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Thread: E46 ZHP brakes set up for track

  1. #1

    E46 ZHP brakes set up for track

    Looking to set up my e46 to track this upcoming spring. Looking for recommendations on brakes and other upgrades I will need to make to get car ready for track

    Thanks Ted


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  2. #2
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    Where's BP? Seth?

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  3. #3
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    Get a good set of track pads. Your skill level should determine what level of pad you buy, as well as whether you plan on swapping them at track or driving up on them.

    Street pads are NOT sufficient.

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    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    Get a good set of track pads. Your skill level should determine what level of pad you buy, as well as whether you plan on swapping them at track or driving up on them.

    Street pads are NOT sufficient.

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    I would like pads that can also be driven on the street as well. I do plan to tow car up with my X5, just in case I have a breakdown on the track

    Thanks


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorsport1207 View Post
    I would like pads that can also be driven on the street as well. I do plan to tow car up with my X5, just in case I have a breakdown on the track

    Thanks


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    Then just know that streetable pads are a big compromise in track heat resistance. You will limit yourself in how fast/aggressive you can get.

    Since I made that streetable/track mistake once already, I haven't played around with different pads after my first set. It was the Hawk HP+ pads and they were fine back when I wasn't as good of a driver, but I quickly started outpacing them on track. Plus, the screeching (not even squealing) was so unbearably loud on the street that I would hardly be able to call them streetable.

    If you're towing, you might as well get track pads. They can still be driven home on if you really needed to.

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    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    Then just know that streetable pads are a big compromise in track heat resistance. You will limit yourself in how fast/aggressive you can get.

    Since I made that streetable/track mistake once already, I haven't played around with different pads after my first set. It was the Hawk HP+ pads and they were fine back when I wasn't as good of a driver, but I quickly started outpacing them on track. Plus, the screeching (not even squealing) was so unbearably loud on the street that I would hardly be able to call them streetable.

    If you're towing, you might as well get track pads. They can still be driven home on if you really needed to.

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    Thanks.
    What would you recommend for track pads ? Any particular rotors ?

    Thanks


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorsport1207 View Post
    Thanks.
    What would you recommend for track pads ? Any particular rotors ?

    Thanks


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    Stock rotors are fine. Drilled rotors run a higher risk of cracking at the holes; if you run these, make sure they're cast drilled and not drilled after-the-fact. Cast drilled rotors are more durable because they're designed that way, whereas rotors drilled after-the-fact were not and may be less structurally sound. Slotted rotors are a good choice; the slots wipe away debris and give you an indicator of rotor wear. Stock blanks are totally fine.

    As for pads, that becomes a more complicated discussion.
    What is your skill level? Are you hanging with the faster folks, middle pack, or more beginner? What do you care most about? Pad life/rotor life, performance, price?

    Make sure you have brake fluid up to the task. This is fluid with higher boiling points that can withstand track temperatures. Once you have good pads, the next line of defense against brake fade is the fluid. Personally I haven't had any brake fade issues with the pads I run (I use Performance Friction PFC-11's) in the temperatures I drive in (usually about 80 degrees F) so I can get away with ATE typ 200 brake fluid, but some elect to go with something like Castrol SRF or Motul RBF 600 / 660 for even higher temperature tolerances. For our ZHPs that don't really weigh all that much, I've had good luck with typ 200. Note: Racing grade brake fluids should be changed regularly to prevent issues with moisture. I think the recommendation is 6 months, though I think that depends on how many events you do. I just change mine before every event just so I don't have to think about it (I used to do about 3 events per year).

    Something to help with pedal feel is stainless brake lines. The pads will make more of a difference for pedal feel than anything, and track pads usually have great pedal feel / modulation.

    ZHPs have factory brake cooling ducts, which are nice, but could be better. A solution some use to help cool the brakes are actual aftermarket ducts that extend from the factory ducts and direct the air to the brakes.


    It's all about how crazy you want to get. If you're an advanced level driver, all of these are considerations, but if you're just starting out, I'd say brake fluid and pads should get you far.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    Stock rotors are fine. Drilled rotors run a higher risk of cracking at the holes; if you run these, make sure they're cast drilled and not drilled after-the-fact. Cast drilled rotors are more durable because they're designed that way, whereas rotors drilled after-the-fact were not and may be less structurally sound. Slotted rotors are a good choice; the slots wipe away debris and give you an indicator of rotor wear. Stock blanks are totally fine.

    As for pads, that becomes a more complicated discussion.
    What is your skill level? Are you hanging with the faster folks, middle pack, or more beginner? What do you care most about? Pad life/rotor life, performance, price?

    Make sure you have brake fluid up to the task. This is fluid with higher boiling points that can withstand track temperatures. Once you have good pads, the next line of defense against brake fade is the fluid. Personally I haven't had any brake fade issues with the pads I run (I use Performance Friction PFC-11's) in the temperatures I drive in (usually about 80 degrees F) so I can get away with ATE typ 200 brake fluid, but some elect to go with something like Castrol SRF or Motul RBF 600 / 660 for even higher temperature tolerances. For our ZHPs that don't really weigh all that much, I've had good luck with typ 200. Note: Racing grade brake fluids should be changed regularly to prevent issues with moisture. I think the recommendation is 6 months, though I think that depends on how many events you do. I just change mine before every event just so I don't have to think about it (I used to do about 3 events per year).

    Something to help with pedal feel is stainless brake lines. The pads will make more of a difference for pedal feel than anything, and track pads usually have great pedal feel / modulation.

    ZHPs have factory brake cooling ducts, which are nice, but could be better. A solution some use to help cool the brakes are actual aftermarket ducts that extend from the factory ducts and direct the air to the brakes.


    It's all about how crazy you want to get. If you're an advanced level driver, all of these are considerations, but if you're just starting out, I'd say brake fluid and pads should get you far.
    Hi,
    I will be a beginner driver and will be getting to know my ZHP on. Different level for the first time

    Thanks


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorsport1207 View Post
    Hi,
    I will be a beginner driver and will be getting to know my ZHP on. Different level for the first time

    Thanks


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    Okay, then keep it simple. I thought maybe you were at a higher skill level.
    Keeping it simple will allow you to see what the effects of each modification are. So, go out for the first time on your stock pads and see if you have any issues. If you do, then you know you'll need to upgrade for next time around.

    Take care of all maintenance issues on your car as your priority. Make sure the pads have good life left on them (at least 50% would be my recommendation), rotors don't have a lip on them, cooling system is sound, tires have good tread left (minimum 3/16", the more the better). Get a pre-tech inspection and make sure your car is suitable for the track.

    If your car is stock, it's great to experience it in that form first before you do anything to it, for the reason I mentioned before. Getting a baseline is a valuable way to see what each modification does to your car's performance on track.

    When you get faster, the things I mentioned in the previous post will become valuable. I hope you are going out with an instructor. BMW CCA's driver's schools are a great way to get into it; they provide quality instructors and the event pricing is reasonable considering what you get. Highly recommended!
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

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