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machimself

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Just found out there is a racetrack being built in my backyard here in the Pacific Northwest. Now having a car worth racing, I'm interested in getting involved but am curious about the 3-5 top priorities for tracking an otherwise stock vehicle. I know a couple of these are brake pads, wheels and/or tires, and brake fluid, but what else? Trans fluid? Better oil? Suspension mods?

What all should I be considering when thinking about tracking the FL5?

 

dandaman15

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With the FL5 there is really not much else required other than pads and brake fluid to higher temp. If you are getting started that may not even be necessary as you learn the car. The factory wheels and tires are just fine unless you are worried about dust damage.

The only other thing I can think of next on the list would be running more camber in the front to prevent sidewall and tire damage. Running around -2.5 to -3 would be a good start.

Running a 5-30 or 5-40 oil would be beneficial as well as the factory 0-20 is definitely not designed for long high temp and higher stress activities.
 
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machimself

machimself

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With the FL5 there is really not much else required other than pads and brake fluid to higher temp. If you are getting started that may not even be necessary as you learn the car. The factory wheels and tires are just fine unless you are worried about dust damage.

The only other thing I can think of next on the list would be running more camber in the front to prevent sidewall and tire damage. Running around -2.5 to -3 would be a good start.

Running a 5-30 or 5-40 oil would be beneficial as well as the factory 0-20 is definitely not designed for long high temp and higher stress activities.
Thanks for the insights. Regarding the camber, does the car have camber adjustability or is that going to require coilovers?
 

Robert.C

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Just upgrade your consumables so that they don't become an impediment. I wouldn't really worry about trying to "improve" the car's performance at all, to be honest. At the end of the day, you want track time above all else. That means reliability and being able to run lap after lap with little degradation. Brake pads, brake fluid, brake lines, and engine cooling would be my recommendations. Who cares if your car is slightly faster due to some modification (tires, power gains, etc.) but you're only able to run for 10 or 15min at a time before it needs a cool-down or something gives up the ghost?
 
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machimself

machimself

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Just upgrade your consumables so that they don't become an impediment. I wouldn't really worry about trying to "improve" the car's performance at all, to be honest. At the end of the day, you want track time above all else. That means reliability and being able to run lap after lap with little degradation. Brake pads, brake fluid, brake lines, and engine cooling would be my recommendations. Who cares if your car is slightly faster due to some modification (tires, power gains, etc.) but you're only able to run for 10 or 15min at a time before it needs a cool-down or something gives up the ghost?
I completely agree with this approach, this is my daily driver after all so reliability is fundamental. What else can be done on the engine cooling front? Everything I've read says it is vastly improved from the FK8, but are there any basic things that can be done to improve temps?
 


Robert.C

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I completely agree with this approach, this is my daily driver after all so reliability is fundamental. What else can be done on the engine cooling front? Everything I've read says it is vastly improved from the FK8, but are there any basic things that can be done to improve temps?
I think it's too early to say with the FL5, but upgrading the size of the intercooler is a popular option, to try and cool the air charge coming from the turbo. Upgrading the thermostat and radiator cap is common, too, but the latter only raises the boiling temperature of your coolant -- it doesn't actually make things cooler. Upgrading the thermostat can bring the fans online sooner, but if you've got moving air going through the front grill, that isn't really necessary.
 

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Thanks for the insights. Regarding the camber, does the car have camber adjustability or is that going to require coilovers?
You can get front camber adjusters with a replaceable lower ball joint. Not sure if there are FL5 specific ones out yet or if the FK8 can carry over.

As others have said, the car is very capable even in stock form so it can handle lapping sessions fine. Invest in a good helmet, go out and see what needs upgrading first and then go from there.

For your first sessions you should take it somewhat easy to learn the car, driving technique, and carrying speed. Upgrades can come as the skills improve.
 
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machimself

machimself

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You can get front camber adjusters with a replaceable lower ball joint. Not sure if there are FL5 specific ones out yet or if the FK8 can carry over.

As others have said, the car is very capable even in stock form so it can handle lapping sessions fine. Invest in a good helmet, go out and see what needs upgrading first and then go from there.

For your first sessions you should take it somewhat easy to learn the car, driving technique, and carrying speed. Upgrades can come as the skills improve.
Great advice thanks.
 

ayau

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are you brand new to HPDE? if you are, just replace the brake fluid with some high temp DOT 4.

all your time/money should be focused on yourself and how to understand, read, and control the car. this means getting driving coaches and seat time.
 


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machimself

machimself

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are you brand new to HPDE? if you are, just replace the brake fluid with some high temp DOT 4.

all your time/money should be focused on yourself and how to understand, read, and control the car. this means getting driving coaches and seat time.
Yeah I’m new to it. This is also very good advice. Thank you.
 

ayau

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besides "driver mod", there are a few "nice to have mods" for track prepping the car regardless of driver skill.

go to an alignment shop that specializes in aligning track cars. pull the front suspension pins and max out the front negative camber. a good baseline alignment is something like:

front:
camber: -1.8 +/- 0.2
toe: 0
caster: non-adjustable

rear:
camber: non-adjustable
toe: 1/16 total toe-in

get a nice tire pressure gauge:
Longacre® 50417 0-60 PSI Analog Tire Pressure Gauge, 2 Inch (amazon.com)

start at around 32 psi front, 30 psi rear cold. after a few laps, check pressures. should read about 36 front, 34 rear hot. you may want to play around with the pressures to fine tune the balance of the car, but you may not feel the car's balance at your current skill level.

do not engage your parking brake after your session is over. just put it in gear or chock the wheel.

you can also open the hood for better ventilation when parked.

get a torque wrench and check lug nut torque after each session. they should be around 95 ft lbs.

don't forget to replace OEM brake fluid with some high temp DOT4. something like motul RBF600.
 

heel_touge

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besides "driver mod", there are a few "nice to have mods" for track prepping the car regardless of driver skill.

go to an alignment shop that specializes in aligning track cars. pull the front suspension pins and max out the front negative camber. a good baseline alignment is something like:

front:
camber: -1.8 +/- 0.2
toe: 0
caster: non-adjustable

rear:
camber: non-adjustable
toe: 1/16 total toe-in

get a nice tire pressure gauge:
Longacre® 50417 0-60 PSI Analog Tire Pressure Gauge, 2 Inch (amazon.com)

start at around 32 psi front, 30 psi rear cold. after a few laps, check pressures. should read about 36 front, 34 rear hot. you may want to play around with the pressures to fine tune the balance of the car, but you may not feel the car's balance at your current skill level.

do not engage your parking brake after your session is over. just put it in gear or chock the wheel.

you can also open the hood for better ventilation when parked.

get a torque wrench and check lug nut torque after each session. they should be around 95 ft lbs.

don't forget to replace OEM brake fluid with some high temp DOT4. something like motul RBF600.

Great to bookmark for later use, but OP really just needs seat time. As mentioned above. Get a comfortable (make sure to try them on) helmet and go find your local regional sanctioning body with post session class-room time. the NASA program is a great help to get yourself safely up to speed.
With it being your first experience, you won't know the difference between -1.6 and -3 degrees of camber or what tire pressure changes make because you should be focused on many other aspects of driving. Just go out with what you got. Stay humble. Ask for guidance from fast guys. DON'T let anyone drive the car unless you know they can and will pay for damages. GoPro's are helpful tools, but can also be a distraction. If you run one. Set it and forget it. Don't worry about lap times. Worry about flag towers and what's happening on track.
As you you get more comfortable with the "line" you will naturally start picking up pace and adjusting braking points.

After your first weekend out a brake fluid change will likely be all you need. Upgrade at that time.
 

Robert.C

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Great to bookmark for later use, but OP really just needs seat time. As mentioned above. Get a comfortable (make sure to try them on) helmet and go find your local regional sanctioning body with post session class-room time. the NASA program is a great help to get yourself safely up to speed.
With it being your first experience, you won't know the difference between -1.6 and -3 degrees of camber or what tire pressure changes make because you should be focused on many other aspects of driving. Just go out with what you got. Stay humble. Ask for guidance from fast guys. DON'T let anyone drive the car unless you know they can and will pay for damages. GoPro's are helpful tools, but can also be a distraction. If you run one. Set it and forget it. Don't worry about lap times. Worry about flag towers and what's happening on track.
As you you get more comfortable with the "line" you will naturally start picking up pace and adjusting braking points.

After your first weekend out a brake fluid change will likely be all you need. Upgrade at that time.
Agreed with this. Adjusting camber and tire pressure is one of the last things I'd recommend, not the first. Take precautions to prevent your brakes from boiling -- that's Numero Dos. Rule Numero Uno is have fun and be safe.

 

 
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