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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi every one, new member to your very informative forum thankyou. I have a 03 spyder and the scuttle shake as we call it in england is really bad, is this normal. There is a constant juddering througth the steering wheel over uneven roads and can hear the body flexing. Its not as bad when the top is up. I've read a few threads on this site mentioning this problem but find it hard to believe that this is acceptable on a modern car.
 

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hi every one, new member to your very informative forum thankyou. I have a 03 spyder and the scuttle shake as we call it in england is really bad, is this normal. There is a constant juddering througth the steering wheel over uneven roads and can hear the body flexing. Its not as bad when the top is up. I've read a few threads on this site mentioning this problem but find it hard to believe that this is acceptable on a modern car.
I am sorry to say, it is normal for this chassis. My rearview mirror vibrates so bad - even on smooth roads - it is almost useless.
 

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A friend (whose car had cupholders) said it keeps the foam topped off in his latte.

It's a pretty weak effort on Maserati's part, in the age of cheap and powerful finite element analysis software. It reminds me of a 60's convertible, except I actually had one until recently which felt much better.
 

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I agree, it is normal (sadly). It is the most problematic area of the car. I have upgraded everything else (springs, brakes, tires and now anti sway bars) but this area is a real problem as it severly limits the upper threshold of handling and contributes to an imprecise and unstable feel below the limit. I was just commenting to some friends (all car guys) earlier today that I am almost positive that I could turn a quicker time on a twisty road or track with my Infiniti G35 (despite almost a 140 HP weight corrected power disadvantage) due to the weak handling of my Spyder. That is indeed a poor reflection on Maserati.

I have discussed this with Jeff at Formula Dynamics and he said that he woud be willing to try to come up with an X brace or some other fabricated solution if I (or someone else) can get a car to him.
 

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Nineteen,
You mention that you can also feel the vibration in the steering wheel. do you feel it in the seat of your britches?? It sounds like your engine mounts are worn out and the engine is sagging onto the chassis causing an abnormal amount of vibrations. I would definetly have a look at them to see if they are still full of fluid, if they are they will be balloon like when touched from the bottom.This is not uncommon.
As far as body flex (remember it is a unit-body with front and rear subframes attached to it) this has been the scourge of roadsters, spyders and convertibles alike since the beginning of topless travel. Your Maserati is no different. What these cars really need is subframe connectors and an X or cross brace,a front "strut tower" brace from coilover to coilover and a genuine roll bar would help as well. Maybe the market is asking for the creation of some bracing.
Check your mounts and put a wrench on all the suspension points and front and rear subframe mounts, this will cover any unwanted component movement.
Lots of luck, let us know how things work out.
 

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Cowl Shake????????

hi every one, new member to your very informative forum thankyou. I have a 03 spyder and the scuttle shake as we call it in england is really bad, is this normal. There is a constant juddering througth the steering wheel over uneven roads and can hear the body flexing. Its not as bad when the top is up. I've read a few threads on this site mentioning this problem but find it hard to believe that this is acceptable on a modern car.
When I bought my '02 Spyder I was concerned about cowl shake although I wasn't sure then (or now) exactly what it is. (Also I have read that it was supposedly worse on the '02 than newer models.) The 1st time I drove the car it definitely had a shake. It started as soon as the car was in motion and got worse as the speed increased. Everything shook, especially the steering wheel. I recon that some of y'all have had a tire out of balance. Normally that shake is restricted to a certain speed and it usually, only affects the steering wheel. This shake is similar but as I've said it shakes pretty much every thing at all speeds.

The front wheels themselves had been bent. There is a place locally that straightens wheels so I took mine there, got them straightened and no more shake. Here in the TN mountains I've got lots of roads that just beg to driven hard. Now my Maserati sticks to them like it was glued on.

OTOH My car does not handle well when 1st driven after setting for a while. This goes away in just a few minutes. I just live with this, figuring it's the Skyhook figuring out what it's supposed to do.
 

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Bent Wheels

This is not really what we are talking about. My wheels have been laser aligned and force balanced. The car does not shake even at speeds over 150MPH as long as the road is smooth and straight.

The problem is hard cornering on off camber or bumpy roads as well as railway tracks etc. The chassis flexes badly causing a shaking sensation. If the car is driven very hard on a bumpy road with a lot of off camber corners etc., where the car is rapidly transitioning left/ right and up/down - the chassis sets up in state of constant vibration (e.g. twisting both axially and radially) requiring a reduction in speed.

This of course is all relative. At speeds that are brisk (say 25% faster than typical traffic) there is no real issue (other than the mirror being blurry and the widows rattling constantly) and you are probably still the fastest car on the road. Pushing it anywhere close to the limit, however, quickly reveals that the chassis is simply not up to the task.
 

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The freeway offramp I use every day excites my car into a state of total shudderdom, at normal speeds. Everything is moving at once, and I mean moving.

I wish I'd driven that offramp during my test drive, before I bought the bugger.

It's quite a car in every other respect though, hard to feel like an average idiot while driving it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thankyou for your replies everyone.Your comments have been most useful and have convinced me that this is normal, but it still beggars belief that the shake can be as bad over certain roads.I may well take your tip and fit some cup holders thanks;)
 

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flashgordon, you are probably the first one here to get the anti sway bars, how do you like them? Is it worth getting it for street use? Does it make a big difference?
 

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flashgordon, you are probably the first one here to get the anti sway bars, how do you like them? Is it worth getting it for street use? Does it make a big difference?
Niteroi,

I have received them but unfortunatley the new larger bushings seemed to have been lost in transit delaying installation. Jeff is having a new set made up which should arrive within a week. I will advise then.
 

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Flash Gordon: It's been a while, did you ever get the sway bars installed? Did it cure the cowl shake in the Spyder?

I have a 2006 Gransport Spyder, and this is the only flaw in the car. Any news?

Brian
 

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I did get them actually. The sway bars improved the handling dramatically. Turn in is instantaneous - faster than any car that I have ever driven. Cornering is totally flat and the drama of very high speed turns has been removed. The springs were a solid improvement but the sway bars really take the car to another level - especially at the track. The downside is the ride is substantially rougher especially at lower speeds on city streets. The Spyders's cowl shake was actually aggravated by this upgrade unfortunately so it was a double edge sword so to speak. Ultimate handling, responsiveness and the "flickabiity" of the car increased dramatically but at the same time the change highlighted the car's very poor rigidity. I raised the ride height up 20mm and that helped a lot, but the cowl shake is still there.

My new mechanic has looked at the car in detail and says that he can fabricate a complete cro-moly ladder frame reinforcement on the bottom to tie the main frame rails together and can also fabricate a lightweight shock tower and engine compartment brace. He seems very competent (and confident) and has done the same fabrication on numerous cars including a BMW Z8. He is sure that this will fix the cowl shake once and for all. This is going to be my winter project. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.
 
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