View Full Version : Help me set up my Formula for the Nurburgring. Long story.


Phoenix64
05-01-2012, 09:45 AM
Here is the not so short story of my nurburgring experience.

First time out about 1.5 years ago. The car had strano springs/ sway bars / koni adjustable shocks, michelin pilot sport a/s 245 series tires on 16in rims.
Hawk pads, and curved vane rotors from strano.

My goal was to do 10:00 Bridge to gantry......(top gear challenge)

My first timed lap was around 12:30. Car was extremely loose, but a lot of fun to drive. Shocks were set to full soft front and back. Basically I would drift the first couple of corners, the tires would get greasy, and the rest of the lap I was just trying to stay out of the barriers.

I wasn't learning the track, so I rented a 195hp Renault Clio, with slick tires, big brakes, and within 6 laps, I ran a 10:00.56. close enough for me.

Jumped back into the formula, and even with my new knowledge of the track my best was a 10:03.xx. The car was too lose, I was overheating the engine, and the brake pedal was going to the floor by the end of the lap(dot 3 brake fluid).

As I'm getting ready to leave a very tall German gentleman stops me, and asks if I would like to do a formation lap with another f-body. I tell him my car has been cooking its brakes, and tires, and that I need it to get me home still. So he offers me a ride in his mint 2001 SS camaro(German spec). Its stock down to the paper air filter engine wise. Has the same suspension set up as my car, but with cooled 13in brakes, and 275 slick tires on zr1 rims. He takes me for a ride in the low 9s, said his best was in the 8:40 range.

I learned more form that one lap than from all my previous ones put together.

I felt like an a$$ having been unable to break 10min in a car with 50 more hp, and probably around 450lbs less weight(myself as passenger in a fully loaded t-top SS vs no passenger in my lightened hard top stripper formula).

On a side note running the actual track dropped my video game times from high 8s to high 7s, so huge improvement there, lol.

Next time at the track I rented an MX-5 miata with a cage, slicks, racing brakes, coil overs, and a stripped interior. Managed a 9:21.xx my first time out. As I burned off fuel, I managed to get it down to 8:56.48.

I re-fueled, and having broken the 9min barrier my courage got the best of me, and I turned off the traction control, and went for broke. It may have been the extra 70L of fuel, or the lack of electronic assistance, but I couldn't get back below 9min to save my life, a 9:06.xx being my best.

After 2 terrifying laps nearly being killed by a GT3 RS that jumped a curb to pass me on the inside, and seeing 4 wrecks, I decided not to push my luck.

So some weeks later I decide that 2000 miles is enough of a break-in for my 2012 mustang gt.

I arrive late on a weekday in the rain, and decide to do some sighting laps to get a feel for the track. The GT pushes in the rain, then it transitions to snap over steer, and then back to pushing..... combine that with traction control that wouldn't kick in until things were really out of hand... bowel loosening.

Then it started to snow(WTF) it had been 60* out 30 min prior......... At that point I was feeling lucky just to have gotten the car back in one piece. I decided to take some Brits up on their offer of steak and beer.

Next morning its still crappy. Ran a 10:44.xx on a damp track, but was passed by an Aston Martin race car that sells fast lap rides. I thought might be a great way to learn the track while I wait for it to dry out. So I get my ticket, and as I'm waiting the gear box blows up...

So I swap for a ride in the M5 taxi. My driver has raced BMW's for 18 years, and has been a development test driver for 10. We have an extra seat, so he asks if his chassis engineer can ride with us. I agree, and they set to talking rapidly in German.

As we are pulling onto the track the other M5 ring taxi slips out in front of us. Few times in life have I encountered better timing. The first M5 gets about 30 car lengths on us as we sequence up to the gate, racing brake pads groaning as they do when asked to do the work of normal brakes.

As we wait for the arm to swing up and release us, my driver tells me, "You are going to get scared, when you feel uncomfortable tell me and I slow down."

So I tell him, "I'm a week away from going back to Afghanistan, I want you to catch the other M5 taxi." The arm comes up and we creep onto the course through the cones that form a mini chicane. He nods with a simple "ok" and a smile. As we clear it he turns off the traction control, and goes flat to the floor.

I know the noise is synthetic but it sounds great anyways, like a combination of a 4.0L v8 m3 and a jet engine. The gear shifts are imperceptible, except for the slight burp from the engine.

As we rocket toward the first series for corners we pass my normal braking point still at full tilt. When he finally does apply the brakes, I can feel the monstrous sedan shifting around beneath me, the steel barriers just feet off the track rushing towards us, I suddenly realize the error of offering such a challenge to a competitive type A personality behind the wheel of an M5, and accept my inevitable fiery death.

But we don't smash into the barriers, the big sedan still feeling on the edge of control buzzes across the rumble strips, hits the curb, kisses the grass on the inside of the first right hand apex, then flings back left, my mind still trying to process the minute control a human being can have over such a massive machine, as he hits the next 3 apex's flawlessly. At the right hander just prior to the normal start finish line I swear we're so close I feel the wall brush my arm through the luxuriously padded door. After the ride, I look just to be sure we didn't trade any paint...

At the Flugplatz, its like a replay from the movie free willy. all 4300lbs of M5 become airborne, and I find the M5's weakest point. Lack of head room..... My head gives the steel roof a good thump.

We catch sight of the other M5 just after mid track. The sight of our M5 gives the one in front a bit of the red mist, and he pushes harder. During an up hill right hand corner, I can see daylight between the inside front tire and the asphalt. At the same time the rear end is squirming, and the rear tires lay intermittent black streaks as they try to apply all 556hp.

We stay on the bumper of the other M5, with our driver calmly talking me through the course, and mistakes most people make.

The experience of watching two professional race car drivers battle it out around the ring in identical M5's was beyond words.

The course is now dry, and my confidence is up, so I go out for a fast lap in the GT. It still pushes, but in the dry the rear end is glued to the track. by the last series of corners the brake pedal is going to the floor, and the brakes are smoking, but I manage to cross the line at 8:59.xx.
Not bad for 235 width tires, stock brake fluid, pads and rotors.

Even after the brakes cool down they never regain their original stopping power, so I decided to take it home.

So my final trip...
I couldn't go on deployment knowing that my stock from ford mustang was faster than my formula that I have put so much work into. I replaced the brake fluid with the highest temp I could get, sealed the radiator, and fixed the pcv. Hoping that that would solve the earlier issues, along with keeping the revs down to 5k instead of 6300.

I set the front shocks to +5 in the hopes that it will fix the over steer.

It doesn't... In the very first corner, I'm passing a bike just lightly on the brakes, the rear-end comes out and I slide across the course, I just manage to keep the front tires and right rear on the course, but I see turf flying up in my left mirror, so I know the left rear was in the grass.

I slip and slide around the course, to a time of 9:30. My starting tire pressure is 36-38psi. After a cool down run for the engine I pull back in and my tire pressure is near 50psi....

So I lower it back to 32-34.

I try to make a game of carrying as much speed as possible while not letting the tires slip, in the hopes that they wont get greasy. It works great netting me a couple of 9:10s. Again the tire pressure is up to almost 40psi. So I air it back down to 32psi.

So my last run. I try my best to save the tires at first, manage to pass a poorly driven 2011 gt500 on the brakes into a corner. At brunchen the tail comes out wide under braking, I almost lose it, but manage to catch a big slide right on the rumble strips. The tires start to get greasy so I ease up a bit. I'm holding it together till I get to the mini carousel, I carry too much speed in, and just as I think I have it made I get on the gas, but the last bump throws the rear end up in the air, and it doesn't land behind the front.

I get into a massive tank slapper, over correct 4 times before sliding off into the grass, and nearly hit the wall. Then skid back onto the track still doing about 40MPH, I take it easy through the double right handers that lead you back onto the main straight. Knowing I have blown my last lap, I hit the clock anyways.

To my surprise the time was 8:56.24, even with the mistakes 4 sec faster than the mustang, and .24 faster than the MX-5 race car.
No issues with the cooling and the brakes didn't fade at all.

So if you have stuck with me so far what should I do?

My end goal is to get close to my friends 2012 BOSS 302.

7's are probably out of reach, but Maybe 8:30's?
*EDIT* Mods complete. Video on page 5

Rodinator1234
05-01-2012, 10:22 AM
Man that's a Awsome story I too have had fun on the north loop I was stationed there in the mid 90's. As much as I hate to say it on this forum, in my humble opinion the mustang offers more potential to go fast. Sell the Formula spend the coin on the Mustang. My.02$

UMI Sales
05-01-2012, 10:22 AM
What a great story. You have an obvious talent for writing. Geez, I felt like I was there.

I'm wondering why so much oversteer with what is a proven balanced combination. Could the tires be expired?

ramey

autogeek23
05-01-2012, 11:21 AM
x3 on the great story. kept me reading. you should go to silverstone and tell us another story.

and i dont have any experience in time trial but i would say a set of great tires would change the formula's world.

black06g85
05-01-2012, 11:30 AM
wow that was a great read.
but definitely tires, then see how it is.

UMI Sales
05-01-2012, 11:42 AM
As a side note, I used to work for Bridgestone and got to hang with Walter Roehrl and Hans Stuck at Watkins Glen. Those guys put on a clinic in the Supercar series. Basically they thought it was funny driving on street tires with no grip - you know, since sliding a Porsche sideways at 130 is easy...

Transamman25
05-01-2012, 12:52 PM
What are the alignment settings on your Formula ? I would post them up and have some road racers offer advice on what they run.

jimbos'ss
05-01-2012, 01:16 PM
i'll be going this summer, planning a trip when i get back from afghanistan. you going to GRW?

Phoenix64
05-01-2012, 02:27 PM
Thanks for the compliments, I edited some grammar, and added the Flugplatz part to the original post. Got a pretty good lump on my head.

I'm going to Mez.

The car was aligned to stock specs after the suspension work.

Can't sell the Bird, its the first thing I ever bought with my own money, and I've had too many adventures like this one in it.

As for tires the fronts were pretty ragged on the shoulders with lots of tread in the middle, and the rears were worn almost to the wear bars in the middle but the shoulder was good, so I swapped them at the track.

So what is the best tire I can get for a 16in wheel?

Rodinator1234
05-01-2012, 03:19 PM
Best as in what? Nitto nt01s come in your size those are almost full race Hooser a6s too full race rubber but for a street tire i don't know if there is a good one that would do what you want. I run nitto nt05s 275-17 on my car for autocross and track days but it's still a street tire

Cheezebandit
05-01-2012, 03:36 PM
want a good roadrace tire .. look at some toyo Ra1's

and I think the bigger brakes and even bigget wheels are better than the stock stuff .. the bigger wheels mean less sidewall flex and the bigger brakes will let you brake later .. meaning less time on the brakes .. Mixed with some decent tires... I think that will make the biggest difference.

I have been around "the ring" when i went to visit my older brother while he was stationed in Germany .. we went around in a OLD late 80's 5 series ..

kyoytey1693
05-01-2012, 03:52 PM
Agreed on the awesome story. It would be nice to see what input Sam has on adjusting your setup. Hopefully he will chime in when he gets a chance.

eb110americana
05-01-2012, 03:57 PM
Yeah, I can't believe you did all that on 245 all season tires. If you want to stay stock, at least get a set of 275 tires on 17" rims like the WS6/SS. Or if you want to keep the 16's, then just get a unique set of race wheels and tires and forget about compromising between the two. The larger, stickier contact patch will not only raise handling limits, it will also yeild much improved braking, which will further allow you to push harder and deeper into corners. Kudos on the fine writing and memorable experiences.

transamtom
05-01-2012, 04:19 PM
Get some 17' rims and 275/40/17 tires and fill them with nitrogen to keep your pressure consistant.

These cars are far to heavy to drive hard like that on 16" tires.

Back in the 90's when they roadraced these things in showroom stock endurance racing(3hrs) they were the fastest things out there but they needed to conserve the tires and brakes(stock brakes and 255/50/16 tires) because of the weight and wouldn't make a push to the front until the final 45minutes or so.

Great read BTW.

Stay safe in the sandbox.

JD_AMG
05-01-2012, 05:07 PM
Im so jealous...
Get some 17x11 wheels with 315/35/17 mounted on all four corners and watts link and go from there.

roy
05-01-2012, 11:35 PM
Mann, das ist unglaublich!

chrysler kid
05-02-2012, 12:36 AM
Great read. Get some 17 inch wheels and tires

mOtOrHeAd MiKe
05-02-2012, 03:16 PM
Awesome read! The 'Ring is on my bucket list - gonna do it in a 911.

As it has been stated - wider wheels and tires, brakes, and tuning (tire pressure, shocks and sways) to find a suitable compromise between your driving style and the car's needs to tackle such a demanding track. Do you know how to chalk your tires and how to read them after a run?

ldyzluvdis06
05-03-2012, 02:01 AM
that is one thing on my bucket list!!

cjb
05-03-2012, 03:03 PM
Very intresting reading. Of course you should keep the Firebird even though you may need to make some adjustments. There will always be better cars out there. But it's a greater challenge, and cooler if you ask me, to tune our cars for best handling as possible. A little surprised that you ran with the dampers in the full soft mode. Maybe you should play around with the setting a bit more. I think you can find a lot there. Watt-link should do a part, I run it myself but have never pushed the car the way you did. Keep us updated, love this kind of posts and hope to take a trip to the ring myself one day.

wrencher
05-03-2012, 10:09 PM
Get some 17x11 wheels with 315/35/17 mounted on all four corners and watts link and go from there.
Agreed
Some possible alignment options also to get more out of the car.
You also need to go to http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/index.php? & register there.
Lots of good reading to do there.
You'd be suprised what can be done with a live axle F-body.

SVTconfused
05-03-2012, 10:20 PM
lower your starting pressure some more so you can come into prime pressure at the last 1/3 of the track where the turns start to lead you into longer straigh aways and you will be able to plant that power down a lil better... i always remember slow(er) in-fast out...

vatechguy3
05-03-2012, 11:29 PM
17x9 wheels with 275/40/17s
17x11 wheels with 315/30/17s
either way, you'll get more grip.

also, as was said earlier, fill with nitrogen for consistent pressures.

i think my konis are set about the same as yours.

what are you alignment speccs?

tony

Carlos01SS
05-04-2012, 03:53 AM
Great read, I'm sooooo jealous!
better tires and more aggressive brake pads will definitely lower your times big time!

Phoenix64
05-09-2012, 04:30 AM
Thanks again for all the complements.
Afghanistan is just a dusty and hot as I remembered. But at least there is internet..... it costs 90$ a month for dial-up speed. I bought a few days.
So whats the consensus on brakes?
I already have the c5 conversion brackets.
So......
Stock with race pads and rotors?
C5 kit?
C6 z06 kit?
CTS-V conversion?

Don't get me wrong about the strano spring shock sway bar package. The car is a blast to drive, and it is relatively easy for someone like me to catch when it gets a little out of hand, I'm sure it would be completely different on stickier tires.

I'm still seriously considering leaving the car just as is(but with new tires) and focusing on my driving abilities.

I think tires on it might have one more track day in them till they'll be down to the wear bars. I'll try to get an on board camera for their final laps of the ring.

We have nitrogen tanks at the hangar for servicing the struts on the helicopters, but I don't tink the valve stems are the same. I wouldn't know where else to get it. Maybe a Nissan dealer? They have to be able to service a GTR right?

Drokkers
05-09-2012, 08:32 AM
awesome story. I felt like i was riding in the passenger seat. sam strano and the man to ask about setups for the f-bodies. The above posts have some good suggestions as well. the c5 brake kit would work well, the cts-v would be awesome and would be my choice but from what i understand theyre hard to find in stock. New tires first. They are the only thing that makes contact to the road, so there for they are the most important thing to have. Keep us posted on what you do and any other runs you make at the RING!!!

roy
05-09-2012, 01:37 PM
Phoenix sounds like you have not too many laps done at Nuerburgring. You should take your advice by leaving the car just as is(but with new tires) and focusing on your driving abilities.
More laps equates to better memorization of the track.
If you haven't got the ring map from auto sport that shows you the ideal lines to drive, then you can download it here. Right click and save as- Ideallinie Nordschleife (http://fbodyeurope.org/gallery/8_bmwm_nordschleife.pdf)
This is compliments of www.Fbodyeurope.org

bene
06-07-2012, 02:02 PM
Very nice story. My inexperience of the track and my all season tires also hindered of me pushing the car to it's potential however it still handled like it was on rails on the corners even when the tires were screeching. I did had a lot of fun doing it though.

I used DBA slotted rotors/hawks metallic pads/Motul DOT 4/C6 BBK/SS brake lines (still using them) at the ring. I'm amazed how this set just stopped the car QUICKLY.

z28bryan
06-07-2012, 03:56 PM
This is some awesome stuff. Nurburgring is some pretty intense driving! This is where you would be better off getting advice at frrax.com. That's where all the drivers with lots of road race and autocross experience have their discussions.

Phoenix64
06-08-2012, 04:12 AM
I have tried to register at Frrax.com for about a month now, I can't get past the confirmation step.

So the question now is....... 16in wheels with 255 semi slick tires on all 4 corners, or 275 front 315 rear on 17in wheels?

Still thinking about going back to my corvette brake setup.... if I go with 17's.......

What are the lightest wheels that I can get in those sizes?

Can anybody post this this to frrax for me since I can get registered?

Thanks.

Rodinator1234
06-08-2012, 07:01 AM
I would be afraid a stager front to rear would make the car push/understear real bad.

Phoenix64
06-08-2012, 11:04 AM
I would be afraid a stager front to rear would make the car push/understear real bad.

Thats the idea, it already over-steers pretty badly under throttle or brakes, I would be able to trail brake a lot more. It even over-steers on throttle lift-off.

If it does push I could soften up the front shocks until it gets lose again.

Driver_10
06-08-2012, 11:33 AM
Im so jealous...
Get some 17x11 wheels with 315/35/17 mounted on all four corners and watts link and go from there.

This is some pretty square advice. Some 17x9.5 or 11 would help out greatly. The watts link will keep the rear-end a LOT more stable since the rear end will no longer track out of the wheel wells.

If you consider spending the cash to get a set of good 18 x 9.5 (about as big as you can fit under these cars) You will be able to upgrade to set of eradi-speed, Z51, 2-piece rotors for the C6 corvette and upgrading to CTS-V 4-piston rotors. Light weight and reduced brake-fade.

Im taking the extreme route myself, Im using C5, vette, magnesium 18 x 9.5 rims, 14 inch 2-piece rotor and 6-piston CTS-V calipers up front. (Still need to buy the calipers) Im also using modified UMI tubular upper and lower control arms for further "un-sprung" weight reductions.

Im also doing a 96 C4 dana44 IRS conversion with Z51 brakes in the rear with a "Mr Parker" e-brake conversion. (Still got a long way to go with this)

Ill probably never see the "ring" in my lifetime, but I think that I will do well at a couple of local Texas tracks.

BTW... You've missed your calling as a writer. Great story.

Driver_10
06-08-2012, 11:36 AM
I have tried to register at Frrax.com for about a month now, I can't get past the confirmation step.

So the question now is....... 16in wheels with 255 semi slick tires on all 4 corners, or 275 front 315 rear on 17in wheels?

Still thinking about going back to my corvette brake setup.... if I go with 17's.......

What are the lightest wheels that I can get in those sizes?

Can anybody post this this to frrax for me since I can get registered?

Thanks.

C5 17 x 8.5 mags are probably the lightest that will fit an F-body. I want to say that they are around 17-18 lbs.

Phoenix64
06-08-2012, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the complement, I'll be sure to finish the story when I go back.

Can I mount 315's on the front? I had to cut my front fenders to fit 275/40 r 18's.

I swapped back to the 16's because they weigh 44lbs with tire, when the 18in 275/40's weighed 61lbs per corner. Removing that plus the weight of the C5 corvette rotors made a BIG difference in how the car tracks/steers.

I'm having a hard time convincing myself to go back to a bigger(heavier) setup.

I thought the hot setup for 18's was camaro/ctsv 4-piston calipers, with c6 Z06 style rotors?

z28bryan
06-08-2012, 01:48 PM
I got 315/35/17s on all 4 corners. Frrax.com has a guide to setting your car up for this size.. not sure why you can't get into it.. I'm not sure if trackbird still grants access to it but maybe you could try to PM him on here. Although I'm not sure of the last time he checked in here.

Basically this is what I did.

Fronts 17x11 50mm wheel, with a 3/8 inch spacer from blainefab, ground off the small nub on the spindle which gets in the way of the inside edge of the rim, and then hammered a small metal lip upward directly 12 o clock above the tire in the wheel well.

Rears 17x11 50mm wheel, with a 3/16 inch spacer from blainefab, BFH the inner fender until rubbing stopped, rod ended PHB, rolled the outer fender lips, stock bumpstops are still intact.

All 4 hubs I replaced the stock wheel studs with ARP 2.5 inch studs and use open ended lug nuts.

Driver_10
06-08-2012, 02:50 PM
I thought the hot setup for 18's was camaro/ctsv 4-piston calipers, with c6 Z06 style rotors?

You can also use the 6-piston calipers for the greatest results. The only set-back is that the 6-piston calipers are 3x the price of the 4-piston units.

And honestly, I wouldnt use stock Z51 rotors. GM decided to use the same front rotor on both sides resulting in the left side rotor getting cracks since the air vanes on that side are in the wrong direction.

I cant remember, but there is a company that makes correct "left and right" sided vaned z51 rotors. I going to use the Eradi-speed 2-piece rotors since they are lighter.

Ironhead
06-08-2012, 04:16 PM
Can I mount 315's on the front? They actually fit the front easier / better than they do in the back.

315s all around is pretty much the class standard set up in E Street Prepared (SCCA autocross) for these cars, even the 3rd gens. We can't legally hammer the inner fenders or grind on the spindle yet we are all able fit the tires.

Fitting them on my car required....

1) Getting the backspacing right either through wheel spacers or by building custom wheels (have done both).

2) Rolling the rear fender lips.

3) Offsetting the axle ~3/8 inch to the driver's side when I still had the panhard bar (think of how a panhard located axle moves in compression).
*Note* This was no longer necessary when I went to the Watts

4) Longer (and stronger) ARP studs.



That's it. That's all I did.

Cape T/A
06-09-2012, 04:12 PM
Excelent story! Id do 18" RT-S wheels, so you could fit some CTS-V brakes on there, keep the weight down, and then focus on suspension and steering.

lees02WS6
06-09-2012, 04:33 PM
You could get the ZR1 brakes, with the ceramic brake rotors -- if you've got lots of money burning a hole in your wallet.

gmrocks99
06-09-2012, 04:33 PM
My advice you definetly need 275 maybe 285 all around my car has nt555 zr tires on 18 wheels and i havent been able to slide in a corner at speed and ive taken some downright nasty corners on those tires but they certainly gave me alot of confidence in the corners oh and bmr springs too thats whats working for me just my advice im building my car up towards road racing too

Dr Tran
06-10-2012, 12:24 AM
Just an FYI, Forgestar wheels are cheap and light ;) my 18x10's weigh in at around 20 lbs.

Driver_10
06-10-2012, 11:53 AM
Just an FYI, Forgestar wheels are cheap and light ;) my 18x10's weigh in at around 20 lbs.

Is that whats sitting on the TA in your signature pick?

Dr Tran
06-10-2012, 07:03 PM
Is that whats sitting on the TA in your signature pick?

Yep. I love them.

95batmobile
06-10-2012, 07:56 PM
awesome.. i would mod the ta, just cause im a gm guy, but the mstng is sweet too..

why are yo urunning 65lb injectors tho?

MrMixnMatch
06-10-2012, 08:16 PM
Yep. I love them.

Those the F14Fs? I'll take a set in black!

Dr Tran
06-10-2012, 10:30 PM
Those the F14Fs? I'll take a set in black!

No just the F14's the concave ones.

Phoenix64
06-11-2012, 01:49 AM
awesome.. i would mod the ta, just cause im a gm guy, but the mstng is sweet too..

why are yo urunning 65lb injectors tho?

I took those out just a few weeks before I left. I have a D1SC, and a Dry nitrous kit for the car. I had already installed the fuel system for the power adders when I discovered road racing. I couldn't bring my self to add all that weight to the nose of the car. Not to mention the reduction in reliability, and increase in heat production.

I already have oil temp problems as it is.

Driver_10
06-11-2012, 05:52 AM
I took those out just a few weeks before I left. I have a D1SC, and a Dry nitrous kit for the car. I had already installed the fuel system for the power adders when I discovered road racing. I couldn't bring my self to add all that weight to the nose of the car. Not to mention the reduction in reliability, and increase in heat production.

I already have oil temp problems as it is.

And hence the reason I opted for a turbo v6. :loco:

Cant say that its more reliable than a LS1... not by a long shot, but all the engine weight sits squarely behind the front wheels.

ZexGX
07-11-2012, 04:53 PM
275/40/17 R compound tires on 17x9 through a 17x10.5 wheel on all four corners (keep it equally sized front and rear), or 315/35/17 R compound tires on all four corners for more grip on a 17x11 wheel (traditional 17x11 ZR1 style wheels should work) with minimal hammering to the inner fender well. spacers may be needed with 17x11 wheels.

A tubular panhard bar and tubular rear lower control arms also help immensely. More-so when they have heim joints (AKA rod ends). If you have the money, look into the Fays2 watts link that Strano sells.

As far as the D1SC goes, there are various ways to remove weight from the front of the car (tubular K-member, battery relocation, etc.). Although, you should be more concerned with getting your car to handle somewhat properly before throwing more power and weight at it.

Alignment also makes a big difference in the feel of the car. Slight negative camber and a 0 toe instead of a negative toe setting help cornering at a slight cost of high-speed stability.

Tbird232ci
07-12-2012, 05:35 AM
A big advantage to running 17" wheels is that tires have become far more common, and cheap for them. So many cars run 17" from the factory, that you can get just about any tire for them, at an affordable price.

You might even be able to get a set of take-offs from guys with race cars for cheap that may have a weekend or two left in them.

ZexGX
07-12-2012, 12:40 PM
A big advantage to running 17" wheels is that tires have become far more common, and cheap for them. So many cars run 17" from the factory, that you can get just about any tire for them, at an affordable price.

You might even be able to get a set of take-offs from guys with race cars for cheap that may have a weekend or two left in them.

A lot of C5 Corvette guys have used 275/40/17 tires from track days from the front wheels of their car. Some even throw them away at the track after a track day when they still have a little life left on them.

Unfortunately, 275/40/17 is mostly a Camaro/Firebird/Corvette/Mustang tire size and a lot of shops don't keep them in stock, you have to have them order it from a warehouse which can be anywhere from same day to like 2-4 days here in the US.

I agree though, that 17" is the way to go. 16" rims on 4th gen F-bodies are only good for two things... Drag racing, and road trips.

Cape T/A
07-17-2012, 09:46 PM
16" rims on 4th gen F-bodies are only good for two things... Drag racing, and road trips. I wouldnt say they are GOOD for drag racing either, lol. Road trips maybe, but id rather have the looks of 17's on a trip too!

1lejohn
07-17-2012, 09:55 PM
These tire right here are what you need.
http://tirecrawler.com/shop/detail_tire.php?product_id=7006
They have them in 18"s not sure on the 17"s

SparkyJJO
07-17-2012, 10:12 PM
275/40/17 R compound tires on 17x9 through a 17x10.5 wheel on all four corners (keep it equally sized front and rear), or 315/35/17 R compound tires on all four corners for more grip on a 17x11 wheel (traditional 17x11 ZR1 style wheels should work) with minimal hammering to the inner fender well. spacers may be needed with 17x11 wheels.

I thought 275 tires would be a little stretched on a 10.5" wheel. 9.5" wheels are the better match for 275. At least that is my understanding.

Sam Strano
07-18-2012, 03:37 PM
Here is the not so short story of my nurburgring experience.

First time out about 1.5 years ago. The car had strano springs/ sway bars / koni adjustable shocks, michelin pilot sport a/s 245 series tires on 16in rims.
Hawk pads, and curved vane rotors from strano.

My goal was to do 10:00 Bridge to gantry......(top gear challenge)

My first timed lap was around 12:30. Car was extremely loose, but a lot of fun to drive. Shocks were set to full soft front and back. Basically I would drift the first couple of corners, the tires would get greasy, and the rest of the lap I was just trying to stay out of the barriers.

I wasn't learning the track, so I rented a 195hp Renault Clio, with slick tires, big brakes, and within 6 laps, I ran a 10:00.56. close enough for me.

Jumped back into the formula, and even with my new knowledge of the track my best was a 10:03.xx. The car was too lose, I was overheating the engine, and the brake pedal was going to the floor by the end of the lap(dot 3 brake fluid).

As I'm getting ready to leave a very tall German gentleman stops me, and asks if I would like to do a formation lap with another f-body. I tell him my car has been cooking its brakes, and tires, and that I need it to get me home still. So he offers me a ride in his mint 2001 SS camaro(German spec). Its stock down to the paper air filter engine wise. Has the same suspension set up as my car, but with cooled 13in brakes, and 275 slick tires on zr1 rims. He takes me for a ride in the low 9s, said his best was in the 8:40 range.

I learned more form that one lap than from all my previous ones put together.


I know I'm WAY late here... I just saw this thread. But I think you have the answer...

If the tall German man was on my stuff, and went that fast with only the tires being the difference (and with less power), and you are clearly capable of the speed given your times in other cars... then you just need to some good tires.

I'm fond of saying that the best suspension in the world means nothing if the tires suck. They are what hook you to the road. I see drag racers put all this stuff on the car, then run street tires and wonder why they can't hook. Michael Jordan wouldn't have been "Michael Jordan" if he were made to play basketball in dress loafers, right?

Get some tires. I don't know what size you need and what ever tire comes in but I can highly recommend Hankook R-S3's as an awesome dry grip tire (and a true street tire) that doesn't cost a lot. It's not as good as some others in the rain though.

ZexGX
07-18-2012, 03:43 PM
I thought 275 tires would be a little stretched on a 10.5" wheel. 9.5" wheels are the better match for 275. At least that is my understanding.

A little bit of tire stretch isn't too bad when it comes to handling. Also, can you name a tire size that is within .2" of a 25.7" tall tire, that is actually produced, that is between 275mm and 305mm? A 315 is a little too wide for proper fitment on 10.5" wheels. For handling, you usually don't want a lot of tire bulge (excess sidewall) as this leads to more sidewall flex.

jrob56
07-18-2012, 04:05 PM
Not a lot of real world experience but on forza first thing on any of my cars is larger wheels, race tires, and big brakes!

And that sounds like exactly what you need! Amazing writer be the way, longest post on tech Ive read in awhile and loved it. I usually would have closed a thread that long.

TyCZ28
07-18-2012, 04:43 PM
run some light weight 17" wheels (like the weld racing 17's or even stock 17x9.5 speedlines) and some 275/40/17 Nitto Nt01 or Nt05 tires all the way around (road racing/autocross tires) and some lightweight brakes. along with a trans cooler (if its auto) and a rear differential cooler to keep things cool while driving it soo hard. subframe connectors will stiffen it up and make cornering more manageable also...

JoshuaGrooms83
07-19-2012, 07:35 AM
ive been trying to go up tthere to that since ive been here. even set my car up suspentioneise for it. just cant seem to ever get the time lol gonna see if i can get up there this august.

BenZ28
07-20-2012, 10:14 AM
As I'm getting ready to leave a very tall German gentleman stops me, and asks if I would like to do a formation lap with another f-body. I tell him my car has been cooking its brakes, and tires, and that I need it to get me home still. So he offers me a ride in his mint 2001 SS camaro(German spec). Its stock down to the paper air filter engine wise. Has the same suspension set up as my car, but with cooled 13in brakes, and 275 slick tires on zr1 rims.


That sounds like ME and MY CAR, although I have a 99 Z28, not a 01 SS. Was that in April 2011?

For the tires, I'm running: They're Kumho V70A in 275/40 17 size. No real slick tires but much stickier than your normal street tires. But sensitive to temperature. Also because of my brakes I'm running 13mm spacers in the front and to compensate for this 18mm spacers in the rear. This 13/18 combination with these tires and my other suspension mods means I'm having oversteer only when I've a got a too heavy foot on the gas in the corners...


If the tall German man was on my stuff, and went that fast with only the tires being the difference (and with less power), and you are clearly capable of the speed given your times in other cars... then you just need to some good tires.


I'm pretty sure it was me LOL...

Cape T/A
07-20-2012, 04:19 PM
That sounds like ME and MY CAR, although I have a 99 Z28, not a 01 SS. Was that in April 2011?

For the tires, I'm running: They're Kumho V70A in 275/40 17 size. No real slick tires but much stickier than your normal street tires. But sensitive to temperature. Also because of my brakes I'm running 13mm spacers in the front and to compensate for this 18mm spacers in the rear. This 13/18 combination with these tires and my other suspension mods means I'm having oversteer only when I've a got a too heavy foot on the gas in the corners...



I'm pretty sure it was me LOL...
I'm reading your signature, it says umi tq arm, is that the tunnel mounted short one? Or a stock length arm?

ZeeSNuttS
07-20-2012, 04:47 PM
Waiting for your story to hit hollywood lol cool stuff!!!!

BenZ28
07-21-2012, 07:06 AM
I'm reading your signature, it says umi tq arm, is that the tunnel mounted short one? Or a stock length arm?
The one with the stock mounting point at the transmission.

HowdyZ_28
07-23-2012, 05:08 PM
If it was you Ben, I'm sure you gave him one hell of a ride.
I'll beat you in that 4 cylinder before I leave!!! Just give me a 30 second head start. lol
(and before anyone says anything, I dare YOU to come and try to beat him on the "Ring" with whatever you have... lol ).


Scott

BenZ28
07-24-2012, 04:52 AM
:cheers: Hehe thanks Scoot. Hope I'll have the Camaro ready soon so we can do sort of a convoy lap "black & white". :)

JoshuaGrooms83
07-24-2012, 05:09 AM
if anyone want to ge together sometime in august, id love to go out and have a few run on the ring before i leave germany.

BenZ28
07-24-2012, 05:34 AM
Yes! Check fbodyeurope.org forum, and post there when you're ready to go. :)

gsd2000
07-25-2012, 02:35 PM
your putting in some very good times

cjb
07-25-2012, 04:52 PM
Hey Ben, what shock settings do you use on the ring?
I'll guess you done some laps and had the opportunity to test a few.

BenZ28
07-26-2012, 04:58 AM
Hey Ben, what shock settings do you use on the ring?
I'll guess you done some laps and had the opportunity to test a few.
Yes, I have the Koni SA, so rebound-only adjustable. I have the fronts set at 3 (or 4?) sweeps away from soft, and the rears set at the softest setting (haven't changed this since I changed from Bilstein to Koni in the rear end of 2008).

"Harder" settings work at flat tracks but not at the Nordschleife, at least not for me. :nod:

jimbos'ss
07-26-2012, 05:39 AM
if anyone want to ge together sometime in august, id love to go out and have a few run on the ring before i leave germany.

Hey josh were going possibly the 18th, right now I have a poll up for dates.

jimbos'ss
07-26-2012, 05:41 AM
Yes! Check fbodyeurope.org forum, and post there when you're ready to go. :)

haha the registration on that forum has been closed forever and the email it says to use doesn't go through.

Cape T/A
07-26-2012, 01:19 PM
The one with the stock mounting point at the transmission.
Thanks!

cjb
07-26-2012, 02:54 PM
Yes, I have the Koni SA, so rebound-only adjustable. I have the fronts set at 3 (or 4?) sweeps away from soft, and the rears set at the softest setting (haven't changed this since I changed from Bilstein to Koni in the rear end of 2008).

"Harder" settings work at flat tracks but not at the Nordschleife, at least not for me. :nod:

Alright, I see. How well does the car perform at the track? Does it feel competent and safe? Fun to drive? If you would change, ad something to the car, what would that be? (letīs say you had unlimeted budget :)

HowdyZ_28
07-26-2012, 03:26 PM
haha the registration on that forum has been closed forever and the email it says to use doesn't go through.





Ben, do you know how to fix this?




Scott

BenZ28
07-27-2012, 04:40 AM
Alright, I see. How well does the car perform at the track? Does it feel competent and safe? Fun to drive? If you would change, ad something to the car, what would that be? (letīs say you had unlimeted budget
In the current state it feels safe. It has minor understeer that I can make go away with a little throttle input. That is in the dry. I don't like it so much in the wet but that has to do with the Kumho tires...

Next I'll add rear roto-joint LCAs to control wheel hop better, still have the stock star-rubber bushings there and maybe a prop valve for the rear brakes (ABS shuts down from time to time).

Apart from that with an unlimited budget and/or if I were to transform it into a pure track car:
Watts link, special-made lightweight wheels, lighter K member, generally rip all the interior out to lighten the car, race seats and seatbelts, plexiglass windows, ..., and engine mods to make more power.

Ben, do you know how to fix this?
I informed Garry yesterday.

JoshuaGrooms83
07-27-2012, 06:11 AM
Hey josh were going possibly the 18th, right now I have a poll up for dates.
i think i could do that. put me up as possibly goin gthen. i really would like to do this before i pcs. i dont think ill go hard, just cruise it to say ive done it. maybe one hard lap but thats about it.

jimbos'ss
07-27-2012, 08:02 AM
i think i could do that. put me up as possibly goin gthen. i really would like to do this before i pcs. i dont think ill go hard, just cruise it to say ive done it. maybe one hard lap but thats about it.

yah i'm just going to have a bit of fun, my tires aren't good enough for anything competitive.

JoshuaGrooms83
07-28-2012, 06:11 PM
yeah, i switched to my travel rims and sent my other ones with my household goods so im stuck on soft all seasons lol

FyreLance
10-24-2012, 09:03 AM
Wow, this was an awesome story. Literally got chills during the part where the BMWs were battling it out.

Phoenix64
06-03-2013, 04:51 PM
A long hard road to here, write up to follow.
Heavy traffic, with a passenger, a Boss 302 holding me up in the first couple corners, and the engine starving for fuel in the last couple corners.
God do I love this car.
Watch for the back end to try to sneak out at 105 MPH 2:25 in.
8:22 Bridge to Gantry.

YouTube

eb110americana
06-03-2013, 08:19 PM
Very nice. That looked like a lot of fun. Your engine seems to pull pretty hard even at higher speeds, any guess as to what kind of power it's putting down? Excellent driving on your part.

RevGTO
06-03-2013, 11:30 PM
Awesome. Looking forward to the full write-up on the tweaks to the car and driver mods :)

BenZ28
06-06-2013, 04:48 AM
Thumbs up, very nice!
Give us more details on the car, e.g. what kind of tires did you run? What brakes?

38DD2436
06-09-2013, 08:06 AM
WOW, What an experience! You picked on hell of a track. Nice driving.

bufmatmuslepants
06-14-2013, 06:30 PM
Cannot WAIT for the writeup!

Phoenix64
06-22-2013, 08:09 AM
So my friend with the Boss 302 Talked me into one last trip to the ring.
About 4 min from closing time on Sunday night, the suns going down, but it was still 85*.
A few small moments, and a lot of mistakes, but a fairly clean lap.
The flames my car belches in the carousel are pretty epic about 6:04.
Total time 8:13.

http://youtu.be/_VQjmO1_rH4

bufmatmuslepants
06-22-2013, 09:03 AM
AWESOME! What mods did you do to drop a full 4 minutes from the first time?

BenZ28
06-24-2013, 09:08 AM
Thumbs up, again, really impressive! :) But please don't forget our questions...

Phoenix64
06-26-2013, 06:51 PM
10 months deployed.
Standard story of the solider post deployment.
Get home, and I have 2 hours to move into the spare bedroom of my house because the girl I've lived with for the last 4 years has her new boyfriend coming over.
Its too awkward, can't sleep with them a few feet away, so I pack a bag at 3am, and and head to my usual guest house at the nurburgring. The autobahn is a gearheads wet dream at 3-5AM. What is normally a 3-4 hour drive takes just over 2.
The day I arrive just happens to be the first day the track is open for 2013, still it takes till 10AM to clear the snow off the track.
I spend the weekend sliding around a cold track in the mustang trying to avoid the snow on the edges of the track that the plows missed.

Waiting for me at my PO box is intimidatingly huge pile of parts.

1 7/8th's long tubes.
Turn one power steering pump.
New radiator.
ATI Underdrive pulley.
Spearco Steering wheel.
6LE seats.
Wide band O2 sensor.
CTS-V calipers with 2010 camaro rotors, and HP+ pads
18in OEM GM C6 z06 front wheels with 285/30 toyo R888's.

The Sparco wheel is first, the smaller diameter helps out a lot with steering feel, plus it just feels nice in your hands.
The power steering pump increases the weight of the steering, especially at engine low speed, installed in combination with the under drive pulley.
The 6LE seats are next, they look friggin sweet. Long story short, they don't fit properly in the car, they provide NO support, and some how cause back ache after only a few min of driving. But they sure look cool :(
So 800$ down the drain.
Luckily I find a set of well used(torn, and sun bleached) corbeau seats out of a camaro in Germany no less, and they come with a 4-point harness that bolts to the stock seat belt mounting points. These things fit like your favorite baseball glove from when you were a kid. Every time I sit in them I'm amazed a seat can hold you this well, and still be comfortable for 3+ hour journeys.
With the harness cinched down you are locked in the seat, you feel like a part of the car, without them the car would be impossible to drive.
While installing the seats out I strip the rest of the interior.
At this point its the night before we are supposed to leave for the track. I still don't have the brakes on.
So I get up before work, and start tearing it apart in the pouring rain. In my haste, I crack one of the hard lines that run along the body, but no problem, on my way to work I drop it off at the local auto shop to have a new end put on.
After work We finish installing the brakes. The super slick combination or rain water, and brake fluid probably doubled the amount of time it took to finish the job, its now dark still pouring rain but its done, and we are on our way.
There is a problem. I'm running semi slick tires in the rain, so I have no way to bed the pads in. Anything more than the slightest brake pressure locks up the wheels.
At least we are on our way.
My first discovery is that the extra weight on the front wheels has a made the steering feel at speed absolutely perfect. So much for trying to minimize rotating mass.
Stripping the interior makes the car more roomy, and increases the visibility by 20-30%, with my Ipod and head phones I don't even miss the radio, I actually like the car better stripped.

First weekend in the car I can't adjust to the brakes and the grip. The brakes have tenacious bite, the tires are glued to the road. The back end waggels a few times while trail braking, but mostly the car is laughing at me. I run a frustrating 8:44 3rd lap.

As I'm pulling up to the entrance for the 4th lap, I the trans starts grinding so bad its shaking the whole car anytime the clutch is in, changing gear is all but impossible. By double clutching I manage to limp the car onto the road home, on the ramp to get on the autobahn I gently press the brakes, and in stead of the face ripping stopping power I had moments before, the break pedal just gently sinks to the floor, and the car sails around the on ramp. The car has grip in reserve, so I'm not going to crash, yet anyways. Just on instinct I pump the pedal once, and all I hear is the hiss/squeak of a master cylinder pumping air.

The repaired brake line blew out. If it had happened on the track I'd probably be dead. I'm lucky, but now I have a problem. I'm cruising down the autobahn 3 hours from home with just the e-brake, and no way to downshift.
I coast to a truck stop, and using my buddies wrench set and the spare tire jack from his mustang we repair the brake line, and figure out how to bleed the ABS block in the parking lot.

Back home when I drain the trans I'm crushed. The trans was built by RPM transmissions 3500 miles ago, but the royal purple comes out jet black and silver. It takes 3 flushes to clear all the metal chips.

I pull the trans, and replace the LS7 clutch and pilot bearing. The trans still grinds, so I swap to 3 qt's 90w gear lube, and 1 qt lucas oil trans fix. The lucas oil stuff is about the consistency of molasses mixed with peanut butter = THICK
It works, the trans is impossible to shift when cold, but once its warm, its usable.

Back to the track on Thursday, weekdays are awesome, in about 9 laps we get down into the high 8:20's. I stop thinking about driving the car and get back to driving on instinct. It doesn't work to go into a corner thinking is that my brake point??????
You stay on the gas till your subconscious screams "brake now or die!"
The car is lose under brakes, pushes mid corner, planted on corner exit. I discover I can out brake my buddies Boss 302 while he pulls me down the straights. At this point we are getting passed maybe once every 2 laps, and the cars passing us are worth 2-3 times as much as the Boss, my car is worth less than the cost of a brake job on most of these cars.

Next for the princely sum of 70$ I get the car aligned. 0 toe, -1* camber, and 2.5* castor. The settings make the car even more nervous on the street, it tracks every little imperfection in the road. On the track though the front end bite is awesome. The car turns in better, and the mid corner push is gone. Tire wear is also more even.

Our last day I spent most of my time guiding friends around the track for their first couple laps.

My friend asks me to lap his 2012 M3 6-speed. I took him around in about 9:45. After he said "wow, I had no idea my car was capable of that". I respond "Its capable of lot more." So he tosses me the keys again, and the 3 of us pile back into the car. The lap is uneventful till I go to pass an AMG C63, and carry just a little bit too much speed out onto the marbles on the edge of the track. The back slides out, and we are sideways on the rumble strip all while passing the AMG, yet the car never felt unsettled. The lap time was an 8:34. I've driven M3's on the street before, and not been impressed, but after driving one on track I totally get it. So controllable and balanced, these things are fast just due to the driver confidence they inspire.

A stark comparison to my other friends 2012 Challenger SRT 392. The only thing more horrifying than its body roll was its fuel consumption.

I was learning right up to the last lap, I really got a feel for the brakes on the 8:13 lap. Soft initial pressure to settle the car, then hard but progressive right up to wheel lock up. My wild over steer into corners(made me very popular with passengers but slow), was mostly my braking technique.

I lost count of the times people came up to me, and told me how crazy or fun my car looked. One of my last laps was in front of a caged/stripped out E46 M3 CSL. He got out and said "your motor shoots fire, and you slide so much, I didn't think it would make a full lap, must be fun".
As I look at the car, I can see ways to make it faster, but I'm not sure that faster is better at this point.

Lap times aside, this has been gearhead nirvana. Two friends in closely matched cars on the best race track in the world. I had mixed emotions driving home for the last time. Glad we had all survived iron intact, but sad that it was over.

eb110americana
06-26-2013, 08:04 PM
Nice man, I so wish that I could have experienced all that with you, but reading your recollection and watching the vids is the next best thing. Sorry about your girl (I'm assuming you were more than just house mates). At least you didn't let that spoil the rest of your fun.

I just put some Cipher racing seats in my car this weekend and I know what you mean about their absence making the car impossible to drive. I've already done the Strano lowering springs, fat antiroll bars, Koni adjustable shocks, 1LE Moog bushings, and have wider 19" wheels with max Summer tires and a mild performance alignment. The factory seats were just not cutting it anymore and I was hanging on to the steering wheel way too much. It's a night-and-day difference driving the car now. I have to retrain myself to loosen my grip on the wheel and with the throttle I can precisely control the attitude (rotation) of the car in corners in ways I did not know were possible with the old seats.

I think what impresses me the most, is the way you were able to put everything together so quickly, and under less than ideal conditions. I usually will do one or two mods at a time on the weekend, and often have to take extra days to complete projects when I run into issues or need parts. I guess you'll have to do something with that transmission down the road.

Again, it all sounds like great fun earned after a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. Congrats on living what some of us only dream about.

BenZ28
06-27-2013, 05:40 AM
Wow what a story. Thanks a lot for sharing this! :thumb:
I personally don't have any laptime ambitions or goals in all these years I've been driving on this track as it is just so beautiful and most fun to drive when you're not chasing a good laptime but just having fun with your friends there -- also I've seen a number of bad incidents there... but of course I got a lot of respect for your time, so don't misunderstand me!

I always had some doubts if 18 inch wheels work well on the Ring with our cars but they obviously do as you proved...

You didn't have any ABS shutdown problems with the CTS-V brakes? Because that is what I was experiencing with my Stoptechs, so I finally added a brake proportioning valve.

When will you be at the Ring again or aren't you anymore in Germany?

bufmatmuslepants
06-27-2013, 06:20 AM
Love the story man! What are you gonna do to combat the rear end swinging entering turns? In both videos you can see that kinda gets you unnerved and seems to cost you alot. Do you have a proportioning valve yet?

ta-brian
06-27-2013, 05:39 PM
Well done man, awesome story

Iowa96TA
06-28-2013, 12:23 AM
Wow what an amazing story. I've always wanted to drive on the ring and I hope that I can one day

Phoenix64
06-29-2013, 08:54 AM
Thanks for all the compliments.

It was a thrash, I was working from 12pm-1am every day, then getting up at 8-9am, and working on it in the parking lot.

I went with the 18's for tire choice, the extra offset-2in more track width, and no need for spacers with the brembo's.
I had no ABS issues, but I usually got axle hop before the ABS kicked in, but the few times it did kick in I had no issues.

A little bit of sliding actually makes the car faster. There were just a handful of times where I would trail brake just right, and it would rotate the car into the corner perfectly, and shave significant time, I just couldn't repeat it.
More often than not I would drift the car intentionally on the way in just cause it was so much fun.

One passengers comment after riding in the Boss then my car. "Two biggest differences, 1st when you brake it feels like life or death, all the deceleration force combined with the back of the car moving around, 2nd the boss always feels glued to the road. There are a couple of place on track where your car is in a 4 wheel drift, and just feels like a projectile."

Everyone who rode in both cars agreed mine was the wilder ride.

I played with shock settings and tire pressures and was able to get the rear more settled on corner entry, but it made it loose on corner exit. It was fun, safe and super easy to control.
I could brake later/harder, but I couldn't makeup the time I was loosing on corner exit so I went back to sliding into corners.
Proving the old saying, the better handling setup is not necessarily faster.

A possible solution is to go with a staggered setup, and run a 305 tire in the rear. Like I said though, the car is so much fun the way it is I'm hesitant to mess it up.

I'm still in Germany till September, I'll be at the ring with the Mustang on the 2nd a friend is flying into Frankfurt, they want to lap the ring on the way to Belgrade, then to drive the Transfagarasan road.

My buddies Boss 302 shipped back to the states, it was my motivation to build the firebird.
For 10 months we shopped for parts, and argued intensely about the potential of my two cars, he insisted that my mustang GT had more potential. I proved my point. In the end I have a sweet riding daily driver/cruiser, and a fun track car.

It just wouldn't be the same running the ring without a blue Boss in my mirrors.

Empatho
06-29-2013, 10:17 PM
cool thread and nice read :thumb:

Phoenix64
06-30-2013, 04:11 AM
Just kinda playing with the rear end in this one. Actually get a little bit of smoke.
http://youtu.be/IkBbowb9MEg

Early video giving a ride, more playing with the car than going for time, notice how big the slides are. Moments are at 2:50 and 4:20.
http://youtu.be/VYPaPTETyJA

Later video Same setup, same driver, not showing off, just trying to get around quickly, lap looks completely different also winding the car out to redline for the first time.
http://youtu.be/Aw071ue78Qo

BenZ28
07-01-2013, 06:25 AM
You have some balls or talent or both to drive an F-Body like this (sliding!) on the Ring, really! :) I've always avoided sliding there... on a GP track no problem, but not on the Ring...

2nd of July? Won't be there, I usually don't go there when there's only 2 hours open. My next time might be July 21 (full day).

autogeek23
07-01-2013, 11:12 AM
wow this is a great thread. good writing skills. loved following this. makes me want to track out my car

Guitar
07-01-2013, 12:14 PM
That's so badass. I'd love to drive around that track with balls of steel like you appear to.

barkerracing59
07-07-2013, 03:14 PM
Let me know when yall are going out I am base in ramstein I have a 2000 trans am let me know whats up

Phoenix64
08-05-2013, 02:09 PM
Wasn't planning on going back but a couple of my some friends wanted to experience the nurburgring.
I spent Saturday giving rides in the mustang, and talking people through laps.
I wasn't even trying to set a fast lap, my buddy just wanted his wife to see what it was like in my firebird after his 2012 M3.
This was my only lap of the day early Sunday morning, with a passenger, and half a tank of gas, cold track and all.
The combination of colder air and 102 octane fuel put the motor in beast mode.
A lucky air pressure change reduced the rear axle hop I was getting, and allowed me to brake later and harder than ever before.
I even engaged ABS a couple times.
Firebird Formula 8:07 lap 4 aug 2013 - YouTube

TImmy_Jones
08-05-2013, 09:11 PM
Amazing, thank you for the videos and narrative.

BenZ28
08-06-2013, 04:07 AM
8:07... wow!!! Now, 8:00 has to be the next goal! :-)

ThoR294
08-06-2013, 09:23 AM
I voted for 1st option, just because it said "learn to drive" :D

Robbie Wilson
08-08-2013, 01:26 AM
so does the back end kick out because the front brakes are too strong? or because the rear brakes are too strong? Also I think you could benefit from running wider tires all the way around. Idk, maybe 18 x 10.5 c5 z06 wheels. put 295's on square and the car should stay neutral but more grip. Would probably add weight and spacers though. Anyway nice car. I am torn between 17 x11's (which I already have) vs. 18 x 9.5's just for bigger brakes. I really don't know. More corner grip vs. more brakes+oversteer. oh well.

Love this thread! I want to do this before I die!

Phoenix64
08-09-2013, 05:11 AM
The firebird has 2 weeks left in Germany, and my friend gave me 3 laps she didn't use last weekend.
I need your guys help.
Based on the fact that airing down the rear tires to 32psi changed the axle hop into straight up rear wheel lockup. I think I have too much rear brake.
What can I do to reduce rear brake bias? At the moment I have HP+ pads in the front and DTC-30 in the back. I might have a set of HP+ rears around that I could swap in.
My other idea is to increase the middle slit in the rear pads to reduce surface area.
Thoughts?

Robbie Wilson
08-09-2013, 02:18 PM
The firebird has 2 weeks left in Germany, and my friend gave me 3 laps she didn't use last weekend.
I need your guys help.
Based on the fact that airing down the rear tires to 32psi changed the axle hop into straight up rear wheel lockup. I think I have too much rear brake.
What can I do to reduce rear brake bias? At the moment I have HP+ pads in the front and DTC-30 in the back. I might have a set of HP+ rears around that I could swap in.
My other idea is to increase the middle slit in the rear pads to reduce surface area.
Thoughts?

Well, you could always run a less aggressive pad in the rear like an hps or what I would try, stoptech street perf. pads, or hell maybe a hawk cermaic street pads. I don't know if you ever thought about it, but lt1 rear brakes are supposed to be weaker than ls1 rear brakes and I had heard that ls1 rears with race pads can lock up 315/35-17 Hoosiers.

Just something to think about.

But try a weaker pad in rear. Like I said, I would try stoptech street perf. pads. But I wouldn't say I'm an expert but I do autox.

I also remember something about torque arm's and r-lca angle can affect rear brake hop. UMI has an adjustable full length torque arm and global west have a de-coupled torque arm. Either way I think a torque arm might be the fix if your just using the stocker.

Anyone else want to help this guy out?

btw here is a quote from an old thread from camaroz28.com:

"Quote:
Originally Posted by hotheadbuddy View Post

The fronts do pretty much everything. The back just keep the car in a straight line.

I have both an '02 Z28 (street car) and a '93 Z28 (road race car). The '02 has (obviously) LS1 brakes. It stops really well, especially with track pads (on the front only) but the rears work SO well, that under heavy braking, the rears will lock up and induce wicked wheel hop . The '93 has 13" 'Vette brakes on the front, and stock LT1 brakes on the back. It HAD race pads on all 4 corners, until I started getting wicked wheel hop with it too. So I put street brakes on the back, and now it works perfectly.

My point? Stock LT1 rear brakes are MORE than adequate to haul down the car. LS1 rears are over-kill, even in stock, street form. The fronts are the most important, and LS1 fronts are certainly better than LT1 fronts."

pretty much sums it up.

San Diego Car Guy
08-11-2013, 10:08 AM
Mann, das ist unglaublich!

Couldn't have said it better myself!!!

Phoenix64
08-12-2013, 02:35 AM
Managed to pull another 50lbs from the car, discovered that the rear brakes had about 1/4in of pad left.

As an experiment I greased the rotors, sure enough it cured the brake hop. Of course the grease burned off long before I got to the track so it was back to hopping into corners again.

Sunday was a mad house, way more traffic than I was expecting. I did get to see Derek Bell in his Porsche 956 so that was cool.

Started with about 1/3 of a tank of fuel. Trying to minimize weight.

Track was crowded but the car was pulling. Then at the exit of aremberg I rolled into the throttle, and instead of the NASCAR scream I expected I was greeted by the howl of a fuel pump cavitating, and a stutter from the engine.

My heart sank as I realized I had 2/3rds of the track left, and it would only get worse as I burned more fuel.

As I unwound the steering lock the motor came screaming back to life and the car rocketed down the fox hole before kissing the asphalt at 145mph, for a split second I thought about giving up but knowing I will probably never be here again I decided to just push harder to make up the time.
I almost did.

8:03.49

Three and a half seconds over twelve miles of asphalt and concrete.

The sad part is the fuel left in the tank after the lap was enough to carry me 50k to an Esso station with about 2 gallons in reserve.

The rear pads are gone now, just chewing into the rotor, so if the new pads I ordered get in this week I may go this weekend.

But if not, its over. 3 and 1/2 seconds that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Empatho
08-12-2013, 03:10 PM
Great run! you have to go back so you get under the 8 minutes.

Phoenix64
08-13-2013, 02:00 AM
Brakes are in the mail, and so the race begins.....

camarokid91
08-13-2013, 09:12 AM
The brake hop is the factory proportion split they tend to grab the rears more than the fronts causing the rear to hop. Having more aggressive front pad than will help this. Also I'm super jealous of you being able to run your F-body at the ring.

BenZ28
08-13-2013, 09:51 AM
8:03.49 with "problems" (fuel), man that is unbelievable! Congrats again!

If you did Fuchsroehre at 145mph you must've gotten extreme tire rubbing, have you? :-)

Phoenix64
08-14-2013, 07:19 AM
8:03.49 with "problems" (fuel), man that is unbelievable! Congrats again!

If you did Fuchsroehre at 145mph you must've gotten extreme tire rubbing, have you? :-)

I've never seen any evidence of tire rubbing, but I do drag the exhaust pretty badly at the bottom of the Fuchsroehre.

It could also be because my tires are 24.8in in diameter instead of the stock 25.7.

I noticed too that one of my bump stops had disintegrated. So I'm definitely bottoming out the suspension.

BenZ28
08-14-2013, 10:41 AM
That's interesting, I recently checked my bumpstops and they still look OK (the right one slightly better than the left one) but I get my right front tire rubbing in compressions like Fuchsroehre even at 120mph... Has always been like this since I've lowered the car with Strano springs.

Phoenix64
09-04-2013, 11:55 AM
That's interesting, I recently checked my bumpstops and they still look OK (the right one slightly better than the left one) but I get my right front tire rubbing in compressions like Fuchsroehre even at 120mph... Has always been like this since I've lowered the car with Strano springs.

In the process of shipping the car and cleaning the underside, I did notice that both front fenders had rub marks on the top of them. Never left any noticeable marks on the tires.

Phoenix64
09-05-2013, 03:08 AM
Went back for one more run.
The Firebird was already on a boat, so I rented an M3.

I met Walter Rohrl, and I saw the Porsche 918 prototype testing in tourist traffic. Got the entire track to myself for 1 lap. Very cool last day at the ring.

They claim their M3RS has 450hp, and is a sub 7:30 car, but the one I was issued had badly worn 245 section front tires on it, so badly worn you couldn't read anything off the sidewall anymore. Not an inspiring start.

I nearly crashed in the first couple corners because there was so little front end grip. The driving technique was completely different to my firebird, shockingly it actually pushed worse than my non-brembo mustang.

In the firebird you traibrake to bring the back end around and help point the car. The M3 you HAD to trail brake just to get enough weight on the front tire that you could point it into the corner. Then it pushed like a pig from mid corner till corner exit. I only got the back lose once in 6 laps, and it was by using a Scandinavian flick.

The first laps were 8:37 and 8:44. Then an 8:07 and an 8:11 as the traffic cleared up. The DCT is helping me make up some time, but the car just wont carry enough corner speed.

I do manage to pass a 997 GT2 RS, one of my all time favorite cars, and while duking it out with a 997 GT3 RS he loses it and spins at Adenauer forest.

So I decide I'm not going to break into the 7's but I'll do one more non-timed lap just for fun and call it a day.

Coasting in from gantry I see no cars pulling out on track. I assume the track is closed, but I get in, and its open just no one is going out........
I wait a bit longer, and then sneak out in front of a BRZ and a couple hot hatches. Had the entire course to myself until the last corner. Talk about once in a lifetime luck.


M3 7 57 nordschleife - YouTube

7:57.25

I win.

The End.

BenZ28
09-05-2013, 11:16 AM
You have balls and talent and you're lucky! Thanks for sharing! :thumb: