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Thats What She Said
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Discussion Starter #1
I am doing my first NASA HPDE 1 in October on the 24th at Miller Motorsports Park.

Just got my inspection done and passed with no issue on my car.

I have read up on general things to do. Are there any Focus specifics I should look at?

I am doing an oil change here shortly on my car so will have fresh oil. I am thinking of bleeding my brakes. I have DOT 4 in there right now. My rebuild was at 160k and am at 184k miles. the fluid is still clear, should I do a flush before? I was thinking of doing one after the event if not before.

Any other fluids I need to check specific on the focus, should I change out transmission fluid? (again new at 160k during rebuild).

Have people had problems with overheating or anything else?
 

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Old Phart
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Flush brake fluid before track time is good, as are another set of front pads better for the track. (assume decent discs so you can just switch pads, otherwise a new set of rotors as well)

You got the general check over & inspection out of the way, so the most important part is done.
 

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Thats What She Said
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10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I am using Power Slot rotors all around and Hawk HPS pads that have good life on them even though I cant recall when I replaced them it must have been 60k+ miles ago.

So will do a brake flush and oil change. I may try the Motul 5.1 brake fluid.
 

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70 100 70 70 : (
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Check your coolant hoses and clamps!, i was at an event last month and minutes prior getting on grid i noticed one of my clamps (OEM, factory) was not holding the coolant pressure.

Bring a small tool box to the track, our mk1s are not that new and you could need a screwdriver/wrench for a quick fix.

You say your fluid is clear, and you are going to de1, i would just go like that. Mine was black and took the car to a couple of events, in fact the fluid is still there.
 

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Hawk HPS will fade on you, but if you are a novice they'll be fine. Eventually you'll want another set of rotors and pads. Before EVERY event bleed the brakes. The SVTF has GREAT brakes, so don't stress on them too much. It's the other parts that go bad. Wheel bearings, axles...etc.
 

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I had the Hawk HPS pads on my MKIII and they faded BADLY after a good lap at VIR. Went to a Hawk race pad HT-10 and they are awesome. Brakes for days...

Hawk HPS will fade on you, but if you are a novice they'll be fine. Eventually you'll want another set of rotors and pads. Before EVERY event bleed the brakes. The SVTF has GREAT brakes, so don't stress on them too much. It's the other parts that go bad. Wheel bearings, axles...etc.
 

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Thats What She Said
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks I will take a look at those. I just got an SVT so might swap the Hawk HPS over tot he SVT as my DD and put those on my Zetec for racing. I need to get the super hubs though before I race again...
 

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A great racing adage is "Brakes slow you down". Its very true. In most cases amature advanced drivers use brakes far too hard and far to often and thus slow themselves down. My suggestion is to have a good instructor be with you to see how your momentum be curtailed as little as possible. The ST is a momentum car and can be made to rotate as opposed to slowed down with brakes. Just my thoughts.

p.s. I do about 12 to 15 track days a year

Ken
Brack Driving Concepts

Bracking Driving

Focus ST (Mk III) with Cobb Intercooler, K&N Typhoon Air Intake, Cobb Accessport V2, Godrich Braided Brake Lines, Stoptec Rotors, Hawk HP10 brake pads, Audi factory racing Brake Fluid, Mishimoto Rad, Eichbach Sport Springs, Continental DW Extreme tires, NGK Race Plugs
 

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Thanks Ken - I've got 10 track days behind me and I'm still learning the braking zones. My instructors have been great at getting me to learn how much braking to apply. That being said, my SE is slow enough that I really on "get on" the brakes at a couple of places and autocross pads just didn't cut it.

How do you like your ST? There are a couple of 20156 base model STs near me for <19k and I'm trying to keep myself away from the dealership. I like my SE, and I still have a TON of time to ring out of it, but the idea of not being a moving chicane on the straights is enticing. Anything I need to know about prepping the ST for HPDE 2 outside of new brake pads, rims with dedicated track tires and DOT4 fluid? Any other concerns? It would be my DD as well.

Darin

A great racing adage is "Brakes slow you down". Its very true. In most cases amature advanced drivers use brakes far too hard and far to often and thus slow themselves down. My suggestion is to have a good instructor be with you to see how your momentum be curtailed as little as possible. The ST is a momentum car and can be made to rotate as opposed to slowed down with brakes. Just my thoughts.

p.s. I do about 12 to 15 track days a year

Ken
Brack Driving Concepts

Bracking Driving

Focus ST (Mk III) with Cobb Intercooler, K&N Typhoon Air Intake, Cobb Accessport V2, Godrich Braided Brake Lines, Stoptec Rotors, Hawk HP10 brake pads, Audi factory racing Brake Fluid, Mishimoto Rad, Eichbach Sport Springs, Continental DW Extreme tires, NGK Race Plugs
 

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Thats What She Said
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10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I have done a # of HPDE events now and likely can be pushed to HPDE 4 next season. I have driven with a local drive who has a full out track focus. For this course I feel like I am using the appropriate amount of braking in the correct zones and taking momentum with me. I also have a co worker that is in Spec Miata (which is a momentum car) and has given me pointers and videos on what he does.

What hubs do you run? I have broken both driver side and passenger side hubs (sheared right at the flange) the track this year. I have SVT knuckles and brakes, they were Timken Hubs. That is why I was looking at the special made super hubs but looks like that is a very slow moving option. Don't want to spend the $$ in trying to do the Mazda front suspension as it's cost is even higher and requires a lot of custom machinery.
 

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The only hubs I use in my Scca car are those super hubs. We need 6 people to stand up and say lets do it. I have been running two sets in my car and rotate out each season as a preventative maintance. I think you were actually on the list as we tried to get 6 this past year. If you want let's try again, so who's in? Cost 700$ per set, yes expensive, how much is safety worth.
 

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Hey Darin, glad to hear you have chosen the smart path and had some instuction prior to running around the track making the same errors over and over again. This will help in the future. If I can pass on one word of wisdom to improve yourself even further, it would be 'VISION'. It is the most important part of high-performance driving. The further you force yourself to look, the easier it is for the mind to capture what is coming up. Your quote ' I'm still learning the braking zones 'tells me you are not looking far enough ahead and thus have to concentrate where you are braking. Something to think about.........

As far as the ST is concerned, it too is my daily driver and it has provided one of the top 3 cars for pure driving pleasure in my life (have been through approx. 23 cars over the past 40 years, yes, I am old). I traded a 2010 MB C350AMG for a FORD. Yieks!!!! But damn, the ST is a blast, especially on the track.

Ken
Brack Driving Concepts
Bracking Driving

Focus ST (Mk III) with Cobb Intercooler, K&N Typhoon Air Intake, Cobb Accessport V2, Godrich Braided Brake Lines, Stoptec Rotors, Hawk HP10 brake pads, Audi factory racing Brake Fluid, Mishimoto Rad, Eichbach Sport Springs, Continental DW Extreme tires, NGK Race Plugs
 

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Thanks Ken - I agree with the vision thing. It's a constant work in progress :)

Thanks for the notes on the ST. I am REALLY on the fence about it. I'm 9mos away from paying off my SE and I don't want to tack another 3 years onto it. But a new ST for $19k (my car with 100+hp) is REALLY enticing. I will also need another set of rims and tires for the track as well as the brakes and fluid and I am just having a hard time wrapping my head around that expense. I have tacit approval from my wife who is the miser of the two of us... And that makes me more nervous than anything else!! I am trying to avoid going to the dealership because I know I'll drive away with an ST.

Hey Darin, glad to hear you have chosen the smart path and had some instuction prior to running around the track making the same errors over and over again. This will help in the future. If I can pass on one word of wisdom to improve yourself even further, it would be 'VISION'. It is the most important part of high-performance driving. The further you force yourself to look, the easier it is for the mind to capture what is coming up. Your quote ' I'm still learning the braking zones 'tells me you are not looking far enough ahead and thus have to concentrate where you are braking. Something to think about.........

As far as the ST is concerned, it too is my daily driver and it has provided one of the top 3 cars for pure driving pleasure in my life (have been through approx. 23 cars over the past 40 years, yes, I am old). I traded a 2010 MB C350AMG for a FORD. Yieks!!!! But damn, the ST is a blast, especially on the track.

Ken
Brack Driving Concepts
Bracking Driving

Focus ST (Mk III) with Cobb Intercooler, K&N Typhoon Air Intake, Cobb Accessport V2, Godrich Braided Brake Lines, Stoptec Rotors, Hawk HP10 brake pads, Audi factory racing Brake Fluid, Mishimoto Rad, Eichbach Sport Springs, Continental DW Extreme tires, NGK Race Plugs
 

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Thats What She Said
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10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The only hubs I use in my Scca car are those super hubs. We need 6 people to stand up and say lets do it. I have been running two sets in my car and rotate out each season as a preventative maintance. I think you were actually on the list as we tried to get 6 this past year. If you want let's try again, so who's in? Cost 700$ per set, yes expensive, how much is safety worth.
Yea, with getting the SVT I am now a bit more poor than before but might be able to swing two sets (one for each) even though I wont be tracking the SVT, it would be a good place for a "spare set". It likely will be mid next year before I would have funds for a couple sets though.

I have basically said I wont track my car until I get the super hubs. That was only on 200 UTQG BFG Rivals not even a good sticky tire which would put even more stress.
 

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Any tips on reducing understeer. I wanted to try an HPDE with the focus, but I don't know if I'd be better off getting a brz,miata,or camaro.
 

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Thats What She Said
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Discussion Starter #17
Get a large rear Sway bar. The larger the better. But be ware that you also have to watch for stress cracks on the rear control arms if you don't match with a higher rate spring.
 

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Did you solve your front hub problems? I am in the middle of converting my old NASA Spec car to MkIII ST (5 lug) hubs with lengthened ST control arms. The bearings are MUCH larger and the spindles have a couple of advantages like lowered ball joint (good for raising the roll center) and lowered steering arm (good for bump steer). I machined sleeves so I could keep the MkI struts with the bigger spindles. I run HPDE 4 with NASA (Phoenix) and it is a ball! Hope to get the front cross-member finished and powder-coated this week so I can get the new suspension sorted and installed.

Pappy

Focus ST suspension 4.jpg

Focus Modified X-Member.jpg

Focus Wild Horse Pass.jpg
 

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Thats What She Said
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Discussion Starter #19
No but yes. I am pushing for the Super Hubs. I am buying two sets but we still need commitment from 1 more person to the minimum machine shop buy for the run.

I am banking on these hubs working and not breaking. I have never had a problem with the bearings. I also have the CFM tubular control arms so have the ball joint, and strengthened arms. Also have LRC camber plates for adjustment up top. So can make quite a few adjustments.

How much did you swap cost? Either way I am looking at over $1k to do it. Also my wheels and brake rotors would need to change to the 5 bolt also.
 

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Just the knuckle/bearing/hub/control arm, etc. swap will between $12-1400 when complete. $130 for the hubs (pair), $147 for bearings, $92 and $159 for the CV shafts, $190 for the control arms, $140 for the knuckles, plus nuts, bolts, retainers, seals, ARP studs, etc. Then, on top of that, there are calipers, rotors, wheels (18 inch) and tires.

I was getting about 5-6 track days out of a set of front bearings (they got loose), but I never broke a hub. The problem I was having had to do with the roll center being too low after all of the lowering. I spent a lot of time with the inside wheels off the ground, even to the point that I ended up in 45 degrees of bank a couple of times at 85 mph. Not fun! The sticky Hoosiers were saving me, but a car handles better on four wheels. When I lifted the inside front tire, I would unload the Torsen and spin the inside tire - so no drive off the corner. I just got a Kaaz Super Q LSD to fix that problem. Then I put the inboard control arms on slugs for vertical adjustment so I could get and keep the roll center above the ground. The MkIII set-up also widened the front track and I will use 245/40/18s instead of the 225/45/17 Hoosiers.

Pappy

Focus susp 4.jpg

Focus susp 3.jpg

Focus susp 1.jpg
 
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