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Thread: High speed braking=SCARY

  1. #11
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    This is what makes the car fun in stock form!
    super light in the front + short wheelbase.

    Braking late in a turn will kick out the ass.

    If you want to fix it entirely pick up a set of springs such as the sportlines.
    I have a VERY hard time trying to get my car to come loose in the back now.
    even extremely hard braking, no problems...

    One thing that IS a little sketchy are the stock **** balloon pirelli 16" tires.
    get on a smooth highway in the rain and you have to white knuckle it, feels like your driving on an ice skating rink because the tires are TERRIBLE in the rain.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Premium Member cmj912's Avatar
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    I've posted a few times that I've had to brake more than once in panic mode (on the highway, in bad weather, traveling maybe 45-50 MPH) and I felt the braking power of the car given its size and weight is not only superior but impressive.
    In fact, on Sunday I was traveling in light traffic when a crazy person in front of me decided to stop suddenly to let someone in...I wasn't tailgating but I did have to brake harder than normal. Nice, smooth, controlled stop.
    The Ford Focus behind me? Well. Let's just say I heard her laying down tire and she ended up going into the median to avoid hitting me. I haven't heard a modern car lock its brakes on dry pavement in a LONG time.
    'Course this is the Sport and YMMV...but still.

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  4. #13
    Senior Member trevc's Avatar
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    I never had this issue on the road but definitely had it on the track with the stock suspension. Heavy braking at high speed in anything except an exact straight line would make the rear try and come around.
    Lowering the rear with Eibach pro-kit springs helped a lot.
    I now have BC Racing coilovers and some good 215 tires and high speed, heavy braking is almost a non-issue now.

  5. #14
    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member MAZ's Avatar
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    Rapid transitions will unsettle your car. Heavier cars will be more forgiving, as for light weight cars.. as OP found out, not so much.

    I've experienced the 'unsettling' feeling from the rear under hard braking.
    It's due to the rear of the car being very light (to begin with) and the rapid transfer of weight to the front of the car under heavy braking.
    This is a geometry/suspension/weight issue.

    The stock suspension is squirrelly to begin with.
    I lowered the car and threw a spare tire in the trunk which seems to have helped.
    Last edited by MAZ; 09-10-2013 at 10:27 AM.

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    Senior Member Premium Member JackandSue's Avatar
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    I do not drive over 5 miles above the speed limit now saying that my wife does! But only on the track. we discovered on our first track day that the Abarth does want to wobble at 100 plus so after some research with some of our vendors we added a extended rear spoiler and race performance brakes. Also had car race aligned and balanced and suspension added. The car now is a bullet and stops so much nicer but you still have to expect it to want to brake loose just as any car. Our biggest challenge is getting used to front wheel drive...a whole different animal Now for you guys that don't race just keep it under 80 and don't slam on brakes but pump them off and on firmly and always drive like the guy next to you is a nut!
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  8. #16
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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I know I shouldn't drive that fast on public roads but I just hit the 1000 mile mark and couldnt resist the urge to finally push the car. That being said, I guess I learned my lesson. Anyway I think I'll start with some lowering springs and maybe a torsion bar and see how the car behaves then.

  9. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlavsky View Post
    Thanks for all the replies guys. I know I shouldn't drive that fast on public roads but I just hit the 1000 mile mark and couldnt resist the urge to finally push the car. That being said, I guess I learned my lesson. Anyway I think I'll start with some lowering springs and maybe a torsion bar and see how the car behaves then.


    First thing to do (other than slow down a bit on public roads) is to check your tires pressures. Uneven pressures can cause stability issues under hard braking.

    I have felt the instability you describe at the track and on the street (but not really at autoX where speeds are lower). Interestingly enough, turning traction control off seemed to help somewhat. I actually think some of the instability/squirm is caused by traction control modulating brakes in an effort to keep the car pointed straight. With traction control off, the car certainly has issues with its short wheelbase and lose/soft suspension (leading to large weight transfer) but it feels more natural to me. I'll be at the track this weekend and will try to get some time to drive it and evaluate braking with traction control on/off.
    Tie Your shoes, Drive your car, Love your girl. -WP

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  10. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post
    First thing to do (other than slow down a bit on public roads) is to check your tires pressures. Uneven pressures can cause stability issues under hard braking.

    I have felt the instability you describe at the track and on the street (but not really at autoX where speeds are lower). Interestingly enough, turning traction control off seemed to help somewhat. I actually think some of the instability/squirm is caused by traction control modulating brakes in an effort to keep the car pointed straight. With traction control off, the car certainly has issues with its short wheelbase and lose/soft suspension (leading to large weight transfer) but it feels more natural to me. I'll be at the track this weekend and will try to get some time to drive it and evaluate braking with traction control on/off.
    Let me know if that helps any. I'll check the tire pressure maybe that is part of the problem. I am a little bit dissapointed with the suspension however. I used to drive my wife's mini once in a while and feel like the mini set up was firmer and more controlled. Although the fun to drive factor definetly goes to the abarth

  11. #19
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    This is normal for a car with a wheel base that is this short. I have stabbed the brakes on track many times from 90 up to 130mph. The car feels very unstable. The ass end goes a little to either side. If you really get on the brakes, it may feel that it wants to roll over forward. This is the nature of the car. Just remember if it starts coming around, apply throttle and turn into the slide.
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  12. #20
    Vendor Lifetime Member FTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlavsky View Post
    Let me know if that helps any. I'll check the tire pressure maybe that is part of the problem. I am a little bit dissapointed with the suspension however. I used to drive my wife's mini once in a while and feel like the mini set up was firmer and more controlled. Although the fun to drive factor definetly goes to the abarth
    The rear of the car has been known to dance a bit on these cars like many have said, whether its under hard braking or under hard cornering especially over rough pavement will cause the car to become somewhat unstable at times. Lowering the car to a degree and adding a rear torsion bar does dial most of this out. You know how people drive in Brooklyn, they don't pay attention just be careful, lots of knuckleheads out there!!

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