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Discussion Starter #1
Well, this is my first real post, so I thought I'd make it a big one :)

Yesterday I went up to Brainerd International Raceway and did a few laps.....170 miles worth. Here's my setup:
  • 2003 350Z Superblack Performance Model
  • Injen CAI
  • Stillen catback exhaust
  • Unorthodox Racing underdrive pulley set
  • Hotchkis springs
  • Hotchkis sway bars (rear set at max stiffness, front set at minimum stiffness)
  • Volk TE37 Wheels (18x8.5 +30 Front; 18x9.5 +35 Rear)
  • BFGoodrich KD, 245x40 Front, 265x40 Rear
  • Hawk HPS brake pads
  • Motul 600 brake fluid
and the car.....
[url='http://www.maxerboy.net/images/cars/myZ/newWheels04.jpg']<img width='600' src='http://www.maxerboy.net/images/cars/myZ/newWheels04.jpg[/img][/url]

and the result: 2:04:900. :irock:

I'll start by saying that I am a very good driver -- not trying to be egotistical, just repeating what the instructors at Skip Barber told me and the intructor that rode along in my Z yesterday told me. I just want it to be clear that I'm not trying to claim the Z is better than this car or that car when I say I was passing them.

I am EXTREMELY happy with the car right now. I was passing and keeping up with so many cars on the track: a 400 hp, 1999-ish (?) Saleen mustang; every SCCA spec race car they had running; my good friend's Ferrari 348 TS; a Noble (guy did NOT know how to drive that car); a Pantera; a 1963(4?) Ferrari 250 GTB (yes, that IS correct); etc. The Z is now, without a doubt, one of the best handling cars I've ever driven. I let John (guy with the F348) drive it for a few laps and when we got back into the pits, he wouldn't shutup about how awesome it is :) . The car is so neutral and balanced that it just inspires all the confidence in the world. There's no fear about pushing it beyond the limits, becaue you can easily catch it if it gets away from you. Acceleration, cornerning and braking are all linear and predictable -- it's almost too easy. However, there is one thing that definately needs upgrading -- the brakes. On the street, with the HPS pads and the BFG tires, it seemed awesome. And it was, until I got about 4 laps in yesterday. There just isn't enough cooling for the stock brake setup. I cooked the pads and fluid pretty bad by the end of the day. I never went out for more than 7 laps, either, before coming in for 15-20 minutes to cool down. I had to pick a relatively early braking point on most turns -- losing quite a bit of time. So that's the next item to get taken care of. After a brake upgrade, John, myself, and a few other guys there agreed that I should be able to break the 2 minute barrier with my Z. And I was told by a few seasoned professionals that anything that can break the 2 minute barrier there is pretty **** good.

I'll have pics and vids later (need to get them from a guy).
 

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:OMG: You're making me drool for some track action. I don't remember timing myself when I took my Z32 up there in 1999, but I had a blast and the cross drilled rotors I had on did a good job of keeping things cool. However, based on your experience, I think I will need to do that with my current Z.

I'm very happy to hear that our Z's are great track cars. Of course, all you have to do is watch the Grand Am series races to see that. Or the GT500 races of Japan.

I'm looking forward to the pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Originally posted by SmoothZ@Sep 20 2005, 10:26 AM
:OMG:  You're making me drool for some track action.  I don't remember timing myself when I took my Z32 up there in 1999, but I had a blast and the cross drilled rotors I had on did a good job of keeping things cool.  However, based on your experience, I think I will need to do that with my current Z.

I'm very happy to hear that our Z's are great track cars.  Of course, all you have to do is watch the Grand Am series races to see that.  Or the GT500 races of Japan.

I'm looking forward to the pics!
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Yeah, I can't WAIT to get the pics and vids. We looked at some of the previews on the camera and it's so cool the way you can see the suspension load up around the corners :)
 

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Wow! Sounds like you had an awesome time!

:welcome: to Tech!

Have you played with the sway bar setup much? I have mine set to med/med currently, but I'm still getting understeer. I was thinking of going med/hard and after hearing you say that your setup is neutral, I'm less wary about it.

Glad to hear you had fun, and I'm looking forward to some pics and vids :thumbsup: :clap: :irock:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by StudyBuddy@Sep 20 2005, 10:33 AM
Wow! Sounds like you had an awesome time!

:welcome: to Tech!

Have you played with the sway bar setup much? I have mine set to med/med currently, but I'm still getting understeer. I was thinking of going med/hard and after hearing you say that your setup is neutral, I'm less wary about it.

Thanks for the welcome.

You definately don't need to be wary about setting the rear stiffer. When I installed my sway bars, I took into account how much the stock setup understeered (which is a ton) and took an educated guess on my sway setup -- seems like I guessed right :) It all comes down to driver preference. I prefere a bit of oversteer, and right now my Z has just a wee bit of it.....for me, it's perfect :cheers:
 

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First :welcome:

Great work out at the track! I have only one day of track time under my belt, but getting ready to do a second. I have the HPS pads on all 4 corners, and Castrol GT LMA fluid in the lines, and since I am such a track newb I am not trying to push the Z or my limits yet, but def. looking into upgrading to BBK for next season, when I hope to get quite a few track days.....

great post BTW! You should make a nice addition to the Z fam here at tech!
 

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Originally posted by Conan@Sep 20 2005, 10:43 AM
You definately don't need to be wary about setting the rear stiffer.  When I installed my sway bars, I took into account how much the stock setup understeered (which is a ton) and took an educated guess on my sway setup -- seems like I guessed right :)  It all comes down to driver preference.  I prefere a bit of oversteer, and right now my Z has just a wee bit of it.....for me, it's perfect  :cheers:
[snapback]156700[/snapback]​

Although I like sliding the back end out just as much as the next guy, I prefer understeer. It's just much safer for drivers that aren't experienced on the track.

I think I'll try med/hard, but not soft/hard. I'll let you know how I like the difference. I'm still understeering just a little bit currently on med/med.
 

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Let us know what kind of brake upgrade you're going to do. I've got the Hawk pads and DOT 4 fluid, but I'm sure I'll need better rotors to dissipate the heat.

Plus, now I'm very interested in the Hotchkis setup. I'm really noticing the understeer lately and want my Z to ride like it's on rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some promised pics:

That morning did not look good:


But it cleared up after a while. As I mentioned, my friend John has a Ferrari 348 TS:


The Noble:


A LOT of money sitting around:


....and more....


....and more....


....and more....


....and more....


The Radical (gotta get one!):


Rounding turn 9...


Happy Drivers (I'm in the black and red shirt):


The vid (not much of me, but some cool shots). NOTE: The file is 50 MB. (right-click, then "Save As..." on the link):
Track video
 

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Sweeeeeeeeet :OMG:
 

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:OMG: Thank you, Conan! :bow: Nice pics! And definitely lots of money there on the track. Someone at Donnybrooke made a lot of money that day.

I can't wait til next year! :shiftdrive: Forget aesthetics, I want power!
 

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Come to think about it, I could've gone up to spend the day there just to watch and take pics. Oh, well. There's always a next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Originally posted by SmoothZ@Sep 21 2005, 09:51 AM
Come to think about it, I could've gone up to spend the day there just to watch and take pics.  Oh, well.  There's always a next time.
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Yeah, that would have been cool. A friend of John's, Billy, owns a 911 Carrera 4S. His car is in the shop, so he just rode along. He ended up taking all the pics and the vid. I also took him for a ride in the Z -- he seemed impressed :)

There was another 350Z there that had twin turbos. Unfortunately, it started leaking oil into the intake, so he didn't even complete one lap. Would have like to have seen what it could do.
 
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