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satakal 11-25-2008 01:35 PM

Buttonwillow HPDE prep items: 2000 zx3
Hi guys. I've got what I think is a pretty simple question.

My dad has a 2000 zx3 with about 130k on the odometer. I want to take it to a 2 day HPDE at Buttonwillow #1CW (with starmazda) in early December. I'm of the school of thought to spend zero modding the car. But instead to spend money on track time and instruction. That said, where should I investigate spending money so that I don't miss any track time because of mechanical short comings.

-I'm going to keep the super cheap tires on it and when those are gone I'll buy dad a fresh set of RT615 or Direzza star spec
-I know nothing about the integrity of the brakes and pads
-I plan on flushing the brake fluid. I'm thiking DOT4 but if you think RBF600 is best that's fine
-oil change and air filter change for sure.

Anything I'm missing? I'm hoping to hear that the stock brakes will be fine.

Background: All the guys that are fast are telling me to learn to drive a slow car fast. I'm planning on leaving the 300hp car in the garage that weekend and learn with the "momentum car".

Geezer 11-25-2008 06:23 PM

Thoroughly inspect the full suspension, brake system, and especially all steering components (tie rod ends, ball joints, etc. Track use puts above average stress on these components. You'd be kidding yourself to go out on stock brake pads as they'll probably glaze on the first hot lap. Some performance pads aren't overly expensive and will result in more time on the track. Personally I think some good shocks would be highly desirable as well as good tires. Without them you'll be fighting an ill handling car rather than learning fundamentals which is your goal after all.

WeeAsp 11-26-2008 11:48 AM

Check out the link below.

It should answer most of your questions. It is a good resource/guide to preparing for an HPDE event. i would read through the entire thread.

Good luck and take pictures!

satakal 11-26-2008 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by WeeAsp (Post 2461103)
Check out the link below.

It should answer most of your questions. It is a good resource/guide to preparing for an HPDE event. i would read through the entire thread.

Good luck and take pictures!


I think I'll have the car prep'd for autox in 2 weekends, but HPDE may be a bit farther out.

satakal 11-26-2008 12:53 PM

Ok, I read the thread. Maybe I should provide a little more background. With my daily driver, I asked around, "what do I need to do to my car to HPDE?" The overwhelming answer was, "do nothing. Just take it and have fun." Mind you, I'm talking about a brand new bmw. 12 big track events later I've still not modded the car besides a new set of tires.

I'm not looking to beat vette's and M3's with my dad's focus. I'm looking to learn the lessons of momentun. I'm expecting to give many, many point-bys. So, beyond the already mentioned items, any other mechanical items to look into? Thanks guys!

Geezer 11-26-2008 02:48 PM

Starting with a new car is always preferred. Its nice and tight and you won't need to worry about major incidents. A car with 130K miles could be a potential time bomb especially if it was not maintained or you don't know what the maintenance of it was. At that mileage lots of things have had considerable wear and tear. These are things (mentioned above) that deserve attention whether driven on the track or on the street just from a pure safety standpoint. And like I said earlier, its really hard to improve driving skills when the car is fighting you and may be even teaching you some bad habits on top of it.

WitchCitySVT 11-26-2008 07:05 PM

I have to agree with Geezer. If you don't replace or upgrade your tires, pads, and shocks, the only thing your going to learn is how to fight an unfit car around the track. About 1200 dollars will take care of all three of these items. Fluid change and a little PMI will go far. Other than that get yourself a comfortable helmet and a good set of driving gloves. Have fun and welcome to FF.

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