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Hey all been driving my 2014 diesel cruze for a while now. Been ghosting cruzetalk.com for the same amount of time and figured why not get into the community more.
Don't need the cruze as a daily driver any more, and have decided to go back into the track world 13 years later. With just the basic dpf delete and programming from fleece, the low end get go is pretty decent. I am getting the car ready for a track day at VIR in oct. It's always fun to put almost a stock commuter on track with cars that are supposed to be there..lol. I remember quite a few "commuter" cars dampening the ego of others. I have been out of the mix so long I am just going to start at the bottom of the HPDE ladder and go from there.
My intentions from this outing in october are to get a feel for where to go next with the modifications.
I think this car may be decent as it has basic get go and the parts are cheap.. I used to drive a 3000gt Vr4.. soooo. I am always pleasantly suprised at how cheap parts can be for the cruze.

I am also considering getting a second of these to turn into a dedicated track car. Due to having the experience of being a former mechanic and still a machinist wanna be, I may even go as far as serious engine work and possibly a better or twin turbo setup to keep the lag at min while giving higher top end.


If others are interested you are more that welcome to join me at VIR OCT 3-4. the event is put on by NASA. (national auto sport association-.. not the space one.) I believe there are still openings in the HPDE fields. From past experience beginners see huge increase even in their daily driving confidence and safety.

Company and advice are welcome and much appreciated.
 

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I have a 15 diesel. With better tires it’s a great handling car. If fleece was still doing off road only tuned I’d get one so fast but **** EPA shut that down. Once we slow down at the hospital I have Bilstien B14 coilovers and shoreline rear sway bar ready to go it. You can get the 1.4T Cruze cheap for race use.
 

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Fortunately I did get the delete before EPA went stupid. But if you know a good muffler shop you may or may not be able to get a piece bent and bungs welded in. As long as the sensors are there it seems to work fine but there are programmers still available. That if installed on a car with dpf still tend to plug up the dpfs quickly..... but if your cars dpf accidentally falls off.... then no problem. Of course this is all in theory:)
Yep coil overs and camber correction are on the list... also I got 225/50/17 which gives you a little more meat to the road without changing overall diameter.
 

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Fortunately I did get the delete before EPA went stupid. But if you know a good muffler shop you may or may not be able to get a piece bent and bungs welded in. As long as the sensors are there it seems to work fine but there are programmers still available. That if installed on a car with dpf still tend to plug up the dpfs quickly..... but if your cars dpf accidentally falls off.... then no problem. Of course this is all in theory:)
Yep coil overs and camber correction are on the list... also I got 225/50/17 which gives you a little more meat to the road without changing overall diameter.
The downpipe and such are the easy part. The problem is getting the software to delete the junk. There is someone I can get it from but it’s nearly 2k with downpipe and such.
 

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Got back from vir.. the cruze did decent in the class I was in.. there was even a Ferrari challenge car in the group... Not the best in the group but decent for a commuter car.. got a lap time of 2:50 and was consistently there by Sunday. ( I started in the 3:30s) The trans was the weak link... Once hot it started a differential whine.. and it popped an engine code for .. I can't believe you are doing this to me..lol... Really the code was for converter stuck. It went away when the car cooled down and several key cycles. I'm gonna pull the valve body and give it a good cleaning and look into putting a bigger cooler on the trans. I also will be trailering the car next time as both me and the instructor felt I was holding back a little because I still needed a way to get home... As I make changes I will try to post and the results of said changes.
 

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Got back from vir.. the cruze did decent in the class I was in.. there was even a Ferrari challenge car in the group... Not the best in the group but decent for a commuter car.. got a lap time of 2:50 and was consistently there by Sunday. ( I started in the 3:30s) The trans was the weak link... Once hot it started a differential whine.. and it popped an engine code for .. I can't believe you are doing this to me..lol... Really the code was for converter stuck. It went away when the car cooled down and several key cycles. I'm gonna pull the valve body and give it a good cleaning and look into putting a bigger cooler on the trans. I also will be trailering the car next time as both me and the instructor felt I was holding back a little because I still needed a way to get home... As I make changes I will try to post and the results of said changes.
Glad you had fun but yes don’t be a fool, don’t beat on your daily. Get a Miata or old crown Vic/mustang to race and trash.
At the auto X events I’ve tracked the diesel at I’ve never had trans heat problems. I’ve also kept up severe maintenance to a T including trans flush. Now granted auto X is say 2 run back to back then an hour cool down time. During which I leave hood open to allow heat out. So as usual auto X is way less abusive then long track.

as far as cooling I’d start on bypassing the transmission oil to water “cooler” in the radiator end tank. This “cooler” will only let the temps go as low as rad fluid and usually makes cooling worse. Plus it’s a big POF if the cooler leaks and gets antifreeze into the trans lines.

once bypassed you can add a bigger oil to air cooler, but be advised ours is rather large as is. Add a temp gauge into the line to see temp out of trans and temp into jt. This should shed light on how heavy the load is on the trans.

up front you can pop out the aero panels in grill that restricts airflow for efficacy sake. That should help quite a bit since even 20% more airflow is a lot. Then of course a higher grade fluid like amsoil SS should help and protect better when on the heat edge.

the aisin trans don’t have much in safety margins TQ wise so don’t expect it to hold up for that kind of abuse long.
 
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Glad you had fun but yes don’t be a fool, don’t beat on your daily. Get a Miata or old crown Vic/mustang to race and trash.
At the auto X events I’ve tracked the diesel at I’ve never had trans heat problems. I’ve also kept up severe maintenance to a T including trans flush. Now granted auto X is say 2 run back to back then an hour cool down time. During which I leave hood open to allow heat out. So as usual auto X is way less abusive then long track.

as far as cooling I’d start on bypassing the transmission oil to water “cooler” in the radiator end tank. This “cooler” will only let the temps go as low as rad fluid and usually makes cooling worse. Plus it’s a big POF if the cooler leaks and gets antifreeze into the trans lines.

once bypassed you can add a bigger oil to air cooler, but be advised ours is rather large as is. Add a temp gauge into the line to see temp out of trans and temp into jt. This should shed light on how heavy the load is on the trans.

up front you can pop out the aero panels in grill that restricts airflow for efficacy sake. That should help quite a bit since even 20% more airflow is a lot. Then of course a higher grade fluid like amsoil SS should help and protect better when on the heat edge.

the aisin trans don’t have much in safety margins TQ wise so don’t expect it to hold up for that kind of abuse long.
Its not my daily anymore, just drove it there, im gonna trailer it next time.. sort of want to drive something everybody looks at and says "your driving what"... and diesel to boot... what... it's a diesel? mustangs and miatas are a dime a dozen... trust me I was surrounded by them. tip: bring a diesel can because there is none at the track. Im actually thinking about buying a whole extra trans as they are not that expensive and having it on hand. Also Im researching what the OBD can out put to external gauges.. It seemed to only have real issues after heating up trans... I could take a cold lap in gears that would keep it cool and then it would get back to more normal operation.
 

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Its not my daily anymore, just drove it there, im gonna trailer it next time.. sort of want to drive something everybody looks at and says "your driving what"... and diesel to boot... what... it's a diesel? mustangs and miatas are a dime a dozen... trust me I was surrounded by them. tip: bring a diesel can because there is none at the track. Im actually thinking about buying a whole extra trans as they are not that expensive and having it on hand. Also Im researching what the OBD can out put to external gauges.. It seemed to only have real issues after heating up trans... I could take a cold lap in gears that would keep it cool and then it would get back to more normal operation.
Ohh by drove I understood it’s a daily. Well if you’re ok with it financially then more power to ya. Mustangs and Miata are my go to sicne they are cheap to fix build and race. Our diesel only has 15k made so parts won’t be super easy or cheap to find.
 

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The trans issues really only present themselves in normal driving - the neutral-stop solenoid in ours, when it is warm out, loves to basically force a neutral-slam off stop lights, and it has an occasional extremely harsh downshift - but that's obviously all just driving around normally. Those aren't things you'd really experience when racing.
 

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Its not my daily anymore, just drove it there, im gonna trailer it next time.. sort of want to drive something everybody looks at and says "your driving what"... and diesel to boot... what... it's a diesel? mustangs and miatas are a dime a dozen... trust me I was surrounded by them. tip: bring a diesel can because there is none at the track. Im actually thinking about buying a whole extra trans as they are not that expensive and having it on hand. Also Im researching what the OBD can out put to external gauges.. It seemed to only have real issues after heating up trans... I could take a cold lap in gears that would keep it cool and then it would get back to more normal operation.
Under normal street use the Transmission fluid runs very hot on this car. More cooling for racing should be a priority. There is a great App by Snipesy on this forum called BiScan for GM, an and newer one call Gretio that can get you all kinds of PIDs for guages if you want them off the OBD2 / DLC port (you can find them on the Google Play store, and I think Gretio is also availible for Apple). PIDs Include Transmission Fluid Temperature. On my 2015 Cruze TD, it is pretty high under normal street use loads, well over 220F is not unusual, and I've seen 240s quite often.

As I think you are already seeing, that Transmission is going to be the weak link, so anything you can do to protect it is going to be helpful in a racing situation.
 

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Also, a large benefit to going to a larger, separate trans cooler, would be ridding the vehicle of those stock trans cooler lines (from the trans to the radiator trans cooler) - a known failure point (if ours fail again, that IS the route I will be going - it's both cheaper and far easier than replacing...those things...again).
 

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Finally figured out how to get video to upload... proof a cruze diesel can survive on track. Sorry it's unedited... if you count laps.. lap 4 is 2:50... not to shabby for a car where only mod is brakes.
To put it in perspective a mustang does about 2:15 lap. And yes I did make the instructor nervouse, maybe once.. lol . He was great. Shout out to Drew Black from Durham, NC
 

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What tires are you running? Tires alone can absolutely transform a vehicle.

A buddy of mine used to run his A5 Jetta (with the 2.5L I5) at the college autocrosses we use to participate in, and all that car had was GLI suspension goodies and Hankook RS-3s (later on, Pilot Super Sports), and he was always at the top of the list, even though it was a rather high speed course (we were on an 1/8th mile banked oval, and the infield). Granted, he had driver mod, but only light suspension and crazy sticky tires.
 

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This was my auto cross run in the diesel. It was after I did the engine break in for the car. It was night and day from my 87 Supra T. It was way too quiet, trans if not in manual would always up shift during braking, and those junk LRR tires sucked. Fun however for my at the time new car.


 

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What tires are you running? Tires alone can absolutely transform a vehicle.

A buddy of mine used to run his A5 Jetta (with the 2.5L I5) at the college autocrosses we use to participate in, and all that car had was GLI suspension goodies and Hankook RS-3s (later on, Pilot Super Sports), and he was always at the top of the list, even though it was a rather high speed course (we were on an 1/8th mile banked oval, and the infield). Granted, he had driver mod, but only light suspension and crazy sticky tires.
Absolutely tires can change the whole character of the car. When I ditched the LRR and went to sticky BFG performance all seasons it was night and day. On FWD I noticed slicks even when the car wants to plow they just grip. Sure scrubs tire but it really goes a long way smoothing driver error.
 

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And yes I did make the instructor nervouse, maybe once.. lol .
Did he get out of the car and walk off shaking his head the refuse to get back in for the next session so the chief instructor had to take his place? If not you're good.

After talking to the instructor the Chief (told me after the session) was going to ride a lap with me and tell me to go home. After the session he said he needed to go talk to the instructor instead. Seems that instructor wasn't used to being in Pony/Muscle cars with upgraded brakes.
 

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I wouldn't have gone to track day with a slushbox without a big external transmission fluid cooler.

For those who can't get tunes, there is somebody here who can help you tune a 2.0 diesel track car, but I don't know if he will do it in the current EPA enforcement situation. He's posted in this thread this week, so maybe he can PM some advice to those in need.
 

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I wouldn't have gone to track day with a slushbox without a big external transmission fluid cooler.

For those who can't get tunes, there is somebody here who can help you tune a 2.0 diesel track car, but I don't know if he will do it in the current EPA enforcement situation. He's posted in this thread this week, so maybe he can PM some advice to those in need.
Problem is the EPA situation. I’d love to get the proper tune for track use but hardly any leads.
 
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