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Upgrading for track use - where should I start?

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96
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Hi,

I just bought a stock YB 2012 Boss 302 - one of VERY few in Sweden :D - and plan to take it to the track this summer.

I'm new to racing, but I figure some things might be wise to upgrade on the car.
My priority is durability and safety first - performance second. Also, the budget is limited (I had to pay nearly $60k for the car with adders for import tax and so on... You're lucky over there ;-) - so bang for the buck is what I am going for.

I plan to improve the car over time as my driving skills improve.

Where should I start? Ideas?

Thanks in advance/The Swede
 
To be honest these cars are phenomenal right out of the box, particularly for someone new to tracking their car. I would focus on getting instruction and seat time foremost. In terms of upgrading the car for safety first, get the brake cooling ducts, switch to a DOT4 fluid and get an inexpensive extra set of FRPP 18" wheels and some street tires like an NT05. You don't want to burn up those expensive Pirellis on track.
 

PeteInCT

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cloud9 said:
To be honest these cars are phenomenal right out of the box, particularly for someone new to tracking their car. I would focus on getting instruction and seat time foremost. In terms of upgrading the car for safety first, get the brake cooling ducts, switch to a DOT4 fluid and get an inexpensive extra set of FRPP 18" wheels and some street tires like an NT05. You don't want to burn up those expensive Pirellis on track.

Above all - a GOOD helmet. Seriously consider a harness bar and a good set of racing harnesses also. A HANS device is also a VERY good idea IMO. All of this is not inexpensive but safety should be addressed adequately before car mods.

As Gary mentioned above, the DOT4 fluid is an important step and should be your first 'modification'. It's inexpensive and good insurance. IMO, second most important is that you will also want to watch the stock brake pads closely, they will not last long during track use. Many drivers choose brake pads that can work on the track and the street, or purchase pads that they use when visiting the track. You can get a lot of good info on what seasoned track drivers are using right here on the forum. The brake cooling ducts will work in concert with a good set of pads to combat brake fade, elongate brake pad/rotor life and enhance overall brake performance.

Have great and safe fun with your new Boss at the track !

-Pete
 

Sesshomurai

You should be fine with the stock wheels because youll need that money for replacement tires.
Aside from the above good advice. I would consider track pads.
Also, get a CGLock for your seat belt. This amazing tiny device will keep you fixed in your seat better and more in tune with the cars feedback.
 
The reason to consider 18" wheels is the cost and availability of track tires, both DOT street and especially r-compound if you go that direction after some experience.
 

PeteInCT

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cloud9 said:
The reason to consider 18" wheels is the cost and availability of track tires, both DOT street and especially r-compound if you go that direction after some experience.

+1. Good track tires are almost 1/2 the cost of the OEM tires.
 

Sesshomurai

cloud9 said:
The reason to consider 18" wheels is the cost and availability of track tires, both DOT street and especially r-compound if you go that direction after some experience.

True, but there are plenty of decent 19" tires (for starters). The other thing to consider going to 18" with the stock vehicle is the suspension. 18" wheels on the stock suspension leaves a huge amount of space between the tire and rear fender and changes the handing a bit (then you have to change the ECU wheel setting, speedometer calibration,etc). I agree its inevitable to get to 18" wheels, but out of the gate my money goes for pads, helmet, tires, restraints (with shoes and gloves in the mix as well).

The car comes with good track-able tires for beginners. :)
 
96
0
Hey, thanks for all the great advice!

So, it seems the plan will be to:

* Get a good helmet, gloves, and suitable shoes.
* Change to DOT4 brake fluid.
* Season the brakes as per the owner's manual.

Track test... Carefully... Don't want to end up among the trees...

* Wear down the pads, then replace with pads better suited for the track.
* Install LS brake ducts.
* Test a CGlock.

Next step (if I'm still into racing the boss...):

* improve driver safety (HANS device, harness)
* R compound tires and 18" rims

... Feedback???
 

PeteInCT

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DGRacing said:
True, but there are plenty of decent 19" tires (for starters). The other thing to consider going to 18" with the stock vehicle is the suspension. 18" wheels on the stock suspension leaves a huge amount of space between the tire and rear fender and changes the handing a bit (then you have to change the ECU wheel setting, speedometer calibration,etc). I agree its inevitable to get to 18" wheels, but out of the gate my money goes for pads, helmet, tires, restraints (with shoes and gloves in the mix as well).

The car comes with good track-able tires for beginners. :)

I don't believe you much about the Boss suspension if you are questioning 18" wheels. Many experienced drives such as myself have switched to 18" on the Boss with a stock suspension and have had excellent results. The clearance above the tires means nothing. As for many 19" options for tires, again there are MANY more options in an 18" tire. That's not to say going to 18"'s is required for the Boss to do well at the track. But questioning the use of 18" on the Boss is just plain incorrect.

TheSwede - your list looks good to me, however you may want to try to move some of the safety equipment ahead of the brake ducts. Understandably though, the $$$ are not identical.
 

zzyzx

Steve
299
0
Your plan sounds good.

That said, I don't wear gloves and "appropriate" shoes for me are tennis shoes, not race shoes for track days. The exception would be tracking a race car as opposed to a street car, where I'd be more prone to use gloves/race shoes & a suit (for safety).

As to brake fluid, most of us here run Motul RBF600, some run RBF660 and others Castrol SRF. Depends on how much $$ you want to spend, but RBF600 seems to work well enough if you've bled the brakes sufficiently. Expect to use 5-6 bottles to flush the system.

Other Boss specific issues:

1. Check your brake reservoir. It's likely overfilled and while tracking brake fluid will drip all over the drivers side of the engine bay. This will ultimately destroy your paint. When you flush your system, only fill it back up to about 1" below the "Full". Additionally, clean the cap the and lip of the reservoir with brake clean and ensure there's no brake fluid residue, before putting the cap back on. I followed this myself, and unlike most who've had leaky reservoirs, I had zero leaks last weekend. Stayed dry as a bone.

2. Inspect the rear differential overflow for any leaks from the rear diff. If you have them, clean it up and inspect between sessions for leaks. You should have something handy to clean up the oil, should it leak at the track. I have not personally had this issue, but many here have reported this issue.

3. Read the entire Boss 302 Owners Manual supplement (booklet). There's a whole section in there on track preparation.
 

Sesshomurai

PeteInCT said:
I don't believe you much about the Boss suspension if you are questioning 18" wheels. Many experienced drives such as myself have switched to 18" on the Boss with a stock suspension and have had excellent results. The clearance above the tires means nothing. As for many 19" options for tires, again there are MANY more options in an 18" tire. That's not to say going to 18"'s is required for the Boss to do well at the track. But questioning the use of 18" on the Boss is just plain incorrect.

TheSwede - your list looks good to me, however you may want to try to move some of the safety equipment ahead of the brake ducts. Understandably though, the $$$ are not identical.

I'm not questioning 18" wheels. My own opinion is that it's further down on the "beginner" list - as there are things to consider then just slapping them on. They shouldn't be plug-n-play. No one said you can't get good results with smaller wheels ;), but it does change the handling characteristics - you should know that. :) And no one said for the worse. ;)

The car is built and tuned for 19" wheels from factory and the ride height associated with those wheels. Smaller wheels, while providing more tire options, does change the ride height. ;) Although maybe minor, details like this should be understood fully (by the novice) before making those changes.

Anyway, good luck TheSwede, you will learn quickly and enjoy it!
 
96
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Thanks again for all the advice and for the good wishes :) Man, this forum turned out to be a goldmine!

Thinking about the 18" rims - wouldn't you increase the tire profile to keep the wheel diameter as close as possible to the 19" stock wheels? Of course, a higher profile will change the way the car handles.

/theSwede
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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Not necessarily. The objective with the Boss is not necessarily to match the OEM geometry, especially if your car is not a DD. Ford would tell you otherwise possibly, but having the smaller wheel and a lower profile tire up front on our car improves the handling characteristics (assuming wider rubber also, I have not done this without 285's up front and 305's in the rear). The only negative I have experienced is that the speedo wass about 5 MPH off at high speeds until my PCM was reprogrammed. Since my car is not a DD this wass of no importance to me.
 
96
0
@Pete, my car will be a DD - I'll even have to fit a child seat in the backseat, which makes it a bit more complicated to fit a harness bar :)

In Sweden, it's not allowed to change the wheel circumference by more than 4% if you want to drive it on the street. Even if I would buy a set of racing wheels, I want to be able to drive the car to the track - and so, I would have to go from 255/40-19 + 285/35-19 to something like 255/45-18 + 285/40-18. I don't even know if those dimensions are available. Still, I think it's a good idea to go for smaller rims to save cost.

Anyway, we're still covered in snow here... Lots of time to plan.. and wait..

/The Swede
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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Looks like you'll need a trailer at some point also ! ;D

I'm curious what tire options you have there for your Boss. The selection over here for OEM sized r-comp tires is very slim and the stock r-comp Pirelli's on the Laguna Seca are very poor performing tires on the track unfortunately. Grip is not very good but the main problem is that the tires lose chunks of rubber when they start to wear. I had this experience with mine and a number of other drivers here on the forum had the same expereinces. It seems the rubber compound used cannot handle the temps and G forces generated by our car on the track. When you track your car keep an eye on them over time, especially the left front tire which generates the most heat on a clockwise direction course.

Here's what to look for. This happened on my tires after 4 track days. You can see there is really a lot of usable tread left but the tire was too dangerous to continue to use:
IMG_20120409_151819.jpg
IMG_20120409_151814.jpg
IMG_20120409_151809.jpg
 

Sesshomurai

Yeah, the Corsas, while super sticky and heat up quickly, trade lifespan for those qualities. If you use them you must keep them inflated properly because the sidewalls are soft too. mid 40's hot.
 

PeteInCT

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I did not find them to be sticky at all. This may be to driving style. The Nitto NT-555-RII's and NT-01's hold much more than the Corsa's. I drive a Mustang GT with Michelin PSS's (which is not a r-comp tire) and it even outperformed the Corsa's. I think Pirelli overall makes a quality tire but the Corsa's just seem to miss the mark totally. I can only guess that the Corsa has a problem with the weight of the Boss, I'd be curious if the same thing happened on a 3000 - 3200 rear/mid engine car like a 911. The chunking of the rubber is inexcusable, no tire should do that. The Nitto's, Hoosiers, Michelins, Yokhahama's, Bridgestones and Dunlaps that I've used never had that issue.
 

Sesshomurai

PeteInCT said:
I did not find them to be sticky at all. This may be to driving style. The Nitto NT-555-RII's and NT-01's hold much more than the Corsa's. I drive a Mustang GT with Michelin PSS's (which is not a r-comp tire) and it even outperformed the Corsa's. I think Pirelli overall makes a quality tire but the Corsa's just seem to miss the mark totally. I can only guess that the Corsa has a problem with the weight of the Boss, I'd be curious if the same thing happened on a 3000 - 3200 rear/mid engine car like a 911. The chunking of the rubber is inexcusable, no tire should do that. The Nitto's, Hoosiers, Michelins, Yokhahama's, Bridgestones and Dunlaps that I've used never had that issue.

Yeah, my experience with the corsas is until they get above 30* C they are loose as hell, after that mine stuck pretty good. I drive pretty hard and lap my run groups every outing. It's a very finicky tire and needs special treatment. 8)

But you make an interesting point about the car weight with this tire. You might be on to something there. It definitely is a soft tire and needs more PSI than one might expect.
 
96
0
@Pete: Haha, trailer... why not a caravan!? ;-)

I´ve been googling r tyres over the last days and it seems Bridgestone Potenza RE540S, Yokohama 048, and Toyo R888 are good alternatives for heavy and powerful cars like the Boss. They are hard to come by over here - and expensive.. about $2 200 for a set. The PZeros are about $1 600. Nitto are not well known here, I have not been able to find whether they are street legal or not.

So, I'll wait with changing wheels and tyres until I have tried racing and found out if it's for me or not.

Looks like your Corsas have been cooked, but I read somewhere that they are very sensitive to overheating.

/The Swede
 

PeteInCT

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Yes they are. Hence not a good track tire. The Corsas as that came with my LS are over $600 each here.
 

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