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Old 08-16-2013, 12:56 PM   #16
Fair
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Project Update for Feb 3, 2011: A little late, but here's the report from the track event last weekend (NASA @ MSR-Houston, Jan 29-30).

Pictures: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-E...ouston-012911/



On Friday morning we mounted two AMB transponders to the car: one wired transponder was registered for me in TTB as #193, and a second wireless transponder for Amy was entered as TTB #93, mounted straight to the front grill. The battery powered AMB mounted to the grill had a straight shot down to the ground, with no metal in its path. The wired unit was mounted to the inner fender, behind the strut on the RF corner, and also has a straight shot at the ground. We made an aluminum panel for the lighted switch panel that worked nicely.

AJ loaded up the car into the trailer Friday and Amy and I left at 3 pm; we made it from Dallas to MSR-Houston in about 5 hours, at a hair under 300 miles for the tow, of course with some traffic in downtown Houston. Somehow we managed to snag a good pit spot, in the dark, then unhooked the trailer and unloaded the car, and took it through tech at 8:30 pm Friday night. We got a logbook for the car and met a few NASA people while waiting in line, several of which mentioned reading this thread build-up. Reloaded the car in the trailer than went to find our hotel (luckily nearby - the race site is fairly remote).



Next morning at dawn we finally got to see the facilities at MSR-Houston, and they were pretty impressive. Lots of buildings, nicely paved parking pit areas, a concessions stand, several buildings of garages, Sunoco fuel pumps, and even an active kart track that was running all day Saturday. The weather was a bit chilly off and on, but not bad, with overcast skies most of the day. We had our drivers meeting for TT and then another for instructors, and I was assigned an HPDE2 student. He didn't have a passengers seat (CMC2 race car) but he already knew the track well, and pointed out some areas to me to watch out for, since I'd never seen the track. Other than checking in with him all weekend, and keeping an eye on him when I was riding through with other students, there wasn't much for me to do there. This let me work with Amy directly most of the weekend.

The Time Trial group was merged with HPDE4 for the weekend, which made for a 27 car session (24 TT drivers). Ken O had his very well prepped TTB E46 M3 out on Friday testing, so he was very quick in Saturday's TT session one, running a 1:44.049 on Hoosier R6s, which was faster than all other TT cars except one (and his fastest time of the weekend). We only got 4 timed laps that session, due to session scheduling catch-up (the NASA folks did a great job of keeping the event on schedule), and the best I could get in traffic was a 1:58.907 (11th fastest). Since I was an instructor I was able to take Amy out and let her see the track while I ran that session, which let her see the track before she drove it.



Amy took the Mustang out in HPDE3 all day, but their small run group (about 8 cars) was combined with HPDE 1 & 2, just for the first HPDE session. This was a mess, as a very slow going HPDE1 student held up the entire field for the whole session, with 17 cars trailing in a train at parade lap speeds. This was because they forgot how to give a point by - and so did his instructor (we brought this up at the instructor meeting shortly afterward). We even came into the pits, waited, went back out, and still caught the train in 2 corners. Wasted session, but by session 2 they had HPDE3 all on its own, and Amy had clean laps the rest of the day.


Video of me driving in Session 2 - click to view


After the first session, T&S had times for everyone in TT so they were able to grid us up in order of lap times (fastest first, slowest last), which made it easier to get cleaner track time - well, as much as you can get with 27 cars in the session. It helped a little, and I managed to knock off over 7 seconds to a 1:51.199 in session 2, and managed a 1:50.503 in session 3. I was still 6 seconds behind the TTB leader Ken O, which is an eternity. Without real tires I suspect the car always will be. There were several other 2011 GTs out there, but all of them were in TTA running on Hoosiers or Continental Challenge slicks, and one of them was pretty damn quick at a 1:44.502 (TTA #50, shown below)



I was gaining less time per session, but I was still learning the track and getting the tires and shocks dialed in. The Radical that was holding me up a bit in the session 2 video found some serious speed in session 3 so he was ahead of me on the grid for session 4 (and considerably faster on track). Since he wasn't getting quicker times, Ken O switched to his Dunlop Star Specs for this session, so I gridded up behind him. I got some clear track time but Ken slowly pulled away from me this session. His best time on his street tires was 1:48.314, and I managed to meet my goal of "running in the 1:49s" by ticking off a 1:49.999 on lap 7, my last hot lap of the day. So Ken was still a solid 1.7 sec quicker in the M3 on similar tires in the same session, but at least it was no longer 6 seconds, which didn't completely crush my ego. For Ken on that day, his 275/35/18 Hoosier R6s were worth 4.3 seconds per lap. That's a huge chunk of time for one mod, but that's why its +11 points for his TT classing.



continued below
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:56 PM   #17
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continued from above

TTB was around 8 cars, and I was still 2nd quickest in class for the first 3 sessions, but that black Exige might have slipped past my best time in session 4 Saturday? Its hard to tell where I ended up, because the online event results that NASA uses (MyLaps) do not show class, car, or anything other than the driver's name, number, and lap time. These are without a doubt the worst online event results I've ever seen for any competitive event I've entered in the past 23 years. I mention this because at the event you could go up to T&S and beg for a copy of the printed results after each session, and these results showed the class and (sometimes) the car listed. For some reason this data just doesn't make it to into the MyLaps listings. Seriously - look at these EOD results for TT for Saturday and tell me who won what class: http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=1778791. You need a secret decoder ring (a printout from the event) to figure out who is in what class, and what car they were in. Event results should stand on their own, always. Other than this complaint, in my eyes the NASA folks did an excellent job, and kept the event on schedule, even with lots of racers pulling some on track shenanigans.

Amy improved throughout the day Saturday during her four HPDE sessions, and I pushed her in the 2 sessions I rode through with her and instructed. She got down into the 1:55 range with my hand timed laps, as MyLaps only captured her times on Sunday when she ran TT (HPDE isn't supposed to be timed). She was nailing every heel-toe downshift like a pro, and only lacked a bit of confidence to get into the gas sooner. I was using the Costas method of yelling "Gas! Gas! Gas!" at every corner exit, and pretty soon she had it down. Still, staying in the throttle all the way to at the end of the long straights (into Turns T13, T6 and T2) were the only things holding her lap times back. As she gets more comfortable in TT I'm sure she'll be right on my times, like she is in autocross.



Saturday night the NASA folks had a great party at the track, with a nice meal and cold beer, and the 2010 Texas Region Class Winners were announced. We got some good rest that night and made it back out Sunday morning, to the beginnings of a rainy day. For Sunday's first TT Session, Amy ran the car in TT (her first official TT session) and I rode along. It was starting to spit rain, and times in TT were markedly slower. Ken O was quickest, running a 2:12.574 on the Hoosiers, and Amy was 10th quickest at a 2:24.551. After that session it really started to rain and the track started to get slicker than snot.

I ran session 2 of TT in a downpour and only got a 2:27.572, which was 3rd quickest in the session. I did have a slight issue at the exit of turn 17, after making a pass coming in to this turn. I got a last second point-by from a slower car (otherwise I would have waited to pass) and braked deep into T17 over a patch of standing water, where I managed to put the car into a slide that... ahh.... turned into a gentle 360. I stayed on track and never lost momentum (slid it in 1st gear when the car was backwards, and slipped out the clutch and back into throttle when the car was pointed back straight - the car never stopped moving forward on track), but this is technically called a spin, and a spin or an off gives any TT driver a DQ for that session. At least I gave the crowd something fun to watch in this session, heh.



Since we aren't planning on staying in TTB in this car too long (and therefore don't need to try to bank points for a shot at an annual NASA regional class win - not that anyone is going to beat Ken O again this year), and we both felt like we wrung out the times we were going to get back on Saturday, we loaded up the car for the trip home later that day. Soaked to the bone, and dead tired. This means I got no official session time for Sunday, of well. The rain didn't let up for hours, but I stuck around to help with instructing and we watched the Spec Miata/Spec 944 race and then the CMC/AI race, both of which were entertaining in the rain!



In Sunday's HPDE session 3 I was assigned a new student, an HPDE2 entrant, who wanted some tips for running in the wet. He was trying to move up though HPDE ranks so he could hopefully get his Comp license later this year (he's building a Spec 944 race car), and we worked on some rain driving techniques. He was an autocrosser and had some track experience in Germany at the 'Ring. He picked up on my rain driving tips quickly, and I signed him off to HPDE3 with permission of the Chief Instructor.

After session 3 the sky looked as bad as ever, and the crowd was thinning out considerably, so we headed back to Dallas and made it back in 4h 45m, driving through some rain and a hail storm (?!) at one point. Apparently it dried up at the track considerably for the 4th session, and the TT guys all went much quicker, which changed up the results considerably for Sunday. Again, if you can make any sense of these results, you're a better man than me: http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=1778792



So that was our first "real" competition track event in the Mustang. We had a blast and really enjoyed the event, even with the rain on Sunday and the utter trouncing we took in TTB at the hands of Ken O (he's a Vorshlag/AST tester, so its all good. Congrats on setting the TTB track record!). Hope this post wasn't too wordy and boring. Since its getting a bit long, I'll post some specific observations about the car in another post to follow.

Thanks,
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #18
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Update for Feb 4, 2011: After looking at my notes and in-car videos, I've compiled a list of ten observations about the 2011 Mustang GT and its on-track behavior. I've heard rumors of overheating, oil usage, and questions about the stock brakes. After our 2 drivers beat the crap out of our 2011 all weekend, one day in the dry and another in the wet, I figured I'd comment on the cooling, oil usage, fuel consumption, and track worthiness of the stock Brembo brakes (some of this might look familiar to one forum, but I've expanded this considerably since I posted that).



1. The water temp never got over "the middle of the gauge" warm. Sure, its a stock gauge, and I'll replace it soon with a trio of real oil/water/pres gauges, but so far I'm pleased with the results of the OEM cooling system (I may be singing a different tune around June here in Texas). It got a little warm outside on Saturday and Amy and I were running it in back-to-back sessions, for 8 total sessions on Saturday.

2. Oil consumption was minimal. We checked it after every other session and I added 1/4 qt of oil each day. That's minimal, and nothing like the 1 qt a day usage most of my LSx powered cars use on a typical track day. Not bad.

3. Fuel consumption on track was 6.8 mpg all weekend. On the street it has been averaging 19 in town, about 23 on the highway. Not bad, especially considering how I've been driving it (like it was stolen). On track consumption was not stellar, but it only drinks 93 octane, so it was cheap to fuel up at the track compared to the guys paying $8.75/gallon for Sunoco 98 or 110 octane. We accidentally let it get down to under 1/8th of a tank on track and it never fuel starved, not once. That's a relief.

4. The brakes were very impressive and confidence inspiring, and the ABS worked like a champ in both the wet and dry. They are bone stock other than the stainless braided lines we built for it. One of the other 2011 Mustang GT TTA guys had beautiful 2-piece ($800/pair) rotors up front, mostly for weight. He also had the CS lower valance on with ducting to the front rotors (see pics, below). Not a bad idea. Still, I think the stock rotors, pads and calipers worked fantastically at this track, at least for the current grip and power levels of the car. People that have driven with me say I am a pretty abusive to brakes (lots of left foot braking, trail braking, and late braking on track) yet I was pretty happy with the stock brakes all weekend. You'd think with 2 drivers running the car double duty we would have cooked the things, but the pads took a beating and kept diving deep into each corner. I complained once on video of a bit of smell from the brakes, but that was it. I don't know what pads these Brembo cars come with, but I like them. Minimal dusting, too.



5. Overall handling and balance was good with the AST 4100s and Hyperco rates we chose, but I had some trouble with rear traction. Many of the higher speed corner exits were tricky in 3rd or even 4th gear in the dry (and this is with the tallest available 3.31 final drive ratio), and we were running wider and stickier than stock 265mm Yokohama AD08s. I guess that's to be expected with a factory 380 whp. We've more than tripled front spring rate but rear rates went up only 63%: Hyperco 450#/in front, 200 #/in rear. The stock spring rates on the 2011 GT are 122 #/in front, and 154 #/in rear. The added front rate really cut down on brake dive and is helping control roll and heave from the over 1000# per front wheel. The relatively soft rear rate was chosen (with the help of AST-USA) to help rear traction. We have some more spring rates to test with (350# front, 250# rears), but I don't know if I want to lower the front rates much, and increasing the rear may make it have less corner exit traction.

Both track events we've run in the GT so far were noticeably bumpy: Harris Hill Road had several bumpy corners and straights and was wet, and MSR-H had lots of bumps going into turn 13 ("The Launch"), where braking would have been compromised without quality monotube dampers, especially in the wet. Once I figured out where to brake into T13, I was able to run down a lot of cars by staying in the throttle longer and braking later, whereas I noticed some other cars were skipping and hopping over the same patch of track. The shock valving we're testing with felt great and took only minor knob adjustment to get the car sorted.

This set-up still has a bit of understeer mid-corner, so we'll play with the set-up a bit more, but we haven't even added aftermarket swaybars yet, which should help us make quicker adjustments at the track.

continued below
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #19
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continued from above

I was wishing I had a rear wing installed, and in the wet the tendency to lose rear traction was comical (we were using 5th on the straights a lot to avoid wheelspin). We've got a couple of OEM wings here already to test with (don't expect them to do much), and a big CF race wing on the way. The car could benefit from real race tires, like Hoosiers R6s, of course. Watching video we were losing the most ground to the faster TTA and TTU cars in the big corners, like the Carousel (T2).



6. Tire wear was excellent - wearing the tread evenly from inside to out. This was with -3 camber up front, using our Vorshlag camber/caster plates. The roll control from the increased spring rate also helped in this area. Tire wear shows we're definitely in the right ball park.

7. Also, the rear axle fluid was spewing from the vent on top of the right rear axle tube and spraying everywhere... the underside rear of the car is douched with lube, and some even made it out to the right rear wheel, and made a mess of that. Need to find a solution for that. From the many comments on corner-carvers it looks like a remote catch can and hose is pretty much a requirement on Ford 8.8" solid axle cars that are tracked.

8. The stock exhaust is incredibly quiet for a car that makes over 400 hp. I was on the pit straight garage balcony watching one of Amy's sessions and all you could hear when she flew past was the car cutting through the air... wooooooooooooosh! There was zero intake noise when coming at you, and no exhaust sound when going past - this was at around 100 mph. Freaky quiet! You can actually hear more on the inside via the intake sound tube ported to the interior. The exhaust engineers at Ford earned their money on this car, but I'm certain there's more power to be found in the exhaust. I have the full length headers and high flow cats picked out, but the after-cat exhaust is still a stumper. Do I do the traditional dual 3" exhaust with the two 409SS FM Series 44 mufflers already acquired, or go for a lighter single 3" rear exhaust, like the one Buschur came up with? They are claiming a 65-75 pound reduction with their single exhaust.

9. I'm now even more impressed with the Getrag MT-82 transmission and stock shifter Ford came up with after running at at MSR-H, which took 9-10 up+downshifts per lap. The transmission never gave me grief with all of the gear rowing we did, never balking at the gate, and shift throws were short, quick and smooth. I am not looking to add an aftermarket shifter or knob to this car, for once. The transmission ratios are closely matched up, so we used 3rd, 4th and 5th gears a good bit on track, maximizing acceleration from the tractable Coyote engine. We could have used 2nd briefly in one spot (T5-T4-T3, "The Diamond's Edge"), but the added torque was too much for the rear tires when I tried to use that gear there. I wasn't trying to abuse the engine so I upshifted on most laps at only 6000 rpm, pushing the revs up to 6500 for shifts on laps where I had clear track. In the wet on Sunday, shift points were lowered to 5000-5500 rpm, otherwise the rear tires would just spin more.


Left: Stock 2011 GT "400A" seats are flat as can be. Right: Boss 302 Leguna Seca has Recaros, which look a tiny bit better

10. The stock seats are worth jack squat for driver control at the track, even with the street tire grip levels we're at now. Sure, they look pretty and are comfy for street and highway driving, but after a day at a dry track we're done with them. Amy and I are bruised and sore from slamming against the center console and door panels, and hanging onto the steering wheel. With the softer Eibach spring rates (nearly stock) on track (as we ran it at Harris Hill) it was even worse, even with only wet levels of grip. So much more brake dive and roll with the softer spring rates. Maybe the Recaros in the 2012 Boss 302 Leguna Seca will be a bit better, but it puzzles me why Ford went with a tilt-back Recaro in the Boss 302LS - as it doesn't even have a back seat? Must have been rollover concerns, without a roll bar or cage. Nothing beats a fixed back race seat on track. We've got a pair of Cobra race seats from my E46 that will find a new home in the Mustang very soon, which should help the driver experience immensely. The loss of ~100 pounds from the OEM power seats won't be a surprise here, either. We'll put in a suitable harness and harness bar at the same time. Its hard to "feel the car" when you're flying around inside like a rag doll.

Well that's all ten. Just wanted to throw that list of observations on here as a separate post to the already cluttered event recap, posted previously. I will say this: definitely get the Brembo package on any 2011 or 2012 GT if you are going to ever track it. Ford did the brakes right. And plan on getting real monotube dampers (ASTs), more spring rate, and a lot more camber (Vorshlag plates) if you want your tires to last and the car to stay flatter in the corners - even with street tire levels of grip. This is story from this weekend worth repeating: we had an HPDE4 driver move up and join us in TT on Saturday. He had a quick E46 M3 with a nice set of Pilot Sport Cup tires, but his otherwise stock suspension (massive body roll) and a total lack of negative camber up front combined to shred his tires down to the cords - in a single day. Save yourself the hassle and cost of ruining a set of tires at the track by tackling the suspension first.

Cheers,
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #20
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Project Update for Feb 21, 2011: We've been busy working on several things on the Mustang, such as adding the CS front lower fascia, adding the rear trunk panel cover, doing our first drive-by sound test on the car, and taking it to the drag strip to get a base line 1/4 mile time. Let's start with the Mustang's base line sound test.


Click the above pics for the sound test video

The sound test was quite revealing. I've complained about how quiet the car is at the track, and this test proved it. We had a Vorshlag tester come by on Feb 12th to test his car for sound (Ken O's E46 M3 with new BW race exhaust, which knocked down a 101 dB test run), so we left the equipment set-up to test the Mustang. Amy drove and Paul M helped snap some pics. It only peaked at 82 dB! This was driving by at wide open throttle in 2nd gear with the sound meter only 25 feet from the car, "A" weighting, fast sampling. We'll "fix" this issue soon enough (full length headers + new exhaust).



The CS lower front fascia became an option on all 2011 Mustang GT's mere weeks after we ordered ours, so we scooped up one of these bolt-on inserts to replace our plain jane lower piece and AJ here at Vorshlag installed it last week.



The entire front bumper cover has to come off to install this, but its not difficult, just time consuming. Looks great and now we have two nice 3" OD cooling vents we can tie into hoses to blow cooling air at the rotors with, too.



The rear of the 2010-up Mustang has always seemed a bit boring to me, and it bugged me having a GIANT fake gas cap (FGC) out back. I saw this panel from CDC and it was only around $100. Looked good in their video and it removes the FGC. Showed it to Amy and she hated it. So I bought it anyway. She can't always get her way, you know?! AJ & Matt got the old bits off and AJ & I installed the panel. Getting the FGC off took the most work, as its held in place with some seriously strong adhesive. The new panel went on in 30 seconds, with its pre-installed 3M adhesive.

We have a pictorial installation gallery for both of these items located here. The CS fascia is an obvious hit with everyone who has seen it and given feedback so far, but the opinion on the CDC rear panel is about 50/50. I think it will look even better back there with a rear wing installed.

This post is already too long, so let me cover the drag racing event in the next update.

Thanks,
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #21
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Project Update for Feb 22, 2011: Drag racing action! Here's the pictures, videos and time slips from our trip to the drag strip last weekend.

Amy had wanted to go to the track for months, not only to see what the Mustang could do in stock trim down the 1/4 mile, but also to practice reaction times and 60 foot times for the upcoming ProSolo we are entering next month, right in our own back yard (this SCCA event is mirror image, dual course autocross, with a drag race start using a real ".500 tree"). At the Pro here she's working registration, I'm the Impound Chief, and Vorshlag is sponsoring the Saturday night dinner, so we can't really miss this event! We're both running the Mustang there, where she'll be in the Ladies class (L1 or L2?) and Costas and I are running it in STX. Since we will be running the Yokohamas at the ProSolo, we mounted them up the morning of the drag race and just drove out there on them. Its still just a street tire, so we do occasionally drive on the street with them.



We met for breakfast with McCall and Duck, then headed out to Kaufmann, TX to Dallas Raceway at around 10:45 am. First time some of us had been to this new facility and it was surprisingly nice, as McCall had told us. 100% concrete 1/4 mile drag strip, very new facility, and an all-concrete parking/paddock area! This got the autocrosser in all of us wishing they'd rent the facility to the SCCA and other solo groups... but at $5K per day to rent the parking lot, none of the auto-x groups can afford it. Oh well, at least we have brand new and beautiful drag strip about an hour away. We paid our entry ($15 to watch, $25 to race) and unloaded our helmets, cameras and junk.



Deane was already there in his modded C5 Z06, and he even had some Nitto Drag Radials mounted, so we knew which car would be the quickest in our little group of autocrossers. He was car #1, so he got there right as they opened the gates, and already had some timeslips. We were there at 11:30 am and the place was still pretty much dead. After a quick trip to the restrooms we returned to see the Mustang surrounded by locals, all of whom had Mustangs themselves, and all of them wanting to run the flashy red Mustang with all of the decals. They told us about the other 2011 GTs that had been out to the drag strip already, and those had only ran high 13s or even 14 second ET's. Yikes...



We got McCall's TrailBlazer SS and our Mustang into the staging lane to be teched. That was the easiest tech ever - never even opened the hood. Didn't want to see our helmets and told us not to bother wearing them "unless we see you run real fast and then we'll tell you to". OK, works for me. He was quickly running on track against anything that would line up against him. The video above shows him against a supercharged CTS-V (LSA V8 motor, not "LM7" as I added in the title) that ran high 11's.




Amy, wearing a RedBull/Vettel/F1 shirt and confusing the locals, made several runs and got into the 13.6 range, many of them at 106-108 mph trap speeds. The trap speeds alone indicated that a 12 second ET was in the car, but she was focusing on the Reaction Times more than anything and not really launching the car perfectly. The 2.2 to 2.3 second sixties were a bit off the pace of what I'm used to getting on street tires at a drag strip, so we need to work on this in a test session at a later date where we can ride together. Like many skills needed when racing, you cannot teach yourself the skills - it always helps to be shown them first hand, and coached when you try it. Having done 1000+ drag strip runs on street tires I kind of had an advantage.

McCall continued to rip off a string of [email protected] runs in the TrailBlazer, which he would continue to do all day with extreme consistency. He had just taken this vehicle to GSS Speedshop to have Louis put a tune on the LS2, which came with Stainless Works full length headers, SW true dual exhaust, and a cold air. It made 367 whp and Louis fixed some lean-out and knocking issues in McCall's new-to-him SUV.




After Amy took a gaggle of runs we let it cool down with the hood up (10-15 mph head wind made quick work of that, but likely held back our ultimate times and trap speeds). I hopped in an took 3 quick runs, back to back, with a 13.6 against Deane's Z06 and his [email protected] (3rd gear balked a little on me), then another pass where I missed 3rd completely and backed out, then a final "by run" where I clicked off a [email protected] mph. That run had a 2.0 sec 60 foot time and perfect shifts. I was pretty happy with that time, especially considering that we were still driving into a steady head wind, and turned the car back over to Amy.

Deane, Amy and McCall continued to take runs back to back for the next hour and a half, since there was almost no waiting in the staging lanes. Amy and Deane lined up several times, but the Z06 always prevailed. Paul M arrived and then got in line to start getting his runs in. He was having trouble launching and kept hitting the rev limiter, but he got in some solid 13.6 runs @ 104 mph, but seemed to hit a wall and ent no faster. He was frustrated and really wanted to go quicker so I told him I knew what was holding him back - and held out my hand for the keys, mostly in jest. He threw them to me and I hopped in, took two quick runs, knocking down a [email protected] with a 2.0 sec 60' time. I told him the RPMs I was launching at and he got in and knocked off a [email protected], still bogging the motor a bit launching. After we left the track that day he realized that he never turned off the traction control, which is probably why my times in his car were quicker. He's ready to go back and redeem himself, soon.



At the end of the day Paul (who had been talking smack all week with McCall) finally lined his bone stock '11 Mustang GT up against the TrailBlazer SS, and it was a definitive win... for the 4500 pound SUV! We even have an after race interview, complete with excuses.


Crazy trucks at the drag strip. What can I say, this is Texas after all.

By then it was 2 pm and the staging lane was 20 deep, and more racers were (waking up and) pouring into the track every minute. We all had what we felt were our best times already run, so we packed up and headed out to lunch. I was very happy with 12.9's on our Mustang, especially considering the coilovers with stiff springs, lowered ride height, and -3 of front camber - none of which make a car faster at a drag strip.

Good times - we have to get more autocrossers together and do this again later this year!
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:17 PM   #22
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Project update for March 28, 2011: Prepare for a huge update! This should have been posted in at least 4 or 5 separate thread updates, as I've raced in 8 separate events over the last 4 weekends since my last thread update; 7 times in the Mustang and 3 times in the E30 V8. Each event had hundreds of pictures and videos that had to be cropped/uploaded - the pictures are up for now. March was an extremely busy month for the business as well as for the prep of our cars, too, so I'll try to cram the updates all into one mega post for both projects, so I can get back to work (might have to break it apart if I exceed forum limits for a single post). I'll try not to get so far behind next month, which thankfully doesn't have 8 racing events crammed into 4 weekends, like March did.

March 6 - BMWCCA Autocross (E30)

After re-writing this event coverage I realized I had already covered this event in this post - damn my memory. Anyway, it was good to get the E30 running again after a winter of hibernation and neglect. The month of March began with frantic prep to our E30 V8, with another Camaro V6 T5 being offered up to the Gods of Torque, as well as loads of other prep to get it ready for its first autocross in 6 months as well as its first ever on-track excursion and a NASA Time Trial event.



After this autocross on March 6th we spent the next week on prep work on the E30 and the Mustang, prepping the 5.0 for its first autocross event as well as a NASA TT event for both cars. After seeing how badly the car handled in a parking lot we quickly scaled up the track prep on the E30, and the prep on the Mustang was scaled back considerably. We went to the NASA event and SCCA autocross with minimal updates to the Mustang - the same 265mm AD08 street tires, same spring rates, same shock valving, and same brake pads. This set-up was still under-prepped for both TTB and STX classes.

The E30 got a real alignment (first ever) and we noted a lot of wacky numbers, most of which are not adjustable (rear toe or camber) yet. Still, we know where it is now, so we can cut/weld/hack up the rear control arm mounts to get it in the ballpark we want. And... of course we fixed the front toe. We also swapped in stiffer springs all around - 800# in front and 950# in rear (up from 500#/630#). Since we now have sticky 285mm A6 Hoosiers, a wimpy OEM front bar (12mm?) and no rear bar, we needed much more spring rate to keep bodyroll in check. Ride height was lowered substantially as well. The external water temp gauge was also finally wired-up, which was a relief.

March 11 - MSR Test Session (E30)

First track outing in the E30, so I was a bundle of nerves. It was SO bad at the autocross the weekend before but we had made a LOT of updates in the days proceeding. On Friday afternoon I went out to MSR-Cresson with the E30 in tow, joining Hanchey (AST-USA), who took his ex-World Challenge Subaru out there for the first time since he bought it and his crew went through the car stem to stern. Since we both had untested set-ups we watched each other's cars from the hot pit area on the initial outing in each. He went out for a few laps while I watched, came in for some checks, then I did the same, and once we were certain both cars had no errant fluids or loose bits, we took them both out for some chase/follow laps.

Hanchey led and I filed in close behind (with video - I'll edit/upload it "soon"), but after a couple of laps I got a point by - which I hadn't expected - and then motored away. Considering the E30 had 60mm more tire per corner, 100+ more horsepower, and 600 pounds less weight, it shouldn't have been a surprise... but this was still a $2000 hoopty (with some better wheels and shocks thrown on) in my eyes, so I was ecstatic. The brakes still sucked, but were at least better (and consistent) than before with new PFC-01 track pads front and rear. We had an hour (from 5 to 6 pm) that we could run laps in, and we used nearly every minute on track. The E30 proved to be quicker than I had hoped, for as cautious as I was driving its first time out - with no tachometer. Or fuel level gauge. Or cooling fan. Pretty much all of the OEM gauges/switches were dead. Hmm...



After the hour of track time expired I was smiling from ear to ear and had logged a good amount of miles on track in the car without any drama. Sure, the gauges didn't work (other than the external water temp gauge that we finally hooked up) so I had to guess at the RPMs, but it didn't seem to matter - it was fast. Hanging out in the well equipped AST-USA trailer was nice. DL-1 data from Hanchey's car showed 1:24 laps on the 1.7 mi CCW course, and the E30 was a bit quicker than that. After applying a gaggle of decals and waiting in the long tech line I managed to get a NASA logbook for the little Bimmer that night (with an admonishment to "please get a seat back brace" for the aluminum seat, which we've since ordered). Leaving tech it was pitch black out, so I turned on the headlights - AHA! - the stock gauges worked again. I had a functional tach & fuel level once more, so long as the lights were on. Something tells me the wiring for the recently connected external gauge hook-ups might need a second look? I loaded the E30 back into the trailer, unhooked the truck, and headed for Costas' house.

March 12 - NASA Time Trial (Mustang and E30)

We crashed there that night and Amy, Costas and I went back to the track Saturday morning for the first race day of the NASA weekend. Even after thrashing all week on his own GT-1 car, Costas ran out of time and ended up driving another racer's GT-1 Camaro in "SU", Super Unlimited. The car owner, Mike Countryman, ran it in "TTR". Amy ran the Mustang in TTB again, and I entered the E30 V8 in TTU. The event weekend was to be run on the traditional 1.7 mile MSR loop in CCW direction, but the Time Trial group was so numerous that they couldn't fit all of us on the track at once. Somehow the NASA Texas folks managed to get the TT group onto the 3.1 mile course, which was really cool since I had never run this configuration (but had run the 1.7 and 1.3 mile courses, which combine to make the 3.1).

Since NASA had never run the 3.1 there, that meant not many NASA racers had run this layout. So the first session on Saturday was simply to be a "practice", and lap times would count for nothing more than grid position in session 2. So I took it easy in the session, looking for the bumps (mentioned at the driver's meeting) where the two courses joined. Sure enough, it was pretty bumpy at both junctures. These bumps combined with copious grip form the 285mm Hoosier A6 tires and ample torque from our 5.3L V8 combined to do a number on yet another transmission. On almost the last lap of the first TT session I was building up speed and applying a lot of throttle on the semi-straight where the 1.7 joined the 1.3, heavily in 3rd gear...

The bump sent the car skittering every lap, and this time I unfortunately still had my foot in the throttle when it landed... BOOM! 3rd gear exploded from the on-off shock loading and hot, grippy Hoosiers. I didn't know what had happened, it sounded like the driveshaft or a U-joint had exploded (or so I hoped!). I pulled off line immediately and off track at the next corner station, at the bottom of the 1.3 mile course, and hopped out for a look. The grass blocked my view of the driveshaft but I noticed no fluid trail or errant parts on track. I was about to try to start it up again when the tow vehicle arrived, so I went back on the hook. As I piled out I noticed my transponder wasn't attached - damn! No lap times. My AMB transponder was charging inside my truck. I have no idea what times I ran, but I followed some TTA cars for several laps that were running somewhat quick times (2:28 times).





After returning to the pits I had to quickly jump into an HPDE1 student's car, so I didn't get a chance to look at the E30 for a while. Turns out it was only 3rd gear that let go, same as before, so it could have made it back to the pits in 4th. Oh well, it was done for the day. Meanwhile Amy was having fun in TTB in the Mustang, and ended up pulling down some times in the 2:40 range range. She ran 3 full TT sessions and tossed the keys to me at days' end, so I got to run in the 4th. Thanks, Amy!



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Old 08-16-2013, 01:18 PM   #23
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I had a blast in the Mustang, as did my DE student who rode along, and I managed a 2:39 lap. I quickly noticed that the brakes were less than stellar in the session, which she had stated several times that day. I guess the stock pads were finally done. My DE student's EVO X could out-brake the Mustang handily (with similar Brembo brakes and weight... but race pads), so I decided then and there to order up some race pads on Monday. Costas finished the day with 2 wins in SU after making some patient passes and careful laps in the borrowed GT-1 car. VTPP tester Paul Magyar ran his 2011 GT in TTB for the first time on some 275mm Dunlops and did well. Hanchey ran just two sessions in TTB (spending the afternoon tuning some autocross cars at LSP) and pulled down 2:32 times, very respectable for just a 225mm tire and Legacy GT power. Vorshlag/AST tester Ken O finished with a win and new lap record in TTB in his E46 M3, running a blistering 2:24.9, and on Sunday jumped up to TTA for another win and the TTA track record for the weekend. Nice work!



March 13 - Texas Region SCCA Autocross (Mustang)

The next day we had entered the Mustang in Texas Region SCCA's autocross #1 for the year, held out at Lone Star Park. Costas and I were to run it in STX and Amy in the PAX factored "W" class. The course was somewhat tight and the unsealed asphalt surface comes apart badly, making for low grip conditions, so we went out for our first autocross in the Mustang with little more than cautious optimism.



Costas and I noticed that the Mustang wouldn't stop from higher speeds in 2nd gear well at all, and we couldn't get it to rotate without coming in hard on the brakes. So we fought the car all day, cursing the worn-out stock brake pads and pushy front end. We finished 2nd and 3rd in STX, probably better than we deserved for such a completely unsorted car. In 5 runs Costas ran a best of 52.395 and I ran a 52.357, less than .040 sec apart, .5 sec behind Ledbetter in his well prepped STX 328is - Hanchey had spent the previous afternoon tweaking this car at this same site as well as Mark Berry's FP Evo. We PAXed 22nd and 23rd out of 109, which was not good. Brad Maxcy drove Ladbetter's car in STU class, running a 51.224 run earlier in the day on a slightly-less-gravel-covered course, showing us how far back we really were. Amy was almost a second back from us in W, placing 2nd as well.

We knew the car needed some serious test time, more grip, some major braking improvements, and a race seat + harness installed, as the stock seat was not keeping us in place. But we had no time for autocross testing, as the next 2 weekends had a National Tour and a ProSolo in store. Not typically the events what you enter a completely untested car in, but they were in our back yard so we had to go to help get the entry numbers up.

Since the E30 was down for a while (we're now looking for yet another T5) we spent the next week in a mad scramble of parts buying and prep on the Mustang. We ordered Hawk DTC-60 race pads for front and rear, 2nd day aired via FedEx to get them in time for my Wednesday night departure for Houston. We also ordered some Toyo R1R tires to arrive at a friend's shop in Houston on Friday, after seeing some back-to-back testing between Hankooks and Toyos at Sunday's autocross on Su and Stan's STR Miata.



I also borrowed a race seat from Paul M to take a look at the bracket he bought for his Mustang and EVO3 seat + Sparco slider, and I made one similar for our car + slider + Kevlar Suzuka seat. The seat bracket took me about 6 hours to make, using 3/16" thick x 1.5" wide steel plate. AJ and I put the lap belt part of a 6-point harness in, a stock seat belt buckle, the seat bracket + Sparco slider + Cobra Suzuka seat installed by 4 pm Wednesday. The slider allowed for 18+ inches of fore-aft travel, but without my co-drivers present that day (Costas and Amy) I had to guess where to put it (ended up being too far rearward). And yes, I know - going on track with a fixed back seat and no 28 point roll cage is a bad idea... instant death... spontaneous combustion... yes, I know. Save your typing.

The front DTC-60s arrived but the rears missed their delivery (you suck, FedEx!) and we went to the track with the new track pads on the front only. Oh well, hoped it would be better. Cleaned it up and loaded into the trailer.

March 17 - TX2K11 (Mustang)

Amy and I left north Dallas at around 8 pm Wednesday night and made it to downtown Houston before midnight. Some serious traffic there on I-45 considering the hour, and we had no less than 6 vehicles pass us at 100+ mph near downtown, with two different trucks at different times drifting across 3 lanes and nearly taking the front of my truck off. Somehow we survived that parade of death race entrants and got to the middle of nowhere, 30 miles south of Houston, at 12:30. We arrived at nearby Grandsport Speedway Thursday morning at 7:30 AM and prepared to run the TX2K11 Time Attack event. This event was part of a 4 day festival of speed that started 10+ years ago mostly as a big Supra meet, and has grown to include a number of other imports, Vipers, Corvettes, Lotus Elises and other cars. People come from all over the country, even other countries, to enter TX2K events. Thursday was their track event (HPDE + Time Attack), Friday was the dyno day, and Sat-Sunday were the drag race portions of the event. We only entered the Time Attack, as we had the SCCA National Tour event to enter on Sat-Sunday, and a test-n-tune to run on Friday.



This TX2K event was on our calendar months in advance and I had planned to run the E30 and Amy the Mustang, with Costas running his GT-1 Camaro as well. Since the E30 was down, I switched entries to the Mustang and Amy and I both ran it in alternating sessions, and all 3 of us instructed as well. It was a very busy day! The track was 1.3 miles of twists and turns on super smooth asphalt, with gentle curbing and good places to pass on the front and back straights.
The new DTC-60 brake pads up front REALLY helped - I could brake later/deeper than almost anything in my session (only one GT-R and the GT2 Porsche could stop with the Mustang). I fared well early on, and I took the 3rd fastest times in the morning A1 session, but ending up with only a slightly quicker 1:06.3 best lap time after my three 30 minute on-track sessions, which was 9th fastest at the end of the day (using a rented Westhold transponder). Amy also ran 3 sessions in the same car and knocked down a 1:07.3 lap time, 10th fastest overall (we had the same transponder so she isn't listed separately, but we tracked her laps after her session). Not too bad considering the 100% stock power and somewhat narrow street tires - against a gaggle of 500-900hp GT-Rs and Supras, Vipers, Corvettes, an Aerial Atom, and a 911 GT2. Costas drove in only 2 sessions and nabbed FTD and the win with a 58.9 second lap. The GT-1 car was brutally fast and was a handful to drive on the smallish road course - he only used 2nd and 3rd gears, and only part throttle.



With a serious array of high-powered and exotic hardware on hand for this event, the 40 or so entrant's skill levels were all over the place. There were some very good drivers there, even some SCCA + NASA racers, but plenty of lots of noobs that needed in-car guidance, and even some of the proverbial "That's how I drive - flat out!" folks. My student was totally new - a complete first timer on track - but went from spinning twice on his first lap to confident and quicker by day's end, as did Amy's two students and Costas' as well. They needed more instructors than they had on hand, really. Being new is fine, but being a squirrel driving over your head is frustrating and dangerous. I saw some on-track issues that would have had many drivers booted from most HPDE events. Anyway, nobody was killed, so I guess that's good. I'll get off my soap box and just keep this all in mind in mind before entering again.

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Old 08-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #24
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We eventually ended the day a session early due to "some exuberant driving by one individual" (it had to do with one of those "driving Flat Out" people), so they called the event to an end early at 3:30 PM and had a trophy presentation for Costas at our trailers - with 2 photographers, a videographer, and an on-camera interview. That was pretty cool. We then broke down Costas' massive covered paddock structure, loaded up both cars & trailers, and headed out by 5:30 pm... only to sit in Houston traffic for 3+ hours, just trying to make it 60 miles north to my friend's shop to retrieve the Toyos. After stopping for a quick bite hoping traffic would subside, we got there at 9:30 pm, but only 2 tires were delivered. Frantic calls to Matt here at Vorshlag and some investigations on his end showed that 4 tires had indeed delivered, but the genius FedEx driver dropped off 2 at some random address clear across Houston, and they were now closed. This is one more reason why Vorshlag NEVER SHIPS FEDEX.

So we ate a second dinner with our friend then blasted back across Houston with the trailer all the way to Baytown, arriving there around midnight, exhausted from a long day racing, standing in the sun, and Houston traffic.

March 18 - SCCA Test-N-Tune (Mustang)

Friday was the registration / set-up / test day for the National Tour weekend, which included a test session where you could buy laps for about $4 each. We had planned on doing DL-1 data logged runs on the Yokohama AD08s then running out and swapping the wheels to the Toyos, but the second 2 tires were still MIA by mid-day, as was our co-driver and his data logger. So we just made 5 runs each runs on the Yokohamas, testing tire pressures and shock settings, and getting a feel for the new brakes. It felt OK, and the brakes seemed to be a LOT better at this lower speed event. The practice lap times were close to the STX cars I could see, but who knows if they were making good runs on the times I saw? We had set up our vendor table, unpacked the car, and finished our laps by 3:30 pm, when we finally had word that FedEx had picked up and redelivered our missing two Toyo tires, so we dropped everything and raced 70 miles across town again to our friend's shop. We got there by 4:30, then drove to a Discount tire and paid an enormous amount of money to have 4 tires mounted and balanced (grumble... crooks!... grumble). Trying to stay ahead of Friday 5 pm traffic we somehow managed to get back all the way to Baytown by 6:30, and grabbed 5 gallons of 93 octane on the way. The car was on jack stands so we mounted the wheels with the fresh Toyos on them, put in the gasoline, and had the car ready to race by 6:45 pm. The past several hours of frantic driving at 85 mph in Houston traffic behind us.

The welcome party that Vorshlag had sponsored was going until 7 pm, and people were walking the course for tomorrow's event... we showed up in time but they had run out of food literally 5 minutes before we found the caterer. While we were looking all over the paddock for the food, the Saturday autocross course was also quickly taken down. Wait, what??? Well we found out that it was because there was a drag race event that night here at the HRP facility, like every Friday night, and they needed the parking lot for the racers starting to show up. Oh well, at least the concession stands were open and had hot burgers for sale. For cash only - and I had a whopping $2 on me. Amy had pocket change. WTF?! I had like $200 the day before, but somehow burned it all on transponder rentals and track food at Grandsport, and bags of ice and snacks along the way. Our luck was failing miserably today.

So we walked to the SCCA trailer and checked in for the National Tour event, drove the Mustang into town to scrub the new R1R tires in, and got some cash - and dinner. Went back out to HRP, found some friends and saw that several autocrossers were entering the Friday night drag racing...

Friday evening - Houston Raceway Park drag racing (Mustang)

For only another $20 cash we could run down the fastest dragstrip in the USA from now until midnight. Hell yes! I've run down this dragstrip hundreds of times in the past, and always seem to get my best times here (good surface + sea level track = fast). We still needed to scrub in these new 265/35/18 Toyo R1R tires anyway - with burnouts and launches! So I made two quick passes right off the highway drive in from town and cracked off two 12.96 second runs at 109+ mph, and on that 2nd pass I accidentally stayed on the rev limiter in 3rd gear for at least 2-3 tenths of a second. Oh damn, if I could clean up my shifts that would mean that a mid 12 second ET was in store?? I was also checking the on-board data logger I had just picked up - a new G-Tech Pro RR - against the track's clocks. It was spot-on at 60', 1/4 mile ETs and trap speeds. It has g meters and a GPS sensor, graphic LCD display, SD memory, windshield mount, with a built in lap timer, segment timer, and predictive lap timer. Neat little $300 gizmo I'll talk about more in future posts.



Amy wanted to make some passes so she got in and made some 13.5 second runs while me and a dozen of the SCCA entrants for the weekend taunted our fellow autocrossers trying to make 1/4 mile passes. Amy handed the keys back to me and I made 2 more runs, and I left the hood up between them as the staging lane started to get backed up - the locals don't really show up until after 9-10 pm. I cracked off a 13.1 second run and on my last run I was paired up with a 4th gen LS1 Firebird with some work done. I had pushed it to the line hood up for 15 minutes, letting the engine cool all the while. This helped and I got to the line with a nice cool motor. We lined up and the Firebird tree'd me, and in my haste to catch up I spun a little in 1st gear (2.1 sixty), but managed to nail my shifts and ran him down and passed him, and the clocks showed a 110.2 mph trap speed - the best ever in the car. Pretty good for 100% bone stock drivetrain! Gotta take the little victories where I can.

March 19-20 - SCCA Houston National Tour (Mustang)

Saturday and Sunday was the National Tour event, and Amy ran in STXL while Costas and I ran in STX. We started the day with overcast skies and cooler temps, which the Toyos supposedly favor. STX had 7 entrants and I started "off the pace", and in my 3 runs never really strung a good one together. Times were erratic and I ev3en DNF'd; I was driving very poorly. The event was all erratically paced slaloms (and "wall-oms") with one big turn around at the end of the lot, none of which were the strong suit for this car. The brakes at least worked better, but we struggled in the slaloms and the car pushed heavily in the turn-around, costing us time. Acceleration was just an exercise in wheelspin. Strangely we all got a 4th run, which was timed but not scored (a "fun run"), and it was then that I pulled my head out and put a good run together (proper slalom timing), running a solid 1.2 seconds faster and finally closer to the faster cars in STX class. Costas had similar trouble on his first 3, and also a fast 4th. Amy ran later in the day, after the sun was out, and ran times a tick quicker than both of to us, and also much faster in her 4th (unscored) run. The tires felt grippier than the AD08s, but with no data collected on the AD08s Friday we couldn't tell by how much.



Sunday was more of the same (almost identical course, with 2 small changes), but at least we drove better. All 3 of my runs were within a tenth of a second and they all felt a lot smoother - I didn't get so behind on the many slaloms. Costas had prior event he had to help run and couldn't race on Day 2. Amy was about 1 second off my times this day. She was running lower tire pressures than I recommended and it didn't help at all - I was working on course and couldn't help her when she ran, either.



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Old 08-16-2013, 01:20 PM   #25
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We learned several things at this event: Don't ship FedEx. Houston traffic sucks no matter the time of day. The Mustang isn't putting power down well. Or turning all that well. Slaloms are a mess. I put the seat to far back for my co-drivers. This car needs much more development. Oh well, this event offered up 28 more autocross runs between us - more testing never hurts with a new car, even if its losing badly at an SCCA National Tour.

So we bombed 300 miles back to Dallas and somehow logged 1000 miles for the weekend - meaning we drove just inside the Houston city limits for a solid 400 miles. Did I mention I hate Houston traffic? Monday we unloaded and prepared for yet another short week and a 3 day weekend of racing, this time at the SCCA ProSolo in Mineral Wells, TX. Before this event we slapped on the rear DTC-60 brake pads that arrived and bled the system with Motul 600 fluid. We had been testing an all new, non-inverted single adjustable rear shocks were found over at AST-USA that we wanted to run, and they had been working great the past week. With some custom machined bushings out back they fit the S197 very well - adding more bump travel. AST now wanted us to try some new super-digressive pistons in the rear shocks that sounded like what we needed to control the excessive brake dive/rear axle rise. We also re-mounted the seat forward 2 inches and it fit Amy and Costas much better - no pillows needed! Since Mineral Wells just chews up race tires and street tires like a meat grinder, I had the still new Toyo R1Rs removed from the 18x9" wheels and mounted the Yokohama AD08s again. Cleaned up everything, reorganized the trailer completely, and loaded up for a Friday morning tow out to the event site 2 hours across Dallas and Ft. Worth (somehow this is still a local event for us).




March 25-27 - Mineral Wells SCCA ProSolo (Mustang)

Amy and I got to MW around 10:30 Friday morning after picking up McCall, who was coming out to the site to help out the local SCCA region set-up for this National ProSolo event. We were soon joined by Costas and the 4 of us pitched in to work the gate, set-up the region trailer stuff, the Vorshlag vendor table, and try to lend a hand wherever needed. Amy and I had entered in the EVO school, which was just some classroom coaching on the event format (its been years since we ran a ProSolo), and then several test starts on the .500 drag race tree.



A ProSolo is a unique event combining a pair of mirror imaged autocross courses and a drag race start, with your best times from each side added together for a total time in class, and we had 6 runs on each side over 2 days to get it right. Reaction times count and you can red light or cut a slow reaction time, which can hurt your run times or DSQ the run (red light). Drag race starts with a nice straight at the beginning of each run. Lots of power... runs 12s stock. Should be a good fit for the Mustang, right?

Well, when the straights are a good 1000+ feet long, sure, it helps... But on this course set-up this time the starting straights barely took up 1st gear in the Mustang before the first turn, and we lost out badly to the AWD cars (2.2 sec 60 foot times in the Mustang vs 1.8 sec in the AWD VW in our class) and barely matched the RX8s and BMWs in class. So any hope for advantage was just not there.

We quickly noted a new problem with the brakes on Saturday - ABS Ice Mode. When the brakes were pressed quickly the ABS system freaked out and you lost 50% or more of the braking power, and we all blew many turns on course because of this. We don't know what it was, but the only change since the previous weekend when the brakes worked SO well was a swap to DTC-60 race pads out back and the change back to AD08s, but we had run these tires before. The surface was different as well, but I have run at Mineral Wells dozens of times over the past decade, never seeing anything like this. WTF??



We ended up switching from "drive into the corner on the brakes to load up the front tires, just so it will turn" method of driving this plowing pig, to more of a "momentum/Miata" driving style, trying to reduce the time under braking and maximize lateral grip and slalom speed. Driving into a corner on the brakes is a work-around for a pushy car, and Costas and I have used this on many Pony cars in the past, but it just wasn't possible when the brakes were not there. The momentum method sort of worked, and kept the car out of ABS and Ice Mode, but sure was frustrating as all hell. We were dead slow in the big sweeping corners and we knew it.

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Old 08-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #26
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After our 4 dismal runs per side Saturday were over, I put the car on jack stands and yanked off the rear wheels and brakes. The pads looked... weird. Discoloration and weird build-up of material in the grove in the pad, especially strange for a brand new set of pads. The rear pad swap was the one main variable that changed, so I wanted to change back to a more normal street pad out back, hoping it would get the ABS computer out of the Ice Mode tendencies under heavy braking. So I took the pads to a local O'Reily's parts store in town hoping to match up with a set of pads they had in stock. The 2011 was too new for their catalog but they had 2009 Mustang GT listings, and we found a match for pad shape. ThermoQuiet house brand Ceramic/metallic pads, which AJ has used on a dozen cars with no ill-effects, so I gave them a try. I wanted less braking power out back, not more.



I got back to the event site and realized I needed a caliper piston retractor tool and a caliper compression clamp, so back to town I went. By the time I had all of the right tools and the rear pads swapped it was getting dark, so I drove out to a nearby highway and tried to bed the pads in, after many stops. The stopping power was still very diminished, and easily getting into the "ABS freak out mode". WTF? I came back to the site and pulled the pads back off for a look - they weren't bedding in well. Then I took the G-Tech data logger and went out and did some 60-0 mph braking tests, with what looked like poor results (157 feet??). Then I took Paul M's STU-classed and Brembo equipped 2011 GT (stock pads/rotors on 275mm Dunlops), and it was stopping just as poorly. I did some 0-60 mph test in both cars as well, pulling a 4.5 sec time and .65g in 1st gear in my car and 5.3 second run and .58 g in his car. So they were closely matched, even with his car's 3.73 vs my car's 3.31 gearing. By then it was pitch black out, I ate some of the food at the party we sponsored and drank some beer, then we hit the hotel for some shut-eye. Tried to stay awake and watch F1, but my eyes wouldn't have it.



Since I was Impound Chief for the event, on Saturday I managed to get the Mustang on the scales... haven't weighed it in a while. Showed 3479 lbs with 1/8th tank of fuel in the car. Much better than before but still a solid 55% on the front tires.

Sunday's driving was more of the same frustration, even with the new rear pads - no heavy braking possible or it went into Ice Mode. On this day the ambient temps went from sunny and high-70s/low-80s from Friday and Saturday to overcast, mid 40s, with a BRUTAL wind all day. Most racers brought clothes and shorts for Spring weather but were under-dressed for this late winter cold front. A few racers still picked up some time in the last 2 runs per side, but Costas and I only got a tick faster each. Amy was slow in her class as well. At least she and Costas BOTH cut one perfect .500 reaction time each (I was cutting consistent crap lights). Costas and I were 2.6 and 2.9 seconds off the class winners for both sides, ending up in 5-6th out of 11 according to the results on site, but the posted results show a driver ahead of us that DQ'd himself for driving the course during set-up. No matter - the results still stunk, and we were slow.

We couldn't ever get a complete, good run in without hitting Ice Mode or fighting lots of mid-corner understeer. Tire pressures and shock changes were not enough to counter this massive push, and the wheelspin on corner exit was again ridiculous. Did we simply have too much power and weight for a 265mm street tire? Is all hope lost? Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi!



I think not. We keep seeing bad tendencies in the data and the close-up pictures of the tires. I think we've been in the completely wrong ballpark on tire pressures, the rear spring rates need to drop, and the brakes need more attention. We've probably run into some pad compound cross-contamination issues with the rotors, so we've ordered a whole new set of rotors and another set of autocross pads (Hawk HP+). We'll cut the existing rotors and re-bed them with the DTC-60 track pads and swap between the matched sets of pads and rotors from autocross to track events - these pads have VERY different cold bite characteristics, as well as different coef of friction, dusting & noise parameters.

We're also awaiting our initial stocking order from Energy Suspension bushings, with some much needed polyurethane bushings for the Mustang being made to order. The OEM front LCA bushings are the softest I've ever felt on an OEM suspension, and as big around as your fist. Soft - like a Nerf football soft. That bushing is deflecting under load and losing lots of camber in corner, and the rear control arms and panhard bar are just as soft, causing who-knows-what out back. We've also noted a side-offset of the entire axle, also due to the panhard bar's fixed length and lowering of the back. We need to start developing a Watts Link for the car. We also still have the stock, non-adjustable swaybars, so we're getting a set of Eibach adjustable/tubular front swaybar set coming ASAP (the 2011 has been "in development" for far too long and I'm tired of waiting). AST is also working with us on this new rear shock and the front strut is getting a revalve as well - we'll get this thing to carve cones, by damn!



We've tested several more wheels in the past week, including an 18x10.5" Enkei with a 285/30/18 Hoosier mounted, which is more appropriate for NASA TT use. But the 285/30 is too short, so we're looking at the 275/35/18 and a Pirelli 305 race tire as well. Another set of 18x9" wheels is on order to help test the many 265mm tires needed for STX autocross use back-to-back; so many choices available, and we need to test most of them. And power never hurts on track, so the headers + custom exhaust bends are going to be ordered soon, and the Steeda cold air + SCT Tuner is already en route.

The E30 isn't forgotten, either. We've ordered a 2nd aluminum seat and two I/O port seat back braces for this thing, as well as another 6-point harness. We need to adjust the rear control arm mounts for adjustable toe and camber and get that sorted. The wiring issues are also being addressed now. And of course we need to find a transmission that can last more than 2 events (we've broken 2 transmissions in 3 events). We have some home-brew aero tricks up our sleeves as well, mostly for on-track improvement. And the ride heights and fender openings will again be lowered/trimmed further, until they are right. We also need to design and build a low-buck adjustable rear swaybar - from scrap metal and used parts (ugh).

Somewhere in this crazy month of March our lead tech AJ managed to replace the tie rods on the E36 M3, align it, pull the transmission, install the shifter/spring kits, a new clutch/pressure plate/TOB, reinstall the trans, fix the shifter, and tidy up a number of things in the process. The car drives like a DREAM now, and is ready for sale finally. More on that in its own thread soon.

Meanwhile I'm going to take a weekend off in April - this weekend - well, one day at least. Already burned out and the season has just begun. There's a Lemons race at ECR I'm driving in (hopefully not crashing in! I've been at the gym for 2 months trying to get ready) and a NASA track event plus 2 or 3 autocrosses, and a test day at the track scheduled. We're trying to set-up a mid-week autocross test day with the AST-USA folks as well. Lots to do.

More soon,
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #27
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Project update for March 30, 2011: The Quest For Wheels!

As you may have noticed in several of my thread updates, we've been fairly well stymied on our search for lightweight wheels on this car. Here's the parameters we've had:

1. They have to clear the stock front 14" Brembo brakes. This means some 18" wheels will fit, but definitely not all.

2. 17" wheels are out, as are 19" wheels. Seventeens won't clear the brakes, nineteen are too heavy and race tire selection/weight/cost sucks.

3. We need two distinctly different sets:
A) A set of 18x9" wheels for STX autocross use
o Something with an ET45 fits easily
o Even an ET38 will fit
o Lightness is important! We've already lost ELEVEN POUNDS PER CORNER but could lose even more
B) A set of 18x10 (or 18x10.5") for track use (when we move up to NASA TTA)
o We've found that there's really not one backspacing that fits properly front and rear (the GRAND AM teams use 18x10's with slightly different offsets front and rear)
o The 18x10.5" ET38 fits on the front with camber, but not the rear
o The 18x10 ET38 Enkei RPF-1 fit the rear "fairly well" but needed 7mm of spacer to clear the brakes
4. As much as I'd love to run 18x9.5" wheels - they are MANY more choices in this size - these aren't legal for STX and are too narrow for my needs on track.

5. Cost matters, too... Something under $400 a wheel would be ideal. Weight matters more than cost

6. Looks matter a very small mount. I don't want hot pink wheels or blingy chrome, but I'm pretty open on the rest. Form follows function.



Right now we've got these 18x9" Enkei FP-01 wheels (see above) in ET45 and they are 19.3 lbs each. They clear the front brakes and front fenders and front struts by a mile - they have fairly curved spokes - and the are tucked inside the fenders a good bit (that's how we were able to fit the 10.5" wheels on the front) With similarly shaped spokes they could go outboard another 10mm and still fit inside the rear fenders.

We need another set of 18x9" wheels to better test the various 265mm "ST" legal tires. I was going to order another set of these and had a set on order, but I'm holding off for now. I want to try something new, and hopefully lighter. Please post more suggestions for 18x9 wheels in 114.3 bolt parttern that are under 19 lbs and under $400 each! Thanks.

As for the wider track wheels... well we've got one each of these:



I love the weight on the 18x10" RPF-1, but it only fits the rear (front needs big spacer to clear the brakes). Love the width of the FP-01 in 10.5" but it only fits the front (sticks out on the rear, and its a bit on the hefty side). Hell, I might just use the 10.5" on front and the RPF-1 10" on the back, and get one more of each. Not pretty, mis-matched, and the rears are less than ideal (they really need an 8" backspacing) but it works... well, poorly. This option kind of sucks, but you can see the fit of this mis-matched set with 285/30/18s below.


18x10.5" ET38 on front... 18x10" ET38 on back

We are eventually going to try to make an 18x10" wheel that fits this car correctly, and clears these brakes, and is even lighter - soon. But I need wheels to race on later this month (NASA @ TWS) and I'm tired of waiting.

The alternative is CCW Classics. $2380 for a set of race 18x10" versions, take at least 4 weeks to make, not exceptionally light (figure they'd be 22-23 lbs) but they look good and are at least serviceable. Again, anyone who thinks a 3-piece 18" wheel are light has never accurately weighed one. Lots of bad data out there. LOTS. Accurate scales don't lie. There are many 1-piece cast wheels that are significantly lighter than the same sized 3-piece. The modularity and customization of a 3-piece wheel is the benefit, not the weight. Yea, your brother had a set of 3-piece wheels that were super light. SHOW THEM ON A DIGITAL SCALE. I only believe wheel weights I can take myself, period.



Hanchey's 17x9.5" CCWs from the E36 (above left) were a staggering 20.4 lbs each and the 18x11" CCWs on the E30 (above right) are much heavier.

Sure, with custom built 3-piece wheels I could then get two different offsets (front and rear), but these Classic centers aren't known for clearing big calipers without adding spacers. So they still might need maybe... 7.5" to 8" backspacing + a big spacer on the front to clear the calipers. That backspacing would fit under the rear fenders better and then with a ~1/2" spacer up front to clear the calipers. Might be the easiest solution for now, but neither affordable, quick to build, nor lightweight. Pretty bad option, really. Already have long wheel studs up front for this very purpose, though.

Alternatives? A 1-piece 18x10" wheel with an ET50 or so and under 19 lbs would be ideal!
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #28
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Project Update for April 1, 2011: No April Fools silliness in here, just some thread questions, my answers & the logic behind them.

First off, I don't mean to be argumentative or sound like a know-it-all, because I surely do not. Let me try to explain why I keep saying a wheel that "fits" or "doesn't fit". I strongly believe using as much tire width as you can possibly fit, and sometimes even more (flares), when the class allows it. And to use the proper wheel width for a given tire, if not more. So I go to great lengths to maximize wheel and tire width on my cars.

I have been test fitting, measuring and weighing race wheels for 20+ years, and have amassed a lot of data, so I just cannot believe almost anything I read on the interwebs about wheel and tire data. As we all here know, most of the "facts" posted on most forums are just regurgitated crap someone else read somewhere. You see it enough times and it becomes fact, even when its bunk. Even data published on websites (especially wheel weights) or from wheel retailers is often incorrect. Its shocking to me how few of the population knows how to weigh a freagin wheel accurately. I've sent more than a couple of sets of wheels back for a refund when their published/promised weights were off by 3 or more pounds (I warned them up front and they agreed to that stipulation each time). I'm not prejudicial about my skepticism - I simply don't believe anybody. I have to see it with my own eyes. I might as well be from Missouri... since you have to show me.

So if someone says "this wheel fits" or "this wheel weighs about X", I need to see a picture. Or a dozen. And then measure the wheel for myself to verify width, backspace and weight. Huge skeptic. Then I'll still want to see the car raced (load the suspension up and see if the tire touches) and look at the wheelwells for tire residue or watch for smoke. I've posted about certain tires not fitting a given car and than seen the inevitable "I race on that giant tire and it fits!" posts. Then later see them at an autocross or the track and watch as plumes of tire smoke pour out of their car. Or watch as they crawl around at half speed, so they never load up the suspension or tires. So my definition of "what fits" is probably different from someone else's.

And different racing conditions have different tire clearance requirements. A typical autocross car sees only spikes of G-loading (slaloms and small turns) but on a road course everything happens SOOO SLOOOOWLY... with loooong turns... so you tend to load the suspension up laterally for much longer periods of time, and see higher g loading. If you touch the curbs at all that can load the suspension even further. If a tire rubs a bit on an autocross car, what's the worst that can happen? You're never on course for more than 60 seconds, and you can check for the the tire rubbing and residue after each run when in doubt. On track you are out there for 20+ minutes, and a lot can happen in that time if you have a tire touching a fender...



When we stuffed 18x10" wheels and 265/35/18s on my E46 330 (above) it worked fine on the street and even autocross, but when I ran it at the track in TTD the rears would rub the outboard upper section of the fenders BADLY. It took hours of massaging the rear fenders - and proper tire testing with the shock on the bumpstops without a spring installed - to clearance it fully for track use.

So, let's see some pics...

Originally Posted by blackbolt9 View Post
How much better do you want them to fit? JBS Motorsports Boss 302R with the BBS wheel, no spacers on the rear. Photo stolen from Rehagen website, I assume taken by Wes Duenkel
Hmm... OK, from that angle that wheel looks like it fits... its a little close in the rear, but it would probably work. So are you telling me the GA cars use the cast BBS wheel? I've heard (there I go using second hand info!) that there's another 18x10" mesh wheel that BBS makes (at double the cost) for the GA teams that has a different offset for the rear. Of course if you're going to GRAND AM races and working at Rehagen then you'd know this to be true or false better than me, so I will defer to you. What's the skinny - is there indeed a street version of this 18x10" BBS wheel, and a different GA wheel?

And as for the 7.0" backspacing claim I made, I trusted the interwebs and look - its burned me again. The early data I found on Rehagen's website about the cast 18x10" BBS showed that it had a 7" backspacing and weighed 20-21 lbs. I literally cut and pasted that data from the website right into the caption on this picture, last year. And of course there's the $637 cost.

Since then I've tested an 18x10 with 7" backspace on the rear and it stuck out on my car a bit more than I liked. But if its now showing to be a 7.2" B.S. wheel, that would indeed fit better out back (barely), and that is also the most backspacing you can get away with on the front before losing clearance to the strut. So if its now showing as a 7.2" backspacing then that's probably pretty darn good. But did someone say you still have to use a spacer up front to clear the caliper?? That seems like an odd requirement for a $637 wheel...

But If I was going to spend over $600 on a 18x10" wheel it damn sure wouldn't be a heavy-ish cast wheel. CCW monoblocks are only $700 each (ha! only), and can be custom made to your specs. Very strong, might even be light (depending on who you believe - I believe calibrated, digital scales, but have yet to see these wheels pictured atop one). And if I was going to to make a custom set of wheels for this car for track use, I'd make them 10.5" front and rear, and maybe even 11" on the back. If I wasn't running NASA TTA with its imbalanced points penalties for tire width, I'd put as much tire under this fat-assed Mustang as we could fit. Probably 295 fronts and 315 rears. But tire width is heavily penalized in NASA Time Trial... anything more than a 285mm and I'm looking at a class bump up to TTS, so that's not going to work. Since I can only afford the class points for a 285 (grumble) then a 10" wheel is sufficient, therefore its easier to make a single wheel fit front and rear. And therefore not really beneficial to make a custom set of wheels. And hence why I'm spinning around in circles trying to find an 18x10" or 10.5" 1-piece wheel that's off-the-shelf and under $400 each.

And I think my comments were misconstrued (and poorly written) about lightweight wheels - the autocross set I need (18x9) can afford to be very light, as running over cones in a parking lot doesn't take the same strength of wheel as track abuse. But even on track this car isn't raced W2W (only TT + HPDE), so it doesn't see the "fighting for the lead" type of abuse the Continental GA cars would normally, so it can probably afford to be a bit lighter than what the GRAND AM teams use.

continued below
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #29
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continued from above

Originally Posted by Thinkkker View Post
Its the way to go really.....

18X10.5 in the front: *sorry, best I could find*


18X10.5 in the rear: *there is over 1" or so clearance on the inside*


The fronts fits about perfect, and without fender mods, I don't think you will get more. These are 30mm Offset....
Kent - sorry, but those 18x10.5" ET30 Enkei NT01+M's don't fit on either end with anything close to perfection, at least to my standards. The poor lighting and odd angle on those pictures you posted (especially from the back) don't really show the situation clearly. Costas and I looked at your car and those very wheels & tires in person at the National Tour event 2 weeks ago and both the front and rear tires stick out past the fenders. A lot out back. Sure, "it works" for autocrossing and is common for the category, I'll grant you, but its not what I'm looking for. Madderash's F-Body wheels stick out as well.


Left: 18x10.5" ET38 (7.2" backspacing) fits up front - BARELY. Right: Same wheel on back sticks out a ton

As you can see above, we've fit an 18x10.5" ET38 (another 8mm inboard than Kent's) on our car with little 285s and they just barely cleared in front but stuck way out in the rear. These have a measured 7.2" of backspacing and have about 3mm of room inboard to the AST strut. Not any room to be gained up front, so nothing wider would "fit" in my book, without flared fenders.



The rear on this 18x10.5" ET38 wasn't even close to fitting - it stuck out more than 1/2" - and this is why I'm still somewhat curious how an 18x10 with the same 7.2" backspacing would fit really well. The rears need to go inboard another inch, if not 1.5". As you can see in the picture above, right, there's a good "three fingers" of clearance inboard to the unibody with these 10.5" (7.2" B.S.) wheels on back. Using something like an ET60 would be a good place to start (8.1" of backspacing). But then you'd need a good sized spacer up front (nearly an inch thick) to have a set of wheels that rotate easily (and yes, ideally I'd want that - as would most track guys). That's a lot of spacer, so realistically a rotatable set of 18x10.5" wheels isn't possible... but an 18x10" set is.

For a properly fitting 18x10" set, in my eyes, I'd want to have the front end up at 7.2" backspacing, but I'd be happier with 7.5" B.S. on the rear, or a 10.5" with 8.0". So I might (if I have to go custom) build an 18x10" to 7.5" B.S. and use a ~1/4" spacer up front. That's if I have to resort to a custom set (CCW). Don't know yet... still looking at some Porsche rear wheels...

Good news on the 18x9" wheel search, thanks to BRODA's suggestion about the WedSport. Found one of our dealers that had a set in stock and they made us a significant;y better deal than $620 each, so a set is incoming. This will be for autocross use (only) for the 265/35/18 Toyo R1Rs. They claim to be 16.9 lbs but I'll snap a shot on the scale and post it up when they arrive, next week. For reference here's a Speedline C5 Z06 17x9.5" wheel that Costas brought by and we weighed today. Not bad for an OEM wheel, but Speedline is very weight conscious.



Also as you can see above, we have the Mustang torn apart awaiting more parts. New rotors and Hawk HP+ pads are going on and the front struts are being revalved at AST-USA today. Trying some new spring rates and I'll report back how they work in a little over a week (two autocrosses that weekend). Also, we weighed the stock front and rear rotors, which can be seen below.



Wow. The front rotor weighs more than the wheel. That's... just, wow. And no, we're not paying $800 for the 2-piece Girodisc rotors that are on the market, but we will be doing something about that. I bet there's 10 pounds in the front rotors alone that could be lose. The hat section of the stock front rotor is THICK steel.

Originally Posted by altiain View Post
You know CCW does a lot of monoblock wheels for Corvettes, Vipers, 911s, etc., right? Maybe they've got something that would work for the Mustang. They list their C10 as 24.3 lbs for an 18x13 on their website.
Yea, the CCWs are definitely on my short list for the 18x10" wheel set that we need for track use.



I've had many sets of the 3-piece CCW Classics ($575) but the 1-piece monoblock CCWs look intriguing as well ($700 each). If I keep striking out on a 1-piece wheel that fits correctly (and hopefully at a lower cost), then I'll call CCW back once again.

More next time...
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:24 PM   #30
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Project Update for April 11, 2011: We had a lot going on the past 2 weeks (prep on 4 of our cars and very busy Vorshlag business) but we still managed to make several changes to the Mustang and then autocross it this past Sunday. Let's take a look at the latest round of mods in this post and talk about the autocross in a post to follow.

First up was the Steeda Cold Air kit that finally arrived, along with the SCT Tuner. This combo-package from Steeda was chock Full Of WIN.



The stock 2011 GT's air inlet box is pretty typical - lots of restrictive accordion style tubing, a closed-element air box, a flat paper element air filter, and weird sound muffling chambers in the inlet tube. There was also the separate "sound tube" silliness that piped sound from the inlet track into the passenger compartment. The stock car is so quiet (81 dB wide open, as tested at an SCCA event!) that this helps you hear the choked up engine sound. The Steeda cold air kit consisted of an all new aluminum MAF housing, a new air inlet tube/elbow all the way to the throttle body, a heat shield that tied into the lower air inlet scoop, a larger lower air scoop piece, and the conical/open element high flow air filter. The kit came with instructions and everything we needed to install it.



I was impressed with the craftsmanship. I've made most of the "cold air" kits on my own personal race cars in the past 20 years, but this car looked a little more complicated with the integral MAF housing in the OEM plastic tube. And with a new higher flowing MAF comes the need for a tune - this has been the standard for Mustangs since the earliest MAF equipped Mustangs 5.0L Mustangs I raced in back in college (MY1986-up). This Steeda kit was not an inexpensive kit, and I am leery of high priced parts that are heavy on the bling and lacking in performance, but this was money well spent. The inlet bell for the MAF housing was a beautifully machined and welded part, and much nicer than I had expected to see (or than I would have made!), with a smoothly tapered inlet bell that has to help air flow. The aluminum heat shield was also very well made and fit perfectly to the new MAF housing, lower inlet scoop, and to the chassis.



AJ had the stock parts out and the new bits back together fairly quickly, but Matt and I snapped some pics of the parts and the install while it was going together. He cleaned up the stock inner fender section under the OEM airbox while it was out (I like my engine bays uber-clean), and it all fit together perfectly. Since its STX-class legal and holds in a little engine heat we removed the plastic OEM "5.0" engine cover piece as well - then cleaned up the hoses and looms underneath. Looks good under there and has less clutter. We did not re-install the OEM inlet air "sound tube"; I consider that part of the OEM cold air system, so its STX-class legal to modify/remove it, in my eyes. That stupid tube weighed less than 1 pound and is more of a marketing gimmick than performance anything. Plugged the hole in the Steeda inlet tube with a a big rubber plug and hose clamp. Again - less clutter under the hood.

Will it be too quiet now without the sound tube artificially pumping engine sound into the cabin? Not hardly! This car SOUNDS GOOD now, and external sound testing shows about a 9dB increase in sound at the SCCA Pro Solo (between my Mustang with OEM airbox and Paul M's identical Mustang with this Steeda cold air) 2 weeks back. See the in-car autocross video below for sounds. We'll plug the 30mm hole in the firewall with some grommet plugs, that Paul found and ordered online, when they arrive.



The SCT Tuner was loaded with a custom Tune Steeda developed for Paul's car as well, which has a more linear throttle response for the drive-by-wire throttle body. Paul was the guinea pig on this mod - he bought this same package and had Steeda tweak the tune a couple of times and we just had them load the same tune for our SCT programmer, as I had driven his car with the same cold air and SCT tune and REALLY liked the improvement. Uploading the tune via the OBD-II port was easy, if not a bit time consuming the first time around (its not nearly as quick as say... a COBB AccessPORT upload, but it has a few more customer-tweakable settings, too). The adjustable speedometer feature (for gearing and/or tire height changes) is a nice feature on this programmer, as is the adjustable rev limit. The OEM limiter is around 6800 rpm and I raised it to 7400 for autocross use (quick bursts up to that limit to avoid a 2-3 shift on some courses), which is plenty safe (the new Boss302 has a 7500 limit). Lots of '11 "Coyote 5.0" Mustang racers are revving stock motors higher than that, but I won't push it further. This ain't no M54.



We then put on a heavier part up front - an Eibach 2005-2010 Mustang GT adjustable, hollow swaybar. They supposedly have had a 2011 GT swaybar kit (with 1mm larger front and an adjustable rear bar) coming out since SEMA 2010, but all we have heard after 6 months of trying to buy one is delays and excuses, and I was tired of waiting, so we ordered the adjustable front '05-'10 bar (but not the matching rear, as it wasn't adjustable; we might make our own rear bar at some point to work with some other mods we have planned). Now this front bar is still 35mm OD, which is the exactly the same as the stock 2011 GT front bar, but as you can see the Eibach tubular unit is 3.4 pounds heavier than the stock non-adjustable front unit, so it has to have thicker wall tubing, which means it should be stiffer at the stiffest settings. And it feels as stiff or stiffer than stock in the "middle" setting we started at - but we need to test this properly and post the numbers up. We'll test the settings on the bar on course at a test-n-tune event later this month. I made sure our tech got the bar installed with no bind in the chassis mounts, which I checked to have "pinky finger effort" to rotate with the end links off. Perfect.... well, almost.

continued below
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