Nervous in the Twisties - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 09-22-2011
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Nervous in the Twisties

I'm heading up to the Dragon next week, and I'm leading the aggressive group of Crossfires. (It's the big Crossfire Fall Dragon Event) I use to have the SRT model and led the group just fine. I traded the SRT in for the 2006 SLK55 AMG pre 030 option so I've got the big brakes. I bought the car in Knoxville and immediately took it through the Dragon and Cherohala. I noticed the car felt faster in the twisties than my crossfire did, but it also felt very nervous. I figured it was just new to me and something I needed to get use to.

Fast forward to now,

I've spent the past few months working on getting to know the new to me car. Yet I still haven't figured out the nervous twitch. I'm hoping once I get up there and start leading I won't need to push to stay ahead. I didn't in the spring in the SRT and I still feel like I'm quicker in the 55.

BTW nervous = twitchy or like it want to snap the rear out. I'm in Sport manual mode and Full blown manual mode. Brakes are fine, and tires are fine. Although I don't have my preferred rubber in the front yet.

What have you guys experienced?
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#2 Old 09-22-2011
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I am not a profesional driver.

On our drives on some twists, I found it less stressful and comfortable when it is in S mode and I use the (downshift) paddle shifter to limit the topmost gear to gear no. 4 (This is done at the first acceleration phase of the drive, when the gear moves to 5 as shown on the MFD, I would downshift to 4 with paddle shifter right away, after this maneuver, the gear will shift between the first 4 gears and will upshift if you hit 6500 rpm for one second or longer) and use the accelerator to regulate the speed and take advantage of the engine brake characteristic of the 55. The brakes on the 55 work quite well and are robust. I keep rpm between 2500 to 5000 w occasional burst to 6000 (based on road condition). Watch out for sandy soil that may have washed unto the road (traction loss). When in doubt, slow down. Also, leave ESP on. As Byron (RacerCub) would say, you want a smooth fluid movement around corners, tires shouldn't squeak/squeal.

Tires are important and so far I am confident with the Eagle F1 Asymmetrics. My next set may be the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Needless to say check cold tire inflation pressure before the run.

Let us know how it goes and photos are appreciated.

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#3 Old 09-23-2011
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I also had a Crossfire SRT6 coupe, not as quick as the SLK55. My last couple of passess thru the Dragon, I experienced much more traffic than previous years and the "Smokies" are more present and aggressive on those going over 35mph and/or crossing the double yellow lines....... Be careful and safe!!!
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#4 Old 09-23-2011
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Twitchy for the 55 is not normal.
Understeer is normal; oversteer should happen only with a heavy right foot.
I’d have the rear checked for toe out instead of toe in.


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#5 Old 09-23-2011
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I don't have a 55, but 'nervous in the twisties' doesn't sound right to me for an SLK. Definitely worth getting the suspension checked out, especially bushes, mounts and alignment.

I also agree with the others about adopting a smooth diving style, really pays off if you can use a 'single input steering' approach. Keeps the car stable and settled. Finally, on the road unless you are an ace driver, leave the ESP system on.
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#6 Old 09-23-2011
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We just did the dragon last week for the first time very fun! Well, really we did it 4 times last week ;-))) . Unfortunately like Matton pointed out the traffic on the road is going to limit your speed. Although my car isn't a AMG I did find that no matter how hard or how much I turn the wheel the car would do whatever I ask it. I really had to try hard to make any sort of tire squeal at all.

If you have time there are some parts of the Moonshiner 28 that is just as good with a lot less traffic and the speed limit is faster.


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#7 Old 10-03-2011
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I'm back from my adventure. Last Thursday the car felt very nervous, never really getting into a groove until I hit Hell Bender. Friday was better with a long run down the blue ridge parkway, but still didn't feel like it should. Then Saturday comes along. I must have eaten my wheaties that morning because the car was as solid as it's ever been. I blazed a trail down Cherohala to the Devils Triange and back to through the Dragon. Sunday comes along, I'm still a bit hung over from Saturday night partying but we decide to make a run through the dragon a few times, drove over Cherohala and went home.

The car got better, and the only thing that broke was the passenger side seat belt. It somehow locked up on my passenger and wouldn't come unlocked. Rudy was there from Speed Driven and he fixed it for me. What a nice chap. Anyway here's the video of one the quick runs through the Dragon.

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#8 Old 10-03-2011
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13, thanks for the video

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