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Discussion Starter #1
I have read through the numerous threads and didn't see one that renders advice on recommendations for modifications to a 2008 Cayman S that would be occasionally participate in DE and autocross events along with being a daily driver. I don't want to over modify the car but, I want to protect the mechanicals and have appropriate safety equipment. Please note that I am also doing Skip Barber events so this is just for giggles. Anyone want to offer their advice. My thoughts were as follows:

Engine Mods (to protect engine)
- Mantis oil sump extension
- Power steering fluid cooling solution
- Other?

Safety (beyond helmet, etc.)
- Floor/seat mounted Fire extinguisher
- Heigo Rollbar with harness bar
- GT2 or GT3 seats
- 6 point harness
- Other?

Other
- Second set of rims and track tires
- GT3 control arms

Thanks!
 

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Assuming your car is under warranty, I suggest you do nothing the first season. I had no power steering probem in my car, and most folks do not, same with oiling, problems are not common. More front camber with the GT3 LCA is good, but the car is not as dependent on front camber as many others. I think a roll bar and harnesses is a bad idea in a street car. A lot of folks enjoy modding their car, and that's fine. There is certainly no shortage of vendors waiting for your money, and if it's your hobby, go for it. For an advanced driver who plans heavy track use, a dedicated track car is worth it's safety and performance advantage. For a daily driver as competent as the Cayman that sees only occasional DE use, tires and brakes.
 

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From an AX perspective I would definitely get:

harness bar and 4 pt harness
extra set of wheels/race tires
front 996 GT3 LCAs
racing alignment

the harness is to get you welded to the seat so you don't squirm-about the first thing anyone should ever do.

the race tires are the single most important go-fast element on the car by far.

once you start going fast, you'll find pushing SUX, so get the LCA's and alignment. I've never had bad wear from a race alignment.
 

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Kestrel Racing
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Here are my thoughts

Mr. bar, I'm a long time weekend warrior and I've always had cars that did double duty as daily drivers and weekend performance toys. I participate in autocrosses and track days, and since you asked for thoughts/opinions, here are mine (other people's opinions will vary ;)). I decided to break mine down into "stages":


"STAGE 1" Modifications
  • Flush brake fluid and replace with higher temperature fluid.
  • Get a proper alignment with plenty of negative camber.
  • Make sure everything else is in good working order and that you have plenty of brake pad.
For your first event, I wouldn't do anything to the car except replace the brake fluid with higher temp stuff and get an alignment. Make sure your brake pads are in good shape, and that the rest of the car is in proper operating condition (I'm sure it is), grab your helmet, and go have some fun.


"STAGE 2" Modifications
  • Second set of wheels for race rubber.
  • Pagid Sport/Blue pads (only when you need to change out your OEM pads)
  • GT2 or GT3 seats would be very nice, and if you get those...
  • Harness bar and a 5 or 6 point harness.
I don't think you really need a fire extinquisher or full roll bar/cage, unless/until you get really serious about tracking, or if you want that added safety just in case. And I wouldn't automatically assume you'll need something for the "power steering overheating problem"... seems that most cars/drivers never experience this issue (FWIW, I did, so I just installed an underdrive pulley).

"STAGE 3" Modifications

If you decide to take the car to the next step, and really want to wring out the last bits of performance, then you might consider:
  • After-market exhaust
  • Race Plenum and ECU flash
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • GT3 control arms
  • Oil Sump Extensions
By attending Skip Barber, you are already investing in the biggest performance modification (fixing the nut behind the wheel). I honestly think you can have a ton of fun -- and be plenty fast on the track -- with just my "stage 2" modifications, but more is always better, isn't it? ;) I suppose "stage 4" would be turbocharging...
 

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Re: Here are my thoughts

Mr. bar, I'm a long time weekend warrior and I've always had cars that did double duty as daily drivers and weekend performance toys. I participate in autocrosses and track days, and since you asked for thoughts/opinions, here are mine (other people's opinions will vary ;)). I decided to break mine down into "stages": . . .
I like Kestrel's suggestions as well as the others' above; I would add a couple of suggestions:

1. You might just go with a CG-Lock instead of full harness set-up initially (Kestrel's stage 1). Personally, when I used to do a lot of autocross and had a harness set-up in my car, I stopped tightening the shoulder straps because I found it too restrictive for the more dynamic steering inputs you do on an AX course. The CG-Lock also does a decent job of holding your butt in place on the track (though racing buckets and harnesses would be even better there).

2. If you are going to be bleeding your brakes and swapping out wheels for the track anyway, it really doesn't take much more time or effort to switch over to dedicated track pads (e.g. Pagid yellows) for track events.
 

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I am new to the board and new to Caymans, but I do have one general suggestion that is true of most street cars used at the track (and if you already know this, as you are running SKip Barber, I apologize):

If you plan to go to DOT race or full race rubber, then you are going to generate more g-loading. When you do, on most cars, you can run into oiling problems with the engine (the loads will lead to oil pumps sucking air as your oil pools toward the g-forces) and more brake issues (as the extra stick causes more heat for the braking system and more shock to the suspension parts). The extra stick can push your car far enough beyond its design limits to cause issues.

So, if you want to leave it stock, or nearly so, then I would not go to Hoosiers or similar tires. A shaved set of RE-11s or some V-700s, maybe, but I would willfully give up some grip to avoid needing other mods.
 

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Kestrel Racing
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Good catch...

You might just go with a CG-Lock...
D'oh! I shoulda thought of that one. I used a CG-Lock in my Miata (sold it with the car), and loved it. Yeah, that should be added to my "Stage 1"... and now I gotta go out and buy one :)
 

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Re: Good catch...

Just a couple of comments after reading some of the advice posted here...

If you're running the Skip Barber series, then you're familiar with safety equipment and safety systems. I see many people suggest harness bars and harnesses. I would caution against using them without the proper seats, and some sort of roll bar or rollover protection - don't let your head be the roll bar in a track incident. Harnesses should be used as part of a full safety system, not to merely hold you into the seat. Conversely, I would not use a roll cage in a street car - a roll bar away from where your non-helmeted "street" head will hit it would be best. Without rollover protection, the CG-Lock is a good compromise for a car also used as a daily driver.

I've done more than 40 track days and 30 AX days in the last more than 3.5 years, in temperatures ranging from 55-109 degrees F, and have never had a problem with my power steering. I think the PS problems stem more from driving style, suspension set-up, and to some extent, track configuration. I would suggest you try it without a cooling solution. Generally, they'll replace the PS system at least once under warranty... then, if you have a problem, you can do something about it.

my $0.02.

brad
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I want to thank everyone for all your help and advice.:thanks: I will stick to the stage one recommendations with CG-lock seatbelt tensioner. I used to autocross a Miata and agree it kept me planted in my seat for that. Over time I can slowly build from stage one.

Frankly, I hadn't considered the impact that race rubber would have due to the g-loading. My Cayman S has ~ 2K miles on the odometer so it has plenty of warranty left. As I said before, my main goal is protecting my investment and me. Beyond that, I just want to enjoy some spirited driving (driving it at 70%). I feel a bit more comfortable now about getting the car out on the track.
 

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Re: Good catch...

D'oh! I shoulda thought of that one. I used a CG-Lock in my Miata (sold it with the car), and loved it. Yeah, that should be added to my "Stage 1"... and now I gotta go out and buy one :)
I got two of them. PCA likes both seats to have the same restraint system. They're cheap. My wife has no problem using them.

If you get GT3 contol arms, don't forget the GT3 air scoops for the front brakes. They are cheap, snap right onto the GT3 control arms and really push a lot of air right where it's needed to cool the front brakes.

I use Pagid Yellows for track days. They last forever and will save your street pads. Use Windex on the rotors when you change pad compounds. This prevents a black goo from forming on the rotors and making you think you have warped rotors.

I've tracked for over 15 years and have tried a lot of brake compounds. I've not had a problem with this compound-change-goo since I started Windexing the rotors. Takes about 2 minutes per corner if you remember to do it when the pads are out of the car.

Avoid the use of Super Blue if your car is under warranty. Porsche has denied warranty claims for brake problems simply because blue brake fluid (obviously non-Porsche) is in the system. I like ATE, but use the Type 200 (gold). Next step up from that is Motul. It's very good, but know that the bottles are 1/2 liter, not 1 liter, and cost twice as much and the fluid needs to be changed more often because it absorbs moisture faster than ATE. If you change often during the season, this is not an issue.

From there, you get into some pretty high priced stuff. Castrol SRF and the like. Not a good value unless you are club racing or endurance racing. ATE is good for most Novice and Intermediate drivers who aren't pushing their cars with race setups. I used it successfully pushing my car hard at Road America with NT-01 and some extra camber this year but the weather was cool.
 

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Other than alignment and tire pressure adjustment I don't do anything else for DE's and AX's.

As for the CG-Lock, I had one. I used it once then found out with sport seats I really didn't need it as I was firmly planted. Sold the CG-Lock, standard seats may require it though.
 

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Other than alignment and tire pressure adjustment I don't do anything else for DE's and AX's.

As for the CG-Lock, I had one. I used it once then found out with sport seats I really didn't need it as I was firmly planted. Sold the CG-Lock, standard seats may require it though.
SY:

If you are not changing brake fluid before events, you will someday get a big surprise just when you don't want it. :eek:

I'm thinking you probably just forgot???
 

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I do change brake fluid in spring when it comes out of storage. I would do that even if I did not do any DE/AX's.
 
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