The Mustang Forum for Track & Racing Enthusiasts

Taking your Mustang to an open track/HPDE event for the first time? Do you race competitively? This forum is for you! Log in to remove most ads.

  • 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!

S197 FTWMS #50 S197 NASA Super Touring Racecar Build Thread Profile - S197 Mustangs

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,897
4,505
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Lots of cool stuff and makes me think I need to post the build on mine? Need to find a cool track pic somewhere and then take some Geritol in hopes it will help me remember all the checks I wrote . Yeh, my build will be one where someone else did all the work, but........I thought up all the neat stuff to do, haha!!!
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
I will merge these threads in a little bit.

We don't have to, unless it makes more sense to keep one massive thread for it. I was just going to start over with what had been done in the last year, break out some technical writeups on some of the things and then hopefully move on with updates of a more positive nature :) (Nothing about the thrown box and wrench flung into a cabinet in anger from last night)
 
Last edited:

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
Short Recap - Lets try this again

gpbjgbEm.jpg

This is a 2011 Mustang GT that was rebuilt to race the Super Touring series with NASA (and similar racing programs) - ST2 spec (8:1). It was converted in 2015-2016 to a racecar and through many trials it found a regional championship in 2018 (and had a reasonable first outing at a national level). At the end of the championship season and based on the ongoing frustrations and model of build/break/no test/repeat cycle; I took the car apart and went through a full refresh.

1587574413702.png

That refresh took from December 2018 to now, due to unforeseen career changes (mostly the way I was paid), unfortunate times with family and life, just about every supplier issue you could ask for and now a pandemic (that we are taking seriously)
giphy.gif

Some of the lessons I've learned along the way about building, running and driving a race car as a one-man effort:
  • Keep everything you can about the program simple, there's little reward in pioneering on the ragged edge
  • OEM tolerances, parts selection, and quality control can be all over the place (including oem performance parts) - double edged sword of the KISS protocol above
  • Preparation and making it to the track consistently is the biggest part of finding success - execution is based on preparation, having a clear goal, and limiting the noise
  • Racing is supposed fun, but it easily can become not fun (towards the end of my championship run, I cared more about seeing the checker and getting off track than about being on track)
  • despite all the flaws, mustangs make a great platform. Parts are easy to find, they're fairly easy to work on, and the RWD coupe formula is about as simple as it gets
  • Fast is a matter of money. Want to run with the big boys up front? Talent starts to fall off and money becomes more important - can you run a sticker set of tires each race? Sometimes that's what it takes - seat time is paramount, but there's an interesting economic element to club racing
  • Vendor management is key: if you feel a bit nervous about spending money with someone, trust your gut. I do business with a select group, where I used to be an idiot deal chaser.
  • Do it right the first time - I love to DIY as much as the next guy, but it took me a while to figure out that Execution = KISS * %DoneRightFirstTime
What was changed during the refresh:

Car performance improvements:


  • New Coyote engine was built, fully blueprinted and hardened based on everything I've learned (Detailed Build thread here - I'll update it soon:
  • Installed a Radium surge tank system to combat low fuel starvation events (with some very trick plumbing)
  • Optic armor glass front and rear to lose weight
  • Finished the evap system delete
  • Added more heat protection in vital areas
  • Fabricated a new splitter setup
  • Setup the S550 performance pack brakes with new anti-knockback springs
  • New Racecapture/Podium dash with expanded data collection and analysis capabilities (and much more to come)
  • New wireless steering wheel control of common functions

Car reliability improvements:

  • Rewired the car to remove some weight and a lot of complexity, installed new fuse panels and busbars to simplify control of race circuits
  • All the fabrication was reviewed and improvements made in hose routing, passthroughs, and bundling to make sure everything is routed properly, secured, and easy to maintain
  • Made use of a 3D printer and new metalwork tools to improve fabrication throughout the car, adding new materials and parts on the logic of "less is more" and "keep it clean". Result is so far a net 75lbs loss
  • Revised the mounting of a transmission cooler
  • Installed a new column and steering wheel setup - modified how the key/pats system works

Safety improvements:

  • refresh all belts / items that require FIA compliance
  • Installed a new FIA compliant fire system (8 nozzle vs the previous 4)
  • New Racetech Seat with shoulder brace, integrated seatback cooler

and much more. I'll cover those in posts to follow this. In the interim, this should hold over a bit.
 
Last edited:

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,897
4,505
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Dang, your " One Man Race Team Build, " is way more impressive than mine. The Boss S build of Willie Da P would read more like:

1. Have Joe Janousek at Woodhouse Ford fix all the loose bolts and connect a bunch of wires the previous owner missed showin he was no legtrishion!!
2. Pay Joe, as so damn busy, needed to get things done, and did I mention I was so damn busy.
3. Take the White Stangion over to Dean Palmer of Palmer Racing Development and have him do tons of stuff from installing a Optic Armor windshield and a rear windows , along with fabricating all kinds of nifty ( engineering term) stuff for me.
4. Pay Dean , as I have been so damn busy, and just had to do it since , as I mentioned , been busy.
5. Go to the track and race and as a one man team , hope that Tyme or TMS would show up and help change my tires, cuz, yeh, I was pretty damn busy.

Overall , it is not easy being a one man team and could have done all the impressive stuff you did Capn., but did I mention , I have been so...................damn...............................lacking in talent to do any of the super neat shift you have accomplished!!!

Yet, when all is said and done, I actually admire and enjoy these build threads more than most as I am old ( really old ) enough to admit I don't have the talent ( my son does , surprisingly , though) . Doesn't mean I don't learn and get tons of ideas so the next time I am super busy, I can pay Joe at the Woodhouse Ford Store, or Dean Palmer at his shop, to get my car up to snuff!
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
I did test the car over the last few weekends (socially distant and responsibly) and validated all the new systems work great. I'll post more but the summary is my first outing was ok, I was about 8 seconds of median race pace for my class (wow! I suck!). After some coaching I went out again a week later and did much better on a different config of the same track.

All the new braking, interior/safety/comfort, powertrain, data, and fuel systems worked great. I didn't have to make much changes to the car's setup, had tons of mechanical grip even on very old R7 tires.

There are a few gripes to be worked through:
  1. Cooling is still a thing. I was at 4k feet and 90's temperatures, but I was hitting 230 engine temps and 290 oil temps within 5-6 laps (while short shifting). I tried both the mechanical and electrical water pumps and right now its a wash between the data sets, I'm still working analysis, but I think its a real tough sell to try and race 30 minutes in those conditions.

  2. I'm having all sorts of issues with my AEM oil pressure gauge. Its slowly declining in pressure as temperatures go up, but its hard to understand why. I have two oil pressure senders (one AEM sender/gauge, one AEM sender hooked up direct to my logger), and the logger shows consistent pressures, but the AEM shows a downward curve. I drove with my head in the gauges as at times it would show 40PSI going down the straight! That can't be true as I'd have thrown a camshaft out. Swapping the gauge body and sender (and swapping sender positions) did not change, so its possibly electrical. I'm thinking about a mechanical gauge and I'll have a thread to go into further detail on this mystery.

  3. My accusump isn't behaving. It wouldn't fully discharge, and sometimes nothing would happen if you activated the EPC Pro valve, sending it off for replacement/repair.

  4. My fuel venting design needs revising

  5. My autoblip just isn't working any more. I traced the connections (they're soldered in), but it isn't signaling. That said, with the improvement in the brakes, I was able to heel toe without difficulty, so that will come off the car soon.

I'll have a number of threads spawned from the testing but it was a lot of fun, and the car looks to be very competitive as I gain confidence with it. Some of these improvements (brakes and fueling) were significant!

 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
@captdistraction, what fluid are you running in your Tremec?

The BG kit from OPM, its worked by far the best for me.

I also run the MCG additive which seems to help smooth shifting over a wider range of temperatures:

Any chance you could post pictures of how the wing is mounted and braced underneath? I need ideas.
Older picture, but there's a large spreader plate on each side, that bolts into riv nuts in the oem decklid. There's spacers underneath the 3 main bolts to the uprights. Then the trunk itself uses hardened stoppers from Watson Racing to brace against the closed position. That all said, I still get a few mm of deflection at speed.
1605633924909.jpeg
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
RACE RECAP: Bondurant School Track w/ Looper, November 7-8

The Arizona region held a fantastic event at the Bondurant School track in November, with a late season heat finally giving way the morning of the race, leaving competitors to enjoy perfect weather and a freshly-paved (and arguably still bumpy) track to compete on. The Looper configuration adds a laws-of-physics-bending amount of continuous left turn and some tricky transitions that force focus on race craft and tire management throughout the race. This tight track offers challenge to the larger cars and limited passing zones which makes for great racing action. Championships were locked and records were set as the green flags dropped at Wild Horse Pass Motorsport Park.

Saturday not much to report as I had a massive off in warmup, destroying a carbon/nomex splitter, damaging two right side wheels and the lower rocker panel. I had forgotten about the extra time under throttle on the straight the looper configuration provides and had to trail some brake into T1 and that left the car upset and quickly turned into a high speed off.


124253350_10158711823526217_2296424617533954781_o.jpg124184133_10158711823476217_3355313241935833560_o.jpg124283805_10158711822841217_1311493760317918090_o.jpg124324355_10158711822916217_5438309870671719668_o.jpg

I was pretty ready to pack thing up and just cruise through the weekend with my duties as series leader; but @ArizonaBOSS snapped into action and set up a new replacement plywood splitter.

123700638_10103048351191774_321892761469584237_o.jpg

I did get to go back out and work out some confidence issues in a HPDE session late in the day as I couldn't get through all the technical work and repairs in time for the day's race. Beating up on some unsuspecting spendy cars was just the refresher I needed to get my head back in the game.



Sunday started better, a clean practice session led to a mixed qualify: a car had gotten stuck on the far end of the track and created a caution condition that took up half the track. While I was able to get hot pressures and temperatures taken, not much more than one clean lap was had. However, safety cleared with a couple minutes left and was able to log one "felt real good" flyer lap which I thought would give me the class lead if not pole position; but I was .006" from the next nearest competitor who had the honors.



Without going into a lot of drama, I let the competition get in my head a bit over the weekend and before the race started; I had mentally prepared to try and make an early move in the 4th turn as there's a good passing opportunity and it can be difficult to defend; but on the start I went for another opportunity, but had to back off when I ran out of room which didn't set me up well for the original planned dive; instead I ended up missing the opportunity, and worse my shallow line through there led to a spin on the exit; off into the dirt I went and my race was over in the first turns of the first lap.


As I re-entered the race after about 30 seconds, another class competitor had been slow around the track; he pointed me by, but I completed the pass while the corner station that was waving a yellow for my incident was pulling the flag back in. While I thought I was making an ok move to go around him; but technically it was a pass under yellow and a disqualification (enforced by me, the local series leader :( ). Though I thought if nothing else, I needed seat time, so I ran the rest of the race and logged some good laps and worked through traffic in the odd chance that a yellow flag or other incident would bring me back in; not the case as the gap was 50 seconds to the leader at the end, but I did finish the race (and a second place finish, third overall if not for the DQ).


Not all was lost, as some great media was taken of the car by P1 Images and Elevated Trackside, and I learned a few good lessons (and repeated a few others):

-Preparation is key
-The mental aspect and preparation on the track configuration is important
-Don't let people get in your head - the only thing that matters is your personal execution of your race plan
-plywood splitters work just fine
-even a weekend of bad execution and luck is overcome by the company of good friends

The car looks great, and is wearing some new logos for 2020/2021: more to come there along with some of the goals for 2021 (cliffs: spend more time focusing on driving improvement and race at Daytona!)

 
596
169
Great driving and your car looks and sounds so fantastic!

That track is a lot of fun - they used it few years ago when I did their Viper driving school.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,897
4,505
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
What a great story and major Kudos to AZBoss!! I am pretty sure the splitter does not go very far back , but I wanted to throw out a note of caution to someone who might want to extend it farther underneath to get a flatter floor for aero. Some 15-20 years ago , my old boss , Bob Woodhouse started doing marine grade plywood splitters for his Viper Days GT1 Viper, because this was in the infancy of CF and it was platinum priced. The CF splitters seemed to have a short life also , so he made and actually sold quite a few to other guys at the track when their Carbon fiber ones broke. The key was more and more marine grade plywood went under the chassis to smooth the underside , and this is where the word of caution pops up for folks maybe thinking this could cut corners ( keep in mind this applies only if you go engine on back) and get them a flat bottom . One day at a track near us Bob was leading a points race when he pulled over to the side engulfed in flames.........the car was essentially destroyed when all was said and done. Engine and tranny fluid dripped occasionally, the wood soaked it up and on this hot day apparently there was enough to catch it on fire and the result was catastrophic.

Not likely in this case as it is up front , but this is an enterprising group and just a note to advise someone who is thinking a bit farther into air flow and a possible extension since it seems like a cheap fix --- well , skip that, ha.

Capn D., the car looks great and it goes to show new members why knowing another TMO Site Racer can often save your track/race day. I remember when I was short a nut and Tymeslayer saved the day for me ---er, that is another story for another day.
 
Last edited:

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,797
1,374
Phoenix, Az
How thick is that plywood Chris?

10.33mm so I'm not quite sure if its 1/2 or 3/8 (as its right between those) - I'll ask @ArizonaBOSS

Great driving and your car looks and sounds so fantastic!


That track is a lot of fun - they used it few years ago when I did their Viper driving school.

Its one of my favorites; I need to have more guts going into the brakes in maricopa / T4 and then more balls going through T6-T10 (some of that should be absolutely flat out).
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,574
2,444
Arizona, USA
@JDee That splitter is 13/32, best of what Home Depot Motorsports had in-stock that day. Seems to be holding up well.

With respect to the length, it replaces the "FRPP" splitter and the first undertray (stops at the oil-service tray/Z-Brace), so hopefully that will eliminate some of the problems that @Bill Pemberton mentioned above (which I didn't even consider in our frenzy) :eek:
 

TMO Supporting Vendors

Latest posts

Buy TMO Apparel

Buy TMO Apparel
Top