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      09-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
zuschnell
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track questions...

I have tracked my car 3 times now and my wife has tracked it 2 times. We have run back to back 15-20 min sessions in the car and I feel like it gets a little sloppy in the braking department, especially by the third session.

I am definitely going to keep tracking as now I got the bug. Surprisingly, my wife is too. She is loving it and I love that we can make a day of it at the track together.

So my question is, do you guys think I should do anything to modify the car, or wait till we are better drivers? I am a total noobie at the track and don't really know that much about racing or what goes into keeping my car up. My car is totally stock right now. I was considering getting a big brake kit because I'm thinking it is the thing that would probably keep us being able to run back to back sessions without too many problems. What do you guys think? What else should I be considering?

Thanks in advance!
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      09-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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BBK is probably overkill at this point. Start with pads and fluid and maybe SS lines. Then separate tires and wheels. I think that these two will be better money spent the BBK at this point.
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      09-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Number 1 need of our car on the track is track pads.
The stock pads tend to fade when they get hot.

See track section of this forum, maybe the Track FAQ subsection for more info.....



happy tracking
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      09-01-2013, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warp10
BBK is probably overkill at this point. Start with pads and fluid and maybe SS lines. Then separate tires and wheels. I think that these two will be better money spent the BBK at this point.
+1

You don't need a BBK. You need dedicated track pads (in my experience, don't bother with a "dual street/track" pad to avoid noise; it usually ends up being a poor compromise; get some legitimate track pads and rest easy) and some high quality brake fluid (ATE Gold or Motul RBF 600 are good).

Depending on your home track, you may never need to spend the money on a BBK until you start running R Compound.
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      09-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply guys!!!

Of course, I don't want to spend a bunch of cash on stuff I don't need, but I also want to be safe. So do you guys think running 20 mins with a few minutes off and then another 20 mins right after will be fine with just track pads, upgraded brake fluid, and ss lines? I'm more worried about my wife than me. I know I will definitely go easy if I feel the brakes are fading, but I just want the car to work right when my wife is driving because while she really enjoys driving, she doesn't know much about cars. I know she will learn as we go through this process, but it worries me a bit...

There are several tracks within 2.5 hrs of where we live, road america, gingerman, autobahn, etc., so I don't know how heavy my brakes will get used at all these places.

All I know for sure is that this is so freaking addictive. I know there are plenty of cars we all could buy and track, but this car is so much fun!
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      09-02-2013, 07:54 AM   #6
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Ahh the slippery slope. As others have already suggested fluid, lines and pads is the first upgrade that you really need.

Next you'll notice that you're cording outside of tires while there is still plenty of rubber on the middle and inside. You'll then want adjustable camber plates to help even that out.

Then you won't like how much you move around in stock seats and will replace with better seats and maybe a quick fit harness system.

You'll keep finding these little small mods that you need until the car is no longer streetable. You'll pick up a trailer and truck.

Then one day you'll wish you would've just bought a track prepped E36 or even a spec miata from the get go.

But I digress. Pads and fluids are fine and will keep you safe for the entire weekend.
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      09-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuschnell View Post
So do you guys think running 20 mins with a few minutes off and then another 20 mins right after will be fine with just track pads, upgraded brake fluid, and ss lines?
At beginner/intermediate level those brake upgrades should be sufficient. The few minutes between sessions, and then the warm up laps for the person starting the 2nd of the back to back sessions will allow the system to cool off.

Make sure your wife heeds the warning signs of fading brakes. Just take a lap or two going very easy, and off the brakes completely if possible. I typically run sessions in cycles with 3-4 hot laps, then a cool down lap as described. I've lost brakes once (at Gingerman) running hard through an entire session. Don't ever intend to do that again.
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      09-02-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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Post in-car video for tips/advice. Pads, fluid, SS lines should be a sufficient first step.
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      09-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
Ahh the slippery slope. As others have already suggested fluid, lines and pads is the first upgrade that you really need.

Next you'll notice that you're cording outside of tires while there is still plenty of rubber on the middle and inside. You'll then want adjustable camber plates to help even that out.

Then you won't like how much you move around in stock seats and will replace with better seats and maybe a quick fit harness system.

You'll keep finding these little small mods that you need until the car is no longer streetable. You'll pick up a trailer and truck.

Then one day you'll wish you would've just bought a track prepped E36 or even a spec miata from the get go.
+1 your gonna be off the deep end in no time.
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      09-02-2013, 11:35 AM   #10
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Pads and fluid should take you up through intermediate level depending on the track and how your organizer ranks run groups, and if you'll only be doing this very occasionally (at least for now ), that's all you need. I don't think SS lines are especially necessary but they're also not terribly expensive; you'd get them included with a BBK if you got addicted and went that route in the future anyway. I personally would get a BBK BEFORE dedicated wheels and tires though because if you get wider/stickier tires, that will heat up your brakes more, which might force you to get a BBK right away anyway to deal with the extra heat -- not great if you want to spread out your spending. Getting a BBK first on the other hand increases your heat capacity in advance and also has advantages in terms of easier pad swaps if you start wanting to run dedicated track pads, and then your car will be ready for wider/stickier tires whenever you are. However, ThunderMoose is right that if you start doing this more often you're going to start cording the outsides of your front tires and having to chuck them even though they have plenty of treadwear left, so camber plates should come after pads and fluid but before BBK and dedicated wheels. I corded my front tires after 7500 total miles which included only 6 track days. The cost of the camber plates will easily be made up in tire wear savings, at which point the added grip upfront is just a free bonus.

I use Castrol SRF fluid so I don't have to worry about bleeds between annual flushes (extra cost of SRF over Motul is more than made up for by savings on professional labor if you don't do your own bleeds) and then I switched to StopTech Street Performance pads, which behave exactly like the OEM pads on the road but resist fade much better on the track. That was driven mostly by the fact that the stock pads left uneven deposits on my rotors so I had horrible steering wheel vibration after one weekend. BMW gave me new pads and rotors under warranty/Ultimate Service even after I told them I'd been to the track, but I knew they wouldn't keep doing that, hence better pads that can cope with the heat, and that solved the problem. I now have a BBK since I got moved into Yellow and wanted to experiment with race pads, but those StopTech pads did well enough for quite a while and IMHO are the best choice if you don't want to deal with swapping pads for road and track.

Good luck OP, it sounds like you're only about a year behind me at the moment on the track prep train and are about to hit the same stops in the same order. That's cool that your wife wants to track as well. My wife thought she might be interested if she had a better car than her Civic Hybrid. She now has an 07 Mini Cooper S but is no longer so sure about tracking. I see couples together at the track and think about how awesome that would be, but then I also ask myself whether I really want TWO people in our marriage to be addicted to such an expensive hobby.
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      09-02-2013, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose
Ahh the slippery slope. As others have already suggested fluid, lines and pads is the first upgrade that you really need.

Next you'll notice that you're cording outside of tires while there is still plenty of rubber on the middle and inside. You'll then want adjustable camber plates to help even that out.

Then you won't like how much you move around in stock seats and will replace with better seats and maybe a quick fit harness system.

You'll keep finding these little small mods that you need until the car is no longer streetable. You'll pick up a trailer and truck.

Then one day you'll wish you would've just bought a track prepped E36 or even a spec miata from the get go.

But I digress. Pads and fluids are fine and will keep you safe for the entire weekend.
I resemble that remark.
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      09-02-2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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OP - just one weekend between you two and you run back to back sessions? My wife and I run different run groups (blue solo and green), but there is always a session in between us for the car to cool. I have a BBK and have zero braking problems, but if you are stuck in back to back sessions, you'll need at least some minimal upgrades. I wanted serious brakes from day 1. I watch too many people run out of brakes and run out of room. Off they go. I cannot out drive my brakes.
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      09-02-2013, 02:50 PM   #13
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I resemble that remark.
Seems we are all in that same sinking ship!
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      09-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Pads and fluid should take you up through intermediate level depending on the track and how your organizer ranks run groups, and if you'll only be doing this very occasionally (at least for now ), that's all you need. I don't think SS lines are especially necessary but they're also not terribly expensive; you'd get them included with a BBK if you got addicted and went that route in the future anyway. I personally would get a BBK BEFORE dedicated wheels and tires though because if you get wider/stickier tires, that will heat up your brakes more, which might force you to get a BBK right away anyway to deal with the extra heat -- not great if you want to spread out your spending. Getting a BBK first on the other hand increases your heat capacity in advance and also has advantages in terms of easier pad swaps if you start wanting to run dedicated track pads, and then your car will be ready for wider/stickier tires whenever you are. However, ThunderMoose is right that if you start doing this more often you're going to start cording the outsides of your front tires and having to chuck them even though they have plenty of treadwear left, so camber plates should come after pads and fluid but before BBK and dedicated wheels. I corded my front tires after 7500 total miles which included only 6 track days. The cost of the camber plates will easily be made up in tire wear savings, at which point the added grip upfront is just a free bonus.

I use Castrol SRF fluid so I don't have to worry about bleeds between annual flushes (extra cost of SRF over Motul is more than made up for by savings on professional labor if you don't do your own bleeds) and then I switched to StopTech Street Performance pads, which behave exactly like the OEM pads on the road but resist fade much better on the track. That was driven mostly by the fact that the stock pads left uneven deposits on my rotors so I had horrible steering wheel vibration after one weekend. BMW gave me new pads and rotors under warranty/Ultimate Service even after I told them I'd been to the track, but I knew they wouldn't keep doing that, hence better pads that can cope with the heat, and that solved the problem. I now have a BBK since I got moved into Yellow and wanted to experiment with race pads, but those StopTech pads did well enough for quite a while and IMHO are the best choice if you don't want to deal with swapping pads for road and track.

Good luck OP, it sounds like you're only about a year behind me at the moment on the track prep train and are about to hit the same stops in the same order. That's cool that your wife wants to track as well. My wife thought she might be interested if she had a better car than her Civic Hybrid. She now has an 07 Mini Cooper S but is no longer so sure about tracking. I see couples together at the track and think about how awesome that would be, but then I also ask myself whether I really want TWO people in our marriage to be addicted to such an expensive hobby.
Good advice here. If you're worried about safety and don't want to spend extra money, pads and fluid are all you need. Save the money you would have spent on SS lines (not expensive, but almost certainly unnecessary at this point) and buy more brake fluid for bleeding (or put it towards running SRF as was suggested above).

Or, if you want cool shiny new stuff that looks great (and who doesn't?) and don't mind paying big bucks for it, get a BBK.
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      09-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #15
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For minimal extra cost I highly recommend some titanium brake pad shims (.5mm) to be used with your OEM calipers in addition to the race pads and fluid. They made a measurable difference in helping the pads last through a session especially when I was relatively new to tracking and using the brakes more than I do now. They'll also keep your caliper boots from melting.

Running the car in back to back sessions shouldn't be a problem if you modify the OEM brakes as above. You're doing a cool down lap before heading to the paddock and spending a few more minutes sitting still while changing drivers and waiting on a release to the track both of which will allow the brakes to cool off.

Regarding the SRF fluid, you may want to see what your tech form says. All the ones from the groups I run with require a flush every 6 months so brake fluid expenses can get pretty high. I use Motul with no problems.

No one has said it yet but when you make the plunge for track rubber don't make the mistake of going to R compounds. There's lots of good street compounds available, ie Hankook RS3, that will last much longer and more importantly allow enough slippage so that you and your wife can learn to drive the car at the limit at slightly slower speeds. R tires are so grippy they tend to mask poor driving.
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      09-02-2013, 04:55 PM   #16
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^ +1 to all of the above. If memory serves (and it might not), the StopTech Street Performance pads in stock M3 fitment come with titanium shims, which definitely could have explained how well they held up on track for me. The titanium pads definitely come with those pads in the ST60 caliper fitment.

Driver's Edge requires that the fluid was flushed in the last 12 months, doesn't say anything about bleeding. But yes, if your HPDE organizer requires something different and your inspection tech enforces it, that may change your cost equation.

And stay away from R-Comps I would say until you're in the third run group (out of either three or four) IMHO. I just moved into Yellow and am only now contemplating switching to AD08 Rs next, and those are only Extreme Summer tires. I just have far too much still to learn before I "need" R-Comps. And on a novice car, they will indeed cover up mistakes, and they also won't give you nearly as much warning before they're about to lose grip. The nice thing about regular summer tires is they have audio feedback in turns to help you gauge how close you're getting to their limit. If I were going to run dedicated track tires, the RS3 is definitely a contender, but since I'm in Texas I'd probably go with the new BFG Rivals since the RS3 apparently doesn't work well when it's below 60 F outside, which it can be out here in Texas. The Rivals also apparently have better grip (wet and dry) and wear rate than the RS3 as well. If I ever did feel the need to go beyond AD08s/Rivals, the R-Comp I'd probably look at is the Nitto NT-01. I'm just not sure I want to get addicted to those because I've only got so much money, so do I want to spend it going a hair faster at the track, or going to the track more often?
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      09-02-2013, 05:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
Ahh the slippery slope. As others have already suggested fluid, lines and pads is the first upgrade that you really need.

Next you'll notice that you're cording outside of tires while there is still plenty of rubber on the middle and inside. You'll then want adjustable camber plates to help even that out.

Then you won't like how much you move around in stock seats and will replace with better seats and maybe a quick fit harness system.

You'll keep finding these little small mods that you need until the car is no longer streetable. You'll pick up a trailer and truck.

Then one day you'll wish you would've just bought a track prepped E36 or even a spec miata from the get go.

But I digress. Pads and fluids are fine and will keep you safe for the entire weekend.
Hilarious, cause its what happens.
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      09-02-2013, 07:22 PM   #18
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Hilarious, cause its what happens.
It's even the right order. We just need to add switching to r-comps and, subsequently, needing to buy a BBK to compensate somewhere after installing the camber plates.
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      09-02-2013, 07:31 PM   #19
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Hilarious, cause its what happens.
Ok looks like you have first four steps down. So when are you picking up the e36/e46 track car?? LOL
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      09-02-2013, 08:54 PM   #20
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It's even the right order. We just need to add switching to r-comps and, subsequently, needing to buy a BBK to compensate somewhere after installing the camber plates.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AWM3ME2 View Post
Ok looks like you have first four steps down. So when are you picking up the e36/e46 track car?? LOL


Jay, you and I are right there. If I can find a wide body e46 I'll make the switch and have it as only a track car.
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      09-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #21
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      09-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
Ahh the slippery slope. As others have already suggested fluid, lines and pads is the first upgrade that you really need.

Next you'll notice that you're cording outside of tires while there is still plenty of rubber on the middle and inside. You'll then want adjustable camber plates to help even that out.

Then you won't like how much you move around in stock seats and will replace with better seats and maybe a quick fit harness system.

You'll keep finding these little small mods that you need until the car is no longer streetable. You'll pick up a trailer and truck.

Then one day you'll wish you would've just bought a track prepped E36 or even a spec miata from the get go.

But I digress. Pads and fluids are fine and will keep you safe for the entire weekend.

.............now how do you know all this? This wouldn't be first hand knowledge would it ...................Phil
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