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Poll: Best two tyres. Fit to front or Rear of FWD car.

Total Members Polled: 202

Front:
54%
Rear:
46%
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G_T

Original Poster:

9,587 posts

74 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
This came up on another thread and I really am rather confused.

Hypothetically you have a FWD car and have two brand new tyres and two perfectly legal but not as good tyres.

Now I would, and have in the past, always fitted the best two tyres to the front of a FWD car. The reason being that these are the wheels that have use more of the grip to turn, brake and accelerate.

But another thread on here states that many tyre fitters recommend fitting them to the rear to reduce the risk of oversteer?

Surely it's not a case of understeer vs. oversteer though. By fitting the best tyres to the front surely it's more a case of neutral handling (if best tyres at front) vs. understeer (best tyres at rear).

I'm not arguing against the grain but I really don't understand the logic to fitting your best tyres to the rear of a FWD front engined car!


rottie102

3,130 posts

68 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
1) It's been discussed over and over again, please search
2) You have answered your own question - the idea is that oversteer kills stupid people in an instant, so anything is better than that.

vit4

3,358 posts

54 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
For what it's worth, my garage swap the tyres round at each service from front to back.

kambites

40,035 posts

105 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
On cars where the wheels are the same size, I rotate my tyres so they all need replacing at the same time. smile

If I had to choose though, I'd put the new ones on the rear. It's not a question of making "normal" over-steer less likely, it's a question of whether you're better off with the front or rear aquaplaning and I'd go for the fronts, since that way you'll still be pointing in roughly the right direction when your car stops being a boat. So it's not a question of "best tyres" on the rear, but rather of "tyres with the most tread".

Edited by kambites on Saturday 2nd October 14:26

jon-

13,504 posts

100 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
kambites said:
It's not a question of making "normal" over-steer less likely, it's a question of whether you're better off with the front or rear aquaplaning and I'd go for the fronts, since that way you'll still be pointing in roughly the right direction when your car stops being a boat. So it's not a question of "best tyres" on the rear, but rather of "tyres with the most tread".

Edited by kambites on Saturday 2nd October 14:26
Nailed.

If you hit standing water the last thing you want is the rear floating and the front biting.
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G_T

Original Poster:

9,587 posts

74 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
So basically it has very little to do with under/over steer, the concern is aqua-planing?


marcosgt

7,478 posts

60 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
I've always put mine on the front with the view that I'd rather have traction than undriven wheels with the 'grip' but nothing to do with it.

I'm not going to make a case for this approach as many have put forward the view that oversteer is the thing to be absolutely avoided, but I've never had cause to regret my approach.

M.

Turkey

199 posts

68 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
This shows it quite well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5YsQ_a_ijA

With bad aquaplaning on the rear you will get oversteer if the front is gripping, on a curve. Equally you could say that when dry, tread depth is not important, but having the grippier tyres on the back is still a good idea, unless you never trail brake or have to brake on a bend.

bodhi

2,811 posts

113 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
Michelin recommend putting new tyres on the rear, so the axle you have the least control over has the most grip. As they know a thing or two about tyres, i am more than happy to follow their advice.

TheRoadWarrior

1,217 posts

62 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
This topic came up recently on Renaultsport. I've got to agree that putting them on the front is the best thing to do,
the front wheels provide the drive and steering and for a front engine FWD car carry more weight.

- More control over the car due to better grip at the front
- braking in a straight line in the wet; more front tread = shorter stopping distance
- newer tyres = newer rubber and more tread; meaning a blow-out on the front is less likely
- understeer vs oversteer. (Personally) much prefer oversteer at the limit, perhaps for joe public understeer is somehow safer, but if you're pushing-on on a B-road, theres nothing more disconcerting that sudden understeer!

john_p

7,070 posts

134 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
For most people driving on public roads unexpected oversteer is far more likely to cause an accident than sudden understeer. Apart from PH driving gods, who will heroically catch their drifting Focus on the M40 sliproad at 7am on rain with no bother. *cough*

So, for both FWD and RWD, it makes more sense to put the new tyres on the back instead of the front.

Patrick Bateman

5,447 posts

58 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
TheRoadWarrior said:
This topic came up recently on Renaultsport. I've got to agree that putting them on the front is the best thing to do,
the front wheels provide the drive and steering and for a front engine FWD car carry more weight.

- More control over the car due to better grip at the front
- braking in a straight line in the wet; more front tread = shorter stopping distance
- newer tyres = newer rubber and more tread; meaning a blow-out on the front is less likely
- understeer vs oversteer. (Personally) much prefer oversteer at the limit, perhaps for joe public understeer is somehow safer, but if you're pushing-on on a B-road, theres nothing more disconcerting that sudden understeer!
Did you not watch the video posted there?

weezb

678 posts

48 months

[news] 
Saturday 2nd October 2010 quote quote all
Patrick Bateman said:
TheRoadWarrior said:
This topic came up recently on Renaultsport. I've got to agree that putting them on the front is the best thing to do,
the front wheels provide the drive and steering and for a front engine FWD car carry more weight.

- More control over the car due to better grip at the front
- braking in a straight line in the wet; more front tread = shorter stopping distance
- newer tyres = newer rubber and more tread; meaning a blow-out on the front is less likely
- understeer vs oversteer. (Personally) much prefer oversteer at the limit, perhaps for joe public understeer is somehow safer, but if you're pushing-on on a B-road, theres nothing more disconcerting that sudden understeer!
Did you not watch the video posted there?
I watched the video, there are too many variables.

Let me say upfront I don't like Vicky Butler Henderson at all, anyone who describes some bint as a "lucky girl", due to going out with the then Chief of Ferrari, the odious Jean Todt, is worth the watching in my book.

Furthermore, anything, and I really do mean anything, appearing on Channel 5 is questionable. Allow me to illustrate: On the Gadget Show a few years back they were promoting a particular program that was "guaranteed" to obliterate any sensitive data on a hardrive, so that it may never be recovered. This program only worked on FAT32 partition system, which was/is Windows 98 and earlier, it did not work on the NTFS system, which was on the NT/Windows XP and later systems, which they were supposedly using this super program on.

Now beside this, as I said too many variables. I am a Scientist by profession, so factors such as weight distribution in car, cheapo tyres like linglong on back and "good" brand on front, road surface, camber, driver related "nuances" etc all have to be considered. Finally, one data point is never, ever enough to draw a conclusion from. It may suggest better grip on the back is preferable to the front in FWD (in fact any), what it is not is a conclusion.





Edited by weezb on Sunday 3rd October 00:00

parapaul

2,828 posts

82 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd October 2010 quote quote all
While I, like most here, would prefer a car to oversteer, the issue with where to out new tyres has little to do with giving it 10/10 around the twisties.

If I hit a patch of water on the M6 at 6am on the way to work, I don't want the back to lose grip before the front and end up sideways in the crash barriers.

So for that reason alone, I shall always fit the best tyres to the back.

Matt UK

9,266 posts

84 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd October 2010 quote quote all
kambites said:
On cars where the wheels are the same size, I rotate my tyres so they all need replacing at the same time. smile

If I had to choose though, I'd put the new ones on the rear. It's not a question of making "normal" over-steer less likely, it's a question of whether you're better off with the front or rear aquaplaning and I'd go for the fronts, since that way you'll still be pointing in roughly the right direction when your car stops being a boat. So it's not a question of "best tyres" on the rear, but rather of "tyres with the most tread".

Edited by kambites on Saturday 2nd October 14:26
Spot on. Most tread always on the rear.

Larry Dickman

3,762 posts

102 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd October 2010 quote quote all
My opinion is that there's to many variables involved so probably doesn't make much of a difference either way, so I just put them where they're needed. That's gotta be right 50% of the time & if you're that worried about it don't drive like a tt in the wet.

Silent1

18,906 posts

119 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd October 2010 quote quote all
rottie102 said:
1) It's been discussed over and over again, please search
Bloody hell when did we turn into a "use the search, idiot" Nazi forum? Rather than tell him to search, how about providing a link?

Colin 1985

1,873 posts

54 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd October 2010 quote quote all
For me the most likely emergency situation to be in, is someone doing something stupid in front of me which will require maximum breaking (ie kids in road, people pulling out of junctions), therefore best tyres go on the front. I think any situation involving oversteer in a FWD car is likely to be my own making and hence can be dealt with, perhaps anyone that need to setup their car save themselves during reckless driving should consider stability control instead (track driving exclude obviously).

ETA: After reading some articles and posts on other treads I think i'm going to find a fence to sit on and say that where you put your best tyres depends on what situations you most often find yourself in - which for me, since I don't often drive near the limit and haven't found oversteer to be as mush of a problem as emergency breaking its best to have them on the front, but if someone has a car that is more prone to oversteer, or drives closer to the limit etc. maybe on the rear is better...

Edited by Colin 1985 on Sunday 3rd October 06:24

kambites

40,035 posts

105 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd October 2010 quote quote all
G_T said:
So basically it has very little to do with under/over steer, the concern is aqua-planing?
Correct. Newer tyres do tend to have more grip than older ones in the dry because tyre compounds seem to harden with age, but the really big difference between new and old tyres of the same type, is how well they disperse standing water. In the dry and slightly damp conditions, I'd have a slight preference for having the new tyres being on the front; on standing water, a massive preference for them being on the rear.

However, the best solution is to rotate the tyres so that you replace all four at once.

Speed_Demon

2,034 posts

72 months

[news] 
Sunday 3rd October 2010 quote quote all
I have crappy 5 year old chinese ditchfinders on the rear of mine and Continental SC3s on the front.

Hello lift-off induced oversteer.
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