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      08-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
Talk2meg00se
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Tracking - brake fluid flush

Fluid was last flushed in Feb, 2010. Necessary to flush again before track day?

Would prefer not to if unnecessary - expensive! But, then again, if unsafe ...

It's a $200.00 service. Between helmet, track fees, brake fluid, etc., this is quickly turning into a $1000.00(+) day.
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      08-08-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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It could get a lot more expensive if you've gotten condensation in your brake lines. Given how cold it was last winter, I think that you should invest in a flush. There's a Track Forum that you should check out, particularly the Sticky's about getting your car ready.

Tracking your car can get expensive fast. If $1000 is testing the bank, then you might want to reconsider for now. Make certain you've got plenty of brake pad left and your rotors are in good shape. You might want to consider using a different pad. (See the Sticky's at that Track Forum).

Have fun, be safe.

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      08-08-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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Ok, thanks. Yeah, def not looking to drop thousands and thousands on this. Still, I've registered for the day and will go at least once.

Will look at the track forum. Thanks for the info.
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      08-08-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
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You can flush the system your self for a lot less. But i would highly recommend it that you get it done. If you still using factory fluid, you might as swell switch to Super Blue when you flush the system.
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      08-08-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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does the fact that I'm part of the 1st-timer novice "slow as hell" group change the necessity of the flush?
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      08-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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A power flusher for the brakes costs about $50 and brake fluid $12.

Check out the DIY section here, it is quite easy to do yourself.

If you don't feel up to it, then having the dealer do it once the beginning of summer for the track season would probably cover it.

Some tech forms ask you if they have been flushed within the last 6 months.

also if you are on stock brake pads, please check them between sessions for wear. The stock pads can wear quicker than you would think if you have a lot of heavy braking in your event. They can also fade if they get too hot. Switching to race pads is suggested if you plan to do this more often ( the stock pads really are not made for tracking).

If you are a beginner, you probably won't stress your pads the first few times out.
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      08-08-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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Yeah, being able to stop is kind of an important aspect to tracking your car Seriously, a annual full flush is a no-brainer for anyone tracking their car. My track shop wasn't comfortable doing the flush a few months before my first event last year, and literally wanted me to schedule it within weeks of the event. It's also a good idea to have an extra set of pads as well.

As far as DIY, while it's not that tough to do a bleed yourself, a full flush is somewhat more difficult, and it's not uncommon to get air in the lines, which may make your brakes worse than when you started.
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      08-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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Yeah I couldn't do it myself even if I wanted to. Though I have a "garage," I don't. Welcome to NYC.

Haha ok ok you guys win. It appears as if this is absolutely necessary. Will spend the $$ to get the brakes flushed.
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      08-08-2011, 05:22 PM   #9
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Seems kind of high for a simple flush, but you are in the City.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      08-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2meg00se View Post
Ok, thanks. Yeah, def not looking to drop thousands and thousands on this. Still, I've registered for the day and will go at least once.

Will look at the track forum. Thanks for the info.
Where on earth are you going to get your brakes flushed. Go to a garage outside the city (like autocouture in NJ or Proformance in Westchester) and get it done. Should cost far less than $200.

If this is your first track day (sounds like it), flushing your brakes isn't 100% necessary, but it is a good safety precaution to take. Aside from checking your tires + tire pressure, torquing your wheel nuts, checking your brakes, and just generally giving your car a once-over inspection, there's not much else you need to do. Performance brake pads are definitely NOT necessary for your first time out.

Only other thing I would recommend is track insurance. Chances are low, but if you have a shunt on the track, you're looking at a full loss without track day insurance.

Cheers

Also, be sure to purchase an electronic air pressure sensor and a torque wrench before hitting the track. Last time I hit the track, none of the E9x M3s brought a torque wrench, and we couldn't torque our wheels between sessions, which is not a great idea.
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      08-08-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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i do my own fluid flushes now with a Motive Pressure Bleeder (google it). otherwise a typical flush at a shop should cost no more than $60+fluid...

you can get one bottle of ATE blue for about $13-15 online. order it and get it shipped to your house then bring the fluid to a shop. you only have to do this once per season if you dont track too much.

i do about 10 track days per season and flush my fluid twice a season.
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      08-09-2011, 09:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman10 View Post
Where on earth are you going to get your brakes flushed. Go to a garage outside the city (like autocouture in NJ or Proformance in Westchester) and get it done. Should cost far less than $200.
BMW Manhattan quoted me at 200; some random place across the river in NJ quoted me at 180. I will call the places above. Thanks for the info.
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      08-09-2011, 06:36 PM   #13
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better fluid = less flush
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      08-09-2011, 08:54 PM   #14
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Went to reputable performance shop for this.

They informed that the racing compounds (ATE blue, Castrol SRF) eroded the M3 brake lines over time. In order to counteract this, stainless steel lines would be required. If only tracking 1-3 times a year, they recommended the OEM fluid (which is what I went with for 120 or so).
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      08-10-2011, 01:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2meg00se View Post
Went to reputable performance shop for this.

They informed that the racing compounds (ATE blue, Castrol SRF) eroded the M3 brake lines over time. In order to counteract this, stainless steel lines would be required. If only tracking 1-3 times a year, they recommended the OEM fluid (which is what I went with for 120 or so).
Wow, they really take advantage of the unsuspecting. Their claim is utter nonsense. What reputable "performance" shop will put OEM fluid knowing you're going to track the car. Tracking it 1 or 10 times isn't the issue. The issue is that during track use, the brakes are going to get VERY hot. Not only will the rotors and pads gets hot, the enormous pressure the fluid will see will raise its temperature as well, and near piston, the heat from the hot pads and rotor will transfer to the fluid, further raising its temperature.

A proper fluid, such as ATE type 200 or Super Blue have a high boiling point (dry or wet, wet meaning when the fluid has absorbed water, as brake fluid is hygroscopic). This allows them to function properly even under heavy track use, to a limit, of course. This is independent of whether you do one trac day or ten.

The number of track days will affect the brake fluid in the following way. As the fluid gets super hot during track use, you might risk boiling the fluid, and thus create air in the system. Also, even without doing that, just with the simple passing of time, the fluid will slowly absorb water and when under heavy load, that water will boil and cause air in the brake lines.

If you're familiar with how a hydraulic brake system works, you can understand the impact of air in the line.

The advantage of stainless steel lines are that they are more rigid, and when the fluid is under pressure the stainless lines have better resistance to expansion (i.e. its diameter expanding), as compared to the OEM rubber lines that will more easily stretch and expand. However, the section of brake lines that is rubber is relatively short, so the impact isn't as great as you might imagine, but it will give you better pedal feel, and ever so slightly more brake force earlier in the pedal travel.
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      08-10-2011, 11:40 AM   #16
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Im doing the Summit Point weekend in Sept with NJBMWCCA and I just ordered SS lines, stoptech pads and ATE Super Blue fluid. You can PM if you want for 1 quote I got so far for having the labor done.
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      08-10-2011, 09:29 PM   #17
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Invest in the Motiv bleeder, it is soo easy. It wil take longer to get the wheels off the car than to bleed the brakes. I flush a liter through for good measure after every 2-3 track days. You will be amazed how quickly the fluid turns from clear to brown when your brakes are getting up to 1,000 degrees (or more).
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