Slippery when wet - or how one little 180 can be rather expensive

Time has passed so now I can write about my little incident without cursing :-)
Aprox. two months ago I was driving home from work in heavy rain,
stopped at the light at a T-junction, took a right turn and did a slow 180 spin which ended with me parked neatly next to the curb in the opposite direction of traffic. There was little drama, fortunately no traffic and in fact no one saw me do it. But there was an ugly sound when the spin ended by my left rear wheel hitting the curb!
I wasn't racing and having just left plus in fact I driving a bit slow due to the rain so my speed was maybe 15 MPH so I am sure that either my wheels or the road was extra slippery due to oil or something. The road from work takes me past a harbor where lots of goods are transported so maybe some spillage took me out (There should have been a guy with a orange/yellow striped flag).
Anyway I am writing this to warn about being to relaxed just because you drive slow in a place where you have been hundreds of times.
I was lucky as there was no traffic so I did not cause damage/harm to anything but my MX-5 and my pride. Plus also I got soaked by the rain while I waited for the car transport as the car was in a bad place in a fast/heavy traffic location so I did not dare sit in it :-)
My small spin broke/snapped three out of five wheel spooks completely, cracked a fourth about half way and when I mounted the emergency spare for transport it was pretty clear something was out of twisted. No panels was harmed.
The parts list from the garage goes like this:
MD21 25 500 - Drive shaft NC10 25 360 - Lower wishbone 9965 F6 6050 - Mazda alu-wheel NA01 24 460 - Bushing (2x) NA01 28 4D0 - Bushing NA01 28 4B0 - Bushing 9YA1 01 201 - Bolt NA80 28 66ZD - Bolt (2x) NC14 26 140 - Spindel (Not sure what this is) NA01 28 8C0C - Bushing B01A 33 060A - Hub (Not sure about the translation) x - Two new rear tires (They must match) x - Four wheel alignment
Parts, labor and transport came to just under 5000 US. Fortunately my insurance covers it so I get stuck with the first 550 US or so. Only my premium goes up so with that included the little spin cost me 3000 US!
Both spare parts and labor is pretty expensive in this place. The drive shaft alone is almost 1000 US and just the transport cost 300+ US and that was for 7 miles or so. Had the car ended up a less problematic place it may have been cheaper as I had to have it moved on a Friday night.
Kind regards Bruno
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wrote:

Wow, that's bad, I'm very sorry!
I had a similar spin once, slow speed, gentle curve, light rain, road not very wet.
I believe it was caused by old tires that had become hard from age. New tires seem to have cured the problem, I've negotiated the same curve in light rain with the new tires and there's no slip.
I suspect either tread design or age hardening caused or contributed to the spin, you might consider replacing them?
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XS11E wrote:

I think that everyone who has driven a sports car has probably done something similar. Mine was in my 1969 Fiat 124 Spyder. And I was driving on a dry road in clear weather. But when I swapped ends on that sandy road in North Carolina I managed to find one rock sticking up and bend a wheel, damage a tire sidewall, and (as I eventually learned) damaged the wheel bearing.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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John McGaw wrote:

Ouch ouch. Sorry to hear about the expen$ve incident.

Heh, mine was in my 1968 MGB in a light snow. Swapped ends, went up over a curb and broke off the little gadget that holds the e-brake cable to the undercarriage. Fortunately, nothing else was damaged other than my dignity.
Iva & Vixen 2004 Classic Red No more winkin' Miata
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Iva wrote:

My scariest was in a 1969 Alfa. Hit a small patch of ice at the top of a curved hill that bottomed out at a narrow, single lane bridge with concrete abutments. How I made it down backwards around the curve and over the bridge without hitting anything is beyond me. Almost a "conversion experience".
Stuart H. and Wasabi 1991 BRG JDM Eunos Roadster.
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Mine wasn't even in a sports car but a Camry. I pulled the hand brake to spin the rear around to make a perfect stop against the sidewalk and overshot slightly so the rear wheel bumped the concrete. That bump required a wheel bearing replacement. At least there were no witnesses.
Net
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In article

I did that once, in a 240Z. We were going to get a marriage license. My target was a parking space on the other side of the street, right in front of the county courthouse, with parked cars in the spaces ahead and behind. It was wet. I pulled it off perfectly, and didn't hit anything. Plumb in the middle of the space, 3 inches from the curb.
Then I noticed a cop car that was leaving the underground garage beneath the courthouse. The officer had seen the whole thing, and his jaw was in his lap. I told my fiancee, "Just keep walking." That's the last time I ever pulled a dumb stunt like that.
My only spin was in the same car. We were on a twisty road in the Ozarks, and it had rained the night before. I crested a hilltop turn on a trailing throttle, from sun into shade where the pavement was still damp, and did a 360 THROUGH the following S-turn before coming to a stop with one wheel off the road. The only casualty was a small dent in the gas tank, which needed no repair. My Z was set up considerably more neutral than stock, and I learned a lesson about weight transfer.
--
Lanny Chambers
St. Louis, MO
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Lanny Chambers wrote:

Z talk! Yeah! I think that everyone who has driven a Datsun Z car fast has spun it. I spun mine out many, many times on the street and in parking lots on purpose, and twice on accident where all I could do was hope for the best.
The first time, I was driving fast on a dark, unknown road and hit an unmarked 90 degree turn.
The car might have made it, but skillful and experienced driving would have been required, and that means NOT stomping the brakes as hard as possible like I did. I like to think I would have made it if I were in the car then with my current skill level, but I wouldn't bet on it.
That is one of two times that the car became airborne, about a 2 foot drop-off going partially sideways, and I dented and ripped my exhaust loose on a large rock. Looking at it the next day, I was surprised that the car did not roll.
Those cars had tough, heavy suspensions. No damage of any consequence to the drive-line or steering, and I have little doubt that I would have had bent control arms and/or other problems had I been in a more modern, non off-road vehicle like the Miata.
There have been no unintentional spin-outs in a Miata yet, out 10+ years and 150,000+ miles of Miata driving. Two decades of experience and a torsen rear end go a long way.
Pat
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pws wrote:

Every time I've started to lose it, I've instinctively backed off the gas and she straigthens right out. I have no idea if that's what you're supposed to do, but it seems to have worked.
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Frank Berger wrote:

That's exactly what you're *not* supposed to do. Backing off the gas takes weight off the back wheels which could encourage the back end to become the front end, and vice versa.
I know it's instinctive - and I've been guilty of the same thing - but the one thing I learned from my track days is when the back starts to come around, step on the gas and transfer the weight back onto the back wheels to stop the spin.
Or, if you've already lost it, "in a spin, put both feet in" - meaning clutch and brake.
Iva & Vixen 2004 Classic Red No more winkin' Miata
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On Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:57:21 -0400, Iva wrote:

Hmmm, I think driving well is not so easy. I haven't spun yet but I've had some pretty good slides which have involved off-camber turns, rain, or both. The last one was a pretty sharp right that I had taken many times in the dry. When the back end stepped out I didn't step off the gas, but I didn't accelerate either. I just corrected and it straightened itself out a foot or two farther left of where I was originally intending. The Miata is a very forgiving car to drive, and I much prefer sliding to spinning or pushing.
I will have to remember that both feet in bit. Just in case.
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That'll work if you have too much rear camber bias, or have upgraded only the front swaybar. In other words, if your Miata is an understeering pig. :-)
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Lanny Chambers
St. Louis, MO
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Lanny Chambers wrote:

It's stock.
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You still could have an alignment that guarantees understeer under nearly all circumstances. Do you know the current alignment specs?
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Lanny Chambers
St. Louis, MO
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Lanny Chambers wrote:

No. But since I've never specified otherwise, I assume it's stock as well.
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Frank, the factory alignment specs have a ridiculously-large +/- range, presumably to make the dealer's job easier. But the camber on one front wheel could be 0.5 positive and the other 0.5 negative, and the car would still be within spec. Such a car might oversteer in one direction and understeer in the other!
I have never heard of anyone being disappointed with his first precision Miata alignment. Most owners can't believe it's the same car.
--
Lanny Chambers
St. Louis, MO
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Lanny Chambers wrote:

I believe you. I'll have to get around to that.
(It's only been 13 years and 150K miles).
Probably I should replace my orginal shocks also. I had 4 replacement shocks in the trunk that I bought pretty cheaply on e-bay and one night someone stole one of them. Yes, one. Along with an original CD deck that never got around to installing and the faceplate of a backup OEM cassette/radio. Kids.
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On Thu, 20 Aug 2009 15:07:46 -0500, Lanny Chambers wrote:

Do most tire shops know how to do a precision alignment?
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I would say 'most' do not or, more accurately, they don't want or care to. Most are set up to push the cars thru fast and get the easy $. A precision alignment doesn't take much longer with an expert but I'm guessing that, with 'dummies' it's much more of a challenge.
Local Miata clubs or racers should be able to hook you up with the right folks.
Chris 99BBB

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wrote:

Stock Z-cars were not easy to spin otherwise. Mine had a whopping large rear swaybar and Konis.

...in contrast with their delicate, flimsy U-joints. One or another of the six needed replacement every couple of months. You think maybe it was because my engine wasn't stock, either?
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St. Louis, MO
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