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Help me prep my car for trackdays...

Old 01-05-10, 01:11 AM
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Help me prep my car for trackdays...

Hi guys, I just acquired an 87 TII that I bought specifically for track use and some street driving (maybe about 80/20). I'm planning on doing all the HPDEs this year. I will eventually turn it into a dedicated track car but that is probably not gonna happen this year. So I already did some basic stuff on the car, oil change, belts, spark plugs. I'll do the coolant flush soon but will keep the stock radiator and fan for now. My main concern right now is the brake system. I'm planning on getting some Hawk HP+ pads (which everyone is recommending) and get some SS brake lines as well. I will also flush the brake fluids and replace it with Valvoline Synthetic which I've been using for my bikes. My questions are:

1. Do I need to replace my stock brake rotors? Blanks are fine, but which ones?

2. Should I upgrade my calipers?

3. Are the stock 16" wheels okay or should I upgrade them to 17" or 18" with low profile tires?


I'm sure there are more things that I need to replace/upgrade but for my first HPDE event, what else do I need to do with my car?
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Old 01-05-10, 01:33 AM
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I forgot to mention suspension... which coilovers should I get?
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Old 01-05-10, 08:13 AM
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At first, concentrate on learning to drive it and the only modifications you should be looking at should be reliability and safety related, such as increased cooling.

If it's truly going to be 80/20 track/street, get some more race ready pads than HP+, with the weight and power of a TII, especially if you get race tires, then you'll need a real race pad. For learning on street tires, HP+ will most likely be fine, but you'll outgrow them in the end. Any parts store blank rotors will be fine, I'd just get the cheapest if there's a difference.

16" wheels are fine, 15" will fit too and there's enough selection of race tire sizes and styles that you should be more than fine for now. Like I said, concentrate on learning to drive and safety/reliability mods.
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Old 01-05-10, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Black91n/a View Post
At first, concentrate on learning to drive it and the only modifications you should be looking at should be reliability and safety related, such as increased cooling.
i second that. if you're just starting HPDE's you're not going fast, you're learning the line.

on an FC track car, the brakes are actually ok stock. hp pads, new fluid and lines are all you need.

16" wheels are good too, although the stock wheels are heavy.

keeping the thing cool will be a problem. i'd also recommend keeping it as stock as possible, heat + full throttle + poor mod choices = blown engine.

if you're serious about turning it into a track car, bilstein/koni shocks and something like Re-Speed's camber plate/coil over setup is the way to go.
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Old 01-05-10, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by j9fd3s View Post
if you're serious about turning it into a track car, bilstein/koni shocks and something like Re-Speed's camber plate/coil over setup is the way to go.
Do you have a pointer to the Re-Speed camber plates? I can't find them in their online catalog.

FWIW, I agree with everybody. Stock the TII is quite capable. Cooling will be the biggest issue. I ran a bunch of autocross and track mostly stock with Hawk Black pads... the HP+ would probably have been more appropriate.
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Old 01-05-10, 01:42 PM
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thx, keeping it stock is actually my plan this year until I move to competition. i just don't want anything to blow up while at the track. i also track with my motorcycles and there are stuff that i always upgrade/replace before I do trackdays (brakepads, ss lines, tires, master cylinder, all fluids). I know I need to get some better pads and brake lines because I had issues with brakes fading when run hard with my previous rx-7.

i'm not sure if I should get some coilovers now, which i know will make a difference in handling, or just track the car with the stock ones. also, if my rotors are still good, should I replace it with some brembo blank ones? what's the real benefit on this, is it the weight difference?
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Old 01-05-10, 02:27 PM
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I'd track with the stock shocks if they're in reasonable shape. Obviously the car is older now so you should go through the suspension and see if any of the bushings are shot. Since it's a TII and will make a bunch of heat you might look at an upgraded radiator and an oil temperature gauge. I'd just run stock replacement rotors (if you even need to replace them right now) and wouldn't pay a bunch extra for a name, but that's just me. Routing cooling ducts to the brakes would be a good idea once you get speeds up.

If there's one thing I've learned the hard way over the years it's to not rush in to "things I should do" versus "things I must do" before getting a handle on the way things currently are. I did my first track day with my TII as I bought it (downpipe, exhaust work) pushing about 10psi of boost. I melted the adhesive that was holding the "high performance" NAPA sourced brake pads together. After that I started running Hawk pads and without changing anything else on the car it was a tonne of fun to track.

So I'd say just get the car happy... fluid, check wheel bearings, check brakes, etc. Make any safety improvements you need to feel comfortable. Potentially add some temperature gauges and go drive the car to see what you think you need to change... keep an eye on water and oil temperature and it'll tell you if you need upgrades there or not.

BTW, I'm in Redwood City and my TII is actually over at TC Design in Milpitas getting the full racecar [re-]build treatment right now...
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Old 01-05-10, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gkmccready View Post
I'd track with the stock shocks if they're in reasonable shape. Obviously the car is older now so you should go through the suspension and see if any of the bushings are shot. Since it's a TII and will make a bunch of heat you might look at an upgraded radiator and an oil temperature gauge. I'd just run stock replacement rotors (if you even need to replace them right now) and wouldn't pay a bunch extra for a name, but that's just me. Routing cooling ducts to the brakes would be a good idea once you get speeds up.

If there's one thing I've learned the hard way over the years it's to not rush in to "things I should do" versus "things I must do" before getting a handle on the way things currently are. I did my first track day with my TII as I bought it (downpipe, exhaust work) pushing about 10psi of boost. I melted the adhesive that was holding the "high performance" NAPA sourced brake pads together. After that I started running Hawk pads and without changing anything else on the car it was a tonne of fun to track.

So I'd say just get the car happy... fluid, check wheel bearings, check brakes, etc. Make any safety improvements you need to feel comfortable. Potentially add some temperature gauges and go drive the car to see what you think you need to change... keep an eye on water and oil temperature and it'll tell you if you need upgrades there or not.

BTW, I'm in Redwood City and my TII is actually over at TC Design in Milpitas getting the full racecar [re-]build treatment right now...
thats good to know. my shocks still rides pretty decent so I guess that will be fine for now. hopefully the HP+ pads wont eat the stock rotors too bad. i'm totally with you on keeping the car happy first. I don't want to replace something that I don't need right now. keeping the car cool and good brakes are the most important thing for now. i know the water/oil gauges are flaky so it's probably a good idea to do that as well. so it looks like the things I need right now are:

- brake pads
- ss brake lines
- alum radiator
- water/oil guages
- tires
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Old 01-05-10, 10:03 PM
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HP+ are hard on rotors compared to soft street pads, but they're nothing compared to race pads, you'll be fine there.

I tracked my FC for quite a while on stock shocks and springs and it wasn't bad, but they weren't blown yet at that point. I also managed to get away with a stock radiator for quite a while, but it certainly made me a bit nervous, but then again, I have less power than you.
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Old 01-06-10, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gkmccready View Post
Do you have a pointer to the Re-Speed camber plates? I can't find them in their online catalog.

FWIW, I agree with everybody. Stock the TII is quite capable. Cooling will be the biggest issue. I ran a bunch of autocross and track mostly stock with Hawk Black pads... the HP+ would probably have been more appropriate.
LMAO, i should have checked, they have plates for the FB, so it wouldn't be hard for them to make FC ones...
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Old 01-06-10, 12:27 PM
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You're on the right track (sic) - take care of the stock things first, work on the driver for a while, and then upgrade the car as needed.

Plan on having a full mechanical (technical) inspection before your first event. Have someone other than yourself go through the car, putting a torque wrench to everything. If you don't know anyone who is experienced in a track-day Tech Inspection, talk to the event organizers and see if they can recommend someone. Go through the car with them. They will see things you do not.

Make sure you do this at least a few weeks before the event so you have time to get things fixed.

Good luck, and have fun.

-bill
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Old 01-06-10, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Black91n/a View Post
HP+ are hard on rotors compared to soft street pads, but they're nothing compared to race pads, you'll be fine there.
we've run the performance friction stuff the last 2 25's, and not only did the pads last the whole race this year, but rotor wear is nearly zero, AND the drivers LOVE em.

their website seems like its out of date though, they gave us a couple compounds that arent listed.

they do list FC/FD in the motorsports section
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Old 01-06-10, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by j9fd3s View Post
we've run the performance friction stuff the last 2 25's, and not only did the pads last the whole race this year, but rotor wear is nearly zero, AND the drivers LOVE em.
On my other car I was running PFC 01 but I don't like the way the Cf rises with temperature... meaning when you hit the brake the longer you brake the more you slow quickly you slow even though you're not changing pedal pressure. I switched to Wilwood H pads and I've been much happier with the feel. That said I know a lot of guys that swear by the 01 pads. I can kill a set of PFC 01s on my Corvette in about 14 20 minute sessions and I'm not super hard on brakes...

The new Cobalt Friction XR2 compound is really gaining popularity... or the Hawk DTC60/70.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gkmccready View Post
On my other car I was running PFC 01 but I don't like the way the Cf rises with temperature... meaning when you hit the brake the longer you brake the more you slow quickly you slow even though you're not changing pedal pressure. I switched to Wilwood H pads and I've been much happier with the feel. That said I know a lot of guys that swear by the 01 pads. I can kill a set of PFC 01s on my Corvette in about 14 20 minute sessions and I'm not super hard on brakes...

The new Cobalt Friction XR2 compound is really gaining popularity... or the Hawk DTC60/70.
yeah that's the thing. in 08 we ran the 06 compound, and 09 we ran the 81 (or 18) compound.

i think the 06 is like nascar or daytona prototype or something, 81 is less aggressive
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Old 01-07-10, 04:08 PM
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Definitely don't get coilovers right off the bat, you'll have plenty to learn at first without having to learn how to set up a car besides.

What kind of weather are we talking about? I don't think the stock radiator is adequate for a T2 in the summer time, mine has the fluidyne aluminum one and still gets plenty hot. An aftermarket water temp gauge is a must, the stock one sucks.

Don't get R-compound tires either. They have so much grip they hide your mistakes and make you learn slower.
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Old 01-11-10, 03:31 PM
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My standard recommendation for new track drivers.

- Fix mechanicals. The worst thing is to go to the track and blow up. No fuel leaks, no oil leaks. Cooling system should be in good shape. Replace the water pump if you are at all concerned.
- Fix safety. Brakes have got to work and a new master cylinder ain't a bad idea on a 20+ year old car.. Upgrade your pads, I prefer Carbotech, lots of folks like Hawk. Seatbelt, seat, and battery hold down should be checked.
- Get a helmet, or borrow one from a friend.
- Consider how you're going to get home if the car does blow up. AAA isn't a bad service to have, and they have a plan that lets you get a few 100 mile tows per year, so if you live far away, consider it.
- GO DRIVE.

Don't mess with tires, wheels, suspension, anything that isn't one of the above, until you feel comfortable with the car.

Then hey, go to town.
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