Question about track setup for type R

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gbhstrat

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gbhstrat:

I would suggest reading everything you can on this Forum about how challenging it is to turn the Type R from the amazing street car it is into the amazing track car it almost is.

I'd start by reading peefree's "Civic Type R FK8 Build thread", and follow that by reading the "Civic Type R at the track, goods and bads." I wish I had....

There are numerous short comings in the Type R that don't surface until the Type R is pushed hard, lap after lap, at the track. And then it really falls apart, unfortunately.

The biggest issue, as you can see from the posts on this thread is cooling. Any track day over 85 degrees is going to be problematic. Sure, run the heater, add water wetter, add a J's grill, and an after market hood with extra vents, drill out some of the plastic shrouding at the front of the car, add bigger oil cooler(s), radiator, inter-cooler, etc and you will reduce, not totally solve, the problem. Is the '20 version better? I doubt it. They seem to have put the Honda version of the aftermarket "J's grill", that so many people here use. It helps a bit.

As the engine gets hot the computer starts pulling power, top speed goes from 130 mph to 120 mph. Then you have to run a cool down lap every 3-4 laps to keep from going into limp mode (top speed 40 mph-I did it entering the straight srtetch at Mid-Ohio, there is no track thrill that compares to being overtaken by cars going 100 mph faster than you are!).

All of these mods are $$$$, plus cost of installation. None seems to totally fix the problem, tho peefree may have?

Next is tire wear. There is almost no ability to add negative camber without re-engineering the front suspension. Many have done it, the after market has all the parts, but it is $$$, again. I ran 18" aftermarket wheels with RE71R's (265/40/18) and corded my outside edges after 3 track days.

Next up: brakes. I was metal on metal on my rear brakes after 2 track days. Again, it is easy to go with upgraded rotors and add track pads, and drive with stability mgt off. As before tho, this is $$$.


If you manage these issues, the Type R is a fabulous track car. The seats are perfect, ditto visibility, great mpg to and from the track, great sound system, lots of storage for tools, spare wheels, etc. And who doesn't like pushing Porsches around, especially with a Honda Civic?

I ultimately ran out of $, and patience, and traded my R in for something slower but easier to maintain at the track. It was not an easy decision. The R was the best street car I have ever owned, and I have owned plenty. It made every trip to the grocery store an adventure. But I bought it as my track car and could not see getting it totally track ready, within the budget I had.

Food for thought.
Wow, thanks for such a honest review. That's the info I needed. If I get one, it will be driven hard. I have hundreds of laps at my local tracks. Even when I "promise" not to drive my son's M3 too hard, it impossible to hold back when you are picking your way through the run group.



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Dave B

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RE 71s will cord pretty quickly and driving with the nannies on will always eat the rear brakes. For Corvettes with good camber or even Champcar, RE-71Rs don't last at all. 3 track days sounds pretty normal as they are generally used for Autocross.

Question is how much negative camber can you get? The cost of getting neg camber in to the car will save on tire cost ++++ anyway.

Engine cooling really sounds like the biggest issue. Not sure what the Honda engineers mean by dropping the engine temps by 18 F. for the 2020 model. Do they mean under identical conditions at the high end ? More importantly does it prevent limp mode?

As a point of interest, the in rad oil cooler on my C5z06 dropped oil temps by about 30 F in very similar conditions.
 

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Man, you make it look easy. My present track day car is a C5Z06 Corvette and there is no way my hands would be so calm.

I have been very happy with ST43s on the vette. Do you have them just on the fronts or all 4 corners?
Thanks for the kind words! I was fortunate to have good friends and coaching when I first started track driving. I ran ST43 up front and PMU Club Racer pads in the rear. I wouldn’t recommend it and would say to match the pads front and rear unless the manufacture suggests otherwise.
 

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RE 71s will cord pretty quickly and driving with the nannies on will always eat the rear brakes. For Corvettes with good camber or even Champcar, RE-71Rs don't last at all. 3 track days sounds pretty normal as they are generally used for Autocross.

Question is how much negative camber can you get? The cost of getting neg camber in to the car will save on tire cost ++++ anyway.
Just another data point: I can get 4+ track days on RE-71Rs in my GT4, but I have -2.8 f -2.4 r camber and the tires are wide.
 

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There are numerous short comings in the Type R that don't surface until the Type R is pushed hard, lap after lap, at the track. And then it really falls apart, unfortunately.

The biggest issue, as you can see from the posts on this thread is cooling. Any track day over 85 degrees is going to be problematic. Sure, run the heater, add water wetter, add a J's grill, and an after market hood with extra vents, drill out some of the plastic shrouding at the front of the car, add bigger oil cooler(s), radiator, inter-cooler, etc and you will reduce, not totally solve, the problem. Is the '20 version better? I doubt it. They seem to have put the Honda version of the aftermarket "J's grill", that so many people here use. It helps a bit.

As the engine gets hot the computer starts pulling power, top speed goes from 130 mph to 120 mph. Then you have to run a cool down lap every 3-4 laps to keep from going into limp mode (top speed 40 mph-I did it entering the straight srtetch at Mid-Ohio, there is no track thrill that compares to being overtaken by cars going 100 mph faster than you are!).

All of these mods are $$$$, plus cost of installation. None seems to totally fix the problem, tho peefree may have?

Next is tire wear. There is almost no ability to add negative camber without re-engineering the front suspension. Many have done it, the after market has all the parts, but it is $$$, again. I ran 18" aftermarket wheels with RE71R's (265/40/18) and corded my outside edges after 3 track days.

Next up: brakes. I was metal on metal on my rear brakes after 2 track days. Again, it is easy to go with upgraded rotors and add track pads, and drive with stability mgt off. As before tho, this is $$$.
Cooling was my primary concern with this car. I will be tracking and instructing with this car but only on cool days, but it isn't my only track car. I will do some cooling mods but that's a given. Not so much a want to do them, but necessary to be able to get slightly more lapping in.

As with the money being spent, it can be said that about most cars the more you get into driving. The faster you go the more money you're likely to spend. Yes there are cars with MUCH CHEAPER expendables, but that goes with the choice of the car you choose to track. I am sure I will enjoy this car a lot on track due to power, but I also love how cheap and easy to maintain a 90's Civic hatch or a NA Miata was. Even currently having the S2000 is expensive but it is nice to give all the car all the abuse I want. 10K miles of straight tracking no issue, just regular maintenance.
 

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Thanks for the kind words! I was fortunate to have good friends and coaching when I first started track driving. I ran ST43 up front and PMU Club Racer pads in the rear. I wouldn’t recommend it and would say to match the pads front and rear unless the manufacture suggests otherwise.
My experience has been that with better tires, there is more wgt transfer and the front brakes do a higher percentage of the work meaning there is less heat at the back, even with stickier tires. Some manufacturers handle this by having smaller rear brakes anyway. That being said, the CTR seems to have pretty big rear brakes, especially for a front driver. I would assume this is to make sure that the yaw control and active handling doesn't get exhausted by overheating the rear brakes.

Another interesting point is certainly for C5Z06 Corvettes that come with totally inadequate brakes, most folks just upgrade the fronts and not the rears.

I have tried using Raybestos ST43s front and back and found there was way too much rear bias with that setup.

Just another data point: I can get 4+ track days on RE-71Rs in my GT4, but I have -2.8 f -2.4 r camber and the tires are wide.
I am sure that lots of folks here will balk at the idea of 4-5 track days out of a set of tires even though for those of us more used to track driving, it is not out of the question. That being said, some other tires are more robust and heat resistant such as the Michelin Sport Cup 2, Hankook RS4 and Nitto NT01 although the RE 71 is faster than all of these three. You can boast after an HPDE event but you can't really win. If you really want to go fast, just try Hoosier R7s (totally unstreetable) and pop them in the hatch and change them at the track. They are a whole order of magnitude faster than any of the tires previously mentioned and the good thing about the CTR is that you can indeed take them to the track. OTOH, you aren't going to get 5 track days out of them.

So how much negative camber can you get in a CTR? With enough, I would expect you can almost make the car completely neutral. I noticed the car appeared to be understeering a bit in the video when pushed hard.
 

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My experience has been that with better tires, there is more wgt transfer and the front brakes do a higher percentage of the work meaning there is less heat at the back, even with stickier tires. Some manufacturers handle this by having smaller rear brakes anyway. That being said, the CTR seems to have pretty big rear brakes, especially for a front driver. I would assume this is to make sure that the yaw control and active handling doesn't get exhausted by overheating the rear brakes.

Another interesting point is certainly for C5Z06 Corvettes that come with totally inadequate brakes, most folks just upgrade the fronts and not the rears.

I have tried using Raybestos ST43s front and back and found there was way too much rear bias with that setup.



I am sure that lots of folks here will balk at the idea of 4-5 track days out of a set of tires even though for those of us more used to track driving, it is not out of the question. That being said, some other tires are more robust and heat resistant such as the Michelin Sport Cup 2, Hankook RS4 and Nitto NT01 although the RE 71 is faster than all of these three. You can boast after an HPDE event but you can't really win. If you really want to go fast, just try Hoosier R7s (totally unstreetable) and pop them in the hatch and change them at the track. They are a whole order of magnitude faster than any of the tires previously mentioned and the good thing about the CTR is that you can indeed take them to the track. OTOH, you aren't going to get 5 track days out of them.

So how much negative camber can you get in a CTR? With enough, I would expect you can almost make the car completely neutral. I noticed the car appeared to be understeering a bit in the video when pushed hard.
I also would like to know the options to get more negative camber out of the front. It looks like maybe -1.8--1.9 with pulling the pins is possible? Are there other ways to get additional negative camber for the front? Maybe -2.5 to -2.8 is what I am thinking would be a good start?

Any other track related issues?

1. #1 Issue appears to be cooling. Hopefully the 2020 changes make enough of a difference to keep everything cool. If not? Vented hood should help>Oil cooler? How far do we go to keep the car on the track for 30 minute sessions?
2. Wheels and tires. I am going to 18x9.5 and RS4's. RS4's last a while and have decent grip.
3. Alignment. Is there enough Front & Rear alignment adjustments to get what is needed for the track?
4. How is the stock suspension for the track? I use Swift R springs in my 350z that help a lot. Anybody run these? Huge difference v stock or not?
5. Any other problems coming up when you track the car in heat?

Thanks!

Mike
 

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I also would like to know the options to get more negative camber out of the front. It looks like maybe -1.8--1.9 with pulling the pins is possible? Are there other ways to get additional negative camber for the front? Maybe -2.5 to -2.8 is what I am thinking would be a good start?

Any other track related issues?

1. #1 Issue appears to be cooling. Hopefully the 2020 changes make enough of a difference to keep everything cool. If not? Vented hood should help>Oil cooler? How far do we go to keep the car on the track for 30 minute sessions?
2. Wheels and tires. I am going to 18x9.5 and RS4's. RS4's last a while and have decent grip.
3. Alignment. Is there enough Front & Rear alignment adjustments to get what is needed for the track?
4. How is the stock suspension for the track? I use Swift R springs in my 350z that help a lot. Anybody run these? Huge difference v stock or not?
5. Any other problems coming up when you track the car in heat?

Thanks!

Mike
Check my build thread. A lot of what you're asking is answered there.
 

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My experience has been that with better tires, there is more wgt transfer and the front brakes do a higher percentage of the work meaning there is less heat at the back, even with stickier tires. Some manufacturers handle this by having smaller rear brakes anyway. That being said, the CTR seems to have pretty big rear brakes, especially for a front driver. I would assume this is to make sure that the yaw control and active handling doesn't get exhausted by overheating the rear brakes.

Another interesting point is certainly for C5Z06 Corvettes that come with totally inadequate brakes, most folks just upgrade the fronts and not the rears.

I have tried using Raybestos ST43s front and back and found there was way too much rear bias with that setup.



I am sure that lots of folks here will balk at the idea of 4-5 track days out of a set of tires even though for those of us more used to track driving, it is not out of the question. That being said, some other tires are more robust and heat resistant such as the Michelin Sport Cup 2, Hankook RS4 and Nitto NT01 although the RE 71 is faster than all of these three. You can boast after an HPDE event but you can't really win. If you really want to go fast, just try Hoosier R7s (totally unstreetable) and pop them in the hatch and change them at the track. They are a whole order of magnitude faster than any of the tires previously mentioned and the good thing about the CTR is that you can indeed take them to the track. OTOH, you aren't going to get 5 track days out of them.

So how much negative camber can you get in a CTR? With enough, I would expect you can almost make the car completely neutral. I noticed the car appeared to be understeering a bit in the video when pushed hard.
As I understand it, the RE71s really just aren't a track tire and the fast wear should be expected. As a weekend racer, you'd want a more durable tire, something like a SX2 champiro or Yok AD08R, so I'm told anyway. Neither of these tires are maximum grip though, but does it really matter if it's not a race?
 

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More on RE-71Rs: I have used 3 sets on track and find them to have better life and be more consistent performance over a session (they don't overheat) compared to MPSC2 (Michelin pilot sport cup 2). So they are definitely track tires. I know people doing 30 track days a year who find the same.
 
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My experience tracking several cars over the years with R Comp tires and track camber is that I still destroyed the right side faster than the left on counter clockwise tracks. I flip the tires on the rims about half life and run them in the reverse direction. Otherwise I am throwing away tires with some life still in them. Running R Comps backward has no difference in performance when they are almost slicks. You do need to find a shop that does not charge too much to flip them for you. Its all about the "$h!t to Pay" ratio. I am impressed with the latest Michelin super sports. I have them on my Audi S4 and they do great for not being an R comp. They last longer than the street radials I have tried in the past. If you are trying to track a car on a budget, the balance of weak links of tires, brakes, camber is a slippery slope. It's like a heroin addiction so you have to be careful if you want to keep your car from being too track focused if you want to put a lot of miles on the street. You start with a good base car, spend some bucks making the car track capable, destroy tires and brakes, dial in more camber, better break pads, SRF Brake fluid, etc. and the next thing you know you have a race trailer and need another car for the street. When students show up in their new shinny street car they often ask, what should i do to my car next? My reply: Are you OK with automotive heroin?
 

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More on RE-71Rs: I have used 3 sets on track and find them to have better life and be more consistent performance over a session (they don't overheat) compared to MPSC2 (Michelin pilot sport cup 2). So they are definitely track tires. I know people doing 30 track days a year who find the same.
I’ll disagree and say the RE71 is more of an autocross fire than a HPDE tire.
 

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Friday will be my 2nd track day, so still very new to this.

I’ve modded at a pretty decent clip for the past (10) months and it has been very expensive. Have saved a decent amount money by performing the work myself, however, sadly it still has been an expensive undertaking. Have paid full boat for all the mods and accessories and probably will likely have sunk an amount equal or greater to the purchase price of the car, when it’s all said and done. :(

I’m sure similar mods, equally as effective that could be done on a smaller budget and many may not be necessary for new track drivers (such as myself) that probably won’t approach the limitations of the Type R, until we improve our skills.

During cool weather like this, I’d wager the Type R would be a pretty fun experience at the track in stock form for a new driver :)

For those intermediate and advanced drivers that want to address the Type R’s track limitations it will cost $$$ and time.
 
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With regard to tires, it is all about heat cycles. I run RE-71's on my Subaru BRZ and they never lasted for me longer than 5 days (or 20 hpde sessions), including driving to and from the track. And by "lasted" I mean they cycled out and lost grip. I would expect a similar lifetime on the Type R.
 








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