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Driver's School - Expected Budget Starting From Scratch

Discussion in 'Driving Schools' started by Eights-n-Aces, Jan 30, 2011.

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    MGarrison

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    "Mufflers required" - well kinda, but usually it's not a matter of a muffler being required, but a max db limit specified by the track management. If the car's louder than the db limit (for instance, I think Road America is 103db), then you could have a problem. If it's not deafening in the car or you're ok to drive on the street without drawing undue attention or tickets, it may be ok for the track. If it's too loud, you may need the muffler in order to comply with the db limit (as Steven mentions, check w/ event organizers and/or the track if there's a limit and what it might be). If the track has an imposed limit, you wouldn't want to push your luck, would be a bit of a drag to get there and not be able to drive for the weekend, and no refunds either.

    The flip side is, if it's too loud, it's self-defeating - being a few-hundred rpms off on a shift point one way or another is going to be substantially less important than being able to hear, interact with, and learn from your instructor - and if you can't hear your instructor, you'll be struggling, making the whole event more difficult for the both of you, and perhaps more of a waste of your time and money than the fun learning experience it ideally should be.

    Also, you're going to be in the upper rpm band almost the whole time anyway, which should be much more audible than idling and toodling around town - assuming your street driving is typically not near-redline 3rd & 4th upshifts, or near 1g braking with heel & toe downshifts. ;)
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    granthr

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    Points well taken. At idle there is no difference in sound level, above 3k it gets significantly louder and I would guess by 4k to 5k it is well above 103db. If I keep it under 3,500 rpm it is quieter than my m20 with a B&B exhaust. Around town I don't get too much attention.

    Taking this all in, I will probably put it on for a track day or at a min bring it along. It goes on in less than 20min.

    Just curious do others run with very loud exhausts or none at all?
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    steven s

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    For DEs, I would say no.
    I replaced my rusted Dynaflow with a S/S Magnaflow. IT WAS DEAFENING on my 4 hour drive to Barber as well as in the car. The muffler had no packing material. When I got home I replaced it with another S/S Magnaflow that had packing material. No longer obnoxiously loud. Nowhere near stock, but doable.
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    MGarrison

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    At driver's schools, I don't think I've hardly ever seen anyone running without a muffler. I've only had one student in 12 years whose car was so loud he said he couldn't hear me through the communicator. Typically, they ain't race cars!

    For a first event, I'd say go with the muffler in place before you go. The weekend's pretty busy, and you may not have much of a time slot to throw it on, to say nothing of having to do it on the ground, possibly in inclement weather. Sounds like you have the tools at hand at home, and you can pick n' choose where & when to do it, vs. a less-flexible schedule @ the track; plus, there's the possibility it _doesn't_ go on as easily as you think it should and you end up hoping to kluge-together a solution to an unforseen problem, with even the potential for lost track time. The track is a less-than-ideal place, oftentimes, for any project, including seemingly simple ones. I suggest put it on, see how the weekend goes, and you'll know what to do in the future. Lots of aftermarket muffler options, if you're looking for a sportier exhaust tone!

    Have we sidetracked this thread enough yet?? :p
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    granthr

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    I'd say so! :D:D

    But thanks all for the input! :) I agree I should have it on.

    Eights-n-Aces guest

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    Any chance of stearing this thread back on topic?

    Are there any recommendations for retailers in the Miami area with helmets or other driving gear? There are several places to buy motorcyle helmets but not racing helmets.

    Also, what the closest BMW CCA driving event to Miami? I've looked through the calendar and there doesn't seem much planned for the area. Perhaps Atlanta is the closest.

    Eights-n-Aces guest

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    Car Question

    OK, I have two options on cars. [2002 330ci Automatic] and a [2004 Nissan 350Z Manual] There are obvious pros and cons for both, most notably the Manual vs. Automatic. But I'm also curious whether I can pack everything I need in the Z. I'm good an minimalizing (I traveled for work to Asia for 16 days with carry-on luggage), but my skills might be stretched if I take the Z.
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    steven s

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    What is there to pack in the Z?
    Pick a place in the paddock near someone with a trailer. :)
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    MGarrison

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    I'm going to reply in a new thread rather than continue further here -

    Eights-n-Aces guest

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    The issue is I will be driving from Miami to Atlanta. In addition to clothing...

    "Here is a brief list of essentials for the track:

    Extra motor oil (at least two quarts)
    Window cleaner
    Paper towels
    Hand cleaner
    Hat
    Helmet (confirm that your helmet meets or exceeds the minimum requirements)
    Sunscreen
    Ground sheet to keep the sand and dirt out of the other stuff
    Registration/tech sheets
    Cover sheet
    Lawn chair
    Tire gauge
    Pen/paper
    Watch or clock
    Garbage bags (helps keep the small stuff together)
    Extra T-shirt (you'll probably get sweaty)
    Extra long sleeved shirt (some schools require them)
    Cooler"
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    steven s

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    Guess I am spoiled with a hatchback.
    One thing you can scratch off the list is a cooler if room is tight.
    I would pick up a styrofoam cooler when you get there and throw it out when you leave.
    That can save you a little space.
    You can also leave the chair if you don't have room.
    There is always a set of tires to sit on.
    A lot of that list take up no room.

    I think you would have more fun with a manual.

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