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MotoIQ - Project Budget 400whp S197 Mustang Track Car

Hey guys,

I just started a new project on MotoIQ, taking my experience and background racing the S197 Mustang platform professionally over the past 10 years in Grand-Am to recommend how to make an inexpensive, powerful, great handling and fun to drive track car. Stay tuned for some insight on the car, what's important to upgrade and what isn't necessary or even detremental to change. Enjoy:

"More people need to consider the (2005-2014) “S197” Mustang for track use! Parts are cheap and it really does not take much to turn one into an awesome “Driver’s-car”. There are a lot of misconceptions that Mustangs don’t handle well, are too heavy, and only belong on the drag strip. This project car is focused on dispelling these myths and show how to make arguably the best and least expensive 400whp track car."

0%20Project%20Budget%20400whp%20Track%20Car-L.jpg



-Billy
 
342
285
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
I tried to tell you that. ;) Well, without being as blunt about it.

"Budget" means very different things to different people. As long as it doesn't blow up it has served it's purpose. I already have a fast car. Although, moving all my newly acquired S197 parts over to a 3.7 car in a couple years has definitely crossed my mind. I really like this car so far, I've been driving it to work nearly everyday since I bought it. It's been a few years since I could do that with the SN95.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
"Budget" means very different things to different people. As long as it doesn't blow up it has served it's purpose. I already have a fast car. Although, moving all my newly acquired S197 parts over to a 3.7 car in a couple years has definitely crossed my mind. I really like this car so far, I've been driving it to work nearly everyday since I bought it. It's been a few years since I could do that with the SN95.
I get it, trust me. I was just kidding above.
 
Hey guys,

I just started a new project on MotoIQ, taking my experience and background racing the S197 Mustang platform professionally over the past 10 years in Grand-Am to recommend how to make an inexpensive, powerful, great handling and fun to drive track car. Stay tuned for some insight on the car, what's important to upgrade and what isn't necessary or even detremental to change. Enjoy:

"More people need to consider the (2005-2014) “S197” Mustang for track use! Parts are cheap and it really does not take much to turn one into an awesome “Driver’s-car”. There are a lot of misconceptions that Mustangs don’t handle well, are too heavy, and only belong on the drag strip. This project car is focused on dispelling these myths and show how to make arguably the best and least expensive 400whp track car."

View attachment 58020


-Billy
Very good article Billy, looking forward to future installments. Particularly interested in the rear end set up, keeping the panhard bar and what differences a Torsen makes. I've heard you say in interviews you spent a lot of time learning vehicle dynamics, and believe that's one thing that sets you apart. Looking forward to that wisdom.
 

xr7

TMO Addict?
352
336
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Minnesota
Good write up and my car, tools and wallet are ready and waiting for the next one.
 
Hey guys,

Part 2 is now live:

Project Budget 400WHP S197 Mustang Track Car: Part 2 – Finding out what it takes to make 400WHP

"We strap our first-generation 5.0L “Coyote” V8-powered S197 Mustang to the dyno and test the 2018+ “Gen-3” intake manifold, K&N air intake, and tunes by Palm Beach Dyno to find out the least expensive way to make 400 WHP on pump gas. "

i-9FdrgzG-X2.jpg


In the article:
-Baseline dyno
-Dyno K&N Performance Cold Air Intake
-Dyno 2018 "Gen3" intake manifold
-Dyno Tune by Palm Beach Dyno

-Billy
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Nice.

Got some minor typos to fix in there. Like ‘msore’ toward the bottom of page 1.

There’s a member here @Norm Peterson that was wondering what your thoughts are about watts links vs panhard bars, if you have the time or inclination to respond.
 
Nice.

Got some minor typos to fix in there. Like ‘msore’ toward the bottom of page 1.

There’s a member here @Norm Peterson that was wondering what your thoughts are about watts links vs panhard bars, if you have the time or inclination to respond.
Fixed. Thank you. Anywhere else? (I guess they don't proofread my articles anymore, haha).

That will be a fun and super controversial upcoming article after part 2 of the dyno work. Stay tuned!
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Fixed. Thank you. Anywhere else? (I guess they don't proofread my articles anymore, haha).

That will be a fun and super controversial upcoming article after part 2 of the dyno work. Stay tuned!
There was a to/too error on page two, I think. Didn’t notice any others.

Looking forward to the article!
 

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
3,531
2,050
Santiago, Chile
Interesting article.... just a few minor observations from the mustangs we tested down here in Chile.

1) 376 rwhp for a stock GT is a really good number.. most we tested are around 355 to 365rwhp. Maybe its because your at sea level and we are at 2500+ feet? (and almost all were automatics)
2) For a budget build, a set of decent LTHs would get you too 400 rwhp with just a tune. And then probably all the rest of the breathing mods like CAI and manifold would work better.
3) I love the bashing of the E90 M3 :) .... When the 2012+ Mustangs started to race down here in Chile... the M3 cars just stopped showing up since it was a major ego blow to get beaten by a mustang with a chariot axle. Poor M3 is devoid of torque. I like to point out the the bimmer folks that my wifes 4 pot diesel SUV has more torque.
4) Going back to the headers.... a set of kooks alone with no other mods and cats, no tune, gave me 403rwhp and 380 lbs of torque. That was on a stock Boss 302 motor with its high rpm manifold. I still think a good set of headers is the place to start with this motor. maybe even a really cheap header and spend the money on some decent collectors.

But I digress! Really agree with the basic premise of the article.... The 2011-2014 GT is a great, cheap, track car!
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,056
1,018
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
Hey guys,

Part 2 is now live:

Project Budget 400WHP S197 Mustang Track Car: Part 2 – Finding out what it takes to make 400WHP

"We strap our first-generation 5.0L “Coyote” V8-powered S197 Mustang to the dyno and test the 2018+ “Gen-3” intake manifold, K&N air intake, and tunes by Palm Beach Dyno to find out the least expensive way to make 400 WHP on pump gas. "

View attachment 59037

In the article:
-Baseline dyno
-Dyno K&N Performance Cold Air Intake
-Dyno 2018 "Gen3" intake manifold
-Dyno Tune by Palm Beach Dyno

-Billy
Thanks for sharing Billy, saw you had posted it in the FB group. Glad you took the time to share it here too.
 
Interesting article.... just a few minor observations from the mustangs we tested down here in Chile.

1) 376 rwhp for a stock GT is a really good number.. most we tested are around 355 to 365rwhp. Maybe its because your at sea level and we are at 2500+ feet? (and almost all were automatics)
2) For a budget build, a set of decent LTHs would get you too 400 rwhp with just a tune. And then probably all the rest of the breathing mods like CAI and manifold would work better.
3) I love the bashing of the E90 M3 :) .... When the 2012+ Mustangs started to race down here in Chile... the M3 cars just stopped showing up since it was a major ego blow to get beaten by a mustang with a chariot axle. Poor M3 is devoid of torque. I like to point out the the bimmer folks that my wifes 4 pot diesel SUV has more torque.
4) Going back to the headers.... a set of kooks alone with no other mods and cats, no tune, gave me 403rwhp and 380 lbs of torque. That was on a stock Boss 302 motor with its high rpm manifold. I still think a good set of headers is the place to start with this motor. maybe even a really cheap header and spend the money on some decent collectors.

But I digress! Really agree with the basic premise of the article.... The 2011-2014 GT is a great, cheap, track car!
Thanks for the input. Most manual GTs on 93 octane at sea level are putting down 370-380whp SAE depending on the weather on a dynojet. Dynos, conditions, manual/automatic, final drive ratio can all affect those numbers. A stock Boss 302 is around 400whp SAE stock on 93 as well. We also see ~20whp increases from LTH and ditching the factory cats, but we are leaving the cats in for this project.

If you like reading about E9X M3s losing, you can see my track test of a stock 2016 Mustang GT vs a modified E90 M3:

 

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
3,531
2,050
Santiago, Chile
Goes to show its very hard to compare Dyno numbers between different dynos..But the gains looked good, Most of the 2012-2014 cars down here ended up with around 430rwhp with the usual boltons and tune. That would be CAI,TB,manifold, LTHs and exhaust (no cats).
 
3,156
2,878
Not sure which headers are less expensive, Kooks or American Racing, the general preference seems to be ARH, if solely based on performance.
 

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