Taking my civic to the track - Civinfo
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 1st August 2019, 08:33 Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
I want to spend a day on a track in my 1.8 stock civic, its more than enough fast for me, but I dont know if it will be able to survive it stock. Im gonna do oil change just before, other than that I dont plan on anything, since I dont have money to replace brake pads, tires etc. I have good regular summer tires (not racing ones), and stock brake pads with enough life in them for thousands of km of normal driving. Would it be ok to take this kind of car to the track as it is?
I dont plan on beating any records and making the tires squeal in every corner, I just wanna give it a little speed, not destroy it.
What should I be afraid of? I am most worried about brakes, dont know if they can take it, and what I can do to save them. Take a break after each lap?
Any advice welcome, especially from those who have experience on track. Cheers
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 1st August 2019, 12:50
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You have taken all the necessary precautions to check that the car is fit,I would be most worried about overdoing the corners, you don't have an LSD to avoid understeer etc.
Take it easy for a few laps until you get used to how it handles at speed in the corners, how hard you need to brake and then build the speed up as your confidence grows.

Take a break after a few laps and just check the tyre wear, oil level etc. before you go again.
If you are not arriving on a trailer remember you have to drive it back home.

Do you have track insurance? Your normal policy will not cover you on a track.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 1st August 2019, 19:10
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Will brake fade be much of a problem with stock pads?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 1st August 2019, 19:24 Thread Starter
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Thats what I am wondering as well. Can the brakes survive? The car is pretty light and I will be alone so I guess it can but I am not sure.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 1st August 2019, 21:08
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If everything is up to service spec, I imagine your tyres will be the first thing to let go; With it being fairly warm at the moment, the additional load of hard cornering on street tyres will cook them up fairly quickly.

I'd suggest starting with shorter sessions (10-15 minutes) and then a break; Check the tyres (Sidewalls not being "crushed", tread not unduly tearing) and give it a few minutes to cool down.
Bear in mind, the handbrake is disc based, so if you get the brakes hot the handbrake may come disengaged after cooling, so it's best to park in gear somewhere flat.

IME, On a heavily brake-based / hard cornering handling circuit at car limits, the brakes were "warm" but they weren't letting go by any means; Whilst the tyre tread (MPS4) was getting very toasty. (Smaller engine, but being a 9G mine is probably of similar weight)

Last edited by Haltamer; 1st August 2019 at 21:11.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 1st August 2019, 22:22 Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response, that convinced me. I will rent a car for track and enjoy driving my civic on public roads. I just want to enjoy the track to the fullest, not worrying about damaging my car or that my tires will be worn afterwards. All cool and the Civic stays mint 😄
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 5th August 2019, 09:44 Thread Starter
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Well to hell with it, in the end i booked a track day with my stock civic.
Need advice with the brake pads, I checked them today and they are at about 5-6mm (50%). Do I need to replace them before the track day?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 5th August 2019, 10:14
 
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I beleive your tyres will go well before the pads, but performance will drop dramatically from 5mm on my other car but the Civic may have better brakes.

Too late now but take it easy. You have the wrong car for this, you should be better getting an old cheap enthusiasts car. Starting with a Yaris 1.5 from 2000 will have a better power to weight and a better racing gearbox. Tyre wear is also lower on a light weight car and they are cheaper too. This is my other car.

Positive comment: Do fill up on as much V-Power Petrol as possible (not for the RON but for the additives) flushing out the old petrol. You may even get that satisfying pop sound I once got but never acheived again.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 5th August 2019, 11:15
 
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Any car can handle quick driving, but only for a certain length of time. The better the brakes, pads and engine cooling, the longer it will go.

More than wear, its heat that is the problem. if you get to much heat in the tyres and brakes, they will loose effectiveness. I use my Type-S for hill climbs with stock everything and an added rear anti roll bar. My runs are usually no more than 1 min each so heat never builds.
I am contemplating some track days, and this is what I decided my plan of action will be

1: Start sensibly. Build up to the limit, not down to it
2: After each session, check tyre tread etc
3: The moment I feel a negative change in handling - brake fade, loss of comparative grip - something is getting too hot so dial it back for a lap or two to cool down

The key is number three. As long as you ease of when you first notice heat issues, you wont cause long lasting problem. Keep pushing the pedal hard to counter brake fade, you can 'glaze' the pads and ruin them permanently or boil the brake fluid necessitating a fluid change.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 5th August 2019, 11:16
 
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Oh.. turn off VSC. Its too restrictive for track, and the civic is fairly steady and predictable at the limit.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 5th August 2019, 11:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagpuss0001 View Post
Oh.. turn off VSC. Its too restrictive for track, and the civic is fairly steady and predictable at the limit.
I'd hazard against that unless you've done any limits handling training or other track days in the past, It's probably better to take the lap time penalty and not spin IMO
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 5th August 2019, 12:11 Thread Starter
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Based on the current forecast for the circuit, it is going to be raining a lot, so I dont worry so much about the tires. Temperature will be just under 20 degrees celsius so I guess for my 15 minutes sessions there wont be too much overheating. I just want to have some fun with my car, this is going to be a one timer, if I wanted to race regularly, id buy a car for this, but this is not the case. I just hope brakes survive the day 😄
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 5th August 2019, 13:23
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Uprated higher temp brake pads. Higher temp brake fluid. Lower the tyre pressures a little and enjoy. Just push to the limits of the car and enjoy.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12th August 2019, 18:18 Thread Starter
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Hey everyone just wanna say that track day went much better than expected, had really nice fun, the car was very capable and easy to control, returned home in one peace with the civic undamaged. Here are some pics, would recommend to everyone!




And a very short video
youtu.be/6HjsBRcI4L0
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 13th August 2019, 18:10
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That's a real man's Italian tune up

How was the mpg?

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 13th August 2019, 20:17 Thread Starter
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I got 18mpg driving on track Had enough fuel for the day + to get back home. I was absolutely taking out the maximum from the engine, often shifting at 6500rpm or more.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 14th August 2019, 16:48
 
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Did you light up all the lights on the shift indicator?
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 14th August 2019, 17:40 Thread Starter
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REV lights were very useful on track, as I didn't have the time to take my look down at the exact revs. I shifted as soon as I noticed first of the lights light up, that was at about 6000-6100rpm, but ocassionaly on straights I went all the way to 6.8k, as you can see here:
The engine worked flawlessly and never overheated a bit.
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