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Interested In HPDE-1


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Ive been looking to get onto the track for the first time, I drive a slightly modified 2014 Nissan 370z, I know I need to do some brake upgrades for better cooling as well as install an oil cooler for my car. Other than basic things to get my car ready, what else do I need to do to get on track? Just sign up and show up? This is all very new to me. Im interested in attending an HPDE at Sonoma as that is my local track. Thanks guys!

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Typically, most cars are relatively easy to prepare for the track. In a sports car like the 370Z, you probably only need to flush your brake fluid with a higher specification DOT 4 fluid that's intended for track use. My preference is ATE 200 Amber, but there are several others that will fit the bill.


Installing an oil-cooler is probably overkill for your first HPDE weekend. That being said, I'd recommend a vehicle-specific forum for more detail, as they will have much more knowledge on any weak points in the system when the cars are put on the track.


Once you get addicted and come back a few times (believe me, you will), you may start to consider upgrading brake pads next, and then get high performance summer tires when you're ready for more grip. It's a slippery slope from there, but you'll love every minute of it.


For further reading, NASA has good information on what to expect for your first track day:



Have fun!

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Agree that oil cooler is not necessary yet. I track a 350z and have never had issues. In DE sessions rarely run more than 30 minutes but I have run some 40 minute sessions in warm weather and still no issues. For long term protection it is probably a good idea and usually it is easy to add an oil temp gauge via the sandwich adapter that attaches to the oil filter location.


But for now I would just go with brake pads (I use Carbotech but there are plenty of options). Track pads are expensive but worth it. No sense in spending a bunch of money on a track day and have it ruined by brake fade. Agree that ATE amber is a good basic fluid. Never had any problems with it. There are better fluids but some cost more.


One thing to consider is changing your clutch fluid. In the 350Z the clutch fluid lines are way too close to the exhaust and catalytic convertor and the clutch fluid overheats and your clutch pedal stays on the floor. This may not be an issue with the 370. I have overheated ATE amber in the clutch lines. Trying Motul 600 next week at VIR. I wouldn't worry about this too much either but it might be worth putting a high temp fluid in the clutch system if you will be having a shop do the brake work anyway.


Bottom line is brake pads and fluid then just concentrate on having a good time. Make sure tire pressures are right and lug nuts torqued to spec. If you catch the bug then consider an oil cooler down the road.

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+1 on what n80 said. I track an 04 G35 and have not any oil related issues, but it is always good to prevent oil overheating. Just be careful not to lower oil temps so much that the oil does not reach op temps. I added an extended oil pan that allows me to have another quart of oil in the system for 6 total. It is aluminum and has fins along the bottom to aid in cooling as well. I consider it an intermediate step before an oil cooler.



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If you don't have a helmet get one.


You are right to be addressing both the brakes and oil temps on the 370Z. Pads and fluid is good enough for HPDE 1 drivers. The 370Z comes with a very mediocre oil cooler from 2012+ so your 2014 is probably manageable in HPDE 1, but the 25 row Setrab kit from Z1 is where you want to be for the long run. This is different from the 350 because VVEL produces a ton of heat in the oil.


Clutch fluid boiling has not been an issue on the 370Zs. Some aftermarket exhausts will expose the line to more unshielded heat. The slave has been known to fail, but it's not very predictable. I've run many many track miles in 3 differed 370Zs without a failure.


the370z.com is the best resource for 370 specific questions. Feel free to PM me there (takjak2) with any questions you might have.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am an advanced (level 3) driver who has been tracking a 2009 370Z for 5 years. Keep in mind that the 370Z is NOT a good track car out of the box. I understand that Nissan has addressed some of these issues but the "fixes" are considered band aids by fellow track junkies.


However, once you take care of the major issues you will find the 370Z to be a very capable car.


First, and most important is to change the Nissan brake fluid to a real racing brake fluid (I use Castrol SRF which is hideously expensive but absolutely necessary IMHO). Nissan designed the 370Z to get great fuel mileage (ie. good aerodynamics) and routed no air flow to the brakes. Our cars don't boil brake fluid in the traditional manner with the pedal slowly getting softer. Our cars tend to go from good brakes to oh SH%T! Brake ducts will be necessary has you advance.


Second, get a set of CarboTech XP10 brake pads.


These two changes will keep you safe and out of the sand pit or catch fence. The following changes will enable your Z to mechanically survive the weekend.


Third, replace the differential fluid with Red Line or similar synthetic fluid. The stock fluid is crap and will quickly turn into sludge thereby destroying your differential. I would never track a 370Z with stock differential fluid. On the bright side, the manual transmission fluid does not need to be changed.


Fourth, save some of that racing brake fluid and replace the clutch fluid. Our cars are notorious for boiling there clutch fluid and blowing there slave cylinder and/or master cylinder. Personally, I have had both go at the track. In all honesty, you should teach your self to drive without a clutch (or at least understand the concept). I have twice driven home from Summit Point without the use of my clutch.


The heat issue really is a big problem with our cars. Unless you have owned a 370Z you just can't understand. When I had mine new without an oil cooler I would see temps of 240 while sitting in summer traffic. Even with a big Setrab cooler I was hitting 260 degrees on track last season.


I have seen some beginner level guys in HPDE 1 in G37's and 370Z's make it through a weekend. But as you get any skill you are looking to have your track session cut short when your Z goes into limp home mode after your temp hits 280 degrees.


Ok. So now you are good to go!


Well...we can talk about the fuel starvation issue another day...

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