick
New to RWD, any tips? - spikeyhead {p}
Like the suggested routes PU, but think I might do it
the other way around and finish up at Llanberis - not
sure a bellyfull at Pete's Eats will go down too well
with some enthusiastic driving!


You've made me hungry now!

Oh to be living within easy travelling distance of Pete's Eats ( I used to be able to walk from home to there)
--
I read often, only post occasionally
New to RWD, any tips? - Pugugly {P}
Would be a suitable venue for a BR meet one wonders ?

It has been modernized a bit of late.
New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
>>Would be a suitable venue for a BR meet one wonders?

For me, it would have to be the weekend that we're over there, but it's an absolutely sterling idea. That said, it's not the easiest task in the world organezizing meets, and without Adam it'll no doubt be even tougher!
-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
New to RWD, any tips? - WipeOut
I'm not sure which MX-5 you've got, I've got a 2.0l Sport which has a limited slip and traction control.

If you have a 2.0l leave the traction control on, it is very good.

Without traction control, as long as you are light with the throttle in corners you'll be fine. Just treat the throttle with respect.

I've had my MX-5 on the skid pan and it was great. Very easy to control the slide, just be gentle on the throttle.

And once again, just BE CAREFUL WITH THE THROTTLE.
New to RWD, any tips? - Big Bad Dave
Last time I was on a skid pan was on a Routemaster at a bus depot somewhere near Belle Vue, Manchester. Me and about 30 other terrified 6 year olds clinging on for dear life as the driver did a series of 180s and 360s. What I'd give to have a day like that now.
New to RWD, any tips? - Westpig
Last time I was on a skid pan was on a
Routemaster at a bus depot somewhere near Belle Vue, Manchester. Me
and about 30 other terrified 6 year olds clinging on for
dear life as the driver did a series of 180s and
360s. What I'd give to have a day like that now.


can you imagine the reaction of the Health and Safety Tsars now?

Q "what's going on here then"?

A " Oh, it's class 2C having their go being spun around the skid pan in a double decker bus, they love it, well all except Little Dave, he's looking a bit green"
New to RWD, any tips? - Big Bad Dave
"can you imagine the reaction of the Health and Safety Tsars now?"

We weren't allowed on the top deck though.

I also have fond memories on another school trip of riding in the enormous fire engines at Manchester Airport, the one with the big foam blaster on top. I clearly remember the fireman telling us that the front of the cab had been strengthened so that in an emergency it would drive through the garage doors as there wouldn't be time to raise them.
New to RWD, any tips? - Big Bad Dave
"Little Dave, he's looking a bit green"

Yeah, but I'd be holding my mum's hand. She was one of the mothers who used to take a day off from the McVities factory making penguins and come along to supervise.
New to RWD, any tips? - Westpig
"Little Dave, he's looking a bit green"

and i thought i'd got away with it>>
New to RWD, any tips? - Statistical outlier
I was in Pete's Eats the other weekend. They are still doing great food in massive portions, but now they've moved to doing coffee in that style as well.

Gf and I ordered a small and large espresso respectively as we were about to drive home to the Midlands. The small espresso came in a mug probably big enough for 8-10 shots of espresso, and was full. The large one was in a normal size coffee mug, again full. I thought that the girl had misheard me and given us normal coffee. Nope. Was full strength espresso!!!! We left most of it for fear of heart palpitations :-)

Fine place!
New to RWD, any tips? - mark999
Make sure you have good tyres on the mx5. My mk1 came with 3 India branded tyres and a kwik fit centuar. It was terrible in the wet. Had them changed for goodyear hydragrips and haven't had a scary moment yet.
I still wouldn't like to use the mx5 in snow or ice though, I'll use the trusty old Yaris
New to RWD, any tips? - Citroënian {P}
Our MX5 is an NB (Mk 2.5) so traction control isn't an option - Would have been nice though!

Gordon - At Pete's eats a couple of weeks back? We were there the first weekend of December, you might have recognised me, I was the big bloke in the walking gear ;-)

The portions are getting bigger and bigger, but it's a shame that they allow smoking, or at least that the ventillation system makes the non-smoking area still get the smoke.

Mad busy as always though, and a nice sanctuary from the rain.
-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
 

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