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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been fretting over the details of another set of tires for the track - I appreciate all the help I've gotten here, but also was wondering if I'm going down the right road in the first place. Anyone have experiences / thought on whether it's even worth buying a separate set of wheels /tires to just use on the occasional track day so as not to burn my daily street tires up so badly, vs just using my daily drivers up more quickly? THe first weekend I spent at the track I took my L front down to almost nothing on the shoulder but figure the tire would otherwise still have a lot of good miles on it...

Dave:cheers:
 

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Depends on how many track events you have been to. it is good to learn on street tires b/c stickier tires will mask errors. Onyl go to track only tires when you have reached the limits of street tires.
 

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gobuffs said:
Depends on how many track events you have been to. it is good to learn on street tires b/c stickier tires will mask errors. Onyl go to track only tires when you have reached the limits of street tires.
I agree completely. Also if you are only doing a handful of HPDEs per year you shouldn't be burning through tires, in my experience they hold up pretty well, unless you are all over the place. Although I have never tracked a car as heavy as the E39, time will tell.
 

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gobuffs said:
Depends on how many track events you have been to. it is good to learn on street tires b/c stickier tires will mask errors. Onyl go to track only tires when you have reached the limits of street tires.
Big heavy cars are very tough on tires. If you are doing 3 or 4 events a year, you are better off with dedicated wheels and tires. If you don't want R tires for the track to learn, that is OK, but they will certainly help. Not only do they stick better, but more importantly they last much longer because they are doing what they are designed to do.
If you really want to learn how to drive on the track, an M5 is not the right car. Get an E30 M3 or other low horsepower car and you will learn much faster.:cheers:
Regards,
Jerry
 

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gsfent said:
Big heavy cars are very tough on tires. If you are doing 3 or 4 events a year, you are better off with dedicated wheels and tires. If you don't want R tires for the track to learn, that is OK, but they will certainly help. Not only do they stick better, but more importantly they last much longer because they are doing what they are designed to do.
If you really want to learn how to drive on the track, an M5 is not the right car. Get an E30 M3 or other low horsepower car and you will learn much faster
I agree with Jerry--all except for that last sentence! I learned the hard way at Sebring. Found a screw in my tire when I was inspecting my car for my very first HPDE at Oktoberfest a few years back ('98/'99?). So I installed a brand-spanking-new tire Front Left the night before the event. Now Sebring is notoriously hard on rubber, and sure enough, by the end of the event that Left Front tire looked like it'd done 30K miles, plus the edges were beat!! It was at that point--realizing I was doomed to begin doing these HPDE's more frequently--that I decided on a dedicated track setup.

Now, as for learning how to drive on the track, I'm one of those who DID learn in a big ol' E39--in that case my '98 540i/6. While it won't teach you how as well as an E30 might, there's no denying how much fun it is to wring the daylights out of your daily driver and then return her to commuting duty the following Monday. So here's at least one vote for starting in whatever vehicle got you there...."Dance with who brung ya" as a great man once said!

-Dave
 

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DrDave said:
So I've been fretting over the details of another set of tires for the track - I appreciate all the help I've gotten here, but also was wondering if I'm going down the right road in the first place. Anyone have experiences / thought on whether it's even worth buying a separate set of wheels /tires to just use on the occasional track day so as not to burn my daily street tires up so badly, vs just using my daily drivers up more quickly? THe first weekend I spent at the track I took my L front down to almost nothing on the shoulder but figure the tire would otherwise still have a lot of good miles on it...

Dave:cheers:
Dave,

If you tore the shoulder off your street tires, the shoulder will be torn off track tires even FASTER!!! Your problem is too much understeer and too much postive camber. Your tires are hardly relevant.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks...

THanks all - I do need to think about having the camber checked / adjusted, and I'm very into the idea of driving her like crazy on the weekend track event and then feeling better about myself when I'm stuck with her in traffic commuting the rest of the month. I realize it's a helluva heavy car to track, but with the pwer she's got you can keep up with most cars out there respectably well. I've heard a lot of great feedback about the PS2s from the gang here and am planning on getting some - just can't figure out what to have them mounted on...hencde my other posts asking for advice on wheels...
Dave
 

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DrDave said:
THanks all - I do need to think about having the camber checked / adjusted, and I'm very into the idea of driving her like crazy on the weekend track event and then feeling better about myself when I'm stuck with her in traffic commuting the rest of the month. I realize it's a helluva heavy car to track, but with the pwer she's got you can keep up with most cars out there respectably well. I've heard a lot of great feedback about the PS2s from the gang here and am planning on getting some - just can't figure out what to have them mounted on...hencde my other posts asking for advice on wheels...
Dave
Camber is not adjustable up front without aftermarket camber plates (I think stock front camber is around -0.5 degrees and fixed). I'm running Dinan springs/Konis/rear bar and, most importantly, Ground Control camber plates up front, so I can get close to 2.5 degrees negative camber for track days. This one thing makes all the difference both in front tire wear and especially in grip.
 

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One other thing to consider is how you are getting home. If you are planning on driving the car to and from the track, it makes sense to have 2 sets of wheels and tires in case you cord the tires at the track. I did that once on street tires and had a pretty nervous ride home. Fortunately the tire held up and I did not have far to go. That being said, I would recommend against going with ultra sticky R-compounds if this is your first time using them. They can behave very differently at the limit than street tires depending on the brand. The Toyo RA1 is a good choice for a well behaved, relatively long lasting R compound.
 

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Teutonaddict said:
Now, as for learning how to drive on the track, I'm one of those who DID learn in a big ol' E39--in that case my '98 540i/6. While it won't teach you how as well as an E30 might, there's no denying how much fun it is to wring the daylights out of your daily driver and then return her to commuting duty the following Monday. So here's at least one vote for starting in whatever vehicle got you there...."Dance with who brung ya" as a great man once said!

-Dave
Dave
I didn't say the E30 would be more fun (although it ain't bad, but watching your mirrors at a DE is OK, during a race it is much more difficult), just which one you can learn more quickly. If you want to dance with who brung ya, no problems!!!:thumbsup:, I have done that on many occassions!:cheers:
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Currently I still am under the mfr maintenance program for another year and warranty as well, so I can't well make a lot of mods til that's over lest I void them out...Course they won't be too happy to find me on the track either...
 

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DrDave said:
Currently I still am under the mfr maintenance program for another year and warranty as well, so I can't well make a lot of mods til that's over lest I void them out...Course they won't be too happy to find me on the track either...
Most DE's are even covered by insurance because it is not a "competitve' event (BUT CHECK YOUR OWN POLICY!!). Why would the dealership have a problem? Switch out pads before and after events, so maybe some rotor wear. And if you have dedicated wheels and tires, then no issues there either.

Wasn't this considered the "Ultimate Driving Machine"?? I don't think the maintenance program says how hard you can drive. As a matter of fact, it "adjusts" for hard driving (based on liters of fuel used over time).:cheers:
Regards,
Jerry
 

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DrDave said:
So I've been fretting over the details of another set of tires for the track - I appreciate all the help I've gotten here, but also was wondering if I'm going down the right road in the first place. Anyone have experiences / thought on whether it's even worth buying a separate set of wheels /tires to just use on the occasional track day so as not to burn my daily street tires up so badly, vs just using my daily drivers up more quickly? THe first weekend I spent at the track I took my L front down to almost nothing on the shoulder but figure the tire would otherwise still have a lot of good miles on it...

Dave:cheers:
Why are you tracking the car?

If you are competing, then I'd go with the fore-mentioned advice. But if you are tracking it for the same reason I am: To learn the car better, then I'd stay with whatever tires you use on the street. It will possibly cost more, but whatever you learn on the track will translate directily to defensive (or offensive) street driving. Either way it's a blast!

p.s. That's another good question to ask BMS (see my reply to your other post), because they can give you good recommendations on track tires that suit the M5's weight and character. Not all good tires are good for a heavy car, some overheat more quickly than others, some support higher lateral loads better, some change grip over their lifetime, etc.: 714-429-0257
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Much obliged, good thoughts. I left them a message and will look forrward to talking with them too. Appreciate it....
Dave
 

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You need the Ground Control plates for OEM perches. They allow you to switch to track settings and back to street settings using a box wrench or socket wrench. This takes about 5 minutes before and after each event and settings can be precisely returned to original setting.

Tire longevity is only one reason for them, although they will pay for themselves quick, by at least doubling the life of each set of tires. The extra neg camber greatly reduces understeer and washout from tire rollover & this leads to improved, predictable handling and better lap times.

It's safe to say that camber plates will not void any warranty. If anything, they will help you maintain any tire warranty that would otherwise be voided by grotesque wear patterns.
 

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gsfent said:
....Switch out pads before and after events, so maybe some rotor wear. And if you have dedicated wheels and tires, then no issues there either.... I don't think the maintenance program says how hard you can drive...
Pads, plus the camber plates and dedicated wheels/tires, is the best option IMO. While the camber plates shouldn't void any warranty, there are some dealers who will act like it did. Still, I don't think you'd be jeopardizing much since it's a relatively benign modification.

I tracked my 540 too, and was honest with my dealer about the track usage, and I still had the front rotors replaced under the maintenance program with mileage in the 20s. BMWs are meant to be driven hard, was what I was told. But I wouldn't expect to get new rotors under warranty after every season.

If you're going to the track more than 2-3 times a year, having an extra set of wheels and track tires is really nice. Otherwise, you'll be buying new street tires and having them mounted pretty much every year. Wheels will inevitably get nicked-up from the frequent changing. You'll find yourself driving on the street (e.g., in the rain) on tires with marginal tread depth. And tracking with street tires on the M5 is not ideal. I've tried both. The tires develop a lot of heat, and air pressures swing quite a bit (easily 10-12 psi from cold to hot). Street tires get "greasy" in that environment; track tires hold up better and perform much more consistently over the course of a session. Having four equal-sized track wheels/tires also allows rotating, which pays dividends in terms of longevity.
 

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The thing I notice is my tires lose grip as they get hot. Do street tires in general do this? That alone would be a good reason for track tires.
 

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erkq said:
The thing I notice is my tires lose grip as they get hot. Do street tires in general do this? That alone would be a good reason for track tires.
This is a greater issue with soft race rubber compounds. The softer the rubber, the lower the optimal operating temp range. You may notice race teams carefully choosing compound for race day. Longer races, heavier cars and higher track temps mandate harder rubber for consistent performance and longevity. Track R-compound tires lose grip bigtime, when they overheat. In fact, they can get real greasy & become so hot they blister and the rubber peels off the carcass. The hefty M5 can cook tires real quick, if you're overdriving the car or your camber is not optimized for track use. Street tires with deep, full 10/32" tread can be a problem because they are suseptible to chunking & they can squirm under sustained high braking and lateral loading which leads to spongy or vague handling. If they've been repeatedly heat cycled on the street for 5K miles or so, these symptoms are rare.

Street tires are generally slower and safer for track, because they break away more gradually and provide audible warning (squeal). In addition, their deeper tread depth allows much safer track use in rain. Going 80+ MPH with worn, shaved race 1/32" tread is fairly puckering.
 

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Lscman said:
You need the Ground Control plates for OEM perches. They allow you to switch to track settings and back to street settings using a box wrench or socket wrench. This takes about 5 minutes before and after each event and settings can be precisely returned to original setting.

Tire longevity is only one reason for them, although they will pay for themselves quick, by at least doubling the life of each set of tires. The extra neg camber greatly reduces understeer and washout from tire rollover & this leads to improved, predictable handling and better lap times.

It's safe to say that camber plates will not void any warranty. If anything, they will help you maintain any tire warranty that would otherwise be voided by grotesque wear patterns.
For what it's worth, I have Dinan's non-adjustable camber plates. I have totally even tire wear on the street and they are good on the track too. I'm sure GC's can be adjusted to offer more negative camber which is appropriate for track performance, but if you want to learn your M5 on-track to better drive it on-street fixed camber plates are ideal - imo. It all depends on what your goals are.
 
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