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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey kids,

So I was out with my Murano here in Canada. It has snowed and a little freezing rain too so it was nice soft powdery stuff with an icy bottom. (No bare payment spots to hit) So I went to a parking lot that was empty and had lotsa room and did figure eights and donuts for a while in my AWD SL. It was a hoot. I had the windows open and stereo going so I could hear the engine, snow was kicked up into my window. A cloud of powder was flying behind me as I spun the tires and barrelled sideways down the parking lot in a 60 degree skid. After 20 minutes, finishing many runs, I had snow spray all over the back and sides and the engine smelled "well-done". ;) (oh, and the car still seems to be aligned to drive straight)

I tried using the emerg brake (pumping it on and off while skidding) and I also tried just getting momentum enough to fishtail around by letting the tail unstick and kick out on its own. I tried going backwards and spinning the front tired too but it wasn't as fun as simply letting the back end go and fishtailing into figure eights.

I put the Mo into Sport mode to give the engine more oomph. It wasn't hard to let the back end kick out with just enough speed.

I was hoping I could have done more though, I remember an old rear-wheel drive Camero that I used to fishtail and do donuts with but it's hard to recreate that with a front-wheel drive.

I didn't know if I was missing something technique-wise that could have made it more fun (but not too dangerous =)

Anyone else? =)

Derek

P.S. They can't take the boy completely out of the man!
 

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Sounds like you had a helluva lot of fun!!!

A true donut is made with the rear wheels spinning and the car pivoting about the front wheels. :20: It is impossible to do true donuts with anything other than RWD. If you can do a true donut in a Murano SL AWD then I suggest you do a thread search for transfer case failure. :2:

Now having said that, don't let me stop you from trying to prove me wrong. It's all about the fun!! :D

-njjoe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's right, its not true donuts, rather extreme irregular elliptical skids then. =)

If you look under the Canada section, they talk about how the back end of the Murano "hangs out" in winter.


It is not a matter of pushing too hard around a corner and its not a matter of inexperienced drivers. In packed snow or ice the MO switches from oversteer to understeer as the AWD kicks in and out making it difficult to stay in your lane in a turn, unless you crawl through it. I have driven many AWD vehicles and this is the only one that requires practice or "getting used to it".
But then Jaak said:

But that all goes away when you put on the AWD Lock.
But others said:

If you are turning on a snow packed road I would think the AWD would be engaged automatically because the front wheels would be slipping and so the result would be the same whether the AWD lock is on or off. If you accelerate going into a turn physics is going to take over and you better have good traction from the tires.
And more explanation from JeffC was:
Without AWD Lock the AWD will only engage when the front tires slip, so unless you are constantly spinning the tires as you negotiate the turn, it engages and disengages as the speed of the front and rear tires comes into and out of sync.

It goes something like this. The front starts to slip so AWD engages and the rear end kicks out. As all wheels start turning at the same speed it disengages so the rear stops sliding and the front end pushes. This causes it to engage again.........

If you are below 6 mph AWD Lock keeps it engaged and you track thru the turn much better, except that the 6 mph cutoff is too low so half way thru the turn you start the AWD dance.

Mine is an '03 like Jaak's though, maybe the AWD doesn't cut out over 6 mph.
I didn't try that option, it was fun enough without it.

What I did wonder is if the CVT transmission gets bothered by this kind of work out? =)
 

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Derek,

I wouldn't worry too much about the CVT, it has overspeed safeguards built in. And as long as the area is snow/ice covered the transfer case will be fine.

As I am sure you will remember from your Camaro days, the most important thing to be concerned about (other than the police) is snow-covered parking curbs. I remember hitting one of them in a Chevelle SS 396. It wasn't my car, but I became the new owner of a bent, Crager Super Sport mag wheel. It's doubtful the Mo's underpinnings are as stout as the Chevelle's. I'd avoid the curbs at all costs. Otherwise.... have a ball.

-njjoe
 

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How many times I said - a real car is RWD! Period! Donuts in FWD? It is a joke?
 

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Formula for Donuts.

Magnum + 425 HP + turned wheel + 1st gear + floored gas pedal.

Add water or snow and you can reduce the HP.
 

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They're much more interestin to watch in an AWD vehicle though! But they're not called donuts, they're called AXIS SPINS. Much more entertaining to watch, cause not all vehicles out there can do them!!
 

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AXIS SPINS?!?! That sounds too damn dangerous!

I mean getting caught doing donuts sounds harmless. But getting caught doing "axis spins" sounds like you're really up to no good. :2:

-njjoe
 

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njjoe said:
AXIS SPINS?!?! That sounds too damn dangerous!

I mean getting caught doing donuts sounds harmless. But getting caught doing "axis spins" sounds like you're really up to no good. :2:

-njjoe
:cool: :D
 

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Hey guys,
I have a rear wheel drive car and this sounds like fun. How does one go about doing these "donuts"? Is there a DIY out there somewhere? Will it void my warranty? ;) :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, what that guy did in his FX45 is what I did too. (And it was at night in an empty parking lot which I knew from daytime had no curbs in hidden places.

I could do turns to like 270 degrees, but not full 360s, not full donuts per se. Not continuous "on-axis".

But I'd be up to try.

Any technique in a FWD or an AWD?


For a rear wheel drive, just gun the gas and turn the steering wheel,
since the rear wheels are spinning, they don't have traction and the back end of the car goes loose and can then circle.

Derek
 

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Easiest way to start an Axis spin is to do just what that guy in the FX was doing. Get a good head of steam going, then when you start getting tight into the spin, crank the wheel hard in the direction you are going, and modulate the gas pedal to keep in the spin. Shouldn't take too much modulation, it should stick fairly well in the spin.
 

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You gotta remember that the FX is a predominently RWD platform, and the computer only sends power to the front wheels when it deems necessary. The AWD Mo is the exact oposite. I've done reasonably tail-out loops on gravel, but it never really works that well.
 

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Looks like donuts to me!

I had a great car as a kid. It was a 1976 Pontiac LeMans, It had a stock look, but the engine was pumped.

That car was so predictable. I could slide it exactly where I wanted! Dry or wet.

One summer afternoon I saw a friend going the other direction on a wide road, I spun around the center divider and caught up to him, He pulled over. I was surprised to find out his parent were following him in their car, (in the car I kind of smoked out).

My only defense to two yelling parents was to say. "If the tires are skidding, what makes you think I’m out of control".

They both stopped yelling and took a big gasp. A very awkward moment of silence. And they grabbed their son and said we have to go.

I didn't see much of him after that. Come to thing of it, I don't think I ever saw him after that.

Please Don't Share These Stories With My Son!





Ken D.
 
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