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neel134

First time tracking a car.. Needed some advice- Mustang GT

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neel134

Hi, I drive a stock 2014 Mustang GT, 5.0L.

I will be doing an HPDE for the first time. I intend to drive it stock and not make any aftermarket upgrades. I believe these cars would be built in a way to handle track conditions to some extent.

However do I need to make any engine oil, or brake oil changes before tracking it? Any small precautionary changes needed which don't require a major overhaul? I am looking for a very modest budget. Any kind of advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Detailed suggestions would be even more helpful. I am a novice.

 

Thanks

Neel

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kbrew8991

I treat brakes as safety equipment so I always try and do at least a mild upgrade to make sure I have enough fade resistance for anything that I drive that will see track time.

 

Pads

Fluid

 

I'll leave it to those that track something that's a similar platform to make specific parts recommendations though. Brakes are such a funny thing, what may be a great pad for one particular make/model may be garbage on another. So many variables go into it.

 

Other than that I'd just make sure the car is in good, safe, and sound operating condition. No need for super fancy tires or suspension upgrades or anything just yet.

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wpbcobra

For a mustang even for your 1st time brake cooling is needed. What brakes do you have on the car the brembos or the stock GTs.

Change your brake fluid to somiething like a Motul 600.

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t500hps

Brake fluid and pads (and cheap rotors just to use with those pads would be best). I used to track my SRT8 and put Wilwood EXP brake fluid in it........ive since bought a racecar and the SRT8 hasn't been on the track in nearly 3 years but that fluid is still in the car.

 

Tires, suspension, etc only make you faster when what you really need to worry about is learning to drive whatever you have fast SAFELY.

 

 

I prefer Carbotech pads but several manufacturers offer pads that will work well for your car. (XP10 for the front, stock on the rear for now)

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realspeeddan

If you have the Track Pak you don't need any brake upgrades for your first time at the track. If you have the smaller brakes that came on the other (non- Track Pak) models I suggest changing to a brake pad that can take more heat than the factoy pads.

 

I suggest flushing and bleeding the brake fluid. The Ford DOT 3 brake fluid is surprisingly good when it is fresh, with a 550 deg dry boiling point. I raced several American Iron races with this fluid. It must be fresh, however. Once it gets old it absorbs moisture and that significantly lowers the boiling temperature.

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427R

As others above have stated, upgrade the pads and brake fluid and you'll be fine for your first outing. I cooked the pads and fluid in my first outing, it doesn't take much.

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neel134

Thank you all for your replies.

@realspeeddan - yes I was thinking of changing the brake fluid at least.

However, I checked, on the brake fluid reservoir cap, it says DOT 3 fluid only.

Can I still flush it and use DOT 4 fluid?

 

I have both DOT 3 and 4 fluids with me. But not sure if I can use DOT 4 instead of 3 in it.

The DOT 4 brake fluid brand I have is "BrakeBest from OReilly". Will that work?

 

The DOT 3 fluid which is already in the car is still fresh, the car is still new, bought only 4-5 months ago. Can I just go ahead and run with this?

If I do burn my fluid, is it possible to get it flushed on the track days itself?

 

The brake pads are stock but new.

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Fr3AkAzOiD

If you plan on braking from over 100mph down to under 40 mph every lap and multiple times a lap you need to get new pads and fluid.

 

You can probably get away with a street/track pad in the front and stock in the rear if you have the factory calipers. Brake fluid should be something like Motul 600 or ATE type 200.

 

If your just wanting to run the car at 7/10 you should be fine as is for pads and brake fluid.

 

You should be good on coolant, just make sure it's toped off.

Make sure your wheel lugs are properly torqued between each run.

Do an oil change before you go.

Bring spare fluids. Brake, coolant, oil.

 

To give a point of reference running my Chevy Malibu the first time I did HPDE I had ATE type 200 brake fluid and stock pads. Was runing around 2 min 50 sec on VIR full and braking from 110 mph to 30-40 mph twice a lap and cooked my brakes after less than 6 laps.

 

I now use Carbotech XP10 pads up front and run just over 2 min 30 seconds and never overheat my brakes.

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realspeeddan

The Ford HP DOT 3 fluid actually has a higher temperature DRY boiling point than the typical DOT 4 fluid does.

 

The DOT 4 specification has a higher minimum WET boiling point, but if you are using fresh fluid the wet boiling point doesn't matter, because the fluid hasn't absorbed moisture yet so it is "dry." When fresh, the Ford fluid is a better fluid for track use than DOT 4 Castrol LMA (This was true when I did the research 10 years ago. I haven't checked out Castrol LMA lately). This I have track test myself, well as reading the wet boiling point numbers and confirming my findings with other racers.

 

You didn't answer which factory brake package you have. If you have the optional brigger brakes then 5 month old fluid should be fine for a first timer. If you have the smaller brakes then I would change the fluid within a week or two before going to the track.

 

-----

 

You wont "burn" the fluid. If you overheat the fluid it will boil and turn to vapor. When this happens the pedal goes to the floor when you press on it but the car doesn't stop. If you are in tune with your car you will probably notice the pedal getting softer before you lose the ability to stop and you can adjust your driving to be less aggressive and keep the brake cooler. However it you are distracted/overwelmed by the new track experience and don't notice and/or ignore the warning signs you will lose almost all stopping power and be lucky not to crash.

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neel134

The brakes aren't the bigger ones..I don't have the track pack..It's just a normal GT, normal brakes.

But something is still not clear to me. Can I still use a DOT 4 fluid when it's written "only DOT 3"?

 

I'll carry spare liquid accordingly with me. Should I rather carry a DOT 3 liquid with me?

 

 

@Fr3AkAzOiD - what do you mean by running the car 7/10? Also how did you realize that you cooked your brakes on the Malibu?

Were you losing braking power?

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neel134

Also, any idea where I can get my brake pads changed at the cheapest if I get my own pads? Meineke, firestone, etc etc?

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Fr3AkAzOiD
The brakes aren't the bigger ones..I don't have the track pack..It's just a normal GT, normal brakes.

But something is still not clear to me. Can I still use a DOT 4 fluid when it's written "only DOT 3"?

 

I'll carry spare liquid accordingly with me. Should I rather carry a DOT 3 liquid with me?

 

 

@Fr3AkAzOiD - what do you mean by running the car 7/10? Also how did you realize that you cooked your brakes on the Malibu?

Were you losing braking power?

 

By 7/10 I meant running the car at 70% of either your or the cars max capabilities (which ever happens to be less at the time).

There are a decent number of people who go to the track not to run at a race pace but just drive a little bit faster then you could do on the street without getting a ticket.

Then there are those like me, if I didn't break or wear out some part of the car over the weekend then I wasn't trying hard enough.

 

DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid has essentially the same chemicals in it, it's the minimal wet and dry boiling point requirements that makes it DOT 3 or DOT 4.

That warning is basically so you don't use DOT 2 brake fluid which is pretty much just mineral oil. DOT 4 is perfectly fine for your car.

You didn't ask but just in case you didn't know brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it absorbs water over time. So the dry ratings in brake fluid are the boiling point of fresh fluid and the wet is the boiling point of fluid that been in the car for a while.

 

Just to give you some brake fluid numbers.

Autozone DOT 3 temps: dry 494F wet 292F $7 a liter

ATE type 200 temps: dry 536F wet 388F $16 a liter

Motul RBF600 temps: dry 594F wet 421F $45 a liter

Castrol SRF temps: dry 590F wet 518F $80 a liter

The Castrol uses silicon ester that absorbs less water than conventional glycol ether that's why it doesn't lose much heat resistance.

 

 

As far as knowing when I cooked my brakes.

I had been starting to brake at marker number 4 at the end of the main strait of VIR doing somewhere around 110 mph.

Had been doing it for 4 or 5 laps perfectly fine.

On the 6th lap when I braked at the same place they didn't slow me down fast enough and I went off the end of the track.

That's when I realized I cooked my brakes.

 

Wasn't bad, went off doing less then 30 mph.

That was back in 2012 and was the first and only time I went 4 wheels off in the Malibu. *knocks on wood*

 

Brake pads have specific operating temps based on what compounds are used.

A street pad on the track will overheat and start losing braking ability past maybe 600 - 800F.

A track pad will have a minimal operating temp of maybe 200 - 400F depending on compound so if used on the street may not be warm enough and when you use the brakes they don't work as well and will make one hell of a noise.

Here is a list of Carbotechs different brake compounds and temps.

http://carbotechperformance.com/brake-compounds2.asp

 

/lecture mode off

 

Sorry if I got a bit carried away here.

 

 

What area are you from and what track you looking to run at?

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realspeeddan

But something is still not clear to me. Can I still use a DOT 4 fluid when it's written "only DOT 3"?

 

DOT 3 and DOT 4 are compatible with each other, as Fr3AkAzOiD already answered. But just so you know, DOT 5 is something completely different. Don't use that.

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427R

From BR Racing. Stoptech has introduced new brake fluids, that will shake up the brake fluid world a bit.

 

ATE Super Gold -

 

- Dry Boiling Point: 280 degrees C (536 degrees F)

- Wet Boiling Point: 198 degrees C (388 degrees F)

 

ATE Super Blue -

 

- Dry Boiling Point: 280 degrees C (536 degrees F)

- Wet Boiling Point: 198 degrees C (388 degrees F)

 

Motul RBF600

 

- Dry Boiling Point: 312 degrees C (594 degrees F)

- Wet Boiling Point: 216 degrees C (421 degrees F)

 

Motul RBF660

 

- Dry Boiling Point: 325 degrees C (617 degrees F)

- Wet Boiling Point: 204 degrees C (399 degrees F)

 

Endless RF650

 

- Dry boiling point: 323 degrees C (613 degrees F)

 

- Wet boiling point: 218 degrees C (424 degrees F)

 

- Freezing point: – 40 degrees C (- 40 degrees F)

 

Castrol SRF

 

- Dry Boiling Point: 310 degrees C (590 degrees F)

- Wet Boiling Point: 270 degrees C (518 degrees F)

 

StopTech STR600

 

- Dry Boiling Point: 312 degrees C (594 F)

- Wet Boiling Point : 206 degrees C (404 F )

 

StopTech STR660

 

- Dry Boiling Point : 328 degrees C (622 F)

- Wet Boiling Point : 206 degrees C (404 F)

 

Pricing:

 

ATE Super Gold = $12 a bottle

 

ATE Super Blue = $12 a bottle

 

StopTech STR600 = $17 a bottle (half liter)

 

Motul RBF600 = $17 a bottle (half liter)

 

StopTech STR660 = $27 a bottle (half liter)

 

Motul RBF660 = $29 a bottle (half liter)

 

Castrol SRF = $72 a bottle (liter bottle)

 

Endless RF650 = $40 a bottle (half liter)

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neel134

@Fr3AkAzOiD - Hey man thanks a lot. This was really helpful, not a lecture.

 

I am in Charlotte, NC and will be going to Road Atlanta on the 13th,14th March.

 

Also thanks to realspeeddan and 427R.. real names would've been better but anyway.

 

So last few questions.

 

I have decided on buying "Hawk Performance HPS Brake Pads - front and rear". Is this fine?

 

Also how much brake fluid do I need to flush the whole system? 1 ltr or more? I need to decide how much of the fluid I need to buy.

I plan to use the Motul RBF600 fluid...So let me know if this combination will work fine for me and if I can still come back home safely and drive the car to office next day.

 

Neel

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getfast

I have little knowledge specific to that platform but generally in HPDE, many drivers just upgrade front pads at first. There's much more bias to the front with the brakes on any street car anyway - so the last thing you want is to add too much rear bias with an aggressive pad compound and get lockup or ABS issues. I think you'd probably be fine with stock rear pads but that's just an educated guess. And you may want to go with Hawk HP Plus for the front instead. They are a bit noisy and dusty, but plenty streetable. HPS are more street or autocross pads (great ones, but still - not real high temp and you've got a pretty fast/heavy car...)

 

3-4 liters should be more than plenty, maybe 2? Depends on the car and how it's being flushed or bled. See if you can find out the total fluid capacity for your car, google may help.

 

See ya at Road Atlanta!

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t500hps
The brakes aren't the bigger ones..I don't have the track pack..It's just a normal GT, normal brakes.

But something is still not clear to me. Can I still use a DOT 4 fluid when it's written "only DOT 3"?

 

I'll carry spare liquid accordingly with me. Should I rather carry a DOT 3 liquid with me?

 

 

@Fr3AkAzOiD - what do you mean by running the car 7/10? Also how did you realize that you cooked your brakes on the Malibu?

Were you losing braking power?

 

By 7/10 I meant running the car at 70% of either your or the cars max capabilities (which ever happens to be less at the time).

There are a decent number of people who go to the track not to run at a race pace but just drive a little bit faster then you could do on the street without getting a ticket.

Then there are those like me, if I didn't break or wear out some part of the car over the weekend then I wasn't trying hard enough.

 

DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid has essentially the same chemicals in it, it's the minimal wet and dry boiling point requirements that makes it DOT 3 or DOT 4.

That warning is basically so you don't use DOT 2 brake fluid which is pretty much just mineral oil. DOT 4 is perfectly fine for your car.

You didn't ask but just in case you didn't know brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it absorbs water over time. So the dry ratings in brake fluid are the boiling point of fresh fluid and the wet is the boiling point of fluid that been in the car for a while.

 

Just to give you some brake fluid numbers.

Autozone DOT 3 temps: dry 494F wet 292F $7 a liter

ATE type 200 temps: dry 536F wet 388F $16 a liter

Motul RBF600 temps: dry 594F wet 421F $45 a liter

Castrol SRF temps: dry 590F wet 518F $80 a liter

The Castrol uses silicon ester that absorbs less water than conventional glycol ether that's why it doesn't lose much heat resistance.

 

 

As far as knowing when I cooked my brakes.

I had been starting to brake at marker number 4 at the end of the main strait of VIR doing somewhere around 110 mph.

Had been doing it for 4 or 5 laps perfectly fine.

On the 6th lap when I braked at the same place they didn't slow me down fast enough and I went off the end of the track.

That's when I realized I cooked my brakes.

 

Wasn't bad, went off doing less then 30 mph.

That was back in 2012 and was the first and only time I went 4 wheels off in the Malibu. *knocks on wood*

 

Brake pads have specific operating temps based on what compounds are used.

A street pad on the track will overheat and start losing braking ability past maybe 600 - 800F.

A track pad will have a minimal operating temp of maybe 200 - 400F depending on compound so if used on the street may not be warm enough and when you use the brakes they don't work as well and will make one hell of a noise.

Here is a list of Carbotechs different brake compounds and temps.

http://carbotechperformance.com/brake-compounds2.asp

 

/lecture mode off

 

Sorry if I got a bit carried away here.

 

 

What area are you from and what track you looking to run at?

 

Very good info here. I too cooked the stock pads and fluid in 1 session at VIR in an SRT8 when I first started. I got much faster and braking much later without issue (using the good stuff). I race a mustang now which is faster still, just remember that your street car is heavy, brakes are critical.

 

OP. Front brake pads and good fluid.......like the motul you've suggested.

 

Fr3Ak.......4 marker at 110.......even that is really slow!

 

BTW: my buddy went off at that same turn doing his first HPDE. Backwards across the grass and tore the entire passenger side of the car up banging along the guard rail. Found someone with better pads in the paddock and ran the banged up car the rest of the weekend without issue.

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Fr3AkAzOiD

@neel134

The HPS are street or autocross pads. Would be fine for your first track day and if you only plan to do one track day a year but if you are planning on doing several and getting faster with each one you would be better served with the HP Plus.

 

Here is a temp and friction graph if you missed it on Hawks page.

http://www.hawkperformance.com/compound-graph

 

Since your in Charlotte you may want to look into hitting up VIR at some point. Wonderful facilities and depending on which part of Charlotte you live it's probably 30 min closer then Road Atlanta.

 

 

 

@t500hps

First track day I only did a single day, tires were 500 treadwear all seasons with 50k+ miles on them and oem brake pads with 65k+ miles on them with 150k miles on the shocks and struts.

Looking back I'm surprised they let me on track.

Malibu with me and instructor were probably knocking on 3600 lbs and putting down a whopping 160 - 170whp.

 

Both the car and I have gotten a lot better over the past few years though.

 

As for VIR turn one, I had played iracing enough to know that if you go off in turn one go strait as there is plenty of run off room. If you try to make the turn and still go off you don't have as much run off room further into the corner.

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n80

Carbotech is based in Charlotte. You can buy pads directly from them. Start with XP10 on front and XP8 on the rear. These are serious pads with good stopping power for a car the size of yours and no more pricey than other brands. (However, note that Carbotech pads need to be bedded in in new or freshly turned rotors. I don't know if this is true of other pads but very important with Carbotechs.) Any shop can change them for you. (Also easy to do yourself, usually with nothing more than a wrench, socket set and a C clamp). Very easy to order Motul 600 or ATE from Ron at Discovery Parts in Atlanta. He'll get them to you fast. Get a shop to change your fluid.

 

The first track pads I ever used were EBC Yellow Stuff which would also work fine on your car. Not super grippy but I had no overheating in a car about the same weight as yours on a very punishing track. They are cheap and fine to use as a daily driver pad.

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Fr3AkAzOiD

I run the xp10 front and xp8 rear in both my Malibu and Miata.

They stop you quick once warmed up and won't overheat but have horrible road manners with squeeling noise and dust.

Good brakes for track only cars but I wouldn't run them if you daily drive your car.

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n80

Sometimes I get lazy and leave them on for a few weeks after a track weekend. They are noisy and they do make a lot of dust, but the dust is not corrosive and will not hurt your wheels. I have not had any cold problems with them. Even when ambient temps in low 20's they stop just fine when completely cold. Still glad to get them off the car for daily driving.

 

I'm trying XP 12s up front and XP 10s on the back at VIR in a few weeks. Car is a 350z (3500 lbs). I did not have any performance issues with the XP 10s up front but Carbotech says I may get longer life with the 12s. They actually recommended XP20s up front for longer life but they are pricey and not sure if they would be too much for my tires (Hankook RS-3.)

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427R

The mustangs a pretty heavy, 3600 lbs -+ and need good stopping power. The HPS will do ok for a while, but don't believe they can hold up to to many sessions. For me, knowing what I know, the HP Plus would do better and would not be a bad thing to do them front and rear, but you can get away for now just changing the fronts. As for cleaning the rotors when going to different compound pads, running the HP+ while driving around on the streets for a few miles will clean them up pretty good, removing the brake pad residue. I have a set of Hawk Blue pads that I use to periodically clean the rotors when putting on new pads. Helps to have a clean surface to bed-in new pads. Shop the internet, you can find great deals on Motul RBF 600. Autoplicity is one of my favorite, selling them for under $14 a pint. Also keep an eye on Motorcycle-Superstore, for good prices. Just bought some StopTech STR 660 from AutoAnything, very good price especially with the discount. Like the metal can vs. the plastic bottle that Motul comes in, longer shelf life.

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neel134

Hey thanks again guys for these suggestions. Well I have already gone ahead and ordered the HP Plus front pair pads. I will be running stock on the rear and ATE 200 brake fluid. This was an optimization between stopping power and expenses and a lot of thinking after reading all the suggestions. All I can do now is drive my best and hope I come back in one piece I'm a novice..have to begin somewhere.

 

I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes.

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