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Old 05-13-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Race Prepping (Review my list from a noob)

I will be doing my first track day on August the 8th. It is my 18th birthday gift from my parents . Before I do that, there is much to be done to my car. I have read through the stickies and threads here and I think I have put together a good list, but I'd like someone who actually knows something to review it before I dump loads of money into the car.

Current setup:
-FM Log Mani (Cast)
-ARtech DP
-Chinese 2560 (****)
-CXracing IC (Don't know the size, it's the one that the majority of people here run)
-CXracing 52mm Radiator
-Parada Spec-2s on Stock 01-03 SE wheels
-Hard Dog Roll Bar

On the current setup, there is really no way that this thing would last more than 3 laps before overheating/loosening studs.

My plans:
-TSE M10x1.5 Inconel Studs/Locking hardware
-Coolant Reroute (EDIT: Would it be an acceptable substitute to just run an 01+ HG?)
-Genuine GT2560
-Radiator Ducting + undertray
-??? Tires that will actually survive the heat (Want Federal 595RSR)
-Hood vents for more airflow through radiator and above turbo
-New brake pads/fluids to keep up with the heat
-Would like to do VW rotors, but will the stock 1.8 brakes keep up fine with good pads? (I know it depends on the course, but in general)

Dunno if this thread is really the style here, but I'd like someone to help me review it since I know nothing about tracking.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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I'd stay away from the 595RSR. There's plenty of people having problems with them.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
I'd stay away from the 595RSR. There's plenty of people having problems with them.
How so?
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
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Current setup:
-FM Log Mani (Cast)
good
-ARtech DP
great
-Chinese 2560 (****)
I'll be surprised it it makes it through the day
-CXracing IC (Don't know the size, it's the one that the majority of people here run)
I'd get a Precision core and do it right, the first time
-CXracing 52mm Radiator
Go bigger, get the TSE radiator, but my cheapo works just fine
-Parada Spec-2s on Stock 01-03 SE wheels
lol
-Hard Dog Roll Bar

On the current setup, there is really no way that this thing would last more than 3 laps before overheating/loosening studs.

My plans:
-TSE M10x1.5 Inconel Studs/Locking hardware
good
-Coolant Reroute (EDIT: Would it be an acceptable substitute to just run an 01+ HG?)
A couple temp strips will tell you if the '01 headgasket works
-Genuine GT2560
yes
-Radiator Ducting + undertray
required
-??? Tires that will actually survive the heat (Want Federal 595RSR)
ok
-Hood vents for more airflow through radiator and above turbo
putting vents further back will suck-in air at speed. The turbo doesn't need a vent, just DEI coolmat above it, on the hood. Sheild your master cylinder.
-New brake pads/fluids to keep up with the heat
DTC-60
-Would like to do VW rotors, but will the stock 1.8 brakes keep up fine with good pads? (I know it depends on the course, but in general)
Those worked for me at 240whp, but running fast at one local track cooked them. They were great at every other track and I bet ECR is the hardest braking track in the nation.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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For your first track day I would run as low of boost as possible or even wire the wastegate open, run some hawk pads with a full flush of Motul or ATE fluid, and use a tire with a higher treadwear rating. I think a good starter track tire is the Dunlop Star Spec.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
-CXracing 52mm Radiator
Go bigger, get the TSE radiator, but my cheapo works just fine
Even at 219rwhp? 76mm seems overkill for that. Keep in mind I'm a 17 year old working part-time at McD's, so I'm not exactly made of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
-Would like to do VW rotors, but will the stock 1.8 brakes keep up fine with good pads? (I know it depends on the course, but in general)
Those worked for me at 240whp, but running fast at one local track cooked them. They were great at every other track and I bet ECR is the hardest braking track in the nation.
"Those" referring to VW brakes or 1.8 brakes?

Thanks Hustler.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:52 PM   #7
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Get some good pads and turn the boost down. I doubt at your first track day you'll be going fast enough to generate enough heat to cause real problems unless you have something wacky going on with your car.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:32 PM   #8
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I've been in the same situation as you when I was getting started. I would suggest running with the wastegate wired open and give the brake fluid a flush as a minimum. If you have the budget then get some new pads. I wouldn't bother with different tyres on your first outing to be honest. My first track day I had a blast even on some cheap Kumhos.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider384 View Post
Even at 219rwhp? 76mm seems overkill for that. Keep in mind I'm a 17 year old working part-time at McD's, so I'm not exactly made of money.



"Those" referring to VW brakes or 1.8 brakes?

Thanks Hustler.
You'll probably be fine, but it's not the "Ferrari of Radiators". If you're going to spend the money, the TSE radiator is the one to buy. I have a $100 ebay radiator in mine which is not made anymore. Ducting really goes a long way for making it work.

Corrado rotors, Wilwood calipers. Run low boost or borrow an NA Miata for the first few days.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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BTW, get a good oil pressure, oil temp, and water temp gauge too. Those will save you money over the stock/non-existing parts. With a real water gauge you know when it's getting to the danger zone, rather than an announcement of your arrival. The other two are self explanatory. If I had to do gauges all over again I'd do VEI gauges for everything.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:13 PM   #11
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Do you actually work at McDonald's?
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:05 PM   #12
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Yeah, those burgers aren't going to flip themselves.

And also, I'm planning on getting prosport gauges, but I don't know what color to get. I'm not worried about aesthetics, I'm worried about visibility. Which would show up the best?
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #13
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Do you tell people that you work in the restaurant business?
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider384 View Post
Yeah, those burgers aren't going to flip themselves.

And also, I'm planning on getting prosport gauges, but I don't know what color to get. I'm not worried about aesthetics, I'm worried about visibility. Which would show up the best?
I thought about a prosport gauge too. I'm leaning toward doing several VEI's because you get 2 for the price of 1 and I think I'd prefer the numerical display for everything but the tach.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusha View Post
Do you tell people that you work in the restaurant business?
I feel no shame working for McD's alongside mis hermanos Mexicanos.

Couple of questions I thought of:
-What are acceptable temperatures for oil on the track?
-The stock 1.8 has an oil cooler at the filter that cools based off of coolant, correct? If so, will this be effective enough for the track?
-I remember some talk of transmission coolers, is anyone here running one? Will it be necessary at 219rwhp on a 5-speed?

And a stupid but relevant question, does anyone here that tracks have glasses? If so, do you use contacts or glasses at the track?
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
I thought about a prosport gauge too. I'm leaning toward doing several VEI's because you get 2 for the price of 1 and I think I'd prefer the numerical display for everything but the tach.
I have the VEI oil/water temp gauge and I love it. The water gauge reads a few degrees higher then my MS, but I over works good.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider384 View Post
And a stupid but relevant question, does anyone here that tracks have glasses? If so, do you use contacts or glasses at the track?
Contacts. They do great as long as you shade your eyes from the wind. Either windows up, visor down, or sunglasses. If it's not too bright, safety glasses. Obviously test ahead of time to make sure they fit easily with your helmet. Be it the sunglasses, safety glasses, or your prescription glasses.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:49 AM   #18
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+1 on the glasses at a minimum - I've got the naca vents and there's nothing worse than getting sand or whatever blown into the eyes - even with my visor cracked open. Would be dangerous if you're crying like a baby and can't see where you're going

Hustler - you think the DTC-60s really that better than the XP12s? I remember you saying you killed a set in 2 weekends but was that on the TSE BBK?
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneSplicer View Post
Hustler - you think the DTC-60s really that better than the XP12s? I remember you saying you killed a set in 2 weekends but was that on the TSE BBK?
I killed the RB rotors in something like 3 hours or something like that, the Raybestos rotors last much longer. Pads are personal preference, I like a pad with consistent pressure, more bite than most, long-lasting and easy to burnish. I can race on DTC-60's without bedding and they last a really long time, I also like the feel more than most pads I've tried aside from PFC-97 which is the closest to the DRC-60. They're also $60/set for the fronts, $100 for the rears which makes them cheaper than most.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:34 PM   #20
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rider384:

I'm going to be the fourth person to say, from experience, that for your first (and second, and third) track day, you should drop the boost as much as you can. We all want to go out there are be Andretti, but a faster car makes it harder to learn the fundamentals, and trust me, once you're out there you won't be missing the power for your first few events - you'd have a lot to worry about even at 100 whp. For my first track day I ran the lowest boost my wastegate would allow (6-7 psi) instead of my normal 10-11 psi. I intend to leave it at that level for at least my whole first full season of track days.

The significant added benefit of doing this is that you enhance the reliability of your car by running lower boost as well. A car that hasn't seen the track before will have at least some minor issues at its first track day, no matter how low the power. Running a lower power level will minimize those issues though. Better to keep the heat and stress on the motor and turbo and every other part down, and work out the weak points in the car over the first few track days, instead of running full boost right off the bat and breaking twice as much stuff.
Recommendation: Turn that **** down.

As to your other questions, the biggest issues on the list are cooling and braking. Don't worry about replacing your radiator or intercooler, those are just fine. You need to focus some attention to ducting though. The best radiator and IC will struggle to do its job without proper ducting and a cheapo radiator and IC will pass with flying colors day and day with good ducting. You'd be surprised how many of us are using CXRacing products successfully.
Recommendation: Duct the bejeezus out of it!

As far as brakes go, this is the #1 area where you simply can't skimp. If this is a daily driven car, consider getting a seperate set of brake pads and rotors for the track which you can put in a box in between track events. This is what I do. There are some who will run track pads on the street, but their miata is not their primary daily car, and the reality is that no good track pad is a good street pad - they dust and squeal like mad. Much better IMO to have the right track brake setup and the right well-mannered street brake setup for each application. You are just fine with the stock 1.8 caliper/rotor sizes; A) You won't push it hard enough in your first several events to even be asking much of race pads on the stock sized brakes B) Especially if you lower your boost and aren't building up mad speed on the straights, stock brake sizes will be more than sufficient until you're a high-intermediate driver.
Recommendations: Carbotech XP10 front, XP10 or 8 rear, Basic NAPA or Kragen rotors

I don't think you need to worry about the turbo itself, and keeping the boost level low will ensure the china turbo lasts for a long time. I DO think you need to get the TSE inconel stud kit - make sure your setup uses 10mm studs before buying it (some use 8mm).

The 01+ headgasket is said to improve flow dramatically. Can't hurt to do it. I would hold off on doing a full on coolant reroute until later, once you've seen how your current cooling setup holds up. Besides, again, for your first few track days you really won't be stressing the car that much.
I DO suggest cutting the hood for venting. I do NOT suggest cutting a hold above the turbo - that area is a high pressure zone that will not vent heat out. You want to cut the hood just behind the radiator, forward of the valve cover.

Tires: For your first track day, you can run whatever tire you've got. Also consider that the grippier your tire is, the less you will learn per minute out there on the track. This sounds strange, but a street tire will allow you to reach the traction limits sooner, and you'll be travelling at a slightly lower speed when you do, so you'll spend more time at the limit, learning how to play with the limit. With an R-comp, you'll reach that threshold later/less often. You'll also be travelling even faster at a given point on the track when/if you do reach that limit, and that limit will come at you much more suddenly. It's not conducive to learning, that's for sure.
Recommendation: Run your Paradas, or if you really want to get a dedicated set of tires for the track, get the Hankook RS-3 / Kumho XS / Dunlop Star Specs - all grippy street tires that can handle track abuse but that won't hamper your learning curve.

In a nut shell: Focus your money on brakes, the TSE stud kit, and the 01+ HG if you want. Focus your time on ducting the radiator and intercooler, and venting the hood. Turn the boost down. Watch lots of Youtube footage of the track you'll be going to to learn it before hand. Bring a big bag of tools. Have a great time and learn!

All of the recommendations I've made closely mirror what I've done myself to get into the game of track day racing. I wouldn't suggest sticking to 1.8 sized brakes with track pads if I hadn't done so myself with good results, etc.

Remember: prepping for your first track day can result in a long, expensive to-do list. You want to focus on the "must do's" and not blow all your money of prepping, because after your first time you're gonna want to do it more, and track days cost $$, and also because things break on the track, and it's very hard/impossible to predict what, so if you've spend thousands on prepping and then some other random part breaks that you weren't expecting and you've got no money left over to fix/replace it, you're gonna be a sad panda bear.

-Ryan
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