: Track tires/brakes upgrades



robertb
10-27-07, 11:32 PM
I am not sure whether I should thank you or curse you all, but I seem to be on the slippery slope here of mod-hell. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been tracking my car at HPDE's. I recently upgraded the suspension with a set of GM racing sway bars with adjustable end-links and the UUC shifter from Luke at Lindsay.

My new question is about tires and brakes for the track. This seems to be the next logical (foolish) step for me. I searched the site but I am not clear on a few points. I did notice that 4-5 of you are regularly on the track (you know who you are) and had many good suggestions about tires and brakes, but there was information overload for me so I want to clear up a few points.

Tires: From my search, it seems that for a DOT-approved track tire that could be driven to the track the choices were Nitto Invo, Nitto NT01, Toyo R888, and Falken RT 615. However, none of these are in the OEM size. The closest size in 245/40/18. Who is running these are are you happy with them? Does the lower profile make a significant difference?

Brakes: There doesn’t seem to be a choice of rotor upgrade. The cross-drilled GM products did not appear to get positive reviews from people on this forum. Is that correct? Is there anything else out there? As for pads, it seems the Hawk HP+ are the best upgrade from the standard pads. Again, did I read the previous posts correctly?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Robert

CVP33
10-27-07, 11:51 PM
Get the Falken 615's in 255/40/18. They will fit all around. I'm hearing blue motul for the brake fluid for heavy track use. BigJim amongst other can and most likely will chime in.

50 4Ever
10-28-07, 12:25 AM
Denniscars ran the Nitto NT01 245/40-18 and rgd runs Hoosier R6's, I think, in 240/45-18. They are the same width as stock just a little shorter.

Personally I would not go with a cross drilled rotor for the track. I hadd Beaar Eradispeed cross drilled and slotted rotors on the Corvette and the fronts developed stress cracks around every hole. If you don't catch these cracks your rotor could come apart.

I run Kuhmo V710's on the Corvtte, which are DOT certified. If there is even a 10% chance of rain they stay home and I use the street tires. The Kuhmo's and Hoosier's are essentially slicks with two grooves running around the circumference of the tire. Nitto NT01's have more of a tread pattern, if you could call it that, but I wouldn't drive them in the rain.

Good luck with your decision.

:thumbsup:

V-Love
10-28-07, 01:36 AM
I am a beginner on the track with 6 days under my belt. I am qualified for HPDE 2 but choose to stay in HPDE 1 because the instructor is included and I like to learn. I am running an all stock car. I use Falken 615's because they are cheap and seem to last a long time and grip good enough for me.
An instructor told me to run DOT's untill I get real comfortable. Then, he advises to switch to race compound tires. However, each instructor has a different style.
The only other thing I do is change my oil and bleed my brakes. I changed the brake fluid once to the motul 600 and the old stuff looked fine. You really don't need to upgrade the brakes. Cadillac got them right. I have Hawk Pads for my next change before Homestead on 11/24. Can't wait to see the difference.
She runs great stock. GO GET 'EM!

AND BECOME A SUPPORTING MEMBER! Your already taking the sweet hookups from Luke.
To answer your first question, only a few people get cursed around here. Its usually pretty funny though.

lunarx
10-28-07, 01:36 AM
I would not use the Invo's for track.
I recommend:

Nitto NT-01: 245-40-18
RE-01R: 245-45-18 (stock size)
RT-615: 255-40-18

For track brake pads you want
Raybestos ST-42
or
PFC-97

All above are streatable so you can install at home and drive them to/from the track.

You can track on your stock pads, for a while, if you are not too aggressive yet.
However once the stock pads are 50% worn, replace them with a less dusty street pad (for street use) and use the above pads for track.
If you can fade the stock pads, you can probably fade the Hawk HP+ also.

Definetly flush your brakes with ATE Super Blue (its colored to make sure you get all the old stuff out).
Next flush after that, use Motul RBF-600.

Go have fun and smoke some imports. :lildevil:

If you don't have a rear-diff cooler on your list at least change fluid often.
The poor rear diff takes a beating under acceleration, engine braking and turning (LSD).
Im sure you can imagine how overworked the fluid must be.

thebigjimsho
10-28-07, 02:20 AM
As you up the ante with tires, you should match them with the proper brake pads and fluids. I've found that when you run Hoosier GAC non-DOT slicks on a hot VIR, you need to upgrade from ATE Super Blue to Motul RBF600, especially if you run track pads. I ran a fairly mild pad in the Hawk Blue compound.

If you just want to enjoy the occasional track day, I'd say RT615s, ATE Super Blue on Hawk HPS+ pads. A set it and forget it setup. If you'll be swapping tires, it's super easy to swap pads at the same time. Titanium or SS shims added to the brakes will help as well.

trukk
10-29-07, 03:57 PM
As you up the ante with tires, you should match them with the proper brake pads and fluids. I've found that when you run Hoosier GAC non-DOT slicks on a hot VIR, you need to upgrade from ATE Super Blue to Motul RBF600, especially if you run track pads. I ran a fairly mild pad in the Hawk Blue compound.

If you just want to enjoy the occasional track day, I'd say RT615s, ATE Super Blue on Hawk HPS+ pads. A set it and forget it setup. If you'll be swapping tires, it's super easy to swap pads at the same time. Titanium or SS shims added to the brakes will help as well.

I currently run RT615's (245/40 275/35 staggered config) as my daily driver tires and light use track (4 HPDE's this year). I don't have a second set of rims yet for dedicated track tires. The 615's will have to due for now. They tend to stick very good for a handfull of laps, then start to fall off fairly fast, due to the heft of our cars (they get really greasy after a bit. A second thing to note is you have to set the PSI low on them. If you set it too high intially, they get really greasy really fast. I start at about 28 PSI). Still they are fairly impressive for tires you can drive year round in most weather (I'm almost bald in the rear, and have had no hydro planing issues in the rain. F1 SC's scared the crap out of me in the rain!), especially considering the price.

As for brakes, I run HP+ in the front and HPS in the back, and that seems to be a very good daily driver, light track use configuration. I also run ATE Super Blue. [I wonder where Jim came up with this combo :D].

Once I finally score a set of track rims for not a HUGE ammount of cash, I'll get some track rubber (probably whatever I can get on sale at the time), and get a set of Blue's to swap into.

Jim is definately right about moving up in tire and brake compund grip. You'll boil your fluid and bronze your calipers, unless you use some Motul and perhaps some shims. If you really go all out, you'll need some brake ducts as well.

BTW to the OP, I'm heading down to VIR w/ Chin Motorsports in December, if you are interested in joining us. The more the merrier.

-Chris

ZEUSROTTY
10-29-07, 06:06 PM
where can I get some brake ducts?

AAIIIC
10-29-07, 11:58 PM
Tires: From my search, it seems that for a DOT-approved track tire that could be driven to the track the choices were Nitto Invo, Nitto NT01, Toyo R888, and Falken RT 615. However, none of these are in the OEM size. The closest size in 245/40/18. Who is running these are are you happy with them?
Just to clarify, of those 4, only the NT01 and the R888 are R-compounds. The Falken is a near-R-compound, while the Invo isn't even close to an R-compound.

If you're searching for a track-only tire, I don't think there's any reason to go with a street tire (like the RT615). Looking at R-compounds, in addition to the R888 and NT01 there's also the Toyo RA-1 (245/40-18 and 275/35-18), a very good track tire with great longevity. The Hankook Ventus Z214 (245/40-18 and 275/35-18) is also available in their harder C50 track compound (C70 is an auto-x compound - basically like Hoosier with the A6 and R6 versions of their tires).

If you've only got 1 set of wheels, don't even think about the Invo. The RT615 is a good dual-use tire, but as trukk said, they get greasy on track (which is a problem even on lighter cars, so it's not just the fact the V is heavy). The Kumho ECSTA MX (245/40-18) is another good budget dual-use tire that doesn't have that same tendency to get greasy. If you're looking to spend good money, the Bridgestone RE01R is a great tire, as is the Michelin PS2.


Brakes: There doesn’t seem to be a choice of rotor upgrade. The cross-drilled GM products did not appear to get positive reviews from people on this forum. Is that correct? Is there anything else out there? As for pads, it seems the Hawk HP+ are the best upgrade from the standard pads. Again, did I read the previous posts correctly?
As the others said, no need to upgrade the rotors. For pads, the HP+ may be the "best upgrade" if you're looking to run the same pad on the street and at the track. There are other good dual-use pads out there, and brake pads seem to be one of those things that everyone has a favorite. I'm running Ferodo DS2500s, which I've been very happy with on my Subaru for years, so now I've got them on the V, too. They make a DS3000 track use pad. Carbotech makes a number of very good pads from street/light track to all-out race pads. The HP+ is really at the low end of Hawk's performance line - great if you want a dual use pad, but if you plan to swap pads at the track then you can go with Blues or Blacks or HT10s, etc.


I'm hearing blue motul for the brake fluid for heavy track use.
You're mixing your fluids. :) There's ATE Super Blue (which, as the name implies, is blue), and then there's Motul RBF600. ATE also makes Type 200, which is the same stuff as Super Blue but without the blue dye, so you can switch back and forth between the fluids and see that you're flushing completely.

I've had good luck over the years using Valvoline Synpower brake fluid. It's great because it's cheap and you can find it at any parts store (or even Walmart). I actually found it to work better than ATE Super Blue. The Motul stuff is a step above the Valvoline, but the Valvoline will do the trick until you start getting really fast and really hard on brakes.


I run Kuhmo V710's on the Corvtte, which are DOT certified. If there is even a 10% chance of rain they stay home and I use the street tires. The Kuhmo's and Hoosier's are essentially slicks with two grooves running around the circumference of the tire. Nitto NT01's have more of a tread pattern, if you could call it that, but I wouldn't drive them in the rain.
Driving in the rain on the R-compounds that have some tread (R888, RA-1, NT01) just requires one to engage one's brain, it really isn't that bad at all. Unless there's standing water or it's wet and cold, the R-compounds will grip just as well (if not better) than a summer tire. The Hankook Z214, Hoosier R6, and Kumho V710 basically have zero water evacuation ability, but again if there's no standing water you should be OK. It's excellent training on how to be smooooooth.


Go have fun and smoke some imports. :lildevil:
What does imports have to do with anything? :confused:

lunarx
10-30-07, 12:16 AM
What does imports have to do with anything? :confused:

What else with 4 doors competes with the V?
Certianly not anything domestic.
We all know passing imports on the track puts a grin on every V owners face. :cool2:

It's just a saying, no offense intended.
I am actually a big import fan, as I had a modded RX7-TT and a modded WRX.
I will have a modded import again some day. :thumbsup:
Maybe a Legacy, if Subaru ever does a Turbo 6.

robertb
10-30-07, 09:20 AM
Thank you all. You have all really come through with excellent suggestions. Now I have to sit down and decide how I want to proceed. Currently, I do about 4 track events a year. Most likely I will first up-grade to dual use tires and pads for at least one more year. Then, if I am still having as much fun (is there any doubt?!), I will up-grade to dedicated track tires and brake pads.

The slope just got slipperier!

Robert

trukk
10-30-07, 01:34 PM
...<snip>...
The HP+ is really at the low end of Hawk's performance line - great if you want a dual use pad, but if you plan to swap pads at the track then you can go with Blues or Blacks or HT10s, etc.
...</snip>...



Just a reminder to the OP as you move up in pad compound, you'll be harder on your rotors. Also, typically the 'better' the brake compound, the more caustic the dust. It would suck to run blue's w/ your only set of rims, and not get all the dust off, and eat the paint off your rims.

-Chris

AAIIIC
10-31-07, 02:43 AM
What else with 4 doors competes with the V?
Certianly not anything domestic.
We all know passing imports on the track puts a grin on every V owners face. :cool2:
I guess I just don't understand that way of thinking. It would put more of a grin on my face to pass a Corvette on track than it would to pass an ITR or an M3. If I get a point-by from a 911 or STI or M5 or whatever, I'm going to be happy because it's a pass signal from a fast car, not because it's an "import".


Thank you all. You have all really come through with excellent suggestions. Now I have to sit down and decide how I want to proceed. Currently, I do about 4 track events a year. Most likely I will first up-grade to dual use tires and pads for at least one more year. Then, if I am still having as much fun (is there any doubt?!), I will up-grade to dedicated track tires and brake pads.

The slope just got slipperier!
Sounds like a smart approach. There's a lot to learn by running on street tires, while shifting to R-compounds too soon can allow you to hide some of your mistakes because the tires just have so much more grip.

Definitely heed trukk's warning about aggressive brake pads and the potentially corrosive brake dust.

lunarx
10-31-07, 03:15 AM
I guess I just don't understand that way of thinking. It would put more of a grin on my face to pass a Corvette on track than it would to pass an ITR or an M3. If I get a point-by from a 911 or STI or M5 or whatever, I'm going to be happy because it's a pass signal from a fast car, not because it's an "import".


You got to admit, the only way you are going to pass a Corvette (C5Z/C6) on track is if the vette driver doesn't know what he's doing. :duck:
I don't get any real joy from that.

A stock V is fairly close in laptime to many stock imports.
It's only natural to compare the V to such cars.

It's ok to have a little domestic pride. :devil:
After all, you do own a V, with the domestic gem of an LSx.

Again, it's just a saying.
No disrespect against imports was implied.

ronr
10-31-07, 08:10 AM
If you just want to enjoy the occasional track day, I'd say RT615s, ATE Super Blue on Hawk HPS+ pads. A set it and forget it setup. If you'll be swapping tires, it's super easy to swap pads at the same time. Titanium or SS shims added to the brakes will help as well.

:yeah:

Since I only do one or two HPDE days a year this is my plan. I've had the RT615's on the street and track and liked them a lot. I'm currently running non-EMT F1's because they were cheap but I'm going back to the 615's next change (which seems to be about every other oil change :) )

rand49er
10-31-07, 08:28 AM
... It's only natural to compare the V to such cars.

It's ok to have a little domestic pride. ...As a Detroiter, I thank you, Ernie.

:usflag:

AAIIIC
11-01-07, 12:56 AM
You got to admit, the only way you are going to pass a Corvette (C5Z/C6) on track is if the vette driver doesn't know what he's doing. :duck:
I don't get any real joy from that.
I prefer to look at it as me being really, really good. :D


A stock V is fairly close in laptime to many stock imports. It's only natural to compare the V to such cars.
Camrys? Corollas? Preludes? Exiges? F430s? EVOs? Civics?


Again, it's just a saying.
No disrespect against imports was implied.
No offense taken. It's just that 99% of the time when I hear someone refer to "imports" they're referring to the Civic/Accord/Integra crowd, so to say "go smoke some imports" is like saying "go pick on cars that shouldn't be anywhere near competitive with you on track". "Go smoke some Ms and AMGs" would make more sense.


It's ok to have a little domestic pride. :devil:
After all, you do own a V, with the domestic gem of an LSx.
To each his own, I guess. I'm just an equal opportunity car buyer. :)

Anyway, I'll stop :horse: now.

v-sam
11-01-07, 02:07 AM
I am running the Toyo R888s have 3 schools on them and love them so far great grip and a good price from Frisby Race tire. I thought about the Hooiser R6 but I am not racing just doing HPDEs like you so it did not make sense.

Brakes have been my Vs weak point! The car is so heavy and hard on brakes! I use carbotech's pads and castrol SRF brake fluid.

Hope this helps you

tweeter81
11-01-07, 11:41 AM
I am running the Toyo R888s have 3 schools on them and love them so far great grip and a good price from Frisby Race tire. I thought about the Hooiser R6 but I am not racing just doing HPDEs like you so it did not make sense.

Brakes have been my Vs weak point! The car is so heavy and hard on brakes! I use carbotech's pads and castrol SRF brake fluid.

Hope this helps you

Sorry about the minor threadjack here, but v-sam, what size tire combo did you go with in the V, do you have the stock wheel? I have 19" CCWs, so I guess my size options are limited. It appears the only combo that will work is the f:235/35r19 and r:295/30r19 and how do they compare to regular ultra-high performance tires, such as the Toyo Proxes T1-Rs, which is what I have and really love them. I have been contemplating going to this tire but am afraid of rubbing in the back and too narrow of a tire in the front, but maybe the R-compound will make up for the narrowness of the front. Any information you could pass on would be much appreciated. Thanks.

thebigjimsho
11-01-07, 02:34 PM
I am running the Toyo R888s have 3 schools on them and love them so far great grip and a good price from Frisby Race tire. I thought about the Hooiser R6 but I am not racing just doing HPDEs like you so it did not make sense.

Brakes have been my Vs weak point! The car is so heavy and hard on brakes! I use carbotech's pads and castrol SRF brake fluid.

Hope this helps youYou're on R888s and you're running SRF fluid? I can't really say much since I spent good money on titanium shims for my brakes. But unless you're running full race slicks and super aggressive pads, I think you'd be fine with Motul 600...

v-sam
11-01-07, 06:20 PM
Tweeter,

I am running the stock wheel with a 245/40 R888. I was running the Pilot Sport PS2 s before the Toyos and the sidewall of the tire kept rolling. Toyo came out with the R888s as a replacement for the RA1s because people where shaving the tred blocks. That said I am very happy with the toyo R888s they are great tires for the money. Not sure about your size I would check with Frisby and see what they have to say. Hope this helps.


[

v-sam
11-01-07, 06:23 PM
You're on R888s and you're running SRF fluid? I can't really say much since I spent good money on titanium shims for my brakes. But unless you're running full race slicks and super aggressive pads, I think you'd be fine with Motul 600...

The SRF is the best brake fluid on the market (that I know of)! It isnt cheap but you get what you pay for. Besides my kids roommate at Auburn worked at CDOC so we get a discount.

thebigjimsho
11-02-07, 01:33 AM
The SRF is the best brake fluid on the market (that I know of)! It isnt cheap but you get what you pay for. Besides my kids roommate at Auburn worked at CDOC so we get a discount.Ah...CDOC discount huh? Does that discount work at VIR? Can I mooch? Just kidding. Yes, SRF is certainly THE BEST fluid on the market. And I did boil ATE Super Blue fluid. But I haven't boiled Motul 600. Once I do, I'll look into SRF. I pray that day never comes...

trukk
11-02-07, 01:49 PM
Ah...CDOC discount huh? Does that discount work at VIR? Can I mooch? Just kidding. Yes, SRF is certainly THE BEST fluid on the market. And I did boil ATE Super Blue fluid. But I haven't boiled Motul 600. Once I do, I'll look into SRF. I pray that day never comes...


LOL, Jim you don't remember him mentioning that his buddy was in working the counter, just after we bought all that stuff last June @ the track. Heh, bad timing I guess :D

-Chris

Feffman
11-02-07, 07:01 PM
Elf HTX 115 (www.ElfOils.us). Haven't boiled it yet.

Feff