Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Right then, in the cinema last night i got thinking........... (always a mistake and costly)I now have a spare 155, (became goodfreinds with the central reservation of M6) which will do up ok, though not to a level i like my cars. Here is my idea, turn the baby into a track day baby. just wondering what everyones thoughts are, if any one has one / seen one etc.
2.0TS N1996.

I know the crucial bits would be brakes etc, just looking for inspiration, INSPIRE ME!!!!!!!!!

Pete
 
L

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
It would be great if you could get a couple of guys from the forum interested, have some fun at the weekends and split the cost's I know I'd be up for it if I lived in your area. :D :D
 
I

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Can't have been a very good film you were watching!

Lose weight - that's the first thing and it costs very little. If it's just for the track lose the rear seat, carpets, sound-proofing, door trims, etc. Losing weight will give the standard brakes less work to do and they should be OK with just 'fast road' pads anyway. Don't bother replacing the disks until the standard ones wear out.

Then fit lower, stiffer suspension (reduces roll), stiffer anti-roll bars front and rear. Larger diameter wheels with lower profile tyres (17" with 40's - less sidewall flex) if the budget allows.

Last thing to do is engine tuning - make sure the car handles and stops properly first and then any engine mods will be that much more usable.

Have fun! I'm planning to do a track day or two this year - it would be good to share the track with other 155's.

Ian
 
F

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
When it finally gets fixed.. the Q4 will be visiting the track too wink

Oh.. I agree with the loose weight & sort the suspension but the brakes will get a major hammering.. and the later you brake the better your times...
 
I

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The brakes on a production car are designed to stop a fully laden (i.e. 4/5 adults plus luggage) car from high speed in an emergency situation. They should be well up to stopping an 'enthusiastically driven' standard car on a track with less weight than normal and with only one person and no luggage. BUT they will fade with repeated hard use on a track unless you fit harder pads.

With a standard 2 litre engine, speeds on a track will not be very high because there isn't enough power to allow acceleration to high speeds between corners. I am sure that the standard disks with Pagid or Tarox pads (or similar) would be up to the job.

Upgrading disks and calipers is an expensive operation - I'd at least try the standard ones first. Incidentally my V6 (240bhp) was left by an experienced race engineer with standard disks (but harder pads) until they wore out and needed replacing so they can't be that bad. Only later were Autodelta Forza grooved disks fitted - still with standard calipers and they are well up to the job.

Ian
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ian Spring:
Lose weight - that's the first thing and it costs very little. If it's just for the track lose the rear seat, carpets, sound-proofing, door trims, etc. Losing weight will give the standard brakes less work to do and they should be OK with just 'fast road' pads anyway. Don't bother replacing the disks until the standard ones wear out.

Then fit lower, stiffer suspension (reduces roll), stiffer anti-roll bars front and rear. Larger diameter wheels with lower profile tyres (17" with 40's - less sidewall flex) if the budget allows.

Last thing to do is engine tuning - make sure the car handles and stops properly first and then any engine mods will be that much more usable.
I agree with Ian, except on one thing. Do not put 17" inch wheels. a) They are heavier, b) They have lots of more rolling inertia, since all the weight is further in the radius, c) Way more expensive d) Putting smaller rubbers will reduce th CG (center of gravity) even more and you can get more acceleration because of smaller tires. It will affect your top speed negatively, but how many circuits you know will hit the limiter in fifth with TS?

I am thinking of track day tool from Q4 with couple of friends. It will get 15" OZ Superleggeras, with 195/45 R 15 tires.
 
I

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Sami,

Fitting smaller wheels is not the way to lower the centre or gravity! Lowering the suspension does this properly, as well as lowering the roll centre which makes the car corner flatter and more predictably, keeping the tyres in better contact with the tarmac.

Larger wheels are not necessarily heavier than small ones - it depends how they are designed/made. Larger wheels can also improve brake cooling (depending on their design) because more air can circulate around the disk. The extra expense, though, I agree with.

Lowering the overall gearing will not necessarily improve acceleration either - over a given speed range (e.g. 30 - 70mph) you might have to change gear once (2nd to 3rd) with standard gearing but twice (2nd - 3rd and 3rd - 4th) with lower gearing. The loss of drive while changing gear has a much greater effect than the minimal improvement when under power.

It's a complex subject!

Ian
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Just a little added note on circuit racers. The key to good lap times is weight and speed changes.

Best combo is to strip the car, including all unneccesary weight robbers. like trim, the interior heaters etc. and the dashboard. You need a digital stack system or something similar. The safety systems like air bag and delt belt pre-tensioners can go as can Air con, Power Steering rack and pump. All door trim, seats inc. passenger front. All the carpets and the interior and exterior plastic work.

Install good roll cage, front and rear strut bracing bars, bigger anti-roll bars, and add cooling to front discs. They do glow when pushed!! The power front is helped by less load. A selective Alternator charge system is good for 10hp when under hard acceleration as it cuts out the Alternator load then. Loses electric windows, central locking and glass. Replace the wing mirrors with cup items.

Think thats all!
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sorry, meant to say, replace the glass with perspex fixed in place. Much lighter and doesn't crack when a lump of circuit barrier hits it!
 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
As someone who races (admittedly I spend most of the time at the back of the grid....) I'll add my bit.

At the end of the day, you can spend as much as you want, but you don't have to go mad. For those that have seen the Alfa racing, there are some very rapid 'production spec' cars, in fact some lap quicker than slightly modified cars. Prod spec cars run on standard cranks, conrods, pistons, cams, carbs/injection, standard brake calipers and discs, some headwork is permissable.

Ian is about there, weight and suspension are the key, you need to keep momentum going. Make it go around corners before you waste cash on the engine. Bear in mind you may have to drive the car to and from your track day. My prod spec Sud racer has 650lb springs, try going over pot hole with those!

For brakes, agree with Ian, get a set of Ferodo DS3000 pads for your standard calipers and discs initially, DS3000's are excellent for track days. If after that you want to go for faster times, then think about some engine mods, and perhaps some bigger brakes. I personally would go for a close ratio gearbox before both of the latter. Other than Snetterton you will never see 5th gear with a standard box. Tyres are probably more important than big brakes.

The argument about centres of gravity is a litte pointless at this moment, as until you are going for some kind of fully modified machine and you can drive half as good as a professional race driver, you are not gonna notice that much so long as the suspension is reasonably well set up.

Try Brunswick Motorsport, they run a turbo 155 (ex Tarquini), a Group N 156, and a prod spec 155 2.0 racer. They can supply calibrated shocks, springs, and will build you an engine or full car.

Peak Alfa run a slightly modified 155 V6.

Peter - If you go for a full monty track day car, you may as well be racing it mate.

Tim
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm affraid you have all missed the point, the best way for a complete novice to improve their times around a track is to take some professional tuition. You can have the fastest car in the world, but unless you know where to stick the car on the track you will always look like a muppet.
 
S

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ian,

Lowering the CG had a smiley missing.. :) I know we are talking millimeters here.

About weight. If I take same brand and model of wheels, OZ Superleggera being the lightest of them all. 5 kg for 15" and 7 kg for 17". That's a lot and most of that weight being in the outer part of the rim raises the mass inertia momentum or whatever it is in english. "I" is the marking in physics. I have failed to obtain these inertia values from the importer and also from the factory so I cannot present the differences here. I might calculate these if someone is still sceptic about the advantage of lighter (less inertia) wheels.

The gearing is tricky as you said. Some tracks need longer gearing some shorter. But reduce the diameter of a wheel, more force (forward thrust) you get between the tire and the tarmac. QED.
 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Agreed, but back to Peter's question, is it track day fun or is it competitive racing.

Peter - whichever way you go, one thing guaranteed is that you will have a great time on the circuit, whether you are an untalented 'muppet' or after having had personal attention from Johnny Herbert...go for it.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Keeping the standard discs with uprated pads may be ok but I've read a few stories of boiling brake fluid. A road car is designed for "one off" heavy braking not the continious heavy stuff and they will fade.

One suggestion is braded hoses and uprated fluid.

Think it was "Dave" on AO who did a track day in his 1.6 147 and kicked the *rse of some serious competition due to his better handling and better driven car :D :D :D So, agreeing with the above, get the handling and stopping sorted first.

wrinx
 
I

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Braided brake hoses won't stop the fluid boiling but they may improve pedal feel because they don't 'balloon' under pressure. Silicone brake fluid won't boil but some people have experienced problems changing from DoT4 to Silicon because the change can affect the rubber seals. I think that DoT5 is a better spec but again the system should be flushed through completely to make sure that all traces of the old fluid (which will have absorbed some moisture, making it more likely to boil) are flushed out.

I'm affraid you have all missed the point, the best way for a complete novice to improve their times around a track is to take some professional tuition.
Who's missed the point? The original question was how to turn a 155 into a track day car, not how to improve lap times!

Ian
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I'll had my bit, if it's going to turn into a barney... wink

A bigger wheel might weigh more and that weight is "unsprung" but it also comes with a bigger width. I'm guessing the wider rubber you can get on there will be more of an advantage than carrying around a few extra kilo's of u/s weight.

May be wrong though....

Ralf S.
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
WOW!!!!!!! never thought there would be this much response :) I am a track day muppet but had taken tuition into account. Had figured on stripping the weight out of it (have been down a similar road with a Lancia Delta-fast road car)Plan to replace with standard discs (they are on the way out)with fast road pads, strut braces, poss roll cage later on, race seat and four point harness. Stick to smallish wheels as I have a vendetta againts 17`s.

Engine mods on hold for now, got full supersprint exhaust so a few hp there, but I know the key is getting round the corners, then you can worry about straight line speed. ------ I race radio control cars and manage a Model shop where i constantly persuede people to go for handling upgrade over speed.

All i need now is a donor car for spares (CHEAP)and to replace a couple of panels on it. This is looking like more of a good idea

Pete
 
F

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Mr Webb.... Where are you going to be playing with yours when it's finished? :)

WRT the brakes.. I still think under track conditions (especially pulling back into the paddock) you risk warping your rotors.

my 2p
Alex
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Alex, anywhere theres a trackday, donnington seem to do a few more these days, Mallory is ok if you wanna adjust the car as the circuit is so easy to learn you can replicate laps pretty easily.

As for brakes, I completely agree, unless you have floating disks there is a big chance of warping them if you go from quick laps of heavy braking to sitting still in the pits. A couple of medium paced laps using the brakes lightly for longer distances will help prevent the warping.

On one track day, we were all pulled over to the side after 2 laps, with no chance to cool the brakes correctly, after someone put a car in the gravel, this managed to put a small warp in the front disks.
But as for the brake wear and fade, the standard disks, with a performance pad will be more than adequate for a car and driver, you just need to make sure your fluid is fresh.
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Yes the original point of the topic was how do I turn my car into a track day special, but it quickly turned into how do I turn my car into a quasi race car.

To turn your car into a trackday car you just need to make sure its in good mechanical condition. Whatever you drive around the track is gonna put a big smile on your face. The thing to do is make it safe and easy to drive, remember you are almost definately gonna be driving to the circuit and hopefully driving it home again.
If you turn the car into a bumpstop special, with super stiff lowered suspenstion, 17" wheels and rubber band tyres and roll cage, yes it might be able to lap a second or so quicker, but in the wet (remember it does rain now and then in the UK) the first indication you are going to get that you are approaching the limit, is when you unbuckle your seat belt in the gravel trap, or worse, the tire wall.

Make sure the car is sound, definately make sure the brakes are up too scratch, loose weight from the car, and get some tuition, they don't have to be professional, someone who has done trackdays, a weekend racer, a karter, infact anyone who can take an objective view of your driving.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top