Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods? in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; I figured it would be good to start a thread on this, and I am looking for feedback from those ...
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    smbstyle is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    I figured it would be good to start a thread on this, and I am looking for feedback from those of you who have tracked their V's at a road course.

    What are the best bang for your buck mods for a car on a road course? I'm on a limited budget right now and have a few hundred bucks a month to throw at the car, and just want to see what would be the best mods to do for the car (in order from most important to least important) to have the car set up for HPDEs.

    So far all I have is a Katech shifter w/ UUC bushings, and I just ordered UUC brake lines w/ ATE superblue fluid from Lindsay Cadillac (thanks Luke!). I plan on running the car at Sebring in November.

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    Twitch's Avatar
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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    If you want bang for the buck, then get the specter bushings. They tighten up the car big time! My car used to feel like the back was too heavy and could come loose real easy. The bushings fixed that. Turn in had much more bight and I was able to get much more aggressive powering out of a corner. On a bumpy road/track, I feel very confident with them on the car. They also did a great job with the wheel-hop on my car $250

    Hawk HP+ brake pads are great. Luke has them for about $150 for the front. You should be fine with stock in the rear.

    I didn't really feel any difference with the sway bars on the street. I'm sure they help on track though. Just FYI

    CG lock (google it) it keeps your seat belt tight so your butt slide around in your seat. About 40 bucks.

    At some point you'll have to get Ground Control. $500 plus 4 big washers.

    Tony

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    smbstyle is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twitch View Post
    If you want bang for the buck, then get the specter bushings. They tighten up the car big time! My car used to feel like the back was too heavy and could come loose real easy. The bushings fixed that. Turn in had much more bight and I was able to get much more aggressive powering out of a corner. On a bumpy road/track, I feel very confident with them on the car. They also did a great job with the wheel-hop on my car $250

    Hawk HP+ brake pads are great. Luke has them for about $150 for the front. You should be fine with stock in the rear.

    I didn't really feel any difference with the sway bars on the street. I'm sure they help on track though. Just FYI

    CG lock (google it) it keeps your seat belt tight so your butt slide around in your seat. About 40 bucks.

    At some point you'll have to get Ground Control. $500 plus 4 big washers.

    Tony
    Thanks! I think I might have found brand new HP+ fronts for cheap on ls1tech, and the CG Lock looks like a great buy.

    Is the GC coilover conversion kit all that it's cracked up to be? Your using your factory shocks with just eibach springs, with the ability to adjust ride height, correct? Why not just throw on the H&R springs and save $200 bucks?

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    rjoffe is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    R - Compound Tires ?
    Hotchkis Sways
    HP+ pads (I run HP+ in Front HPS in Rear)
    Rear Strutt Bar
    Titanium Pad Shims
    Specter Werks Bushings
    CG lock

    Those are all relatively small $$ items (other then the first)

    Most important is to flush out Brakes, Clutch & Power Steering on a regular basis

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Quote Originally Posted by smbstyle View Post
    Thanks! I think I might have found brand new HP+ fronts for cheap on ls1tech, and the CG Lock looks like a great buy.

    Is the GC coilover conversion kit all that it's cracked up to be? Your using your factory shocks with just eibach springs, with the ability to adjust ride height, correct? Why not just throw on the H&R springs and save $200 bucks?
    The ability to adjust the ride height is more than worth the $200 difference. I have also heard that the H&R springs might not be as good as the Eibachs, but I'm not 100% sure on that one.

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Quote Originally Posted by smbstyle View Post
    ... and the CG Lock looks like a great buy.
    Agreed on the CG Lock, definitely helps keep your ass planted in the not-very-well-bolstered-and-made-for-fat-Americans seat. Even Andy Pilgrim liked it when he drove my car at the last V Day.

    Quote Originally Posted by smbstyle View Post
    Your using your factory shocks with just eibach springs, with the ability to adjust ride height, correct? Why not just throw on the H&R springs and save $200 bucks?
    The advantage of the GC kit is that you're using lighter 2.5" coil-over springs, there are tons of different rates available, and you get the ride height adjustability. I don't know what the H&R rates are, but I doubt they're as high as what guys are running with the GC coil-over sleeves.

    As for Twitch's suggestions, I always think it's interesting how people perceive things differently. I saw a moderate reduction in driveline clunk with the Specter rear cradle bushings, but I didn't feel any difference in handling at all.

    I agree that I really don't feel any difference at all with the swaybars on the street. Actually, I take that back - going from the Hotchkis front bar back to the stock front bar I think ride quality improved. That came as a surprise, because I didn't think ride quality had gotten worse when I installed the bars, but going back to stock it definitely seemed that pavement transitions and bumps weren't as harsh. As Twitch said, bigger swaybars should make a difference on track, but I don't have any way to quantify it. I do think with just the rear Hotchkis bar installed now the car is a bit less prone to understeer, but it's still there.

    I would say if I only had a few hundred bucks to spend on track preps it would be good pads and a spare set of front rotors. Apparently I'm hard on brakes, because there's not a chance in hell I could make aggressive street pads like the HP+ survive. (I think you can see in my videos from V Day 4 that I make up a lot of ground on guys under braking at the end of the main straight, so I guess that's where that "hard on the brakes" thing comes from.) I'm running Hawk's top-o'-the-line DTC70s up front and DTC60s in the rear and they're getting the job done.
    '05 Stealth Grey CTS-V, Hyper Silver Linea Corse Venetos w/Continental ExtremeContact DWs (summer), black Team Dynamics ProRace 1.2 wheels with 275/35-18 R-compounds (track), Hyperblack Rota Torques (winter), KW Variant3s, V2 front brakes, Hotchkis rear sway bar, EPS cam, TEA-ported 243 heads, FAST92 intake w/LS2 TB, JBA Camaro/G8 1-3/4" shorty headers w/JBA cat pipes, Corsa exhaust, UUC motor and tranny mounts, UUC shifter, MAPerformance trailing arms, Specter cradle bushings, etc...

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    smbstyle is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Quote Originally Posted by AAIIIC View Post
    Agreed on the CG Lock, definitely helps keep your ass planted in the not-very-well-bolstered-and-made-for-fat-Americans seat. Even Andy Pilgrim liked it when he drove my car at the last V Day.


    The advantage of the GC kit is that you're using lighter 2.5" coil-over springs, there are tons of different rates available, and you get the ride height adjustability. I don't know what the H&R rates are, but I doubt they're as high as what guys are running with the GC coil-over sleeves.

    As for Twitch's suggestions, I always think it's interesting how people perceive things differently. I saw a moderate reduction in driveline clunk with the Specter rear cradle bushings, but I didn't feel any difference in handling at all.

    I agree that I really don't feel any difference at all with the swaybars on the street. Actually, I take that back - going from the Hotchkis front bar back to the stock front bar I think ride quality improved. That came as a surprise, because I didn't think ride quality had gotten worse when I installed the bars, but going back to stock it definitely seemed that pavement transitions and bumps weren't as harsh. As Twitch said, bigger swaybars should make a difference on track, but I don't have any way to quantify it. I do think with just the rear Hotchkis bar installed now the car is a bit less prone to understeer, but it's still there.

    I would say if I only had a few hundred bucks to spend on track preps it would be good pads and a spare set of front rotors. Apparently I'm hard on brakes, because there's not a chance in hell I could make aggressive street pads like the HP+ survive. (I think you can see in my videos from V Day 4 that I make up a lot of ground on guys under braking at the end of the main straight, so I guess that's where that "hard on the brakes" thing comes from.) I'm running Hawk's top-o'-the-line DTC70s up front and DTC60s in the rear and they're getting the job done.
    Would I be better running Hawk DTC's for just track duty only, and switch them out at the track?

    Well the CG Lock is on the list, seems everyone is in agreeance on how well it holds you in. I agree, these seats arent meant for track duty.

    I think this is going to be my to-do list:
    CG Lock
    Hawk HP+ pads for track use only (unless I should go with the DTCs?)
    Specter Werkes Bushings
    Hotchkis REAR sway bar only (read in another thread about a guy ditching the Hotchkis front b/c it made the front TOO stiff...)
    Rear strut tower bar
    Ground Control Coilover conversion kit (unless someone can give better feedback on the H&R springs). I just dont see myself adjusting the ride height all the time....


    I would love to get some R compound tires, and was about to when I found some Rota Torques for $500 shipped (I was a few days late).

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    I have to tell you that I have no problem with both Hotchkis sway bars. My car exhibits virtually no understeer under track conditions in my experience. This, only using the rear Hotchkis sway bar thing, is new to me and the forums. I would tell you to keep an open mind about using both. I guess it would be prudent to try only the rear first, but if you later decide that you need to mitigate the body roll in the front (which you probably will) then you will end up installing the front bar too.

    As for a track wheel/tire combo. I am going to order the Team Dynamics 18"x9" ultra-lightweight wheels and put some BFG R1 slicks on them (265/35r18 on all four corners). I love my staggered setup right now, but I'm thinking a nice square slick setup would be the holy grail combo for our cars.

    Brakes: I loved the Hawk HP+ pads and drilled and slotted rotors on all four corners. They provided the best braking combo I have experienced to date.

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Quote Originally Posted by tweeter81 View Post
    I have to tell you that I have no problem with both Hotchkis sway bars. My car exhibits virtually no understeer under track conditions in my experience. This, only using the rear Hotchkis sway bar thing, is new to me and the forums. I would tell you to keep an open mind about using both. I guess it would be prudent to try only the rear first, but if you later decide that you need to mitigate the body roll in the front (which you probably will) then you will end up installing the front bar too.

    As for a track wheel/tire combo. I am going to order the Team Dynamics 18"x9" ultra-lightweight wheels and put some BFG R1 slicks on them (265/35r18 on all four corners). I love my staggered setup right now, but I'm thinking a nice square slick setup would be the holy grail combo for our cars.

    Brakes: I loved the Hawk HP+ pads and drilled and slotted rotors on all four corners. They provided the best braking combo I have experienced to date.
    how big of a difference did you notice with the hotchkis front/rear sway bars?

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Smbstyle -

    You've got the right list of mods. Frankly, I've never seen this much consensus on a topic in this forum!

    You might want to consider the stainless steel brake lines. They aren't a 'sexy' mod, but if you are serious about tracking your car they will definitely make a difference (that + some high temp brake fluid). Call Luke at Lindsay - he'll give you a deal on the lines & likely throw in the fluid. His price on the HP+ pads are (i recall) $135 front, somewhat less for rears.

    You probably know this already but, R comps or slicks will add as much performance as all the other mods combined. Unfortunately it's also the most expensive mod (of this list). If you go that route you should just get another set of wheels too and save the tires for the track. Also, take tweeter's advice... don't go staggered on your track tires. You'll want to be able to rotate them regularly... just ask AAIIIC why he rotates his tires in the middle of a track day.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Pat -

    Do you have the GCs? If so, what spring rates front/rear? If not, do you know the recommended f/r rates for our car?

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    On my car at the track:
    -BMR front STB, rear STB (I don't know if they help in a perceivable way, but they probably do help)
    -Hawk DTC-70 f/r (HP+ plus is a good street/track pad, but if you're going to swap at the track anyway. Also, HP+s don't last long for me anymore. Ate my last set up in I believe two track days and a month of driving.)
    -SS lines (improve pedal feel)
    -UUC 2-piece rotors (I noticed a difference in turn in even on the street, but may've been placebo)
    -Motul RBF 600 fluid (I've boiled other DOT 4 fluid)
    -TiSpeed shims (They help with temps and I can get you 10% off if you're interested)
    -R comp tires (they really aren't too expensive if you can find a set of take-offs or closeouts and they make a world of difference. I currently run Kumhos but am about to pick up 3 sets of R6s with 60% tread left for $540 total.)
    -Headers/hi flow cats (great for the track and street )
    -UUC shifter (I can't remember what it felt like before this, but remember it sucked)
    -CG Lock (This is a great mod, although I feel like it's not enough anymore...)
    -and a bunch more of things to come...

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Quote Originally Posted by smbstyle View Post
    Would I be better running Hawk DTC's for just track duty only, and switch them out at the track?
    The DTC series are track pads, so you would definitely want to swap them out for track events. I do drive on the street with them (from the track to the hotel and back, mostly), and they're actually quite good on the street. 5 or 10 years ago using track pads on the street would devour your rotors and would result in horrible cold stops. That's not really the case anymore with modern track pads. But even the modern track pads are designed to work best with higher temps, and running them on the street just means you're using up pad material you should be saving for the track.

    Quote Originally Posted by tweeter81 View Post
    I have to tell you that I have no problem with both Hotchkis sway bars. My car exhibits virtually no understeer under track conditions in my experience. This, only using the rear Hotchkis sway bar thing, is new to me and the forums.
    What spring rates are you running? I know some of you are running higher spring rates in the rear, which will reduce understeer. I would guess if the car feels neutral to you and you're running staggered tires that you must have stiffer springs in the rear. I chose to stick with the same rate front and rear, which may have been a mistake. I may go to a higher rate in the rear at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by kirchbed View Post
    Pat -

    Do you have the GCs? If so, what spring rates front/rear? If not, do you know the recommended f/r rates for our car?
    No, I have KW Variant3s with 10kg/mm springs front and rear (570#/in). They actually come with 10f/9r, but I swapped to 10s in the rear when I installed them, as I figured going with a lower spring rate in the rear would be a step backwards in handling balance. I believe most of the GC guys are running 550f/600r or something along those lines.

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    daVe06 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    1- CG lock
    2- Driving instructor.

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    Re: Best "Bang-for-your-Buck" Road Course Mods?

    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAtAnySpd View Post
    -TiSpeed shims (They help with temps and I can get you 10% off if you're interested)

    Do you guys run these front and rear, or just front?

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