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First track experience today ! Some good, some really bad

Had some mechanical issues at the track today, so figured I'd share with you guys to see if anyone else is having the same... location: PIR in phoenix, az Phoenix

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First track experience today ! Some good, some really bad

Had some mechanical issues at the track today, so figured I'd share with you guys to see if anyone else is having the same...

location: PIR in phoenix, az
Phoenix International Raceway - Trackpedia
conditions: sunny, 70f
event: nasa hpde3... 4 runs about 20 mins each

I'm driving a 370z base model with sport package and M6... no mods so far, other than pulling about 100 pounds of plastic and spare tires... i only broke it in for ~200 miles prior to the event.

Overall, I think this car is a great starting point for a track / race car. It was reasonably fast, but I definitely wanted more out of 4th gear when going onto the nascar straight... I think once I have another few hundred pounds out of the car, and maybe +25hp in tweaks, the power/weight will be better. The suspension was not as stiff as I'm used to but even with stock setup it handles ok if you anticipate the gradual body roll. I definitely found that it was NOT able to hold the line I wanted for example in the carousel at PIR, but I think that'll be fixed with sticky tires.

So, the big issue i had is this... About 10 mins into my first run, I noticed that the oil temperature gauge was pretty much burried at 300f... As soon as that happened, my rev limiter moved from 7500 to 6000... Every time I'd accelerate through a gear it would prematurely cut the throttle at 6000rpm... Was extremely frustrating as it seemed to cut in at all the wrong times and slowed me down overall by at least 10%

It happened in all four of my runs, usually about 10 mins in.

I can only imagine this is going to get worse as I move to stickier tires and tweak the motor.

It gets worse... After the fourth and final run, it dropped the rev limiter from 6000 to 3500, just as I was pulling off the track. I decided to keep the car running after the session to let the engine cool. Tried to drive it home, and every time I accelerated through a gear it just cut the engine at 3500, sending it back down to 2500... I had to shift gears real fast... luckily 6th gear is good for 80mph at 3000rpm, so I made it home. Also, it turned out that after I shut off the car and restarted, the computer had reset and all was back to normal.

So, we need a solution to this ! I suspect Nissan has decided to get very aggressive on the computer parameters for protecting the engine from overheat in order to lower their warranty repair expenses. We either need to get some REALLY BIG oil coolers for this car, or someone needs to figure out how to hack the computer.

Thoughts ? Anyone else had this issue ?
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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From what I remember of some of the reviews, they had oil coolers. Maybe someone else remembers better than I do or check some of the reviews.

Sounds like fun on the track. Was this your 1st track experience with the Z or ever?

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply...

Yeah, it definitely has an oil cooler... it is positioned just in front of the radiator on the passenger side... Plenty of airflow but perhaps it is too small or the lines are not flowing fast enough... I'm not really a techie, so I'll leave it to others to comment on that.

Sold a porsche boxster s to buy this car ! Tracked the porsche about 10 times a year for the last four years. The boxster when unodified would run about 1:18 at PIR, when setup was 1:13... I'm guessing the z was no better than 1:18 today, but I definitely has potential to be 1:10... Looking forward to getting it sorted out!

So, back to the mechanical issue... anyone else have insights or similar experience ?
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hopefully someone can chime in and help you out. Here is an exert from Edmunds review:

If you're someone who does track days, you'll be interested in the optional Sport package with its bigger tires and bigger brakes. You might also be interested in the special Nismo parts fitted to this test car, an engine oil cooler and an oil cooler for the limited-slip rear differential. The engine's extreme output has made it more sensitive to oil temperature, we understand, so if you're looking for the ability to reach redline throughout a long track session on a warm day, the Nismo bits are a good thing to have (especially since there was even serious discussion about making them a part of the Sport option).
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The 370z and g37 has oil overheating issues if driven hard on a track. I believe what you think is an oil cooler is the powersteering cooler. I also think the tires will grip better once you have driven at least 500 miles.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow!! I didn't realize there were going to be any 370's @ PIR today. PIR is like 10min from my house.

<--- Sat home on his butt all day.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Do you do any business with any of the local shops? Intense, Vivid, UMS, etc...?
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey guys...

Thanks for clearing up my confusion on the oil cooler... makes sense that I was looking at the power steering cooler... glad it is there ! I blew up 2 power steering pumps on my boxster, so that's one less thing to worry about !

Also, thanks for the tip on the nismo oil cooler... I'll definitely look into that! May also be possible to build a better one with other parts - I'll let everyone know once I get that figured out. I'll prob skip the LSD cooler - figure I'll drive it till it dies then look for a mech LSD.

Appreciate the tip on the tires too, but I'm actually going to put them in storage and get a set of Enkeis + toyo R888s.

Regarding local shops... yes... my car will be the test mule for Vivid racing... they are doing intake + pulleys + exhaust under Agency Power... I'll start a separate thread on that with pics once it is underway... it'll be several weeks before I update... I'm also planning to do some other mods...

Another good shop for those in Phoenix is SRD... talked with their owner, Chet, at the track today and he's definitely interested in working on 370s, and has done some pretty cool 350 race car conversions in the past

So, going back to my original post... I'd still really like to get some confirmation about the root cause of my issues... am I right that it was the computer stepping in to keep the engine cool ? do you think the right way to address it is by adding an oil cooler ? THANKS
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Welcome to the forums. I think you're the first member to take their 370Z to the track in the US. Congrats.

Your problem is well known by the 370Z Tuners. Mines 370Z in Fuji Racetrack suffered the same problem! Here are more info on the Mine's 370Z

Mine's MotorSports 370Z (fairlady Z) hits Fuji Racetrack 12.08.08

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak370z
I think it is. BTW, I should also mention that they kept saying something about when oil temparature reached 130 C it goes into fail-safe mode?

Quote:
VQ37VHR engine, engine oil temperature to 135 ℃ to take over and fail-safe
Then here's another thread where Namir said that G37 is suffering from the same oil heating issues. Basically once the oil temp goes above 135C, engine cuts down RPMs to protect and prevent any damage to engine.

First potential problem?

Solution? you need to put an oil cooler in so that you can drive the car LONGER without oil temp going up. This doesn't solve the problem but it'll allow you a much longer track time before heating the oil to 135C

http://www.the370z.com/vq37vhr/983-a...2-30-08-a.html

http://370ztune.com/images/product_i...9398_W1200.jpg (looks really nice )



Here's central 20 version which is a little longer



Btw, any pictures from the track?
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Great info, thanks ! I asked the guys at Vivid to check out this thread and let me know options on the oil cooler... but from these two, I think I'd go with the bigger central 20 cooler... in Arizona, we need all the cooling we can get !

I didn't take any pictures myself, but usually there are pics and vid that go up here:
Photos And Media - Club Racing AZ
I saw a lot of cameras around the side of the track, so I'm sure there will be some posted next few days. Look for anything marked "HPDE3"... i was running with about 30 other cars, so you'll have to sort through that group

Thanks again !
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisjb View Post
Great info, thanks ! I asked the guys at Vivid to check out this thread and let me know options on the oil cooler... but from these two, I think I'd go with the bigger central 20 cooler... in Arizona, we need all the cooling we can get !

I didn't take any pictures myself, but usually there are pics and vid that go up here:
Photos And Media - Club Racing AZ
I saw a lot of cameras around the side of the track, so I'm sure there will be some posted next few days. Look for anything marked "HPDE3"... i was running with about 30 other cars, so you'll have to sort through that group

Thanks again !
Cool. Well Vivid Racing is not one of our sponsors yet. You are more than welcome to contact and ask any of our sponsors about this issue. I'm sure they can give you a answer. Enjoy driving you Z.

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Old 02-01-2009, 01:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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i thought this would be an issue ... same thing was happening to G37 owners.. an oil cooler will be one of my first mods
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good to know. I will definately keep an eye on that when I hit the track next weekend.

The problem with the ECU sounds a lot like "limp mode" on the 350, but more advanced. The 350Z computer would cut rpms down to 2500 as well and once you turned it off for a while, it would reset.

Seems the only solution would be cooling the oil as most already said. Adding more oil capacity and a cooler should do the trick. Also, had you swapped the oil yet since you picked it up from the dealer? That also may be some of the problem as I am sure the facory oil is more of a detergent/low grade oil. If you haven't yet, changing your oil should help a bit too. If you are doing a lot of tracking, I suggest Pure Power Motor Oil. Pure Power is used in NASCAR, and many many other professional racing series. The only bummer is, it only comes in 5 gallon jugs, not quarts. This is the same oil we run in the DoubleDownMotorsports.com Time Attack 350Z.

How were water temps?
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Also how did the stock brakes hold up on the track?

BTW I think this one is probably you.

http://www.ryanmartinez.net/scripts/...filesize=large

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Old 02-01-2009, 03:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Guys, let me just say that this board is awesome ! You guys are a wealth of knowledge, esp for someone like me that is a complete tech idiot ! THANKS

Yup, that's definitely me in the pic... that was the 2nd run of the day from the time and the fact that I didn't have more tire parts stuck to the front of my car ! here are some more:
HPDE 3 1030AM - HW9D7933
HPDE 3 1030AM - HW9D7932
HPDE 3 1030AM - IMG_2862
It definitely looks great ! got lots of attention - I think ppl were surprised to see it. Should be videos up on the az club racing site next few days.

FYI I got around the 924 and the boxster but the nissan 240 pwnd me ! I was passed by a heavily modified 996 and a 997 turbo throughout the day but I passed more cars than got by me.

I thought the brakes were good ! my boxster s had tremendous world-class pedal feel but it didn't stop as quick as the z. I don't recall any fading, but coming out of the nascar straight onto turn 1, I remember that I was often overbraking there and getting a little rotation... a bit unsettling at 90mph... it could have been me putting too much pressure, but it never happened in my porsche so i doubt it... guessing it was uneven pressure being applied to one or more wheels... it was manageable though... I plan to try racing pads (endless ?), but overall the brakes will be the last thing I upgrade. would appreciate a recommendation on pads - this car will be 80% track, 20% street for next 12 months.

DDM, you can be almost certain you're going to run into this overheating issue... please update us after your track event. Good luck and have fun !
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