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That sucks. Don't let a mishap deter you from getting another.
Are you serious?

Expecting a different outcome from the same conditions is unrealistic.
If the cause of the incident in unknown, then what is there to do to prevent it happening again?

My advise would be; that if another one in in the cards, then it should likely be with some serious reflection...
 

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Glad you weren't seriously hurt.

Our insurance premiums are pretty reasonable on these cars, but not for long if we keep totalling them!


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Very sad news.

If you did pick up some trash on the tires and suddenly lost traction, it can be a real shock how much load you actually have on the tires.
On a much slower front engine car, I took the NCTs off preparing to sell it and I could barely drive it.
Just slowly driving, I was now drifting the car.
You get used to grip.
 

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Sorry to hear this happened to you. I am glad your ok.

Without being there when this accident happened its hard to give advice or offer a view. Sounds like your reviewing in your head what you could have done to prevent this accident - and thats a big start. Gravel on the road is never a good thing for the Elise/Exige. :sad:

The folks at FVMC are good people, they'll help you out. Sincerely, Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
ok after I have now had a night to sleep on this here is what I think happened. I was coming onto the ramp, I saw the gravel at the beginning so I didn't accelerate. towards the end of the ramp where there was none I did accelerate up to about forty while in second gear. while preparing to merge onto the highway I lifted. the rest is history. it was so easy for this to happen considering this was my first mid engine car with this effect.
 

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I had something similar happen the day after I bought my '88 MR2SC. Almost passed the road I was supposed to turn on, the passenger pointed it out, and I figured I'd just crank it and make it. Momentum, serious weight transfer under braking, rotated the car an instant 180 degree's, but I was lucky as I stayed in the street. He laughed, and so did I once the heart rate came back down. I was all of 20 at the time and it was my first 'oops' in a car. I learned after that in a parking lot what I could and couldn't do.

I just wish your experiance would have been similar instead of into a wall...
 

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ok after I have now had a night to sleep on this here is what I think happened. I was coming onto the ramp, I saw the gravel at the beginning so I didn't accelerate. towards the end of the ramp where there was none I did accelerate up to about forty while in second gear. while preparing to merge onto the highway I lifted. the rest is history. it was so easy for this to happen considering this was my first mid engine car with this effect.
It's been said before... but in addition to the trailing throttle oversteer you'd normally get by lifting in a turn, you'd get a substantial amount of engine braking when lifting in 2nd at 40 mph. So while transferring weight to the fronts (and off the backs) by lifting, the engine braking combined with the cornering forces increased the traction demands on the rear tires while reducing the traction available. Very bad combination.

Edit: Did you say that your shims were out as well? That would contribute to a oversteer condition as well by giving the fronts a bit more bite than stock. Remember that almost all "regular" cars have a lot of natural understeer, so most people can get away with lifting in turns. With a more neutral car, you've got a smaller cushion for mistakes.
 

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I had something similar happen the day after I bought my '88 MR2SC. Almost passed the road I was supposed to turn on, the passenger pointed it out, and I figured I'd just crank it and make it. Momentum, serious weight transfer under braking, rotated the car an instant 180 degree's, but I was lucky as I stayed in the street. He laughed, and so did I once the heart rate came back down. I was all of 20 at the time and it was my first 'oops' in a car. I learned after that in a parking lot what I could and couldn't do.

I just wish your experiance would have been similar instead of into a wall...
I drove one of those model MR2s and I remember how twitchy it was.
TRD came out with a set of springs that was supposed to have fixed the issue on the stock cars.
I think they used stiffer rears.
People I know who had them were very pleased.
 

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Glad you weren't seriously hurt.

Our insurance premiums are pretty reasonable on these cars, but not for long if we keep totalling them!


.
Good news is the values have to go up if there aren't as many left.
 

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Driving this car makes me feel like I am driving a big kart around city streets. It is a different mindset compared to driving a normal everyday car.
 

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From JohnnyQuik in the "where are my shims" topic:

"It appears the shims were used by Lotus as a way of reducing negative camber and, therefore, front cornering grip. Combined with the too skinny front tires, this helps ensure the front tires break loose before the rear reducing the chance of snap oversteer to which mid-engined cars are prone. This is the safest set-up for untrained drivers on public roads. A drivers natural reaction to to lift off the throttle if the tires start to lose grip. It the front tires loose grip first and the car is understeering (pushing), then lifting off the throttle will likely help straighten the car out and allow the driver to regain control. If the rear tires lose grip first and the car starts to rotate (oversteer) then lifting the throttle will cause the car to spin, which would be a very dangerous situation. Lotus dialed in understeer like every other manufacturer because it makes the cars safer for the masses."
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JohnnyQuik


I keep thinking this spinning out is due to inexperienced 20-something drivers, but could it be folks who've removed their shims, thinking they were better than they are?

I have experienced panic induced trail-braking by overcooking a turn and the whole car gets evenly squirrelly, rather than spinning out.
 

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Repeat after me: "don't lift don't lift don't lift don't lift don't lift don't lift don't lift don't lift don't lift don't lift "

Sorry to hear about the car, glad you are OK. good luck with insurance.
 

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I can't believe no one has said this yet: That will buff right out.
 

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For all the new owners that have never had a mid engine: Get your car out to a newly paved parking lot early on a sunday morning.....get into a couple of hard "corners" ..........and LIFT. You'll know what it feels like safely.
 

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^ great advice!
 

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For all the new owners that have never had a mid engine: Get your car out to a newly paved parking lot early on a sunday morning.....get into a couple of hard "corners" ..........and LIFT. You'll know what it feels like safely.
We'll be doing this plus getting signed up for the Lotus driving school asap!
 

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Where to sign up?

We'll be doing this plus getting signed up for the Lotus driving school asap!
Where does one sign up for this "Lotus Driving School", and where is it held? I've run autocross (MANY moons ago), including some wheel-to-wheel (again EONS ago) and have some mid-engine experience even prior to my current car. But.... Getting current/refreshers can never hurt! Any details would be greatly appreciated.
 
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