: Track Preparation - Master List



heavypedal
02-17-07, 06:37 PM
Here it is guys.....need you to sound off on stuff I forgot or may not have right. Too much information to pull together quickly, but wanted to have it all in one place..





Track Prep (CTS-V)

This is a collective combination of everyone’s input from cadillacforums.com and the great site cadillacfaq.com.
Some of you who have helped here…
Contributors: JJKJ, Dreamin, RacerVX, tweeter81, Feffman, Seattle CTS-V, rgd, V-Love, calicadi, HushH, VelodromeRacer, V-ape, 50 4 Ever, Reed CTS-V, …


FOR YOUR CAR (racing):

Wheels and Tires:
_ Wheels and rims in good working order (no tire patches, have good tread left, not down to wear bars, should not rub fenders) Racing tires and rims are an added plus, but not necessary.
_ Remove center caps (or anything that could fall off tires, like press-on spinners : )
_ Start with tire pressure 32 in front, 33 in back to prevent tire roll over. Do not go lower on tire pressure due to roll over.

Suspension:
_ Make sure all "Nuts & Bolts" are tightened. (see Nuts & Bolts section below for torque settings)
_ If anything is in question, have a mechanic check it out (looking for loose suspension pick up points, worn suspension bushings, bad bearings, excessive play in the shock or strut mounts, trailing arms, roll bars or other suspension pieces)

Steering:
_ Replace stock power steering cooler with better one or replace with high temp fluid (below) (http://www.cadillacfaq.com/faq/answers/steeringcooler/index.html)
_ Should easily turn from lock to lock and tires should not rub

Fluids:

Coolant
_ Flush and replace coolant before running on track (help prevent engine overheating). Dexcool recommended

Transmission Oil
_ Checked to see if replacement needed. Royal Purple Synthetic, Redline D4 ATF (for T56), or Mobil 1 ATF recommended

Differential Oil
_ Checked to see if replacement needed. Replace with Royal Purple Synthetic. Keeps diff quieter and already has the friction modifier additive that the OEM fluid Cadillac uses. Or Mobil 1 75w-90LS.

Brake Fluid
_ Brake fluid should be flushed, bled, and replaced with hi-temp fluid before running at the track.
_ No cracks or leaks in rubber brake lines and tight connections checked. Braided steel brake lines are not necessary, but can help.
_ Motul 600 or Performance Friction Z-Rated DOT 3 recommended
*** Watch out for air bleeders that lock air in the lines, can reduce brake efficiency by 2/3s!! Self bleeder valves are good (replaces the OEM bleeder valves)
_ A cool off lap before stopping will go a long way to prevent heat soak/boiling

Power Steering Fluid
_ A must to replace before track. Replace with Red Line Synthetic BP@437 degrees, Royal Purple Synthetic BP@650 degrees
_ Replace power steering cooler recommended .

Clutch Fluid
_ Checked to see if replacement needed. Castrol LMA recommended.

Engine Oil
_ Needs changed before running at the track. Mobile 1 5w30 for racing, 10w30 for normal driving. (keeps overheating down)

Engine:
_ No leaks, checked out by mechanic or everything tighted a week before racing.
_ Make sure battery is secured and battery posts are covered (keeps from battery arcing in case of touching metal).
_ oils and fluids checked and/or replaced (see above)

Brakes:
_ Brake pads at 50% or above. Track or racing spec pads recommended (for heat), but not necessary (Carbotech, Hawk, Endless)
_ Brake lights need to work

Seat Belts:
_ Working properly. Racing harness not necessary, but is an added plus. (http://www.cg-lock.com/ - will add racing belt tightness to regular seat belts)

Windows:
_ Clean windows inside and out (i.e. wash the car dingleberry)

Extra Items:
_ Make sure all loose objects are taken out of car. (floor mats, maps, garage door openers, radar detectors, CDs, change in change holder etc.) A old gym bag or bin can hold all this while you are on track.
_ Lock glove box or remove contents (can fly open)
_ Video camera and camera mount (to actually learn and get better, stickypod.com)
_ Colored tape at 12 o'clock on the steering wheel so you know where "wheels straight"
_ Keep sunroof closed (adds a little structural integrity to roof frame)
_ Put your seat as low as possible if you want (lowers center of gravity)
_Turn off radio, roll your window down, pay attention to the flags
_ Spare tire or full spare if you do blow a tire


FOR YOUR CAR (maintenance):
_ Take a bin or gym bag to store all car and personal items
_ Extra fluids (engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant)
_ A tire gauge
_ Take a toolbox with
Basic tools for “Nuts & Bolts” (section below)
A good torque wrench
_ Window cleaner
_ Paper towels
_ Duct tape (to cover glass light covers on front of car, broken glass on track - bad)
_ Tire blocks (can't use e-brake after race, will warp rotors)
_ Small air compressor (i.e. 5-8 gallon) if you have one, to air up/level out tire pressure)
_ Rhino ramps (for under car inspection after races or if something brakes)


FOR YOU (racing):
_ SA2000+ or motorcycle helmet (m rated helmets do not have fire resistant, nomex)
_ cotton pants and long sleeve cotton shirt. Fire resistant suits starting at $100.
_ closed toe, rubber soled shoes..no dress shoes or running shoes. Pumas, etc. are good or racing shoes (http://www.saferacer.com/ompshoes.html) Nomex means fire resistant.


FOR YOU (when not racing):
_ prepare for the weather
_ Bring a cooler with drinks (gatorade, water) and food for the day/night (no alcohol, thats comes after track time at the nearest bar)
_ Fold out chair(s)
_ Change of clothes for after track day (bar wear)
_ Sunblock (if needed) and sunglasses, lip protections
_ pop up tent with tie-downs


WEEK BEFORE, REMEMBER TO:
_ clean windows (soapy water for tint, windex for glass, might as well Rain-x at this point).

DAY BEFORE, REMEMBER TO:
_ get some sleep, you'll need it
_ Run through this checklist (do all the stuff you forgot, like remove center wheel caps to throw in bin or gym bag)

DAY OF REMEMBER TO:
_ set tire pressures and check pressures regularly through track day (and after track time). Can blow a tire.
_ fill up car 3/4 with high octane gas, keep at least a 1/4 tank or you will starve the engine (high G turns)
_ remember what the flags mean ( )
_ bring tip money in case it could be useful (instructors, mechanics, tow truck service, bartenders, strippers, police....)

DURING THE DAY REMEMBER TO:
_ "know your role" Be humble and leave pride at the front gates. Truly know what class you are in (beginner, intermediate, etc.) Speed is for idiots... controlled speed is the only respectable currency on the track.
_ Have fun! I know...should be self apparent, but folks sometimes get so focused that they forget the fun.
_ Make some friends
_ Consistently drink fluids and eat something
_ Check car before and after runs

AFTER TRACK RUNS REMEMBER TO:
_ Let your car idle for a few minutes with the hood open and take the cool-down lap. (Engine can overheat unless you allow the car to cool itself down)
_ Do not put on E-brake or parking brake, use tire blocks. Can warp rotors.
_ Check and reset tire pressures
_ Check for leaks under and around the engine


Nuts and Bolts: (print this out and put in toolbox)
ATTACHMENT – TORQUE (Ft/lbs) - 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
SWAYBAR ENDLINKS – 37 - 15mm
FRONT DIFFERENTIAL CRADLE BOLT – 195 – 24mm
REAR DIFFERENTIAL CRADLE BOLT – 141 - 21mm
DIFFERENTIAL SUPPORT MOUNTING BOLTS – 129 – 21mm
CORSA EXHAUST CLAMPS – 45
CORSA EXHAUST FLANGE NUT - 22
HOTCHKIS SWAYBAR BRACKETS – 44 - 15mm/16mm*

Ronsv
02-17-07, 07:16 PM
Awesome list Heavypedal, makes me want to go out in the garage and prep my V right NOW, even though its 20 degrees out side!
Seriously, great info, it will come in handy when I track my car this spring!
Thanks!! :worship:

ctsvett
02-18-07, 12:07 AM
great write up... goin on the FAQ!

Reed

heavypedal
02-18-07, 01:36 AM
bump...still looking for folks input. I wrote this up pretty quickly, so I know I missed something.... up to you guys to find it.

T

Reed: Thanks for putting it on the FAQ, and I'll ping ya once its closer to a final state (after everyone has sounded off on it).

heavypedal
02-18-07, 01:45 AM
hint: do not post after coming back from the bars.... you'll say things like "still looking for folks input" ;)

Lets lock down a good all-around track prep checklist here... so comments and corrections welcome.

T

rgd
02-19-07, 12:26 AM
Nice Job! :thumbsup:

V-Love
02-19-07, 05:09 AM
A true contribution. Homestead is coming and I'm using the list. My car will be much better prepared than ever before. Thanks.

tweeter81
02-19-07, 10:12 AM
Great job!!!

One thing - As far as the coolant goes, the Dexcool needs to be mixed 50/50 with distilled water. I'm sure most people know this, but it might help to put that in the list to avoid confusion down the road.

50 4Ever
02-19-07, 12:25 PM
Thursday March 29th a local Corvette shop in conjunction with Hooked On Driving will be putting on a Corvette Track Day at Thunderhill Raceway. They will be putting on a presentation for preparing a car for track days as well as a presentation of safety equipment for you & your car. I will try to get a handout if I go.

:thumbsup:

heavypedal
02-19-07, 12:40 PM
Thanks 50...any general track prep stuff from the Corvette track day would help.

Tweeter...added the 50/50 just in case

Anyone know off the top of their heads what the fill-levels are for the fluids. Yes, too lazy to go perusing through the manual (don't have one)...
I have engine oil (7qts), diff (1.5 qts), trans (3.8qts)...can't find the others...clutch fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and coolant.

calicadi
02-23-07, 11:06 PM
Thanks for compiling this!

Not vital to include, but just to mention sometimes it's handy to have a roll of masking tape. You can use it as a cheap paint chip guard on lower body moldings or to make temporary car numbers if they require such. Also, a small bottle of white liquid shoe polish to mark your tire sidewalls. It's an easy way to check how far you're rolling your edges.

Andringa
09-06-13, 05:54 PM
Figured I'd bump and old thread instead of starting a new one. I'm going to be doing an HPDE at Road America in October and I'm trying to get my pre-track TODO list figured out.

-What are you guys running for power steering fluid these days? I put the larger Fluidyne cooler in, but I haven't flushed out all of the old brown fluid yet.

-What are your thoughts on Oil level on track? I've heard some people run +1/2 to +1 Quart.

-Thoughts on brake fluid? I have an unopened bottle of Valvoline DOT3/4 that I was planning on using. Valvoline states the dry boiling point is 480F, how likely am I to boil this fluid with HP+ pads?

Junior1
09-06-13, 06:53 PM
For brake fluid I went to Motul RBF and haven't looked back...

Lou72
09-07-13, 01:55 PM
Figured I'd bump and old thread instead of starting a new one. I'm going to be doing an HPDE at Road America in October and I'm trying to get my pre-track TODO list figured out.

-What are you guys running for power steering fluid these days? I put the larger Fluidyne cooler in, but I haven't flushed out all of the old brown fluid yet.

-What are your thoughts on Oil level on track? I've heard some people run +1/2 to +1 Quart.

-Thoughts on brake fluid? I have an unopened bottle of Valvoline DOT3/4 that I was planning on using. Valvoline states the dry boiling point is 480F, how likely am I to boil this fluid with HP+ pads?

I can't make any comments for the power steering fluid. I have the stock cooler and brown fluid, but I haven't had any problems. *crossing fingers*

I also don't run more oil just for track days, but chances are that your car will start to bong and complain that your oil is running hot while you're out on the track. If it's a hot day you might actually be getting the oil that hot, but it can also be a faulty temperature sensor which you can read about here.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-general/150519-damn-high-oil-temp-alarms-here-7.html
If you plan on tracking your V occasionally, I highly recommend an oil cooler just to be on the safe side. You can read about those in a sticky found in the performance section. If this is just a track day feeler, your oil should be fine for now.

When I went to my first track day I got lazy and just replaced the brake fluid in the reservoir with the same unopened Valvoline DOT3/4 you have. I ran at a smaller track that was pretty hard on the brakes, and by the last session I completely boiled my fluid with the stock brake pads. Since then I've upgraded to HP+ pads and ATE super blue brake fluid and I had zero problems running at this same track. If you're running a near stock car and you actually flush all of the brake fluid the right way, I think your brakes will be fine for this one event. Again, if you plan to track your V more in the future, better brake fluid is a cheap investment for added security and peace of mind.

repenttokyo
09-08-13, 03:03 PM
I run the GM Cold Weather power steering fluid. Works well on the track.

I run HP+ pads with Super Blue ATE fluid. No issues.

heavymetals
09-08-13, 03:20 PM
The last addition is a flat bed if you run the OEM diff.

repenttokyo
09-08-13, 10:19 PM
The last addition is a flat bed if you run the OEM diff.

On a road course, the OEM diff is not going to be an issue - at least, it's not one for me. The car was designed to be run hard on a road course.

On a drag strip, it's a different story. I don't do any clutch drops when I run on a road course.

heavymetals
09-09-13, 01:03 PM
The OEM diff is always gonna be an issue with this car.

That is why I don't do clutch dumps or hammer it hard out of the hole.

repenttokyo
09-09-13, 02:17 PM
The OEM diff is always gonna be an issue with this car.

That is why I don't do clutch dumps or hammer it hard out of the hole.

It's not an issue if used as intended. How many have you gone through? Mine was replaced by previous owner about 70,000 miles ago, and it sees heavy track use. It's a 4th gen diff.

heavymetals
09-09-13, 03:07 PM
I am on#2.

#1 failed under normal driving conditions, i.e.. INTENDED USE.

I would admit it if I beat on it and it failed.

repenttokyo
09-10-13, 01:07 PM
I am on#2.

#1 failed under normal driving conditions, i.e.. INTENDED USE.

I would admit it if I beat on it and it failed.

So it was the original diff then? My point is, so few cars are on the original diff - most are on their second, improved design diff - and those cars are not having problems.

I beat the hell out of my car on road courses and the diff is not the weakest link, believe me.

heavymetals
09-10-13, 02:01 PM
The Getrag diff was under speced for this application.

Look it up and look at the torque rating.

Blame the bean counters and that subject has BEEN BEATEN TO DEATH.

There have been failures with ALL the diffs and if you care to research it you will find them.

Were they due to people beating on it?

Probably as in any failure, if you drive it like you are trying to break it, don't be surprised if it breaks.

Some claim they weren't and it just failed.

Andringa
09-10-13, 02:42 PM
I have 84k on my 04V with the original diff. (I believe the clutch packs and possibly other internals were replaced once before I bought it.)

I really wish there was a way to put an 8.8" pumpkin in with reusing the OEM driveshaft and axles. I'm sure that between the way I drive on the street, autox and a track day or two a year I'm going to blow it sooner or later, but at this point I'd probably try to find the cheapest OEM replacement before going and putting $4k+ of drivetrain into a $14k car.

Lou72
09-10-13, 04:32 PM
My '04 is running the original diff too with 88K miles and I'm not puttering around. A few track days and frequent stoplight launches (careful to avoid wheel hop) but I just have some whine when it's hot. I really think it can be luck of the draw with some of the earlier diffs.

Andringa
09-10-13, 06:12 PM
I run the GM Cold Weather power steering fluid. Works well on the track.

I run HP+ pads with Super Blue ATE fluid. No issues.

Have you ever gotten the GM Cold Weather fluid to stay clear in your car? It seems like I can't get enough of the old brown fluid out to get the fluid clear.

repenttokyo
09-10-13, 11:41 PM
Have you ever gotten the GM Cold Weather fluid to stay clear in your car? It seems like I can't get enough of the old brown fluid out to get the fluid clear.

I change mine on a fairly regular basis due to my track use, but it does get brown over time, that's for sure.