[200q20v] Oversteer in stock 91 200tq

Chris Covington malth at umich.edu
Wed Nov 29 12:05:54 EST 2000

On Wed, 29 Nov 2000, Phil Rose wrote:
> I disagree. If your assumption were true (although I don't doubt your
> personal experience), then wouldn't it be an easy leap to also believe that
> handling and grip are generally unaffected by tire choice? Things like

While amusing, neither one of your derivatives of my advice has
anything to do with the situation at hand:  the 200q20v in question does
not have different width tires (or even make) nor do I believe on the
side that tires make absolutely no difference wrt the handling of a car.

Nevertheless, I'll clarify these readings into my advice, which I
think are a stretch:  I meant to imply that such a large change in the
handling of a factory understeering 200q20v to an oversteering machine is
probably less related to tires than it is to other factors.  While tires
can make a noticeable difference in handling, I would not agree that the
extent of this difference would amount to the symptom at hand and that
this situation could be solely caused by tire choice alone.  Unless you
know someone with another s-car or 200q20v near by and can simply test
drive his wheels/tires to find out if that is the problem, I think it
would pay to simply have the suspension checked out by a trusted 
specialist rather than taking a guess by buying, replacing and mounting 2
tires without any obvious sign that this the true cause of the problem.  

I'm not a fan of "shotgun" fixes.  And suppose these new tires are much
less warn than the front 2?  Should he then replace all 4 simply because
it's "easy" although expensive and time consuming?  I think it would be
less expensive, time consuming and possibly easier to have a specialist
look at the suspension instead, and that's my advice.

I also did not mean to imply that different widths would not affect the
aforementioned degree of handling - just that, as it is now, the same
exact "size" tire, which also happens to have the same diameter, is not a
large area for concern.  

'91 2cq

> rubber compounding, tread design, depth and even tire age would cease to be
> considerations. I doubt you'd think 225x up front and 195x in the rear
> would leave oversteer tendency unaffected as long as the diameters are the
> same. While that may seem an absurd stretch, the problem Derek describes is
> in the wet, where traction is at a minimum and F/R tire differences will be
> amplified.
> In any event, it's always best to first eliminate the "easy" potential
> causes of a problem, and I'd imagine that testing with four identical tires
> is probably much simpler than suspension rebushing, alignment, etc.
> Phil

More information about the 200q20v mailing list