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elcamino

Yet another noob

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elcamino

I've been reading on the site and forums and talking with a coworker who runs a 944 and planning to attend a HPDE even in the area (North Texas) later this year. I plan to just take the daily driver (2007 Ford Taurus) and let it rip the first time out. Tires and brakes are all rather new as I work from home a lot and don't drive it a ton.

 

I'm hoping its a blast and can eventually progress that I have a dedicated race car. I've already got a tow vehicle (1995 Chevy 3/4 ton truck).

 

I expect a Taurus isn't a common car at HPDE events but its paid for and in good shape so figure I'll give it go with that first. I've been able to find lots of info on the site and forums but haven't found exactly how to join and get signed up for an event. I'm looking forward to lots of fun and if anyone has any specific suggestions to better prep a taurus for an HPDE I'm all ears

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08Bullitt0572

You will probably have to take it easy and just learn the line with the Taurus. I don't know how fast you are going to be able to go with the stock brakes, suspension, and all season radials before you are on two wheels in the corners - your arm is probably going to get a workout giving point-by's. Not sure what is available for a Taurus performance wise- you will need to talk to someone really knows performance parts for Fords and what is shared by other vehicles that will fit. I think after a weekend with the Taurus you will be looking for a different vehicle before you go back.

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elcamino

That was one of my concerns since I've had it feel like it was on the edge just taking a cloverleaf interchange for the highway that was banked.

 

Any suggestions for a reasonably priced/cheap car that could be used in HPDE and modified later? I'm guessing I would be no better off using my 3/4 ton ext cab truck either

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ddavidv

Brake pads...I would bring a spare set and the tools to install them.

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jimbow
I expect a Taurus isn't a common car at HPDE events but its paid for and in good shape so figure I'll give it go with that first. I've been able to find lots of info on the site and forums but haven't found exactly how to join and get signed up for an event. I'm looking forward to lots of fun and if anyone has any specific suggestions to better prep a taurus for an HPDE I'm all ears

 

IIRC its front wheel drive.

For your first HPDE it sounds perfect - paid for and in good shape.

Go to the nasaproracing home page, get your membersip and register for the event.

You found the forums so you should be able to find the NASA home page.

 

Have fun!

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t500hps

I found out the hard way my first day on track that the power your car has is irrelevant, it's the brakes and tires that matter.......and my Charger came with big Brembos on all 4 wheels. Cooked the factory synthetic fluid and trashed the pads (but it is a heavy car).

 

Your car will be fine but soon you'll want to change pads. If possible run a soft compound tire but again, for your first event, just run what you have and be aware of their limits. I would go ahead and change the brake fluid to something better and you can continue to run that fluid from this day forward.

 

Registering is easy. On this site go to the region you'll attend and look for the link to their website. Might be easiest to call someone to get the run-down but I've found everyone I've encountered is always willing to help.

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n80

I agree with what others have said. I have done three events with all-season radials on my 350Z. They were on the car when I bought it and they were new. No problems. You just have to know their limits and they will let you know with plenty of noise.

 

However, I would recommend new pads and brake fluid before you go. A track weekend is going to cost a minimum of around $300 just to register. No sense in ruining your expensive weekend with fading brakes, boiled fluid or cooked pads. Keep it simple. Order a set of EBC Yellowstuff brake pads. They are about the cheapest track ready pads you can get and yet they work fine as day to driving pads as well. Then get some ATE Super Blue or Amber (same fluid, different color) and get a local mechanic to flush and fill your brake fluid. Neither of these are the best you can buy but they will get the job done at the track and you can continue to use them for daily driving.

 

The only other thing you might want to look into is your automatic transmission fluid. I suspect it will get real hot on the track. New fluid might help; but I'm not sure about that.

 

Other than that, just do it. Its a blast. And quite frankly I think it is very cool to see people out there in ordinary cars. My first time out a lot of people in very ordinary cars were leaving me in the dust.

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elcamino
I agree with what others have said. I have done three events with all-season radials on my 350Z. They were on the car when I bought it and they were new. No problems. You just have to know their limits and they will let you know with plenty of noise.

 

However, I would recommend new pads and brake fluid before you go. A track weekend is going to cost a minimum of around $300 just to register. No sense in ruining your expensive weekend with fading brakes, boiled fluid or cooked pads. Keep it simple. Order a set of EBC Yellowstuff brake pads. They are about the cheapest track ready pads you can get and yet they work fine as day to driving pads as well. Then get some ATE Super Blue or Amber (same fluid, different color) and get a local mechanic to flush and fill your brake fluid. Neither of these are the best you can buy but they will get the job done at the track and you can continue to use them for daily driving.

 

The only other thing you might want to look into is your automatic transmission fluid. I suspect it will get real hot on the track. New fluid might help; but I'm not sure about that.

 

Other than that, just do it. Its a blast. And quite frankly I think it is very cool to see people out there in ordinary cars. My first time out a lot of people in very ordinary cars were leaving me in the dust.

 

I haven't found EBC yellowstuff for the taurus. It looks like they sell their Greenstuff 2000 series pad's for the Taurus. I'll check into the brake fluid. Shouldn't be too bad since my brother in law is an ex ford mechanic.

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kbrew8991

be sure to say Hi down in the Texas sub-section of the board

 

Which particular event were you looking at trying?

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elcamino
be sure to say Hi down in the Texas sub-section of the board

 

Which particular event were you looking at trying?

 

I posted a note in TX as well but since I am still a noob all posts have to be approved by a mod. I was looking at ECR Oct 6-7 to give me some time to get signed up and make sure I'm ready to go. I've also got some other travel plans for the summer.

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elcamino
be sure to say Hi down in the Texas sub-section of the board

 

Which particular event were you looking at trying?

 

I'm shooting for the Oct outing at ECR. Not far from the house and should give me time to get the basics in place. The toughest part is done getting the wife onboard with me attending

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elcamino

Thanks for all the other technical ideas. I'll look into changing out the brake fluid as a precaution. Luckily I have the extended warranty from Ford that covers me to 100k and has a $100 deductible so if anything besides tires/brakes wear out it should be covered. I've also got a family member that is an ex ford mechanic in my corner as well.

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sixshooter

Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air and also absorbs any that seeps through the rubber hoses and seals. This happens naturally over time whether the car is driven or not. Brake fluid boils at 450+ degrees when new depending upon the type. Once it has absorbed a little moisture from the air or from your brake system it will boil at 212 degrees and you will lose the ability to apply most of the force to the brake pads.

 

Most racers bleed their brakes every race or two. I bleed mine about four times a year. Fluid is cheap compared to all the other expenses and slightly old fluid can ruin your track day. I saw a couple of guys that had to leave the track and drive to an auto parts store, come back, and bleed the brakes in the paddock between sessions at Sebring. They weren't having a fun track day. The funny thing is people are told over and over to change their brake fluid before their first track day and just blow off the instruction like it was a stupid suggestion just because they had never experienced a problem on the street with their current fluid. If your brake fluid is light beige, tan colored, or brown and not crystal clear you are asking for trouble. If you haven't changed it in the last six months it might cause you to have a bad day.

 

And I always buy it in small bottles and keep them sealed as much as possible.

 

One of the guys I know rented a Taurus from Avis to do an event. $17.99 unlimited miles... The car had 25000 miles on it and the all season tires were hard as bricks. It plowed a little in the corners but was predictable. There was a 5-door Kia Rio and a Focus at the last track day event I attended and I swear at least one of them had to be a rental.

 

You will enjoy yourself. It has been said, "It is much more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow." Most cars driven at the edge of their capabilities and tire adhesion will be entertaining. Besides, on your first day you will be learning the track, the flags, the driving line, and the braking points. You will have your hands full in whatever you drive and you will have fun. It isn't about the car, it's about the driver.

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jimbow
One of the guys I know rented a Taurus from Avis to do an event. $17.99 unlimited miles... The car had 25000 miles on it and the all season tires were hard as bricks. It plowed a little in the corners but was predictable. There was a 5-door Kia Rio and a Focus at the last track day event I attended and I swear at least one of them had to be a rental.

 

You will enjoy yourself. It has been said, "It is much more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow." Most cars driven at the edge of their capabilities and tire adhesion will be entertaining. Besides, on your first day you will be learning the track, the flags, the driving line, and the braking points. You will have your hands full in whatever you drive and you will have fun. It isn't about the car, it's about the driver.

 

I had to rent an Impala (2012, v6, fwd, auto) for an event I was instructing this last weekend.

This was at a brand new track. It was a blast! yea I was slower than the other instructors on Sat, but I was at the limit of the stock tires in every turn but the turns leading to the straight. I had a great time.

Sunday the one session they let us out (down pour and a drain was clogged) I was faster than everyone except the all wheel drive Talon. I was almost as quick in the rain with that car as I was in the dry with it.

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Knownukes

Need help from some SoCal members. After many tries, I've convinced a good friend to track his car. He just got a Z06 Carbon Edition and is ready to try HPDE. He is in Dana Point, CA and doesnt know anybody that does HPDE. I suggested to him that he try NASA based on my experience with them here on the east coast on how they train drivers from HPDE 1. So with that being said, I am looking for someone to help him through the process of being at the track the 1st time. Someone local to talk to about the tracks there and the local procedures and shops that cater to the track crowd. So if you any of you are close to him and dont mind helping someone get started, please pm me and I'll give you his info.

 

Thnx

 

Bill

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MOTORGOSPEL Ministries

Hello Knownukes,

 

Tell your friend to email me at motorgospel@att.net with any questions he or she may have.

 

We run primarily Auto Club Speedway (Fontana), Willow Springs International Raceway (Rosamond) and Buttonwillow Raceway Park (Buttonwillow near Bakersfield) in the SoCal Region.

 

Buttonwillow is about a week and half away. Auto Club is late July. Everything we do is about 2 to 5 hours north of Dana Point depending on traffic but if he or she makes a four day weekend of it, it's not a bad drive.

 

Aaron Schwartzbart

Chaplain, National Auto Sport Association

2011 SoCal TTA Champion

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Knownukes

Thnx. I will pass along your contact info. His name is Mike. I am out there from time to time(my girlfriend lives in San Clemente and my youngest daughter goes to USC). I will check the schedule and try to come out on a weekend when you guys are at the track and visit for a day.

 

Take care and God Bless

 

Bill

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