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Old 05-13-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default Track Day Prep

Ok, I have 15x8 6UL's on order. I need to find tires. I know it can be it's own thread/battle but I'm looking for 225's, street tire that I can drive an hour each way to the track. Not necesarily looking for the BEST tire, as I have a lot of learning to do, but at least capable. Better tire life and lower cost trump ultimate grip. I can always upgrade on the next set of tires, but I'd hate to ruin a higher priced set on the first day. Basically, what's the best $400-500 set of tires for street/track day? I will go back to my ASX's for DD duty.

Brakes:

I have to buy brakes/rotors. From searches, it seems like Carbotech XP10 front, XP8 rear on new NAPA rotors. Is this the best option today? Some of the threads were a couple of years old and I didn't know if there was something new.

Brake Fluid

Motul 600 and ATE were recommended. Any other options that I need to consider? Some threads referenced Ford Heavy Duty as locally available and inexpensive.

Suspension

I really want to go with Tein Flex but not sure I want to dump the cash as I am still waiting to find out about the S2000. If so, it is getting stripped for a dedicated track car. So, I'm considering either Illuminas with Ebay DIY coilover hack, 450/300 for cheapest option or FM Stage 1 or 2. It seems like a reasonable mid-priced alternative that will be a good street suspension with marginal but hopefully acceptable performance for track days. The Ebay DIY hack totals $500 (Assuming $430 shocks and $60 spring kit) and gains me adjustable ride height. Might be too harsh for DD duty, though.

Front/Rear bars

Seems like RB hollow front and stock or no rear bar gets the nod. Better than the upgraded solid bars with the FM? The FM 1 kit is $729 without bars, $894 with bars so go RB over the $170 FM bars?

Anything that I am forgetting?
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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You should run through a quick nut and bolt of the car a day or two before your track day, full suspension bolt check and make sure the exhaust is secured well. Check and replace all the fluids if necessary. Seat, harnesses? Make sure you have sunscreen, plenty of water, energy bars, and a few extra bucks in cash.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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toyo r888. yes - you can drive them on street, they are dot-approved.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:30 PM   #4
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cojones?


I only ask because it was the one thing hustler forgot while prepping his for track days.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:30 PM   #5
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This post will be long, but then again you're asking a lot of goddam questions here.

R-comps are a bad idea for new drivers. If you don't have a bunch of experience handling your car at the limit, R-comps will give you a false sense of security regarding your own skill and the level of grip available. If you aren't used to the feedback they give right before they break away (which is much less than street tires) you could put yourself in a bad spot.

Your options for street tires in 225 are kinda limited. I have RS2s, and they definitely aren't the best, so they fit your criteria on that point LOL. They're fine on the street, "only" ~$100 a tire, they'll handle track heat okay without getting excessively greasy, and they'll talk to you when they get near the limit. R1Rs and the new RS3s also come in 225 but I have no experience with them.

XP10/8, new rotors and ATE fluid will do you just fine for brakes.

Without some upgraded sway bars you're going to be rolling around like a sonofabitch, but the rest of the suspension isn't an absolute necessity before your first track day. Go with a big front bar, and what you run in the rear may come down to what springs you have and what kind of balance you like in the car. I ran both of the FM bars and stock springs for a couple of HPDEs, and that setup allowed for decent throttle steering. Now that I have 450/300 springs in, I'm finding the FM rear bar is a bit too much and I'm going to try putting the stock bar back in. Lots of autocrossers run no rear bar so they can throw it into tight corners then stomp the throttle without having the *** end spin, however on track your turns will be more long sweepers so you want some semblance of mid-corner balance, and no rear bar just doesn't do that for me.

If you're asking if 450/300 is too stiff for a DD, they aren't too stiff for me, but for the most part we have smooth roads around here. I just had to dial up the rebound on the Konis and they ride great.

Really, the only thing that's 100% necessary for the car is the brakes IMO. On some tracks even a first-timer will be fading stock pads and/or boiling crappy brake fluid by the end of the first day. The rest of that stuff can all be done but isn't strictly necessary. Heck, for my first event I was on stock springs and old 195/55/14 T1Rs (which grip even less than new T1Rs ) and I survived just fine. Your first track day is more about you than the car. Do whatever upgrades you're going to do, then quit worrying about the car so you can get yourself into learning mode.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for the informative post Scott. I assumed that the brakes are the only "must have" that I need to get done, but I'm just working on everything now because I "want" it done. I've always wanted to get the shocks/springs done as it is a wallowing pig at present.

Is the 450/300 springs in your car the DIY Ebay coilovers or GC/real springs?
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Ok, I have 15x8 6UL's on order. I need to find tires. I know it can be it's own thread/battle but I'm looking for 225's, street tire that I can drive an hour each way to the track. Not necesarily looking for the BEST tire, as I have a lot of learning to do, but at least capable. Better tire life and lower cost trump ultimate grip. I can always upgrade on the next set of tires, but I'd hate to ruin a higher priced set on the first day. Basically, what's the best $400-500 set of tires for street/track day? I will go back to my ASX's for DD duty. There just aren't many 225 options. I wish Grassroots had tested the new RS3. My guess is that's the best street/track tire in the 225 width. As the grassroots article pointed out how a tire performs at it's limits are very different and that is huge at HPDE. A predictable breakaway and easy recovery is what you want. The toyo R1R sucks at that. No data on the RS3 yet. I run some old Avon R-comps at the track. Great feedback from them. My RS2's are much less comunicative and breakaway is more sudden. Hopefully the RS3's are better.

Brakes:

I have to buy brakes/rotors. From searches, it seems like Carbotech XP10 front, XP8 rear on new NAPA rotors. Is this the best option today? I like that pad selection or if you are hard on brakes you could go 12f/10r. I added the 11" corrado kit from M-tuned with the 10f/8r pads and the braking was still well balanced.

Brake Fluid

Motul 600 and ATE were recommended. Any other options that I need to consider? Some threads referenced Ford Heavy Duty as locally available and inexpensive. Top line fluids like Motul & ATE are inexpensive enough to not bother saving the money. How long will a $12 quart of ATE blue last you? Me? It's about 2 years worth!

Front/Rear bars

Seems like RB hollow front and stock or no rear bar gets the nod. Better than the upgraded solid bars with the FM? The FM 1 kit is $729 without bars, $894 with bars so go RB over the $170 FM bars? I'm running the RB hollow up front and the stock rear. Really good balance. I'd highly recomend it.
I had Eddy from Adrenaline racing drive my car a few weeks ago on the new Oregon Raceway track. Wanted to see what I could learn and also get feedback on the car. He runs in the SCCA Nationals pretty much every year and has been a Miata guy forever. He did 3 or 4 laps with me as a passenger. Mine's a 94 with 9/6 rate teins, Rb hollow front, stock rear, 10f/8r carbotechs, 11" corrado fronts, around 240 hp. I asked him after what he'd sell me to improve the car and he said "nothing". He loved it. Braking, steering, recovery were all very predictable and well balancedfor. I was suprised at that but very happy. I'd just put on the Corrado kit and am running it with the stock prop valve.

Of course this is with a fully loaded, all options intact, weight added with the turbo system, roll bar, added bracing and two 200lb guys in it. A stripped car with a wing, splitter and less ballast (RE- my fat body) could be completely different.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:47 PM   #8
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Just FYI I got my carbotechs pads and rotors from saferacer.com. They had the cheapest price with online coupons and free shipping. I could not find rotors locally for cheap like everyone says.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Thanks for the informative post Scott. I assumed that the brakes are the only "must have" that I need to get done, but I'm just working on everything now because I "want" it done. I've always wanted to get the shocks/springs done as it is a wallowing pig at present.

Is the 450/300 springs in your car the DIY Ebay coilovers or GC/real springs?

I'd avoid the ebay springs and spend a little extra for QA1's. They run about $40 a corner. Put those on some ebay coilover sleeves. Quality springs and will last. 450/300 is pretty conservative and reasonable as long as the shocks will damp them. What range of spring rates are the illumina's good for? If 450/300 works with them you are good to go. Koni yellow is the other obvious option and popular. Haven't run either so no recommendation from me there.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Is the 450/300 springs in your car the DIY Ebay coilovers or GC/real springs?
It was kind of a DIY approach. I pieced together decent quality parts and saved some money by not buying a kit. I bought the Koni sleeves & perches because I already had Koni sports on the car and I knew they'd fit my shocks well. And I just couldn't bring myself to rely on fleabay suspension parts from some unknown manufacturer on a track car.

The front springs are 450# QA1s and the rears are 300# Eibachs (all 2.5" I.D. and 7" length). Got them used for $25/pr and $35/pr shipped to my door. You can save a bunch on springs by buying used, because they don't really go bad. Got all of mine on fleabay, but sccaforums is another good place to look for springs.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:20 PM   #11
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OK, tires.

RS2 in 225/45/15 $99 Treadwear 200
RS3 in 225/45/15 $124 Treadwear 140

Will I likely gain one track day going with the RS2's? I'm guessing so only by treadwear. I know that the RS3's are untested, but I can't imagine that they aren't better. So, pony up another $100 and maybe get less life?
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:31 PM   #12
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You'll get longer life with RS-2s, yeah.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:15 PM   #13
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I've been running RS2 as DD and swap to R-comps on the track. I've only tracked the RS2's when it starts spitting rain and also for autoX. Hated them at the track. My talents as a driver are limited at best but communication from them was horrible, breakaway was sudden and recovery impossible. Spend the money on the RS3's.
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