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
-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!!
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:
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. **
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...
: 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!
epper: :racing: Turn that wheel!! :mrgreen: