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Old 18-07-2016
Trailfirst  Trailfirst is offline
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Default Winding road handling?

I drove on the tightest of the three "range roads" in our region on the weekend - first time in the Trailhawk - and was a bit horrified at how uncomfortable the wee beastie felt when pushed a bit in tight twisties - more so downhill than uphill.

She was VERY heavy to turn in really deep - and felt really on the verge of understeer - like RIGHT on the edge of letting go a few times. I really didn't enjoy the sensation at all! (keep in mind I also drive an EXTREMELY quick Falcon so might just be spoiled).

Has anyone else felt their Cherokee to be a bit less in handling than they might have expected?

We just had it serviced - where they did align it - and I'm sure the steering feels somewhat heavier off centre than it did before and the vehicle tracks noticeably more solidly DEAD straight with hands off - so its possible the buggers gave it a bit more toe in to correct a bit of wear on outside passenger side and inside driver side front tyres.

Book specs are 0.1 degree toe IN with +/- 0.15 degrees tolerance - so as much as half a degree toe OUT would be in spec - I might try that (I set my Falcon to between zero and poofteenth toe OUT for best handling - ANY toe in is shite on that).

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Old 18-07-2016
lujabe  lujabe is offline
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I think it's all relative. My previous vehicle was a Gti Golf, so the Trailhawk handles like a barrel of crap by comparison. That said, it's probably the best balanced off-road capable vehicle I've driven. At the end of the day it's still a near-on 2 tonne vehicle on stilts and somewhat baggy tyres, so I'm never surprised when the nose wants to push wide on a tight downhill facing turn. Take a Prado for a spin and then you'll have a newfound appreciation when you get back into yours, I promise!
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Old 18-07-2016
Trailfirst  Trailfirst is offline
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Thanks lujabe - I understand what you mean I don't expect the Trailhawk to beat all comers - was just surprised by just how outright poor it handled And yeah, my Falcon is similar situation - the car handles better than the seats are able to hold and when it does slide its beautifully progressive and balanced. I wouldn't even have tried to push the TH except we had a couple of cars in turn end up bit more than tailgating (clearly showing attitude) so I tried to get a wriggle on to not hold em up so much until I could pull over - no thought of trying to race or beat them - I just wanted better gap. That felt so ugly very quickly that I instead slowed down a bit so their (very near) distance was safer for the speed - and got off as soon as I could to let them go. If the dickheads had just stayed further back - and I mean they were STUPIDLY close (common thing in FNQ tho) - I'd have stayed at my original slightly higher pace.

The first believe it or not looked very much like an EL GT so i wasn't bothered by that one, but the second was a bloody beat up ute of some sort with fibreglass back canopy on it and elderly durry chompin hillbilly lookin guy driving - ie. hilux or triton type thing - older model. THAT stung a bit...

It also didn't occur to me to try selecting either snow mode to put drive thru all 4 wheels or sport mode to give rear wheel drive bias and see if that felt better.
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Old 18-07-2016
lujabe  lujabe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailfirst View Post
Thanks lujabe - I understand what you mean I don't expect the Trailhawk to beat all comers - was just surprised by just how outright poor it handled And yeah, my Falcon is similar situation - the car handles better than the seats are able to hold and when it does slide its beautifully progressive and balanced. I wouldn't even have tried to push the TH except we had a couple of cars in turn end up bit more than tailgating (clearly showing attitude) so I tried to get a wriggle on to not hold em up so much until I could pull over - no thought of trying to race or beat them - I just wanted better gap. That felt so ugly very quickly that I instead slowed down a bit so their (very near) distance was safer for the speed - and got off as soon as I could to let them go. If the dickheads had just stayed further back - and I mean they were STUPIDLY close (common thing in FNQ tho) - I'd have stayed at my original slightly higher pace.

The first believe it or not looked very much like an EL GT so i wasn't bothered by that one, but the second was a bloody beat up ute of some sort with fibreglass back canopy on it and elderly durry chompin hillbilly lookin guy driving - ie. hilux or triton type thing - older model. THAT stung a bit...

It also didn't occur to me to try selecting either snow mode to put drive thru all 4 wheels or sport mode to give rear wheel drive bias and see if that felt better.
Hmm. I can't say I've ever felt I'm holding up traffic... Yeah you get the occasional flog trying to prove a point on a hilly/windy road, but last time that flog was driving a hilux he nearly lost it sideways trying to keep up on a bend, so from what you describe it sounds like something's not quite right.
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Old 18-07-2016
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Try the same stretch in spot mode which engages the rear wheels, mine feels much more sure footed like that. In auto it just feels like a large front wheel drive. That is in comparison to the wifes front wheel drive Cooper S...

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Old 18-07-2016
Trailfirst  Trailfirst is offline
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Yeah, I'm kicking myself for just not thinking to try snow and sport... This was the Gillies Range near Cairns - and yeah you get more than a fair share of total psychos on that road doing insane speeds. To put it in perspective, for safety reasons (number of crashes) the speed limit is 60 on that range road now - and when I tried to get space I was prolly doing 55 thru hair raisingly tight bends and 70 inbetween - with each of those idiots RIGHT up my date... And that was with the road wet... Fairly normal for the Gillies unfortunately

I only went as fast in each case (briefly) as I felt the vehicle could handle - with a margin - but at that it was disappointing and it just felt like waaay much harder work than it should have been to achieve.

Took a quick measurement across treads on the front tyres - ie. up as close to the underbody as possible front and back of the tyres - and there's clear 4 to 5mm difference in the toe IN direction. On my falcon that would be very noticeably adversely affecting handling - so I think it's doing same on the TH.

I'll either take it somewhere or just try a 1/4 turn on each tie rod myself. I do my own alignment on the Falcon with spirit level and plumbob and a shaped timber beam arrangement that gives me drop spots for toe a meter in front and behind the wheels (tho zero toe by that actually generally matches a zero difference measured across the treads too). The Falcon handles superbly, has centered wheel and the tyres are wearing absolutely evenly...

Other thing is that unfortunately I can SEE physically and by tyre wear that there's a tad too much negative camber on the driver side and too little on the passenger side. It really should be bit more neg on the passenger side compared to the driver side - thats how I set the Falcon and it almost feels like it steers itself thru gentle curves and is absolutely compliant and eager thru tighter stuff. I mentioned that when it was in for service but i think their fix was to toe it in - even tho the Service Manual says you can tweak camber and caster by shifting the crossmember as required - with a table showing which way to shift it for what result...
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Old 18-07-2016
260DET  260DET is offline
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Comparing a Trailhawk with a good handling sedan like a Falcon is a bit unrealistic as you probably realise. Honestly I'm impressed by the handling of my diesel and that includes some very tight mountain driving on third grade roads, I don't hang around, it's usually other people holding me up. Different stock tyres to a Trailhawk of course. No, my low rider is damn good, recommended.
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Old 19-09-2016
Trailfirst  Trailfirst is offline
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Problem fixed!

Had Dynapro AT-m RF10 Tyres fitted on Saturday morning - and specifically asked for zero to slightly toe out on the front and zero toe on the rear (with everything checked for rear running true to front etc.).

So far we've gotten in a few hours driving round town and on Sunday did a drive up and down the Gillies Range and all over the place up in the Tablelands.

These tyres prove IMO that TH suspension tune does NOT suit SUV tyres!!!. There's much less roll and sway and even hard cornering feels waaaayy more comfortable for driver AND passengers!!. It's so marked that I reckon it almost warrants an official complaint to FCA about how terrible the tyre option supplied really is!! I'm not saying that Geolandar SUV tyres are no good - just that they don't suit the TH (in 245/65/17 they don't, anyway).

Handling wise the issues I was having are also fixed. Simple as that. The steering had become VERY heavy off centre after the dealer service where they reckoned they had fixed front passenger side tyre outer shoulder and driver side inside shoulder wear by adjusting the alignment. Clearly the hopeless bastards just put a heap of toe in (was 5.4mm total toe - is now zero). Now the steering is nice and light again, turn in tho not what i'd call "eager" at least doesn't fight hard against the turn and make the whole thing feel on the verge of flipping. I was able to go MUCH quicker than before as described in my earlier posts above - while at the same time everyone in the vehicle were also much more comfortable! - ie. the improved ride I mentioned - with less roll and sway than the Yokos. There's absolutely no wandering even under hard braking on uneven surface so I'd actually like to try a poofteenth of toe out to see if the handling can be lifted that tiny bit from not bad to really good...

And another comment regarding the dynapro tyres - and I feel odd saying this about AT tyres vs supposedly much more road oriented SUV tyres - but with the Yoko SUV tyres I never felt secure pushing it hard in corners - especially after the dealer buggered the alignment - I always felt it would just let go without any warning if it was pushed too hard. With the Dynapros it's comfortable pushing WAAAY harder than I was ever game to with the Yokos and when it does get to the point where grip is running out I can clearly feel it.

In love with the Wee Beastie all over again!
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Last edited by Trailfirst; 21-09-2016 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 28-09-2016
260DET  260DET is offline
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That's good news, nothing worse than not being able to enjoy a drive because the vehicle is not right. No problems with the Bridgestone Duelers on mine, no doubt that there can be a big difference between even name brand tyres, strange.
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