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S197 2011 Mustang 3.7 Performance Package, Shooting my shot at CAM-C Build Thread Profile - S197 Mustangs

drj2k1

TMO Intermediate
71
61
Bayside, NY
S197 V6 PP: Building the wrong car for CAM-C (on a budget)

Where to begin… Might as well pick up where we left off in the old build thread, bought a 2011 Mustang V6 Performance Package car in August 2019 and decided to autocross it. Had great aspirations to campaign the car in DS on the SCCA Solo Tour in 2020, but you know 2020 happened and I was relegated to local competitions. Learned a lot about driving a RWD car and was able to take 3rd in class for the season in points with the NNJR SCCA, one of the most competitive clubs on the East Coast.

Simply put, the car isn’t up to par for DS despite looking decent on paper. The Civic Type R is an incredible package, and with a competent driver behind the wheel is a proven class winner. Maybe the S550 Ecoboost HPP can take a shot at it, but there are too many shortcomings with the S197 that get in the way IMHO.
  • Overheating the stock 13.2 inch 2 piston brakes when running with a codriver
  • Glazed both OE performance pack pads and Porterfield R4S before using dedicated Powerstop Track Day pads (rotor eaters)
  • Boiled ATE Type 200 which was replaced with Motul RBF600
  • Undefeatable Advancetrac intervention
  • Horrible wheel hop with sticky 200tw
  • Needs more negative camber
  • Brake dive
When faced with the decision to jump ship and move on to another platform, I’ve decided to that I’d rather have fun modifying/playing with the S197 than gambling on a “hot car” for 2021 with the continued uncertainty courtesy of COVID. As a result, I’ll be abandoning DS to toss my lot with the big boys in CAM-C. Everyone loves a good underdog story right??

Oh yeah, and I’ll be doing it on a small budget and daily driving the car in NYC. This is a $11k dollar car, so no high dollar coilovers, crazy spring rates, Watts link, spherical bearings, or OS Giken diffs for me. The car will probably be locally competitive at best, but I hope to keep the fast guys honest.

The goal will be to maximize the car’s potential by taking advantage of Ford Parts Bin, used parts, and some sticky rubber.
 

drj2k1

TMO Intermediate
71
61
Bayside, NY
What I’ve acquired so far:

Suspension:
-Koni Yellows SA leftover from last years DS Build
-22mm rear sway (might go smaller)
-35mm Eibach adjustable front sway with UMI reinforcement brackets (used -$100)
-Whiteline Max-C lower Control Arms
-Whiteline adjustable panhard bar
-18x10 AMR wheels (used-$150 for the set)

Brakes:
-S197 Track Pack 14 inch Brembos (used-$280)
-Boss 302 reinforced brake lines
-GT500 Brake “cooling” backing plates

Driveline:
-AFE Dry-Flow Drop in filter
-SCT X4 tuner w/MPT tunes
-GT500 axlebacks
-Ford Racing X-pipe
-Hacked up Whiteline Trans mount bushing insert (holesaw FTW)

What I’m looking to pick up in the next few months:
-Ground Control Coilover conversion sleeves at stock ride height (thinking 350-400F 175R after looking at Vorshlag/Cortex numbers)
-Ground Control Street Camber plates
-Vorshlag brake cooling deflectors
-Auto Mafia Racing Track tune to disable AdvanceTrac at events
-Whatever the hot tire is for 2021 as wide as I can fit on the 18x10, leaning towards the 285 width Falken RT660 as they are fairly cheap and run WIDE on the Tirerack specsheet
-Schroth Quick fit harness
-Better brake pads that can take the heat of co-driving (gloc r6?)

What I’m trying to avoid:
-Miserable ride quality/NVH (I daily drove an old gutted 85 CRX SI setup for CSP in NYC for years, can’t do that again)
-Messing up the suspension geometry and creating more problems to fix
-EPAS nibbles (stock control arms/ride height)
-Cooking the brakes with 2 drivers

Other than the aforementioned problems/parts, there isn’t much more to this build but to slap it together and get as much seat time as possible. The car will be pretty underpowered with ~280whp tuned (these lil 3.7s top out around 315whp with full bolt ons) but isn’t far off the 3300lb minium class weight without driver. The car is currently sitting at 3457lbs with the gas light on, so I’ll be looking for some creative ways to shave some weight without hurting the street manners. I’d love to hear some ways you all have pulled weight out of these cars

There is talk about NNJR hosting a ProSolo this year, and I’d like to have the car sorted to shoot my shot there with some serious competitors.
 

drj2k1

TMO Intermediate
71
61
Bayside, NY
Consider adding a Boss 302r/s ABS module. This will lock out the Advancetrac. ABS will still work.
Appreciate the suggestion, the whole advancetrac situation is fairly frustrating. I've looked into the 302r ABS module and it definitely will solve the problem, but based on my understanding will also light up the dash like a Christmas tree. I'd prefer not to have to swap the stock ABS module in multiple times a year for inspection/winter driving or even for heavy wet weather autocrosses.

I've read that others have had their advancetrac remotely disabled via a "track tune" (off the top of my head I think @Mad Hatter has done this with an AED tune). After speaking to MPT, my current tuner, they claim it can't be done (or maybe they just won't do it for liability purposes). But after reaching out to AMR, they claim they can disable the advancetrac with a track only tune provided a sign a disclaimer it will not be used on public roads. This sounds much more appealing as I can flash the track tune at events, then keep the nannies for commuter duties.

Anyone else have experience with "track tunes" that disable advancetrac without the 302s/r module?
 
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TymeSlayer

Tramps like us, Baby we were born to run...
3,504
2,290
Brighton, Colorado
HPDE
3-5 Years
I don't run too much off the course these days but I will tell you that the ABS module is not that distracting on the street (I get a few lights but no chime) and swapping it in and out isn't that difficult or tyme consuming.
 

DaveW

TMO Intermediate
59
83
St. Louis
Appreciate the suggestion, the whole advancetrac situation is fairly frustrating. I've looked into the 302r ABS module and it definitely will solve the problem, but based on my understanding will also light up the dash like a Christmas tree. I'd prefer not to have to swap the stock ABS module in multiple times a year for inspection/winter driving or even for heavy wet weather autocrosses.
No help for the christmas tree, but I can't think of a single situation on a wet autocross course (or track) that the S197 traction control would be better on versus off. I mean my 17 y.o. (at the time) daughter and I did the Grenada Pro Solo last May where it rained approximately 400 inches an hour for the entire weekend and it was moldy polished concrete that was almost tragic to walk on in the wet/river. The car was perfectly controllable on either the rain setup or race tires (RE71 at the time) with no TC. With a drag launch.

And the "race" ABS tuning is good in all conditions.

All that is a REALLY long way to say that whatever solution you end up with, you don't have to swap it out until winter.

DaveW
 

TMSBOSS

Epic Contributor
5,569
2,523
Illinois
HPDE
5-10 Years
The ABS, traction control and advancetrac lights come on with the swap. They are there always. Kind of like any other dash light. I just drive the car and don’t let three little symbols in the dash bother me. No flashing, no chime just three lights out of my line of sight. If I run wheels without pressure sensors I have four light to ignore. Now if my rears heat up, fade and or boil the brake fluid.....that catches my attention. Got to buy rear pads because the programing burned them up.....that also gets my attention. Happened once.
Install the module and be done with it......my two cents. Spend them as you see fit.
Happy Holidays
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,027
3,413
Blair, Nebraska
W2W Racing
20+ Years
You read above by DaveW and another and seeing the bucks you are spending the single one thing you need for CAM-C , or in my opinion , any Class is more rrrrrrrrrrrrrubber. Before you spend another dime, sell your rims you bought for $150 to someone for even more , get a set of 18x11s and then spend the money to acquire gumball, sticky rubber!! DaveW, Dave-W, AuteauX, and myself have seen Championship winning drivers lose in year in and year out because they second guessed the wrong rubber, but they did not er in the idea that they needed the most on the ground possible in almost every case.

You have tons of mods, spend the moolah in what will keep the car stuck to the ground next and before many of the other ideas!!!!

Just more advice from your friendly TMO members who are not know it alls , we just are trying to help you not make the mistakes we already made numerous times, ha.
 

drj2k1

TMO Intermediate
71
61
Bayside, NY
No help for the christmas tree, but I can't think of a single situation on a wet autocross course (or track) that the S197 traction control would be better on versus off. I mean my 17 y.o. (at the time) daughter and I did the Grenada Pro Solo last May where it rained approximately 400 inches an hour for the entire weekend and it was moldy polished concrete that was almost tragic to walk on in the wet/river. The car was perfectly controllable on either the rain setup or race tires (RE71 at the time) with no TC. With a drag launch.

And the "race" ABS tuning is good in all conditions.

All that is a REALLY long way to say that whatever solution you end up with, you don't have to swap it out until winter.

DaveW
DaveW, sounds like you've got a very capable co-driver over there! Unfortunately, my co-driver (my father) had some issues with the switch from a 128hp Miata to the 300hp mustang and defaulted to driving with some of the nannies on, usually traction off/advancetrac on. I'm hopeful that he'll find the new suspension/brake setup more confidence inspiring in 2021

Always appreciate the perspective from those of you who are already out there running mustangs that have been modified to a higher level and already dealt with the inherit hurdles of the platform. I'll seriously have to sit down and consider the boss 302r module vs the tune, weighing the benefits of race bias vs everyday tractability/flexibility that a "track tune" offers.
 

drj2k1

TMO Intermediate
71
61
Bayside, NY
You read above by DaveW and another and seeing the bucks you are spending the single one thing you need for CAM-C , or in my opinion , any Class is more rrrrrrrrrrrrrubber. Before you spend another dime, sell your rims you bought for $150 to someone for even more , get a set of 18x11s and then spend the money to acquire gumball, sticky rubber!! DaveW, Dave-W, AuteauX, and myself have seen Championship winning drivers lose in year in and year out because they second guessed the wrong rubber, but they did not er in the idea that they needed the most on the ground possible in almost every case.

You have tons of mods, spend the moolah in what will keep the car stuck to the ground next and before many of the other ideas!!!!

Just more advice from your friendly TMO members who are not know it alls , we just are trying to help you not make the mistakes we already made numerous times, ha.
Always appreciate the insight Bill, the little voice in the back of my head has been pushing me in the same direction...

It seems like the TMO brain trust is in agreement that that 18x11s with 305+ width rubber is necessary to make this foray into CAM-C worthwhile. I'll keep my eyes open for a used set of 18x11s or even 18x10.5s in the offseason. Anyone have a spare set they want to offload? lol
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,027
3,413
Blair, Nebraska
W2W Racing
20+ Years
You really need the right set and don't settle for 10.5s. Apex has plenty of Sales and frankly their normal price is not much more than what I have seen a few go for used. 315/18s are the winning size in CAM-C , they will fit with the 52mm offset Apex rims and a 25mm spacer. There might even be one or two more Tire Companies with that size out in 2021. We know Falken will have their new tire in a 315/18 relatively soon - Falken RT660. We have guys running this tire at the Solo Nationals site in Lincoln and they like them a lot better than the 615K -- better grip and steering response. You likely already know about the other 200 TWR rubber but you can always send me a PM ( conversation ) if you are wondering?
 

DaveW

TMO Intermediate
59
83
St. Louis
You really need the right set and don't settle for 10.5s. Apex has plenty of Sales and frankly their normal price is not much more than what I have seen a few go for used. 315/18s are the winning size in CAM-C , they will fit with the 52mm offset Apex rims and a 25mm spacer. There might even be one or two more Tire Companies with that size out in 2021. We know Falken will have their new tire in a 315/18 relatively soon - Falken RT660. We have guys running this tire at the Solo Nationals site in Lincoln and they like them a lot better than the 615K -- better grip and steering response. You likely already know about the other 200 TWR rubber but you can always send me a PM ( conversation ) if you are wondering?
315 Falkens are out and in the wild already :)

DaveW

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drj2k1

TMO Intermediate
71
61
Bayside, NY
I've heard the Falkens run wide for their size but holy smokes those 315s are meaty! Any comparison shots to the Rivals, Yokos, or stones?

I'd love to hear how they fare in competition use whether it's road course duty or autox. From what I've seen online, there's been mixed results online about the longevity for autocross, some people claim to have center rib chunking while others have seen pretty good life out of them with less "fall off" than RE71R's. Obviously surface and driving style play a role in this equation as well.

I've definitely been a proponent of the RE71R over the past few years due to their durability and the fact you can flip them to get a little more life at the end of the season, but want to give these new Falkens a shot as they also look like they can be flipped and are cheaper. I think we'd all be interested in hearing of any experiences with their durability on a heavy s197 Mustang with no camber in the rear axles
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,027
3,413
Blair, Nebraska
W2W Racing
20+ Years
Have guys down the road from me ( Lincoln, Nebraska ) who are good Autocross Friends and they all say the 660 Falkens are a big improvement over the 615, but they are not as quick as the Rival S 1.5, Yokohama A052, or Bridgestone RE71R. Considering that two of these guys are National Champions, the site they and I run is the SCCA Solo Nationals site, that is a fairly credible comparison. But, they also feel the logical next step , since they don't get hot quite as quick as the others, they could be better on a road course? In my experience , talking to racing buddies from around the Country and from some info from Luke Pavlik ( track rat and autocrosser ) at Tire Rack ( ext. #4362 ), there may be some chance this is the case. The A052 is super fast, so is the RE71 and the Rival S 1.5, and the 660 is almost super fast, when viewed in an autocross, but taking in friend's thoughts and listening to Luke, the BFG seems to take longer to get greasy on a road course than the Yoke or B-stones. The Falken seems to be similar ( to the BFGs ) in taking longer to get greasy with guys I know , but the caveat is they are all driving smaller cars.

Hope to hear from our Falken TMO member , but if you go with a 200 TWR tire , I would lean towards the Falken or a BFG Rival 1.5 S. DaveW ( soloperformance.com ) has run BFGs, B-Stones and Yokes on his CAM-C Mustang and not sure if he has hit any road courses, but he might add some thoughts, especially since he is the Clairvoyant that knew the 315 Falkens were already out!!!

Keep in mind, tires that are great on one car may not be advantageous on others ( due to hp, torque, weight, suspensioning, etc. ) and that is part of the reason the more info you get the more you will feel comfortable in your choice. Lastly , driving style also can affect your choice , since some drivers destroy tires rapidly , whereas others seem to get max life out of their rubber donuts, and this is not just an indication of speed or talent. I know some super quick drivers who get one weekend out of a set of Hoosiers, and other speed demons who get 3 weekends and are still as quick - radically different driving style?!

Lastly, listen, listen, listen to others with alot of experience , even if you happen to have extensive track time/autocross time , yourself. Good example was a discussion I had with DaveW of SoloPerformance.com ( and a TMO member above ) awhile back concerning the A052 and the BFG Rival S 1.5s. He mentioned with two drivers the A052s just got too hot during an Autocross event , and he would be switching back to the BFGs. The Yoke might be the ticket for a Miata , but the weight and torque of the Mustang might mean it was not the choice for the bigger car. Another example is the 2nd Place car in B Street at the Nationals, last year , was a Mustang GT 350 on Rivals. The winner was a Tesla, but it was moved subsequently to a faster Class in 2020. The Rivals seem to be a top choice for the CAM-C cars also, as weight and torque/hp determine alot on how quickly a tire gets hot, or too hot.

Lots of ideas from the rambling mind of the Old F.A.R.T. in Nebraska, but I am sure others will chime in and the wonderful thing about TMO is there is a wealth of experience on here ,all willing to assist and help others.

PS - Merry Christmas , everyone!!!
 
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