Welcome to the Ford Mustang forum built for owners of the Mustang GT350, BOSS 302, GT500, and all other S550, S197, SN95, Fox Body and older Mustangs set up for open track days, road racing, and/or autocross. Join our forum, interact with others, share your build, and help us strengthen this community!
I'm going to write up a prologue of my build and go over modificaitons as it went through its life, up until where I'm at today with it. This will be helpful to people who still modify S197's & a good reference to look back on for myself through the cars timeline.
2014 Background story:
I never really knew much about cars, but learnt how to drive on a manual and have always loved driving. Since a child, I've always wanted a Mustang because of the sound & muscle car look of them and the fact that they were in a acquirable price range and have very high performance per dollar value. My first and only vehicle was a used 2007 Mazda 3 GS I had been driving since around 2010. I had been keeping up to date with Mustang news over the years and when the 2010 S197s came out I knew I had to have one of these one day because I fell in love with the looks of them. I had test driven a couple back in 2011 when the 5.0 came back and just further cemented my need for one of these cars. It was a very sad day when I saw the direction Ford was going with the new generation 2015 models, which were soon coming out. I hated the look of them and knew it was time to start looking if I wanted to buy my first Mustang & still experience that new car feeling - being this would be my first expensive "real" car purchase. I began my search and stumbled upon a car which had everything I wanted. Black paint, manual V8, fully loaded and was only slightly used (2,000km) which brings the price a bit lower than something brand new.
Purchase date - May 2014 2014 Mustang GT - Track Pack
Recaro seats, Brembo brakes, manual, 5.0
The day I brought it home:
I loved everything about this car and enjoyed ripping up the beautiful roads we have here in BC, Canada. I found myself meeting new friends and starting to go out to meetups and car shows.
As the year went by, I got more comfortable with the car....a little too comfortable one day, took a corner too quickly in the cooler month of October and ended up spinning the rear around and going over a curb.
The driver rear smacked the curb and had wrecked the wheel and pushed the entire axle out one side.
The car was drivable, so I limped it to the closest Ford dealership which was about 20 minutes away. Damages ended up being just over $2000 - a bent panhard bar and a new axle.
After this little incident, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. How to drive properly, or control a powerful RWD vehicle. On top of that - being at the mercy of the dealership for repairs...
I had been doing research into my incident and stumbled upon a lot of Mustangs suspension & handling conversations from various forums and people talking about suspension modifications. This sparked my interest into modifying the car and we all know what happens from here.
I knew my driver ability needed some help also, so I did not forget about this - More on this later.
I began modifying the car and found some shops which catered to modifying cars, specifically Mustangs who also helped with some advice and knowledge.
Switched out wheels for SVE Drifts:
Switched the OEM Panhard Bar & LCA for BMR Poly units:
(Also notice the Roush mufflers)
After these were installed, I immediately became addicted to how the car felt driving home and knew there would be more modifications to do. I spent hours researching the forums and finding more information on how to make these cars drive and handle better.
Upon research I started noticing people complaining about the "MT82" transmission in these vehicles and started to realize I had similar issues with shifting occasionally. So I also began modifications for this.
MGW had great video documentation on how to install their short shifter so I figured this would be a great start to try doing an installation myself. I had zero mechanical ability or knowledge before this. So I got some basic tools and gave it a shot:
It was kind of a nightmare of an install, but I ended up getting it in there, and it was so rewarding especially after paying Ford dealership so much money for my driving accident and the custom shop to install some of the modifications I started with.
After the MGW shifter, the car did shift much nicer, and combined the previous modifications it was a joy to drive and was slowly building back some confidence behind the wheel being able to feel more of what the rear was doing & missing less shifts. I continued enjoying the car with some mountain road drives, cruises with friends and even some co-workers who were really into cars and modifying their cars.
After some more research , watching install videos and gathering more tools. I heard a lot of hype about changing shocks, more specifically these magical "Koni Yellows".
So I tackled installing these and banged this out in my condos parking garage :
These really transformed how the car felt & every single modification was just bringing me deeper down into this rabbit hole.
The same month, I had finally switched out the original Pirelli P Zero out for some Michelin Pilot Super Sports which were also a bit wider than the factory 255/40/19. This was a recommendation from my co-workers.
These looked awesome wrapped on the SVE Drift wheels.
Later in the month, I switched out the shifter knob for this super heavyweight knob from "Flossy" they produce carbon steel shift knobs which weigh a lot more than most on the market. This is a modification which is still on my car to this day!
I really love the super heavy weight of this shift knob which helps you really slam it into gears.
Also added some BMR LCA relocation brackets:
Finally adding Lowering springs. I chose the BMR SP065 "Handling" springs.
The stance of the car was no longer like the SUV I was parking beside.
I thoroughly enjoyed driving the car over the next few months in the summer. We have some beautiful mountain roads up here in BC Canada.
Tuned the car with the special Ford Racing "Track Cal" M-14204-MGTTC
This tune was specifically made for the 2013-2014 Manual Mustang GT's built from specific dates.
Driver adjustable Launch Control, or "2-step engine speed limiting"
Driver adjustable Pit Lane Speed Control
Improved engine performance- Up to 60 Lb-Ft at 1500 RPM & peak increases of 16 horsepower and 7 Lb-Ft on 93 octane fuel
This tune gave the car some cool features and "personality" with the choppy idle and really changed how the car sounded once it was warmed up. The car also feels a little more "woken up" I'm still using this tune to this day because I love the rumbly idle and its proven to be reliable over the years.
The tune recommended a oil catch can. So I had also installed "Bob's catch can" who had listings on another Mustang forum. I went with this catch can at time time because it was a good price.
This was when I did my first event. The true journey into the madness.
My friends had told me about this thing called "AutoX" and how I had to sign up. There was a small event hosted at a local airstrip with a racing instructor that was very cheap to enter and the car was ready to go with the modifications I had done to it.
It was very basic, with cones arranged in a slalom like setup & figure eights. I got to feel a sense of the limits in a safe environment for the first time and while it was a very simple set up, the rush I felt was incredible!
Even got to kill my first Cone!
And the first time seeing tires do this:
One comment. Back in the day the Hurst T-Handle was very popular. It was made of steel and added weight to the shifter. Then the Hurst Competition Plus shifter had travel stops. You installed the shifter and tightened the travel stops to where the shifter landed while in gear. One stop for the front and one for the back. The stops kept you from bending internal parts and beating up the syncros.
The MT-82 has "Softer Parts" than the old Muncies and Toploaders. Unfortunately, there are no travel stops on the shifters we see today. The added weight of the shift ball may cause problems down the road. May not. Thought I would let you know.
Great write up and you will find there is a six pack, er case , of Canadians on this site and I am sure you will meet some fellow TMO members when you get to the track. You had me fooled when I first glanced at your initial picture , I was convinced you had a Boss 302S , so nice conversion my friend.