displaying posts 1 to 14 of 14

Author Subject: Understeer on stock GTI-6
Sebos2000

Newbie

Location: Madrid

Registered: 20 Dec 2022

Posts: 7

Status: Offline

Post #1
Hi all,
New to GTI6 ownership, wrote off my Xsara VTS which I loved but only owned as a cheaper alternative to the GTI-6. Bought a GTI which needed quite a bit of work, and is finally "sorted" (i.e. brought back to stock and all suspension components gone through, including bushes, springs, dampers, drop links, etc).

I bought new Bilstein B4 dampers front and rear, as well as new stock front springs; the old ones were 30mm lowered and I did not agree with the extremely unbalanced handling (chronic understeer and sh*tty ground clearance).

I have taken it to both Jarama in Madrid and recently Donnington Park in the UK. It performed reliably and relatively well. However, there is non existant lift off oversteer, and it understeers far more than i remember my Xsara doing so. It is almost impossible to get the arse to try and overtake you. Im not interested in peeling off milliseconds off my lap time, or outright stability/predictability. Im after fun; engagement. Thats why i have a 306 and not a Golf.

Tyres are usually Kumho Ecsta HS52, stock dimensions, and R888s on the front on dry trackdays. I deflated the fronts to 2.1 bar hot, and the rears to 2.8 bar hot, from the stock 2.5 front and rear. Very little difference, albeit slightly better turn in. Still chronically understeering and very difficult to get that code brown feeling of the rear end snapping on you. Asked Pug1Off to set the toe to parallel to try and encourage a better turn in without compromising stability too much, but it did not help nearly as much as i thought it would.

From what I can gather, the rear TB is slightly softer on the GTI than that of the Xsara. The Xsara also has a quicker steering rack, and felt like its centre of gravity was lower.

I suppose this thread is basically asking you all whether my expectations were tainted by the unhinged nature of my Xsara VTS, and if the 306 GTI is supposed to be a bit more grown up. Im not sure if I believe this, as the GTI has such an incredible reputation for lively handling. (I also have a 306 1.6 8v sedan which is very unhinged when I want it to be). Im not sure what else I can change/check. Maybe I should double check the rear TB's so verify they are stock and not softer? Maybe the rear shocks are defective? Maybe the front ARB is thicker than stock? I am pretty lost, to be honest, and a bit disappointed considering how many thousands of pounds i spent getting this car sorted and back to stock configuration.
Any contributions welcome! Thank you.
Posted 13th Feb 2024 at 12:54
S8-Tom

Regular

Location: Chichester

Registered: 02 Feb 2018

Posts: 333

Status: Offline

Post #2
I'm no expert but, your Xsara will have had thicker torsion bars than the GTi6.

Also, have a look here for rear toe and camber differences.

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Posted 14th Feb 2024 at 10:06
Sebos2000

Newbie

Location: Madrid

Registered: 20 Dec 2022

Posts: 7

Status: Offline

Post #3
Thanks Tom. I still have my wrecked '01 Xsara VTS; do you know if I could transplant its entire rear beam to my '00 GTI-6?
Should I perhaps invest in a thicker rear ARB from Spoox/Pug1Off? Do you know if there would be any adverse effects of upgrading a rear ARB but not the torsion beams?
Thanks
Posted 14th Feb 2024 at 16:33
S8-Tom

Regular

Location: Chichester

Registered: 02 Feb 2018

Posts: 333

Status: Offline

Post #4
Sebos2000 wrote:
do you know if I could transplant its entire rear beam to my '00 GTI-6?


100% yes but maybe rebuild it first. New bearings as a minimum and you may need new trailing arm shafts.

My trailing arm shafts at 110K miles (mileage won't necessarily be an indication of condition more the abuse it's had)



Replacement trailing arm shaft (part number for reference)




Sebos2000 wrote:
Should I perhaps invest in a thicker rear ARB from Spoox/Pug1Off? Do you know if there would be any adverse effects of upgrading a rear ARB but not the torsion beams?
Thanks


I'd be inlined to change one thing at a time so you can see how the changes are effecting the drive Thumbs up

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Posted 14th Feb 2024 at 16:49
monty-69

Senior User

Location: Colne

Registered: 02 Jul 2006

Posts: 790

Status: Offline

Post #5
Some reviews mentioned the xsara vts was more tail happy/unsettled than the gti6.
Check all the wheels and bushes for wear and play.. It amazes me how many garages set the wheel alignment before checking the condition of the bushes. Camber is not adjustable but still advised to be checked along with toe. Check the torsion bar size is 20mm? If everything ok, unbolt a rear anti roll bar plate and check condition of spines.. check the other side is meshed to the arb by prying plate in the arc of suspension travel and checking for tension. If all ok, remove rear anti roll bar and measure diameter. Maybe worn or pattern part rear axle bushes are not helping. I vaguely recall b4 dampers being under-damped on the rear beam, or was that for the 205?. Hope this helps
Posted 17th Feb 2024 at 19:46
jord294

Seasoned Pro

Location: somewhere in north wales

Registered: 09 Nov 2009

Posts: 3,106

Status: Offline

Post #6
Vts axle is set lower than a gti6 from factory. Always an upgrade is the vts axle on a 306. You also benefit cambered arms, but most vts axles I've rebuilt had 23mm arb compared to the 306s 24mm arb

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Posted 18th Feb 2024 at 14:57
Sebos2000

Newbie

Location: Madrid

Registered: 20 Dec 2022

Posts: 7

Status: Offline

Post #7
Thanks for the insights guys. Over the weekend I attended a track day at Silverstone. Damp track made for absolutely one of the most frustrating drives of my life. An understeering mess. The track dried up after lunch and allowed me to run my R888 front tyres. Absolutely transformed the car, and I remembered why I once fell in love with this chassis. It was playful but easily re-composable. Rear tyres were still the Kumho┬┤s. In fact I had so much fun that I absolutely tore apart my already relatively worn R888s (3 track days old).
See the aftermath here: https://ibb.co/47MrG0Z

Looks like it needs more camber, too, which cant be done without a camber plate I believe. I suppose it may be relevant to add I have a set of B4 front+rear dampers from my Xsara VTS, which I was told were identical to the 306 (please correct if I'm wrong). If not identical, could a slightly different strut design affect camber gain/other suspension variables?
Posted 19th Feb 2024 at 17:35
Joep

Regular

Location: Urmond (The Netherlands)

Registered: 19 Sep 2013

Posts: 469

Status: Offline

Post #8
I have Kumho Exsta HS51 on my track 306. They are okay for normal road use. Bit as soon as you drive a bit sporty they are s**te! I had them fitted during Peugeot Festival. But during the drive on the winding roads in the countryside, they made the car understeer excessively!

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Posted 19th Feb 2024 at 20:36
welshpug!

Capt Pedantic

Location: Bigend, Wales.

Registered: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 25,822

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Post #9
Damp track means different lines to dry, also sounds like some tuition would help.

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Posted 19th Feb 2024 at 21:14
Sebos2000

Newbie

Location: Madrid

Registered: 20 Dec 2022

Posts: 7

Status: Offline

Post #10
Joep wrote:
I have Kumho Exsta HS51 on my track 306. They are okay for normal road use. Bit as soon as you drive a bit sporty they are s**te! I had them fitted during Peugeot Festival. But during the drive on the winding roads in the countryside, they made the car understeer excessively!


Encouraging to hear im not alone in hating these tyres. Ill get rid of them asap. What tyres do you recommend for fast road driving? I also need new trackday tyres (I have a second set of wheels for trackday use), considering Nankang AR1s, R888 and AD08R. Just want the best bang for buck, longest lasting track focused semi slicks. Thanks
Posted 20th Feb 2024 at 19:28
Sebos2000

Newbie

Location: Madrid

Registered: 20 Dec 2022

Posts: 7

Status: Offline

Post #11
welshpug! wrote:
Damp track means different lines to dry, also sounds like some tuition would help.


Im well aware of the difference between dry and wet lines. As I initially said, this problem persists beyond wet trackdays; the cars turn in and front end grip in all conditions is quite poor.
Posted 20th Feb 2024 at 19:30
S8-Tom

Regular

Location: Chichester

Registered: 02 Feb 2018

Posts: 333

Status: Offline

Post #12
Sebos2000 wrote:
What tyres do you recommend for fast road driving?


Michelin Pilot Sport 3 is the tyre of choice for most people on 15" wheels Thumbs up

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Posted 21st Feb 2024 at 08:05
welshpug!

Capt Pedantic

Location: Bigend, Wales.

Registered: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 25,822

Status: Offline

Post #13
honestly sounds like you are trying too hard.

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Posted 21st Feb 2024 at 17:18
ben306

Seasoned Pro

Location: North West

Registered: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 2,938

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Post #14
welshpug! wrote:
honestly sounds like you are trying too hard.


This Thumbs up

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Posted 27th Feb 2024 at 11:12

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