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      05-13-2019, 09:58 PM   #1
1ersf
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Brake pad & tire suggestions for the track

Hi all,

I've been taking my 135i (N55) to the track lately.

I have about 7 full track days and put myself at lower intermediate but heading to solid intermediate.

Current car has upgrades from stock:
BMW Performance Suspension
M3 rear subframe bushings
M3 control arms
Castrol SRF brake fluid

It's not my daily driver anymore and brake pad and tires are worn and looking for suggestions.

Track pads: I see PFC 08 pads were popular. I'm thinking of getting these. Car will be 85% track driving 15% street. Good choice or should I look for other options?

Are the titanium shims really worth the upgrade or should I just skip for now?

Rotors: Should I go with cheaper Zimmerman OEM rotors or Genuine BMW rotors - or something else?

Tires: Currently have Michelin PSS, they are shot from track driving (bad shoulder wear) and thinking of going to Hankook RS4 next - with the main appeal being I hear they have good wear and would last.

I don't have camber plates yet and running -1.5 front camber.

Any suggestions given my skill level would be great. Thanks!
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      05-14-2019, 10:12 AM   #2
beattiecj
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You are starting out the right way, basically starting from stock and figuring out what does and does not work.
I started out doing NASA group one, now running in 3 hoping to get into TT, or 4 to get a comp license and race spec E30s one day :-).

Here is my path:
Year 1
- Stock
- Brake Pads - EBC Yellow Pads F & R lasted 3 track Days -
- Brake Fluid - Motul RBF 600
- Tires - Michelin PSS - Fronts got pretty haggered from no - camber and these are not a great track tire

Year 2 - Updates (3 Track Days)
- Tires - Hankook RS4 tires
- Wheels - Apex EC-7 Staggered
- Brake Pads - Carbotech XP10 Front & XP8 rear. Huge improvement over EBC Yellow and drove them on the street, you sound like a bus heavy squeal. I hardly drive maybe 5k miles a year
- Brakes - Titanium Shims still unsure if it helped or not
- Coded the electronic driving nannies - car would do insane things like brake mid turn, once coded out car was much better to drive

Year 3 - 5 Track Days
- Year of Suspension
- Ohlins R&T W/ Vorschlag Camber Plates (finally getting camber ) - dropped 3 seconds off my best lap time
- Corner Balanced

Year 4 (2019)
- ER Oil Cooler - Tired of having to slowdown or drive 80% mid session to drop oil temps - One track day so far Oil temps remain low or I back off for 1/4 a lap and all is good
- Brake Pads: Hawk DTC 60 Front - Best pad yet, I daily but again hardly drive.
- Tires new Hankook RS4s - tires last forever grip is great, replaced due to not running negative camber and running over a few nails
- Brake Rotors - Zimmerman blanks heavy but seem fine, prior BMW rotors
- Brake Piston Replacement - Re-built the brake calipers with the Stoptech rebuild kit due to the seals and pistons beginning to crumble - overall breaking is better I need to see how the seals held up from this past weekend.

At this point I really do not want to do much more. The car is a perfect blend of a daily and capable HPDE car. I would maybe do M3 control arms and subframe bushings and a seat. The car is fast e.g. it can hang or be faster than e90 m3s, new caymans etc.

Best upgrades
- Coilovers Ohlins
- Tires Hankook RS4s
- Brake Pads DTC60s
- ER Oil Cooler

I am running stock power, aside from a BMW PPK and axle back exhaust

Hope this helps, others may have different opinions.

Last edited by beattiecj; 05-14-2019 at 10:22 AM..
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      05-14-2019, 11:17 AM   #3
amg6975
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I ran PFC-08's and RE-71Rs for the first weekend this year at Watkins Glen. I have E90 brakes so the pads may not be apples to apples but they performed great once bedded. The first 10 laps felt like I had a warped rotor or something but it all smoothed out. It was cold and rainy for most of the sessions so they never got enough temperature, but still performed fine. There was very little wear to the pads or tires at the end of the weekend (~ 6 hours of track time.)
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      05-14-2019, 03:12 PM   #4
Mark Aubele
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Wife runs PFC 08s on hers all the time. Crazy dust on the street, noisy, but they work cold and on the track so we deal with it. Great track pad, too lazy to swap them out for the limited street use the car sees.
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      05-14-2019, 11:02 PM   #5
1ersf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beattiecj View Post
You are starting out the right way, basically starting from stock and figuring out what does and does not work.
I started out doing NASA group one, now running in 3 hoping to get into TT, or 4 to get a comp license and race spec E30s one day :-).

Here is my path:
Year 1
- Stock
- Brake Pads - EBC Yellow Pads F & R lasted 3 track Days -
- Brake Fluid - Motul RBF 600
- Tires - Michelin PSS - Fronts got pretty haggered from no - camber and these are not a great track tire

Year 2 - Updates (3 Track Days)
- Tires - Hankook RS4 tires
- Wheels - Apex EC-7 Staggered
- Brake Pads - Carbotech XP10 Front & XP8 rear. Huge improvement over EBC Yellow and drove them on the street, you sound like a bus heavy squeal. I hardly drive maybe 5k miles a year
- Brakes - Titanium Shims still unsure if it helped or not
- Coded the electronic driving nannies - car would do insane things like brake mid turn, once coded out car was much better to drive

Year 3 - 5 Track Days
- Year of Suspension
- Ohlins R&T W/ Vorschlag Camber Plates (finally getting camber ) - dropped 3 seconds off my best lap time
- Corner Balanced

Year 4 (2019)
- ER Oil Cooler - Tired of having to slowdown or drive 80% mid session to drop oil temps - One track day so far Oil temps remain low or I back off for 1/4 a lap and all is good
- Brake Pads: Hawk DTC 60 Front - Best pad yet, I daily but again hardly drive.
- Tires new Hankook RS4s - tires last forever grip is great, replaced due to not running negative camber and running over a few nails
- Brake Rotors - Zimmerman blanks heavy but seem fine, prior BMW rotors
- Brake Piston Replacement - Re-built the brake calipers with the Stoptech rebuild kit due to the seals and pistons beginning to crumble - overall breaking is better I need to see how the seals held up from this past weekend.

At this point I really do not want to do much more. The car is a perfect blend of a daily and capable HPDE car. I would maybe do M3 control arms and subframe bushings and a seat. The car is fast e.g. it can hang or be faster than e90 m3s, new caymans etc.

Best upgrades
- Coilovers Ohlins
- Tires Hankook RS4s
- Brake Pads DTC60s
- ER Oil Cooler

I am running stock power, aside from a BMW PPK and axle back exhaust

Hope this helps, others may have different opinions.
Very helpful, thanks for the writeup! Can I ask what spring rates you're running with the Ohlins?

Also what size tires are you running?
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      05-15-2019, 09:28 PM   #6
beattiecj
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1ersf

Wheels: Apex EC-7
Front: 18x8.5" ET45
Rear: 18x9.5" ET58

Tires: - no rubbing and retains stock tire circumference so your speedo stays in check
Front: 235/40ZR-18 - Hankook RS4
Rear: 265/35ZR-18 - Hankook RS4

Spring Rates:
Front: Swift Front 65mm 7in - 336lb
Rear: Swift Rear 60mm 9 in - 672lb
- For the Ohlins running the out of the box spring in front is too long with the 7 inch it allows the spring to sit above the tire for a wider width.
Harold from HP Autosport was a solid vendor and helped get me setup
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      05-21-2019, 11:05 AM   #7
chris_flies
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2009 BMW 128i  [5.00]
Pads: I would recommend Porterfield R4's, but they don't have them in 135i fitment. I've heard great things about Hawk's DTC series, and they have different options for different performance needs.

Shims: People who do heavy tracking in the 135i all seem to have good results with Ti shims. The piston noses and dust boots have a tendency to just disintegrate from the heat. You may want to look into a different brake set-up for the front axle if you don't want to rebuild calipers every season...

Rotors: OEM rotors have aluminum hats, which gives a solid advantage in unsprung and rotational mass. That said, they also seem to have issues with warping. I've gotten good performance from my StopTech rotors, and I'd happily recommend them. Regardless, I'd buy from FCP Euro for lifetime replacements for the cost of shipping your used ones back to Connecticut.

Tires: I really loved my Firestone Firehawk Indy 500's. Truly loved them. Fantastic tread life, inexpensive, offered good grip with little temperature issues, and were comfortable and quiet driving to and from the track. They weren't the best in the wet, but it meant that wet track days were fun and made for good learning opportunities. I recently upgraded to Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's, and, while they're much grippier, they aren't as much fun. They're snappy in their loss of grip regardless, they're noisy and harsh on the street, and they just aren't as playful on a nice rainy day.

Your car is very tastefully upgraded, and that setup will take you pretty far before having to do anything major like coilovers or an LSD. Enjoy it, get what you can out of it as a driver, then upgrade what you feel like you need to upgrade. I'd look into some Dinan camber plates; they'll fix most (if not all) of your outer edge wear issues and give you a lot more grip up front, which is desperately needed in these cars.
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      05-21-2019, 11:59 AM   #8
lakefront
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Another fan of the PFC 08 brake pads. As has been mentioned, one of the few dual duty pads that you can run on the track and street and is actually good at both. (if you can stand the squealing)
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      05-22-2019, 02:46 PM   #9
Mark Aubele
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakefront View Post
Another fan of the PFC 08 brake pads. As has been mentioned, one of the few dual duty pads that you can run on the track and street and is actually good at both. (if you can stand the squealing)

Don't forget the dust!
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      05-22-2019, 09:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakefront View Post
Another fan of the PFC 08 brake pads. As has been mentioned, one of the few dual duty pads that you can run on the track and street and is actually good at both. (if you can stand the squealing)
Can you still get pfc08 for the 135? I didn't think they made them anymore
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      05-22-2019, 09:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alow View Post
Can you still get pfc08 for the 135? I didn't think they made them anymore
Bimmerworld has at least the fronts....think its Speedfreaks USA has fronts and rears.
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      05-23-2019, 04:04 PM   #12
$iriu$black
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This is probably out of place, but 128i owners, did anyone here use the 207Ms for track? Is it any good or are they going to be too heavy? I am deciding on using my staggered EC7s or the stock 207Ms. I figured with the OE wheels, I can put square tires on, whilst with the Apex wheels, I can only run staggered 235/265. What do you track guys recommend?
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      05-23-2019, 07:16 PM   #13
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Thanks! Buying a set right now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakefront View Post
Bimmerworld has at least the fronts....think its Speedfreaks USA has fronts and rears.
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