: Track Weak Points



AggieV
10-09-13, 10:19 PM
I know some of you guys have plenty experience with this, but I can't find any recent threads that summarize this question, so here goes:

I'm in a 2005, mostly stock (only exhaust, CAI, and B&M shifter mods).

Has anyone compiled a list of weak points to check before heading for the track? I found a very old thread that warned to check the oil levels during the day and keep the tank half full. Anything else?

Also, are there any easy mods that should be made first to prevent an expensive problem later. For instance, I know the WRX has oil delivery issues under hard lateral forces. Fix to the oil system is around $600. Penalty for finding the limit: dead engine.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I'd rather know what to look for now than ruin a full weekend at the track later on.

Andringa
10-09-13, 10:34 PM
There are a few good threads if you search a bit.

New brake lines.
The normal CTS had a recall for the brake lines. (They corrode and fail at the caliper end). The CTS-V has the same part number but was not recalled. There have been multiple documented failures. Going to the track with original brake lines would be extremely bad.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App (http://www.autoguide.com/mobile)

Naf
10-09-13, 11:51 PM
The power steerin fluid is a pain. Always spillin out due to high rpms. Also you should install an oil cooler as well as a larger rad.

Stock is good for the streets but not so good for the track

StretchASU
10-10-13, 09:54 AM
SS Brake lines either Goodridge or Girodisc and some good fluid like Motul RBF600, Larger power steering cooler, add an oil cooler, coolant system flush if you cant justify the cost of an aluminum radiator right away. The car honestly performs well enough, hp and handling wise, for the average driver that is going to do HPDE days, so I would address the things listed above first. Plus you cant upgrade suspension parts and hp goodies later if you blow your shit up now. Something you may want to look into would be a specific set of pads and rotors for your car to use on track days. Swap these out and re-bleed the brakes before the track day. Then swap the "street" setup back on. Its not much extra work if you are already doing a thorough track day prep.

Something I got in the habit of doing is marking bolts during race prep and then checking the marks to make sure they are still aligned after each session. Mainly paying attention to the hardware in high stress areas like control arms and trailing arms, shock mounting points, tie rod jam nuts and brake calipers.

nikdsctsv
10-10-13, 10:15 AM
I think the stock rad for a stock car is more than enough. I have more mods than you and raced on 95-100 degree day this summer and it did fine. The power steering fluid will get hot enough eventually and boil over. Not a big deal but can cause a mess. Flush the system and add a better fluid (higher boiling point) and you should be fine, or go ahead an add a better cooler. The real problem like others have said is the brake fluid and lines. I would not go to the track without changing those two things. The car is heavy so brakes make all the difference, especially when it comes to safety. There is a you tube video of a V1 guy at Texas world speedway boiling the fluid and hitting the wall. No bueno. I would also change the differential fluid to lucas 75-140. The fluid in there is old Im sure and needs it anyway, but that diff will get so hot during racing that it is best to change the fluid. Other than that to stay cheap and have a good time just check bolt torques in the suspension and you should be good to go. Have fun!

PISNUOFF
10-10-13, 10:46 AM
I think the stock rad for a stock car is more than enough. I have more mods than you and raced on 95-100 degree day this summer and it did fine. The power steering fluid will get hot enough eventually and boil over. Not a big deal but can cause a mess. Flush the system and add a better fluid (higher boiling point) and you should be fine, or go ahead an add a better cooler. The real problem like others have said is the brake fluid and lines. I would not go to the track without changing those two things. The car is heavy so brakes make all the difference, especially when it comes to safety. There is a you tube video of a V1 guy at Texas world speedway boiling the fluid and hitting the wall. No bueno. I would also change the differential fluid to lucas 75-140. The fluid in there is old Im sure and needs it anyway, but that diff will get so hot during racing that it is best to change the fluid. Other than that to stay cheap and have a good time just check bolt torques in the suspension and you should be good to go. Have fun!

^^^This. I will add that you should flush your clutch fluid prior to a track day also. The power steering reservoir will spill over unless you only fill it to just over the seam of the two halves.

nikdsctsv
10-10-13, 12:07 PM
Oh, I also run a 160 thermostat, which I would recommend along with a coolant flush and a lower mixture like 70% water 30% coolant since you are also in Texas, and do not have to worry about horrid freezing conditions in winter.

Def flush the clutch fluid like PISNUOFF said too! Use the same Motul RBF600 for that! With dirty old fluid and race conditions you may get the pedal sticking to the floor!

PISNUOFF
10-10-13, 12:42 PM
Been there, even with the Motul. I switched to Castrol SRF, it lasts way longer.

AggieV
10-10-13, 01:39 PM
Why the 160? Seems like that would cause a re-tune, increased engine wear, and reduced gas mileage. If this daily driver doesn't last well for at least four years, I would have trouble justifying the next fun automotive purchase when this blows up. Given my real-life obligations, there's no conceivable way I'd spend more than a weekend every couple of years at the track anyway.

Changing the fluids makes lots of sense. Brake lines make sense. The baby is currently at the shop getting CS motor mounts, diff bushing, and trans mount along with gforce axles (you know, since everything is out anyway).

So, with all that said, is there a compelling reason for me to switch to 160?

nikdsctsv
10-10-13, 05:49 PM
A re-tune is not necessary for a 160 t-stat. It would be nice however to reprogram the fans on/off temps to 180 low 185 high. But IMO a 160 T-stat is the way to go. Only place I would not run one is in daily driver temperatures remaining 50 degrees or below ambient temperature. So, winters or anywhere that it stays cold all day and night. For the LSx all aluminum engine the 160 t-stat is the only thermostat I will run. My car around the hot day and the track stayed around 190, coolant wise. Which IMO is perfect. It never runs below 175 in all honesty. So long as your oil heats up to proper temerature, and does not over heat, then the cooler you can get the motor in a race situation the better. Thus larger radiators with better heat dissapation and more coolant capacity along with all other things on race cars to try and keep them cool. Heat is a large cause of premature wear on engine components.

odla
10-10-13, 11:19 PM
Which 160 t stat did you go with?

nikdsctsv
10-11-13, 09:39 AM
Got mine from maryland speed. I think LS6/2 thermostat housings are the same....

Andringa
10-11-13, 11:13 AM
I still don't understand the logic of running a colder thermostat in these cars.

If you are on track and your coolant is hot (say 240F) they are going to both be open and behaving exactly the same.

Wouldn't the lower thermostat only come in to play during low loads like idle or cruising on the interstate? I fail to see why you would want to lower the operating temp in those conditions to anything lower than the OEM spec?

If your car is getting hot on track while under a high load, you need to increase how much heat the radiator can dissipate, not turn it on earlier. To increase the heat dissipation there are a couple options 1. Larger radiator 2. More air through the radiator 3. Higher ratio of water to antifreeze in the system.

nikdsctsv
10-11-13, 03:57 PM
Look, this topic has been beat to death on here to get into it again. So do a search and draw your own conclusion. My opinion, is obviosuly the 160, others is obviously different.

FuzzyLogic
10-11-13, 05:26 PM
Slowhawk also recommends a 160 degree thermostat.

philistine
10-11-13, 05:34 PM
I still don't understand the logic of running a colder thermostat in these cars.

If you are on track and your coolant is hot (say 240F) they are going to both be open and behaving exactly the same.

Wouldn't the lower thermostat only come in to play during low loads like idle or cruising on the interstate? I fail to see why you would want to lower the operating temp in those conditions to anything lower than the OEM spec?

If your car is getting hot on track while under a high load, you need to increase how much heat the radiator can dissipate, not turn it on earlier. To increase the heat dissipation there are a couple options 1. Larger radiator 2. More air through the radiator 3. Higher ratio of water to antifreeze in the system.

Bang! ^^^this. 100% agree. The car has a heat balance. The lower temp thermostat would only have an effect at low loads such as idle etc.

H-town_V
10-11-13, 11:56 PM
Don't quote me on this as I've had a couple drinks tonight, but I remember my tuner telling me that with a 160 thermostat they can add a little more timing to the car and safely add a little extra hp.

philistine
10-12-13, 12:12 AM
http://youtu.be/TM-G0bkl8MQ

H-town_V
10-12-13, 12:25 AM
Video Link: http://youtu.be/TM-G0bkl8MQ (http://youtu.be/TM-G0bkl8MQ)

Haha. That was funny. I was expecting some kind of car video.

...anyways I do remember the tuner saying there's a benefit to a 160 stat. Whatever it is?

philistine
10-12-13, 01:03 AM
A T-stat at 160F doesn't mean that your engine is automatically going to deadlock at that temp. You have to find your heat balance depending on your set-up. If your engine is experiencing high temps during aggressive pulls then it doesn't matter if that T-stat is opening at 160F or 185F... it then depends on the cooling capacity of your set-up.

Adding timing does give more heat. At hot idle if there is a difference in the heat balance then you could add more timing if you have sufficient cooling capacity but that would only give a benefit in the lower columns of tuning and would not impact the higher "part throttle" pulls and esp WOT pulls.

Lower T-stats are snake oil and if you augment your tune for the fans to come on to maintain such a ridiculous low temp, you will only waste energy. "Tuners" come in all varieties and when you get into the "guts" of datalogging...you will see if there are any benefits.

FuzzyLogic
10-12-13, 07:57 AM
Ugh.

With a few exceptions, a 160 degree thermostat is preferred by experienced tuners because it allows them to wring a little extra power out of tuned-up cars because they aren't pulling ignition timing advance due to either a real or false KR (knock retard) response from the PCM. There are a couple of things you should note (put your engineering hats on, please):


The mechanical clearances selected during the design and construction of your engine account for the differential coefficients of thermal expansion associated with gray cast iron (LSX engine blocks), 4340 alloy steel (crankshaft, rods, pistons, and rings), and 319-T5 aluminum (LS1-LS7 engine blocks). Coefficients of thermal expansion are, roughly: gray cast iron (6.0) < 4340 alloy steel (6.84) < 319-T5 aluminum (12.3). As you can see, iron and steel are a pretty good match, which is one reason why they make LSX engines from them, and why seriously boosted engines (which run extremely hot) are iron.

The ideal coolant temperature of LS-series engines is between 180-185F. Please remember that because of the thermal impedance of the materials involved, having a 180F coolant temperature implies that everything else within the engine is hotter, to varying degrees. As it turns out, you need to reach 180F coolant temperature to boil off accumulated water condensation in your oil pan. That became the design point for rotating assembly clearances, and therefore, you also need 180F coolant temperature to get your piston rings and engine block up to their operating temperatures. Lower temperatures result in cylinder wall washdown (similar in concept to blow-by, but much worse). Higher temperatures result in accelerated parts wear, due to the fact that metals become less hard while engine oil simultaneously becomes thinner.

More powerful engines heat up faster when you get on them. When you're making 50-100% more power per cubic inch than your engine came out of the lab with, a 185F thermostat can actually increase the time required to reach optimum temperature from a cold start because it's opening late (relative to the rate of rise of temperature), allowing coolant temperatures to overshoot the mark and then come back down.

Staid drivers, cold ambient temperatures, and stock-ish engines do not produce sufficient heat to need a 160F thermostat. You can actually do real damage with one. Conversely, if your engine is overheating, a 160F thermostat won't save you--you need a bigger radiator, a better pump, better fans, and better coolant. And if a 160F thermostat has worked well for you in the past, but you recently upgraded your cooling system, you may want to revisit your thermostat selection based on your newfound cooling capability.

Electric water pumps put an end to this debate because they adjust their speed with respect to temperature. No thermostat required.


Bottom line is that your choice of thermostat needs to be based on your engine power density, your cooling system capacity, your driving tendencies, and the weather that you drive in. If you're in doubt, thermostats are cheap--buy 160F, 170F, and 185F thermostats, and play with different settings whenever you flush your coolant. I don't understand why people get bent over the axle over auxiliary components all the time--things like thermostats are just a building block of a larger system. If you don't understand the purpose of the system, arguing about it is can be immensely irritating to everyone in earshot (or within range of the Mark 0 Eyeball, in this case). ;)

nikdsctsv
10-12-13, 09:59 AM
Hahaha thanks Fuzzy.

PISNUOFF
10-12-13, 10:26 AM
Bring extra brake fluid. Sometimes after I bleed the brakes and the abs kicks in the first time the fluid level drops and the pedal goes almost to the floor until I fill the reservoir again.

FuzzyLogic
10-12-13, 10:30 AM
And if you're driving with PISNUOFF, bring spare axles, differentials, clutches...

Junior1
10-12-13, 11:06 AM
Get a CG Lock for your belt otherwise you will be moving around in your seat and using your knees to brace you...

FuzzyLogic
10-12-13, 11:44 AM
Get a CG Lock for your belt otherwise you will be moving around in your seat and using your knees to brace you...

Even so, practice clawing at the center console. The CG Lock is great at keeping your hips in position, but your upper body is going to want to move.

kyle242gt
10-12-13, 12:04 PM
Get a CG Lock for your belt otherwise you will be moving around in your seat and using your knees to brace you...
Even so, practice clawing at the center console. The CG Lock is great at keeping your hips in position, but your upper body is going to want to move.
Man this is no joke. For whatever reason (rain, caution) I didn't really have an issue at Sears Pt. But yesterday at Thill I was all over the damn place. Funny thing, I used to consider the suede inserts "grippy".

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-general/98651-schroth-harness-update.html

Naf
10-12-13, 12:56 PM
if you have a stock engine, i would stick with a 180 stat, but if you have a forged engine i would run a 160.

reason being that if the temp is below 180 you are wearing your rings and wall quicker. Its the coefficient of friction. more heat less wear. there are a few papers written about it.

Basically the V comes stock with a 82c stat so just lower the fan temps for the cheap approach or change it out for a good brand and use 33/67 coolant for better coolin.

Andringa
10-12-13, 02:22 PM
Thanks for the responses on the thermostat issue everyone.

I realize that like anything there is a time and place for a lower temp thermostat. It seems like a lot of people recommend them and I'm sure more than one person has installed them with out really thinking about what they are changing.

Anyways, I'm heading out the door for an HPDE at Road America tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be back home Sunday night or Monday with my car in one piece and some videos to share.

JDB
10-13-13, 09:49 AM
What others have said (minus the 160 tstat)... and add 1/2 to a full quart of oil over fill.

I zip tie a piece of an old tshirt around the power fluid reservoir cap. ...just in case.

Yup, keep gas over 1/4. Scary moment when the car just shuts off on you coming out of a turn.

AggieV
10-13-13, 03:30 PM
Great tip on the old tee shirt


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App (http://www.autoguide.com/mobile)