: Track prep - Best Practices?



heavypedal
02-12-07, 02:33 PM
V-love brought up a good question in my mind.

You guys that track your cars all the time.... Do you have some best practices for us guys that are just getting into it.

That is... heel-toe pedals, tires, what fluids to change, change fluids before or after track day, brakes, suspension, are you in a car club to get on a track, day-of preparation, etc.

Been practicing my heel-toe shifting... but damn our stock pedals suck for it. Talking about having to swing the knee way out. Autovation on the way to save the day.

heavypedal
02-12-07, 02:53 PM
Found a good brake fluid article from the previous thread.... http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_brakefluid_1a.shtml

Get at least 550 temp, Castrol SRF sounds to be the best (but most expensive) brake fluid should be replaced both before and after each event. A cool off lap before each stop will go a long way toward preventing fluid boil due to heat soaking after the airflow stops when the car does.
- brake fluid - get at least 550 dry boiling, change brake fluid at least once a year for normal driving, don't let the installer use pressure bleeders that use pressurized air (can leave air in the lines-baaad)...... still reading

Feffman
02-12-07, 03:56 PM
I'll be tracking my V in 2007 after tracking my Lotus Esprit for a number of years. General prep things I do and we ask our clients (www.MVPTrackTime.com) to do include:

Before You Go:

Full flush with new high temp brake fluid (Motul, Vavloline Synthetic, Castol)
New pads (I love the Carbotech pads www.CTBrakes.com)
Good (Simpson) SA2000 or newer rated helmet (NO motorcycle helmets)
Tires in good shape NOT on wear indicators for street tires (Correct pressure)
Of course no fluid leaks (I swap my fluids annually)
Fresh Coolant (Nothing ruins a track day like overheating)
Safety belts in good shape and properly operating
Long sleeve cotton pants and long sleeve cotton shirts at a minimum
Rubber soled or racing shoes
I just purchased a pop up type shelter (Wal Mart $100) to avoid the sun


While At The Track:

Good nights rest night before
Fill (about 3/4 full) at a local gas station before heading to the track
Eat a light healthy snack mid afternoon
Drink LOTS of fluids (Bottled water, Gatorade, etc.)
Lip protection with sunscreen
If you are new to track days, use the instructors and learn it right
Keep your cool and DON' T think you name is Mario or Michael Schumacher
When you get better, maybe invest in extra rims and track tires
Thank the instructors and track workers
Have fun and make new friends!!!

Just my $0.02 worth!

Mark "Feff" Pfeffer
www.MVPTrackTime.com

Seattle CTS-V
02-12-07, 04:44 PM
Well said...and I've apparently made a few mistakes in track-prep 101.

For one, I still have the original brake fluid and brake pads in my car. I've done 4 1/2 track days. Yikes. Never had any fade but, then again, I don't want to have any! Pads still have quite a bit left in them...so says my mechanic anyway.

rgd
02-12-07, 10:51 PM
I am sure to change my transmission oil after every two or three track days, I change the diff oil at the same time. I never let my engine oil go below 50% wear. I check and replace hydraulic clutch oil when it gets ugly.
These are all very inexpensive yet excellent safety precautions for the car.

I would replace the pwr steering cooler with a better one right away.

Then depending on how into it you get, the sky is the limit...

V-Love
02-12-07, 11:11 PM
I checked the FAQ for proper method to flush and change brake fluid but its not there. Does anyone have the instructions on that? I am going to do a very thorough prep this time. All fluids sounds good. Tranny is on the FAQ. I will check for coolant.

Feffman
02-12-07, 11:51 PM
I checked the FAQ for proper method to flush and change brake fluid but its not there. Does anyone have the instructions on that? I am going to do a very thorough prep this time. All fluids sounds good. Tranny is on the FAQ. I will check for coolant.

V-Love:

I've changed/flushed brake and clutch fluid for years with a hand held vacum pump but recently purchased a Power Bleeder from Motive Products (www.MotiveProducts.com). It works fast, easy and gets a good flush with no air.

Feff
www.MVPTrackTime.com

calicadi
02-13-07, 12:34 AM
You, or someone with a good torque wrench, should do a "nut and bolt" of the suspension and any other dangly bits that might fall off. The list below may help with that. Inspect the underside for anything loose, bent, broken, missing, leaking, etc. Get rid of all objects not attached with fasteners from inside the cabin and trunk (floor mats, Cheetos bags, firearms, ex-wives). Clean out the glove box and lock it. Remove license plates and frames. If you have center caps on your rims, pry 'em out. Trust me, you don't want to be screamin' down the long straight at 150 wondering what that rattle is and miss your brake point. Not sure if sunroof folks should run open or closed. Consider putting red or white 1"-wide tape at 12 o'clock on the steering wheel so you know where "wheels straight" is.

(ALL FIGURES IN FOOT-POUNDS UNLESS NOTED.)

ATTACHMENT – TORQUE - SIZE

WHEEL LUG NUTS – 100 – ¾”
FRONT STRUT TOWER - 83
FRONT LOWER SHOCK BOLTS – 18 - 13 mm
FRONT TOP SHOCK NUT - 18
FRONT STEERING KNUCKLE PINCH BOLT – 44 - 18mm
REAR LOWER SHOCK BOLT – 111 - 21mm
REAR UPPER SHOCK NUT – 18
CORSA EXHAUST CLAMPS – 45
CORSA EXHAUST FLANGE NUT - 22
HOTCHKIS SWAYBAR BRACKETS – 44 - 15mm/16mm*
SWAYBAR ENDLINKS – 37 **
FRONT DIFFERENTIAL CRADLE BOLT – 195 – 24mm
REAR DIFFERENTIAL CRADLE BOLT – 141 - 21mm
DIFFERENTIAL SUPPORT MOUNTING BOLTS – 129 – 21mm


* Stock front and rear swaybar bushing brackets are held by 15mm bolts. If you have a Hotchkis swaybar, the front swaybar brackets use a 15mm and a 16mm bolt. The 16mm is the long bolt that goes through the long spacer. Stock bolts were reused for the rear swaybar.

** Stock swaybar end-link nuts are 15mm. If you now use the shorter Corvette end-link, the replacement nut size may vary. The Corvette end-link bolt has a 6mm hex well to hold the bolt stationary while tightening the nut.

V-Love
02-13-07, 01:29 AM
V-Love:

I've changed/flushed brake and clutch fluid for years with a hand held vacum pump but recently purchased a Power Bleeder from Motive Products (www.MotiveProducts.com) (http://www.MotiveProducts.com)). It works fast, easy and gets a good flush with no air.

Feff
www.MVPTrackTime.com (http://www.MVPTrackTime.com)

Thanks for the info. I am going to NAPA tomorrow to see what they have. I have a company acct. I can sneak it in on.

rgd
02-13-07, 02:56 AM
I checked the FAQ for proper method to flush and change brake fluid but its not there. Does anyone have the instructions on that? I am going to do a very thorough prep this time. All fluids sounds good. Tranny is on the FAQ. I will check for coolant.

I like self bleeder valves; have had good luck with them. You replace the OEM bleeder valves with the self bleeders and simply loosen them (1/4 turn) one by one compress pedal until desired amount of fluid passes then tighten go to next one...

The bleed pattern is as follows:

RR inside bleeder valve then RR outside valve
RF inside valve, RF outside valve
LR inside valve, LR outside valve
LF inside valve, LF outside valve

Thats it...

rgd
02-13-07, 03:03 AM
(ALL FIGURES IN FOOT-POUNDS UNLESS NOTED.)

ATTACHMENT TORQUE - SIZE

WHEEL LUG NUTS 100
FRONT STRUT TOWER - 83
FRONT LOWER SHOCK BOLTS 18 - 13 mm
FRONT TOP SHOCK NUT - 18
FRONT STEERING KNUCKLE PINCH BOLT 44 - 18mm
REAR LOWER SHOCK BOLT 111 - 21mm
REAR UPPER SHOCK NUT 18
CORSA EXHAUST CLAMPS 45
CORSA EXHAUST FLANGE NUT - 22
HOTCHKIS SWAYBAR BRACKETS 44 - 15mm/16mm*
SWAYBAR ENDLINKS 37 **
FRONT DIFFERENTIAL CRADLE BOLT 195 24mm
REAR DIFFERENTIAL CRADLE BOLT 141 - 21mm
DIFFERENTIAL SUPPORT MOUNTING BOLTS 129 21mm

Calicadi....

Good Stuff. I know all that info as I search my memory, little notes, blablabla. It's gr8 to have it typed up all in a place i can cut paste and save for later. Lol

HushH
02-13-07, 09:00 AM
Yep, that's great stuff calicadi. Especially the tape idea. Never thought of that but I could definitely see how it would be useful - especially for us greenhorns.

VelodromeRacer
02-13-07, 12:13 PM
I have tracked with Feffman a few times, he knows how to do it, but let me add...
1-After you run a session, check the tire pressures, they build pretty quickly and then you do nothing but slide around unlessyou let some air out.
2-If you want to tape your sessions, buy a cheap suction cup video camera mount at stickypod.com
3-After a warm down lap, get to the pits and open the hood, I use an infared gauge to check temps and make sure fluids are not leaing before the next session.

Just another 2 cents worth.

v-ape
02-13-07, 01:43 PM
Maintain at least 1/8 of a tank of gas. During hard turns, you could starve your engine of fuel. Dont ask how I know this...

I agree with rgd on the power steering. I actually lost my powersteering before getting on-track last event.

VelodromeRacer
02-13-07, 02:27 PM
RGD,
Where did you find a suitable power steering cooler that will fit?
I agree that our stock unit is crap, My first track day, I was fighting PS fluid boiling or surging out of the PS fill cap.

Rockafella
02-13-07, 06:37 PM
What tire pressures do you guys run, front and rear?

50 4Ever
02-13-07, 06:48 PM
...

Calicadi....

Good Stuff. I know all that info as I search my memory, little notes, blablabla. It's gr8 to have it typed up all in a place i can cut paste and save for later. Lol

Bob, Almost got it right, ya need to print it first, then cut & paste it in the top of your tool box. So you'll have it at the track, in case you need to swap diff's or something.

:histeric:

V-Love
02-14-07, 07:03 AM
Maintain at least 1/8 of a tank of gas. During hard turns, you could starve your engine of fuel. Dont ask how I know this...

I agree with rgd on the power steering. I actually lost my powersteering before getting on-track last event.

I agree with v-ape. I ran out of fuel while on the track. The guage read 1/4 tank. It took me a while to figure out why it wouldn't start. The worst part is you stop everyone elses session. I gave the tow truck guys a twenty for some pizza for being so careful with my car. I also bring a twenty or more for my instructor. I always wish I had more for them.
Rhino ramps are good to have for some under car inspection between sessions. The plastic piece that goes on under the front of the car was coming off. Nylon ties fixed it up.
If you can run Nitrogen in your tires, you won't have much pressure differences. A air pressure guage is needed at the track. When your tire are inflated correctly, the will wear to the lines on the side of the tire that the little triangles point to(falkens). Good luck on the track. It is what these cars were made for.

v-ape
02-14-07, 10:42 AM
I agree with v-ape. I ran out of fuel while on the track. The guage read 1/4 tank. It took me a while to figure out why it wouldn't start. The worst part is you stop everyone elses session. I gave the tow truck guys a twenty for some pizza for being so careful with my car. I also bring a twenty or more for my instructor. I always wish I had more for them.
Rhino ramps are good to have for some under car inspection between sessions. The plastic piece that goes on under the front of the car was coming off. Nylon ties fixed it up.
If you can run Nitrogen in your tires, you won't have much pressure differences. A air pressure guage is needed at the track. When your tire are inflated correctly, the will wear to the lines on the side of the tire that the little triangles point to(falkens). Good luck on the track. It is what these cars were made for.

I got a little luckier than that. I went in to a 180 deg turn after the front straight and starved the engine to the point where it turned off. As if you didnt know, this turns off your power steering too!! I just rolled off the course (VIR - NASCAR bend) and restarted. I was greeted with a "Low Fuel" warning on the display. Thanks for the warning!

I was able to drive to around the course to the pits though (albiet with flashers on), just had to keep the G's down in the corners.

heavypedal
02-14-07, 12:49 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys.

Feff has a great info also at http://www.mvptracktime.com/id72.html

Working on a summary of all the hints and tips I am finding. Then I'll post it here to this thread...or start a new one.

Thanks,

T

heavypedal
02-14-07, 12:59 PM
Oh yeah.....lemme know who is hitting VIR this year.

T

V-Love
02-14-07, 09:27 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys.

Feff has a great info also at http://www.mvptracktime.com/id72.html

Working on a summary of all the hints and tips I am finding. Then I'll post it here to this thread...or start a new one.

Thanks,

T

There have been discussions on it before. If you do all the work of putting the track tips together, Reed may put it on the FAQ. It would be good to have on there.

v-ape
02-14-07, 11:31 PM
Sunroof owners: Closed!
For 2 reasons, 1 it stiffens the car slightly. 2, you dont want to flex your roof so that it wont close when you're done.

Oh yea, put your seat as low as is comfortable. It'll lower your CG a bit. You + seat = ~250lbs (+/-) Thats only 5% of the cars weight, but any little bit helps.

Also gives your helmet more clearance. Useful for those with sunroofs

heavypedal
02-15-07, 09:34 AM
What do you guys usually run your tire PSI at when on the track? 28-30?

T

Feffman
02-15-07, 10:22 AM
Hi All:

There are a lot of "interesting" things happening with track days. One of major concern is the lawsuit in California from the widow of either the passenger or driver of the Porsche Carrera GT wrecked at a California Motor Speedway track day. If the signed "Waiver Release" does NOT hold up in court, there will a LOT less track day availability. The widow is suing the track, the club that held the event (Ferrari club I think) and Porsche for creating a car too fast for the driver!

Some contacts I have in the track day community are also looking at a variety of car issues including:

Not allowing ANY convertible (roll bar or otherwise) into track days. This is already happening with some BMW clubs and there may be a national push to take it national by the BMW club.

Next year (2008) MVP Track Time will be changing our convertible requirement that ALL convertibles have a roll bar which passes the broomstick test. Currently the Porsche Boxster and the Honda S2000 are OK without them because the owners manual state these cars are safe in the event of a roll over. We encourage these owners to get a roll bar any way.
The Audi Club of Norht America is insisting on 4-point roll cages for convertibles at their events in 2007 and beyond.

A friend was to run a track day at Mid-Ohio last year with a national car club, either BMW or Porsche. Two days before the event they called him to inform him he would not be allowed to participate because his Lotus Esprit V8 has a sunroof. The Esprit sunroof is a solid piece (not glass) that has an intircate latch system securing it.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention car insurance at a track day. Almost every, if not all, car insurance companies have gotten wind of "track days" and "high performance driving events" and are adding disclaimers to their policies preventing coverage under these type of events. One firm LaurelDE (www.LaurelDE.com) offers coverage while on the track.

I guess the point is, getting on the track may become considerably harder then it currently is. This is, after all, America land of the lawsuit.

Happy Motoring!

Mark "Feff" Pfeffer
www.MVPTrackTime.com

50 4Ever
02-15-07, 02:07 PM
Hi All:

There are a lot of "interesting" things happening with track days. One of major concern is the lawsuit in California from the widow of either the passenger or driver of the Porsche Carrera GT wrecked at a California Motor Speedway track day. If the signed "Waiver Release" does NOT hold up in court, there will a LOT less track day availability. The widow is suing the track, the club that held the event (Ferrari club I think) and Porsche for creating a car too fast for the driver!

Some contacts I have in the track day community are also looking at a variety of car issues including:

Not allowing ANY convertible (roll bar or otherwise) into track days. This is already happening with some BMW clubs and there may be a national push to take it national by the BMW club.

Next year (2008) MVP Track Time will be changing our convertible requirement that ALL convertibles have a roll bar which passes the broomstick test. Currently the Porsche Boxster and the Honda S2000 are OK without them because the owners manual state these cars are safe in the event of a roll over. We encourage these owners to get a roll bar any way.
The Audi Club of Norht America is insisting on 4-point roll cages for convertibles at their events in 2007 and beyond.

A friend was to run a track day at Mid-Ohio last year with a national car club, either BMW or Porsche. Two days before the event they called him to inform him he would not be allowed to participate because his Lotus Esprit V8 has a sunroof. The Esprit sunroof is a solid piece (not glass) that has an intircate latch system securing it.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention car insurance at a track day. Almost every, if not all, car insurance companies have gotten wind of "track days" and "high performance driving events" and are adding disclaimers to their policies preventing coverage under these type of events. One firm LaurelDE (www.LaurelDE.com (http://www.LaurelDE.com)) offers coverage while on the track.

I guess the point is, getting on the track may become considerably harder then it currently is. This is, after all, America land of the lawsuit.

Happy Motoring!

Mark "Feff" Pfeffer
www.MVPTrackTime.com (http://www.MVPTrackTime.com)


Both accident victims were in their 30s and very wealthy. Subsequently, the wife of the passenger, Corey Rudl, launched multiple law suits against the driver, the race track, the track day organizers and, significantly, Porsche for selling an "unsafe car."

More details of the case are explained in an interesting legal column in the June issue of Sports Car Market magazine. But one of the claims made against Porsche is that the Carrera GT is "too difficult a car to handle at high speeds for the average driver without instruction." In other words, Porsche should not have sold the car to anyone without ensuring that the buyer was given adequate driver training.

http://www.nbc4.tv/2005/0602/4562735_480X360.jpg


Very sad story. But the only thing I agree with in the lawsuit is that a car company needs to provide instruction or have proof of instruction before selling a high horsepower car to the public.

HushH
02-15-07, 04:01 PM
50 4Ever, I have to disagree on this one man. This is like trying to legislate common sense. It's not Porsche's responsibility to ensure the consumer is capable of handling a road car in a track environment. And if you did make it their responsibility, where would the cutoff be? Should every V owner have to have the same kind of instruction, even if some of us never intend to use our car at the track. What about every CTS owner. Those cars can certainly reach high enough speeds to kill someone on a track.

If anything, the tracks and the folks putting on the track days should be responsible for making sure the drivers have instruction before getting out there. I think the whole lawsuit is garbage (unless there was a problem with the track that caused the accident), but including the manufacturer in it is the most ridiculous part. JMHO.

heavypedal
02-15-07, 05:41 PM
:hijacked:

50 4Ever
02-15-07, 07:39 PM
:hijacked:

Isn't learning how to drive prep for the track? If it isn't it should be. :alchi:

V-Love
02-15-07, 10:24 PM
:rant2: Its B.S. that the wife is suing. These B.S. lawsuits are the reason blah blah blah blah. I hope she loses.:rant2:

Feffman, you brought me down with that story cause I just discovered the track. Its so much fun. I really hope the waivers everyone signed hold up in court. They knew what they were getting into. I hope the judge likes cars and throws her ass out. I could see if it was a roller coaster ride that killed them. They aren't in control of a roller coasters maintainence or ride.
I guess we all better get as many track days in as we can afford before the witch ruins our fun. Mabey she'll die before the courtcase.

I run 32-35 psi at the track. The last day my pressures were up to 40 at the end of a session. That was too much.

50 4Ever
02-15-07, 11:00 PM
What do you guys usually run your tire PSI at when on the track? 28-30?

T

I start each session with 32 front 33 rear. I have a tire gauge with a bleeder valve made by Longacre. I try not to let the tires heat up above 38, if they do I get off the track before I slide off.

I hope she loses the lawsuit also.

heavypedal
02-15-07, 11:29 PM
Isn't learning how to drive prep for the track? If it isn't it should be. :alchi:

Okay, okay, I'll get off my :sbox: Learning how to drive IS prep for the track, but this story just sucks. That lady has to go down (mmm....no pun intended). Agree with HushH. Its bad enough that she lost someone in her life...now she feels like she can avenge his death by ruining 100s or 1,000s of others lives because the driver, race track, organizers, the car, or the race culture is to blame (nice going). I have never lost someone in that fashion, but it sounds like she is just being selfish. Yep, selfish and immature. Something's been taken away from her, so she feels like she has to take away something from us. And does she stop to think how bad a shape the driver is in (emotionally)... Dammit Feff and 50, I'm on another :sbox: And why do I always hear about this stuff coming out of California!


Whew..okay, I'm done. So I'll probably roll onto the track at 32PSI and play around from there. Why not lower PSI guys??....I was thinking better lateral grip, but does low PSI make the tires rolls over?

T

50 4Ever
02-16-07, 02:15 PM
Okay, okay, I'll get off my :sbox: Learning how to drive IS prep for the track, but this story just sucks. That lady has to go down (mmm....no pun intended). Agree with HushH. Its bad enough that she lost someone in her life...now she feels like she can avenge his death by ruining 100s or 1,000s of others lives because the driver, race track, organizers, the car, or the race culture is to blame (nice going). I have never lost someone in that fashion, but it sounds like she is just being selfish. Yep, selfish and immature. Something's been taken away from her, so she feels like she has to take away something from us. And does she stop to think how bad a shape the driver is in (emotionally)... Dammit Feff and 50, I'm on another :sbox: And why do I always hear about this stuff coming out of California!


Whew..okay, I'm done. So I'll probably roll onto the track at 32PSI and play around from there. Why not lower PSI guys??....I was thinking better lateral grip, but does low PSI make the tires rolls over?

T

I have found that tire pressure lower than 32 will let the tire roll, even at 32 the tire will roll if you corner hard. But I try to aim for the max hot pressure of 36 - 38, and have found that 32 will accomplish this. I usually try to run 1 psi higher in the rear to introduce a bit of oversteer. Too low of a pressure will let the tire roll and compromise lateral grip and too high of a pressure will not let the tire flex enough, again compromising lateral grip.

When you were :sbox: I don't quite understand your comment "And does she stop to think how bad a shape the driver is in (emotionally)... ", eventhough the driver was taken by lifeflight to the hospital he died also.

heavypedal
02-16-07, 05:14 PM
dang...I thought he lived. Wow, now I really feel horrible. Wow this thread really took a turn....

Thanks for the tire pressure tip.

heavypedal
02-17-07, 06:36 PM
Thanks for the link 50, did some research on what happened...wow. Bummer all the way around.



Before I finish up the master list, anyone else want to sound off on what they do to prepare for track day?

50 4Ever
02-17-07, 08:48 PM
Did anyone mention get plenty of sleep the night before?

Great list :thumbsup:

heavypedal
02-18-07, 11:56 AM
Yep, got the sleep thing under "DAY BEFORE, REMEMBER TO:" section. Posted the master list here.. http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-v-series-forum/99215-track-preparation-master-list.html