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Recommended maintenance changes for occasional track use

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I want to do maybe 2-4 DEs each year. Other than that the car is a year round weekend driver. What timing/mileage deviations from the regular maintenance schedule should be made? Is there specific before and after DE maintenance to be done, or is it just a matter of shortening time/mileage intervals?

I have about 41K on the odo. Oil was changed 6 months ago at 38K (German Castrol Syntec 0W30). 30K service (including brake flush) was performed about 12 months ago at 34K. Coolant, differential and transmission fluid never changed. My brake pads are about 50% so I will probably change those before DE. Before anybody jumps on my sh!t I know I'm running thinner grade than factory recommendations, I wasn't planning to track the car and was experimenting. I plan to change to M1 0W40. Should I change the oil before or after DE? I'm more than a little curious what a before and after UOA of the 0W30 would look like.


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Oil should be at least 40W and maybe 50W if it is really hot.

Brake fluid should be changed once a year.

Be sure pads and rotors are thicker than spec .

No cracks in the rotors between holes.

Bleed brakes and look over tires before each DE.

Look around the wheels and under the engine, leaks rubs cv joint boats.

Do the PCA pretech check.

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Smack, my opinion:

50% pads are probably fine for a day or two at the track. But I would do a quick flush of brake fluid. I do that before EVERY event (12 per year) and the superblue or RBF yellow come out pretty dirty. My Porsche dealer recommends it also for the PCA pre-tech inspection. I love going fast, but love stopping fast even more ;) .

The engine oil I change every 3 events or so, no reason, just looking at the oil between changes and how dark it is....

Once a year drain and fill the transmission fluid.

And don't forget to let some air off your tires before getting on track so maximize the contact, tires can gain a good 10-14 lbs of pressure on a hot track. Keep the tire gauge handy and measure throughout the day so you don't mess up your tires with uneven wear.

Are you going to Summit Point or VIR?

Correction: I agree, very track dependent. At CMP in South Carolina, I flush the break fluid as it is a HOT track for brakes. At VIR, I don't since it is a long track and most of the time you are on the loud pedal, tapping the brake

Edited by izzyandsue
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I personally flush brake fluid every year using ATE (2-3 DE events) for the last 2 years. I have never felt any spongyness or long brake pedal travel usually associated with boiling brake fluids. If you do more than 2-3, you may want to bleed it more often. Doing it before every event may be more than necessary, but as the previous post said, it is indeed cheap insurance.

I do my oil change every 5000 miles or 3 DE events, whichever comes first. I don't change the oil filter every time though. For that, I stick with PAG's recommendation. No scientific reason for this. Purely personal decision.

Brake pads and tires really depend on the driver and particular track you're going to. PCA tech inspectors can tell you whether you need to replace those.

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Thanks for all the tips so far. As you can tell I don't know jack, so I'm trying to get up to speed. Unfortunately I can't get on a track until I get all my safety equipment sorted. From calling dealers I think there is a backorder on GT3 seats. Is ATE Super Blue Race really that much better than OEM? Is it OK for street use too? How about brake pads? Are OEM fine or is there a better option for combined street/track use? How much new brake fluid do I need for a flush? How much for a bleed? Is there anyway to tell if brake fluid needs to be flushed or bled? I just got a Mityvac w/ brake bleeder. Should I even be messing around with my own brakes? I have never touched any brakes (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night). How is this for an idea, run the oil in the car and half way through the DE season get a UOA and change the oil depending on the results.

My head is starting to hurt. Is there an authoritative book or website where all this information tracked car maintenance information is laid out?

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Relax Smack you can do this and more, you know to stay at a Holiday Inn Express...

Not sure why you need the seats...

Some people say ATE Blue is OEM with a blue die. Many people do not like the Blue because it stains the resovior... They use ATE Gold or Original. Both are fine for street use.

Pads - most like Pagid orange pads for the track. They make noise in street use and are objectable to some. Stock pads are fine if they are thick enough but they don't stop as well or last.

ATE comes in leter cans, usually enough for a flush but buy two cans (gold or original) and you'll have enough for future bleeds. I lower the brake fluid to the bottom of the resovior by putting 25psi of pressure on the resovior and opening a bleed value at the wheels. Then fill the resovior up and bleed the brakes quite a bit. If the brake fluid coming out is not clear bleed unti it is. Most of the bad brake fluid is in the calipers where it gets really hot. Be sure to flush/bleed the clutch too.

Buy a Bentley manual, well worth the $ 50 or so.

I assume you are joking about the oil thing.

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If you have never done a DE, then yeah, relax. The link below is a FAQ from our local Porsche Club, should help sort out some of the questions most of us have. All you need is a helmet and a well maintained car. Instructors in the PCA are very good about not pushing you and helping you reach your comfort zone with your car in a safe environment. Just enjoy yourself and have a blast.


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Strike the Bentley manual but buy something. The B will help with a lot of things but not right for your car.

Might contact Porschelibrarian a renntech member.

How did your car get the mods if you're so inexperienced?

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I am being a bit of a spaz aren't I? Got to take a deep breath :beer:

How did your car get the mods if you're so inexperienced?

What mods? The only "real" mod I have is the SSK and I had the shop install that for me. The rest of the mods just snapped or screwed in.

Not sure why you need the seats...

Pads - most like Pagid orange pads for the track. They make noise in street use and are objectable to some. Stock pads are fine if they are thick enough but they don't stop as well or last.

I assume you are joking about the oil thing.

As for safety equipment, all the tracks around here seem to require fixed roll bars for cabs so I got to do that. The GT3 seats I wanted to get because I took the Skip Barber HPDE and was very distracted sliding around in the OEMs. Do the Pagid pads grip well cold? I drive all year round and I'm fearful of race pads which need to warm up. I wasn't joking about the UOA, was it funny :huh: ? I figure it can give me useful info about how the engine is doing and if I need to decrease the OCI.


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Smack, if you do your DEs with PCA, you don't need a fixed roll bar. At least, my chapter does not require it for 996 Cabs.

The ATE fluid, I believe, has boiling point about 100+ degrees higher than DOT4 fluid. As for brake pads, I use new OE pads myself. I don't have a problem with it so far. No mushy pedal feel after 25 minutes track sessions. I can still invoke the ABS if I brake hard enough, so the friction is there. Having said that, I'll upgrade to the Pagid Blue pads next time :) out of curiosity. It will squeal more though. The Pagid Orange is one step above that.

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