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Track Day Experience - Brakes/Cooling/Handling, in other words, everything

This is a discussion on Track Day Experience - Brakes/Cooling/Handling, in other words, everything within the Focus RS Discussions forums, part of the Focus RS Forums category; Thank you for posting this write up, it’s extremely helpful!...

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Thread: Track Day Experience - Brakes/Cooling/Handling, in other words, everything

  1. #11
    RS Rookie Five's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this write up, it’s extremely helpful!

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    RS Expert Dave-ROR's Avatar
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    Is that dumbass Phil still running CGI?

    Gridloaf crew are good guys.. I'll skip all gridloaf events though... I do need to make it up for another WMHM event some year soon though.
    -Dave
    DD/HPDE: 2018 Camaro SS 1LE || Rotting ex-DD: 1995 BMW M3 || Tow Vehicle: 2004 Sierra 2500 8.1L || Weekend toy: 1994 MR2 Turbo || The other weekend toy: 1993 MR2 Turbo || Track car: 1998 Integra Type-R || Race car: 1996 Integra GS-R || And another 2000 Integra GS-R

    Too many cars.. never.

  3. #13
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    That AAF brake cooling option seems like a great solution. Keep the stock Brembo calipers and add cooling instead of going to some knock-off brand calipers (yes, I'm biased). You don't take off perfectly good Brembo calipers before trying to add cooling, play with pad compounds and such, which is what race teams would do.
    seniorgeek likes this.
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  5. #14
    RS Expert Dave-ROR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pointby View Post
    That AAF brake cooling option seems like a great solution. Keep the stock Brembo calipers and add cooling instead of going to some knock-off brand calipers (yes, I'm biased). You don't take off perfectly good Brembo calipers before trying to add cooling, play with pad compounds and such, which is what race teams would do.
    Essex Parts sells a setup with AP Racing calipers.. they are better track calipers without question compared to the OEM calipers. Having said that, I never swapped out the brakes on mine because I never had a problem once I found a good enough pad choice. IIRC I was running DS1UNO on it at the end.

    I really need to sell my leftover RS stuff.. team lazy.
    Pointby likes this.
    -Dave
    DD/HPDE: 2018 Camaro SS 1LE || Rotting ex-DD: 1995 BMW M3 || Tow Vehicle: 2004 Sierra 2500 8.1L || Weekend toy: 1994 MR2 Turbo || The other weekend toy: 1993 MR2 Turbo || Track car: 1998 Integra Type-R || Race car: 1996 Integra GS-R || And another 2000 Integra GS-R

    Too many cars.. never.

  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-ROR View Post
    I never swapped out the brakes on mine because I never had a problem once I found a good enough pad choice.

    I agree, test until it fails, then upgrade. Right now its not failing. I could get the Cup 2's into ABS with the stock pads and nothing overheated. Once the tire looses grip, doesn't matter how much more clamping power your calipers have, you won't stop any faster. I'm still going to run the same pads from May at the June HPDE (hopefully dry both morn and afternoon), with a spare set in the toolbox (just in case). I'm anticipating hotter rotor and caliper temps, but I feel comfortable saying I don't think they will overheat.

    I really need to sell my leftover RS stuff.. team lazy.
    Whatcha got?
    __________________________________________________
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  7. #16
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    Great write up!

    If I don't get my STI back together and fully shaken down this year I might hit the track this fall with my RS, really excited based on what i've read about how it will perform!

  8. #17
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    I am very happy and a bit surprised at how it performed as well. All my mods were basic. I will continue to do data collection and things may get worse when the weather gets significantly hotter. I definitely feel the FoRS rewards a smooth and controlled driver and punishes those who regularly force the car.
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    2017 Ford Focus RS - Black
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    1984 Yamaha RZ350
    1987 Yamaha YSR50

  9. #18
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    Finally got around to getting the videos edited. Here are the four sessions. First two were wet. Third cut short because another driver crashed. Last one was almost dry.

    Have my next HPDE on 6/18. Hope it stays dry! Should be able to get more info.




    FLBlue1265 likes this.
    __________________________________________________
    "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain

    2017 Ford Focus RS - Black
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    1985 Yamaha RZ500
    1984 Yamaha RZ350
    1987 Yamaha YSR50

  10. #19
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    Well, had the second track day with the FoRS at Gingerman today. If I could sum it up in one word, hot! 95 and 80%+ humidity with nary a cloud in the sky. FoRS ran great. Kept everything the same from last session in May, even the same stock brake pads (now they have 6500 miles on them). In short, had no issues. Got Harry's Lap timer working (sort of) the video and timing functions working, but the accel sensors didn't configure right. The track map looked like a spaghetti bowl. LOL! Still trying to figure out tire pressures, decided to go lower instead of higher. Stock suspension still has its limitations. Definitely need more negative camber, especially in front, and either softer springs or less shock compression. Normal mode still too soft and sport mode just barely still too stiff. I will work on getting the data and videos ready to post soon. Best laptime (according to Harry's) 1:48.03. For reference, my dedicated track track car (Trans Am) did a 1:42.34 which took the overall win in the SCCA Time Trial at Gingerman in April. So not a bad time, considering the FoRS is virtually stock (only a little extra cooling).
    __________________________________________________
    "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain

    2017 Ford Focus RS - Black
    2016 Ford F150 Lariat
    1985 Yamaha RZ500
    1984 Yamaha RZ350
    1987 Yamaha YSR50

  11. #20
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    Got the videos edited, will attach at the end. You will have to excuse the quality, the autofocus remained on and the videos look a little jerky. Also, had issues with calibrating the sensors, so the GPS tracking looked like a spaghetti bowl, so I did not include the overlay on the videos. It didn't record the first session of the day or the last session of the day, for some reason. On to the good stuff.

    Ran the FoRS in the same state I ended the last track day. Same tires, same brake pads, same brake fluid. I changed engine oil and removed the RDU cooler. Ran six sessions through the day, three in the morning, three after lunch.

    Weather: Well I got the hot and dry conditions. 90+, high humidity, lightly cloudy. We also had a strong 15-20 WSW wind (definately kept speeds down on back stretch).

    Tires: Well still messing around with the tire pressures. As stated from the previous posts, still had a lot of understeer and changing tire pressures really didn't help cure the problem. Started at my previous 46/43 with the normal mode suspension. The car definately rolled more, but I didn't seem to get any better bite on the tires. Going higher on pressures didn't seem like a good idea bc I was getting hot pressures around 53/50, so I instead dropping hot pressures. Also I would switch back and forth between normal/sport modes in each session to see if the tires would react differently. I did notice a significant drop in hot pressures as the day went on and ultimately stopped with a hot pressure of 38/38. These pressures resulted in a cold temp of 33/33. I was already getting significant rolling over of the front tires on the leading edges of the sidewall and didn't think going lower would improve anything. Also, switching between normal and sport suspension did not make much difference in tire grip. Having the rears matching the fronts did seem to help with the understeer a bit. With the rears harder, it would allow the rear to rotate a bit more upon corner entry easing the understeer a bit. In my next HPDE day, I will probably increase the rear tire pressure over the fronts by a couple of pounds to see if I can continue the positive trend. I also feel cold temps in the 37psi range would be a good place to start to provide the max grip with the least amount of tire rolling over. I would start with 37/39psi cold.

    Suspension As stated earlier Ford missed the boat with the suspension. Trying the normal mode throughout the day it felt like the FoRS heeled over like a spec miata. The compression was way too low; however, even with the car heeled over, I still got the skipping over the bumps, just not as bad as in sport mode. This continued skipping leads me to believe the issue w the suspension comes from springs having too high of a weight. Looking though the forum and spring providers seem to confirm the kits available all have softer springs. Some argue this is to improve street ride and not for track use; but, if the spring absorbs and returns its energy to the suspension/wheels too quickly and too harshly you can definitely cause bad track handling and a unsettled, skipping feeling. Further, IMO going to softer springs would improve normal mode for street use, and would help with issues I am having on the track. The softer spring in sport mode on the track would allow the car to more quickly absorb the energy from the track's bump (ie: more compliant) and more slowly release it back into the suspension/wheels (ie: less rebound/bounce). The greater compliance and less bounce should alleviate the skipping, yet the higher compression in sport mode should help prevent the car from rolling over.

    The next issue which also goes directly to the issues of the tires, would be negative camber. Many forum members have added significant amounts of negative camber to set up the car for track days. Based upon the tire wear above and the body motion of the vehicle I would agree. To track this car, you need a much more negative camber than stock. Currently I sit at Front -1.7/-1.4 and rear -.9/-.9. Looking through the forum and consulting the repair manual posted by members, it look like bone stock you can get approx -.25 by adjusting the top strut mounts and -1.5 by adjusting the bottom strut mounts. Also, loosening the entire front suspension substructure allows you to adjust the camber side to side and the caster front to rear. I know have to convince my local guy to take up his rack all day to @#$% around with my alignment; but, I think I am going to try to shoot for a front -2/-2 and rear -1.5/-1.5 at stock ride height. This should not affect tire wear too much for daily driving. Then I will add neg camber with the adjustable ride height for track days.

    Since my FoRS is also my daily driver, need to find a solution which allows me to adjust ride height so I can keep a more stock height during daily driving and adjust for track days. Currently, it seem my best option would be the Ground Control Spring Kit. https://groundcontrolstore.com/colle...nt=35981171203 This kit says it allows adjustment between 0-1.6 lower and you can pick a spring weight from Eibach. I can get the softer spring to improve street ride and track ride, plus lowering the car for track days would also put in some more additional negative camber, approx additional -.5-7 using the full 1.6 drop. Therefore, for the track, I would have approx front -2.6 and rear -2.1 negative camber. Further, dropping the approx 1.6 at the track should not affect the toe dramatically for the track day. I would try to make the changes on the alignment rack to see the actual change to see if I can also adjust for the track. I also may not drop the rear ride height the full 1.6. This will keep more weight on the front, less on the rear, hopefully making the front bite more and the rear looser to help alleviate some understeer without having to lower tire pressures.

    By making the camber and spring changes, I hope to alleviate the tire wear issues (rollover) and the harshness issues over the bumps. Once I have addressed the camber/suspension, I should be able to go back to the tire pressures and find the optimal tire pressure for the Cup 2's. Hopefully, I would then be able to adjust back to a more street friendly setup for daily use.

    PTU/RDU Did not run the RDU cooler this day. Even though I had much higher temps 90+, had no issues with the PTU and RDU what-so-ever. During all sessions, checked the temp immediately upon crossing finish line between turns 2 and 3. RDU showed temps all in the upper 160's (ie: 166, 168, 167, etc). The PTU ran slightly warmer, still in upper 270's, but only by few degrees or so (ie: 276, 277, 278) I never had the PTU go over 280 (lower than my guess last time). Ran the FoRS in Track mode w ESC completely off. I did switch between normal/sport modes with the suspension, but didn't see any different in either RDU/PTU temp.

    At this time, I feel I don't need to do anything else to the PTU or RDU. It ran flawlessly. I will obviously continue to monitor the RDU/PTU temps as I make improvements to the car and run faster times, but I don't foresee any issues; and, I still have the last step of using a turbo blanket to keep additional heat away from the PTU if I need it.

    On an interesting note, although I did not have an large increase in PTU temp, I did see a bit of a jump in engine oil temp. Using the stock gauge for reference purposes only (I know it's an estimate). During the May track session it read approx 275-277, slightly higher than the PTU temp, which would make sense because they both share the same coolant. In June, however, it went higher to approx 282-285, yet the PTU temp did not change as much. This increase stayed consistent. It was higher than May, but never varied but a few degrees. I still felt comfortable it would not spike into a danger zone 300+ Would i like to see a lower oil temp, sure. But the limited amount of track days I will do with this car, the fact I change the oil regularly with Mobil 1 (would love to use Liquimoly, but can't source the 5w50), I am ok with the temp. If was running longer endurance races or full race series where I would have prac Fri, qualifying Sat, race Sun, then yes, I would try to find a method to bring the oil temps down. Obviously, when I improve suspension and speeds increase oil temps may as well and I may have to add a cooler, but for right now I am ok with it.

    Brakes I ran the same brakes as the May track day session. Sames pads, rotors, and fluid. When I started the track day I had 6500 miles on the car. The brakes, once again, performed flawlessly. I had no initial softness when using the brakes like I did in May. This indicates to me the pad compound changed during the May session heating. Brakes had same feel throughout the entire day. The temps were slightly higher according the pyrometer, but only minor changes. Outer edge of the rotor averaged around 535, inner edge around 510, with the caliper temp of around 265. So hotter than May, but not nearly anything to worry about. The rotors did not show any bluing or pad compound deposits on the rotors. The pads have a ton of life still left in them. I have easily a 1/4 in of pad left on the front and 1/3 in on the rear. I still have my spare set and will keep using these until they are gone.

    At this time, I feel I don't need to do anything else to the brakes. The stock setup works great both on street and track. I feel the additional cooling has helped mitigate any issue I may have had and I would definitely recommend it. As you can see from the video's I was not easy on my brakes during this track day. The brakes lasted through six hard sessions (hell, the tires were going off and the brakes were fine) and I will most likely use them for a third track day as is. Obviously, if I can get suspension improvements made I will increase my speed and I will have to use the brakes harder which will increase temps, but I feel I have a lot of room left before I would completely overheat this setup.

    Observations Overall, once again, very, very impressed with the FoRS on the track in stock form. As you can see from the videos, it took good drivers in high end vehicles to outperform it. I could could keep up and pass less skilled driver in high end vehicles, and comparable vehicles did not have any chance. Best time Harry's lap timer showed was a 1:48.03. Usually, with traffic the timed sessions were in the 1:49 to 1:50 range. As stated above, my dedicated track car runs 1:42's. So I am in no way babying the FoRS. I feel the PTU/RDU and Brake issues have been resolved. I feel I can't completely find the best tire pressures until I resolve the suspension issues, but I know the high and low range for the tires. Once the suspension issues resolved, I feel I can easily drop time and get my FoRS into the 1:45's without any engine/exhaust mods or tunes (currently I am bone stock except of K&N air filter and Mounttune sound suppressor). With a flash, even lower. Once complete, I would have a daily driver which I could easily lower the suspension to switch to track mode and would squarely fit under the SCCA National Time Trial Rules for Sport 2 SCCA - Time Trials Nationals - Interactive Rules with still room to add on.

    Hope the above helps and I will keep updating as changes occur. See you at the track!




    Last edited by JAK167; 06-22-2018 at 12:02 PM.
    DeanHart, Carlman257 and Carcrzy like this.
    __________________________________________________
    "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain

    2017 Ford Focus RS - Black
    2016 Ford F150 Lariat
    1985 Yamaha RZ500
    1984 Yamaha RZ350
    1987 Yamaha YSR50

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