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Old 07-13-2003, 08:55 PM   #1
thebishman
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Default ?'s for track junkies

Getting ready for a track weekend with the KC BMW club at the end of the month. Would like a few tips from those of you who have already tracked their car.

Wheels/tyres:
I'm going to use the OEM wheels/tyres this time out, as we are limited on aftermarket wheels to purchase.
What pressures have you guys found to be a good starting point cold? I will be monitoring tyre temps with an infrared gauge, but would like some idea of where to start.

Brakes:
Are the brakes adequate? I was thinking of replacing the fluid with Motul 600. Is this necessary?
Are the stock pads OK for the track?
Is there an easy way to get more air to the front rotors?

Harness Bar and four point harness:
What are you guys using to keep yourselves stable in the seat?
I would like to have something that does not restrict rear seat access/usage too much as I do take the kids out with me in this car at times. Something that is removable fairly easily and quickly would be optimum.

Lastly, are you running with the DCCD in manual mode and using the 2 clicks above fully open that I've read the 'Pros' are using when driving the sales staff around during dealer demo days? I intend to experiment and see what I prefer, but can easily see myself prefering this set-up.

Thanks for any tips,
thebishman

(944 Turbo Guy and Kone Killer, this is your cue).
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Old 07-13-2003, 09:39 PM   #2
JimsWRXSTI
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My first Autocross with the STi today. I have only driven a WRX and Mazda 6 at the Rev it Up promotion. The STi took a novice driver (me) and put me in the intermediate group. I placed 3rd in my class AS, which was only 1 second behind 1st place.

I ended up driving in manual with 65% power locked to the rear. I found less understeer in this mode.

The car was absolutely incredible. I let one of the fastest drivers drive it and he was very impressed with handeling, power and lack of turbo lag. We were able to easily take slaloms at 60+ miles an hour. The breaks held up to the end. But, the stock tires would get hot and loose towards the end of the course.

Overall, we have the right car for the sport!
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Old 07-13-2003, 09:51 PM   #3
KoneKiller
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I wouldn't use the stock tires!! WAaaaayyy too costly ($395 a piece!) and they may not last the day. They have such heavy grooving for rain that they tend to throw chunks of tread in track use. This is common to all pure street tires when driven hard on the track.

Get a set of Falken Azenis or Kumho VictoRacer 700s for about $150 a donut. It will cost about $100 to $200 to mount, balance and remount after you are done. Dont forget to mark each tire for placement. This could end up being MUCH less expensive than a track day on OEM rubber.

I run about 38 cold to start... 36 rear. I bleed to 41 max hot and a couple of pounds less in the rear as a start. Chalk the sidewalls/shoulders to make sure they aren't rolling under on you.

It's not clear to me whether this is your first event, or just the first event in this car. I encourage you to focus on your driving and not 'tuning' the car, if this is your first event or even the first event in this car. Trust me, the car is fast and easy to drive quickly, you just need to learn the lines and keep your mind on the track! I've seen lots of green drivers tinkering with their cars between sessions and never realize how badly they are driving. They keep seeking the right tire pressure when all they need is the right braking point or the right line. Believe me, I still leave a few seconds on the track with every lap due to mistakes. My first autocross with this car, I changed NOTHING over the day, so that all the differences were ME, not the car. I had and HAVE a lot of learning to do.

As to the belts/bar issue, ask the safety folks at the track what is required. Some tracks will allow stock belts. Some require more. I have a Schroth Rallye 4 in my STi, nice system, but 2" belts, not good enough for some tracks/clubs. The Schroth's mount to the rear seatbelt buckle bolts and are somewhat removable. There are other options. Such as this.

I haven't gotten a good handle on the diff, yet. Auto sounds like a good place to start, although I set my best autox time on full open. <shrug> But my next run wasn't as good even with the same diff set up. I'm still learning this car. It will take some time to get everything out of it.

944? you wanna fill in the dozens of gaps I left and add your insights?
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Old 07-13-2003, 10:14 PM   #4
thebishman
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Thanks for the tips so far guys, keep them coming.

BTW Kone, I should have stated that I've been attending DE events for about 8 years now and run in the 'advanced' group. I have experience with multiple high performance cars, I'm just trying to save myself some time by 'picking brains' now.
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Old 07-13-2003, 10:26 PM   #5
KoneKiller
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Default my apologies

Quote:
Originally posted by thebishman
Thanks for the tips so far guys, keep them coming.

BTW Kone, I should have stated that I've been attending DE events for about 8 years now and run in the 'advanced' group. I have experience with multiple high performance cars, I'm just trying to save myself some time by 'picking brains' now.
thebishman
Sorry about the rather simplisitic advice. The only thing I would say then is...

AWD is very different than RWD or FWD. Power is your friend. Use it liberally.

Have fun!!!
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Old 07-13-2003, 11:25 PM   #6
Zoso
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Default Re: ?'s for track junkies

Quote:
Originally posted by thebishman

Lastly, are you running with the DCCD in manual mode and using the 2 clicks above fully open that I've read the 'Pros' are using when driving the sales staff around during dealer demo days? I intend to experiment and see what I prefer, but can easily see myself prefering this set-up.

Where did you read this?
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:01 AM   #7
Web Foot STi
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I did a track day at Portland International Raceway (PIR) on June 27th. About a week after the BIG boys.

After a few laps the stock tyres heated up just fine. It had been 10 years since I was around the place. The stock Brembo's did fade in the first session, but it was green fade and was not present later. In the later sessions I got up to 120 mph indicated on the front and back straight. I was running 36 psi in the front and 31 psi in the rear.

Six point Simpson cam lock harness. It keeps you nice and snug with the car.

The real interestig thing happend at the end of the first session. A VW puked coolent all over turn 7. I was the first in and went off at speed. The STi was very drivable and I didn't hit anything...
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:05 AM   #8
zzyzx
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Default Re: ?'s for track junkies

There is also an HPCCC (SCCA) event this coming weekend 19-20th. I'll be there on Sunday racing in the Regional race in my Impreza. I don't know if you were at the autox today, but I'm the one that drives the silver 2.5 RS with the '94' number plates on the side.

On to your questons...

What pressures have you guys found to be a good starting point cold? I will be monitoring tyre temps with an infrared gauge, but would like some idea of where to start.

I don't know what the recommend pressures are on the STi tires. Keep in mind they will heat up a lot and gain pressure. Should generally start a little low and let them get up to optimal pressure.

Are the brakes adequate?

Your brakes are more than adequate...

I was thinking of replacing the fluid with Motul 600. Is this necessary?

No. Though you might want to bleed the brakes before the event.

Are the stock pads OK for the track?

Yes.

Is there an easy way to get more air to the front rotors?

Don't worry about it unless you find it's an issue - and I don't think you will.

What are you guys using to keep yourselves stable in the seat?
I would like to have something that does not restrict rear seat access/usage too much as I do take the kids out with me in this car at times. Something that is removable fairly easily and quickly would be optimum.

In the RS (and others, I believe) there are mounting brackets - three of them - for childs seat beyond the rear seats. You can use two of these and the stock front seatbelt locations to use a 4-point harness. I put stainless steel / welded eyelets in the childs seat bracket holes that the two shoulder straps attach to. It's quite simple to get this working and is completely removable. PM me for more details.

Lastly, are you running with the DCCD in manual mode and using the 2 clicks above fully open that I've read the 'Pros' are using when driving the sales staff around during dealer demo days? I intend to experiment and see what I prefer, but can easily see myself prefering this set-up.

Do not use manual mode. It's your first drivers school. Learn how to drive the car "as is" in auto mode for your first school. You'll have many more schools to learn more advanced techniques - assuming you don't put your STi into a wall first time out.

Just saw you said you're experienced. Ok, good. Just don't crash.

- Steve Sulatycki

Last edited by zzyzx; 07-14-2003 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 07-14-2003, 02:01 AM   #9
KoneKiller
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Default Re: Re: ?'s for track junkies

Quote:
Originally posted by zzyzx

What are you guys using to keep yourselves stable in the seat?
I would like to have something that does not restrict rear seat access/usage too much as I do take the kids out with me in this car at times. Something that is removable fairly easily and quickly would be optimum.
[/i]
In the RS (and others, I believe) there are mounting brackets - three of them - for childs seat beyond the rear seats. You can use two of these and the stock front seatbelt locations to use a 4-point harness. I put stainless steel / welded eyelets in the childs seat bracket holes that the two shoulder straps attach to. It's quite simple to get this working and is completely removable. PM me for more details.
[i]
I urge caution on the child seat brackets. The installation instructions for the Schroth seat belts specifically single out the child seat points as being inadequate. I have NOT examined the ones in the STi, but it makes sense that the mounting points designed for babies may not be strong enough for adults.

Ask someone who understands seat belts. Keep in mind that Dale Earnhardt was likely killed by his poor installation of this seat belt.
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:07 AM   #10
zzyzx
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Default Re: Re: Re: ?'s for track junkies

Quote:
Originally posted by KoneKiller

Ask someone who understands seat belts. Keep in mind that Dale Earnhardt was likely killed by his poor installation of this seat belt.
Correct. That said, nobody should be under the illusion that having a 4pt harness jerry rigged in their Impreza is safe. Unless you have a fully approved/properly designed restraint system, your stock seat belts are the only "safe" alternative. This is due to a variety of reasons - a good source of info is the SCCA GCR. If you want to run a minimal 4pt to stop you from moving around during track days, you should also wear the stock seat belt over top of it.

- Steve
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:13 AM   #11
'04 STi
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Web Foot STi
Six point Simpson cam lock harness. It keeps you nice and snug with the car.

Hope you've got a roll bar or cage in your car...


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Old 07-14-2003, 11:20 AM   #12
KoneKiller
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Default Schroth belts

I put the Schroth Rallye 4 belts in my STi for autocross. They are designed to be added to street cars using the factory mounting points. Most pure race belts are not and require careful fabrication and mounting.

They are a 2" 4pt system with an X belt pattern in the rear. The MUST pass through seat belt holes in the driver's seat.

The rear harness attaches to the lower seat belt (buckle and tie point) attachments. The lap belt attaches to the stock locations.

These are very strong belts, well proven and given that they are attaching to points designed for these sorts of loads, I feel confident that they are more than adequate for street or autox use.

Track events.... wheel to wheel racing.... I don't know. I think I would want a full cage and 3" belts. I haven't broken a lot of bones racing, but a few is enough.
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Old 07-14-2003, 01:24 PM   #13
Jack(LA)
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Default Re: Schroth belts

Quote:
Originally posted by KoneKiller
I put the Schroth Rallye 4 belts in my STi for autocross. They are designed to be added to street cars using the factory mounting points. Most pure race belts are not and require careful fabrication and mounting.

They are a 2" 4pt system with an X belt pattern in the rear. The MUST pass through seat belt holes in the driver's seat.

The rear harness attaches to the lower seat belt (buckle and tie point) attachments. The lap belt attaches to the stock locations.

Any recommendation as to the best place to get the Schroth belts? TIA
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Old 07-14-2003, 04:53 PM   #14
thebishman
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I'm with Jack, any good places to buy the Schroth belts?

Also, does anyone know of a wheel that fits the STi without any problems, (the need for spacers, etc.), and that is relatively light weight? It should also not cost a huge amount since I'm planning on using these second set of wheels with R compound tyres for track use only.

TIA,
thebishman
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Old 07-14-2003, 05:27 PM   #15
xjohnx
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Quote:
Originally posted by Web Foot STi
Six point Simpson cam lock harness. It keeps you nice and snug with the car.
6 point harness??..tell me you have a cage in the car.... please?
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:22 AM   #16
KoneKiller
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Quote:
Originally posted by thebishman
I'm with Jack, any good places to buy the Schroth belts?

Also, does anyone know of a wheel that fits the STi without any problems, (the need for spacers, etc.), and that is relatively light weight? It should also not cost a huge amount since I'm planning on using these second set of wheels with R compound tyres for track use only.

TIA,
thebishman
I got mine at SOLORACER.COM
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:26 AM   #17
KoneKiller
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Quote:
Originally posted by thebishman

Also, does anyone know of a wheel that fits the STi without any problems, (the need for spacers, etc.), and that is relatively light weight? It should also not cost a huge amount since I'm planning on using these second set of wheels with R compound tyres for track use only.

TIA,
thebishman
I'm not sure I'd want to race on inexpensive wheels. I'm buying a set of Speedline's for the track. I'll let you know how this goes.
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Old 07-15-2003, 08:36 AM   #18
WRX_Mundi
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Questions and comments from someone with no track experience, but planning on tracks and hill climbs this year. I'm trying to find something in the next couple weeks, but it looks likely that a 2-day driving school in October will be my first event.

Wheels: The Advan TCII in 17x8.5 fits the STi, and I'm hoping to run 245 wide Victoracers. Alternately I could try Fikse or Kinesis wheels in the same size (or 17x8). Any thoughts on these wheels? I haven't heard much about Advan wheels from racers, but they're Yokohama brand and supposedly their lightest and strongest wheel. At $620 each they aren't cheap like SSR Competition wheels (or Rotas), but they aren't the $1000 each of the custom wheels (and they're lighter to boot).

6-point harness and cage. A long-standing argument. I'm getting the Speedware harness bar installed, and 6-point 3" Sparco harnesses installed (I'd prefer a Schroth Profi III, but I can't find anyone that sells them, and Speedware has the Sparco stuff in stock). No roll cage -- I'd love to put one in, but for the next couple years I must keep the back seats accessible, and there is no way to get a safe cage or bar without diagonal bracing through the back seat area. While some people I've talked to have said they'll do it, the more knowledgeable have indicated they won't put their reputation on the line trying to make compromises like that.

Now, how is a 4 point harness attached to the rear seat belts or child seat attachments any safer than a 6-point harness attached to a harness bar? Do tell. The 3" 6-point is overkill for the autocross, and crash safety isn't really the point at the autocross. For hill climb and track use, I'm not sure. I'd love a cage, but if I did that would defeat the point of my getting a 4-door sedan that fits child seats in the back.

I'm debating putting race seats in. Sparco Pro2000 or Evo2, Recaro SP-G or GT3. I'll try a bunch out at Speedware and see if I like them. I may just put it off for a while since they're expensive (especially the Porsche GT3 seats, at over 2x the cost of the Sparco seats). I do hear a lot of people with race seats say it was one of their best purchases and they'll never go back, even if they're getting screwed in autocross classing because of them (e.g. AS -> ASP merely for seats). Also undecided as to drivers seat only or both seats. Upsides: better support especially in shoulders, 25 pound per seat savings, lower driving position with associated lower center of gravity. Downsides: poor fit for fat passengers, cost, possible ricer look, lose side air bag.

Thinking about Porterfield R4-S pads for track -- not sure if they're needed. Stainless steel brake lines would be nice but they're not out yet for the STi. Brake ducts are on my wish list but who knows. I'll have to be careful since I'd like to stay in ESP autocross class.

Regarding DCCD, I have only run one autocross in the car, and did all 7 runs in auto. I thought about changing, but I have so much to learn about this car that I didn't want to add another variable. I'm coming from a stock Miata with no LSD, so just about everything is completely different (much slower turning, porky weight, oodles and oodles of power, traction with LSD but 1000 extra pounds, higher seating position, faster into corners leading to much earlier braking requirements, etc.). My driving was seriously the limiting factor (beat all the ESP and SM cars, but the former national champion in his prepared Corvette beat me in AS -- no surprise). Our test and tune day and 2-day autocross this last weekend got canceled, so no joy there. So it is off to autocross school where I'll try out different settings (or just use manual and concentrate on driving, which is probably best the first day).
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Old 07-15-2003, 10:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by WRX_Mundi
Now, how is a 4 point harness attached to the rear seat belts or child seat attachments any safer than a 6-point harness attached to a harness bar?
A 4 point system such as a Schroth is designed to work without a cage and is supposed to release to allow you to roll out of harm's way should the roof collapse in the event of a rollover.

Click here for more info.


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Old 07-15-2003, 10:59 AM   #20
KoneKiller
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Quote:
Originally posted by WRX_Mundi

Regarding DCCD, I have only run one autocross in the car, and did all 7 runs in auto. I thought about changing, but I have so much to learn about this car that I didn't want to add another variable. I'm coming from a stock Miata with no LSD, so just about everything is completely different (much slower turning, porky weight, oodles and oodles of power, traction with LSD but 1000 extra pounds, higher seating position, faster into corners leading to much earlier braking requirements, etc.). My driving was seriously the limiting factor (beat all the ESP and SM cars, but the former national champion in his prepared Corvette beat me in AS -- no surprise). Our test and tune day and 2-day autocross this last weekend got canceled, so no joy there. So it is off to autocross school where I'll try out different settings (or just use manual and concentrate on driving, which is probably best the first day).
I wholeheartedly agree with you. Keep it simple until you get to know the general character of the car, then tweak.

These guys who change multiple things at a time never ever know what works.
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:24 PM   #21
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When I took my STi to a track I was a little dissapointed with brakes. This car needs SS lines. The stock fluid started to boil after a second session. It was replaced right after. I increased pressure up to 40 front and 35 rear. Rubber took it great. Pads are OK just dust like crazy. I am not even in a half way after some track days and AutoXs (where you do not really need brakes).
So my advice is - change the brake fluid and increase tire pressure. If you can get SS lines.
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Old 07-15-2003, 03:03 PM   #22
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Default Re: my apologies

Quote:
Originally posted by KoneKiller


Sorry about the rather simplisitic advice. The only thing I would say then is...

AWD is very different than RWD or FWD. Power is your friend. Use it liberally.

Have fun!!!
That's very true, on the track I find AWD cars especially heavy cars like WRX and STI, you need to power out or use power to counter understeer and especially on apexes where the WRX nose tends to dive. I applied enough gas and threw the car around the apex. Be prepared to hang on the steering wheel though. Anyone with slow hands or arms, be prepared for a spinout.
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