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Error404
Error404 Reader
3/12/20 1:37 p.m.

I tracked my DD GTI for a handful of events before buying a dedicated track car. I stopped when I determined that mods where both expensive and would detract from its DD purpose. Also because I didn't want to land my nice car on a tire wall or berm. With that being said, I had a blast with Hawk HPS pads and ATE brake fluid. I learned a lot about the car and even bought track wheels and tires before I figured that when something went wrong it would be expensive. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
3/12/20 2:28 p.m.
Knurled. said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Go on...

I had kind of a mind to do track days with the Volvo, but am a little leery of the possible effects on the wheel bearings and the cooling systems in general.

How well do Fit consumables hold up?

They hold up relatively well. Low power and light weight means you aren't burning through tires, brakes, and gas as fast as you would in lets say a Type R. The last Fit I had with almost 200k on the clock was on the stock clutch and I was beating the lving hell out of it in rallyx, autox, and HPDEs for a season. Pads, rotors, and tires could have lasted through another season had I kept that car. Plus it takes regular grade gasoline. I don't have much experience with the first gen fits other than general maintenance when I was a Honda Tech back in the day and honestly they were never in the shop for much more than that. 

Second gens are what I know best. Changing spark plugs is quite the job, it requires removing the cowl and the upper intake manifold. I highly suggest throwing a cold air intake on it while you're doing that job as well as checking your valvetrain. 

3G Fits are quite a bit more comfortable to drive everyday, they lost the rear sway bar that the 2nd gen Sport versions had though, gained a few HP and a second camshaft, and lost one of the cool dash mounted cupholders. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/12/20 2:38 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

I work on Hondas all day now and have been familiar with Fits for a long time, and I do like the driving dynamics.  (Although I don't understand why you'd pull all that apart to get to the plugs, I can reach them all real easy without that level of work, just sneak an arm around from the passenger side)  I prefer the second generation, but was worried about how much they'd eat wheel bearings if run on track.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
3/12/20 3:00 p.m.
Knurled. said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

I work on Hondas all day now and have been familiar with Fits for a long time, and I do like the driving dynamics.  (Although I don't understand why you'd pull all that apart to get to the plugs, I can reach them all real easy without that level of work, just sneak an arm around from the passenger side)  I prefer the second generation, but was worried about how much they'd eat wheel bearings if run on track.

I never had any issues with wheel bearings. I have large forearms that make working in tiny spaces a pain, i physically just could not do it that way. This also caused lots of fun burns on K20 powered Civics and RSXs for "Waiter" customers in for an oil change. 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
3/12/20 4:05 p.m.

Call me a big, fat Bob Costas. Seriously. It's okay. I've been called much worse.
 

But having recently seen a street car that ended up on its lid at AMP, I've adopted a "NFW without a cage" stance.

Yes, I've taken street cars on track. A lot.  But things certainly changed after I had kids. Seeing this wadded up hunk of metal, I don't think I'd have the balls to go through turn 16 in a street car at 8-10 10ths, which is really the only way to do it.

My $.02 YMMV

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
3/12/20 5:02 p.m.
poopshovel again said:

Call me a big, fat Bob Costas. Seriously. It's okay. I've been called much worse.
 

But having recently seen a street car that ended up on its lid at AMP, I've adopted a "NFW without a cage" stance.

Yes, I've taken street cars on track. A lot.  But things certainly changed after I had kids. Seeing this wadded up hunk of metal, I don't think I'd have the balls to go through turn 16 in a street car at 8-10 10ths, which is really the only way to do it.

My $.02 YMMV

Not a Bob Costas at all. The lowest amount of risk I'm willing to go on track with is belts/seat/rollbar/helmet in a Miata. Just because there is enough of a sample size that a properly installed roll bar is going to survive the speeds at my local track.

Brake_L8
Brake_L8 Reader
3/12/20 8:06 p.m.

My NA Miata blew up right as I was finishing my HPDE career. I did a few events with my very-stock E36 325i sedan. All I really did was put good brake fluid in it and replace whatever was needy due to age/miles as it aged out. It was fine, but as someone else mentioned, mechanical sympathy helped. I was out there to have fun, not to win the HPDE session, so I wasn't driving the car superduper hard.

One of my friends started out tracking his Mk7 GTI and did really well with it. They are awesome cars stock, with the LSD and great chassis dynamics, plenty of power and brakes, etc. I think he lasted four events before realizing the risk of overcooking it and putting his still-have-a-loan-on-it commuter car into a wall was too high.

I'd track a DD again if it were low-value, paid off, and I had cash on hand to crash it Sunday morning, buy another beater Sunday night, and drive that to work on Monday morning.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
3/13/20 8:12 p.m.
z31maniac said:
poopshovel again said:

Call me a big, fat Bob Costas. Seriously. It's okay. I've been called much worse.
 

But having recently seen a street car that ended up on its lid at AMP, I've adopted a "NFW without a cage" stance.

Yes, I've taken street cars on track. A lot.  But things certainly changed after I had kids. Seeing this wadded up hunk of metal, I don't think I'd have the balls to go through turn 16 in a street car at 8-10 10ths, which is really the only way to do it.

My $.02 YMMV

Not a Bob Costas at all. The lowest amount of risk I'm willing to go on track with is belts/seat/rollbar/helmet in a Miata. Just because there is enough of a sample size that a properly installed roll bar is going to survive the speeds at my local track.

Thanks, man. Turn 16 at AMP can be a widow-maker. My brother was ripping SICK times in the $2000 challenge V last weekend, but I was content shaving 10ths in the caged miata. Many jokes were made at my expense, but I'd rather be driving at 9-10 10ths in a caged car with ALL the safety E36 M3 vs 7/10 in a hastily slapped together street car, especially entering 16.

I really do have a penchant for "finding the limit," often with disastrous results. Like I said, MY $.02 YMMV, but I, personally, wouldn't put my kid on track without a cage/net/all of it; certainly not with me behind the wheel cheeky

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
3/14/20 10:08 a.m.

My dad did a weekend on track with his 2011 Fit and it absolutely beat up the front outside tire (stock all seasons). He had to rotate tires every half day and the whole set was trashed by the end of the weekend. Lots of sidewall wear. He also had to swap front pads halfway through, as the brakes are a bit small and wore quite quickly.

 

My experience in my 2005 Focus was very different, but I also had wider wheels on it with some sporty all seasons, but I had no such issues with tires. Yes, the outer front wore a bt more than the rest, but not nearly as spectacularly. The brakes held up very well (they're 11" x 1", approximately) using parts store pads, which were fresh right before the event.

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/14/20 2:49 p.m.

 

Mazda2.  Less expensive to buy than a Fit, more reliable in my opinion (though both are realistically great... I've never had to replace an engine in a 2 for burning oil), lighter (even easier on consumables), and frankly I think they feel more fun/nimble.

I've got 166k on mine, and will be tracking it at least 3-4 more weekends this year, next one being a month from now.  Literally the only things I've had to do are reseal the oil pan (1hr and tube of RTV, could not be any easier), replace the spark plugs a bit before the stated 75k interval, and replaced one inner tie rod end.  I'm still on the original clutch, and rear brake shoes/drums.  There isn't a lot of weight back there so they don't wear much at all, though I will be replacing them soon with some Porterfield R4-S shoes and new drums to try and move a bit of the brake bias rearwards since I've been running Hoosiers.  They definitely are nowhere near needing replacement though.

If you get one just do the following:

-Good front pads and new rotors (I just run cheap Centric $14/ea rotors).  For pads, Hawk HPS 5.0 will work fine for your first few track days, and make a great daily pad.  I run G-Loc R10s now (about $170), but they last 7-8 days on track for me. I could get 2-3 days from the HPS 5.0 (which now run about $80, used to be more like $50)... but since I am a lot more aggressive with the brakes and on sticker tires now, I can glaze them over if I really want to.  Note: depending on track it may sway you from streetable track pads to true track pads if you're somewhere hard on brakes.

-Rear sway bar - lose some body roll, help it turn in, better power down out of corners. DDMWorks - $90.

-Bleed brakes - I run Motul 600 now.

-Adjust the rear brake shoes. You should be able to make the e-brake hold the car with one click when this is done properly. Makes a HUGE difference in pedal feel because it gets rid of a lot of dead pedal before the shoes make contact.

-$20 set of camber bolts + alignment. Will help grip and tire wear. win-win. MAX out the front camber.  

-Track it and have fun.  If you start doing it regularly, lower it and consider coilovers to up the spring rates which will help with tire wear. You'll still wear the outsides faster up front, but even still because the rear brakes literally never wear out, you are still saving a lot of money.  Hankook RS4s are amazing for longevity. Flip them on the rims halfway through their life. I've gotten 7 days on track from them with a bit of life still left.  Will be used up on my girlfriend's car most likely.  The 195/50R15 RS4s are actually 0.6in wider than the 205 RE71Rs and 0.25in shorter which helps gearing.  On a 7-7.5in wide wheel is ideal. 

This is the only car I've ever owned long enough to actually pay off and keep it. It's so ridiculously fun and simple. Everything is easy to access/maintain/etc.  In fact we picked up a second one to daily and for my girlfriend to start tracking... Hers has 115k on it.

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
3/14/20 4:10 p.m.

I love me some Mazda 2! Such a great suggestion for this. Such a delight to drive, and great MPGs to boot.

To me it's all about mindset. Are you okay with the compromise? I used to have a "track prepped" E36, but for autocross, and I don't know if I'd want to daily drive it as I near my 40s. When I was 26, it was annoyingly stiff, but I dealt with it. Looking back, it sort of became compromised--not a great track car and not a great street car.

Now I just don't want to compromise and prefer driving go-karts when I need to scratch the racing itch. Way more grip, way less compromised.

TurboFocus
TurboFocus HalfDork
3/14/20 9:32 p.m.

Id suggest karting, waaay more exciting imho. Even if it's local only, I pay 40 bucks for ~24 min and get some really exciting racing out of it. 

 

I'll tell you that a mk1 Ford focus can do both, just have a set of rear wheel bearing on hand at all times. Track use is not friendly to them in my experiences. 

 

Otherwise 595 federals, good pads and motul 660 rbf. Go have a good time!

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
3/15/20 5:18 a.m.

In reply to flatlander937 :

Wow,'you're a great salesman! I will definitely consider these more. (I can't get the Yaris hatch out of my mind even as I understand they're not as nimble/good handling as its competitors)

As far as making your daily less-dailyable, I've mentioned here before but my favorite vehicles have been my SPOA'd Samurai's with Super Swampers, no doors, no top, no tailgate, no interior and those cheap Jegs plastic racing seats with those "padded" covers. I'd be totally ok with a track car on the street (or a car that is far less streetable than most would be.)

My last one was red but this is a very close approximation of what I drove all year long for years to give you an idea of what I'm comfortable in and I'm 6'-3" 250lbs.

superfund
superfund New Reader
3/15/20 5:35 a.m.

In reply to flatlander937 :

I was not expecting to leave this thread wanting a Mazda 2 so bad. 

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
3/15/20 6:52 a.m.

In reply to superfund :

Thats what I'm sayin'!

 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
3/15/20 7:27 a.m.
ebonyandivory said:

In reply to flatlander937 :

Wow,'you're a great salesman! I will definitely consider these more. (I can't get the Yaris hatch out of my mind even as I understand they're not as nimble/good handling as its competitors)

A Yaris did OneLap in 2008.  I would have bought one, but I didn't like the driving position...

https://yarisonelap.typepad.com/blog/2008/04/heel-toe.html

there's also been a semi(?) factory supported Yaris in SCCA's H production class (?) for a couple of years.  It'd be a bit easier to yank the rear seats and stuff a half cage in one of them, and not lose as much functionality.

chandler
chandler PowerDork
3/15/20 7:30 a.m.

My daily for three years:



you make due with what you have, I ended up buying another rabbit to share daily duties


You need to know the car intimately 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
3/15/20 9:30 a.m.
superfund said:

In reply to flatlander937 :

I was not expecting to leave this thread wanting a Mazda 2 so bad. 

Add me to that list! Having looked at GE Fit prices lately, I'm guessing the buy in on the 2 is quite a bit less as well.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
3/15/20 1:28 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

That's a lot of German in your driveway!

(while I'm here, do you have any experience in MK4 Golf's?)

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/15/20 1:34 p.m.
poopshovel again said:
superfund said:

In reply to flatlander937 :

I was not expecting to leave this thread wanting a Mazda 2 so bad. 

Add me to that list! Having looked at GE Fit prices lately, I'm guessing the buy in on the 2 is quite a bit less as well.

you would be wrong, I cant find any manual 2's for less than $5k

chandler
chandler PowerDork
3/15/20 2:08 p.m.
ebonyandivory said:

In reply to chandler :

That's a lot of German in your driveway!

(while I'm here, do you have any experience in MK4 Golf's?)

I have a hard cutoff at cars designed before '90 so no.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
3/15/20 3:17 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

That's a great cutoff point. I don't know that's there's anything like that near me that isn't deteriorating into nothingness.

 

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/15/20 8:00 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory :

Yep - I came from a similar background of rough daily drivers... I put 15k mi on this thing...

​​​

 

As far as 2s go... There were only 60k made from 2011-14. They are harder to find, but PRIVATE SALE are cheap when they come up with lower mileage to a comparable Fit.  If you want one, join the M2O Mazda2 Owners Group on Facebook. That is literally where all of us are at.

 

The blue car I picked up with Koni sports and H&R springs, 15x7 Advanti Storm S1s and 195 RE71Rs at 112k for 5k. Interior is SPOTLESS from an enthusiast who owned it. There have been at least 3 others similar for sale in the last 3-4 months, and another with 140k for sale for $3k in New Jersey or PA IIRC. Most dealers have them priced stupid. Low-ball the hell out of them. These cars are hard to move because they have nearly no options/modern amenities.

 

Here is my build thread by the way:

 

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/2011-mazda2-not-so-srs-bzns-stf-build/100748/page1/

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
3/15/20 9:13 p.m.

When I was at Road Atlanta in January, there was a guy in the Advanced group in a Hyundai Santa Fe crossover that was completely kicking a$$.  I don't know what all he did to the car before putting in on the track, maybe a lot, maybe nothing.  It looked like he was having an amazing time.

Probably wouldn't have been my first choice, but it goes to show that you can make just about anything work if you're determined.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
3/16/20 3:25 a.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove :

Which generation Santa Fe?  Fwd, I assume?

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