E46 Fanatics Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good day bimmer enthusiasts,


The Situation:

As of a few days ago, I decided to register for my first high performance driving school. Having been apart of the CCA since earlier this year, I finally decided it was time to meet the other members of my local Tarheel Chapter and take part in their Tarheel & Toe VIR Full Course on September 30th - October 1st 2016.

The Facts:

Reading all of the fine print of the registration's rules and guidelines, I learned that in order to regulate safety to the highest standard, all vehicles that will be conducted in an performance oriented manner on the track must undergo a specific type of inspection before the day of the event (this particular event does not offer on-site inspections). I have contacted a local, privately owned shop (Shade Tree Garage) that works exclusively on BMW's to partake in completing this task for me.

In addition to the previous safety parameters, the drivers must be equipped with a SA, M, or K Snell 2005 or newer helmet in order to operate the vehicle. However instead of going the hassle of buying a helmet (seeing the 2016 season will require SA2010 minimum), I might just rent one.

The Car:

My DD 1999 323i w/ 206k miles is 99% stock. Drivetrain is completely original (including clutch), new valve cover & seal, *front control arms, *rear shocks, *alternator, subframe reinforced, original rotors, *cooling system, *bushings. While the valve cover was off, there was no apparent scaring on the cam lobes and no oil deposits of any kind (no picture unfortunately).

While my original plan included an Eisenmann exhaust upgrade for a good first impression on track day (cause who doesn't love kick ass sound), the inspection and helmet elements have directed me to implement a less expensive enhancement for track day, VANOS seals! Just for that extra theoretical power and reliability; now maybe I can get those pictures...

The Driver:

My names is JC Bradley. I am 20 years old and as stated above, this will be my FIRST high performance driving school. My only experience on any track would be the BMW Defensive Driving School hosted at the manufacturing plant in SC (I didn't consider this to be adequate in terms of learning profession driving techniques). I may be a driver with little experience, however my insight does not reflect upon this.

The Assumed:

In preparation for my first track day, I have already taken the liberty to:

>Have the car tech inspected
>Begin research on a Snell approved helmet
>Order VANOS seals

In the future, I plan to:

>Top off all vehicle fluids (engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, steering fluid) and bring along an extra bottle of each to the track as well as simple tools
>Cover the front bumper with masking tape or Trakk Tape (to TRY to protect the paint from rocks)


Hopefully this provides a decent guideline for all those also interested in tracking their car. I am also looking up to you track gods to contribute any advice that you think would have been helpful before your first day on the asphalt. Also, if you are a CCA Tarheel, don't be such a stranger.

Thank you for your time.
 

·
:D
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
get racing brake pads and change them out the day before. otherwise you will experience massive brake fade and your pads will disappear and potentially fail. it's a cheap way to ensure safety and save your street pads from destruction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
Have fun at the driving school, it will be a blast. I hear VIR is a great track, I missed the Ofest held there.

I would buy a helmet, current models would have Snell 2015 certification and be good for another 10 years.
You may be able to find a suitable Snell 2010 helmet on closeout that will still be good for 5 years of HPDS.
Take plenty of fluids for YOU, the school will probably have plenty of water available, drink more water than you think you need.
I always took a couple of containers to hold EVERYTHING out of the car/trunk. You will have to remove everything including the floor mats.
Your first on track session the instructor may drive the first few laps. That lets them get a feel for your car and you to get the feel of the track at speed.
( I see the tar heel chapter says the first session will be with the instructor driving his car)
You probably will not sleep well the night before, keep in mind you will not be fully alert for your first day.
You will be exhausted at the end of the day even if you only drive 4 - 30 minute sessions. You will sleep well after the first day and be in better shape the second day.
Hopefully you have a hotel to stay in close to the event. (I see the hotels are 20 - 30 miles away)
Make registration Friday night so you do not have a long drive early Saturday morning.

Your inspection hopefully included flushing the brake fluid, that being done recently is usually a requirement for HPDS.
 

·
Registered
2001 330i (5-speed)
Joined
·
2,584 Posts
You don't need racing brake pads. In fact, you will regret it, since race pads will squeal when cold and driving on the streets.

At this stage, you don't even know how to use the brakes aggressively, and will need to be taught about maximum braking at the last second.
Also, in your 323i, you will not be reaching speeds that are above when OEM pads can handle.

I applaud your preparation, but you don't need anything for a day DE.
1) You can rent a helmet.
2) Just have them change out your brake fluid if it's over a year old.
3) Make sure your pads are above 50%. If you need to do pads, this is a nice time to change them. But, stock OEM pads are just fine for your first season.
4) Look up minimum rotor thickness for DE, and have them verify.
 

·
Registered
2001 330i (5-speed)
Joined
·
2,584 Posts
Don't tape your bumper. You're not going off roading. Common n00b mistake.
Your 200k mile car will be just fine.

Relax, the first time is stressful, and maybe not even that enjoyable.
The 2nd time is much better.
 

·
:D
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
You don't need racing brake pads. In fact, you will regret it, since race pads will squeal when cold and driving on the streets.
yes race pads will make a lot of noise and they will also feel terrible when cold and not gave good bite. that's why they're highly recommended to be taken off after a track day. however, no matter what speeds OP is going i highly recommend race pads. especially if he plans on doing this more than once. race pads resist heat and handle high heat MUCH better than regular pads. even if OP is maxing out at 50 mph, if he brake over and over and over again, street pads will fade and it could be dangerous.
looks like pads are $238 at tire rack for the Hawk HP plus race pads.

chances are, after a day of track time your street pads will be toast and it might even ruin your day because you could lose brakes from overheating. so in my opinion, i'd look at the $238 as an investment in not slamming your car into a wall and being able to keep your street pads.

Any credible manufactures you could recommend?
i love my hawk HPS pads but they are not track pads. but hawk does offer track pads and based on my experience i would recommend them as a brand. another brand to look for would be stoptech. there are others out there but those are the two that i can think of that would be good

Don't tape your bumper. You're not going off roading. Common n00b mistake.
Your 200k mile car will be just fine.
taping your bumper will be pointless unless you plan on being a follower of another car to film them or something. if you want to tape anything, tape the areas behind your wheels. this will be the spot that most wear will occur. you likely won't have any problems but if you do this is where you would get chips.
you're not likely to reach speeds above 100 mph for any extended period of time so assume the same paint wear you'd see by driving on the interstate, or maybe even less because you're not following other cars.
 

·
:D
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
OP if you want to know what brake fade is, go out on a country road and do ten emergency stops from 60 mph back to back. stop as hard as you can each time. you'll see what i mean and you'll see why i'm pushing race pads.

**don't stop completely though. get to about 10 mph and then accelerate again. if you heat your pads up too much and then hold the brakes it will leave a deposit on the rotor (because it's so hot) and it will make your brakes judder like they are warped. this goes for the pits at the track too. use neutral when you're stopped. don't hold your brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
I did one of these a few years back as well, quite fun! Get your car checked a month ahead of time in case anything needs to be addressed, then when you're out there, expand your comfort zone slowly. Don't park with the handbrake engaged, you'll get warped rotors.
 

·
:D
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
I did one of these a few years back as well, quite fun! Get your car checked a month ahead of time in case anything needs to be addressed, then when you're out there, expand your comfort zone slowly. Don't park with the handbrake engaged, you'll get warped rotors.
the handbrake uses a drum brake inside the rotor. it won't affect anything.
 

·
Registered
2001 330i (5-speed)
Joined
·
2,584 Posts
the handbrake uses a drum brake inside the rotor. it won't affect anything.
There is a reason racers don't use their parking brake after a session.
Once you have the cold parking brake drum touching certain sections of the rotor, you have uneven heat dissipation at the rotor, and this can cause warping.
 

·
:D
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
There is a reason racers don't use their parking brake after a session.
Once you have the cold parking brake drum touching certain sections of the rotor, you have uneven heat dissipation at the rotor, and this can cause warping.
a lot of racers use hydraulic hand brakes. that is why. also, some cars use the caliper to double as the handbrake. that would be another reason not to.

using a drum handbrake should do absolutely nothing to warp the rotor. it doesn't even touch the rotors surface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Tarheel is a great chapter to do your first DE. I did my first one with them 12 years ago. They are strict, which means you will more likely be driving home in your own car. Based on what you wrote, it sounds like you have the right attitude and will be a good fit.

I have mixed feelings about newbies getting track pads. It really depends on the individual, but IMO brake pads should be considered a safety item. I have seen first timers roast BMW OE pads, but that is more the exception rather than the rule. Having said that, BMW OE pads are relatively fade resistant compared to the pads from other OEs.

My guess is you will be OK with BMW/Textar/Jurid pads, but if you go with anything else, go with full track pads. Don't waste your time on the intermediate garbage (HPS, HP+, Z rated, anything made by EBC, etc).


1) You can rent a helmet.
Tarheel does not rent out helmets. He needs to get his own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
"I would buy a helmet, current models would have Snell 2015 certification and be good for another 10 years."

"Take plenty of fluids for YOU, the school will probably have plenty of water available, drink more water than you think you need.
I always took a couple of containers to hold EVERYTHING out of the car/trunk. You will have to remove everything including the floor mats."

"You probably will not sleep well the night before, keep in mind you will not be fully alert for your first day.
You will be exhausted at the end of the day even if you only drive 4 - 30 minute sessions."
Thank you for the support and input:bow: I didn't think about how inconvenient it might be to haul a bunch of junk out of the boot when I got there. Got a good sized trunk that should do nicely for this application

You don't need racing brake pads. In fact, you will regret it, since race pads will squeal when cold and driving on the streets.
yes race pads will make a lot of noise and they will also feel terrible when cold and not gave good bite. that's why they're highly recommended to be taken off after a track day. however, no matter what speeds OP is going i highly recommend race pads. especially if he plans on doing this more than once. race pads resist heat and handle high heat MUCH better than regular pads. even if OP is maxing out at 50 mph, if he brake over and over and over again, street pads will fade and it could be dangerous.
looks like pads are $238 at tire rack for the Hawk HP plus race pads.
Sounds good guys. I will attempt to conduct a stress test on the brakes later this evening in order to induce some fading to determine if I will be needing some Hawk and/or Stoptech pads. If the cons of the pads are too much to handle for my daily driving, I am sure I am mechanically enclosed enough to change them out before and after weekends on the track. Everybody wins:thumbup:


Don't tape your bumper. You're not going off roading. Common n00b mistake.
Just finished removing this from the to do list. Don't want my first track day involving everybody staring at my taped up bumper AND all the spin outs I'm destined to do:rolleyes:
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top