how to get a Z "track ready"? - Nissan 350Z Forum, Nissan 370Z Tech Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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how to get a Z "track ready"?

what would need to be done to an 06 touring Z to be "track ready"? I would honestly take it out to the track bone stock, but i've heard a lot of people putting in transmission coolers, power steering coolers etc. i just dont want to destroy my car at the track because of not taking precautions.

Also, the track is Willow Springs and gets really f*ckin hot out there..
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:42 PM
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Brake pads and fresh hi-temp fluid to start. Hi-temp clutch fluid if you are MT. Good rubber. Track probably has checklist for inspection purposes - tick them all off. A good instructor, if available, and an attitude that you are going to learn something, because you will. Don't need any of that other stuff for occasional track days - I ran all day on a Sunday when it was 90 in the shade and had no heat issues whatsoever, except me. So plenty of water/fluids. Have fun

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:58 PM
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I have an '06 base and didn't need any coolers. I was just at the track (Streets of Willow) last weekend. I think it was about 107 deg.

Me, I just make sure my fluids (including oil especially) are at their proper levels. Brake pads are sufficient. Tighten up lug nuts.

BTW, unless you're a god of a driver, be prepared to be humbled.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 08:20 AM
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To be track ready, you need lots of driving experience on a track. Money spent on lessons is money well spent.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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thanks, I was planning on taking a lesson before i hit the track. i was just talking to a buddy of mine at work who tracks his ferrari all the time and he went to streets of willow this past weekend and said to wait until the weather cools down. apparently after this weekend, he now needs new rotors, brakes, tires, and has to replace all his fluids(roughly $6k), yikes.. so im just going to wait until i get a new set of tires and brakes to throw on after the end of the day.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 02:03 PM
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thanks, I was planning on taking a lesson before i hit the track. i was just talking to a buddy of mine at work who tracks his ferrari all the time and he went to streets of willow this past weekend and said to wait until the weather cools down. apparently after this weekend, he now needs new rotors, brakes, tires, and has to replace all his fluids(roughly $6k), yikes.. so im just going to wait until i get a new set of tires and brakes to throw on after the end of the day.
You're buddy wouldn't happen to be this guy in the vid?


To be honest, in my casual-track-day-guy opinion , unless you were totally wringing out your car, you won't come close to that kind of post maintenance.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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You're buddy wouldn't happen to be this guy in the vid?

3 Exotics at Streets of Willow [Aug 28, 2011] - YouTube

To be honest, in my casual-track-day-guy opinion , unless you were totally wringing out your car, you won't come close to that kind of post maintenance.

Haha yeah thats him with the Ferrari. He said because of the heat, it wore out his brakes and rotors a lot faster than it normally does in cooler weather, which makes sense. but maybe it's been a while since he changed/serviced those parts, he tracks his car a lot.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 09:56 PM
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what would need to be done to an 06 touring Z to be "track ready"?
Not very much. Just empty out everything that isn't necessary for the car to go, or pass scrutineering.

You just need to respect the fact that your car is set up for street use, and so you can't sit there driving it at ten tenths for ages without stuff wearing out faster, or exceeding its parameters.

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I would honestly take it out to the track bone stock
I tracked my '03 Touring for a year or so (say once every two months) bone stock. The only noticable problem was I was chewing through rear pads before every service interval lapsed, and the front pads would be dead before every second service.

Note that I wasn't braking the thing as hard as I could, since I was scared about fading them out.

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but i've heard a lot of people putting in transmission coolers, power steering coolers etc.
Trans coolers are pretty damned serious, and generally beyond the requirements of a newbie. One of our Aussie guys had a TT Z that was basically only used for track days, and I don't think he went that far.

And we were doing track days where the ambient was hitting 90F+, with 15 minute sessions.

The Z33 already has a power steering cooler; an uprated Nismo or Stillen one is only a couple of hundred bucks. I'd be looking at an oil cooler first, though.

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i just dont want to destroy my car at the track because of not taking precautions
As others have stated, the best precautions are in education when you first start. Your car will cope with track days, you just need to respect the fact that its not a dedicated track car.

Before you take it out, make sure you check all the fluids to ensure they're at max. From a personal preference, if my car has done more than half its service interval before the track day I'll do an oil change beforehand (if less I'll do the oil change after). Also make sure the tires are in good condition.

Secondly, pop the wheels off and have a look at how much pad and rotor you've got left. Check all four as there's no guarantee wear is even, even on the same axle. You'll go through a lot of your pads in a track day (especially with non-Brembos), so make sure there's plenty of meat on them.

I don't know what the brake fluid replacement interval is, but I'd probably flush the system if its been a while.


On the track, just bear in mind that your cooling systems are designed for street use. Under sustained load on the track, they're going to be overwhelmed. So after every few "hot laps", back it off and do some cool-down laps, where you cruise the car at a reasonable speed (to get air over all the heat exchangers) but in a high gear, and decelerate gently before going through the corners slowly to let the brakes and tires cool down.

If you feel your brake pedal go soft (i.e. boiled brake fluid) or hard (pads overheated and outgassing) then go into cool-down immediately.

When you hit the straights, check your water temp.


If you want to do some simple mods to help you with mechanical safety, I'd suggest:

* Stage 1 brake upgrades (fluid, pads, rotors)
* Good quality full-synth engine oil
* Oil cooler (with a thermostat unless you plan on removing it when driving on the street)

In the OEM front grille, in the 2 corners are bits of plastic that serve no real purpose. If you look through the front grille you can see the radiator, but in both corners its just blocked off and there's nothing behind them that needs protecting. They look like this:

https://www.350z-tech.com/forums/atta...1&d=1314842073

Take them out. Get more air into your engine bay. I actually took mine out to fit a home-made CAI:

https://www.350z-tech.com/forums/atta...1&d=1314842172

https://www.350z-tech.com/forums/atta...1&d=1314842202

Ghetto, and I couldn't feel any gains, but I figured fresh air ducted in from the front bar would be better than nothing. A pipe that wasn't ribbed probably would have been better.
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Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front wheel.
Oversteer is when you hit it with the back.
Horsepower is how hard you hit the tree...
Torque is how far you drag it...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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In the OEM front grille, in the 2 corners are bits of plastic that serve no real purpose. If you look through the front grille you can see the radiator, but in both corners its just blocked off and there's nothing behind them that needs protecting. They look like this:

https://www.350z-tech.com/forums/atta...1&d=1314842073

Take them out. Get more air into your engine bay. I actually took mine out to fit a home-made CAI:

https://www.350z-tech.com/forums/atta...1&d=1314842172

https://www.350z-tech.com/forums/atta...1&d=1314842202

Ghetto, and I couldn't feel any gains, but I figured fresh air ducted in from the front bar would be better than nothing. A pipe that wasn't ribbed probably would have been better.
well i got home yesterday and checked this out and turns out one of those plastic plates was actually disconnected and just rattling around so i removed both of them. didn't notice any difference but it was fun to do things to my car when im broke haha.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 07:00 AM
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The number one thing that causes brake fade is moisture in the lines. Brake fluid absorbs water from the atmosphere, even as the car sits. As a rule, brake fluid should be changed every couple years for street use. For your first track day, flush the brake lines. I use Dot4, but I wouldn't bother with the really fancy racing brake fluid. They can absorb moisture even faster and need to be flushed at least twice as often. Obviously, it's up to you if the extra maintenance is worth it, racing brake fluids offer better pedal feel (they resist compression better) and higher boiling temps, but I'd personally spend that money on better pads first.

But. The first thing to do is flush the brakes. Fresh cheap fluid will have a higher boiling point than the water trapped in your old fluid.

Plus, obviously be sure your car will pass tech. You can (usually) find safety rules and req's on the tracks website. A thing to keep in mind is that those little annoying creaks and clunks over bumps on the street can turn into serious safety issues when you push the car at speed.
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