E90Post
 


E92 Lighting
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Cost of tracking



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      11-09-2014, 11:35 PM   #1
bmwarg
Second Lieutenant
3
Rep
213
Posts

 
Drives: 2008 BMW 335i
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: san francisco, ca

iTrader: (0)

Cost of tracking

I'd like to start taking my car to the track. Could someone give me a break down of the cost to track the car (e.g., mods, maintenance, track time)?

I am guessing that to track the car safely I need to buy track brake pads and rotors at the minimum. Any other mods required?

Thanks!
__________________
JB4 G5 ISO | Alpina B3 TCU Flash | BMS Pump Gas Backend Flash | ER Charge Pipe
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 08:03 AM   #2
TSM330i
2006 330i, TSM, Black, manual, sport
TSM330i's Avatar
United_States
74
Rep
3,134
Posts

 
Drives: E90 330i, E86 Z4 3.0si
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester Springs, PA

iTrader: (2)

As you said, brake pads and rotors, plus high temp brake fluid.

The next mod would be to take off your tune or anything else that gives you more power. The last mod you do is add HP.

First mod is brakes, second is seat time, third is seat time, fourth is seat time.
Then, after you've been comfortable and are able to hold your own, start with suspension mods. Then more and more seat time.
__________________
2006 330i, TSM, Black, Sport, JIC Cross Coil-Overs, UUC Sways, 18" Advan RS, Mich PSS 255/265, BMW Electric Steering Wheel, Rogue shifter, M-Tech front, CF emblems, Dinan TB, Intake, exhaust, strut bar, Stoptech BBK, LSD, M3 susp., LUX 5, CF Hood and CSL, Sparco Seats, AA tune, CF Roof
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 10:51 AM   #3
justpete
Lieutenant
United_States
20
Rep
510
Posts

 
Drives: 328i
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DFW

iTrader: (0)

I'd skip rotors and pads and just go with racing brake fluid for the first time out to avoid brake fade but seat time is all that matters for a long time, mods aren't going to make the driver faster.

Learning to threshold brake runs the risk of getting into the ABS enough to end up with "warped" rotors (that aren't warped but feel like it) and generally they'll need to be replaced if they don't recover. Best to learn not to overbrake keeping this in mind, you'll be faster in the end.

You might also have to pay for a tech inspection depending on who's running the trackday/HPDE.

To avoid having to buy new tires if you get the tire pressure wrong and shred them get a tire crayon and mark over the last inch or more at the edge of the tread and down onto the sidewall an inch or so on both the front and back tires. They work best when the tires are hot, like when you first arrive at the track and when you get back to the paddock after each session.

Check after each run to see if the mark is still there but only up the sidewall to the edge of the tread area. Raise the pressure to keep the tires from rolling onto the sidewalls or lower it to make full use of the tread width. You might need to pull into the hot pit and make a quick check to begin with.

Keep track of the tire pressure used, front and back, and the ambient temp for future reference. Doesn't matter what tire pressure gauge you use just as long as it's the same one each time and that it doesn't get banged around when not in use. And ambient temp is always available via accuweather on your phone once it knows your location.

Bring a torque wrench to check the wheel bolts before each session when they're cold, especially if running in warm or hot weather. Might not be necessary but it's good practice.

It'd be a good idea to bleed the brakes after a trackday/DE event so there's another cost if only for the fluid if you do it yourself.
__________________
2011 E90 328i ZSP 6MT, PI+RM+3IM+AAstg3, SS+CI528+ThermoTec+PE, AKG eng/UUC trans mnts, ATI, CM 850, CAE shifter, AKG DSSR, PG 3.73 2-way 100% LSD, HVT 3-way, adj ARB end links, TMS Delrin diff/RS, M3 arms/links, RE toe arms+Aurora PR, all BW spherical bearings, Vorshlag CPs, HPA M3 brace, ARC-8 18x8.5, 255 R1R, 135i calipers+ST kit+Ti, BW guide bushings, XP10, ST lines/RT700, F30 shields, Safecraft, Schroth, M3 steering wheel, RT DL1Mk3/DASH3
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 04:28 PM   #4
Smooth 330i
Major
Smooth 330i's Avatar
17
Rep
1,063
Posts

 
Drives: Sleepy 330i
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: PA

iTrader: (9)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwarg View Post
I'd like to start taking my car to the track. Could someone give me a break down of the cost to track the car (e.g., mods, maintenance, track time)?

I am guessing that to track the car safely I need to buy track brake pads and rotors at the minimum. Any other mods required?

Thanks!
I'll try to keep it simple. The first 2-3 times keep your car stock except the brake fluid. You will need to bring engine oil, spare pads (f+r) and tools. A spare tire is a good idea also if you are not bringing dedicated track wheels. Once you get to know your car and your driving style you will have a better idea what to mod. The power is the last thing you need to worry about.

The cost is:
1. HPDE 350+
2. Lodging 100+/day
3. Insurance 200+
4. Gas ~100
5. Inspection ~100 (if needed)

A rough est. is around ~500-600/day excluding complex mods (suspension, lsd, bbk, etc.)

P.S.
Another good mod is a few lbs of belly/ass lard delete (if applicable).
__________________

E90 330i Sport | JRZ RS1 | Dinan | Quaife | Evolve
M3 Bits | GC | Apex | Braile | Supersprint | Reccaro
Stoptech BBK | BMW Perf | Macht Schnell | Turner
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
bmwarg
Second Lieutenant
3
Rep
213
Posts

 
Drives: 2008 BMW 335i
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: san francisco, ca

iTrader: (0)

great info, thanks everyone!
__________________
JB4 G5 ISO | Alpina B3 TCU Flash | BMS Pump Gas Backend Flash | ER Charge Pipe
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 07:06 PM   #6
Cloud9blue
Lieutenant Colonel
Cloud9blue's Avatar
United_States
35
Rep
1,613
Posts

 
Drives: avoiding the potholes
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago, IL

iTrader: (11)

FYI, run on stock tune if you don't have have an upgraded intercooler. And be mentally prepare for some wastegate rattles that will show up after a few events if you are running stock turbos.

If you want to a cheap track days, look for SCCA track events at your region. At my region, those events barely cost over $100 for a 3-4 20 mins sessions run and offer free instructors for newbies. Also check if there is any open track days at some of your local tracks.

Start with a "safe" track with plenty of run off. As much as I hate to admit, our cars don't worth that much these days, so paying $2-300 for insurance for each events doesn't make much financial sense to me if you plan on doing it regularly (just remember that insurance companies are there to make money too). Just pay attention to the track, keep your distance, and don't drive like an idiot, you should be ok.

I would recommend getting a set of real track pads (performance friction, paige, etc.), which runs around $500-600 for all corners. Depending on the compounds, but a good one should last you at least 5-8 events once you pick up speed. Don't listen to those guys with weak N52 engines

FYI, for a N54 engine car, you gonna cook through your regular street pads on your first day once you are comfortable with the track. And those hybrid street/track pads just aren't good enough in most cases. You will likely end up saving some money in the long run if you run real track pad and do your own pad change.

Tires cost around $800-1500 depending on the size, and a typical trackable street tires (hankook rs-3, etc.) should last you a season (8-15 events) if you have enough negative cambers.

If you are interested in saving some money, start learning some DIY such as engine, trans fluid change. You gonna want to replace those a lot more frequently once you start pushing the car. As others have mentioned, it is wise to invest in some basic tools (jack, stand, tool kits, scan cable for our tricky ecu), to budge $300-600 for that.
__________________
09 E92 335i AT: Monaco Blue / Saddle Brown / Grey Poplar
JB4 / BMS Flash / AE / DP/FMIC / TC Kline DA / M3/Megan / Wavetrac / Powerflex/Whiteline / Dinan OC / Aux. Radiator / Apex PS-7
07 BMW R1200S: Shine Yellow / Akrapovic Slip-on / Ohlins

Last edited by Cloud9blue; 11-10-2014 at 07:12 PM.
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 08:17 PM   #7
justpete
Lieutenant
United_States
20
Rep
510
Posts

 
Drives: 328i
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DFW

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud9blue View Post
I would recommend getting a set of real track pads (performance friction, paige, etc.), which runs around $500-600 for all corners. Depending on the compounds, but a good one should last you at least 5-8 events once you pick up speed. Don't listen to those guys with weak N52 engines
Hey! I resemble that remark...

My 328 has the same hp to weight ratio as a 335, but less torque at lower revs and it needs Carbotech XP10 pads front and rear, titanium shims up front, and solid guide rod bushings in the rear calipers. Front calipers are 135i parts with Stoptech pistons, seals, and boots. F30 shield plates added for cooling. Running Stoptech lines and Torque RT700 fluid. All with OE rotors and Toyo 255/35ZR18 R1R tires on all corners.

If you don't overbrake stock brakes are fine, it's the tires that provide the traction to stop the car so race pads generally aren't much help with street tires. They are a way to avoid pad fade though but I've seen too many 335i and M3 cars go off track or nearly so as they go straight with the wheels turned having carried too much speed into the corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud9blue,16912682
FYI, for a N54 engine car, you gonna cook through your regular street pads on your first day once you are comfortable with the track. And those hybrid street/track pads just aren't good enough in most cases. You will likely end up saving some money in the long run if you run real track pad and do your own pad change.
If you're cooking through street pads you're likely overbraking. Should be practicing minimizing braking to carry increasingly more speed through turns so familiarization leads to less braking until max corner speed or minimum sector time is found. Then start delaying braking while increasing brake force and decreasing brake duration until minimum brake time is achieved. This will be pretty much limited by tires and rotor cooling. Mostly. Get fast enough and brakes will have to upgraded for cooling since the thermal load increases with the square of the speed.

Doesn't really matter if yer having fun tho...
__________________
2011 E90 328i ZSP 6MT, PI+RM+3IM+AAstg3, SS+CI528+ThermoTec+PE, AKG eng/UUC trans mnts, ATI, CM 850, CAE shifter, AKG DSSR, PG 3.73 2-way 100% LSD, HVT 3-way, adj ARB end links, TMS Delrin diff/RS, M3 arms/links, RE toe arms+Aurora PR, all BW spherical bearings, Vorshlag CPs, HPA M3 brace, ARC-8 18x8.5, 255 R1R, 135i calipers+ST kit+Ti, BW guide bushings, XP10, ST lines/RT700, F30 shields, Safecraft, Schroth, M3 steering wheel, RT DL1Mk3/DASH3
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 09:23 PM   #8
Cloud9blue
Lieutenant Colonel
Cloud9blue's Avatar
United_States
35
Rep
1,613
Posts

 
Drives: avoiding the potholes
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago, IL

iTrader: (11)

Quote:
Originally Posted by justpete View Post
Hey! I resemble that remark...

My 328 has the same hp to weight ratio as a 335, but less torque at lower revs and it needs Carbotech XP10 pads front and rear, titanium shims up front, and solid guide rod bushings in the rear calipers. Front calipers are 135i parts with Stoptech pistons, seals, and boots. F30 shield plates added for cooling. Running Stoptech lines and Torque RT700 fluid. All with OE rotors and Toyo 255/35ZR18 R1R tires on all corners.

If you don't overbrake stock brakes are fine, it's the tires that provide the traction to stop the car so race pads generally aren't much help with street tires. They are a way to avoid pad fade though but I've seen too many 335i and M3 cars go off track or nearly so as they go straight with the wheels turned having carried too much speed into the corner.



If you're cooking through street pads you're likely overbraking. Should be practicing minimizing braking to carry increasingly more speed through turns so familiarization leads to less braking until max corner speed or minimum sector time is found. Then start delaying braking while increasing brake force and decreasing brake duration until minimum brake time is achieved. This will be pretty much limited by tires and rotor cooling. Mostly. Get fast enough and brakes will have to upgraded for cooling since the thermal load increases with the square of the speed.

Doesn't really matter if yer having fun tho...
It all depends on the track, but if it anything like the one I was on the first time out, there is no way the stock pads will hold if you have brake from 120 to 40-50 miles twice every other minute. Consider N54 with auto transmission like mine and OP, the whole chassis is probably 200l-300bs heavier than a manual 328/330i with super light Mg engine block, while probably carrying 10-20 more mph at the straights. So why skimp on the only thing is stopping this +3600lbs to metal?
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 09:46 PM   #9
justpete
Lieutenant
United_States
20
Rep
510
Posts

 
Drives: 328i
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DFW

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud9blue View Post
It all depends on the track, but if it anything like the one I was on the first time out, there is no way the stock pads will hold if you have brake from 120 to 40-50 miles twice every other minute. Consider N54 with auto transmission like mine and OP, the whole chassis is probably 200l-300bs heavier than a manual 328/330i with super light Mg engine block, while probably carrying 10-20 more mph at the straights. So why skimp on the only thing is stopping this +3600lbs to metal?
No argument there. Last weekend at ECR braking from 105 to 45 or so wouldn't have been particularly good on the OE brakes. OTOH, it was the first time at that track and the datalogger shows clearly I was overbraking. Running with the advanced guys at the end of the weekend demonstrated they were running faster but also not braking nearly as much, taking every corner a lot faster than I could manage, easily braking only to 60-65, if that. Nobody was dropping any lower except in one of the hairpins and not by much. Was impressive to watch on-track.

The previous weekend saw the tires being overheated quite a bit since that track was more technical with more turns and tire pressure had to be dropped from 32psi to 28psi cold. Braking ability increased considerably as traction increased but the tires and brakes ran cooler as less braking input was required given the increased traction made cornering faster.

Punching it and parking it is fun but it isn't really fast. Was kinda funny at ECR catching and passing a new 550i, an M3, a Carrera S, and I don't remember what all else only to be passed by a Texas Track Works Civic CRX at the end of the weekend. And an M3. And a spec Miata. Datalogging shows clearly why along with the video, overbraking. I gotta run that track some more...

Easy to find out how hot your brakes are getting, some Alcon stickers and some Genesis rotor temp paint. A memory tire pyrometer is really handy too.

I guess it all depends on what your goals are, progressing to a racing license or just hammering it on trackdays. Hammering it is actually more fun I think.
__________________
2011 E90 328i ZSP 6MT, PI+RM+3IM+AAstg3, SS+CI528+ThermoTec+PE, AKG eng/UUC trans mnts, ATI, CM 850, CAE shifter, AKG DSSR, PG 3.73 2-way 100% LSD, HVT 3-way, adj ARB end links, TMS Delrin diff/RS, M3 arms/links, RE toe arms+Aurora PR, all BW spherical bearings, Vorshlag CPs, HPA M3 brace, ARC-8 18x8.5, 255 R1R, 135i calipers+ST kit+Ti, BW guide bushings, XP10, ST lines/RT700, F30 shields, Safecraft, Schroth, M3 steering wheel, RT DL1Mk3/DASH3
Appreciate 0
      11-10-2014, 10:00 PM   #10
Cloud9blue
Lieutenant Colonel
Cloud9blue's Avatar
United_States
35
Rep
1,613
Posts

 
Drives: avoiding the potholes
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago, IL

iTrader: (11)

Quote:
Originally Posted by justpete View Post
Easy to find out how hot your brakes are getting, some Alcon stickers and some Genesis rotor temp paint. A memory tire pyrometer is really handy too.
Good idea, gotta look into to this more for the next season.

OP, get a data log app for your smart phone at least (Harry's lap timer is a good one). It will really shows how you can improve your driving. Even more than helpful than a instructor in my opinion.
Appreciate 0
      11-13-2014, 12:38 AM   #11
rcl
2011 328i coupe 6mt
United_States
1
Rep
170
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 bmw 328i
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: atlanta, ga

iTrader: (0)

Good condition rotors, race brake pads, fresh oil, a good DOT4 brake fluid, and sticky tires should be the minimum before a track day imo.

The cost is variable as it can be as cheap, or as expensive as you want the experience to be...
__________________
2011 328i coupe 6mt
Appreciate 0
      11-20-2014, 01:32 PM   #12
dinanm3atl
Private First Class
3
Rep
127
Posts

 
Drives: 24V E30, E70, E32, E30 W2W
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta

iTrader: (0)

Will echo some with track it stock. To start you should have no problem for your very first event. Then do brake upgrades(pads/fluid). You will learn a lot in the beginning as speeds increase.

Do not need coilovers, BBK, tunes and the like to track your car. Learning is more important which comes from seat time.
Appreciate 0
      11-21-2014, 09:04 AM   #13
TSM330i
2006 330i, TSM, Black, manual, sport
TSM330i's Avatar
United_States
74
Rep
3,134
Posts

 
Drives: E90 330i, E86 Z4 3.0si
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester Springs, PA

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by justpete View Post
Hey! I resemble that remark...

My 328 has the same hp to weight ratio as a 335, but less torque at lower revs and it needs Carbotech XP10 pads front and rear, titanium shims up front, and solid guide rod bushings in the rear calipers. Front calipers are 135i parts with Stoptech pistons, seals, and boots. F30 shield plates added for cooling. Running Stoptech lines and Torque RT700 fluid. All with OE rotors and Toyo 255/35ZR18 R1R tires on all corners.

If you don't overbrake stock brakes are fine, it's the tires that provide the traction to stop the car so race pads generally aren't much help with street tires. They are a way to avoid pad fade though but I've seen too many 335i and M3 cars go off track or nearly so as they go straight with the wheels turned having carried too much speed into the corner.



If you're cooking through street pads you're likely overbraking. Should be practicing minimizing braking to carry increasingly more speed through turns so familiarization leads to less braking until max corner speed or minimum sector time is found. Then start delaying braking while increasing brake force and decreasing brake duration until minimum brake time is achieved. This will be pretty much limited by tires and rotor cooling. Mostly. Get fast enough and brakes will have to upgraded for cooling since the thermal load increases with the square of the speed.

Doesn't really matter if yer having fun tho...
I agree about if you're cooking through street pads that you're likely overbraking, but this is his first event. The only way he's going to be able to work on this is on the track. More than likely, he's going to be overcooking his brakes and therefore I'd suggest at least a set of pads and fluid. This way it'll be one less thing he has to worry about.

In his first event, he's going to be braking earlier and longer than an experienced driver will. In the end, a set of track pads alone will more than likely end up costing him less than a set of street pads and rotors. The 335 has really good acceleration, so he'll be able to at least get moving pretty easily. Stopping is the most important thing on the track. Speed without being able to stop does you no good.

A buddy of mine tracked his 328xi wagon last year for the first time ever. In two days, he ate his front brakes and rotors.

Don't scare your instructor, drive smooth and have fun!
__________________
2006 330i, TSM, Black, Sport, JIC Cross Coil-Overs, UUC Sways, 18" Advan RS, Mich PSS 255/265, BMW Electric Steering Wheel, Rogue shifter, M-Tech front, CF emblems, Dinan TB, Intake, exhaust, strut bar, Stoptech BBK, LSD, M3 susp., LUX 5, CF Hood and CSL, Sparco Seats, AA tune, CF Roof
Appreciate 0
      11-21-2014, 10:19 AM   #14
justpete
Lieutenant
United_States
20
Rep
510
Posts

 
Drives: 328i
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DFW

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TSM330i View Post
I agree about if you're cooking through street pads that you're likely overbraking, but this is his first event. The only way he's going to be able to work on this is on the track. More than likely, he's going to be overcooking his brakes and therefore I'd suggest at least a set of pads and fluid. This way it'll be one less thing he has to worry about.

In his first event, he's going to be braking earlier and longer than an experienced driver will. In the end, a set of track pads alone will more than likely end up costing him less than a set of street pads and rotors. The 335 has really good acceleration, so he'll be able to at least get moving pretty easily. Stopping is the most important thing on the track. Speed without being able to stop does you no good.

A buddy of mine tracked his 328xi wagon last year for the first time ever. In two days, he ate his front brakes and rotors.

Don't scare your instructor, drive smooth and have fun!
Agreed and that's a good point about having one less thing to worry about. I managed to glaze the brakes and nearly ruin the rotors on the track the first time. If I'd been running track pads, etc. I probably wouldn't have learned about overbraking or progressed away from it nearly as quickly without incurring further damage. I was running Motul at the time so things could've been worse.

I was thinking it might be helpful to actually have the street pads fade a bit first time out as it would tend to constrain punching it out of every corner where it got parked. In the end it'd make a driver faster by forcing him to go slower. That's what I was getting at mentioning the high powered cars that went straight off track understeering or barely managing to get through the turn at all. With better brakes they would've never learned how poorly they were really driving. Like having R-Comps but not the skill to handle the car when they let go at much higher speeds. Best to learn how to drive the car and not the tires, or brakes.

None of this does any good if it isn't explained up front and noted by the instructor in real time. And there's the risk this won't happen in which case track pads would be cheap insurance and safer for the instructor who's putting his life in the student's hands. But it's really really tough to learn how to be truly smooth if the car will encourage you not to be, better maybe if it forces one to be smooth. Same reason to keep the street suspension as it exacerbates lack of smoothness which many misinterpret as the car's fault and rush to change dampers, springs, bushings, roll bars, etc.

Regardless, if the reason to go to the track is to have fun instead of learning to drive well enough to acquire a racing license then what's fun is what counts, as long as everybody's safe.
__________________
2011 E90 328i ZSP 6MT, PI+RM+3IM+AAstg3, SS+CI528+ThermoTec+PE, AKG eng/UUC trans mnts, ATI, CM 850, CAE shifter, AKG DSSR, PG 3.73 2-way 100% LSD, HVT 3-way, adj ARB end links, TMS Delrin diff/RS, M3 arms/links, RE toe arms+Aurora PR, all BW spherical bearings, Vorshlag CPs, HPA M3 brace, ARC-8 18x8.5, 255 R1R, 135i calipers+ST kit+Ti, BW guide bushings, XP10, ST lines/RT700, F30 shields, Safecraft, Schroth, M3 steering wheel, RT DL1Mk3/DASH3
Appreciate 0
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:44 PM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST