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 My budget track 5.0 GT Build Thread Profile - S197 Mustangs

21
29
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
This is the Build Thread for My budget track 5.0 GT. Trying to keep a journal of all the maintenance and things done to the car in one spot.

This will be a pretty slow build- all I am hoping for this year is adding some good track tires and getting track time in. Tracks near me are Autobahn Country Club and Gingerman Raceway. Some pics of how I got the car- pretty much stock and very well maintained.

8953B5EA-250C-47B9-B695-9581BE25D4DB.jpeg

68BB07E1-489F-4581-8AED-0CAC5C78245D.jpeg

Bookmarks:
Installing six piston Brembos and Girodisc rotors
 
Last edited:
14
21
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Canton, Michigan
Autocross really teaches how powerful these cars, and also shows that Ford made a good general product for everyone. It's up to the end user to figure out what they want to do with it. Me personally, I'm looking to get as close to performance of a Boss 302 without going overboard on aftermarket parts. At the end of the day, I love this car, but Ford keeps improving on the breed, so I might want to sell this car down the road. What better modifications than OEM go-fast bits that originally came with a warranty (read: closest thing to bulletproof reliable you can get, at least that's how I see it.)

Looking forward to see what you plan on doing!

Edit: Hope to see you out at Gingerman!
 
304
264
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
Kona Blue is one of my favorite colors. I only bought my Red Candy when I couldn't find a Kona Blue optioned the way I wanted. These cars do not need a lot to have fun at the track. Like others have said, tires, brake pads and fluids and you are ready to get started. The car will tell you in time what else is needed for your driving style/abilities.
 
21
29
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Thanks for all the input everyone. Wondering if I should stick to the stock 18" wheels I currently have and slapping some good tires on them or if it's worth getting wider wheels right now. And if I do get a whole spare set, not sure if I should go with 18" or 19". Any advice?
 
21
29
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
First mods, better track tires, more serious brake pads and brake fluid, and of course more seat time. Autocrossing is a great way to get to know your car and the newly learned habits and concentration needed will transfer right over to a road course.

Autocross really teaches how powerful these cars, and also shows that Ford made a good general product for everyone. It's up to the end user to figure out what they want to do with it. Me personally, I'm looking to get as close to performance of a Boss 302 without going overboard on aftermarket parts. At the end of the day, I love this car, but Ford keeps improving on the breed, so I might want to sell this car down the road. What better modifications than OEM go-fast bits that originally came with a warranty (read: closest thing to bulletproof reliable you can get, at least that's how I see it.)

Looking forward to see what you plan on doing!

Edit: Hope to see you out at Gingerman!

Kona Blue is one of my favorite colors. I only bought my Red Candy when I couldn't find a Kona Blue optioned the way I wanted. These cars do not need a lot to have fun at the track. Like others have said, tires, brake pads and fluids and you are ready to get started. The car will tell you in time what else is needed for your driving style/abilities.

As Bill mentioned, wider wheels and some good track tires are the best investment. Then I found camber plates, stiffer springs and any way that you can improve cooling of the brakes an additional good investment.

Thanks for all the input everyone. Wondering if I should stick to the stock 18" wheels I currently have and slapping some good tires on them or if it's worth getting wider wheels right now. And if I do get a whole spare set, not sure if I should go with 18" or 19". Any advice?
 
44
50
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Gibsonia, PA
Thanks for all the input everyone. Wondering if I should stick to the stock 18" wheels I currently have and slapping some good tires on them or if it's worth getting wider wheels right now. And if I do get a whole spare set, not sure if I should go with 18" or 19". Any advice?
Diameter I don't think is as important as width. If you check out Terry Fair's Vorshlag site, he has both S197 and S550 project cars as well as suspension upgrades for both. I purchased most of my suspension parts from his company. Springs were from Steeda. I went from the stock 19" PP1 wheels to his custom offset ForgeStar 19" x 11" at all four corners, with 305 - 30 x 19 Michelins. I will say that if you go that wide at the front, you need to pay attention to tread and section width dimensions. Camber plates really helped me out here. I also purchased his strut tower cutting tool to open up those stock openings a bit and I was glad I did.

Having said this, I believe that Terry went with 315 - 30 x 18" on his S197 project car. I think tire manufacturers don't make the same widths in all wheel diameters. I will say that the wheels and tires made a huge difference in lateral grip! You can certainly call them for advice on any updates. They were quite helpful to me when I was doing my updates.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
6,503
5,442
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Another key we often fail to ask, since members are all a bunch of TrackRat wackos, me included , is what is your budget?If you only have a couple of grand right now, then get some good tires, solid pads and use what you have .Rabbit Hole racers can spend so much on their car at first that there is nothing left to let them afford to go to the track or autocross. I am as guilty as the next guy of getting drivers all pumped up to get the stuff they need only to find out they can only spend a certain amount for the year ------we have all been there.

I remember many years back an autocrosser had CCR as his racing sponsor. It stood for Credit Card Racing and when we didn't see him for awhile he would tell us his sponsor was maxed out. This is a very important mod we all need to view when deciding how much track time we are going to get each year?
 
14
21
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Canton, Michigan
I've been doing open track days for a couple years now (by no means experienced, but I know how much it costs now)
I'd stick to wheels you currently have, try a couple different tires, then see how you feel. for sure going wider is going to be much better than going taller, but I'd definitely check to see if the tire you like is available in that next width you're looking at getting. The problem with wheels and tires is they take up a lot of space so it's definitely better to check how much space you've got. So far I've got 3 stacks of wheels taking space in my garage and I need space for a fourth stack...d'oh!
 
21
29
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Hahah thanks for all the advice.guys
Another key we often fail to ask, since members are all a bunch of TrackRat wackos, me included , is what is your budget?If you only have a couple of grand right now, then get some good tires, solid pads and use what you have .Rabbit Hole racers can spend so much on their car at first that there is nothing left to let them afford to go to the track or autocross. I am as guilty as the next guy of getting drivers all pumped up to get the stuff they need only to find out they can only spend a certain amount for the year ------we have all been there.

I remember many years back an autocrosser had CCR as his racing sponsor. It stood for Credit Card Racing and when we didn't see him for awhile he would tell us his sponsor was maxed out. This is a very important mod we all need to view when deciding how much track time we are going to get each year?
Yeah unfortunately budget is going to be tighter than most. I’m in my late 20s, just got married this past year and bought a place…. Been a car enthusiast my whole life and we’re in a good enough spot where I thought I’d pull the trigger on this car before any babies are around
 
Last edited:
44
50
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Gibsonia, PA
Another key we often fail to ask, since members are all a bunch of TrackRat wackos, me included , is what is your budget?If you only have a couple of grand right now, then get some good tires, solid pads and use what you have .Rabbit Hole racers can spend so much on their car at first that there is nothing left to let them afford to go to the track or autocross. I am as guilty as the next guy of getting drivers all pumped up to get the stuff they need only to find out they can only spend a certain amount for the year ------we have all been there.

I remember many years back an autocrosser had CCR as his racing sponsor. It stood for Credit Card Racing and when we didn't see him for awhile he would tell us his sponsor was maxed out. This is a very important mod we all need to view when deciding how much track time we are going to get each year?
Bill, well said!
 
21
29
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Well just registered for Mohawk Track Experience at Gingerman Raceway! August 15th is the novice day and they will have instructors there so looking forward to learning a ton there. Definitely want to do a few autocross events between now and then though.
 
14
21
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Canton, Michigan
Well just registered for Mohawk Track Experience at Gingerman Raceway! August 15th is the novice day and they will have instructors there so looking forward to learning a ton there. Definitely want to do a few autocross events between now and then though.
Oh cool! I'm going to be there on the 16th in the intermediate group. I'm hoping I'd have a good set of tires by then, currently on all-seasons at the moment.
 
147
108
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
I remember many years back an autocrosser had CCR as his racing sponsor. It stood for Credit Card Racing and when we didn't see him for awhile he would tell us his sponsor was maxed out. This is a very important mod we all need to view when deciding how much track time we are going to get each year?
Looks like I found a new sponsor then :) Thanks for that idea. But seriously budget considerations especially for a hobby are normal and we all should have them in mind.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
6,503
5,442
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Do you :
1. Fish
2. Hunt
3. Golf
4. Boat
5. Race - none of the above are relevant to life in the fast lane.

The correct answer is 5 and any other answer shows you don't have your priorities in life in proper order for good...........................................CARMA!!!
 
21
29
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Do you :
1. Fish
2. Hunt
3. Golf
4. Boat
5. Race - none of the above are relevant to life in the fast lane.

The correct answer is 5 and any other answer shows you don't have your priorities in life in proper order for good...........................................CARMA!!!
I will remember this
 
21
29
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
A little update from this week. Was shopping on facebook marketplace for wheels/tires and ended up finding a set of 19x9 OEM track pack wheels with brand new Falken FK510 tires on them for $700. While they’re not the Apex EC7 18x11 I want, they give me a bit of a wider wheel and some rubber I can burn at the track for very cheap. Will keep my current set of wheels to drive around if needed. This being a budget build for now, I think these will serve me well. Maybe next year I can upgrade to those 18x11s I want.
0EF26657-67CC-4F44-86AC-5495C5FA3025.png


Additionally I changed the oil and put in fresh plugs. Thinking about adding a boss 302 oil cooler before my first autocross event.

I also want to change the diff fluid this weekend. Can anyone opine on whether I can just use those easy amsoil gear fluid bags that can be squeezed in and already include friction modifier without any additional added in? I’m worried the amsoil/royal purple fluids won’t have enough but also worried about having too much friction modifier which I know is even worse. Not sure if I should just get the motor craft fluid and add the 4oz of friction modifier myself.
 

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
581
822
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
San Diego
I also want to change the diff fluid this weekend. Can anyone opine on whether I can just use those easy amsoil gear fluid bags that can be squeezed in and already include friction modifier without any additional added in? I’m worried the amsoil/royal purple fluids won’t have enough but also worried about having too much friction modifier which I know is even worse. Not sure if I should just get the motor craft fluid and add the 4oz of friction modifier myself.
I don't make enough money to afford Amsoil, but Royal Purple does have fricmod. I've gone through and flushed a handful of times now, and never any problem with it at all. I also keep the car in Track mode (or used the dyno plug to disable it) so that the rear Advance Trac doesn't engage and build up any additional heat.
 

TMO Supporting Vendors

Latest posts

Buy TMO Apparel

Buy TMO Apparel
Top