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      06-09-2015, 11:51 AM   #1
intoflatlines
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First track day in two months. What should I service/upgrade?

I'm doing my first track day in August. My car is a stock Z4M Roadster with camber washers, aftermarket wheels, tires, and axleback exhaust. It is driven for ~10 autocross events annually, each with two drivers. Other than that, it is a weekend/summer cruiser.

Bleeding the brakes and changing the oil beforehand are a given. That will be done the weekend before the track day.

But what about pads and rotors? They are stock. At what measurement should they be replaced before the track day? Are stock pads OK for a novice track day guy?

Should I pull out the brake cooling duct blockers to get some more air to that area? Although I think it mostly just blows towards the tire?

What about cooling? Early August can have ambient temps in the 90s if it's a hot day. Does the Z4M have issues with oil and water temp? I have seen it rise a tiny bit over halfway on the oil temp gauge after autocross runs.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
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      06-09-2015, 01:55 PM   #2
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If it's your first time on the track, you're probably good with the brake bleed, making sure there's plenty of pads, and checking/topping fluids. If there's less than a year on your oil, I'd change it after, not before.

One thing you might consider though, since it's a pain if it happens during event, is slap some foil tape over the wheel weights to keep them in place in case the adhesive gets soft when the brakes are hot-- though I didn't have that problem until I started using track pads.

Mostly, just go out and have fun-- more than likely you will be at 11/10ths before the car is even at 7/10ths.

PS: What venue you hitting? My Chicago area(ish) event plans include Grattan and Road America in mid to late September.
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Last edited by Karacticus; 06-09-2015 at 01:57 PM. Reason: added event info
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      06-09-2015, 06:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karacticus View Post
If it's your first time on the track, you're probably good with the brake bleed, making sure there's plenty of pads, and checking/topping fluids. If there's less than a year on your oil, I'd change it after, not before.

One thing you might consider though, since it's a pain if it happens during event, is slap some foil tape over the wheel weights to keep them in place in case the adhesive gets soft when the brakes are hot-- though I didn't have that problem until I started using track pads.

Mostly, just go out and have fun-- more than likely you will be at 11/10ths before the car is even at 7/10ths.

PS: What venue you hitting? My Chicago area(ish) event plans include Grattan and Road America in mid to late September.
Thanks for the input. I'm doing Autobahn CC, full circuit. I've done lead/follow laps there before, and also several ride-alongs but this will be my first time driving at speed there. Hopefully my autocross skills are somewhat transferable to track but yes I expect the limiting factor to be driver mod!
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      06-10-2015, 02:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intoflatlines
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karacticus View Post
If it's your first time on the track, you're probably good with the brake bleed, making sure there's plenty of pads, and checking/topping fluids. If there's less than a year on your oil, I'd change it after, not before.

One thing you might consider though, since it's a pain if it happens during event, is slap some foil tape over the wheel weights to keep them in place in case the adhesive gets soft when the brakes are hot-- though I didn't have that problem until I started using track pads.

Mostly, just go out and have fun-- more than likely you will be at 11/10ths before the car is even at 7/10ths.

PS: What venue you hitting? My Chicago area(ish) event plans include Grattan and Road America in mid to late September.
Thanks for the input. I'm doing Autobahn CC, full circuit. I've done lead/follow laps there before, and also several ride-alongs but this will be my first time driving at speed there. Hopefully my autocross skills are somewhat transferable to track but yes I expect the limiting factor to be driver mod!
That's a good assessment. You know that being fast means being slow in fast out, how to read important corners, etc. The biggest thing will be to smooth out the rather abrupt AutoX inputs (necessary with the turn to time on track ratio). But car control, weight transfer, threshold braking--all apply here. All transferable.

I'd look for at least 50% on pads and fresh fluid. And have fun! If you kill your stock pads PM me. I can help you with that.
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      06-10-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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Thanks. Is there a mm thickness that I should be shooting for for the rotors and pads?
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      06-10-2015, 10:53 AM   #6
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There's a min rotor spec stamped/machined on the edge of the rotors that may or may not be readable, but if there's no lip at the edge, you're probably fine.

Pads are a little harder without looking up specs-- if you don't have service manual information, you can at least compare them to the specs you should be able to find for replacements. Looking things up on the Hawk website says .764" thickness front, .642" thickness rear.

I'll also add on a +11 for trying to concentrate on smooth rather than fast. You'll get fast with smooth, and likely get there in a way that won't have you overdriving and using up the consumables-- it's a real light bulb going on kind of moment when you realize "I'm going faster now, and the car isn't working nearly as hard as it was before."

Have fun!
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      06-17-2015, 02:24 PM   #7
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Didn't you have to do a tech inspection of the car for your event? I've attached a copy of the tech sheet our local BMWCCA uses.

The biggest benefit I would say you have from doing autocross is "vision". Looking ahead is super critical for autocross and it is just as beneficial for tracking.

Its your first event and there will be a lot to take in. Know your limitations and don't push yourself past those limits your first time out. I went in with the attitude that "I don't know, what I don't know" and just tried to absorb all I could from my first round of instructors.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Seriously.

Have a great time and don't feel bad if you book your next track day before you leave the track...
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      06-17-2015, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a_riddler View Post
Didn't you have to do a tech inspection of the car for your event? I've attached a copy of the tech sheet our local BMWCCA uses.

The biggest benefit I would say you have from doing autocross is "vision". Looking ahead is super critical for autocross and it is just as beneficial for tracking.

Its your first event and there will be a lot to take in. Know your limitations and don't push yourself past those limits your first time out. I went in with the attitude that "I don't know, what I don't know" and just tried to absorb all I could from my first round of instructors.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Seriously.

Have a great time and don't feel bad if you book your next track day before you leave the track...
We self-tech our cars for autocross. Thanks for the form, it is helpful!
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      07-30-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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Track day is in a week and a half. I installed Pagid RS-29 pads, from recommendations here and by my friend that is an experienced wheel to wheel driver.

So it's OK to keep my existing oil in? It will be 5 months old with ~2500 miles of street and 17 autocross events.
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      07-31-2015, 11:48 AM   #10
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You're fine. That oil is barely broken in and should be in peak form.
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      10-10-2015, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
You're fine. That oil is barely broken in and should be in peak form.
What about now? 7 months old, ~3500 street miles, 25 autocrosses, 1 track day?

I have my next track day on Monday.
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      10-11-2015, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intoflatlines View Post
What about now? 7 months old, ~3500 street miles, 25 autocrosses, 1 track day?

I have my next track day on Monday.
Do a Blackstone test to see what's a proper oil change interval for you. I do 5000 miles or 5 track days (2.5 events), which ever comes first and even that's somewhat early.
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      10-13-2015, 10:34 AM   #13
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Thanks. I decided not to change the oil after doing more research and seeing that people usually wait until at least 3 track days to change oil. I will be sending this oil in to Blackstone soon. Previous oil (before I started doing track days) looked good so at least I have a baseline.
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