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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Just trying to decide what would be the best to run on a road course. Since I've never been on one.

Tires: I see three options for me right now.

(1) My street tires - Kumho Ecsta 711 in 215/55-15 mounted on wagon wheels. I definately like these tires. They have much better grip than the Firestones. They are great in the rain. But the tall sidewalls make the steering input feel more sloppy and the larger OD robs torque. But on the other hand, the larger OD should give me a higher top end.
(2) My auto-x tires - Kumho Victoracers in 205/50-15 mounted on stock 15" wheels. I have 6 tires all with about 5 auto-x events on them.
(3) Buy a dedicated tire for the event. (not very likley)

I'm leaning towards just running the 711's. Since its my first time on track, I'll hopefully not be pushing it very hard.

Brakes: I really don't know what to do here but have some ideas. Right now I'm running the dreaded EBC/Mintex combo that was a deal from BAT. I have the standard EBC rotors and the Mintex A/F pads. I don't know how scientific or practical it was but I did a test the other day. I wanted to see how the pads would hold up to continuous hard braking. I set my alarm and got up at 3:30 in the morning and went out on the highway. I took the car up to 75-80mph and with nobody behind me for miles, I stood on the brakes and brought it down to about 10mph. I did this five times with approximately a 1 mile cool down in-between. On the third test, I could feel them start to fade. I had to push harder on the pedal. On the fourth test, it got even worse. On the fifth test, I couldn't even get the tires to lock up. Keep in mind that the brakes were bled and flushed very thoroughly recently with Valvoline Synpower fluid. So this leads me to believe that I might want to do something before VIR.

I have a few ideas but haven't done much research yet. Let me know what you think:
(1) New OEM pads on the EBC rotors.
(2) New OEM pads on new OEM rotors.
(3) Hawk HP+ pads on the EBC rotors.
(4) Hawk HP+ pads on new OEM rotors.
(5) Hawk HP+ pads on new Brembo rotors.(tirerack)

Keep in mind that the pads/rotors only have about 8k miles on them and the rotors show almost no wear. And, budjet is definately an issue. But, I don't want to be sitting on the sidelines because of brake failure. Please point me in the right direction.

Also, should I change to the ford HD brake fluid?

Car specs are as follows. '01 ZX3, Aerocharger turbo @7psi, SVT springs and rear swaybar, Koni Yellows, Poly bushings, camber plates at ~1.75 front.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

It its your first time on track I would go with the street tires and HP+ on whatever rotors you have available. You will probably still have to go sorta easy on the brakes but it should be managable.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

If you can fit them, bring all your tires. You should start out on your street rubber, but you may find that you are used to pushing the car (autocross) on your race rubber so that is what feels natural to you. You may stunt your learning curve by limiting yourself to street rubber by effectively throwing out your autocross experience.

As for brakes, I have posted pretty a lot of info on all the brake parts I have broken already. My honest recommendation is if your rotors are in good shape, use the extra cash to buy dedicated race pads and swap them out at the track. Yes, you will chew up your street rotors on the track, and may have to replace them sooner, but it is more budget friendly. In one of my old posts, I actaully say somethig nice about EBC rotors, btw, With your extra power, I think a high temp track only pad is a good idea.

I will be bringing my pressure bleeder to the track. I am hoping that P-51 will use his employee discount and get us a case or two of HD fluid and we can all go out with fresh fluid and confidence. Just buy the fluid from Rob, hook up my bleeder and go.

Good to see your focus is on the right areas in terms of track prep.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

I'm pretty much with Rich.

Your street tires might be good, they will probably have lots of warning when you push too hard, and will wear like iron if they are at least half worn down already.

Your racing tires would be more fun, and might you might learn more depending on how far up the learning curve you are.

I'd wear the street tires to the track, and bring a set of R compounds in the hatch. Then, just run what you feel is right.

As for brakes, I think you really only have one option.

Get some Hawk Blues, and new stock rotors. Switch the pads and rotors at the track, and you'll have a nice decent set in good condition to drive home on.

Consider it an investment, not an expense. The dedicated pads and rotors will last longer than if you try to use a dual purpose setup. And they will outlast this session so you can use them next time you go.

You really need to get your brakes decent with your turbo, or it will ruin your weekend.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

If there is enough interest, I will contact Larry Narcus or Matt Nicholson at Carbotech and have them make up some Panther XP pads for us. I have 3 sets of backing plates (pads I've nuked) that they can use for linings. Or, we can work with an FJ sponsor and do a group buy on Hawks. I know that Focus Performance carries them, and Brent is close by and we might be able to get him to bring the SSC car.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Use your R compound at the Track!! You only have to go a fast as you want, no more or less.
The R comp will allow you more speed, and a greater learning experience.
HOWEVER, be very caucious when entering the track after a session on R compound.

Don't be like those racers who wreck before the tires come up to temperature. I am telling you,
The first two-three turns back on the track with cold R compound will feel like you are on ice!!! Get them warm again. It is all mental.
When you return to the track you have a sense of the speed/effort you last were there with.
Sorry, it has all changed. Until the tires warm up they will suprise you with their lack of stick.

BRAKES.
My two cents. ANy performance brake set up will generate more heat that allows quicker stops.
The issue is where does the heat go. Performance brakes can withstand more heat, but there is still a limit.

I ran BeaverRun with R compound and had no trouble with the stock brakes. Why, cause I replaced my fog lights
with air duct to my brakes. Three inch hose to the rotor. I recommend air ducts to anyone that is doing track time.
You can run stock set up brakes IF you have adequate air cooling the system.

Just use heavy/large plastic ties to hold the hose in position and route to rotors along the lower control arm. Set this up
before going to the track as it takes some time. Use quality hose that is made for brake cooling. Costs about 10 a foot and you
need about 7 feet.
Good luck, have fun.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Note P said
Get some Hawk Blues, and new stock rotors. Switch the pads and rotors at the track, and you'll have a nice decent set in good condition to drive home on.

Consider it an investment, not an expense. The <font color="blue">dedicated </font> pads and rotors will last longer than if you try to use a dual purpose setup.
Don't try to skimp and run Blues on the street. They just don't work till hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Thanks for the input guys!

Tires...Bring all my tires? I have 6 Victoracers, 4 Hoosiers, and even 4 Kumho snow tires. Do you think I'll need the snow tires that time of year?


The 711's are pretty new with only a few thousand miles on them. So, they're still a little squirmy. But, I think I'll start off with them as recommended and switch to the R's on the second day. Running on the street tires will also give me a chance to find the limits of the Kumho 711's. Something I can't really do on the street. So I think it will be a worthwile exercise.

As for brakes, thanks for narrowing it down for me. Sounds like we'll be having a Friday evening brake component swap session. Hawk Blues (or other dedicated track pad, PantherXP? I must do more research)and new rotors to be swapped at the track. Any reason I couldn't go with the EBC rotors? (they're significantly cheaper) (and if I'm going through the trouble to swap pads, I might as well swap rotors)
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

I'm pretty much with Rich.

Your street tires might be good, they will probably have lots of warning when you push too hard, and will wear like iron if they are at least half worn down already.

Your racing tires would be more fun, and might you might learn more depending on how far up the learning curve you are.

I'd wear the street tires to the track, and bring a set of R compounds in the hatch. Then, just run what you feel is right.

As for brakes, I think you really only have one option.

Get some Hawk Blues, and new stock rotors. Switch the pads and rotors at the track, and you'll have a nice decent set in good condition to drive home on.

Consider it an investment, not an expense. The dedicated pads and rotors will last longer than if you try to use a dual purpose setup. And they will outlast this session so you can use them next time you go.

You really need to get your brakes decent with your turbo, or it will ruin your weekend.
I agree with the idea of pad swapping. From my roadrace experience (ITA RX7), Hawk "Blues" are good for tracks with severe braking--in my case Blackhawk Farms, whereas at Road America (lots of long straights to cool the brakes), Hawk "Blacks" are adequate... Blues will chew up (and spit out) rotors if they are not hot enough. Base your decision on the track (I do not know VIR enough to comment specifically)...

Ford HP fluid is excellent. Invest in some "speed bleeders" to make bleedeing between sessions a snap...
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

VIR full has a dual personality when it comes to brake wear.
It is not tough on brakes as there is generally a lot of time between braking zones. The cooling time is always good.
It is tough on brakes beacuse some of the braking zones are quite severe so actual braking time is long. This means that pads must be able to take the heat.

Now, it is not my money for rotors, but I would go with the higher temp but more agressive rotor wear pad (Blue in this case) just to be on the safe side. Especially in a DE environment where traffic can cause extra brake usage than the ideal lap would not include. This would remove the good cooling time element to some extent.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

If you go with a different brake pad then change the rotors with them, use as a set.

What I've read of technical info said that the higher performance pads require a deposit of the material into the voids of the rotor.

This means that the performance pads will not work as designed on a rotor "used" with a different pad.

Since the rotor comes off easily with the removal of the caliper bracket, changing the rotor would be straight forward.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

I agree that many pads do in fact work best with a dedicated set of rotors. My personal testing has shown that as long as the rotors are realtively fresh (no pitting or deep groves), you should not have a problem as long as the pads are bedded well. The deposits will transfer to a used rotor, it will just take longer.

Still, you are right, the best way to go is a dedicated set of pads and rotors for track duty.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Stock pads and rotors seem to work good enough for me. I can't justify the expense and time (swapping) for race pads/rotors when I only drive at the track once, maybe 2 times a month. Plus no one makes aftermarket pads yet. I've had really good luck with super blue fluid. I'll sign up next week and do plan to camp. Sounds like a ton of fun.
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

i'll run usual track setup. 205/40/17 kuhmo ecsta race compound if dry, kuhmo treaded ecsta if wet. porterfield r-4 pads. i've got it easier than a lot because i trailer the svtf. if anyone in my area needs a little help w/extra tires etc. i have a little room on my tire rack and in the truck. oh and gt i have been running porterfields for nearly a year. in my case i sent them a pad for reproduction in a race compound. also ebc might finally have reds for the svt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Lets keep this going. I find the different setups and choices very interesting. What does everyone else plan to run? I know that if Chris and Rob come, they will be on the widked ass Wildwood setup with (I'm guessing) RA-1's. With all the power Toms running, I hope he's running some good brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Well since budjet is an issue, I think I came up with a solution/compromise. I think I'm going to run Hawk Blues on the EBC rotors that are on there now. I'll also bring along my original OEM rotors as a backup plan for the trip home if the Hawk's destroy the EBC's. When I did the front brakes, I also wanted to take a look at the rear shoes. So, I picked up a set of rear Mintex A/F shoes. And while I had the drums off (and since its such a PITA), I decided just to change them. And since I've been LFB'n since my first days of auto-x, I'll also bring along my OEM rear shoes if there's a problem back there. If the drums get screwed up, I'm hosed.

What's the best place to pick up Hawk Blues? The only place I've found so far is Focussport for $149. Is there a better price out there or is that the going rate? Or is there a different pad I should be looking at?
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

re brakes. as of today 9/9 ebc has a part no. but no actual stock on red stuff for svtf's but do have green. was hoping to help out as i get jobber price. if other non svt foci want some ebc's contact me and i will price them out. the red stuff run 80 bucks for the front for a svtf. i talked to porterfield today and they will be making some more r-4's for me. i have to send them some stock pads again so they should be available in a week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

I'm running a standard ZX3. Would anyone recommend the EBC Reds for this track day? If so, I'd be interested in a "jobbers" price. I'm getting a little confused now mainly because I have not had time to sit and research through all the brake threads. I remember reading them one time but I need to re-read them. I cannot remember what has failed and what has held up. This track day is long off so I will make some time to research and re-read all the brake info here on focaljet.

Plus, when you go and read some of the "advertisements" for the pads, most of them say they are "track" pads. But we all know that real track pads cannot really be driven on the street right?
 

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Re: Who\'s running what (tires & brakes) at VIR? Help?

Ok, can anyone bestow some personal advice onto me please?


OEM Brakes, currently have 3,000 miles.
Tires, Pirelli P6s stock, and my Falkens, half-worn. I think I'll bring those, and swap them on later during the event.

But for pads, are OEM really that bad? I can't really afford much right now, and these race pads sound really expensive.
 
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