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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Today I collected a used R8 (6000 miles) which I purchased last week. In the run up to the collection the dealer lent me their barely driven '09 for 5 days.
Aside from the used R8 having a 100x better gearbox, presumably due to being worn in significantly more, other things are not quite so rosy.

The '09 I drove had significantly 'weighty' steering, such that whether you were driving at 60mph or 160mph, it took a decisive adjustment of the steering wheel to change your direction of travel... on the other hand, the car I picked up today.. steers more like a bluebottle fly. The steering is SIGNIFICANTLY lighter and I have to concentrate considerably more to keep the car in the centre of the lane. Even my wife, who knows sod all about cars commented that this one felt 'all over the place'.

The only point that seems slightly relevant is that this car has 2 brand new, never been driven on tyres and 2 that have barely done any miles.

Does anyone have any insight into this phenomenon? I'm quite sure its not in my head and need at least some idea of what to blame if/when I return to the dealer to check things out. Whilst I've read various threads commenting on low powersteering fluid reducing steering sensitivity, i've not seen anything describing the opposite. Is it possible the inverse relationship between speed and sensitivity is some how screwed up and my car is not decreasing sensitivity as speed increases?

Any input appreciated,

Richard
 

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The word precise must have been invented for the R8 ! I was traveling at around 70 mph and saw a mouse in the road,Barely missed it and the fool tailgating me killed the poor thing.Lanes merged and I had to get real close to a road cone.I must have run over the base of cone 'cuz i saw the thing wobble a bit in my rear view mirror.It stayed upright. Yesterdaay I learned what precise really means.I have 7,500 miles now.I purchased with 1800 miles on her. I have'nt noticed any difference in the steering.I think you can sneeze hard and accidently do a 180 if not careful!!:D Oh yeah, maybe your alignment is off?:)
 

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Has the releasing agent on the new tyres worn off (assuming they are on the front), are the pressures OK?
 

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tyres was my first thought too - the steering should have a pretty meaty feel to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The pressures all seem ok; 0.5psi missing on a back tyre, but nothing extravagent.
As for the front tyres, I'm not too sure really. They have, maybe, 100-120 miles on them and they squeel like mad on the surface of my garage. I certainly couldn't say they're really settled in yet.. but is this to blame, i'm not too sure. I'll put a few hundred miles on them over the weekend and see if things change.
Unfortunately I think the only real way to discover if something is wrong would be to compare it to another well run-in car, and they don't grow on trees :)
 

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Mine has 8500 miles on it, so it's run in OK, and I don't get the same problems you describe. My car is awesome on the steering and is definitely 'on rails'
 

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You should get the 4 wheel alignment checked out a.s a.p....
Mine has over 26,000 miles on it now and the steering feels fine.

Where are you based?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, after a weekend of 'spirited driving' ensuring the tyres are absolutel broken in, I still can't shake the niggling feeling that something is wrong. I'm not worried so much that the steering is noticeably lighter (Lighter doesn't mean inprecise, i'm referring to the weight/resistance felt when turning the wheel left/right) than the loaner, its that the car seems to get upset by road imperfections much more than the loaner did, the consequence being that hard cornering combined with nuances in the road's surface impose a certain sense of insecurity. I suppose I could say the suspension just feels far to springy and unpredictable, especially with the mag ride in comfort mode.
The car doesn't appear to pull to one side when my hands are removed from the wheel and I accelerate hard and braking hard doesn't appear to upset the straight line.

So.. I'm left with the following checklist to hand the dealer tomorrow:
1) Wheel balance
2) Tracking
3) Dampers

To anyone who's had a damper replaced (leaking fluid etc), what symptoms appeared in the car's handling before the dampers were replaced?

Has anyone who's driven multiple R8s noticed differences in the steering feel and handling of each? Especially in the newer models. Perhaps 2009 cars have been engineered with a heavier steering feel?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?
 

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Has anyone who's driven multiple R8s noticed differences in the steering feel and handling of each? Especially in the newer models. Perhaps 2009 cars have been engineered with a heavier steering feel?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I have driven three different 2008 R8's and they all felt like mine ... not "light" at all.
 

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I have an'08. I have ridden in two '09's and they were no different .No problems noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thx for the input,

I think the car feels better. Nothing dramatic, but it's not as unpredictable. I haven't taken any long drives, which is where I really noticed the nervousness before. When I get back from a long trip, I'll update this thread.
After your next long trip did you decide that adjusting the alignment was definitely the culprit, rather than any placebo effect?
 

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I believe it made a difference. It was subtle and only really noticable at significant speed.

Yours sounds more obvious. I would certainly start with checking the alignment and a thorough inspection of the steering components before proceeding to more invasive and/or expensive troubleshooting.
 

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Hey DESPARADO,After riding in my R 8,how does my alingment feel?? Everything is at factory specs. I am going to need tires soon and am considering the R888's like yours but for everyday usage.What do you think?:)
 

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Hey DESPARADO,After riding in my R 8,how does my alingment feel??
FAAAAST! :D

I am ... considering the R888's like yours but for everyday usage.What do you think?:)
Since I haven't driven in the rain with the R888s, I don't feel qualified to comment. I have to say that I really liked the R888 on the track. Very, very predictable handling when properly warmed up and running near the limit of grip.
They are noisy though, even when brand new. I think I'd find this annoying for an everyday tire. [I wish they made the Toyo Proxes R1R in the 19" sizes.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I believe it made a difference. It was subtle and only really noticable at significant speed.

Yours sounds more obvious. I would certainly start with checking the alignment and a thorough inspection of the steering components before proceeding to more invasive and/or expensive troubleshooting.
Well.. I couldn't say obvious. If you had never been in an R8 before, I doubt you'd notice it really. However, after driving a different car for 500+ miles then switching to another one in the space of 5 minutes, its very easy to notice the most minor differences.
 

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I know this is an old post but would be interested in how things professed. This is exactly how I would describe the problem with my car.

Thanks
 
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