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S550 Honey Badger GT350 Build Build Thread Profile - S550 Mustangs

So some updates. I've been moving slowly and working on the clutch install, but I've run into a few snags.

First, I started monkeying around with my camber plates up front to add some more camber and I ran into two problems. On the driverside, I went to loosen one of the nuts and it just snapped off. I'm fairly confident that this wasn't from over torquing since I use a torque wrench every time, but could be wrong. Either way, that sucks.

IMG_0537.jpeg

I thought no biggie, I guess I'll have to get new camber plates. Went to the other side and found that the top nut had come loose and the play inside screwed up the tolerances. The stud on the top of the strut is all chewed up (not pictured) and the camber plate is about 1/16" wider diameter than it should be. So it looks like at least the passenger side front strut is toast and given their age, it's time to retire them. I've started talks with Cortex about a set of coilovers (hence my other thread :). Hopefully can get those ordered soon.

IMG_0541.jpeg

Now, back to the clutch install. I got the OEM flywheel(original that came with the car) and clutch pack (second one, installed in 2019) and both look good. I don't think they're the issue I was having.

IMG_0551.jpeg
IMG_0552.jpegIMG_0553.jpeg

New clutch is in and trans is ready to go back in.
IMG_0580.jpeg

However, I started inspecting the back of the engine more closely and realized my header wrap was starting to fall apart. I started pulling on it and found that it looks like the headers are rubbing on the frame rails. I've already clearanced these once before and there's a good .5" or more in all directions.

IMG_0576.jpegIMG_0575.jpeg

However, we can see (sorta) that the frame rails are pretty cooked. Paint is flaking and everything. The heat shield on the driver side (but above the header) appears to be cooked and show signs of contact as well.
IMG_0577.jpeg
IMG_0579.jpeg

Wondering if the motor mounts are shot and allowing the engine to move around too much?
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,465
1,446
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
The first plates I had were MM. A bolt snapped off on installation, which was done with a torque wrench at their torque level. When I reported it they were less than friendly and straight up blamed me. They eventually did send a new piece, though I had to pay shipping, duty, tax, etc.
Replaced them with Vorshlags which have been trouble free and got me to -4 vs -2.2 for the MM pieces. I gave the MM pieces away to a guy for free. Figured that's what they were worth.
 
9
10
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Wyoming
So some updates. I've been moving slowly and working on the clutch install, but I've run into a few snags.

First, I started monkeying around with my camber plates up front to add some more camber and I ran into two problems. On the driverside, I went to loosen one of the nuts and it just snapped off. I'm fairly confident that this wasn't from over torquing since I use a torque wrench every time, but could be wrong. Either way, that sucks.

View attachment 72909

I thought no biggie, I guess I'll have to get new camber plates. Went to the other side and found that the top nut had come loose and the play inside screwed up the tolerances. The stud on the top of the strut is all chewed up (not pictured) and the camber plate is about 1/16" wider diameter than it should be. So it looks like at least the passenger side front strut is toast and given their age, it's time to retire them. I've started talks with Cortex about a set of coilovers (hence my other thread :). Hopefully can get those ordered soon.

View attachment 72910

Now, back to the clutch install. I got the OEM flywheel(original that came with the car) and clutch pack (second one, installed in 2019) and both look good. I don't think they're the issue I was having.

View attachment 72911
View attachment 72912View attachment 72913

New clutch is in and trans is ready to go back in.
View attachment 72918

However, I started inspecting the back of the engine more closely and realized my header wrap was starting to fall apart. I started pulling on it and found that it looks like the headers are rubbing on the frame rails. I've already clearanced these once before and there's a good .5" or more in all directions.

View attachment 72915View attachment 72914

However, we can see (sorta) that the frame rails are pretty cooked. Paint is flaking and everything. The heat shield on the driver side (but above the header) appears to be cooked and show signs of contact as well.
View attachment 72916
View attachment 72917

Wondering if the motor mounts are shot and allowing the engine to move around too much?
Hmm. I suppose lots of full rpm track time could explain tortured camber plates and headers moving around more than half an inch in different directions. I've also wondered about the FPC vibrations wearing more on motor mounts. Would solid motor mounts make sense or would that just send the engine harmonics everywhere including into old fillings in old molars? How many miles/hours of track do you have on Honey Badger?
 
423
437
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Snowy North
Shifting quickly and repeatedly up in the powerband tortures the $hit out of engine and gearbox mounts.....effect is compounded by ambient/local temps and available tire grip (@ lower road speed speeds). I've seen 90 durometer mounts last less than a season in some applications.

Must be a hellacious environment down under your car, Kevin, on a warm two-day weekend @ COTA. How many shifts do you figure your driveline mounts have seen?

PS: Your install vids are great...helpful. Keep 'em coming!
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
6,530
5,480
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Working with Vipers for years at Woodhouse C,D,J,R we saw some of your issue with the huge torque and movement of that large V10. Bob Woodhouse designed a set of polyurethane/metal mounts to help alleviate the issue. I have not looked into it but there is likely a similar set being made by someone out there , and the trade off is you do feel some of the stiffness throughout the drivetrain ( a transmission mount was also part of the full package ). These mounts are still sold through a company in Wisconsin and with the tons of aftermarket Mustang companies there has to be someone doing something similar. There were a few guys trying an all metal system and it was ripping away from attachments, so not the way to go in my mind. I just imagine someone on here has experienced your concern and will comment on a fix or maybe a longer lasting set up. Good luck.
 
The first plates I had were MM. A bolt snapped off on installation, which was done with a torque wrench at their torque level. When I reported it they were less than friendly and straight up blamed me. They eventually did send a new piece, though I had to pay shipping, duty, tax, etc.
Replaced them with Vorshlags which have been trouble free and got me to -4 vs -2.2 for the MM pieces. I gave the MM pieces away to a guy for free. Figured that's what they were worth.

Ya. I had a few people recommend them based on their experience with Foxes, but it seems the overall quality of aftermarket parts for Mustangs have been increasing as companies like SPL, Cortex, Griggs, etc. evolve and put out their CNC goodies.

I think the new coilovers come with a Cortex-specific camber plate, but I'll grab Vorshlag if not.

Hmm. I suppose lots of full rpm track time could explain tortured camber plates and headers moving around more than half an inch in different directions. I've also wondered about the FPC vibrations wearing more on motor mounts. Would solid motor mounts make sense or would that just send the engine harmonics everywhere including into old fillings in old molars? How many miles/hours of track do you have on Honey Badger?

I don't think I'm ready to try solid mounts, but something harder is definitely in store. I have 23k total miles on the car. These mounts have about 100-110 track hours.

Shifting quickly and repeatedly up in the powerband tortures the $hit out of engine and gearbox mounts.....effect is compounded by ambient/local temps and available tire grip (@ lower road speed speeds). I've seen 90 durometer mounts last less than a season in some applications.

Must be a hellacious environment down under your car, Kevin, on a warm two-day weekend @ COTA. How many shifts do you figure your driveline mounts have seen?

PS: Your install vids are great...helpful. Keep 'em coming!

I get between 2-2.5 hours of track time per day and each lap 10 or so high RPM upshifts per lap depending on if I'm being nice or going for lap time. Fast laps require the use of 2nd in 3 places, so it adds 6 total additional shifts. Mounts have about 100-110 hours on them. My table cloth math says about 2400 high rpm up shifts on these mounts. Wow! that's a lot higher than I expected.

Working with Vipers for years at Woodhouse C,D,J,R we saw some of your issue with the huge torque and movement of that large V10. Bob Woodhouse designed a set of polyurethane/metal mounts to help alleviate the issue. I have not looked into it but there is likely a similar set being made by someone out there , and the trade off is you do feel some of the stiffness throughout the drivetrain ( a transmission mount was also part of the full package ). These mounts are still sold through a company in Wisconsin and with the tons of aftermarket Mustang companies there has to be someone doing something similar. There were a few guys trying an all metal system and it was ripping away from attachments, so not the way to go in my mind. I just imagine someone on here has experienced your concern and will comment on a fix or maybe a longer lasting set up. Good luck.

I'm leaning towards the BMR motor mounts with the 90a bushings. SHould be much stiffer without introducing solid mount issues. I should probably preemptively buy some extra bushings :)
 
Last edited:
423
437
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Snowy North
The BMR stuff @ 90 is high quality - spent my own money on it, in fact.. I'd consider treating the urethane bits as consumables, though..check really frequently especially given the 2400# from previous post. @JDee has experience with tormenting those mounts at hot, high-load (gearbox) tracks, but I'm unsure if he installed the 90s??

At the end of the day, your as-found mounts deserve a spot on your trophy wall...they've managed a lot of energy that's been trying to rip out the drivetrain lolol.
 
Last edited:
1,097
1,063
In the V6L
Ya. Other option is something like this. But that's playing a tricky game with the Voodoo

https://shop.watsonracing.com/S197-S550-COYOTE-ENGINE-MOUNT-2005-CURRENT-p/wr-coyotesldmnt-cj.htm
Looking at the Watson website, I'd suggest that if you're going to go to coilovers, that you look at their rear top mounts and, in particular, their front camber adjusters:


 
Looking at the Watson website, I'd suggest that if you're going to go to coilovers, that you look at their rear top mounts and, in particular, their front camber adjusters:



Ya, I posted about those now being available in the general forum. I'm definitely eyeing the Watson camber plates. Those shims would simplify things a lot.
 
I have the 90s in, they do a good job of controlling engine motion with reasonable NVH levels. I tried the solid mounts, they were unliveable, nuclear level NVH (thought that analogy was appropriate for you Rob, LOL!), especially vibration, figured the thing would shake every bolt loose.
Watson recommended a similar path, so I have the BMR mounts on order. Will be curious to inspect the OEM mounts
 
423
437
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Snowy North
Yeah...soild motor and gearbox mounts are probably not something that anyone with a Voodoo on a "real world" track budget should consider. Soild diff mounts in the Coyote stir up the vibes enough.
 
We’ll, dropped them k member today in preparation for replacing the engine mounts. Decided to pull the oil pan to check the oil pickup tube to see if it had broken (like the FP350S one did). It was definitely more exciting than expected. Sigh

See if you spot the foreigner in the oil pan

07528A2C-77D4-46AF-9B65-656A7815F76D.jpeg

If guessed main stud, you nailed it.

98434F7E-BFA9-40D3-8DD3-7699CCC1A799.jpeg

Also, oil pickup tube was indeed broken (shocker).

BB70FA6A-1156-4695-9F70-6C4CB8744CCB.jpeg

I pulled the 6th main cap to see how it looked. Small gouge (looks worse than it is, but still should probably be replaced)

17DD658F-31F3-4B61-8722-796C13514612.jpeg

Fortunately crank looks perfect

9087EC39-FCE2-4ADC-8E85-15FA8EE8F61B.jpeg

Engine has 45 hours on this refresh. All at cota, so all pretty hard hours. I’m probably going to pull it out properly and start disassembly to fully investigate. Thinking I’ll just replace the main caps and timing related parts and resend it. Compression and leak down numbers were all good.
 
Wow....threads on escapee cap bolt look decent. Assembly issue?
I wont eliminate the possibility, but Tim and crew are insanely meticulous, everything is marked. And it lasted at least forty hours because I looked in the drain whole with a boroscope not 2 oil changes ago. I'd be shocked if an install issue last 40 hours of track time. But who knows.

All threads good. It just backed out.
 

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