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      08-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
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Track Prep Mistakes...

I was just thinking about some of the mistakes I've learned from in the past related to tracking my car. Figured you guys might have a ton as well and a lot of us could learn from them. Here are 2 of mine:

Not Enough Camber with R Comps

Besides the fact that I shouldn't have been running r-comps at my then skill level anyways, I was running PS Cups with -1.8 degrees of camber in the front. The tires corded on the outside fronts only after a couple track days. Expensive mistake.

Overflowing Brake Fluid when Changing Pads

A few months ago I put on brand new pads which meant the calipers had to be opened up quite a bit to fit back on the rotors. I didn't bother checking the level of my brake fluid in the reservoir and it ended up overflowing. I wiped it clean and thought everything was fine, but about a month later, my car started going into limp mode because the brake fluid fried a sensor.

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      08-26-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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Great idea, thanks for posting!
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      08-26-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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Always double check on lugs. Torque and re:torque. I have made this novice mistake every once in a while. Carry a to do sheet with a list.

Only add oil when the warning sign comes on dash. I added a tad much and got a warning for too much oil even when the oil dip on dash showed half. Had to drain some, PITA
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      08-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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[quote=radiantm3;14563103]

Overflowing Brake Fluid when Changing Pads

A few months ago I put on brand new pads which meant the calipers had to be opened up quite a bit to fit back on the rotors. I didn't bother checking the level of my brake fluid in the reservoir and it ended up overflowing. I wiped it clean and thought everything was fine, but about a month later, my car started going into limp mode because the brake fluid fried a sensor.

QUOTE]

common mistake home mechanics make all the time. you top off the brake fluid as it drops when the pads wear and then put new pads in and overflow it. it is an issue on pretty much all cars. i typically use a turkey baster to remove some before and as i do each caliper to avoid that. the only exception i have seen was a 2007 acura TL type-s with front brembos. the FSM said I had to open the bleeder to let the fluid out when i pushed the pistons back, because pushing fluid backward was not good for their ABS system. odd, but I followed the manual.
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      08-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
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My advice is to do track prep at least one week in advance. That way we can still have reasonable time to order/deliver/install parts without paying a ton for overnight shipping
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      08-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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Aluminum tape

First time trackers should tape wheel weights w/ high temperature aluminum tape to prevent it from flying off and having to get it balance later.$$$
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      08-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard@M-World View Post
My advice is to do track prep at least one week in advance. That way we can still have reasonable time to order/deliver/install parts without paying a ton for overnight shipping
+1. I learned it the hard way.
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      08-26-2013, 03:53 PM   #8
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Running stock pads hard. I crumbled all four pads in one day at VIR when I had stock brakes, necessitating new pads all round. If you are advanced/brake hard, buy PFC or bbk.
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      08-26-2013, 04:00 PM   #9
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Don't save money by waiting to change (stock) pads etc just bc you think there is more life on them. Once you hit 25% left, just toss em out at home and take the time to do them in comfort. It's a hassle at the track, and always winds up being 100+ degrees.

Spend the time to pack, and be organized. It's always the small things that get missed, and make you run around like an idiot.
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      08-26-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surlynkid View Post

common mistake home mechanics make all the time. you top off the brake fluid as it drops when the pads wear and then put new pads in and overflow it. it is an issue on pretty much all cars. i typically use a turkey baster to remove some before and as i do each caliper to avoid that. the only exception i have seen was a 2007 acura TL type-s with front brembos. the FSM said I had to open the bleeder to let the fluid out when i pushed the pistons back, because pushing fluid backward was not good for their ABS system. odd, but I followed the manual.
I always open the bleeder when pushing pistons back in. Pushing fluid up through an ABS system can damage the valves in the ABS. Also makes pushing the piston in easier with the bleeder open. But then I never had any German cars before the M3 so maybe it's different.
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      08-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
Overflowing Brake Fluid when Changing Pads

A few months ago I put on brand new pads which meant the calipers had to be opened up quite a bit to fit back on the rotors. I didn't bother checking the level of my brake fluid in the reservoir and it ended up overflowing. I wiped it clean and thought everything was fine, but about a month later, my car started going into limp mode because the brake fluid fried a sensor.

Thanks for sharing. That sensor is in a terrible location.
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      08-26-2013, 04:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
I always open the bleeder when pushing pistons back in. Pushing fluid up through an ABS system can damage the valves in the ABS. Also makes pushing the piston in easier with the bleeder open. But then I never had any German cars before the M3 so maybe it's different.
Would love to know the right way to do it on our cars. Widening the calipers while the caliper is off the car AND with the bleed screw open seems like an increased chance of something going wrong. With my luck the bleeder bottle hose will pop off and I'll have fluid everywhere.
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      08-26-2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobe92 View Post
First time trackers should tape wheel weights w/ high temperature aluminum tape to prevent it from flying off and having to get it balance later.$$$
My tires rotate around my wheel every time after a track day so it probably doesn't make much difference anyways.
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      08-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard@M-World View Post
My advice is to do track prep at least one week in advance. That way we can still have reasonable time to order/deliver/install parts without paying a ton for overnight shipping
So true. I change pads/fluids a week before a track day in case I screw something up. It's also nice to be able to drive on them for a week to be sure nothing will fall off from user error.
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      08-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #15
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when I change pads, I get to the damn reservoir (why so complicated lol) just to check that it is not overflowing - so far it has been ok on swapping to track pads and back to stock pads.

Waiting on Derple's response to this thread.
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      08-26-2013, 04:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
Would love to know the right way to do it on our cars. Widening the calipers while the caliper is off the car AND with the bleed screw open seems like an increased chance of something going wrong. With my luck the bleeder bottle hose will pop off and I'll have fluid everywhere.
With a single piston caliper like the stock one, it should be fairly easy to push in with a standard piston pusher tool. Multi-piston calipers, I tend to use c-clamps to push the pistons in. Or your hands if you have a strong grip... The problem with multi-piston is that when you push one of the pistons in, the others move out a bit so you are constantly pushing them one by one until they are all retracted.

Also, the brake fluid needs to be bled afterwards when retracting pistons with the bleeder open to make sure you get out any air that may come in while open.

As for spraying fluid.. can't help you with that one!
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      08-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
With a single piston caliper like the stock one, it should be fairly easy to push in with a standard piston pusher tool. Multi-piston calipers, I tend to use c-clamps to push the pistons in. Or your hands if you have a strong grip... The problem with multi-piston is that when you push one of the pistons in, the others move out a bit so you are constantly pushing them one by one until they are all retracted.
Yup. I have no issues with this. I have a tool to open the calipers.
Quote:

Also, the brake fluid needs to be bled afterwards when retracting pistons with the bleeder open to make sure you get out any air that may come in while open.
This is why I prefer to just open the reservoir where you add fluid and just monitor it. There's no way to introduce air back into the system. My concern is when you mentioned that pushing fluid backwards into the system by opening the calipers was a bad thing for the ABS system. Just wondering if this is true for our car.
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      08-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkim1079 View Post
when I change pads, I get to the damn reservoir (why so complicated lol) just to check that it is not overflowing - so far it has been ok on swapping to track pads and back to stock pads.

Waiting on Derple's response to this thread.
Yea that's what I do too. I open the cap just to make sure the fluid can rise a bit without building too much pressure. I have no idea if that's necessary or not.
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      08-26-2013, 05:10 PM   #19
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Check your tire pressures after every session. Even after they have stabilized it's a good idea just to make sure you don't have a tire going down.

Could save your underwear.
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      08-26-2013, 05:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Yea that's what I do too. I open the cap just to make sure the fluid can rise a bit without building too much pressure. I have no idea if that's necessary or not.
Figuring that I retracted the piston all the way back the last time and nothing happened, one would think that it should be fine going forward. Didn't check when I went back to stock pads because I was too lazy. When I swap them again this time, I will check again.
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      08-26-2013, 05:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
Would love to know the right way to do it on our cars. Widening the calipers while the caliper is off the car AND with the bleed screw open seems like an increased chance of something going wrong. With my luck the bleeder bottle hose will pop off and I'll have fluid everywhere.
With a single piston caliper like the stock one, it should be fairly easy to push in with a standard piston pusher tool. Multi-piston calipers, I tend to use c-clamps to push the pistons in. Or your hands if you have a strong grip... The problem with multi-piston is that when you push one of the pistons in, the others move out a bit so you are constantly pushing them one by one until they are all retracted.

Also, the brake fluid needs to be bled afterwards when retracting pistons with the bleeder open to make sure you get out any air that may come in while open.

As for spraying fluid.. can't help you with that one!
You can use a long flat head to retract the piston while the caliper is still mounted on the brackets loosely.

Search youtube for 5 minute m3 brake pad swap.
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      08-26-2013, 05:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lutfy
Always double check on lugs. Torque and re:torque. I have made this novice mistake every once in a while. Carry a to do sheet with a list.

Only add oil when the warning sign comes on dash. I added a tad much and got a warning for too much oil even when the oil dip on dash showed half. Had to drain some, PITA
This is my dilemma - oil level is at half now. To track is ok? Or should i do a change first?
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