Project S2000 Part 4- Taking it to the Track!
By Khiem Dinh
Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing. All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.
The Honda S2000 is one of our all time favorite cars. In stock trim, it is also pretty capable. With its 50/50 weight distribution and low polar moment of inertia and sophisticated multilink suspension, the S2000 is pretty darned good out of the box. So good that it’s one of those cars that tuners often mess up and actually end up reducing the performance on. Well hopefully that won’t be us.
You didn’t think we put all these parts on the car to look pretty right? What better way to test things out than to hit the track? Before going to the track, we needed to do some proper track preparation. The weather forecast for Buttonwillow would be a mild 94F; still blazing hot, but not nearly as bad as it could be. However, to be safe, we still needed to do some work before hand.
|Motul Synthetics help keep our cars innards happy at high temperatures during hot track days.|
In researching S2000s, they are known to run high oil temperatures even with the stock oil cooler. High ambient air temps combined with a car that is known to run high oil temps is a bad mix. So, preventative measure number one is to run Motul 15W-50 (standard fill is 10W-30). Considering the heat, we changed the transmission fluid also. We had recently changed the rear diff fluid, so no need to change it again.
The coolant in the car was still the original stuff from five years and 50k miles ago, so we changed that out to a more track friendly 70:30 water to coolant mix. To fully bleed the system, this car seems to need a drive around the block with some revs; even with coolant coming out of the two bleed locations (on the rear heater hose and bleeder next to the valve cover), there still seemed to be air in the system as no hot air was coming out of the vents with the heater on. So we drove around to get the revs and water pump going, and topped off the system after everything had cooled back down.
|When we got to the track we went to work changing to our track pads and installing some brake ducts.|
The next area to tackle was the brakes. The StopTech guys said their Street Performance pads might not be up to the challenge of Buttonwillow with our estimated pace (~2:10) and high temps. So, we ordered up a set Ferodo DS3000s. We had used the DS2500s, a high-performance street/light track-duty pad, on an Evo at Buttonwillow in 85F-90F heat and ended up with pad material transfer onto the rotors. Granted, the Evo weighs more, but the safe bet was to go with the track-only DS3000 pad. The DS3000 is roughly equivalent to a Carbotech XP8.