What is Oversteer?
In the oversteer condition, your car’s rear end will be trying to get round the corner before the front! Accelerating makes the condition worse, steering into the slide and taking your foot off the accelerator can sort things out unless momentum has taken over at which point a trip backwards into the trackside scenery, tyre wall or crash barrier is very likely.
To reduce oversteer we need to induce less weight transfer to the front wheels to maintain grip at the rear. If we soften one end of the car, we resist weight transfer away from that end. The easiest way to soften or stiffen the suspension of a car is by fitting a set of adjustable dampers or. This is often the starting point for suspension changes as both will allow damping adjustments over a range from soft to hard. Many manufacturers of coilovers offer springs of varying stiffness rates allowing you to experiment with softer and harder springs. Anti-roll bars act in a similar way to springs, resisting body roll during cornering, stiffer anti roll bars can be purchased, many of which are adjustable to offer differing degrees of stiffness. Try the following to alter the weight transfer characteristics of your car:
- Try softening the rear damping or stiffening the front damping to reduce weight transfer to the front wheels.
- Use softer rear springs or stiffer front springs.
- Use a stiffer front anti-roll bar or a softer rear anti-roll bar.
You can also make changes to the physical components and set-up of your cars suspension to maximise the tyre contact with road at the front or rear depending upon where more or less grip is required. Depending on how adjustable you cars original suspension is you may need to purchase front or rear adjustable alignment bars and camber adjustable top mounts (many coilover kits come with these as standard) in order to alter the physical set-up of your specific car.
- Reducing toe-in at the front and/or increasing toe-out at the back encourages the rear of the car to break traction less readily than the front which has the effect of increasing grip at the rear.
- Reducing front camber can reduce the front tyres contact patch on the road reducing front end grip with the effect of increasing rear end grip.
- Increasing rear camber increases the rear tyres contact patch on the road increasing its grip.