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· What do I look like, a comedian?
8,633 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This thread is an attempt to round up all the good information to help you prepare your LX car for running a Road Course! Many THANKS to MattRobertson, X E Ryder, TTMR and the other great forum members who helped me round up all this information, while I'm preparing myself and my car for my first trip to the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course! :thumbs_u:

Update: Even though I've traded the Charger for something faster, this thread still applies to all LX vehicles, and just about everyone else who is getting started in the addictive sport of amateur road-course track days!

(New information still gets added here, so check back for updates, edits and re-takes!)

*Check with the track you will be going to for their regulations concerning Driver Attire and Safety Equipment! Most tracks require at least: full shoes (no sandals or open-toed shoes), long pants, and a Snell SA2005 Approved helmet (minimum). Long sleeves, gloves and fire-retardant gear is highly recommended, especially when you start becoming competitive with your lap times!
**Some tracks specify an SA2005-rated helmet!! An M2005 helmet may not be allowed!!


Few realize that adding go-fast goodies should also result in selecting stop-just-as-fast goodies...
Do NOT leave stock brake pads on for a track day, they can't take the heat and will turn to goo, and your rotors will look like you spread peanut butter and jelly on em afterwards! :doh:

Use brake pads rated for higher temperatures, but even then be aware of the brakes fading. When they do, Do Not just keep pressing harder on the pedal! Instead do a slow, full lap without using the brakes, to cool them off, and either pull in, or see if your pedal is back. This should allow everything to cool and you will not ruin them, hopefully.

*You can run some track pads on the street for everyday use, but be advised they are a little messy, and if you drive mellow they will start squealing - a couple hard, hot stops will usually bring em back in line though. The squealing comes from being used at too low a temp for awhile and they get a sort of buildup going.*

It takes a little practice learning when your brakes are "going away" and all the little things like, when you pull in, do not use your brakes if you can-- shift to neutral and coast to a stop in the pits if possible. Do not set the parking brake, and after a few minutes, push your car 18 inches or so to get the part of the rotor out of the caliper area to avoid hotspots on the rotor. Do this a few times.

You can use the Wilwood BSL6 calipers and SRT rotors. The SRT rotors are the "El Cheapo" alternative that give you big brake kit performance (14.2") with the peasant price ($65 or so each). THEN you can get some serious pads on.
You want the Wilwood H pads, and you put them on at the track. They will trash your rotors otherwise but there is nothing like them for hi temp performance. I have a set that have lasted two full days at Laguna Seca and are good for one more. And they work no matter what.

The W6A Wilwood caliper is far better than the BSL6 but I don't think it fits under an 18" wheel...?
Down the road, get stainless lines and you will get a nice pedal feel out of it.

I used the Wilwood 570 fluid in 2 very different cars, and it worked great for my driving style. ** Here is a fantastic chart from our very own MattRobertson with all the stats you'll ever need for brake fluid! Be sure to read the information below the chart, to help make sense of it all. :thumbs_u:

That's the poor man's brake upgrade: fluid, pads and lines. :thumbs_u:

When you get in after a track session, NEVER just stop the car and park! Right when you get off-track, do the 'paddock parade' or something like it: Drive around slowly (at idle is fine) staying off the brakes and the accelerator. Do this for about 3-5 minutes. Longer is better. What it does is let the rotors cool off and keeps the pads from hot-spotting the rotors when they are worst-case hot. It might help cool the motor too since you will have fluids circulating with no load.
You will probably see many other drivers doing the same thing themselves. Just remember your car is bigger and heavier and you are generating more heat, so if they go in and park you stay out for a minute or three longer.


The Ultimate LX Cooling Guide: FRANKENCOOLER!!
http://www.lxforums.com/board/showthread.php?t=56863 :cool:

Note: Some of the steps below are specific to the 5.7 and 6.1L V8's, and are not applicable to the V6 engines.
(But we might figure a way to work around that, anyway...)

More Cooling Info. Here:

1. I'd do the p/s cooler no matter what. Its cheap and the problem is known and could be catastrophic. * See below for JoelVan's fix!
2. If you haven't done a tstat, put in a 180.
3. Read your tranny temps at the track (Aeroforce Interceptor Guage or DashHawk can display temps, unless the EVIC reads it). If they go high, get the franken-tranny cooler. Autocross will probably not be bad enough to show a problem. No matter what put the stock cooler and the aux-cooler in series with the aux in first position.
4. Do the Mopar oil cooler. Its like $150. Without a gauge this is a bit of a crap shoot but for $150 its tough to beat. (Does not fit the 3.5L engine)
5. Monitor your water temps. Are they too high now that you are dumping heat into the motor thru the oil cooler? Look at Severe Duty II radiator to fix that. Its a big bump up in capacity. Before you go to the Maximum Duty you need to really, really want it and need it and the SevereII is probably fine.
6. If the oil temp. is still too high (I'd put in a gauge first) add in the frankencooler.
All 6 steps above are way extreme and a lot of money but once you are done you are looking at 190-degree temps across the board, pretty much. I would think most folks who hammer their car would be fine after Step 4 and an immediate oil change after a full on track day (an Autocross is no biggie).

JoelVan's Power Steering Mod:

The PS pump on the LX cars takes a beating... and frequently loses. It has been found that high-rpm + high cornering load = blown PS pump. :(
(I blew one in my '07 SXT, too, so it's not just the V8 guys!)
This addition from JoelVan helps to alleviate the pressure experienced by the pump by relocating the pulley, and changing to a larger size. It will require a new belt, about 2" longer than the standard belt.

Road Course Wheel Suggestions:

Thanks to bobsmyuncle!


Newly expanded tire section: Not to confuse anyone, but here's some of the tires that have been tried and used at various times by various people! Some are Race-Only, others are "trackable" street tires- for those who only run a track event occasionally, and don't drive like MattR! LOL As we gather more info. on tires, I'll try to get it listed here. Listed here are some examples of tire sizes and pressures used. The effectiveness of tire pressure VARIES according to temperature and condition of the track AND the tires! What works one day, may not work the next... even as one day goes by, you may need to adjust the pressures!

Also- if you get a dedicated set of Track Tires/Wheels, you should consider upgrading your stock (cheap) Lug Nuts to something better:

Hoosier A6
BFG G-Force R1
Bridgestone RE-050A Pole Position
(MattR- 255/35/20 with 36 psi cold on a 60 degree day, with hot pressure having a 44 psi target.)** See Note from Willi below. **
Nitto Invo
Toyo Proxes 4
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar
Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3
Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta
(xevilpetex review in the rain:http://www.lxforums.com/board/showthread.php?t=171800 )
Yokohama Parada Spec-X
(Ron380 on SXT/AWD Charger. 255/45/20 Wear is good, traction "okay" at Mid Ohio. 45psi in all 4.)
*More tire-tests to follow in 2009!*

For 20" rims, 255/35/20 tires seem to be the best size so far for our cars.
For 18" rims, 245/40/18 has worked well for some.

*I will be testing Sumitomo HTR Z3, 245/45/18's in '09 on my stock rims! More to follow...
** Update: I ran the HTR Z3's at two road course events (NJMP- Lightning and Mid Ohio), as well as a 2-day EVO School (autocross). With the smaller diameter and stiff sidewalls, these tires handled very well on my AWD Charger! They grip well, and are predictable and easy to work with. They do not make much noise when they're nearing or passing the traction threashold, it's more of a "feel" for the car starting to get loose. Combined with my suspension upgrade, the car handled many times better than it did before! Our first session at Mid Ohio was on a wet track, too, and they handled well in the wet, also, considering the slower speeds we were going due to the rain.

**Has anyone else tried different width tires of the same brand, and noticed any particular (or "peculiar") differences with regard to wear, traction, etc. ?? We'll need to keep an eye out for this!

"Basic rule here, more pressure = better steering response, the car will be crisper as it changes direction as the tire deflects less as you turn. Less pressure = more overall traction as more tire is on the ground. Too high pressure = progressively less controllable! All you need to do is find the happy median!"

One problem we are going to have is sidewalls. We have too much weight flying around for our sidewalls to hold up. Watch that. Especially since you will be sticking and thus dishing out more lateral g forces. Some folks are running 50 psi in the front, 40-45 psi in the rear.

One Engineer for Yokohama has stated that, "UTQG is a better measure of lateral stickiness than traction rating, as traction rating is not a real-world measure but rather is a measure of lateral wet-road braking capability. A low UTQG tire is stickier, but will wear out faster."

Matt Robertson has recommended the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Pole Position that had rating of 140.

I ordered the tires from Tire Rack which specified the 140 rating and the 280 showed up at my door WTF?

I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with the Bridgestone engineer and......

The rating on the tire is now 280 but is the EXACT compound and everything else as the 140 tires!!!!!

Just thought you all might like to know

And I went with the 275/30/20 XL :thumbs_u:

The Official Lap Timer Thread!


Where To Mount a Lap Timer in an LX Car!

Fire Suppression System:

Highly recommended for anyone who's getting serious with Road Course, Track Days and serious Power-Adding on their drag-racers! I've been getting more interested in these kits and will be finding out more information about them. Here is one example:
Considering what we've paid for other mods, and the fact that a system like this could save your life, I think the price is not bad at all! It's also installed in the car, so you can't "forget it at home", either. I'm not up to this point yet myself, but here is some information for those who are running with the big-boys!

More Road Course Info:


MVP Track Schedule:

What Should I Pack For A Track Day?


Bear in mind that these are wide, heavy cars, and it will take a lot of work to run with the little, fast cars on an open road course. If you're just going to run a Track Day once in a while for fun, at the least upgrade your Brake Pads, use Synthetic Motor Oil, and change your oil, power-steering fluid and possibly Transmission Fluid soon after the day at the track!

Here's what it looks like when it all comes together! http://www.lxforums.com/board/showthread.php?t=143370

Enjoy, Be Safe and Have Fun! :pepper: :racing: Turn that wheel!! :mrgreen:

· T.G.I.F.
24,375 Posts
Things I noticed:

Attire: You have the basics right, but the attire you mention has to be all natural fibers. Shirts, pants, socks, panties. Shoes must be flame retardant or natural leather. Reason being that if the car burns this stuff will melt onto you.
One more reason to buy the flame retardant stuff as soon as you can afford to.

I had the chance to sit down with reps from Pirelli, Conti, Yoko and Bridgestone. I grilled them on our LX situation and asked them what we can do. I discussed my own situation in technical detail and asked for advice. Bottom line:

Do not expect any help on 20's regardless of the fact that the new Nissan rocketship has 20" wheels. Its not going to get supported any time soon despite hopes that it was going to break open the door for 20" track rubber (i.e. treadwear 50 R compound rubber).

The weights of our cars require XL sidewalls. That means our high traction rubber is still going to be a really, really short list.

The weights of our cars don't really allow 45-series sidewalls if we expect to stick. The 35-series stuff I started using is the best idea.

Bridgestone RE-050A Pole Positions in 255-35-20 are probably our best bet. The 245-35-20's exhibited torque cracking internally (I pulled the tires off and looked) and thats scary, while the 255's didn't do that. Next best experiment is use the 255's on the front and see what happens.

I was running 40 psi on the front. Thats a lot. But based on nasty scrubbing on the outside sidewall edges, and the visual evidence from track photos, 40 psi is the MINIMUM psi for the fronts. Next experiment is to go UP to 45 and see if they still stick while the increased psi helps hold up the sidewalls. This is true for 20" tires. Nobody has experimented much on any other size. Worth noting though is that the SRT Experience run by Dodge uses 255/35/20's on all the SRT cars, so I think I have this figured right.

Great post!

· Will wrench for AvGas
3,878 Posts
Looks good so far there Ron!

I will add a note on the tires, I'm the one running the BFG slicks, and yeah they stick, but I will be going wider on the next set. I have found that 47psi is the MINIMUM that I can run in the fronts. 36psi seems to work very well for the rears. Now if you are running on a track and not just in a parking lot, ala SCCA, then the fronts need to go up to 50 and my AWD felt most balanced with 40 in the rear.

So how do you find the proper tire pressure? This is what has worked well for me:
1 Start too high, it will be easier to work the pressure down than up
2 Many ultra high performance and competition tires have guides on the side wall, these will be small triangles, you want the wear patch on the tire to go to, but not over that mark.
3 Drive the car and note the wear on the tire, if it's a really good tire you will be able to see wear very quickly
4 Drop the tire pressures in small increments until the wear just hits the mark.

What can you do if you don't have those marks on your tire? Simply get some chalk and put a few, 3 works well, marks from the tread up onto the side wall. After you run look and see where the chalk line ends, most cases you will be looking for some where in the neighborhood of 1/16-1/8 inch of chalk worn off the side wall.

Basic rule here, more pressure better steering response, the car will be crisper as it changes direction as the tire deflects less as you turn. Less pressure more overall traction as more tire is on the ground. All you need to do is find the happy median!

· T.G.I.F.
24,375 Posts
Matt, i thought you were running ...
I was going to first try the Bridgestones, which I did and they worked incredibly well. They were also dam expensive. I was going to TRY the General Exclaim UHP because the damn things were so cheap. $111 per tire vs about $260 (!). But even though they have AA traction they also have 380 treadwear. Is that going to be good or bad? Crapshoot. I'd have to buy a set. And I already have two sets of street tires (I would LOVE to sell my garaged RSA's cheap. Anybody?). I have also been told that they have a rep for their sidewalls not being as stiff, and sidewalls are where its at it seems. And my recent awesome times are on the Bridgestones... so I am opting, for now, to not experiment further and sticking to the B's. I need two more tires for my next track day (the fronts are worn at the sidewalls a bit too much for my liking, but they're maybe 60% on the rest of the tread) and I am retiring the current two for eventual street use, which they would be fine for. Since I am planning on putting my track tires out to pasture as street tires, I may never buy street tires again.

Someone should try the Exclaim UHP's! It may be me but not anytime soon.

And is the 40-45psi cold? or hot?
I'm doing it cold (!). If I start playing with pressures on track then of course it'll be warmer and never fully cold. Pressures on race day are sort of an art to figure out properly. The whole Paddock Parade thing totally goes out the window when you are experimenting with tire pressures.

why did you decided to run 20's? there alot more 18in rubber available
I could tell you I am trying to keep my options open for a future switch up to a W6a caliper, but the reality is thats just the way it worked out. I got a great deal on my first set of track wheels, which were SRT wheels. When I polished and powdercoated them so they could be my street wheels, that meant my forged lightweight chrome 20's could be my track tires... but then I cracked one and I needed new track wheels. I got an unbeatable deal on another set of SRT wheels (Thanks again to Cam and Ozzie!) and now I have totally interchangeable rubber and wheels. So as you can see above, when my track tires wear to the point where I am not comfy with them on track I can put them to street use instead of out to the city dump.

· What do I look like, a comedian?
8,633 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the extra input guys! :thumbs_u:

Someone should try the Exclaim UHP's! It may be me but not anytime soon.
Hmmmmm.... I'll have to keep that in mind for my 18" rims. :wink:

I was also noticing on those General's, that some tire sizes are rated at XL load rating, and some are not... Definitely want to get the XL-rated size!

9/08: I just noticed on TireRack that the General Exclaim UHP are now only "A" Traction-rated, and are also more expensive than they used to be... ah well, I'll probably try something else next year that IS "AA" Traction-rated!

· Registered
1,178 Posts
The W6A Wilwood caliper is far better than the BSL6 but I don't think it fits under an 18" wheel...?
The W6a will fit under an 18" wheel. But it will vary by spoke design not by diameter. With a body overhang of .420" more than the BSL6r caliper it remains quite a bit wider.

Currently the W6a is fit for the 14" TCE kit and has shown to work on the SRT rotors also with some centering changes. That may also effect the caliper to spoke. I'm not sure which set up moves the caliper outward more; mine or the SRT stuff. Q for one of the guys there.

The W6a set up would use Poly B pads over H compound due to availability.

*Good word on the importance of cool down time.:thumbs_u:

· See ya in anotha life brotha
14,687 Posts
I would like to point out that the pads would be more inline with what kind of track your running and how often your going to track that car.

I ran stock RT bits at the Fontana Track day at the 07 Spring Fling, I did experance fade ( well I would say braking failure as in press on peddle and nothing happens Click on the tire wall link in my sig) but 2 easy laps and everything was fine. The Stock pads held up well, but I was rather religious on my cool down laps before parking the car. Also when I got home I flushed the Brakes with all new fluid.

Now if I were going to track the car on a more regular basis I would run a differnt pad combo depending on what is avaiable for the RT's. I now have the SRT brembos and a few extra sets of pads, and I think I would run the Factory pads on track days as I think they are up to the task ( I think that the dusting and squealing issues are from a very aggressive pad not being heated enough to get into its working temp range )

I would maybe run a differnt pad if there were a few more racing based compunds avaiable for track days and I was doing more than 1 track day a year.

Just some thoughts


· What do I look like, a comedian?
8,633 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I ran stock RT bits at the Fontana Track day at the 07 Spring Fling, I did experance fade ( well I would say braking failure as in press on peddle and nothing happens Click on the tire wall link in my sig) but 2 easy laps and everything was fine.
Thanks Robert! FYI: Your Tire Wall video isn't available anymore... :doh:

· Supreme Being
553 Posts

GY F1 "Supercar" tires 245/45/20 & 255/45/20, started 35 cold, they heated up into the 40's & STUCK. Left front outer edge obliterated. $320GY F1 "Supercar" tires started 40 psi cold, good performance, Obliterated front tires. Big ChunksToyo Proxes 4's 255/45/20's on all 4, great traction, pushed up to the wall at 149, four wheel drift really, kinda unsettling the first time. Same on the ap at 35 cold, in the 40's at speed. All tires survived.Toyo Proxes 245/45/20 up front & 275/40/20 in back, faster lap times, hot sticky tires, only looped twice (not the tires fault). Same air pressure, no dead tires, just some interestig wear patterns.I'll likely try the BFG's next time based on MattR's comments.Thanks for the tire info Matt.

· See ya in anotha life brotha
14,687 Posts
Ron, make sure your firewall/filers are not blocking tinyurl.com

Here is my YouTube page - http://uk.youtube.com/user/GDAboR

give that a try as well.

Dan I saw some scrub as well on the F1's at fontana, but you were pushing the car a bit harder than I was ( as well as having better brakes and more power ) but the F1's held up very well imho.


· Master of Disaster
200 Posts
I'm slightly contrarian as far as the SRT-8 owners go. I think the stock setup with the "Supercar" three season tires will work well for track days unless you really want to puh the outer limits. I did find that going to 40psi worked best, though.

To me the weakest link in the cars is oil temps. It's trivial -- even in a few minutes of spirited street driing on a mountain road -- to get the oil temps close to 300. I installed the oil cooler from the police package (a true Mopar unit, so it shouldn't have any impact on warranty), and while it's not Frankencooler good, it keeps the oil temps under 270 in pretty much all conditions.

Willow Springs in summer is the only place I had issues with the stock power steering. Nowhere else did I experience it, and Willow has the massive arc of Turn 2 which is at high speed, high loading, and high duration. I've run at Thunderhill and Buttonwillow in similar high temps and had not even a hint of power steering issues.

One thing I don't think I saw mentioned were differentials. I spent the money on a Quaife LSD and love it, even for street use. In fact, prior to installing it I would say the open diff was my biggest gripe with the car. It's trivial to cause the TC to kick in without an LSD.


· What do I look like, a comedian?
8,633 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the input, Steve! :thumbs_u:


· LX Modder
1,074 Posts
Great thread! Sorry I have been so busy - no time these days! I will give it a thorough read asap bro! Good on ya! Someone "Bean" him right between the eyes already! :)

· Finding the Line - Semper Fi
1,176 Posts
All great infomation.Thanks everyone.

One thing noted That I hadn't before was PSI.

I started at 40PSI cold all around, drove to the track 6-7 miles, then checked it was like 42psi. Did a track session (10 laps) and looked for scrub. Deflated by 3PSI each time and found that by my third session my Hot PSI was like 35 Front and about 30-31 at the rears. Not sure but based on scrub marks (F1's) I deflated accordingly, and it seem to work great on my car. I have been using the same PSI at the track since.


(Maybe my car is lighter, now that I ripped out everything in the interior and stuck in a alum. seat
I got from Steve)...........

..........Just Kidding, I left the DVD player. LOL

· Master of Disaster
200 Posts
Walt, based on tire scrub I agree you can run the lower pressures. I had no scrub issues at 34psi cold, but found that I prefered the feel of the tires at 40 cold -- the car seemed to wander less. It's definitely a preference thing, I think.

And you can have my Butler seat when you can pry my cold, dead behind out of it :)


· What do I look like, a comedian?
8,633 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks guys! What tires n' wheels are you running, that you're setting at those pressures? ;)
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