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S550 First Track Build Build Thread Profile - S550 Mustangs

250
207
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
MD
Still getting a few things in order before the season starts for me.
I have steeda RCC kit and if you know, RCC kits reduce the amount of camber. I have MM camber plates and those with the same set up get a max of about 2.1*. So instead of paying for an alignment to just come to the same conclusion of not having a enough camber, I decided to search for new plates. Only plates that I know that are capable are Vorshlag (out of my budget right now) and Steeda. I saw the price went up on the Steeda plates and remembered MMR just released theirs. I contacted Mark and he gave me an amazing deal that was worth trying them out. He said he had MM plates previously and was able to gain an extra degree of camber with his plates.

They arrived today. Look great to me but I don’t really know what to look for or how to compare plates. I’m hoping to get them installed within the next two weeks. Who doesn’t love gold?!

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250
207
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
MD
Happy Monday everyone

Its been another slow start to the year just due to life and having issues between the tundra and the mustang. Life wouldn't be fun without obstacles anyways.

Just finished up my first event of the year yesterday at Summit Point Main with HOD. It was my first time driving with them and was a great experience. Being that I haven't been to the track in a year, I didn't care much about lap time and was more focused on technique and trying different things such as heel toe and trail braking. I was solo'd last year with Auto Interests but being that its been 12 months and my first time with HOD, I requested an instructor.

Changes to the car:
  • 295/30/19 Toyo RR
  • Xineering Module
  • SRF Brake Fluid
  • Amsoil goodness(engine, trans, diff)
  • Rear Vorshlag Tow Hook
  • Aerocatch Latches
  • Divorced clutch reservoir
I guess I should rewind:
Before this event, I have been working on the car. The MMR camber plates gave me over a degree more camber than the MM plates I had. great product. I did notice that it raised the front up about half an inch. Still has a decent rake so not the end of the world.

I was also gifted an Xineering module so I put that in and can turn it on/off with a toggle switch and a bright LED to let me know it on when on track no matter how sunny it is.
EFD5B106-3DE8-459C-ACFB-68A48A8F98B0.jpeg68CAD80D-7B66-4DB9-A550-872C1052517D.jpeg
Another thing I added was the Aerocatch hood latches. It is definitely not the easiest job using the radiator support locations. Its three layers to cut through with the top two being extremely close together. I started it, but after messing with it for 3 weeks (school and work), I took it to a shop to finish the job. came out great.
BC296D74-8727-48BC-BD6A-66C9079BBB5A.jpeg
Went with the Vorshlag rear tow hook. Didn't care for the way ZL1 Addons mounted theirs. Vorshlag states on their site that the rear fits all S550 but if you are interested, make sure you have quad exhaust or at least quad exhaust cutout. I got the bumper off and notice when putting it back that the tow hook didn't line up with the exhaust cut out. After doing all the work of taking the bumper off, I was determined to make it fit. I plan on going with quad exhaust one day so I don't mind the look for now. Can't tell unless you are really looking at it (at least to me). I have the ford performance front tow hook but didn't have time nor feel like drilling through the crash bar at the time.
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Divorced my clutch and brake reservoir and switched to SRF.
19A930F0-3D82-4B68-8777-71D354AB4300.jpeg
I wanted to upgrade from Track Addict and for the price and potential, I went with AutoSport Labs RaceCapture Track MK3. Its their new module that was released earlier this year. Takes some getting used to but for what you can do, its a great buy imo. Will add their shift light at some point. I bought mine from one of their dealers, John Freund (John Freund Racing). Great guy and has some great device on his site that I think are pretty cool.

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Now back to yesterday:
Car felt amazing and being back on the track felt event better. I was running in the same group as first timers so passing only on the straights. First session I had to clean the dust off but second and third session were completely different. I tried using the Xineering module, but was unsuccessful. I couldn't get used to it blipping for me and every time I downshifted, I wanted to blip myself so it messed me up. I turned it off for the rest of the session. As you know one of the downfalls of the module is that you need an Android or PC to change the settings. I had neither at the track so it was no good to me. On the street I can use the outside of my foot without issues, but on the track, I found my right foot too far to the left so there were times I was missing the gas pedal to blip even with size 13 feet and SRP pedals. I found a great tip on heel toe form a thread in M6G which was to raise the steering wheel. With the steering wheel raised, I was able to twist my leg to blip the pedal with my heel. I found this to be much much better and easier. Now my only issue is to not over brake and to keep pressure on the brakes as I blip to prevent unsettling the car. My brake release greatly improved as the laps went on to the point my instructor couldn't feel me getting off the brakes. I also started getting on throttle earlier and trusting the RRs.

In my third session, I was black flagged for exhaust smoke. I pulled in and we couldn't find any leaks. In the paddock, I opened the hood and saw oil/fluid residue on the cold air intake box and oil droplets on the oil filter access panel. the filter was tight so it wasn't that it was loose. Didn't get any lights on the dash or abnormal feeling in the car. The same thing happened to me last year in the last session at the same sequence of turns. After waiting over an hour and a half for AAA, I decided to take the chance and drive home. I made it without any issues and come to find out it is the infamous driver side cam cover issue. I was planning to do the aluminum GT500 cam cover upgrade this winter, but it looks like it will happen sooner than later. I think that covers just about everything lol.

All in all, it was a great day, and talked to some nice people. I am hoping to have the car ready by September 24th weekend for either Summit with Track Daze or NJMP Lightning with HOD.


If you made it this far, I appreciate you and hope you receive good fortune this week. If you didn't, I still hope the same lol.
 
250
207
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
MD
Things to work on/to do and notes:
  • Install GT500 cam covers
  • Install front Tow Hook
  • Work on transition off brakes
  • Work on Tundra because fitting 4 tires with tools and a passenger was hell on my body. Towing next time for sure
  • Look at going to 3.55 rear end
  • RRs are a great "bang for your buck"
  • Change Xineering settings
  • I believe in the SRF hype now lol
  • After riding with my instructor in his Miata, I believe in the Miata hype for sure lol
 
250
207
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
MD
Had a 2 events since my last post. Went back to Summit after installing the GT500 cam covers and it worked. No more smoking so I am pleased with that. Rode in a Boss for the first time and if only I played the right numbers for the Power Ball last week, I would be looking to buy one. Hell Toe/ downshifting manually has gotten better. Tried using the Xineering module again but I can't get used to the timing of releasing the clutch.

Did my first event with NASA last weekend at NJMP-Lightning and the course was more fun than I expected. First time on a more aggressive pad compound (XP20) and I definitely liked it more than the R12s I have been using. I was in DE1 and one of 2 mustangs(other was a GT350R but was the the drivers first time on track ever). I was in traffic all day so out of the 40+ laps in total for the day, I think I got about less than 10 clean laps. Toyota GR86 owners get a free nasa day so there were quite a few of them out there and didn't get many point bys unfortunately, but I still had fun nonetheless. I could've moved up to DE2 but since it was my first event with NASA, they wanted me to do another event/track before doing a check ride which I have no problem with. My best recorded lap was a 1:23. I went faster in the last session but didn't record it. experienced drivers run about 1:12s- 1:13s to my knowledge so knowing where I lost time, Im not mad at it.

So that wraps up the year for me. Not as many events as I planned but that's life. Next year will be better. Going to 18" wheels and will be putting in 3.55 gears during the winter break. I also need to fix my ongoing clutch issue and replace the pilot bearing. Hopefully I can get the roll bar+seats+harness together. My goal right now is NJMP with NASA NE in March and VIR with HOD or NASA MA also in March.

Here is the video. I was trying different things in this lap so I know there were quite a bit of mistakes. It wasn't the optimal lap of the day.


94712763-NASANE+HPDE+1+11-05-2022+59377.JPG
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Last edited:
52
59
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Gibsonia, PA
Its been a couple months and I'm procrastinating at work so I might as well provide updates or lack thereof lol.

Had big plans this year with roll bar +seats + harness + apex wheels + Conti ECF but ended up scaling back and putting that money into seat time instead. I rather be on a stock set up and get 12 weekends in than have $10k parts on the car and only get 2 or 3 weekends in. Now I kinda regret selling off my wheels/tires and Quick Fit Pro harness last year but oh well... live and learn. My goal is still to get 12 different events in this year so hope is still alive.

Just ordered MRR M600 19x11 which should be here later today. Picked up 295/30/19 Toyo RRs from the tire shop yesterday. Just need to pick up another set of spacers and Quick fit pro harness and I'll be good to get a track day in now.

Last time on the track, I ran out of gas and didn't have any tow hooks. Fortunately the track was able to provide enough fuel for me to make it out to the pumps. Right after that I purchased tow hooks. I ordered rear Vorshlag tow hook bare and had it powder coated orange to match my soon to be mach 1 orange calipers. For the front I will have a center mount ZL1 Addons tow hook that will also be painted orange.

View attachment 74252

Also, at some point a shop installed camber bolts on my car. I knew the camber numbers I was getting were too good to be true being that the Steeda RCC kit takes some out. The driver side bolt slipped and my Apex wheel was grinding against the strut a good bit. It put a nice ring around the inner barrel.

View attachment 74254

I replaced them with the OEM strut bolts but in the near future I have to see about getting the camber back to -2.5* whether its going back to OEM lateral arms or slotting the top strut hole. I bought Professional Awesome camber slugs to lock in the camber instead of relying on friction, but the camber lock hole is too small for the bolt so it wont work.

View attachment 74253

Recently, I found out the radiator in my Tundra has a leaking hole and one of the leaf springs in broken so that has set things back. I am planning to make it to Pitt Race with Auto Interests end of May as my first event of the year. Hoping to have the truck towing ready by then because I don't want to drive the car up there.

Only plans for the car/driver as of right now are:
Mach 1 calipers with SS lines (Orange will make the car stop faster)
Vorshlag brake cooling fins
Race Louvers Center Vent
Xineeiring Auto blip module
Try out Raybestos ST43(whenever in stock) or new EBC RP-1
Necksgen RevLite2
Better angled front splitter
3.55s
SEAT TIME

Events/tracks I plan to make this year:
VIR- Track Daze or NASA
Summit Point Main - SCCA/NASA/Auto Interests (goal is to get under 1:23 which is 5 sec improvement from last year)
NJMP - Gridlife
Pitt Race- NASA/Auto Interests
Biggsy, I don't want to add to parts list $$$, but Vorshlag Camber Plates really make camber adjustments easy, and they're bullet proof. I do have an alignment shop readjust my toe settings after a change, but you may want to check them out in the future.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
7,221
6,454
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
I will agree with Mr. Bedel that the Vorshlag Camber Plates are likely the " Solid Gold Standard " for our cars, but I have also had M&Ms and they are at least " Gold Plated ." I do think you will get more than 2.1 negative camber degrees though with a shop that really understands how to adjust. Even the Vorshlag plates suggest cutting out the strut tower hole for more camber and in fact sell a tool to do so. I have not wanted to cut out my tower and I can only get 2.7 degrees of negative camber on my Mach 1 --- though that seems to be working quite well , tire wear wise. Thanks for sharing the build and your growing passion for keeping the pony at a constant gallop!!
 
52
59
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Gibsonia, PA
Had a 2 events since my last post. Went back to Summit after installing the GT500 cam covers and it worked. No more smoking so I am pleased with that. Rode in a Boss for the first time and if only I played the right numbers for the Power Ball last week, I would be looking to buy one. Hell Toe/ downshifting manually has gotten better. Tried using the Xineering module again but I can't get used to the timing of releasing the clutch.

Did my first event with NASA last weekend at NJMP-Lightning and the course was more fun than I expected. First time on a more aggressive pad compound (XP20) and I definitely liked it more than the R12s I have been using. I was in DE1 and one of 2 mustangs(other was a GT350R but was the the drivers first time on track ever). I was in traffic all day so out of the 40+ laps in total for the day, I think I got about less than 10 clean laps. Toyota GR86 owners get a free nasa day so there were quite a few of them out there and didn't get many point bys unfortunately, but I still had fun nonetheless. I could've moved up to DE2 but since it was my first event with NASA, they wanted me to do another event/track before doing a check ride which I have no problem with. My best recorded lap was a 1:23. I went faster in the last session but didn't record it. experienced drivers run about 1:12s- 1:13s to my knowledge so knowing where I lost time, Im not mad at it.

So that wraps up the year for me. Not as many events as I planned but that's life. Next year will be better. Going to 18" wheels and will be putting in 3.55 gears during the winter break. I also need to fix my ongoing clutch issue and replace the pilot bearing. Hopefully I can get the roll bar+seats+harness together. My goal right now is NJMP with NASA NE in March and VIR with HOD or NASA MA also in March.

Here is the video. I was trying different things in this lap so I know there were quite a bit of mistakes. It wasn't the optimal lap of the day.


View attachment 81009
View attachment 81010
View attachment 81011
Biggsy, lookin great! I love following your progress. Unless I missed it...you haven't mentioned any cooling upgrades like a rear diff, or a remote engine oil cooler. No issues with diff temp so far? Just curious.
 
52
59
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Gibsonia, PA
I will agree with Mr. Bedel that the Vorshlag Camber Plates are likely the " Solid Gold Standard " for our cars, but I have also had M&Ms and they are at least " Gold Plated ." I do think you will get more than 2.1 negative camber degrees though with a shop that really understands how to adjust. Even the Vorshlag plates suggest cutting out the strut tower hole for more camber and in fact sell a tool to do so. I have not wanted to cut out my tower and I can only get 2.7 degrees of negative camber on my Mach 1 --- though that seems to be working quite well , tire wear wise. Thanks for sharing the build and your growing passion for keeping the pony at a constant gallop!!
Bill, yes, I forgot to mention Vorshlag's strut tower opening tool. I did have a local performance shop do the entire install for me, and the owner racers a S197 and asked to purchase the tool from me, to which I gladly obliged. I'm running about 2.9 negative and the extra opening increase makes that easily done. Get some touch up paint to seal the bare steel after the cut out, and no one is the wiser...at least not in the novice class tech inspections...
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
7,221
6,454
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Mark, one comment I find is seldom asked when folks ask about whether a diff cooler has been installed is how often one changes rear end fluid? I have found , over the many years selling performance machines, that changing rear end fluid is one of the last thing drivers do or consider. That may seem odd when so many think they need a diff cooler, but we were always shocked at how long guys who tracked their cars waited to change rear end fluid. I have been in the habit of doing it after 2-3 track weekends, forever, and so far I have only had one rear end failure. That failure was on a Spec Miata , which went for 6 years of racing, when others were destroying a rear end each year. The comment I usually got was , the car has no torque so there is no need to change the rear end fluid except once a year. I was likely Mr. Overkill, but my son and I changed he rear end fluid after every 2 race weekends -- didn't take much fluid on one of those little buzzbombs.

The issue on rear ends, for years, is not just power/torque, it is how sticky the tires are, so if one does not have a diff cooler change your rear end fluid more often, and if you do have said cooler, change it a lot more frequently than you imagine, imho.
 
250
207
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
MD
Biggsy, I don't want to add to parts list $$$, but Vorshlag Camber Plates really make camber adjustments easy, and they're bullet proof. I do have an alignment shop readjust my toe settings after a change, but you may want to check them out in the future.
I’m open to any suggestions as my knowledge only goes but so far. The Vorshlag plates were on my wish list but I ended up going with MMR plates. I am able to get the camber I desire so all is well on that front. When the day comes and my bank account has a few pennies (a lot of pennies) missing from coilovers, I will be going with Vorshlag if it’s not Cortex coilovers.

Biggsy, lookin great! I love following your progress. Unless I missed it...you haven't mentioned any cooling upgrades like a rear diff, or a remote engine oil cooler. No issues with diff temp so far? Just curious.
I appreciate you taking the time to read. The only cooling I have addressed so far is under the hood with Race Louver vents. I still have to paint them and put them on but I at least have the vents. I bought a take off torsen diff that I am putting 3.55s in and when I do, I will be adding a diff cooler at that time. So far I have not had any issues because my skill level hasn’t been enough to push the car. But piggybacking off of what Bill said, I did change my diff fluid going into this years events with fresh fluid. So I’m sure that helped.
 
30
40
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
West
Just curious biggsy, are you using any catch cans? Is the car smoking in or coming out of long left turns?
 
250
207
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
MD
Just curious biggsy, are you using any catch cans? Is the car smoking in or coming out of long left turns?
I was running catch cans on both sides at the time. Now just on passenger.
The smoke occurred after a long right then left. Same sequence of turns both last year and earlier this year. But I swapped in the GT500 cam covers and all is well. No issues
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,610
1,691
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
5 miles from Mosport
I’m open to any suggestions as my knowledge only goes but so far. The Vorshlag plates were on my wish list but I ended up going with MMR plates. I am able to get the camber I desire so all is well on that front. When the day comes and my bank account has a few pennies (a lot of pennies) missing from coilovers, I will be going with Vorshlag if it’s not Cortex coilovers.


I appreciate you taking the time to read. The only cooling I have addressed so far is under the hood with Race Louver vents. I still have to paint them and put them on but I at least have the vents. I bought a take off torsen diff that I am putting 3.55s in and when I do, I will be adding a diff cooler at that time. So far I have not had any issues because my skill level hasn’t been enough to push the car. But piggybacking off of what Bill said, I did change my diff fluid going into this years events with fresh fluid. So I’m sure that helped.
Watch those MMR plates. I had a set, the bushing seized and it was sawing through the shaft of the strut. Replaced with Vorshlag and they are far superior in all respects.
 
250
207
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
MD
Watch those MMR plates. I had a set, the bushing seized and it was sawing through the shaft of the strut. Replaced with Vorshlag and they are far superior in all respects.
Oh wow. Thanks for the heads up. What symptoms did you have to notice it? Or was it by visual inspection.
 
Watch those MMR plates. I had a set, the bushing seized and it was sawing through the shaft of the strut. Replaced with Vorshlag and they are far superior in all respects.
Same thing happened to me (confirming I also had Maximum Motorsports). I also broke one of the mounting studs
 

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