Is that how the Mustang should respond in the rain, or do I have a tire problem? - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013 Thread Starter
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Is that how the Mustang should respond in the rain, or do I have a tire problem?

I picked up my 2014 manual v6 at the beginning of April. Since then, I've put on 8,700 miles, a few minor cosmetic things and a set of Roush axle-backs. I'm completely in love with this car, and I'm beyond happy to drive it to work every day. Now, one thing has been on my mine over the past two months...the handling. Let me explain.
I'm 23, and have owned 5 cars and driven dozens more so far. I've experienced a pretty decent range of handling characteristics and personalities , but the Mustang has stumped me. It's so strange (but awesome!) getting the solid rear feel of a truck, yet the highway comfort of a nice car. The main thing I've been a bit confused about it the handling in the wet.
My previous car was an '03 Forester 5spd on which I ran a new set of Michelin Defenders. It was a monster in the rain and snow...couldn't get it to hydroplane or spin a tire if I tried my hardest. I've driven it in 6"-8" of snow and ice and it never missed a beat. Needless to say, trading for the Mustang has been substantially different in just these past 4 very warm months. I really don't know if a large part of the problem is my tires (factory 235/40/18" Pirelli P-Zero Neros) or the suspension geometry of the Mustang. It seems to hydroplane at the slightest bit of water on a highway, and will get sideways at very very low amounts of throttle (which is of course a blast). I drive the car with a lot of respect and know the limits, but it's just very surprising at how free it feels in the wet. I've double and triple checked tire pressures hot and cold, and have tried nearly every pressure from 30-40psi. I'm just a bit worried as I live in East TN, and while the winters don't usually see large amounts of snow, we do typically get 2-4 months of 32F or below weather. I drive this car about 85 miles per day on my commute, and just want to ensure this winter won't be too much of a burden. I'm not opposed to purchasing a set of winter tires around October if I'll get a good performance increase in the cold weather.
Compared to my symmetrical AWD, the solid axle pony car is obviously a different world. Basically, just looking for a little insight from you guys that have been driving Mustangs much longer than I have.


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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013
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Well, without being Mr. Obvious here, you are dealing with a real wheel drive pony vehicle. A muscle car isn't built for drifting. So with having such little weight in the back weighing the rear wheels down, you are going to lose traction very easily on any surface that isn't a dry, paved road.

I try not to drive my Mustang in the rain for that very reason. I was making a left turn at a traffic light and hydroplaned to the point that it was enough for me.

Bottom line is it's a car meant to be driven on nice, sunny days. But hey, we all get caught in the weather sometimes.


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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013
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Where the rubber meets the road

If you think the V6 is bad take a 5.0 out for a spin with those tires. You just have to be careful while driving in inclement weather.
I was not impressed with the Pirelli's on my 2011 GT. I changed out to a set of Continental Extreme Contact DWS'. These tires provided much better grip and handling in the wet and give you a smooth quiet ride.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarsBballGirls View Post
Well, without being Mr. Obvious here, you are dealing with a real wheel drive pony vehicle. A muscle car isn't built for drifting. So with having such little weight in the back weighing the rear wheels down, you are going to lose traction very easily on any surface that isn't a dry, paved road.

I try not to drive my Mustang in the rain for that very reason. I was making a left turn at a traffic light and hydroplaned to the point that it was enough for me.

Bottom line is it's a car meant to be driven on nice, sunny days. But hey, we all get caught in the weather sometimes.
Tell that to Vaughn Gittin Jr.



Op, I'd be willing to wager it has a lot to do with those tires. I daily my Mustang rain, snow or shine and it has handled it all very well. Well, snow was tricky but it should be noted that my rear tires were pretty much bald on the one day of snow we got last year. Get better tires, but buy for your climate if it's your only vehicle. Here i run summer tires 365 days a year. You might look into Conti DWS All seasons. It would be a night and day difference.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013
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I am the one going around you on I-40 in the left lane 5 to 10 over the speed limit. I for one think as long as you are in control a Mustang drives awesome in the rain. That is with both my 2013 with the Summer only P-Zero's and the all season 17's that I have for winter and my 2010 with the All Season 235/50 18 Pirelli P-Zero Nero's.
I have learned to drive to the conditions and do know the limits of my car though.
I did notice that the 235/50 18's did get a little squirrellier in the rain after they had about 25,000 on them on my 2010 and my friend hates his after 17,000 on his 2011 so it might be tires and inexperience with the solid rear axle working together.
Hydroplaning has been pretty prevalent around here lately here in the rain forest, that is just too much speed for the conditions, heck even my F550 has had a little trouble with hydroplaning with all the rain we have had.
BTW where in East Tennessee are you, I am near Knoxville in Clinton and drive to Maryville everyday for my 90 mile commute

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013
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What you're experiencing is a swing from one extreme to the other. Coming from an AWD subaru that rarely loose their composure in any weather, to a powerful rear drive manual car with a solid axle, locking rear diff, and brakes biased to the front is going to be a huge learning curve......be it a mustang or something else. Contrary to whats said above, the v6 mustang is pretty well sorted weight distribution wise for a front engine car, 54/46 if I remember right.......so that's not the culprit.

A few things you're going to have to accept with the mustang that are just par for the course.....

1. do not downshift unless absolutely required.......and even then don't make the move until you match the gear you're going to by 10. As in, don't downshift to 3rd until you are at roughly 30mph.
2. limit yourself to no more than half throttle unless driving perfectly straight in rain
3. likewise try to do the majority of your braking in rain while perfectly straight.
4. if you know you're about to go through standing water at speed......feet off the pedals, both hands on the wheel.

These things should keep you safe until your fully adjusted or at least more familiar.

Also, IMO the nero's are just a crap design as for water evacuation. Opposed to a directional or asymmetrical tire that evacuates water in one direction, or across the tire in the direction of travel. The nero has water channels on both sides and opposing directions on either side. I would think that the tire fights it's own momentum to evacuate water because of this.....at least standing water.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siber Express View Post
I am the one going around you on I-40 in the left lane 5 to 10 over the speed limit. I for one think as long as you are in control a Mustang drives awesome in the rain. That is with both my 2013 with the Summer only P-Zero's and the all season 17's that I have for winter and my 2010 with the All Season 235/50 18 Pirelli P-Zero Nero's.
I have learned to drive to the conditions and do know the limits of my car though.
I did notice that the 235/50 18's did get a little squirrellier in the rain after they had about 25,000 on them on my 2010 and my friend hates his after 17,000 on his 2011 so it might be tires and inexperience with the solid rear axle working together.
Hydroplaning has been pretty prevalent around here lately here in the rain forest, that is just too much speed for the conditions, heck even my F550 has had a little trouble with hydroplaning with all the rain we have had.
BTW where in East Tennessee are you, I am near Knoxville in Clinton and drive to Maryville everyday for my 90 mile commute
I'm pretty close to the NC border in Greeneville around the tri-cities. All the rain we've had recently is what has had me thinking about the wet weather traction. I really think the tires are the largest part of my issue.

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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013
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Some tires go away early in their life. I had some Bridgestones that went out at 20,000 miles, when all other tires on that truck lasted 40,000+. A rwd car is much different than a truck or fwd car. I have driven all sorts of vehicles, but I began with early pony cars. They require a different driving technique, and are not as good on snow and water as a good fwd. However, there are certain tricks that can only be done with a nicely balanced rwd.

I should also mention that asphalt can get especially slippery after a light rain, and any new Mustang has a lot of torque. It requires a light touch, but can be so satisfying when you learn the feel. Also remember that the wide tires will be more inclined to hydroplane. I used to run bias plies with almost the same numbers as the tires you have. Only then, I had less than 200 HP to deal with and half as many gears. Cars are like women, each and every one is different. Respect the difference and you are in for a great time. Treat it like your last car, and you will be miserable.
post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013
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In the rain, s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. If you're rear end is all over the place, you're going too fast. I have a '13 v6 and do not have a problem with rain (except we don't get enough). I did punch it around a corner in the rain to see what she'd do and the back end slide right out from under it, with TC/ESC on. I was a bit surprised at this. Of course, I was trying to do this so not taken off guard. Anyway, just take it easy in the water and dream of those sunny days when it's WOT time.
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Here in Florida, it rains EVERY day. Mite be a 5min sprinkle or a a wall of water...

I currently am on my second set of Pilot Sports on my 2012 3.7 with 3.73 gears and drive shaft. New tires were a must after that mod. Excellent in the wet and dry... And not bad on the drag strip either (hence, being on the second set).


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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrhance View Post
I'm pretty close to the NC border in Greeneville around the tri-cities. All the rain we've had recently is what has had me thinking about the wet weather traction. I really think the tires are the largest part of my issue.
Greeneville? I'm even closer to the NC border in Elizabethton, but I'll be moving to Knoxville soon. My 12 perf pack with the pirellis does just fine in the rain for me
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Nobody gets sideways at very very low amounts of throttle. I realize that at 23, you're an expert, but that just isn't happening. If it was, the Mustang would taken off the street for being so dangerous. I've driven UPS trucks for 29 years. If you want to drive something that's "interesting", get in an old UPS truck. The Mustang is nailed to the floor by comparison.

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To gain grip

No one has mentioned lowering the rear of the pony car. I know rain means to slow down. I also know if you lower the rear and install brackets the rear won't "Float" as much and will get better grip. The rake from the factory for these pony cars can be dangerous, especially in slick conditions. It's most slick right as a rain begins due to oil on the pavement. Lowering the mustang is a must to correct "Roll Center". I know from experience.
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Colton1211 View Post
Greeneville? I'm even closer to the NC border in Elizabethton, but I'll be moving to Knoxville soon. My 12 perf pack with the pirellis does just fine in the rain for me
Yeah I spend some time up there at one branch of my company. Knoxville is nice, you'll like it.

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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodgerJerney View Post
Nobody gets sideways at very very low amounts of throttle. I realize that at 23, you're an expert, but that just isn't happening. If it was, the Mustang would taken off the street for being so dangerous. I've driven UPS trucks for 29 years. If you want to drive something that's "interesting", get in an old UPS truck. The Mustang is nailed to the floor by comparison.
I don't mean that the car slides all over the road, I am just surprised at how easy it is to get the car sideways. I never tried to imply I'm an expert at my age, not sure why you felt the need to make that comment.


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