First track day - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019 Thread Starter
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First track day

I am the original owner of a 07 GT with 84k miles. It’s not my daily driver; I signed up for a HOD event at a local track. I got fresh tires and I’m putting new brakes on the car but I’m looking for any other advice to prep the car for a day on the track.

My car has the basics... CAI, Exhaust, and Tune.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019
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Track days are a blast, the only problem is they are very addicting!

I think maybe the biggest thing for the first one is to relax and don't try to be the fastest car on the track; accept that you will not be "competitive" the first time out (or many times after that) and just focus on learning and having fun. If you try to push too hard right off, it can get very frustrating and also dangerous. They will teach you about the flags and passing procedures; do pay attention to the flaggers and "check and clear your mirrors often" (meaning, if there is a faster car behind you, let them pass using the correct "point by" that they will teach you)

Regarding the car -- good basic maintenance is all you really need. A fresh synthetic oil and filter change is not a bad idea, but if it was changed recently I would not worry about it. I use 5W-30 Mobil 1 EP for track days in the summer. Fresh brake fluid is a good idea also; high temperature DOT4 (like Motul 600) is what the track guys use, but a good fresh synthetic DOT3/4 flush is good enough. Valvoline synthetic DOT3/4 is not bad and readily available. Clean and re-oil or change the air filter, if that has been a while.

Regarding the brakes -- when you say new brakes, do you mean pads or the whole thing, like a big brake kit? Brake pads are important -- obviously they need to be fairly new so they don't wear out, and a semi-track oriented pad is a good idea. I have had pretty good luck with Stop Tech "Street and Performance Pads" ; true track pads are great on track but annoying on the street (very dusty and noisy). Be aware that the brakes might fade when they get real hot, it usually takes a few laps to get them that hot, be aware toward the end of a session, if it feels like the brakes are not working as well as they were earlier in the session, it is real, they are fading.

Check all fluids and make sure they are at the right level

Make sure wheel lugs are properly torqued; some guys bring a torque wrench and retorque between sessions

Bring a tire pressure gage -- check tire pressure cold (before session) and hot (after session) to see how much it goes up. See if you can find the roll-over marks on the sidewalls of your tires and how to read them. Correct tire pressure is trial-and-error so for now you just want to pay attention to it, bring paper and/or a clip-board so you can write it down.

Helmet must meet the right specifications -- I think SNEL 2010? The organizing organization can tell you what they require; if you don't have a helmet that meets the spec, you might be able to borrow one from the organization or another driver

Bring a pop-up tent and a chair if you have one . . . there is a lot of waiting in the hot paddock (parking lot). Be prepared to take everything out of the car that is not attached -- floor mats, everything in the glove box, spare tire, etc. . . . a bin to put it in comes in real handy.

Don't worry that you don't know what you are doing, the people at every event I have ever been to have always been very friendly and helpful and understanding of novices, both the organizers and the other participants.

Remember the goal is not to "WIN" -- it is to have fun and drive home after!

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| 2010 GT coupe | Daily Driver with some Steeda and GT500 take-off stuff for the occasional track day
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019 Thread Starter
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Wow! Thank you for all tips! That was awesome Reply. Putting a set of Power Stop z26 rotors and pads on, with Stock calipers, so I’ll add the new fluid in then.

I didn’t think about the pop up tent or
Bin for my car materials. Will add that to my list. I’m renting a helmet there, didn’t want to purchase the new helmet for my first track day.

It’s good to know I won’t have to push my car too hard. But, I may need a new clutch after!

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019
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Looks like JBERT covered almost everything but don't forget the chairs and ice chest with cold refreshments, if your tracking this car mostly brakes and the fluid You use are huge. i Personally like Hawk pads the best my buddy with a GTR turned me onto them and Motul RBF600 brake fluid. if you need a new clutch after all your fun and stay with stock parts I get all my parts now on line there much cheaper so check out the links below they work for me.

https://www.hawkperformance.com/

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=motul+bra...l_2ezp4u9ih6_e

https://www.fordpartsprime.com/
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019
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One other item. Check with the sponsor/organization hosting the event, see if running anti-freeze coolant in the radiator is ok. Most may not allow it, since if leaked on the track makes things very slippery and doing 70+ in a curve on slippery ain't no fun. Know its a PITA but maybe dump the coolant and run distilled water instead and if air temps are gonna be warm, throw in some Purple Ice or Water Wetter. Don't need no stinking coolant till winter hits anyway.
BTW, OEM clutch will do just fine. Mine didn't need replacing till after 9 years of track abuse and when it went, it went big.

IF MY CAR WENT AS FAST AS THE MONEY I SPEND ON IT, I'D WIN EVERY RACE
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019
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^ agreed about the clutch . . . reminds me of one of the best tips that I have heard: treat the clutch and shifter as if they were red hot; get your hand/foot on and off of it as quickly as possible

| 2010 GT coupe | Daily Driver with some Steeda and GT500 take-off stuff for the occasional track day
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikapp View Post
One other item. Check with the sponsor/organization hosting the event, see if running anti-freeze coolant in the radiator is ok. Most may not allow it, since if leaked on the track makes things very slippery and doing 70+ in a curve on slippery ain't no fun. Know its a PITA but maybe dump the coolant and run distilled water instead and if air temps are gonna be warm, throw in some Purple Ice or Water Wetter. Don't need no stinking coolant till winter hits anyway.
BTW, OEM clutch will do just fine. Mine didn't need replacing till after 9 years of track abuse and when it went, it went big.


Checked it out, they are allowing it. thanks for the reply.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzon View Post
Checked it out, they are allowing it. thanks for the reply.
I think most tracks and trackday outfits do, at least as long as the car is still mostly street legal.


There is no need to do any upgrade modification just yet; having everything in good mechanical condition is what you need. Best to be driving the car the way you're familiar with it driving anyway, as you'll be busy enough with all the new stuff that comes with driving hard on the track.


Do less shifting rather than more. Less mental load.


I'd push to err on the side of conservatism and upgrade the brake fluid, and I would consider a pad upgrade as well. As a fresh newbie you are not as likely to notice impending brake fade as somebody who has lots of seat time under their belt. Motul RBF600 is plenty far enough up the brake fluid food chain for first-timers, even ATE 200 should be good.


Do yourself a favor and put together a checklist of things as they are mentioned or simply occur to you. This is the latest version of mine ↓↓↓







Norm

'08 GT coupe, 5M, wheels, tires, pads, fluid, a few suspension mods . . . still almost stock height
'19 WRX, 6M (hers)
'01 Maxima 20AE, 5M (spare, winter driver)
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019
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wow Norm, that's quite a list! . . . do you tow a trailer to your track days? LOL ;-)

just kidding, I just printed it out . . .

| 2010 GT coupe | Daily Driver with some Steeda and GT500 take-off stuff for the occasional track day
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBert View Post
wow Norm, that's quite a list! . . . do you tow a trailer to your track days? LOL ;-)

just kidding, I just printed it out . . .
I can make it all fit in the Mustang if I have to, like I did for Mid-Ohio a couple of times. But for NJMP events my wife and I usually make a get-away weekend out of it and we take two cars so she doesn't have to sit around at the track the whole day (she doesn't do any tracking herself).


It's been evolving over the past 15 years or so, starting when I was using it strictly for autocross.

Obviously there are things on the list that most people won't need to pack, other people may have things not on my list, and they may group things differently. It's in Excel so it's not hard to change and/or rearrange, so if you want the spreadsheet instead of doing all of the typing and what-not yourself just PM me with an email address and I'll send it to you.


Norm

'08 GT coupe, 5M, wheels, tires, pads, fluid, a few suspension mods . . . still almost stock height
'19 WRX, 6M (hers)
'01 Maxima 20AE, 5M (spare, winter driver)
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I’m going to my first road race track day 9/18. My car is set up more for street and strip, so I know I’m not going to set any records. It’s something I need to do once. I did a 1/2 mile speed trap race 2 weeks ago. It was fun. I got mine up to 132 mph.
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this was probably before your time, but there was an old classic Lays potato chips ad:
"nobody can eat just one"

be forewarned, the same thing applies to track days, LOL

| 2010 GT coupe | Daily Driver with some Steeda and GT500 take-off stuff for the occasional track day
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019 Thread Starter
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Update...

It was very fun out there on the track! And your right JBERT, it’s addicting, I’m planning my next track day in about 2 months. All your tips helped; but, I only got two 20 minute circuits in before I popped a rear axle seal, and couldn’t continue due to my diff lubricant leaking out on my tire. Got the 👍 from one of the Steeda mechanics to drive my car home 70 miles then straight to the mechanic, he replaced both bearings and seals in my rear axle.

I will be replacing my OEM brake hoses with stainless. I had a significant amount of brake fade. When shopping for my new hoses, I also found a brake duct kit. It was priced right and the install looks simple so, why not? These came very highly recommended for track cars. Hopefully, with these upgrades and some quality brake fluid, my brake fade problem will be under control. Maybe one day I’ll invest in a big brake kit, but for now these mods will have to suffice.

I have a list of all the mods I want to complete on my car in the next couple years. Since my track day, the order of these mods have changed. Before, I was planning on completing my power mods before my handling and/or drivetrain mods. But now the order will be reversed. 300 rwhp is enough for this novice....

First track day ✔️

Thanks again everyone and good luck LAGA77!
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Glad you had fun, nice pic!

I have blown two axle seals so far, both on the track, but didn't expect that would happen to you on the first time out. I am not sure what causes it; but I think it might happen when the brakes and wheel and hub get very hot. For me, I think this happens when I forget to turn off the stability control, and the system puts on the rear brakes, and everything gets real hot. I probably should have mentioned, that you should turn traction control and stability control completely off so it won't do that. Not sure if your car has the stability control (called "advancetrac") or not.

For the brakes, probably the biggest things you can do are (1) high temp fluid such as Motul RBF 600; (2) better pads . . . then the stainless hoses and the cooling ducts. I am not sure how much the hoses contribute to the fade. Usually guys go to the big brakes first and then add the cooling ducts, but the ducts should also help with the "small" brakes.

Just so you can consider for the budget, this big brake kit will do the trick, you do not need anything more expensive:
https://lmr.com/item/M2300S/Mustang-...e-Kit-M-2300-S

Or you can piece the same thing together from parts and get the cost down even more, so something like $600, there are some threads on here with the details.

| 2010 GT coupe | Daily Driver with some Steeda and GT500 take-off stuff for the occasional track day
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019 Thread Starter
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JBERT, I have been looking at that exact brake kit. I am worried that I'll have to upgrade my wheels to accommodate the 14" rotors. I read that some 18" wheels wont have the clearance. I have my feelers out on ebay we'll see if I can find some priced right. I ran the Power Stop z26 carbon/ceramic pads. Power Stop do have "Track Day" pads, looking at those for the next trackday. I read some comments that track pads eat up rotors much faster then sport pads. Any thoughts?

In regards to the traction control, it was mandatory to keep it on for the novice group. I had a coach in the car with me that wanted me to run with TC on. I'll talk to the organizers at the next event see what I can get away with.

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