1st ever track day - WOW my brakes suck

Road race, Auto X, or the Drag Strip

1st ever track day - WOW my brakes suck

Postby Stubble » Sun May 07, 2006 3:57 am

I took a driving course, which culmintates with two days on a road course. I was happy that the AT ran well (other than hitting fuel cut a few times), but the balance was great, and I could hang the back end out on most corners. I certainly blew many corners by coming in too fast, but that was partly the fault of these shitty brakes. I guess part of the problem is the spongy pedal I always seem to have. I'll be getting a new master cylinder soon. But, I now understand why getting a big brake kit is such a good idea. I could slaughter my current lap times with better brakes as opposed to a bigger turbo.

Sorry if I sound like such a noob, but this road racing gig is pretty exciting. Too bad I finished off my tires (zero tread and blistering), so I'll have to take my miata tomorrow. Still, it will be an interesting contrast (light, lower power).
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Postby Stubble » Mon May 08, 2006 1:45 am

Day 2 was a blast as well, even though I had to take the Miata. Surprisingly, the lower power wasn't such a big deal. The instructors said that is because the course is tight. I guess minus 900 lbs makes up for less power and less lateral grip.

All in all, 2 days of track time and lots of instruction for $250 seems like a pretty good deal.
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Postby nfn15037 » Mon May 08, 2006 3:19 am

With the proper pads and fluid you shouldn't have any braking problems. Glad to hear you had a good time on track!
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Postby turbo4wd » Mon May 08, 2006 11:56 am

Along with what nfn said, try braking sooner and more progressively. If you stab at the brakes at the very last moment, they wont do you any good.

Before investing a ton of money into a big brake kit, I'd recommend trying out stickier rubber.
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Postby Gary ST165 » Mon May 08, 2006 12:07 pm

http://alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php ... highlight=

the above post may help you with your quest for improved braking.

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Postby Stubble » Tue May 09, 2006 3:44 am

Yeah, I have to figure out where my upgrade dollars get spent now. If I plan on tracking the car lots, I'll get brakes. However, I don't think I'll be there that often, so maybe a big turbo is better for fooling around on the street.
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Postby theUNYTEDone » Tue May 09, 2006 8:46 am

havent you thrown codes because your car hit fuel cut?
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Postby Stubble » Tue May 09, 2006 4:21 pm

Yes, but shutting the car off will eliminate the fuel cut condition so you can drive normally. Pulling the ECU fuse will clear the code. I pitted, shut down then restarted, and went on my way.
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Postby pepper » Wed May 10, 2006 2:09 am

Stubble wrote:Yeah, I have to figure out where my upgrade dollars get spent now. If I plan on tracking the car lots, I'll get brakes. However, I don't think I'll be there that often, so maybe a big turbo is better for fooling around on the street.


At a minimum, get some uprated pads (Porterfield, etc.), change your brake fluid, etc. One of the biggest benefits (and confidence booster) on the street are very good brakes. It's much easier psychologically to get up to higher speeds (whether in a straight line or in the twisties) knowing you can bring it down when you need to. Safer, too.

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Postby Stubble » Wed May 10, 2006 2:13 am

Fluid is all new, as I put new brake lines on last year. I think I need to bleed the master cylinder though. I let it run low (out?) during the gravity bleed when I changed the lines, and although I bled a ton of fluid through, I think there may be some air trapped somewhere in the MC. :shrug:
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Postby theUNYTEDone » Wed May 10, 2006 9:32 am

i think the air might do it. i recently did this, and the level was "good" according to everything...but after some driving...wooh. scary shit. i rechecked and it was horribly low. sometimes it decides to bleed on its own. :doh:
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Postby Speedy2k » Fri May 12, 2006 3:24 am

How do you get air out of the master cylinder? I heard of bench bleeding, but not sure exactly what needs to be done.
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Postby theUNYTEDone » Fri May 12, 2006 8:05 pm

dont know about bench bleeding, but when you bleed it, i suppose it'd be wise to make sure that you actually pump your brakes (while car is running) to make sure your brake system is working. dont do it on a hill, though. :P
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The easiest way to bleed your brakes

Postby MrWOT » Fri May 12, 2006 8:31 pm

It's quite easy to bleed your brakes, and there is a really simple, foolproof way to do it. Get a big jar, cup, whatever and fill it halfway full with your brake fluid, get a piece of tubing that will fit snugly over the bleed screw and put it over the top, run the other end all the way to the bottom of the half-full jar/cup of brake fluid. Now open the screw a little bit, and go slowly step on your brake pedal, until it's all the way to the floor. It will displace all the fluid in the system into the empty half of the cup, and all the air that comes out will dissipate to the top of the cup, now let the brake pedal off slowly and viola! It will suck airless brake fluid back through the bleed screw into the system :D Do it a few times to be sure ALL the air is out.

To bench bleed the master cylinder, follow this webpage.
http://www.misterfixit.com/brakbld1.htm
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Postby SBCelicaGT » Tue May 16, 2006 10:04 pm

Brady-

Glad to hear you got your car out on a real track. Be careful, the go-fast crackpipe that is open track events is quite addictive. ;)

As for your braking woes, what kind of fluid did you use? What kind of pads did you run?

A cheap fix that can work amazingly well is the use of brake ducts. With zip ties and duct tape, anything is possible:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/ ... c528fc.jpg

I was running stock-type pads at the time and the ducting did help me squeeze another lap in before I completely cooked the pads and had to back off.
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