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I've been thinking of taking my car to the local road course on the weekends.

I don't want to dump a huge amount of cash into the car to make track worthy, so I am hoping to find out what simple tricks and mods are absolute must haves for a road course? (ex. steel braided brake lines, etc.)

I already have Roush lowering springs on the car, and a CAI with tune.
 

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From what I have been told, good brake pads and decent brake fluid are the only real "must haves" to get started. Rather than spending your money on mods for the track, you're better off spending that money on time on the track. Then with some experience you can see what you really need.

My first track day is coming up on June 19, woo hoo!
 

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A GOOD set of tires, of course! haha...and the money to know that you're gonna use quite a bit of that tire!

but seriously, yeah, good tires, upgrade brake pads, lines, and really that's it the first time. after that, you'll hate your suspension and start putting all your money into that... at least that's what happened to me haha!

other items: helmet for safety, a Go Pro, and a daring attitude. these cars are capable of a lot more than people think, and you'll learn that very quickly at the track!
 

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From what I have been told, good brake pads and decent brake fluid are the only real "must haves" to get started. Rather than spending your money on mods for the track, you're better off spending that money on time on the track. Then with some experience you can see what you really need.

My first track day is coming up on June 19, woo hoo!
Not considering the obvious things like safety gear, upgrading some of the braking components would be first on my list.

My best friend just upgraded, or downgraded, whichever way you look at it, from an almost full blown new edge racecar to a S-197 street car. Only thing the new car had was 4.10 gears, full exhaust, CAI with the SCT tune. He want's to enjoy it on the street but still be able to run the road coarse at his level. We will both be at Sebring at the end of the month. The brakes are what got the most attention. For now he's going to stick with the stock calipers but upgraded the pads to race spec=Hawk DTC70's. He also added new SS brake lines, Motul 600 brake fluid and a brake cooling kit. Now because of his driving skills street tires won't do so he's using track tires but this is only recommended for advanced drivers. Stick with your street tires for now because they are the best learning tool for a beginner.
 

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Not considering the obvious things like safety gear, upgrading some of the braking components would be first on my list.
Ditto. Safety and brakes #1. After a few weekends running that setup, you slowly begin to see what other upgrades may be needed, but you'll come to that as needed. I started in RR in 2008 with a stock Roush 427R. Upgraded the brake pads and hit the tracks. Didn't begin upgrading for the tracks till a few years later. Let the car tell you what it may need vs. the other way around.
 

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Brakes!!! First thing should be pads and fluid. Also helpful on the braking front will be ducting, calipers, lines, and rotors. (which...is everything)

Second is wheels/tires. My suggestion: go ahead and do a couple days on un-sticky tires. Do some autocross on un-sticky tires. The worse your tires are, the more you learn about driving your car. Steadily improve your grip levels as you gain confidence and your bad tires start holding you back.

Gotta have an SA2010 helmet.
 

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As everyone mentioned brakes and fluid is a must. I started out using Hawk HTC60 in the front and HP10s in the rear with Motul 600. I just ordered a new set of pads (Carbotech XP24 front and XP16 rear) to replace my current set up, which are Carbotech XP16 front and XP 10 rears. Tires, run what you have for now. As far as upgrading to sticky tires, I would wait until you caught up to your current tires. I ran the Pirelli tires that came with the car for two track days before I switched. After that look into a good 200 wear rating tire such as the BFG Rival or Hankook RS3. Once you reach your potential on those you can look at some 100 wear slicks. Big reason for sticking with street tires is that they scream and will let you know when they are going to get loose. Slicks don't warn you they go from really grippy to loose. Although, the 100 wear slicks such as Maxxis still will give you some warning before they give out.

After you do your fist track day you'll be hooked. I suggest after that day you'll want to get some Camber/Caster plates. Vorshlag makes some really nice CC plates. Then drive your car until you can out drive it and do some more suspension mods. Also, think safety. Once you start going faster stuff happens very quickly and can hurt really bad. When you purchase your first helmet (if you don't have one already) make sure it already has the holes drilled for a Hans or Neckgen. Also, a nice roll bar for safety and for a place to mount a 6 point harness. Also, a roll bar will increase the stiffness of your car making it handle better.

My first track day at ECR, my first lap time with an instructor was 2:36sec. For comparison Terry Fair took out a customers Mustang and did a 2:07 sec lap. My best lap now is 2:07:89. I have done nothing to my engine and only have done suspension work and safety mods. Also, I join NASA Racing and try to get on the track at least once a month. The more track time I have gotten the better I have become. Good luck and you have been warned if you do this you will become a track addict auto.gif
 

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Good advice from Jamie! I'm gonna do the roll bar/HANS thing here shortly. Between Terry's crash and the flipped cars I saw at Hallett a couple weeks ago...I feel like I need to work on the safety a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I am extremely happy with all the quick and informative responses!

Thanks to everyone for the advice! clap4.gif
 

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Good advice from Jamie! I'm gonna do the roll bar/HANS thing here shortly. Between Terry's crash and the flipped cars I saw at Hallett a couple weeks ago...I feel like I need to work on the safety a little bit.
When you go shopping for a head & neck restraint, look closely at the HANS and HYBRIDS. I was at Pitt Race a few weeks ago and took time to talk to a long time vendor, US Race Gear (Craig). He went over the pros & cons of each device and all the technical testing etc. I've been told recently by other drivers, I need to invest in one. As the car gets upgraded, so should safety. I walked away with the Simpson Hybrid Sport. Had it fitted, I needed an "in between" L & XL size, which he happened to have. He modified my helmets with the required fixtures and then adjusted the Hybrid on me with helmet so it did what it was supposed to do. 99% of impacts and multiple impacts in road racing come from the side. Hybrids are designed for that as well as front impacts. There's a lot of information out there on the two devices. Take time to research and pick the right one for you and the type of racing you do. I've seen a lot of drivers go to the Hybrid which is why I waited on getting a restraint till I had all the right info to make a wise decision.
 

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Rear control arm relocation brackets..Cheap and make a giant difference in the rear geometry. You will notice the rear squat when you add a bit of throttle in the turns. Increases rear traction.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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The 05-09 mustang is too heavy of a car to fool around with the stock size brakes so I would save up for the 2013 Shelby GT500 Brembo brake kit with the massive 15 inch front rotors and 6 piston Brembo calipers. Keep a look out at Ebay as the there are plenty of used GT500 brake kits available.
 

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The 05-09 mustang is too heavy of a car to fool around with the stock size brakes so I would save up for the 2013 Shelby GT500 Brembo brake kit with the massive 15 inch front rotors and 6 piston Brembo calipers. Keep a look out at Ebay as the there are plenty of used GT500 brake kits available.
Or...don't do this. This is not the kit you want- the front rotors weigh 32#.

A better option is the 4-piston 14" rotor kit, which saves 14# in rotating unsprung rate, and, when properly ducted with good lines, pads, and fluid, will provide all the fade resistance anybody on this forum will need. Not to mention, consumables are cheaper, and you can run 18" wheels.
 

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Or...don't do this. This is not the kit you want- the front rotors weigh 32#.
Sure, 32 pounds sounds like a lot of weight, but those massive rotors will take a long time to heat up, exactly what you want in a competition brake system.

If you remember your time in a physics class, you know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only go from one place to another. All of the kinetic energy goes into a braking system as heat; the heavier the car and the faster the speeds, the hotter the brakes get. Therefore, the 2013 GT500 with it's 32 pound front rotors is the hot set up as it was designed to stop an almost 4000 pound car from 200 MPH speeds.


Here is an example of heat overloading stock mustang brakes that are used hard.
 

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Good advice from Jamie! I'm gonna do the roll bar/HANS thing here shortly. Between Terry's crash and the flipped cars I saw at Hallett a couple weeks ago...I feel like I need to work on the safety a little bit.
I am thinking the exact same thing after seeing a number of crashes. I saw a gentlemen roll a boss 302 at the end of the straight at RA. He had the safety devices probably saved him.
 

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Sure, 32 pounds sounds like a lot of weight, but those massive rotors will take a long time to heat up, exactly what you want in a competition brake system.

If you remember your time in a physics class, you know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only go from one place to another. All of the kinetic energy goes into a braking system as heat; the heavier the car and the faster the speeds, the hotter the brakes get. Therefore, the 2013 GT500 with it's 32 pound front rotors is the hot set up as it was designed to stop an almost 4000 pound car from 200 MPH speeds.


[/IMG]

....with stock fluid, lines, and pads, and no cooling.
 

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Good advice from Jamie! I'm gonna do the roll bar/HANS thing here shortly. Between Terry's crash and the flipped cars I saw at Hallett a couple weeks ago...I feel like I need to work on the safety a little bit.
I am thinking the exact same thing after seeing a number of crashes. I saw a gentlemen roll a boss 302 at the end of the straight at RA. He had the safety devices probably saved him.
 

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Sure, 32 pounds sounds like a lot of weight, but those massive rotors will take a long time to heat up, exactly what you want in a competition brake system.

If you remember your time in a physics class, you know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only go from one place to another. All of the kinetic energy goes into a braking system as heat; the heavier the car and the faster the speeds, the hotter the brakes get. Therefore, the 2013 GT500 with it's 32 pound front rotors is the hot set up as it was designed to stop an almost 4000 pound car from 200 MPH speeds.


Here is an example of heat overloading stock mustang brakes that are used hard.
Rotor mass represents thermal inertia, so the temperature swings over the course of a lap will be smaller. But if the limiting factor is cooling air volume, they will still reach approximately the same temperature.

The rotors on that W2W car are up around 2000°F, which is XP20 territory where XP8/10/12 is appropriate for entry-level HPDE (OP's description suggests this).

I guess my point is that unless/until you start seeing evidence that 14" rotors are being overheated during a track session, 15" rotors aren't going to improve matters and will force a change in wheel and tire sizing.



Norm
 

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I guess my point is that unless/until you start seeing evidence that 14" rotors are being overheated during a track session, 15" rotors aren't going to improve matters and will force a change in wheel and tire sizing.



Norm
Some overheated 14" rotors on a S197 mustang.




Notice that even with cooling the above Brembo 5.0 14" rotors got hot enough to cause heat checks and cracks.

A 15" rotor will be the best option for the super heavy GT, but I do agree that the 14" GT500 brake set up is not bad. In any case, an almost 4000 pound mustang is a lot of mass to try and stop so at minimum, a Bermbo 5.0 GT or Shelby Brembo gt500 sytem should be a requirement.
 

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Some overheated 14" rotors on a S197 mustang.


Notice that even with cooling the above Brembo 5.0 14" rotors got hot enough to cause heat checks and cracks.

A 15" rotor will be the best option for the super heavy GT, but I do agree that the 14" GT500 brake set up is not bad. In any case, an almost 4000 pound mustang is a lot of mass to try and stop so at minimum, a Bermbo 5.0 GT or Shelby Brembo gt500 sytem should be a requirement.
Of course it's possible to overheat the 14's; I'm not trying to say otherwise. I'm equally sure that there are a few drivers on the planet who could overheat 15's just as badly. Given the right set of adverse circumstances, any list just might include Terry.

But don't you think that monitoring things like pad and rotor wear rates and rotor friction surface condition would give you a clue ahead of time? Isn't post- and pre-event inspection something you should be doing . . . and interpreting? What about between-session once-overs?


Norm
 
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