4 wheel drifts in the 80 today. (1 Viewer)

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This afternoon, I was 18 miles out a very curvy and poorly surfaced country road when I got an urgent call that I had to get back in to town as quickly as possible. Obviously, these trucks were not meant for this kind of driving but I had a great time really attacking some curves and on several dozen of them with clear sight lines beyond the curve I pushed it so hard that the truck drifted out of them.

I don't recommend anyone drive like this on a public roadway, and there are clear dangers but I must say I had fun and was reminded how well sorted this vehicle really is. I was on the Coopers in my sig line at 36 psi and there were damp spots in shady corners, lots of broken pavement, heavily crowned, huge frost heaves and decreasing radius curves. Really an unpleasant road when you start pushing it.

The 80 is a surprisingly well mannered vehicle at the limit, taking a set once you load up the suspension for a curve and from then on not given to excess body motion throughout the curve even on this surface. I have now put over 200,000 miles on 80s and have never had one exhibit an unexpected handling trait. I'd have to say that this 18 miles was the hardest I've ever pushed an 80. Once most of the crap had scattered off the center console and settled in drifts on the floor I quit worrying about it and let the rest fall where it may as I focused solely on the driving.

The biggest surprise were the large frost heaves at speed. The suspension never felt even close to bottoming, I winced for landings that were simple one-compression bounces without the usual big secondary body heave and the steering communicated nicely with warnings when the fronts were giving way. I activated the ABS at least 6 times and it stepped back out of the braking quickly rather than continuing to activate when not needed like some systems do.

It's a strange feeling muscling something this big through curves like that. Once you develop the rythm and get comfortable its unlike a sports car in that you aren't bottoming out once in a while and you aren't riding on delicate, low profile tires and rims. Didn't see that pothole? Oh well. Clipped that apex a bit too agressively and hammered a couple dips in the gravel? Just a muffled thump as the big tires soaked it up.

The slower curves really showed the 80's weakness, as coming out of them the mass of the 80 was on display as it took most of the distance to the next turn to get back up to meaningful speed. Near the end I was diving deeper and deeper into the turns and getting pretty aggressive with the brakes, holding the truck in 2nd through curves and I got a couple pretty healthy 4 wheel drifts on a few where I could see clear road for a safe distance. The rear never expressed any interest in coming around, and the fronts did not push unduly - overall a surprisingly satisfying handling dynamic.

Great fun and when I reached the interstate I had that satisfying feeling of a road well driven.

DougM
 
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sounds like fun

and thanks for this,

"I winced for landings that were simple one-compression bounces without the usual big secondary body heave.'

secondary body heave put into words soemthing I was trying to say yesterday when describing the factory LX shocks with 138k miles on them, uncontrolled was all I could come up with but it larger after shocks and rebounds after the main event that it used to have and has no longer.
 
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What a great read Doug!! :)


These 80's really do some surprising maneuvers when you need them to. I remember passing someone on the left in the city, just before I needed to take a right 90 degree turn. Not sure why I felt compelled to pass :confused: at that point, but as the other driver took up my urgency in some twisted sympathetic resonance, and sped up himself, I was forced to drift across his path and shoot down the other street .. all at 50+ mph on dry asphalt. I remember thinking there is NO way I can afford to brake one bit or this idiot will plow into me out of spite! I white knuckled the wheel and yanked it to the right as I'd taught myself to do on country roads out to the cottage over the last decade. Worked though .. I jetted by in front of him, and in a miraculous slingshot-like action, sent myself sliding towards safety, all the while smelling the victorious stench of melting rubber wafting up all around me amidst the summer afternoon heat .. a cacophony of heartbeats pounding out their displeasure behind my ear drums.


I hope all is well Doug!


Peace,


TY
 
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You all are just speed freaks:flipoff2:
These 80's are amazingly agile for such heavy beasts.
Around here we have a several old constricting interstate on/exit ramps. Semi's are flipping all the time on them. If you are not familiar with the area they are a real hazard. If you are familiar with them then they present a unique opportunity. Careful to brake prior to the apex then once safely through step up as much speed as the wheels can handle. Never once has my 80 given me the unpredictable sway I have felt in other SUV's and trucks. Stock springs and monroe shocks make for sure feet. Probably why I have been so reluctant to lift.
About one month ago I was in some really nasty bumper to bumper rainy day mess doing about 70 mph when suddenly I notice the honda about 4 car lengths in front of me is almost stopped. With wife and 2 daughters aboard my split second reactions is I will not be able to stop as quickly as this honda especially on wet road. I hit the brake hard, never felt ABS kick in. I remember instantly thinking I am so glad to be in the left lane so that I can use the emergency lane. I did the quick turn under max brake because I just knew I was not going to come to a stop until the back bumper of the car in front of the honda in front of me. In the end I actually stopped about 1 foot back from the honda, no skid, no wheels sliding. By the way it was good I ducked off as the compact car behind me almost hit the honda so they would have really hit the rear of my beloved 80 hard. Probably would have scratched the drawtite bar. I certainly learned an even deeper appreciation for the 80's emergency manuever ability.:cheers:
 
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Great read Doug! I love reading your posts because you put things so eloquently.

We have a fire road here that has semi-maintained gravel topping. It's about 2 miles long and I got in the habit last semester of trying to beat my best time down the road(best time of 2mins 22 seconds). After my best run of pretty much drifting every corner and not really dropping below 30mph I realized I was probably pushing my luck a bit much and have stopped doing it on a weekly basis :D

I must say I agree with all of your observations that you put so nicely into words. I have to second Tai's comment on putting into words things I can understand and feel, but have no means of expressing.

Thanks for the story :cheers: ,

Ary
 
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If your mom finds out she's gonna be pissed:flipoff2:
 
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T Y L E R said:
What a great read Doug!! :)


These 80's really do some surprising maneuvers when you need them to. I remember passing someone on the left in the city, just before I needed to take a right 90 degree turn. Not sure why I felt compelled to pass :confused: at that point, but as the other driver took up my urgency in some twisted sympathetic resonance, and sped up himself, I was forced to drift across his path and shoot down the other street .. all at 50+ mph on dry asphalt. I remember thinking there is NO way I can afford to brake one bit or this idiot will plow into me out of spite! I white knuckled the wheel and yanked it to the right as I'd taught myself to do on country roads out to the cottage over the last decade. Worked though .. I jetted by in front of him, and in a miraculous slingshot-like action, sent myself sliding towards safety, all the while smelling the victorious stench of melting rubber wafting up all around me amidst the summer afternoon heat .. a cacophony of heartbeats pounding out their displeasure behind my ear drums.


I hope all is well Doug!


Peace,


TY

Dude, what happened to defensive driving?
 
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IdahoDoug said:
This afternoon, I was 18 miles out a very curvy and poorly surfaced country road when I got an urgent call that I had to get back in to town as quickly as possible. Obviously, these trucks were not meant for this kind of driving but I had a great time really attacking some curves and on several dozen of them with clear sight lines beyond the curve I pushed it so hard that the truck drifted out of them.

I don't recommend anyone drive like this on a public roadway, and there are clear dangers but I must say I had fun and was reminded how well sorted this vehicle really is. I was on the Coopers in my sig line at 36 psi and there were damp spots in shady corners, lots of broken pavement, heavily crowned, huge frost heaves and decreasing radius curves. Really an unpleasant road when you start pushing it.

The 80 is a surprisingly well mannered vehicle at the limit, taking a set once you load up the suspension for a curve and from then on not given to excess body motion throughout the curve even on this surface. I have now put over 200,000 miles on 80s and have never had one exhibit an unexpected handling trait. I'd have to say that this 18 miles was the hardest I've ever pushed an 80. Once most of the crap had scattered off the center console and settled in drifts on the floor I quit worrying about it and let the rest fall where it may as I focused solely on the driving.

The biggest surprise were the large frost heaves at speed. The suspension never felt even close to bottoming, I winced for landings that were simple one-compression bounces without the usual big secondary body heave and the steering communicated nicely with warnings when the fronts were giving way. I activated the ABS at least 6 times and it stepped back out of the braking quickly rather than continuing to activate when not needed like some systems do.

It's a strange feeling muscling something this big through curves like that. Once you develop the rythm and get comfortable its unlike a sports car in that you aren't bottoming out once in a while and you aren't riding on delicate, low profile tires and rims. Didn't see that pothole? Oh well. Clipped that apex a bit too agressively and hammered a couple dips in the gravel? Just a muffled thump as the big tires soaked it up.

The slower curves really showed the 80's weakness, as coming out of them the mass of the 80 was on display as it took most of the distance to the next turn to get back up to meaningful speed. Near the end I was diving deeper and deeper into the turns and getting pretty aggressive with the brakes, holding the truck in 2nd through curves and I got a couple pretty healthy 4 wheel drifts on a few where I could see clear road for a safe distance. The rear never expressed any interest in coming around, and the fronts did not push unduly - overall a surprisingly satisfying handling dynamic.

Great fun and when I reached the interstate I had that satisfying feeling of a road well driven.

DougM

Great read Doug!
I too find the LC to be a pleasure to drive at the limit. It has a few issues, but overall (and the key IMO) the comment that comes to mind is: predictable. And right up to the limit.

I found the front to want to lift throttle understeer, but again, quite predictable. I will also say, that center diff locked, actually made for a higher threshold.

I will also note that excessive left foot braking technique, tends to send smelly brake pad stink into the cabin. That said, at Steamboat I was able to agressively LFB for about 40minutes before the pads started to cook.

This really belongs attached to some of the suspension threads as of late. I read your post Doug, and I firmly believe that any suspension tweeks should be done keeping the basic goodness of the truck in mind. I'd be very intersted in your comments regarding the handling with the center diff locked. I actually prefer it, on road spirited driving, at the track, or offroad.

Always like to see those right after the experience. You shared the enthusiasm well sir. Suggestion: Add supercharger, the fun gets better.

Scott Justusson
 
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cruiserdan

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stayalert said:
If your mom finds out she's gonna be pissed:flipoff2:




LOL!...:hillbilly
 
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Doug, sounds like you need to get a few more "urgent" calls ;)

Scott - I dug your video from Steamboat. About the CDL though, not that I'm as experienced as you with performance mods, but I've had my 80 s/c'd for about 35K miles and have had it t/c'd for about 20K miles and have had some issues with running it WFO with the CDL engaged. I've actually been able to get the "A/T" dash light to come on this way by rallying it hard in loose snow/sand for too long. Once the A/T light comes on, it eventually starts to make the coolant temp rise and I've got to shut it down. As of now, I've got a huge RX-7 turbo oil cooler mounted up front between the frame rails that circulates the tranny oil and that seems to have solved my issues but I also haven't raged that hard on the truck since then either.
 
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Great thread. Brought back my own experiences with how nimble this large heavy vehicle really is. Thanks to all for the observations and comments.

Imagine bouncing through mudholes and threading between trees where the trees are so close you pull in both the mirrors AND your elbows!

My cousin left his Suburban behind and rode with me that day!

He now longer has it. But this links shows to what level that once respectable vehicle has fallen to.

Quiet Buy Back :whoops:
 
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clownmidget said:
Doug, sounds like you need to get a few more "urgent" calls ;)

Scott - I dug your video from Steamboat. About the CDL though, not that I'm as experienced as you with performance mods, but I've had my 80 s/c'd for about 35K miles and have had it t/c'd for about 20K miles and have had some issues with running it WFO with the CDL engaged. I've actually been able to get the "A/T" dash light to come on this way by rallying it hard in loose snow/sand for too long. Once the A/T light comes on, it eventually starts to make the coolant temp rise and I've got to shut it down. As of now, I've got a huge RX-7 turbo oil cooler mounted up front between the frame rails that circulates the tranny oil and that seems to have solved my issues but I also haven't raged that hard on the truck since then either.

DM:
Did you change the AT fluid? Do you have the stock trans cooler already mounted? If so, change the fluid with Mobil 1 synthetic, and like now! Quite a few threads on how to do it, but somehow I'd get what's in there flushed out. You might as well change out the center diff and the axles too. Normal temp should be 122-176f, the temp light engages at 325-343f. Don't need Paris to say: That's hot!

You might also want to do the test of the switch itself before you go much beyond a fluid swap. I've always considered the 80 to be pretty trans temp bulletproof.

I'm very familiar with the RX7 oil coolers, they are awesome (I have a few in my shop right now). HOWEVER, it has a bypass valve in it that needs to be removed and modified. You pull the big cap bolt off the end with the fittings, and remove the valve and spring, replace the valve with a allen plug or a loctited bolt/nut. Otherwise you have a flow problem. I'd also drill a couple of larger holes in the feed and return pipes internal to that cooler, you can do that thru the fitting holes.

I'd be looking at getting some baseline radiator temps (actual vs guage, read threads) to make sure which is heating which. You can put really big trans coolers on this truck, and get them cheap from a variety of online stores. I can't relate to the issue, yet.

With the Turbocharger unit installed, do you have a intercooler? If so, is it blocking the stock trans cooler, or replacing it? Remember IC's are very efficient at heat exchange but that can be at the expense of other heat exchange, especially when it's the first cooler.

You might also benefit from getting the mods to release the heat from under the hood. I have some other mods you might consider as well, and you can contact me offline for those.

Scott Justusson
 
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IdahoDoug- excellent, well-written, entertaining post as usual! Reminds me of my times back in AK testing the limits of various vehicles in the snow, including a '92 Ford Aerostar E4WD minivan! ;) (That had a pretty interesting system on it with a 60/40 split until wheelspin was detected, when it would lock the center diff for a few seconds and check again. System was surprisingly predictable handling-wise once you got used to it.)

<thread_hijack> SUMO- you have to be careful of overcooling the trans with an additional trans cooler, esp. in colder climates, no? Can you recommend any thermostatic tranny coolers in particular, mounting locations, and where to plumb one (before or after rad)? </thread_hijack>
 
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Just contribute some pics...

Another JDM tranny and oil cooler maybe? :grinpimp: :grinpimp:
alaskacruiser said:
Can you recommend any thermostatic tranny coolers in particular, mounting locations, and where to plumb one (before or after rad)? </thread_hijack>
PlotTrannyCooler_OilCooleer.JPG
 
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SUMO/Scott - guess I should have related some more background rather than just say "I got a turbo and it gets hot!" :D

I've had the truck since 72K miles (Mar'01) and it's been on full synthetics since. I've had an all metal radiator that's been replaced twice under warranty and I installed the s/c, pulled the s/c and installed the t/c, as well as other maintenance that has had me changing out the coolant most likely something like every 10K miles at the most :rolleyes: And the tranny, xfer and diffs have all been synthetic and changed way too often as well.

The stock tranny cooler is pulled out and the intercooler covers pretty much all of the area behind the grill. The RX-7 cooler acting as the tranny cooler sits below that just slightly above and between the frame rails. Yes, the t-stat in it is pulled and it's run as a straight flow-through cooler. It and the I/C gets unblocked flow. I've got egt/boost/coolant temp gauges. I do not have a tranny or xfer case oil temp gauge but have considered one after my experience. I've also never torn into either one to see if they have some odd flow issue. I've also run the truck completely fully loaded with a 17-ft kayak and yakima spacecadet on the roof on 35's continuously over 80-mph and not been able to repeat this trick. It only happened with the CDL engaged, loose substrate, rallying it very hard (tach always above 3K). Coolant would be around 210-deg right before the A/T light would pop on, continued until coolant temp crept near 220-deg then idled with all heaters on full blast until it came back in line.

Only had this happen twice but it was interesting and I did go on a trail ride with AMMO who had his CDL engaged for a long tough climb and he started to overheat just at the top, so that has made me reconsider all the heat that gets generated with the extra binding of the xfer/vc locked under these conditions.
 
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alaskacruiser said:
IdahoDoug- excellent, well-written, entertaining post as usual! Reminds me of my times back in AK testing the limits of various vehicles in the snow, including a '92 Ford Aerostar E4WD minivan! ;) (That had a pretty interesting system on it with a 60/40 split until wheelspin was detected, when it would lock the center diff for a few seconds and check again. System was surprisingly predictable handling-wise once you got used to it.)

<thread_hijack> SUMO- you have to be careful of overcooling the trans with an additional trans cooler, esp. in colder climates, no? Can you recommend any thermostatic tranny coolers in particular, mounting locations, and where to plumb one (before or after rad)? </thread_hijack>

You can get trans cooler thermostats from JCW, or various other sources. In Alaska you might want to have it. Normally, the fluid goes thru the radiator to get up to temp, then to a cooler. You make a good point, but if a guy is seeing 343 degrees, he might not have to worry about it.

You can duct to the cooler anywhere it fits. I've seen and done scoops under the truck, mounting the cooler near a frame rail.

I suppose we should bump this to another thread. Happy to edit/delete or move it if enough interest. I personally would like to hear more posts like Idougs. My favorite performance 80 moment was before I even put the SC in. My brother had his hond vtec civic (with 'cold air intake') full of 4 folks in some twisties of the Catskills. With just stock LTX tires, I could hear him more than me, he couldn't shag me off his bumper, and the 4 folks in my truck were laughing their butts off at the whole idea.

He knew it too, cuz he'd whip a turn and ck his rear view, just me and the TJM thank you. Now that he knows I have the SC, he speaks a lot to the great gas mileage of that little vacuum cleaner he's got.

SJ
 
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clownmidget said:
SUMO/Scott - guess I should have related some more background rather than just say "I got a turbo and it gets hot!" :D

Mike:
Happy to get into more detail if you like, but start a new thread, or have the powers that be move this one? I would like Dougs to stay without hijack, and yours is worthy of a separate thread anyhow.

SJ
 

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